Earlier this week, Michelle Buria, a financial advisor with the downtown Duluth office of Wells Fargo Advisors, has been named Vice President - Investments.
Buria has served with Wells Fargo Advisors for six years and has 12 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Buria holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Financial Management from the University of St. Thomas and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP ®) designee. She is a member of Rotary Club #25 and is a Board Director at Marshall School. Buria lives in Duluth with her husband, Dave Lambert, and their daughter, Briana.
Can you pinpoint an event that forced you to transition from childhood to young adulthood?
Ella Perrault, an 11th grader at Marshall School, did just that with her essay "Not My Time To Grieve" and earned third place in the annual Authors and Essay contest sponsored by WDSE/WRPT, the local PBS station.
Perrault reflected on her family's experience in the days following the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country of Haiti. Perrault's father has family from Haiti and, for a week following the earthquake, was unable to know how they were doing.
"After that period, I really had to step up. They shouldn't have to worry about me at that point because he was worried about all his family still there," said Perrault. "Obviously I was upset about it, but then I realized even though they were worried about me and how I'm feeling, about how upset I am, that shouldn't be the way. Kind of transitioning from me always leaning on their shoulders to them being able to lean on my shoulders."
Karen Stiles, an Upper School English Teacher at Marshall School, is Perrault's teacher and is quite happy for Perrault's successful essay.
"I was thrilled for her," said Stiles. "She did a great job telling the story, but even more impressive was her ability to reflect on the significance of that story in shaping who she is."
Stiles had her students respond to the Authors and Artists essay prompt, as it is similar to many college application essays her students will soon have to complete. It is up the students, however, to submit it to the contest.
So far, Perrault has visited University of Wisconsin–Madison. She also will look into Northwestern and Loyola in Chicago. She hopes to study Clinical Psychology in college. The essay, she said, could help with the admissions process.
"I think that it will really be helpful to use the description and reflection into my future because it really shows the change that I experienced and is unique to me," Perrault said. "It's my reaction and reflection in the essay that could set me apart from someone else."
But for now, Perrault is finishing her junior year of high school at Marshall with a wide array of course offerings. Stiles' class has helped her grow as a writer, which will carry on into other disciplines.
"I'm really enjoying this class because we're just getting the chance to free write," said Perrault. "It's more about the content and putting our thoughts to words."
Perrault wasn't the only Hilltopper recognized for their work. Alayah Johnson-Jennings, a tenth grader in David Johnson's class, earned honorable mention in the Authors and Artists Essay Contest with her essay entitled "The Effects of Walking."
Younger students in grades 2-5 were encouraged to "Illustrate an event that you will always remember." Around 2,000 Duluth Elementary students entered the contest. Anja Kuhlke of Marshall School earned second place in the fifth grade division.
"Anja is such a creative and talented artist that I am not surprised that she is one of the finalists," said Amber Burns, Kuhlke's teacher.
Burns stressed the importance and impact competitions like the Authors and Artists contest have on students.
"Art contests and galleries are beneficial for students for many reasons. It is a real world experience where students get the chance to create artwork that will be viewed by an audience," said Burns. "Students need to think about the message they want to the audience to receive, who their audience might be, and they also need to think about the craftsmanship that goes into creating a piece of art that will hang in a gallery."
A recognition ceremony for all the top artists and essayists in this contest will be held at Marshall School April 19th.