True North: Science, Streets and Skating Rinks of Optimism

May, 2,2022  The Capri Theater

A documentary following the Minneapolis North High Polars from 2013 when the team was last place in the city, and Minneapolis Public Schools tried to shut down North High because of a 35% grad rate.  The new head coach, Larry McKenzie, invited Jane Barrash to come on board as the vision, focus, and mindset development coach. Jane’s background in peak performance, brain/mind capacity, and self-development helped deliver a confidence and competence that opened new dimensions of potential and positivity – not only on the court and in the classroom, but on the ice as well!

By the first season the team went from worst to state champions, and from a 35% grad rate to 95%, repeated in year 4. Jane moved on from North High but stayed connected with many Polars and also worked with a few new Polars in the summers. True North covers 8 years, with an uplifting ‘Where are they now?’ and an engaging look into one Northside family (pillars of the school and community) as their youngest matures from a 7th grader to a senior and captain of the 2021-22 Polars who came this close to another state championship. True North is about creating a new universe of possibility from the inside out.

True North: Science, Streets and Skating Rinks of Optimism (Full 52 mins):

Sample comments from the screening (we asked for anonymous feedback so viewers could write freely). We asked also for suggested tweaks and incorporated a couple into the post-screening final draft.

True North Viewer Comments


“I would love to spread the word about this VERY inspiring movie. Would love to see it made more accessible. Loved it!!!”

  • Couldn’t stop smiling.
  • Feel so optimistic
  • If only more youth and adults could look in this direction

“GREAT JOB!!! Inspiring stories all around.”

“Well done!”

“Very nice – liked the current status 2022. Great music. Ms Jane is great! I think all H.S. and Jr HS should watch this. Positive energy! Nice panel” [Q & A followed the film]

“Love the messages. Very inspiring!”

“Congratulations! It’s amazing to see how you were able to make such complex theories comprehensible – a practical experience. Lots of energy and heart in the film.”

“I loved it! It was entertaining.”

“Very powerful how something so simple can make a huge difference. I would love to see how this works for younger children. I am trying to do this with my son. Would be interested to access this info at home.”

“Inspiring! Thanks so much – it is a great film and an amazing group of people! Willie in the Q&A was so amazing talking about the state BB loss. Can any of that be added to the film?”

“LOVED IT!! Loved: the stories following the kids over time, the skating show – so heartwarming, the impact, can you do/sell training via series on Zoom?”

“Coach McKenzie is an amazing human being. I’m so proud of his standards. I pray that more educators follow his lead. Wilson family: Thank you so much for opening up your home to this project Edo: What an incredible story. Hope he writes his journey Jane: Discovery of Self needs to be required class for ALL HS students.”

“The subject of the film “optimism” and power of positive thinking is excellent. Very well demonstrated.”

“Wonderful film! I hope it gets some widespread distribution.”

“The film is very good and well done, I love how you added the questions on the screen and the updates. Congratulations!” [This person had seen an earlier version]

“A great introduction to very powerful concepts. I would love to see another production introducing the concepts more specifically. Basically, a how-to, instructional video.”

“I’m so glad I saw the film and enjoyed it very much. There were times I had a huge grin on my face.”

“So so so so so wonderful. Love it. Light ahead to all the people in it. HEART OPENING! Thank You for sharing it. It’s really good. It’s GENUINE GOOD WORKS.”

“Amazing documentary! Congratulations. Very fun to watch! A cool story and very authentic.”

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