True North: Science, Streets and Skating Rinks of Optimism

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 the school 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!

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.

11 min preview created for Mpls-NAACP Sept 2022 gala (does not include skating show footage)

9 min preview from first half of the film (includes skating show footage)

Full film (52 mins)

“Inspirational – many thanks”

“Feels like an opportunity ladder 🙂

“Great job! I saw the early preview and love all of the updates and messages. It’s very inspiring.”


“Tyler Johnson and Antoine Winfield Jr were MN Gophers football players who went on to do well. Really excellent football players.”

“Great doc! Thank you for spreading positivity and a hopeful approach to life”

“Very inspiring. Would have liked to see more of what the Discovery of Self content is. Perhaps less skating?”

“This philosophy – think you can do something, imagine yourself doing it, breathing, etc those are all great skills for everyone to learn. The film really shows an example and great program.”


“Have you talked to MSP Film Society about screening your movie at the upcoming film festival?”

“Community is everybody helping somebody”

“Good work Ms Jane! Lots of hard work all paid off. I love hearing you talk and explain your vision. Thanks.”

“I appreciate that this work continues to find its way into education settings. I am an artist-educator who works in a public charter school that offers tiered programming for middle and high school students with ASD. Optimism is key, hope and working for change are too! Thank you for the inspirational and fun film!”

Thank you for putting so much possibility into the lives of others. Kudos!! I couldn’t understand/hear some of the commentary. I would have liked to hear the voices I missed. It would have been great to show Jordan’s work.”

“Deeply affecting to see people acting outside of prior limited thinking of what’s possible, especially in groups e.g. skating show”

“This was very uplifting. So wonderful to see young people exploring their potentials in such a positive way”

“We need more of this as general knowledge. How does this differ from (or agree with) schools such as Lake Country, an elementary that knows kids need something different than public education?”

“It was such an exceptional event, to get to know that family’s work and experiences in such a personal and inspiring way. And to know they’ve been influenced by Jane’s work is cool 😀


“Loved it. Conscious mind, Change your thoughts, Change your mind, Change your behavior, Breathe, breathing helps to clear/prepare your thoughts.”



“It was a wonderful experience and I’m excited about what’s been created.”