Friday, October 9, 2015

News and Notes: Volume 2, Number 5

2015 Homecoming wrapped up nicely, and we all have recovered from a busy but fun-filled week. While the school spirit wasn’t as overt as last week, this week provided many opportunities to observe Trojan Pride. Specifically, I loved being at the middle school rookie volleyball game (7th graders and 8th graders who didn’t play last year). Each time a parent meandered in, a player would glance over until eye contact was made, and I could see a little smile grow on the player’s face. I loved that--parents proud of kids, and kids proud their parents are there to see them.

Our students and staff continue to give us reasons to be proud. Enjoy reading about some of those in this week’s News and Notes.

Middle School Volleyball
Each year our Middle School and High School volleyball teams head to the University of Michigan to watch a match. On September 25, our Middle School volleyball teams had a chance to feel what it was like to be a Big Ten athlete playing in front of thousands of fans as part of an inter-squad scrimmage during the intermission of the Michigan vs. Purdue Volleyball game. Coach Mike LaNew said under the intimidating circumstances, they played and represented Whitmore Lake well. No surprises here. Our veteran team (8th graders who played last year) are 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the TCC, experiencing their first loss just this week, splitting the first two sets and losing the third 23-25. Our rookie team continues to grow and improve. They are 1-4 overall and 1-2 in the TCC.

Below are some pictures of their inter-squad scrimmage. Go Trojans!

Student-Athlete Leadership Conference
There are many benefits to our students participating in sports. Students learn tenacity, teamwork, endurance (both mental and physical) and the list goes on. It is often on the field where our next generations of leaders step forward. Our coaches chose 12 WLHS sophomores who demonstrate leadership potential to head to Clinton High School last Wednesday for the Tri-County Conference student-athlete leadership conference.
Nationally renowned teen leadership expert, Craig Hillier, ran the students through a variety of drills, mental exercises and group activities mixed with fun to give them tools to become positive leaders on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. Hillier put students in small groups mixed with students from other schools where they explored topics including personal responsibility, how to set a positive tone, different leadership styles, how to deal with conflict and sportsmanship. Hillier, who has been hosting conferences like this since 1990, challenged all the student-athletes to “be remembered,” to live a life of significance.

We look forward to continuing to help these students grow and develop as leaders, watching as they move our student body, teams and community in a positive direction.

Food Service Grants
I don’t know about all parents, but my guess is the morning routine of getting everyone in the house a nutritious breakfast, clothed, lunch packed or lunch money intact and out the door to get to school on time, often feels like an insurmountable feat. Everything needs to be timed perfectly and risks of tantrums or homework left behind mitigated. Luckily, at WLPS, we have a Food Service department who provides new and different options to take care of the nutritious breakfast part of our students’ mornings.

This year alone, our Food Service Director has received two grants, one for a smoothie machine and one for a salad bar, estimated value together of $5,000. The smoothie program, awarded by the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, kicks off next week at the secondary level. Tuesday-Thursday, for $2.50, students can purchase a 20 ounce smoothie flavor of the day and two packs of graham crackers, meeting the breakfast requirements of a dairy, fruit and grain. They are made with low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk and frozen and fresh fruit, averaging 250 calories with 41 carbs. Students have been helping taste test since the first week of school, helping staff perfect the smoothie flavors and consistency. Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Blueberry, Berry Blast and 3 Berry are some of the flavors that will be available. And if students respond well to the smoothies, Food Service will add more days to the schedule.

In addition to the smoothie grant, Ms. Tomakowski applied two years ago and recently received a grant for a new salad bar. It is currently being used as a fruit and vegetable bar, giving students a wider selection. Although the bar is included when students purchase a meal, our Food Service allows students who bring lunch from home to get fruit and vegetables, at no cost, from the bar as an extra way to encourage and support student’s healthy eating habits.

I applaud our Food Service staff for using every means available to provide the very best to our students. Make sure to encourage your students to stop in and try a smoothie starting next week.

Equestrian Team Heads to States
Help me wish luck to our 2015 Equestrian team as they head off to the State Championships next week. Our seven riders have District Reserve Champions and Regional Reserve Champions feathers to add to their caps, or saddles rather. And according to Co-Coach Audrey Blaszczyk, with the team’s energy and camaraderie demonstrated this season, Championships looks promising. This season alone has had many highlights which included Megan Prast’s performance at the Regional Competition. Prast, team captain, received double winning scores, something only a few riders have been able to accomplish as it is rare that two judges’ subjective opinions of one rider are exactly the same. We commend all the team members for their strong performance this year.

To support the WLHS Equestrian team, head to the Midland County Fairgrounds October 15-18.


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