Friday, October 23, 2015

News and Notes: Volume 2, Number 7

As the end of October nears, many kids are thinking of Trick-or-Treating, costumes and Halloween. This may be true at the elementary level, but at the high school, it is Fall sports wrap-up time. The Larry Steeb Cross Country Invitational is this weekend, football travels to Britton Deerfield for its last game and volleyball has just a couple of weeks before district tournaments begin.

One sport, the WLHS Equestrian team, just concluded its season last week at the state finals--a trip Megan Prast made last year and this year. I bumped into the WLHS sophomore in the hall and asked how she enjoyed her experience. She shared her favorite event at this year's contest. Then she looked me in the eye and expressed that while 7th place finish was good, the team wants to do more. Wow! What a great teammate. Megan is a good representative of her team--hard working, has fun and excels in the classroom. I am proud of the effort they put in. 

Our Cross Country team is similar to the Equestrian team--a hard working group of high achieving student-athletes. They performed well at last week's Tri-County-Conference Championship meet with both the boys and girls teams finishing 4th. Trey Cucuro and Hunter Fanson were named First Team All League. Colton Seigle, Kevin LaMont and Jordan Craven were named Second Team All League. And Callie McCann and Chelsea Spangler received Honorable Mention All League. We look forward to seeing how they perform on Halloween at their Regional meet at Lake Erie Metropark.
Before you read about more great students' accomplishments, if your children attend grades 7-12, don't forget about Parent-Teacher Conferences next Wednesday. We will be conducting those in the gym, and they start at 4:30 p.m. and conclude at 8:00 p.m.

Student Council at WLES
In an effort to have our upper elementary function more like a Middle School, our staff at WLES recently created a new 5th and 6th grade Student Council. It was well received by the students; nearly 50 students applied to join the new student government organization. Staff advisors, Jeannie Matovski and Elizabeth Levy, reviewed all applications, current academic status, consulted with classroom teachers and determined the 9 students who would compete for the office and trustee positions. Those nine students gave two-minute speeches about why they should be elected, choosing a platform to run on with persuasive arguments and all. Annika Taylor even made a shirt for her speech to be Secretary (see below). After all speeches were completed, students voted to elect the very first officers of the WLES Student Council.

The WLES Student Council will have monthly board meetings lead by the students discussing topics of their choosing. They plan on developing a strong partnership with the WLES PTA, having students attend at least one meeting and volunteer for at least one PTA event. In addition, as students who demonstrate model citizenship and positive work/volunteer ethic, the Student Council will work alongside the PBIS committee to continue to improve the culture at our Elementary. “We look forward to the impact these students will have on others; through empowering these young leaders, we are cultivating a ground-breaking atmosphere for learning,” said Ms. Matovski. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Their first meeting will be at the end of this month.

Congratulations to the students listed below. We all look forward to seeing what they accomplish in their new positions.

Presidents: Dalton Bachman & Joshua Williams
Vice Presidents: Jackson Medina & Lindsay Francis
Secretaries: Annika Taylor & Jamie Meadows
Trustees: Morgan Engstrom, Jace Garcia & Erin Carr
                Lauren Burchi, Katie Carbary & Lillian Wilson

National Junior Honor Society
As students in our upper Elementary take on positions as leaders in their school, students in our lower secondary level are doing the same. Earlier this month our National Junior Honor Society welcomed 12 new students into their organization, 11 in the 8th grade and one in the 9th grade, bringing the total membership up to 28 students. Students in NJHS have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, citizenship and character. To be eligible they have to have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 and submit an inventory of their leadership and service activities. A five-member faculty council then evaluates all the information and votes to accept or deny the student’s application to join. Once a member, the student participates in the National Honor Society Rake n’ Run, Canned Food Drive, Adopt-a-Family and have the opportunity to add different events or projects that interest them.

Congratulations to the new officers, new members and current members of this organization. We look forward to seeing your contributions as leaders of WLHS.

President: Catherine Romine
Vice President: Zoe Koebel
Co-Secretary: Jaidan Thigpen
Co-Secretary: Annabella Tetreau

9th Grade Current Members
Izaak Angel
Ronald Bachman
Max Burchi
Claire Curts
Ezra Dreffs
Kiara Johnson
Quinlan Kelly
Dillin Kowalewski
Kevin LaMont
Kyle Majewski
Amy Mayo
Aiden Peltier
Matthew Schwennesen
Rachel Speck
Carter Stefanovski
Kylie Wilson

9th Grade New Members
Todd Cloutier
8th grade New Members
Alaina Di Dio
Paige Everard (Treasurer)
Linsey Hula
Aidan Jaski-Kuehnel
Zoe Koebel (Vice President)
Kohl Majesky
Rylee Phillips
Catherine Romine (President)
Claire Schwennesen
Annabella Tetreau (Secretary)
Jaidan Thigpen (Secretary)

Presentation for Secondary Students
At WLPS, given our size, we have the privilege of taking a personalized approach to teaching our students. This isn’t just effective when preparing our students academically; it also gives us an edge when teaching life lessons. Our Student Success Team (SST) stays in touch with our students' needs and issues they are facing, whether specific to our area or their age group, and in combination with parent requests, decides what programs to bring in to meet those needs.

Today our secondary level students heard the stories of two young men, Chris, a WLHS graduate, and Kaleb, a South Lyon graduate, addressing drug addiction. Chris and Kaleb shared with our students the lessons they both learned as they struggled with addiction. Their message centered on why it is important to be okay with who you are, not depending on opinions of others, as they both agreed that they got involved with drugs as a way to become someone different or better. Had they been confident in themselves, they believe they would have made different decisions which would have taken them down different paths.

Chris’ story was particularly compelling for our students as he is a WLHS graduate--debunking the “it won’t happen to me,” thought many students have as s/he experiments and make decisions that lead down a destructive path.

​Watch for information on future programs provided by SST. Cyber Safety program is coming to WLHS which includes a classroom presentation for 7-8, group presentation 9-12 and a parent workshop. They also have a Distracted Driving presentation scheduled for April 29. 

Tom DeKeyser
Superintendent, Whitmore Lake Public Schools
Principal, Whitmore Lake High School

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