Friday, June 3, 2016

News and Notes: Volume 2, Number 32

In recognition of graduation this Sunday, I asked a member of the Class of 2016 to provide a special edition of Friday's News and Notes, highlighting her experiences at WLHS.

Enjoy learning from a student's perspective reasons why it is a great day to be a Trojan.

Tom DeKeyser
WLPS Superintendent
WLMS and WLHS Principal

My Time at WLHS
By Kate Bauer

Kindergarten to 12th grade...13 short years...13 years I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. Some say "high school is the best four years of your life," while some cannot wait to graduate and take that next step into the real world. In light of graduation, I have come to realize that high school will be something I will always remember, something I will tell my kids, grandkids, neighbors and friends about until the day comes where the experiences slowly vanish into distant memories.

Get Off the Couch
From the frightening first day of freshman year where I felt like I was being judged by all of the upperclassmen to my last prom with all of my close friends, there is one large life-lesson I will take away from my time at WLHS: get involved. No matter how nice it is to come home from school every day and take a 5-hour nap, you will regret not participating in everything that goes along with high school. I was a 5-hour napper at the beginning of high school (I think everyone is at one point), but then it hit me. Why am I wasting these precious years of my life sitting at home when I could be making memories? After seeing the light at the end of my freshman year, I joined student council, color guard, basketball, marching band, Key Club and National Honor Society (NHS).Through my involvement in these various extracurriculars, I created stories to tell and friends that will always have a spot in my heart.

National Honor Society, Marching Band and More
When I got my letter that I was eligible to be a part of NHS, I was really proud of myself. By being invited into NHS, I was not only being recognized for my academic accomplishments but also my involvement in the school and community. My favorite memories from NHS were collecting cans our school donated and taking them to the local food pantry each year around the holidays. The smiles we received when we were lugging all of the cans in was something I will always remember. I knew they genuinely appreciated each and every donation. I loved NHS because I felt like I was truly making a difference and know I will carry that with me as I leave WLHS and continue to make positive contributions in the world.

Joining marching band was one of the best decisions I made during my time at WLHS. While it was such a valuable experience, the one thing I will remember (all band kids will attest to this) is the woodpecker story from Mr. Kirby, our band teacher. I went to band camp three times, and each time the woodpecker in his story would be described bigger than the last. This is just an example of how Mr. Kirby made band so much fun. From wearing tennis shoes that were so worn out there were holes in the toes to cracking random jokes in the middle of band practice, his sense of humor made the experience one to remember.

In addition to my time involved in extracurriculars, a moment in high school I will not forget was when our football team went to playoffs my sophomore year. I remember the whole school was full of spirit. Everyone made signs, decorated the school, wore their gear, the whole nine yards (pun intended). As we took the packed fan bus to Clinton, people from the community were lined up all through town to cheer on the team as they made their way through town. I loved the feeling of the whole thing. It was almost as if for a second, everyone from Whitmore Lake was one big family.

Moving On
I am excited to take all I have learned at WLHS as I attend Eastern Michigan University in the fall. While my major is not yet decided, I am leaning towards pursuing a degree in Spanish. With this degree, I would enjoy any job where I'd get to possibly travel, learn more about the Spanish culture or simply just speak or write it. In the meantime, I will be applying for jobs as a flight attendant. If an opportunity comes with that career, I will take it. I value traveling and learning about new cultures so much, and know I would enjoy any career that lends itself to those experiences. And given the tools I’ve gained at WLHS, I know all these are options before me. I just need to make it happen.

Part of me will always be in Whitmore Lake no matter where life takes me. This small town has been very influential, helping me become the person I am today--stronger, independent, hardworking and appreciative. For that, I would like to thank the teachers, staff and anyone else who has made this high school and community the way it is. Despite how much I hear my classmates say they can't wait to finish high school, I know each and every one of them will grow to miss the simplicity of life we had here. To my classmates, I wish you all the best in these next years of your life. I thank you for the good, bad, and the ugly; you all mean the world to me. To my mom and dad, thank you for supporting me and pushing me so hard in school; it really has paid off. Even though I might not have recognized the value of what seemed like constant nagging, I admire the compassion and love you both showed me and the drive you instilled in me.

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