Friday, December 9, 2016

News and Notes: 3.11

Mike Krebill is still inspiring people to learn

This past Monday night, I had the privilege of introducing Mike Krebill at a special event WLPS hosted to promote Mr. Krebill's new book The Scout's Guide to Wild Edibles.  Besides being completely impressed by his diligence in taking years of knowledge and putting it into a book, Mr. Krebill's memory of former students was incredible. As a former teacher, I will meet old students and I remember where they sat in my room and how they acted.  Most teachers can do this.  In fact, most teachers are inspired by their students as much as students are inspired by teachers, and most teachers can remember almost all of them.  But Mike's ability to recall former students years after teaching was at another level and so was his compassion for Whitmore Lake.  He was as proud to be here as we were to have him.
Mr. Krebill's personal approach to everything he did as a middle school science teacher was legendary.  I arrived as principal of WLHS in 2002, which was his last year as a teacher at WLMS.  Immediately upon arriving I started to hear about Mr. Krebill.  As a former science teacher, I was curious as to what all the fuss was about. I found out by watching him teach for a few minutes.  His subject knowledge was very impressive as was his passion for all things science.  But it was his personal approach to classroom management that elevated him to greatness.   He showed off those skills on Monday night!  As I listened to him share stories of our school and describe how he taught ,I remembered how important he was to our community.  Late in the fall of 2002, a focus group convened to craft a mission statement for our schools. "Providing an exceptional, personalized education" was born as a result of that group's collaboration.  More times than I can count, Mr. Krebill's name came up as the man who fit the mission. That is as true today as it was 14 years ago. 

Advanced Placement at WLHS
Throughout the year, we have four values that are sort of the "method behind the madness" at WLPS. They are balanced budget, safety, increased programs and options and higher achievement. At the core of higher achievement and program and options is our Advanced Placement programs at WLHS.

Advanced Placement (as we often refer to as AP) courses is an educational model aimed at facilitating the academic transition from high school to college run by the College Board. They provide our students with an opportunity to explore college-level coursework in high school. These courses culminate in an end-of-course assessment.  

The benefits of Advanced Placement courses are plenty. They help our students stand out in college admissions and help them develop college and career readiness skills. Students who pass the AP end of course exam can even earn college credit.

Currently at WLHS we are offering AP U.S. Government & Politics, AP Statistics, AP English Language & Composition and AP English Literature & Composition. To the left are some statistics for each of those classes, comparing WLHS students to the nation, that Jill Henry, Director of Instruction, presented to our Board of Education last August.

New this year all WLHS juniors were enrolled in AP Language & Composition. This means ALL students now have the opportunity to experience the rigors, challenges and expectations of a college-level course. Research consistently shows students who are successful in AP experience greater academic success in college. Furthermore, the AP English Language & Composition course is closely aligned to the Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Essay sections of the SAT, further preparing our students for their post-secondary opportunities.

We are excited to see the impact this move will have on our students' abilities to succeed on the end-of-course exam, on the SAT and in meeting their future goals.

Wrestling in Whitmore Lake

With winter sports in full swing students, K-12, have a chance to participate in a brand new program this year---wrestling.

At the high school level, the co-ed team practices every day after school with head coach Brent Harvey. Approached by our Athletic Director, Brad McCormack, head coach Brett Harvey knew the timing was right to get back into wrestling. Harvey has been turning down coaching job offers for years waiting until his children graduated from high school so he could just coach--not serve as dad/coach. He felt it was important for his kids to have other coaches working with them. Harvey has wrestled since he was eight years old and has been coaching on and off since the early 90s. We are excited to have him lead the way for wrestling in Whitmore Lake.

Having had both of his daughters wrestle for Brighton and Lake Fenton High School and for Team USA internationally. Harvey, along with assistant coach Sam Miller, is particularly excited that the WLHS program is co-ed. He is a firm believer that the life lessons espoused by wrestling (dedication, sportsmanship, healthy lifestyle and diet, etc.) are learned by all wrestlers across all genders. 
In addition to the high school team, Harvey is
heading up a youth program for grades K-8. Practices are Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Though the team started practicing early November,  new wrestlers are welcome to join year-round. Kids can try out two practices at no cost to give it a try before signing up for the season. It is $125 to join and covers registration, singlet, t-shirt and USA card good for MUSAW, MMWA and NEMWA folkstyle seasons that run until mid-March. For more information contact Harvey by email at
If you would like to come see our high school wrestlers in action below is their regular season schedule. And I hope you will join me in welcoming Brett Harvey to the Trojan team.

Friday, December 23 JV round robin tournament Linden high school
Wednesday ,December 28 Columbia Central JV tournament
Wednesday, January 4 @ Morenci
Thursday, January 5 @ Manchester
Saturday, January 7th @Sandusky High School
Wednesday, January 11 @ Summerfield
Friday, January 13 @ West Ottawa JV tournament
Wednesday, January 18 @ Madison
Wednesday, January 25 @ Clinton
Saturday, January 28 JV @ Fenton high school
Wednesday, February 1 Summerfield @ Whitmore Lake

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