Friday, February 10, 2017

News and Notes 3.15

I get inspired by watching people do kind, unselfish things. This past fall, I watched the Carpenters (Bonnie and Will) put together a Whitmore Lake Cross Country reunion at the Larry Steeb Invitational. The event brought back many alumni, friends, and families. It even brought back the traditional breakfast. Seeing Will Carpenter flipping pancakes filled me with a flood of old memories and reminded me of how many people are truly involved in the education of our students. It is not just teachers, students, moms and dads--it is a much larger group of people. 
The sentiment that educating our community's children is best done by a very broad network of supporters was strong motivation to revitalize the Whitmore Lake Foundation of Educational Excellence ( and continue to support the very successful Community Scholarship Fund, of which Bonnie and Will Carpenter serve on the Board.
The Whitmore Lake Foundation for Educational Excellence (WLFEE) is run by a board of community members.  Funds are largely generated by employee contributions. The Foundation recently approved funding $5,000 in classroom technology improvements at WLES!  The intent is to expand that amount each year. WLFEE has a couple fundraising opportunities in the coming months. On March 9, they'll be hosting an event at Panera, details coming soon. On May 12, Whitmore Lake Community Recreation is hosting a Zumbathon to benefit WLFEE. Details can be found HERE. Thanks in advance for your support.
Community Scholarship Fund's (CSF) letter campaign just started this week. Support from local donors and alumni all over the planet generate thousands of dollars in annual scholarships for WLHS graduates. Last year, graduates from the Class of 2016 received nearly $30,000 from our community alone. Many of these scholarships are in honor of past Trojans, including Larry Steeb, Glenn Bachman and more. This year, the CSF Board of Directors created an additional scholarship to honor Bonnie Carpenter and the contributions she has made to WLPS. You can make a tax-deductible donation to a specific scholarship or to the fund at large by visiting their website,
For those people who make it part of their life to keep giving to the students of our community, I say to you, it's a great day to be a Trojan.
New Art Teacher
While we are sad to say goodbye to Ms. Rea (if you didn't see last week's Facebook Live Friday with her, make sure to check that out HERE), we are excited to welcome a new Trojan to the team, Sarah Koch, as her replacement. Below is an interview with Ms. Koch to help you get to know her. And I hope you all will join me in welcoming her to Whitmore Lake!
On a side note, Ms. Koch has a solo art exhibition opening at Wayne Community College's Brown and Juanita C. Ford Art Gallery at the Downriver Campus starting March 1 that runs through March 23. I encourage you all to go, and check it out!

Q: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
A: I am from Livonia, and I have lived in Livonia my entire life.

Q: Tell us about your family.
A: My family is very tight-knit, and we all like spending time together. My mom is a registered nurse and supervisor and my dad is retired from General Motors. I have an older brother who is a few years older than me who is a musician and plays hockey in his spare time. I am the only one in my family who is an artist and a teacher. Unfortunately, I do not have any pets right now, but I am hoping to get a dog sometime in the future! I love animals, and I have always wanted a pet.

Q: Where did you attend high school, and what was your favorite subject in school?
A: I attended Churchill High School in Livonia. My favorite subject in high school was art which makes sense because I am now both an art teacher and an artist.

Q: Where did you go to college?
A: I attended the College for Creative Studies which is a private art college in Detroit. 

Q: What made you want to teach in Whitmore Lake?
A: I attended a small college which has a very tight-knit community where all of the instructors and students know each other very well. I was looking for that same experience as a teacher, and I felt that Whitmore Lake had a similar setting to my college experience.

Q: With less than a week under your belt, what would you say your favorite part has been?
A: My favorite part has been getting to know the staff, faculty, and students. I have received an overwhelmingly positive and supportive reception from everyone at Whitmore Lake. I am looking forward to what the future will hold as a faculty member at Whitmore Lake.

Q: What do you look forward to the most?
A: I look forward to helping students grow and develop as creative thinkers, problem solvers, and artists. I am very passionate about both art and education and I am excited to pass on my art knowledge to my students.

Q: Is there something about you that would surprise others about you?
A: I have a black belt in Martial Arts.

Q: Name one of your favorite books?
A: The Outsiders

Q: And, important stuff here, what is your favorite food?
A: I would have to say pizza is my favorite food; it's a classic.

Q:Anything else to add?
A: I am very happy and excited to be here at Whitmore Lake! I can't wait to meet more of the staff, faculty, and students.
WLHS Quiz Bowl
It is official. After winning their division in the Tri-County Quiz Bowl league, The WLHS Varsity Quiz Bowl team has qualified to head to the state finals at Michigan State University coming up in April! Having made it to states two out of the three past seasons, they hope to place high in this state tournament with many returning players on the team this year.

On this year's team are Caleb Henning, Gabrielle Angel, Laura Sanderson, Lydia Rogers, Justin Florkowski, Mallory Bolda, Danielle Corrie, Cole Griffin, and Hunter Fanson.

They gathered together this past Wednesday, with their family and friends, for an end of season banquet to celebrate their strong season, going 5-1 in their division and 8-2 in their league. Varsity coach LuAnn Easlick and Junior Varsity coach Julie Fleury awarded Varsity players with their letters, two or three year pins and/or four year certificates, and gave all players participation certificates and individual awards.

And the team has a lot to celebrate, considering the regular season goes from October to February. Both Varsity and Junior Varsity have weekly meets and practices twice a week. Varsity will continue to practice until the state finals, with a Varsity vs. Faculty meet in the works to motivate the team to stay sharp.
Junior Varsity had a great year as well. They won the red division title with a 6-0 record in division matches and finished with an overall season record of 9-1. Congratulations to the team, which includes Abbigail Fraga, Marissa Kyle, Kohl Majesky, Claire Schwennesen, Christina Smith, Carissa Stanley and Matt Schwennesen.
Congratulations to the coaches and students on another successful season, and best of luck to the varsity team as they prepare and head to the state competition. Go Trojans!  

100th Day of School
Though the official 100th day of school isn't until Valentine's Day, our Kindergarten classes celebrated it a few days early to give some space between the festivities.

Each month Ms. Matovski's 5th grade class partners with our kindergarten classes for "Buddies" time where the older students have an opportunity to help the younger students with a project, craft, or learning how to read. Today they celebrated the 100th day of school together, making gum ball projects along with counting 100 gum balls! We also had some special "100-year-old" visitors come to Kindergarten today to join the festivities. (I'd like to trade with the one wearing the "Retired and Loving It" hat for a day).

Here is to the next 82 school days left!

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