Friday, February 17, 2017

News and Notes 3.16

This week WLPS lost a couple of its finest after long battles with illnesses, Nancy Lashbrook and Bonnie Carpenter.

Former teacher, Nancy Lashbrook, lost a battle with ALS this past weekend. Although Nancy has been retired for 15 years, her death was deeply felt by staff and former students who fondly remembered her talent and compassion. Nancy moved back to her home state of Illinois after retiring from WLPS, but the distance didn't keep her students from finding her and sharing their successes. Her daughter, Lauren, commented on her mother's death this week. "She left the way she lived--surrounded by her loving family." On behalf of the WLPS Board of Education, staff and students, I express my sympathies to the Lashbrook family (Steve - husband, Dave - brother, Lauren - daughter). And, I extend thanks to Nancy for helping make great a group of Trojans who loved her very much. You can read more about Nancy's life 

More locally, Bonnie Carpenter ended a fight with cancer this week. Bonnie was a long-time supporter of WLPS. She first introduced herself to me over a decade ago as the "popcorn lady." I didn't understand her title completely until I walked into my first Battle of the Bands fundraiser and saw the Carpenters handing out bags of popcorn while the music seemingly was lifting the roof off its rafters. Bonnie was unphased, and her enthusiasm kept me from canceling the event for a noise violation. :) She just looked at me with a big smile and handed me a bag, as if to say, "Go. Enjoy yourself with these beautiful young people."

Bonnie, along with her husband, Will, were on campus so much as their children (Zach, Garrett, Mitchell and Maddie) navigated through school, I was tempted to hand them the keys and tell them to lock up when they were done. After all her children graduated, Bonnie remained active in WLPS by serving on the board of the Community Scholarship Fund with her husband Will. She was dedicated to fundraising for the betterment of children in Whitmore Lake. A Community Scholarship memorial fund has been set up in her honor and donation information is below.

A special service will take place at WLHS on Saturday, February 25 at 9:00 A.M. so friends and family of Bonnie can gather and share the gift of her life. There will, appropriately, be popcorn and a chocolate bar. (If you would like to contribute chocolate, bring your offering on Saturday).
In lieu of flowers, a memorial scholarship has been established and the wishes of Bonnie were for any contributions to be made toward furthering the education of future WLPS students. You can donate online HERE. You can also donate to continue research of her rare form of cancer by clicking on this fundraiser link:

Board president, Ken Dignan commented, "On behalf of the entire Board of Education, we express our condolences to the Carpenter family. Bonnie was an unwavering supporter of the students and staff of WLPS. Her dedication was truly an inspiration to serve and make our community a place where all children are welcome."

Next Level Trojan Pride
This week, our third WLHS athlete this year committed to play a sport at the collegiate level. On Wednesday in the WLHS gym, Ryan Kadoguchi, surrounded by his family, signed his letter of intent to attend and play baseball at Cleary University.

Last season, playing shortstop and pitcher, Ryan threw 26 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched, giving up only 11 earned runs, making his ERA 2.852. From the plate, Kadoguchi had a .304 batting average, with a season total of 31 hits, 27 of which being RBIs. With 15 walks and 31 hits, he had an on-base percentage of .392.

Kadoguchi joins Audrey Lama, who has committed to playing volleyball at Olivet College, and Evan Ward who has committed to play lacrosse at Concordia University Ann Arbor, as Trojans headed to play at the collegiate level next year. Additionally, we anticipate another announcement coming from Spencer Iaquinto who will be playing college football.
Join me in congratulating these student-athletes in taking their Trojan pride to the next level.

Jump, Jump Around!
If you were around WLES today and Thursday, you would have noticed a whole bunch of students jumping around. No, it wasn't sugar buzzes left over from Valentine's Day candy. It was our annual Jump Rope for Heart event. Students learned to jump rope with individual and long ropes, skip its, jump sticks and hurdles, and participated in limbo and jump rope contests. In addition to learning valuable heart healthy facts, they have raised over $10,000! With a goal of $15,000, the drive continues until February 28th. 

 If the students reach their goal, our PTA has generously agreed to provide a bounce house for all students to enjoy when the weather gets a little nicer. Now that is some motivation! WLES gym teacher and master-mind behind our super successful JRFH events, Aimee Taylor, share that many students have been getting serious with their fund-raising efforts, having done chores to earn money, donating birthday money and holding bake sales. One family even held an auction at a private gym to raise money for the cause!

Heart Month-based lessons continue throughout the month. Starting next week, students will travel through the four chambers of the heart, pretending they are red blood cells. As they travel through the heart obstacle course, students will learn about the risk factors for heart disease such as smoking, poor nutrition, lack of exercise and family history, in addition to learning about the warning signs of a stroke.

You can check out photos from the event courtesy of Pam Blount and WLES student, Joey Wilson, in the Facebook album HERE.

A special note for WLES families: Please have your students go online at, register and take the ZooCrew Ecard Heart Challenge and earn their badge by sending at least 10 emails or Ecards. If 50 of our students do so, our school will earn a $100 gift certificate for PE equipment and $300 if 100 students do so!

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