Friday, March 10, 2017

News and Notes 3.18

Good Students Doing Good Things
I have a been a teacher, assistant principal, principal and a superintendent. The jobs are all different, but the challenges usually involve desperately searching for resources and time. Conversely, they all have the same upsides--getting to work with young people and sharing their successes. The past few weeks have had a good deal of upsides.

I spent a lot of time at the elementary school last week. I got to work with young readers and share their collective enthusiasm for reading. I even got to meet four very cool kindergarten students in a live interview which is posted on our Facebook page. Doing well in school is clearly an important objective for these young people. I was privileged to learn more from them. The thing I always take away from working with elementary kids is the excitement they have about high school. So, this week, I went back to the high school and spent time with them.

Our Quiz Bowl team took on the "grown ups" in the school... and the grown ups lost big, 265 to 120 I believe. I was part of the grown up team, and it was a tough defeat to absorb. But, as the students piled on points, I came to the realization that somebody had to prepare these super-smart, incredibly hard working, college-bound kids. And, in part, it was the same group who they were soundly beating. So, in a way, the grown ups win!

Not long after the defeat, I was watching our varsity boys' basketball team earn a victory in its first of two District games. ( District Final: WLHS vs. Greenhills School tonight at 6 p.m.) The Trojans looked impressive on the court. However, as I watched, it wasn't their basketball skills that made me most was their GPAs. Four of the boys are top scholars in this year's graduating class. All members are extremely successful in the classroom and have grade point averages near 3.5--pretty impressive. This group is hard working, and they show it on and off the court.

On Friday, I attended a robotic competition. Our very own Trobots were one of the smallest schools to participate in the event at Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School. But they were one of the best! Dozens of schools across the state were present. When I left, the Trobots were holding their own at 5th place. These boys and girls are good students, good competitors and good sports; they love what they do, and it shows. I was a proud Trojan and cheered like one. After all, it was a great day to be a Trojan.

Michigan National Guard Visits PE
Last Friday our middle school and high school physical education students were able to change things up a little bit thanks to the Michigan National Guard and physical education teacher, Mike LaNew. SFC Stephanie Randolph, a recruiter from the Michigan National Guard, brought in an inflatable obstacle course for students to try. In addition to the obstacle course, she brought a sumo-wrestling station and an inflatable jousting station.
Not only did it provide a nice change of pace and an engaging physical activity for these students, but students had an opportunity to interact with both SFC Randolph and SFC Wright, learning about their lives and the opportunities that the military can offer through education and careers beyond high school.
This was followed up by a visit from Army recruiters, Sgt. Walter and Sgt. Kimmel, last Tuesday. They also visited the physical education classes, leading students through some common PT exercises and teaching them about the opportunities the Army provides.
Word on the street is we will be welcoming SFC Randolph back with some more fun activities and surprises for our physical education classes, and we all look forward to that. Thanks to Mike LaNew for coordinating their visit and providing our students with a unique opportunity.
*Photo Credit Laura Sanderson
Check out more pictures from the event on our Facebook page HERE.

WLHS Drama Production
Our WLHS Drama Club wrapped up another fantastic production with A Midsummer's Night Dream this past weekend. I wanted to share some images taken during a rehearsal, as opposed to the production. Check out more photos in the album HERE. These images capture a few things worth noting. For those who enjoyed the show, you can see the additional steps that are taken to put forth a polished final product. And they show the interaction between the students and our fantastic Drama Director, Carol Spilak, something you don't observe during productions. 

Congratulations to all involved in the performances!
*Photo Credit: Laura Sanderson.

Miss Michigan Visits WLES as part of March is Reading Month
Thanks to our friends at CITGO PS Food Mart, as part of their Fueling Education program, Miss Michigan, Arianna Quan, visited WLES this afternoon to speak to the older grades about scholarship, learning, and kindness as well as speak and read to the younger grades. Sharing her story on what it was like to come to the United States at 6-years-old without knowing any English, she emphasized the need to work hard and set high goals. She even taught our students a few words of Mandarin.To take it a step further, CITGO provided nearly 300 books to be handed out at the final reading celebration later this month. Check out more pictures from the event on our Facebook page HERE.

Having celebrities, community members and special guests in general share their love of reading with our students goes a long way! If you are interested in joining the #WLESReads March is Reading Month festivities at WLES, consider coming in as a Listening Friend. Details on the event can be found HERE.

*Photo Credit: Laura Sanderson 

Events Coming Up
I wanted to wrap up by highlighting a few things coming up in the district. 
1) WL Community Pool has another Dive In Movie this Saturday, March 11. For just $5 per person ($40 family max) you get pizza, drinks, popcorn and a fun family-friendly night out in a 82-degree swimming pool! Beats driving to Florida. You can purchase advanced tickets until midnight tonight HERE.  
2) Next Tuesday, March 14, is the annual National Honor Society and Junior National Honor Society Lasagna Dinner. Click HERE for all the details and HERE to join the Facebook event and help spread the word. This is a key fundraiser for this organization who provides essential community service projects like Rake N' Run, canned food drives and Adopt-a-Family.
3) Next Wednesday, March 15, is our Kindergarten Round Up for the Fall 2017 school year! Our WLES staff is excited and ready to welcome the newest members of our Trojan family. All the details can be found HERE. And make sure to check out the testimonials from both our current kindergarten students and their families posted on our Facebook page.
4) And finally, next Saturday, March 18, WLHS Project Graduation, a parent ran group who provides our graduating seniors with a safe celebration on the night of graduation, is hosting a Pure Pro Wrestling event, featuring the WWE Alumni 1 Leg Wonder, Zach Gowen. You can find event details HERE.

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