Friday, March 17, 2017

News and Notes 3.19

We know amazing things are happening in our buildings each day, specifically in our classrooms. But we don't often recognize or are aware of the cool things happening in many of our support departments like transportation, custodial, maintenance and food service. I recently learned that our food service department earned a grant for a new fruit and vegetable bar. They are using it to provide more healthy options for the middle school and high school students who purchase lunch. And they are giving these health fruit and vegetables to students for FREE. They surely deserve a News and Notes shout out.

After seeing the success at the high school, our food service director, Diane Tomakowski, took the concept to the elementary school, and executed it on a smaller scale but with a bigger reach. She wanted it to be available to ALL students, even if they brought their lunch. She said when she first discussed the concept with her staff there were concerns on if the department, which is self-supporting, could afford to do that. Her immediate response? "It is the right thing to do." So they now provide a free serving of fruits and vegetables to any WLES student, no matter if they purchase a meal or not.

It is a great day, and perhaps a healthier day, to be a Trojan.

Guest Composer at WLHS
Yesterday our band students, elementary through high school, had the pleasure of meeting music composer, James Curnow. Curnow, who is in town to serve as a guest conductor at this week's Washtenaw Community Concert Band (WCCB) concert, Journey to Ireland, came to the WLHS theater during first hour to run a clinic with our students.
This past Saturday during their band festival, the WLHS band performed a piece of music written by Curnow, so it was very exciting for them to have the composer of the piece they have been playing come to work with them directly. It would be like our AP physics students getting to meet Albert Einstein and hear him explain the theory of relativity. It was pretty cool.
Curnow is from Michigan, born in Port Huron and grew up in Royal Oak where he attended public schools. He attended Wayne State University and Michigan State University. He has written over 400 pieces of music for band, orchestra, choral and the list goes on. You can read more about his impressive career HERE.
The cost of having this prestigious composer run a clinic with our students was covered by the WCCB as a thank you for the use of our high school band room for rehearsals. Our high school band teacher, Mike Kirby, is a member of the WCCB, and we thank him for helping facilitate such a valuable opportunity for our band students.
If you want to see some of our band members in action, head to the state competition this Saturday at Chelsea High School where Courtney Lund, French horn player, and Halie Pechette, flautist, will be competing. They qualified for states after competing, along with other members of the WLHS, in their solo and ensemble early this year earning ten 1 ratings (the top rating) during 15 events. Join me in wishing them the best of luck!

Let's continue to give some of our students kudos! Phoenix Wilson, WLES student, became the very first Whitmore Lake Wresting Club's state champion last week at just 7-years-old. She had to win all her matches at the MMWA wrestling league state finals to earn that distinction. She is joined by her siblings who also placed at the state meet. Lillian Wilson took second place and qualified to wrestle in the boys state championship. Jaxon Wilson took fourth place. All three are first-year wrestlers.

The youth program continues with freestyle and Greco (Olympic styles) season that lasts until the end of May. Registration is open to anyone, any age, and is $50 along with a USA Wrestling card and optional uniform which costs $60. Contact the head coach, Brent Harvey,

The success at our youth level follows our first ever high school season where our team of seven finished second at team districts. Head coach Brent Harvey said while the group was great with very good students, Kyle Watts, first-year wrestler, stood out with a 12-20 record.

Congratulations to all the student-athletes and coaches involved in a successful first year. We look forward to the future seasons!

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