Friday, December 11, 2015

News and Notes: Volume 2, Number 14

There are so many points of pride from both our buildings to share this week that I'm going to keep the introduction short. I do want to encourage all of you to get out tonight and/or this weekend and head to our High School theater to enjoy the latest production from our Middle School Drama Club. Details can be found HERE.

Builders Club Spreads Holiday Cheer
Last Wednesday our elementary Builders Club took a field trip to The Regency, our local nursing home, to spread some holiday cheer. They delivered handmade holiday cards and sang Christmas carols, including Jingle Bell Rock, Deck the Halls and Let it Snow, among others. The Builders Club, supported by our local Kiwanis groups, is a community service group for our 5th and 6th graders, with Aimee Taylor as their staff advisor.

The group chooses various causes to focus on each month. Last month they wrote letters to soldiers and put together care packages. Next month they are collecting supplies for the local animal shelters.

While Mrs. Taylor is the only staff advisor, the rest of the WLES staff often pitch in to help with each month’s cause. Mrs. Schneider helped the group write letters to veterans and Ms. Shanks created the holiday song list, coordinated morning practices and accompanied the group on their field trip to The Regency.

It is important that we instill in our students from K-12 the desire to serve their community and teach them the importance of giving back. Service organizations like Builders Club are a great way to unify students to teach them just that. Once they head to the high school, these students can join service organizations like Key Club and National Honor Society. 

WLHS Chess Club Have Successful Tournament
Three students from the WLHS Chess Club attended a tournament in Roseville Michigan Saturday, November 28, the first tournament the club has attended in years. There were over 50 players from multiple districts participating in this event, and our students competed against players coached by two of Michigan's best chess coaches, including a student who is expected to be named the next Michigan Grandmaster.

Each WLHS player returned with at least one victory. Michele Howard placed third in the Senior Division; Hunter Fanson placed third in the Junior Division, won his first three games and was the only participant to play first board for all four games. Brendan Couch won one match and narrowly lost two others, falling just short of placing second in the Senior Division. Congratulations to our students and coach Patrick Seaver for a great performance.

Parents with students in grades 1st-6th interested in joining a chess club that kicks off January 2016 can get more information check viewing the flyer on Peachjar located

Aimee Taylor Recognized for "Bringing Science to Life"
WLES Physical Education teacher Aimee Taylor was surprised with an award from the American Heart Association on December 1, for "Bringing Science to Life." Mrs. Taylor was one of only three physical education teachers to receive an award at this year's ceremony. Mrs. Taylor was recognized for her dedication to AHA since 1995 through the Jump Rope for Heart program. The records only go back until 2000, so it is estimated the Whitmore Lake Community has donated nearly $115,106.
AHA also recognized Mrs. Taylor for her passion for health and wellness as demonstrated through the lessons she teaches her students. As quoted from the speech to introduce Mrs. Taylor, "She uses what she calls 'brain gyms' to teach her students the science behind the 'why you should make good choices.' The students come away with a sound understanding of how things work yet they feel like they were just having fun!." Mrs. Taylor was approached by an AHA volunteer who also happened to be from Whitmore Lake and a grandmother of a WLPS student, who was excited to congratulate her on her award and is pictured with her above. She also shared her story and reason for dedication to the AHA cause with Aimee, explaining that her heart had stopped for 6 minutes. Aimee promptly invited her come to speak at our Jump Rope for Heart opening ceremonies that will be taking place this January.

This award is in addition to one she received in November from Shape Michigan recognizing her as a top school and coordinator for the Jump Rope for Heart program, having raised over $18,000 last year, making us the 12th highest fundraising school in the state of Michigan, falling behind only schools like Birmingham, Grosse Ile and St. Clair Shores.

Join me in congratulating Mrs. Taylor on her inspiring leadership, hard work and dedication to our students and for bringing awareness to heart disease and stroke.
Chromebook Update
We are over a week into our Chromebook fundraiser, and thanks to 100+ investors, we have raised over $16,700, enough for 83 computers for our students. Sixty Chromebooks have already been ordered, delivered and should be in our classrooms shortly after the first of the year (as seen on the left). With $1,200 left until we meet our 90 Chromebook goal, I encourage you to invest to help us increase access to technology for our students. If we can get just 120 of our parents and community members to give $10, we will have reached our goal in no time. You can see the status of the project and the place to donate here:


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