Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 14 - Being a White Hawk in the MWHS Band

Today's post is from Gretchen Chilson, music teacher and community member

Whew! The first few weeks of school are in the books, and what a great couple of weeks it was! My perspective is from the band room, but I know my sentiments are echoed by other teachers, coaches, and advisors who have had a crazy-but-rewarding first few days here at MWHS. 

Our bands hit the ground running --- our Pep Band had just four days of school to prepare to play for the first home football game two Fridays ago. So, I want to use this venue to thank everyone who made our crazy first few weeks a success: 

Many 9th graders spent the summer learning our school song, and really stepped up to learn a folder full of pep music in only 3 days of rehearsal. 

Our upperclassmen have already showed their terrific leadership, and not just musically. We made some changes to our "usual" pep band routine, and they took it all in stride -- rolling with the punches and keeping an awesome attitude. 

Our amazing parent volunteers, who endured a HOT Fast Start event to do uniform fittings, and then planned a fun tailgating event as a thank-you to the band. 

Terrific student volunteers who helped put the band room back together (again, in HOT, un-air-conditioned conditions) after our room was re-tiled over the summer. 

Our drumline, who learned brand new music at our percussion camp, and performed it at the first day of school assembly.  

Our awesome community and fans -- many of whom took the time to thank myself and/or band members for being at the first home football game. 

...and many more. It really has been a whirlwind, but once again I can sincerely say I'm proud to be a White Hawk! 

Photo by BJ Johnson

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 13 - You can't take Westonka out of a White Hawk!

Today's post is from Aaron Leschisin, 10th grade student at MWHS

There are many reasons why I am proud to be a student at Mound Westonka High School. One of these reason mainly has to do with my peers. They are always motivated, and thrive to succeed in school. My peers are dedicated to their education and their activities. This helps motivate me, it gives me initiative to want to learn and succeed. 

Another reason I’m proud is even though we may not be the biggest school in Minnesota we definitely make ourselves present - not only in test scores, but also in spirit. Think about our school’s involvement in Celebrate My Drive last year. Our community came together and participated in such a committed way. 

Our students are always thrilled for school events and fundraisers; we always try our best and never give up. Plus, our school is very inviting, everyone takes the time to get to know each other and make sure everyone feels involved. Being in such a positive environment gives me confidence. You can take a White Hawk out of Westonka, but you can’t take Westonka out of a White Hawk. These are some of the reasons why I, Aaron Leschisin, am proud to be a student at Mound Westonka High School!

MWHS Students at Celebrate My Drive - September 2012

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 12 - MWHS Curriculum Night

Today's post is from Missy Graner, a parent of students at MWHS and Grandview Middle School

After 12 years in the Westonka school district, this year marked something new, exciting and slightly intimidating for our family. It was the first year that we sent one of our kids to MWHS. We had missed the information night back in February and the 8th grade orientation night had been cancelled due to all the construction, so we were feeling a little unprepared for the transition.

The first week of school came and went, and Logan had a great experience. Navigating the school wasn’t as tricky as he was predicting, the workload wasn’t as overwhelming and the school lunch was awesome.  That said - I know nothing about MWHS, nothing about the teachers, the leadership, or the support staff, so when I received notice about Curriculum Night, there was no way I was going to miss it.

I made sure I arrived in the gym for Curriculum Night plenty early – we were warned it was going to start promptly at 7 and we were going to be kept to a tight schedule. When I sat in the gym and watched the staff introduced, I could just FEEL that they were an amazing group and that all four of our kids who will come through the doors of MWHS are going to be in good hands.

As the night went on, things just got better. As I met with teacher after teacher, I couldn't believe how professional, engaged and enthusiastic they all were. MWHS is teaching skills to these eighth graders that will ensure that they are successful in high school, in college and beyond. The teachers are embracing new technology, with all the complications that it brings. This is truly 21st century learning!

I'm so happy and proud to be part of this school district. You are doing amazing things. What a great place. We're so lucky.

Logan and Missy

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 11 - Future 8th Grade Leaders

Today's post is from Christy Keeley-Zachow, principal at Grandview Middle School and parent of Westonka students

As we begin another year at the middle school, one of the things that makes me most proud is our WEB Orientation that we provide for our 5th grade and new students.  We may be the only school in the country who uses 7th graders as leaders for this program and year after year after year, our 7th grade students amaze me!  They give up 3 of their last days of summer vacation to come in to a sweltering hot cafeteria and train with Ms. Seehusen and Ms. Enger.  Their goal is to do whatever they can to help all our new students make friends, have fun and feel comfortable with their transition to their new school.    Their help has made the first days of school so much easier for all these new students and helps the new students realize that our 7th graders are here to help!   It is a great reminder year after year that we have great kids and great leaders here at GMS!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 10 - A New Beginning

Today's post is written by Dacoyta Camp, a sophomore at MWHS

All my life through grade school to middle school I was always kind of alone. It was hard to make new friends all the time. When things got good something changed. 

I'll be honest, at first I wasn't thrilled to move to Mound and go to MWHS, but now I see it was the best thing to ever happen to me! On the first day of school I knew no one but within 20 minutes of walking through the front door I had made five friends. I was immediately accepted. A few days later I joined football. It was an unreal feeling to be honest. It opened up new doors for me. I made more friends there and was encouraged by students and staff to play other sports. 

Not only were the people at MWHS incredibly accepting and kind but the academics were first class! In all my life school had been simple and boring, but here I found a challenge and I loved it and still love it! And all these controversies here are just dumb. The people are amazing, the spirit is amazing, and the academics are amazing. So all I have to say is that MWHS was my light, and I hope someone out there gets the same opportunity I did.

Josh & Dacoyta