Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 49 - Teacher, Advisor and Friend

Today's post is from junior Abe Thaler

In any school, there's always that one teacher you really connect with. The kind of teacher that can just as easily banter with you as they can give really heartfelt advice. Among many teachers at MWHS that fit that description for me, Ms. Anderson is the one I think of first. Goofy, insanely intelligent, and extremely patient, she is always there for me, whether it be for schoolwork or that occasional bad day.

I got to meet Ms. Anderson for the first time in 7th grade when I had my first taste of the high school's theatre program. As the awkward preteen I was, I needed some serious guidance when I was just starting out. For a very good reason, Ms. Anderson was immediately the friendliest and most approachable person for me to go to. She has a natural talent for making friends, whether they're 12 or 18, and without her skill I would probably still be that awkward preteen with no sense of humor. Maybe that part's still true, but with her I at least think I'm semi-funny.

Through her position as a director in the theatre department, I've been able to grow and learn with Ms. Anderson by my side the entire time. She is the best choreographer I know, and some of my favorite memories are foolishly making up dances with her for a show. On top of all that, she is also an amazing teacher. My first semester of math at the high school was with her, and having that opportunity instantly made MWHS a happier and more comfortable place for me. Knowing where I am now, I can owe all of my success to her class and the base foundations she effortlessly laid out for me.

Everyone needs a best friend, especially in high school. I guess sometimes, that person just happens to be your 8th grade geometry teacher. Thank you for everything you've ever done for me Ms. Anderson, you're the best!

Shelby, Ms. Anderson and Abe

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 48 - Appreciation for a Teacher & Advisor

Today's post is from senior Willie Maahs

It is difficult to attend MWHS and not be inspired to do your very best day in and day out. Looking around the school I see all of the kids committing their time and effort to do their very best. Where does this commitment to excellence come from? The answer is simple, our staff. Throughout the course of high school every student will have one teacher that inspires them to perform at the best of their ability.

On my first day of eighth grade I walked into my Intro to Business class not knowing what to expect. The combination of first day jitters and seniors in the same class was nerve-racking. All of those nerves escaped my mind when Mrs. Lolich entered the room with a smile and a game plan. After knowing her for five years I’ve come to understand the dedication she has to her job, our school, and the students. Her dedication to making MWHS a better place to be has inspired me in so many different ways. She has inspired me to be a role model within our school. She taught me not to sit back and be passive, but to stand out and take pride in being a part of MWHS.

That first year in Intro to Business she also inspired me to join DECA, and I couldn’t be happier that she did. Obviously, the inspiration didn’t stop there. Mrs. Lolich always found a way to test my limits. In DECA, she inspired me to use hard work to succeed. In my first year of DECA, I was able to feel the joy of succeeding at the district level. In my second year she inspired me not to be satisfied with good enough, and work to experience success on the state level. Finally, junior year she inspired me to succeed on the international stage.

Throughout this entire progression, Mrs. Lolich’s inspiration has taught me more lessons than any textbook could. By inspiring me to do my best I’ve gained experiences few other high schoolers have had the privilege to enjoy. I can confidently say that her inspiration from day one of high school will forever impact the rest of my entire life.

Mrs. Lolich & Willie

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 47 - Appreciating a Guidance Counselor

Today's post is from junior Kelsea Kern

Mound Westonka High School is boiling over with exceptional teachers and staff alike, but there is one in particular that sticks out in my mind and translates into my life. Each student at MWHS is assigned a guidance counselor by last name and let’s just say that Kern was a very lucky last name to have. My guidance counselor is Ms. Baumann and in my 17 years I have never met a more helpful, selfless, and overall caring person.

She is always ready with great advice; whether I’m asking about what classes to sign up for, how to get that math grade WAY up, or if I need guidance with the big one: COLLEGE (which we are still trying to figure out), she always points me in the right direction. She knows a lot and she wants to help with whatever I need. It’s a great feeling knowing that there is someone with answers right at your fingertips, because let me tell you, in high school those aren’t always the easiest things to find.

Ms. Baumann always does her best to make time for you. Whether I have made an appointment a week in advance or I’ve bombarded her office because of a bad grade on a test that felt like the end of the world. She always makes the time to talk with you because that is what’s important to her. It is obvious that her first priority is to make sure her students are getting the help and guidance they need.

Now, the best thing about Ms. Baumann is that she really cares. It isn’t hard to tell that she genuinely wants you to be the best you that you can be. Ms. Baumann took the time to get to know me personally and now everything she tells me is really relevant in my life in particular. And at the same time I got to know her, and truth be told, she’s actually pretty cool! We’ve been known to stray from school topics and talk about some awesome TV shows, great music and just our daily lives. More than just a guidance counselor, Ms. Baumann is a great friend to have.

I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of a school that has such an exceptional woman, whom I admire so much, working for them. MWHS is lucky to have her and so am I. Staff like Ms. Baumann make me proud to be a Mound Westonka Whitehawk!

Ms. Baumann & Kelsea

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 46 - Teacher Appreciation Week

Today's post is from senior Emma Clifford

Note:  We are celebrating teacher appreciation at MWHS.  All posts this week will be written about our fantastic teachers!

As far as staff members goes, Mound Westonka has some of the best. I’ve seen quite a few staff changes in my almost five years here, but for the most part, these changes have been exceptionally positive. I moved to Mound the summer before 8th grade, and in my middle school, trying to get help and stick out in the crowd of thousands of students was really challenging. Here at MWHS, the teachers are more than willing to help you whenever you ask -- and they treat you like the individual that you are.

The staff member(s) that have had the most impact on me is our Social Studies department. I’ve taken a class with them for each of my years of high school (8th-12th grade), and starting sophomore year, I took AP courses. Every teacher, from 8th grade American History with Mrs. Schwartz or Mr. Humbert all the way to AP Government & Politics with Mr. Paul, are extremely passionate about what they teach, and it’s obvious that they fully enjoy it. They appear to work together better than any other department and they organize their courses to blend together in order to prepare us as we advance through the years. Mr. Doepner-Hove would explain to us the mechanics of a Free Response Essay in AP United States History, and then Mr. Hiebert would expand on that knowledge in his AP World History class the following year. Not only do they collaborate well in the classroom, but it’s also very apparent that they’re good friends outside of school too, which makes the learning environment a lot more fun.

Our history teachers are not only quality teachers, but they’re also really quality people. They each genuinely care about their subject and their students. I feel like I’ve learned the absolute most from my history teachers -- and not just about the Civil War or the 12th Amendment -- but about how to be an informed and politically active citizen, voter, and person. I’ll take these skills with me far beyond Mound Westonka, and I know that I’ll never forget the impact they’ve had on me. So, from me and all my fellow classmates, thank you for all that you do.

Mr. Humbert, Mr Doepner, Mr. Paul, Emma, Mr. Kuehl, Mrs. Schwartz and Mr. Heibert