One definition of pride states, “a satisfied sense of attachment toward a whole group of people, and is a product of praise, independent self-reflection, or a fulfilled feeling of belonging”.
My pride comes from growing up and living in this beautiful community all my life, enjoying the outdoors and all the people I’ve met, and relationships made. My family roots here go back to the late 1800’s to my great grandparents living here. My grandmother was in the class of 1936. My parents were in the class of 1956, I graduated in 1978, and my boys were 5th generation graduates from MWHS. This resulted in many stories within our family, that started with “when I went to school or when I was young…”.
Growing up I enjoyed swimming, fishing, camping, bon fires, fish fries, boating, night games, slumber parties, biking, four wheeling, cheering our sports teams on, Friday night football games, water and downhill skiing, singing to records, cards, and board games. Did you know there used to be a place called Ski-Tonka just a couple of miles away from the high school?
I went to school during the 60’s and 70’s. I attended Shirley Hills, when it was kindergarten through 6th grade. Girls were required to wear dresses until I was in the 3rd grade, (I guess the dress code is one of many changes since then). There were two junior highs: Mound JH and Grandview JH which were grades 7th -9th.
MWHS was the new “high school” and grades 10-12 attended here. The class sizes were close to 300, so there are about the same amount of students in the building now as there was back then. We had pep fests, homecoming, (queens only), homecoming bon fires (at least 10 times larger than now), dances, buses running to state competitions, and celebrations. I still have many classmates that live in the area, and Facebook has allowed us to reconnect with those that aren’t.
Because my family had been here so many years, I had many connections to the community already in place. I made my own circle of friends through neighbors, my siblings, girl scouts, church, playing volleyball, working, and of course school. Then my generation got married and had children, the circle of friends and relationships just kept growing.
As an adult I was able to re-connect at MWHS when I started working in the Guidance office 10 years ago. I was seeing “Moundites” with their children attending here, students I taught in Sunday school when they were pre-schoolers were graduating, and former teachers working as subs. Of course it made me feel old, but also humbled.
I am also glad to be working with all the wonderful people here. I was awed by their energy, compassion, intelligence, commitment, and connections with students. It felt very different from when I was here as a student. My perspective from a long ago student to current staff member was “wow”.
I had worked for a company for 20 years and the people were great, but the goal was always how to make more money. Here it isn’t about profit; it is about investing in our children.
These kids are becoming adults and all these educators and staff are dedicated as a team to take pride in this school and recognize and involve all of the kids. They compromise, teach, accommodate, lead, counsel, support, challenge, and encourage our kids. Our kids are learning teamwork, leadership, respect, integrity, excellence, and responsibility.
Our community comes together whether it’s a tragedy or celebration. I cherish all my relationships I have whether it’s just a hello, “how is your day?”, a hug, a dinner, a good cry, a team meeting, a deep conversation, or a fist bump from the assistant principal. Whether you continue to be a part of the Westonka community or move on, it will always be a part of your life: the relationships, and memories. Hang onto the good ones!
That’s why I have Westonka pride…I have a fulfilled feeling of belonging.
MWHS Staff Picture
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