Friday, March 7, 2014

Day 110 - Positive Parent Perspective

Today's post is from parent and community member Mike Seats

I am the parent of two children who graduated from MWHS. Both participated in DECA, as did many of their friends. My daughter competed at the District, State and National levels, and my son competed at the District and State levels. I have also served as a DECA judge for three years at the District and State levels.  
The positive impact that DECA has had on my children's lives is simply remarkable. Both are pursuing college degrees in business administration and are excelling academically. Their decisions to study and pursue careers in business were influenced greatly by their experiences in the MWHS Chapter of DECA.

The three individuals who direct the MWHS DECA chapter, Sue Simonson, Mark Lee and Stephanie Lolich, do an absolutely outstanding job. They each deserve a tremendous amount of credit for the positive influence they have each year on dozens of MWHS kids. Sue, Mark and Steph have different styles and backgrounds, but they complement each other beautifully and work well together. One thing they all have in common is tremendous dedication to DECA and to the MWHS kids who participate in DECA.

The MWHS kids seem to understand and appreciate Sue's, Mark's and Steph's passion and dedication, and they respond to it. Over the years, I have seen my children and many of their classmates spend countless hours working together on DECA projects at my house. I have seen how engaged and inspired these kids are. The projects on which they are working are challenging. They demand creativity and technical understanding. The group projects also require teamwork. I have seen MWHS DECA students working together as a team on projects in a way that would be the envy of any CEO.

As a judge I have seen scores of impressive DECA contestants from all around the State of Minnesota. I can say without reservation that the MWHS chapter shines at these competitions. The MWHS kids are, in my experience without exception, well prepared and well coached. The enormous success of the MWHS DECA kids at the District, State and National levels speaks for itself.

I am impressed every year by the competition results earned by the MWHS DECA students, but I am even more impressed by the level of maturity that the DECA experience brings out in the MWHS kids. I know many of these kids well from having coached them in sports and having seen them frequently in my house as they have grown up. It is simply astonishing to see the way these kids step up to the DECA experience. The higher level of maturity they exhibit in DECA related activities may only be temporary, but it is real. As a parent and someone who cares deeply about all of these kids, I can tell you it is comforting to see. It is almost as if you are getting a glimpse into their future.

I have often wondered why DECA does not rate the performance of DECA chapters, as well as the performance of individual students. If they did, there is no doubt in my mind that the MWHS chapter would year in and year out be rated among the very best in the state.

Perhaps the best objective evidence of the outstanding work that Sue, Mark and Stephanie do is the number of MWHS kids who participate in DECA every year. Each year MWHS has about 100 kids participating in DECA. For a school of its size, that is extremely impressive.

My advice to any parent of a child attending MWHS is to encourage him or her to participate in DECA. Regardless of his or her personality type or area of academic interest, s/he will benefit greatly from the experience. Don't just take my word for it. Ask any MWHS graduate who participated in DECA under the leadership of Sue, Mark and Steph. I think they will agree.

Foreign exchange student Damian Urwyler and Megan & Andy Seats

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email for more information! We would love to hear from you!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Day 109 - 8th Grade Accomplishments

Today's post is from 8th grader Megan Heims

I have had a lot of memories already this year in high school that I have been proud of. The one that was the most important to me was when I got on the A honor roll. I worked really hard throughout the semester. I turned in all of my homework, studied for all of my tests, and asked my teachers when I needed help. Also whenever the teachers gave out extra credit, I would take advantage and do it. When the end of the semester came I was really happy. Along with the A honor roll medal, I got a medal for Perfect Attendance and top score on the MCA. I hope to get on the A honor roll again next semester. 

Another thing that I was proud of in my first semester at high school was being a part of Student Senate. I was elected to be in Senate at the end of last year, but the responsibilities did not come until the first meeting that we had this fall. We have to meet each week on Friday to talk about problems or things that are happening around the school. One thing that we did was set up flags around the school on 9/11. Almost everyone in the Student Senate came to help with this because it was a really cool experience, and we had a lot fun putting up the flags. I was really proud afterward because we were showing the school how much we care about our country and our community. Another thing that we did was plan and set up the Homecoming dance. This was cool because even though I can’t go to this, I got to see how everything works. I like being able to be a part of the Student Senate. It gives me a chance to have a voice in the school decisions.

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email for more information! We would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Day 108 - Coming to MWHS from Maple Grove

Today's post is from junior Charlie Moe

I have been asked to write a blog about a certain event that I am proud of and that's exactly what I am going to do… sort of. I am not exactly proud of one certain event, so I will explain what I am proud of, but first I am going to give some background info on this pride. I used to go to Maple Grove, where I had a class size of over 1000.  My school was so big that there were people that were in my grade that I had never met. Then in 8th grade I moved to this small town of Mound and my class size went from over 1000 to under 200. The first thing I noticed when I moved here was how involved and motivated the teachers were to help the students. So I went from being in a big crowd where teachers don't always help you 1 on 1 -- to where teachers are willing to help you anytime you need it.

I am proud of how close this school is with one another, the biggest example of this is the #MWHSPride campaign. This campaign shows how this school really cares about its students and really cares about the opinions of the students. We never had anything like that in Maple Grove. That is what makes this school unique. 

Another reason I'm proud is how many class options I can choose from and how each teacher loves teaching their classes. For example, in Maple Grove I never saw any business classes, so when I moved here I saw these business and marketing classes and I decided to give it a try.  I ended up liking business classes and the next year I took two marketing classes in one semester. This is an example of teachers helping you.  Mrs. Lolich convinced me to join DECA and I ended up loving it, and now I'm going to State DECA! I would not have had this opportunity if I had gone to any other school, and that is why I am proud to be a Mound Westonka White Hawk!

Ross & Charlie

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email for more information! We would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Day 107 - Pride in Substitute Teaching at MWHS

Today's post is from parent and substitute teacher Tracy Sterne

Merriam-Webster defines “substitute” as:  “A person or thing that takes the place or function of another.” I am often asked why I like being a substitute teacher.  My answer is the same today as it was when I first started “subbing” 7 years ago – “Because I love it!”  I can think of nothing better than to come to a job where you are surrounded by an amazing group of young people. Mound Westonka High School is rich with students who take pride in their school and the academic work they put forth.  On any given day, I am constantly impressed by the character and integrity our students display.  Whether it’s a warm greeting upon entering the classroom, willingness to help fellow students, or using time wisely and respecting the class time given to participate and work – Mound Westonka High School students shine!

I am so proud to not only be a parent of two MWHS students, but to have the opportunity to come to a place of greatness and call it “my job”.  Students of Mound Westonka High School, you have a good thing going here!  Thank you for letting me be a part of it!

The Sterne Family

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email for more information! We would love to hear from you!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Day 106 - Crunching the Numbers

Today's post is from former MWHS teacher and community member Mark Lee

I’m a numbers guy. I love budgets. I love data. I love Excel. If they made Numbers Cereal, I would eat it every morning – CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH. Hey – I said I’m a numbers guy, not a comedian! But I’m also a man of true love, a deep faith, and tons of community/school pride. For a numbers guys, how are those things measured? How does one school claim they have more pride than another? Perhaps pride (just like beauty) is in the eye of the beholder? Assuming it is, here’s some MWHS pride through my eyes.

  • I’m proud of the DECA students who make it all the way to Internationals, but I’m also proud of the students who muster all the courage they have to do a mock interview at Districts, but don’t advance.
  • I’m proud of the students who lead their teams in the various clubs and activities at MWHS, but I’m also proud of the students who go to work every day after school because their family needs the money.
  • I’m proud of Student Senate students who organize huge community service activities, but I’m also proud of the student who stops to pick-up a piece of garbage in the hall when nobody is around.
  • I’m proud of our teachers/administrators who organize student celebrations, distinguished student breakfasts, homecoming activities, etc. They aren’t paid a cent – they do it because they care about kids.
  • I’m proud to be a White Hawk!
We’ve all heard the phrase it takes a village to raise a child. I’m proud to live in a village where I know the MWHS students who work with my own kids at adventure club, guide them at Sunday School, teach them swimming lessons, coach their t-ball teams, and even babysit them from time-to-time. I bet they don’t realize they are now part of the village that is raising the next generation.

From the eyes of this beholder, I’m bullish on MWHS Pride – Crunch on that!

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email for more information! We would love to hear from you!