Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 155 - Lifelong Impact

Today's post is from senior Zach Altman

For the rest of my life, there is one thing about me that I’m absolutely certain will never change. I will never stop using the skills and life lessons that my DECA advisors Sue Simonson and Stephanie Lolich have taught me. The memories that I have shared with them throughout my entire high school experience have been unforgettable, and I am so beyond thankful to have had the opportunity to be in a school that has such an amazing DECA program that will certainly help me to achieve future success. 

At the beginning of my final year of high school, I had set a specific goal for myself. This goal was to qualify for DECA’s International competition in Atlanta, Georgia as it would be my final opportunity to partake in this incredible event. At the state competition, my goal had been accomplished as my partner Willie Maahs and myself had taken first in our respective event. I was going to Atlanta! Mission accomplished! Well, not quite. Mrs. Lolich and Mrs. Simonson encouraged me to re-adjust my goal that I had made at the beginning of the year and to attempt to go even farther. 

Sure enough, my partner Mark Randklev and myself had done just that and beaten the odds and became international finalists! I never could have imagined this to happen as I had not made this goal for myself at the beginning of the year. Without the help of my amazing advisors, none of this would have ever been possible. There is no doubt in my mind that I will never forget the lessons about life they have taught me. They have positively influenced me in such a way that I’m unsure of how I can possibly thank them. As my senior year comes to a close, it will be very difficult to say goodbye to such incredible people.
Mrs. Lolich & Zach

Mark & Zach after advancing to finals!

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day 154 - MWHS Scholarship Night

Today's post is from MWHS Guidance Counselor Tina Kampa

On Wednesday, May 14th we held the 14th annual Scholarship Awards Night. It was a wonderful evening where we were able to recognize the generosity of the scholarship donors and the hard work and accomplishments of the senior award winners!

This year there were 52 scholarships awarded from 35 different donors to 46 members of the graduating class for a total of over $64,000 worth of scholarship money – the highest total to date!

This is one of my favorite nights of the year! One of the things that I like best about it is creating a connection between the scholarship donors and the senior award winners. It is a unique opportunity for these two groups to meet and interact with one another.

THANK YOU, once again, to all of the scholarship donors and CONGRATULATIONS to the senior scholarship award winners!

Class of 2014 Local Scholarship Winners

Warren Stickney Memorial Scholarship -- John (Jack) Leschisin
Northwest Tonka Lions 4-year Scholarship -- Mackenzie Strehle
YOST/Haddorff/Leopold Scholarship -- Courtney Cashman, Bryan Tierney and Scott Harrison
Thomas and Phyllis O’Malley Scholarship -- Alexandra Bebeau
Spring Creek Scholarship Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation -- Lily Frenette
Val Chabot Memorial Scholarship -- Jamee Schoephoerster
Westonka Jaycees Scholarship -- Leah Pinault and Erin Haug
Gloria Anderson Memorial DARE Scholarship -- Trevor Omann
Ridgeview Health Care Scholarship -- Trevor Omann 

Tyler Russell Hill Sunshine Scholarships -- Science- Emily Minzel, History- Laura Stamm, Language- Katherine Linder, DECA- Courtney Simonson, Hockey/Soccer- Hunter Smith and Football- Bryan Tierney
Kyle D. Simonson Memorial Scholarship -- Matthew Hejna
Justin David Morris Memorial Scholarship -- Maycelle Miller
WEM Teacher’s Union Scholarship -- Ashley Woytcke
Rotary Club Citizenship & Service Scholarships -- Carly Koch, Matthew Hejna, Trevor Omann and Alexander Robbins
Mary Esther Corl Memorial Scholarship -- Shelbi Patterson
Jeff Stevenson Memorial Academic/Athletic Scholarship -- Arend Turner
John Rasmussen Memorial Scholarship -- Jack Sterne
Minnetonka American Legion Aux. #398 Scholarship -- Medical- Gabrielle Smerillo and 2-year School- Rachel Andres
Brian Chase Memorial Scholarship -- Jordan Fuglseth
Robert Fox Memorial Scholarship -- William Maahs
MWHS National Honors Society Scholarship -- John Byers and Maddison Englert
Robert Photography Scholarship -- Anna Pinault
Mound Masonic Lodge Scholarship -- Jacob Hardie
MWHS Student Senate Scholarship -- Maycelle Miller and Alexandra Riffle
Westonka Administrator’s Scholarship -- Paul Locker
Knights of Columbus #6005 Scholarship -- Ryder Schmidt and Hanna Brustad
Jon Scherven Memorial Scholarship -- Derek Fuhrmann 
Crow River Bank Scholarship -- Ryan Flesher
Northwest Tonka Lions 2-Year Scholarship -- Taylor Heusinkveld
Mound Fire Department Auxiliary Scholarship -- Kayla Anderson
Westonka Snoblazers Scholarship -- Samantha Hales
Larry Exel Basketball Scholarships -- Brooke Berger and William Legeros
Marty Gilbertson Education Office Employee Scholarship -- Madeline Kalgren
MWHS Cross Country Scholarship -- Lily Frenette
MWHS Pop Singer Scholarship -- Eloise Montgomery and Nathaniel Barnes

Arend Turner
Jeff Stevenson Memorial Academic/Athletic Scholarship

 Kayla Anderson 
Mound Fire Department Auxiliary Scholarship

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Day 153 - Wild Weather for Spring Sports

Today's post is from senior Dakota Hollingsworth

This Track season, unlike that of some other years, has seen some wild weather! Due to the cold and wet conditions we have had many meets canceled. With that being said, this season is going to be great because, we have been allotted more time to get in the competitive shape that this sport demands. Everyone on our team is so excited every day to get out there and give it their all, it is because of this that I believe this season is unlike others.

When we do have good weather the team can go to meets, these are the most important part of the sport. A meet is where you prove to yourself and everyone else that you've got what it takes to be a proud track & field runner, and a White Hawk! By the end of the year so many new lifelong friendships are made, and cherished. From the "Two lap warm ups" to the "Sprints!" This season has and will be the best one yet!

Pictures from a rare meet held Tuesday, May 13
Seniors John, Mason, Dakota, Willie and Zach

Senior Mackenzie S

Sophomore Sydney W

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Day 152 - This one's for the Mathletes

Today's post is from AP Calculus Teacher Lisa Paul

We must remember that it is the journey, not the destination, that shapes us. Teaching an AP course is an exhilarating experience, where the students learn as much as I do along the way. As a math teacher at MWHS for the past 15 years, I know all too well that students are often judged solely on the outcome of any given test; NWEA tests, MCA tests, ACT tests, and my area of expertise, AP Exams. These tests are used to evaluate, track, grade, and distinguish students. At times it feels unfair. An Olympian trains their entire life for one shot at a race that may last less than 10 seconds, and their results may or may not satisfy. My students work hard their entire math career learning the skills necessary to jump in and work even harder their AP year. For some, their efforts are showcased by the AP exam. For others, the test may report that they fell just short of their goals, much like an Olympian who fails to medal. Regardless of the results of that test, I love the journey we take together.

It is inspiring to watching these young mathematicians discuss, debate and teach calculus with and to each other. While I teach them about integrals, and infinite series that actually have a sum, they remind me of everything I need to know about life outside of calculus. While I keep them up to speed on the whims of the all-mighty, governing College Board, they keep me up to date on the latest technologies. While I was preening my feathers for successfully navigating facebook, they moved me into the world of Twitter. I will forever be indebted to them for creating an account for me and more importantly, for suffering through my learning curve whose derivative was approximately 1/x. Sorry, that one’s for all of my mathletes.

MWHS breeds a special type of student. Not only are they hard working and intelligent, but they are invested in those around them. They care for each other and create an environment of collaboration amongst all individuals in a classroom, peers and faculty alike. I couldn't be more proud of my students. So no matter what their AP scores say in July, the AP students here at MWHS have already aced the biggest test of all: hard work, perseverance, and the ability to have fun in the midst of it all.

2014 AP Calc Students

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Day 151 - Anonymous Pride

Today's post is from an Anonymous Life Long Resident and District Parent

Over the years of watching our kids grow up in this community many things have changed and many things remain the same….

Public school is such a funny thing to me. We send our kids to people we barely know and expect them to teach our kids based on what we have begun to teach our kids. When I think about the impact the staff in our district make every day it amazes me. They are there for our kids whether it is a good day or bad day in their lives. They help our kids to build on the foundation we start at home. Whether the foundation is wobbly or solid, these teachers and administrators work with great pride to provide our kids with a great education. The trick is, will our kids put the effort forth that these people are? That depends on us as parents. The teachers are not just here to teach the courses, they also work hard to teach our kids the life skills they need to be successful when school is over. Work ethic, responsibility, respect, dignity, fellowship, friendship, pride, accountability, and integrity: these life-long skills can be found in the walls of our district if we look for them.

Additionally, this community can band together like no other to support a family in need. We have watched as children have lost a parent, a teacher has a personal tragedy or illness, unexpected student deaths or a graduate of MWHS finds themselves battling an illness. People step up and do the next right thing. There is PRIDE in helping out a fellow community member and lifting them up by standing along side them during their struggle. Our kids watch these experiences and learn too to do the next right thing for someone else.

As parents we can be proud of our kids and the community we have chosen to raise them in. Have your kids thank their teacher today! Send an email to thank administration and their staff for their commitment to the education of our kids. Tell your kids you are proud of them! Reach out to a community member. You never know what the impact of you doing so will do for them! I can tell you from experience, the kindness of people in this community has changed has changed our lives forever!

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