Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 160 - Proud Graduating Senior

Today's post is from senior Adrian Wear

There are many things that I can be proud of, and many reasons that go along with them. However, none can compare to the pride I have of being an MWHS student-athlete. Through our test results, sports, and extracurricular activities, I can be proud to say that I was a White Hawk.

One thing I can be proud of about our school is the test results that we receive. We consistently score in the top 10 in the state for our MCA’s, and our ACT averages are also above average. With this being said, going to MWHS has prepared me for all of these standardized tests with the academic rigor they provide. Because of this, my results reflect all of the hard work that I have put in, as I will be attending the college of my choice next year - the University of St. Thomas.

Another thing I can be very proud of is our athletic teams that I participated in. Our football team defeated Wright County Conference foe Waconia marking the first victory of the season, and marking the first WCC victory against someone other than Watertown-Mayer for quite some time. Also, our wrestling team did very well this past season, going 19-5 on the year, and placing 2nd in the conference as well as placing 2nd at team sections. We went on to send 8 individuals to the state tournament, a MWHS record, and placed two of them in the top 6 in the state. Way to go guys!

Finally, I can be proud of our awesome activities that we offer. Our DECA program sent countless individuals to state, then sent 23 individuals to internationals, with 14 of them advancing to the finals, resulting in 10 top 10 finishers! Also, we have a very well established Link Crew program that I have been a part of for the past two years, which was very enjoyable to be in. Congratulations to all other sports and activities for their success this past year!

In conclusion, our test scores place MWHS in the top 10 in the state, our athletic teams succeed on the field as well as off it, and our various activities represent MWHS across the world! This is why I’m proud to be a White Hawk!

Adrian at Valley Fair

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day 159 - Learning Selfies & AP Physics!

Today's post is from AP Physics Teacher Sarah Morinville

I will complete my fourth year as the AP Physics teacher at MWHS and my tenth year as a teacher. It has always been a challenge to teach a large amount of content in a short amount of time. When May rolls around and we have the test ahead of us I am proud of the dedication and drive the students have to be successful. They have spent all year preparing for this test, which includes nightly problems, labs, reading and weekend review sessions. I have found that allowing students to be creative and to have a voice on class routines creates a successful classroom.

Every year, the students have a new technology focus that they drag me into. This year’s trend was selfies. Students wanted extra credit for working on an electricity free response over a weekend, but I explained to the students that there was no way for me to check if they worked on a free response. The students came up with the idea of posting a selfie of themselves working on the free response on schoology. This was the beginning of the AP Physics selfie craze. The students were using the technology creatively and it allowed for some comic relief during a stressful time.

After the AP Physics test, we prepare for the annual Valleyfair Physics Day Experience. AP Physics breaks into small groups, and each group is responsible for making Bill Nye-like movies explaining the physics behind three rides at Valleyfair. The students needed to create storyboards describing the videos in detail. I gave them objectives that should be addressed in each ride, but after those simple guidelines I let the students run with their ideas. I would check in with each group at the end of every class. I was pleased with all the developments. Groups were recording supplemental video clips of small scale, group designed rides. They were creating mini-experiments to explain their rides. Everyday the groups were asking for equipment and brainstorming recording ideas.

The Valleyfair Day arrives and the students are well planned out on what needs to be done at Valleyfair. As a mother of two, I worry about students wandering around a park by themselves. I shared this with my students. None of my students made fun of me or acted annoyed. MWHS students are too caring and understanding, and the selfie theme reappeared. The students checked-in via selfie. The students would text me a selfie with Valleyfair in the background.

The best selfie came when a group was collecting data about the Renegade. The ride broke down while the students were at the top of the first drop on the ride. They sent me a selfie explaining the situation and a nerdy joke.

“Our kinetic energy is low right now. Potential is high tho.”

I love the nerdy joke. I love the selfie, and I love that one student is wearing my lab coat. It was his costume for his video. He is Will Guy, The Science Guy. The students are proud. They are not concerned with what other schools thought of them with their strange costumes and acting weird for their videos. MWHS students want to create the best projects possible. The students did eventually get off the ride. When we returned to the classroom the students were showing me their footage and they are putting together their amazing videos. I am proud of my student’s ability to take ownership and creative charge of assignments.

I asked the students how we should take our class photo (what a silly question ;) Of course, we should take a selfie. #selfie

Mrs. Morinville and the AP Physics class

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 158 - Four Generations Moving Through the Mound Village

Today's post is from former grad and community member Andrea Dahl

Yep, I'm a "Moundite" and Mound is my "Village". And this Village has "raised and educated" 4 generations of the Dahl extended family! As an alumni, I attended kindergarten through 12th grade, all in one building, which is now "gone". And yes, I knew all 120 classmates by name, which is part of that small school advantage which MWHS still has. We were a close-knit class and the teachers were caring and helpful, just as they are today at MWHS!

In this "Village" I was able to grow up in a community with beautiful surroundings that offered good, clean, fun and a lifetime of memories.

All 6 of my children graduated from the present MWHS. My son, Rick, teaches at the high school, and I am always proud to say he teaches at MWHS. I have 3 grandchildren who have been through the district, 2 grandsons, Reid and Evan, currently at the high school and granddaughter Ellie who graduated in 2008. It has been a pleasure for me to follow their progress academically, and I have enjoyed watching their sports over the years. When I attend events I have that MWHS Pride! Sometimes I feel like singing the old  "Mohawk Roster".

As the years go by, may all of you students carry the MWHS Pride with you as you travel through life. Remember to thank those who have taught and nurtured you to this point.

This picture represents 3 generations of my family. And Yes, I have MWHS Pride!!

The Dahl Family

Back row: Jean, Evan, Rick and Greg
Front row: Andrea, Ellie and Reid

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Day 157 - Pride in our National Academic Recognitions

Today's post is from Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Mark Femrite

As we close out the 2014-2015 school year, there is so much to celebrate about Mound Westonka High School – the students, the staff and the incredible academic and co-curricular opportunities that are available to our student body.

Another way to view our high school’s success is through national recognitions in which our academic performance is measured against other high schools across the nation.

For the 2014-2015 school, I am very proud of our students’ accomplishments. Consider the following:

  • U.S. News & World Report “Best High Schools Silver 2014 Award”. Mound Westonka High School ranked 24th out of Minnesota’s 610 high schools. 
  • The Washington Post’s “America’s Most Challenging High Schools 2014”. Mound Westonka High School ranked 23rd in Minnesota. 
  • 3rd Annual Advance Placement Honor Roll Recognition. Mound Westonka High School earned this recognition for increasing the percentage of students earning scores 3 or higher on AP exams while increasing the number of students taking AP exams.

These national rankings demonstrate Mound Westonka High School's commitment to rigorous academics while working with our students to succeed in their academic pursuits. The high school staff wants to ensure our students are college and career ready and these recognitions affirm our approach and work with increasing student achievement.

Congratulations to the high school student body and staff on these accomplishments. I am proud to stand tall with you as a White Hawk!

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 156 - Proud to be a Moundite from California

Today's post is from actor Kevin Sorbo

I grew up in one of the most amazing places in the world. Mound, Minnesota! Yep. Little Mound. Home to Tonka Toys, Lake Minnetonka and the friendliest people on the planet! 

My memories, my youth, my friends are all wrapped up in that little town snuggled outside the Twin Cities in between lakes, trees, and winding roads. It was Mound that made me the person I am today. School, sports, seasons that sprout a marathon of memories with each passing season. My first kiss, my first touchdown, my first everything happened right there in Mound. I return every summer (I don't miss the winters that much) to hang with old friends and travel to old haunts and relive my glory days. 

I am the 4th of five kids and we all went through the same school system: Hilltop, Grandview and Mound-Westonka. I may have traveled the world since I left the halls of MWHS, but I will always "Remember Red and White!"

Oh, one more will ALWAYS be Mohawks to me!!

Kevin Sorbo

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