From week-long activities, to a rowdy sea of orange cheering on our football team - this year's Homecoming Celebration was another one for the books! The fun kicked-off Monday at nearly all of our schools with a full week of daily "dress-up" days at school. WBLAHS students could be spotted roaming the halls covered in "Bear wear," or in a full pant suit depending on the day's theme, which was noticeable when both the North Campus and South Campus student bodies assembled for midweek Homecoming pep fests. Both high school campuses played host for these action-packed events, where we witnessed performances from the high school drumline, the cheerleading team, the danceline, high school choir and more! That energy was carried through to Friday for the annual Homecoming Parade and evening football game. Then on Saturday, BearPower capped-off Homecoming Week with its annual BearPower 6.24K Homecoming Celebration walk/run. Covered in orange, runners from across the district and community hit the pavement and crossed the finish line - wrapping up another successful Homecoming Celebration!
Also during Homecoming Week, our middle schools participated in an activity called "Kindness in Chalk." Students arrived bright and early to cover the sidewalks outside of their schools with positive messages for their peers. Students left with smiles and chalk covered knees as they filled almost every inch of the pavement. Our students took this welcoming activity to the next level by bringing instruments and pompoms to cheer students on as they walked through a tunnel of peers. Though a very fun Homecoming activity, the objective of this was to ensure students feel welcome and safe as they enter their place of learning. This event and the WBLAHS pep fests were highlighted in the most recent 62.4-second video
Though students and staff likely wore most of their orange clothing for Homecoming Week, hopefully they haven't packed it away just yet! Orange "Bear wear" will make for the perfect ensemble on Unity Day
, which takes place Wednesday, October 19. Unity Day is the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month and has been recognized in the United States since 2011. Generally, individuals, schools, communities and businesses wear or display orange to show support for those who have been bullied. We encourage students and staff to wear orange Wednesday, October 19 for this important cause. Here's a fun video
of District students, staff and those in the community who've pledged to wear orange on Unity Day!
Once a Bear, always a Bear
Though we know our students go off to do great things beyond White Bear, it's always fun to recognize student success even long after graduation. On October 14, WBLAHS alumnus Jon Anderson and alumna Andrea Peterson will be inducted into the White Bear Lake Area High School Athletic Hall of Fame. During Jon Anderson's career as a Bear, he earned a total of nine letters; three in soccer, three in baseball and three in hockey, and played on conference championship teams in baseball and hockey, as well. Jon was named as All-Conference in both soccer and hockey and was selected to the All-Metro team in hockey his senior year. Andrea Peterson is a WBLAHS athlete from the class of 2003 who participated in three sports beginning in her eighth grade year and earned twelve letters during her playing career as a Bear. Three of those letters were earned in girls tennis, four in softball and five in girls hockey. She was selected as captain twice, an All-Conference player seven times and was honored as an All-Metro and All-State hockey player for her efforts in her senior season. Click the following links for the entire Hall of Fame bios for Jon Anderson
and Andrea Peterson
Another White Bear Lake Area High School graduate was celebrated recently, with a surprise from one of our band teachers. Band director Shannon Anderson gathered together current band students to surprise WBLAHS alumas Ferol Grode for her birthday. When Ferol was a student at WBLAHS, she loved marching band music and loved the band at South Campus. So much so, she often tried to run into the band room in the mornings when she would hear them practicing. Ferol's mom Patty, and many others, were moved to tears when Mrs. Anderson and her students pulled off the surprise performance. Ferol was so happy, excited and appreciative - clapping, laughing and blowing kisses to the band. Her mother says that Mrs. Anderson and the band members gave much more than their time and talents that day, but a memory Ferol will cherish forever.
While those alumni are enjoying a trip down memory lane, a number of our current students are starting to think about their next steps beyond WBLAS. Our high school councilors recently organized a well-attended College Admissions Panel with more than 120 students and parents in attendance. Five representatives from several different colleges and universities explained the admissions process, provided tips and fielded questions from the audience. The counseling department will be hosting three additional college panel events throughout this school year. The next event will be a financial aid information session, held on November 15 in the WBLAHS - South Campus theater. Sunrise Park Middle School students also got an inside-look at college life recently, at a "Gopher Experience" field trip. The students on the trip experienced the University of Minnesota through the lens of Gopher Athletics history. Students toured TCF Bank Stadium, learned about important stories in Gopher history with regards to race and gender issues, spent time with current student athletes and experienced the college campus. This field trip is connected to the school's National History Day participation and partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society. History Day is a classroom history project, but it's also a gateway to other adventures, including the Gopher Experience field trip.
Sixteen students from Leipzig, Germany are currently in the midst of a "Bear experience" field trip - visiting White Bear as part of the German-American Partnership Program (GAPP). During their three-week stay, the GAAP students will be soaking in some national and local culture through a variety activities. From field trips, to the classroom, the GAAP students have a packed schedule where they'll be busy exploring our state, community and school district. Recently, the GAPP students toured the White Bear Lake Police Department, Fire Department and City Hall. The tour was given by a WBLAHS graduate and WBL police officer who participated in the GAPP program when he attended WBLAHS. White Bear students are also learning a lot from the German visitors, not only from their one-on-one interactions, but through presentations. The GAPP students prepared a variety of presentations about German culture for our high school, middle school and elementary classrooms. In June, students from White Bear Lake Area High School will visit Germany, and will be hosted by the families whose students have lived for three weeks as part of an American family.
Safe Routes to School
Nearly 200 Minnesota schools and thousands of students participated in International Walk and Bike to School Day on October 5, including the entire student body at Lakeaires Elementary School. On that morning, all Lakeaires students were dropped off roughly three blocks from their school to be greeted by cheering staff, a police officer and others who were there to make sure students had a fun and safe walk to school. This annual event sponsored by Minnesota Safe Routes to School encourages students and parents to get outside, increase their physical activity, teach pedestrian and bicycle safety, reduce traffic congestion and strengthen connections between families, schools and communities while walking and biking to school. It's an opportunity for families with children who typically ride a school bus, and who live in areas with bike-friendly paths to school, to walk and bike to school. Walk to School Day also encourages parents and community members to begin thinking about the walkability and bikeability of their neighborhoods. For more information on this initiative, click here
. Oneka Elementary is also doing a similar "drop off and walk" event in the coming days.
62.4-second video updates
Enjoy 62.4-second video updates that highlight weekly activity throughout our schools during the school year. Archives are available here
The Harvest Bowl football game will take place Friday, October 14 at 7 p.m. against Stillwater. Bring a non-perishable food item (which will be donated to the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf) for free admission.
WBLAS alumnus Jon Anderson
and alumna Andrea Peterson
will be inducted into the WBLAHS Athletic Hall of Fame on October 14.
Find a complete list of all WBLAHS Activities, Athletics and Fine Arts here