April 19, 2013

District News

Music memories

On Sunday afternoon, our high school girls' choir gather on the stage - in awe and a little intimidated to be rehearsing in an ornate university concert hall. By the evening's performance, our South Campus Choraliers stand tall and exude confidence as they sing. 

This week's occasion was the Minnesota Choral Arts Finale. Our Choraliers were selected from among hundreds of Minnesota school choirs to be featured with four other high school choirs. Memories of such performances remain for a lifetime. With the confidence nurtured by an outstanding director, the girls give heart and soul. The music rises beyond notes, parts and dynamics to express emotion and spirit of each song. 

Through music, students grow to better understand love gained and lost, loyalty and friendship, faith and redemption.

That is why staff members are so moved at a school convocation when the all-elementary choir sings a rendition of Offenbach's Can-Can with the words "Yes, I can... no, you can't." The rousing, confident chorus of "Yes, I can!" wins over.

That is why middle school students in this week's performance of Beauty and the Beast, Jr. draw laughter and tears from grandparents.

That is why this week our high school band concert draws hundreds of audience members, many of whom have not had a child in band for more than a generation. Not too long ago, a high school student suddenly lost her father. At the funeral, her classmates and fellow choir members sang with her through grief, sharing emotions in song none yet knew words to express.

From our youngest learners through our high school students, music builds community within and across generations. This week, we celebrate music in our schools and give special acknowledgement to the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation's Gala on April 27, "Let's Make Music!"

Dr. Michael Lovett


General Information

Did You Know?


Community Services

The WBLAS Community Services and Recreation Department provides a wide range of services and opportunities that enhance the quality of life for all members of ISD 624.

The Community Services and Recreation Spring/Summer 2013 Catalog is now available online. Zumba and yoga classes begin next week. Click here to register for these and other upcoming courses.

Community Services and Recreation will be offering the Summer Extended Day Program from June 10 through August 16. This childcare program is for children entering kindergarten through those entering 6th grade to participate in a variety of activities including camps, service projects and weekly field trips. The program will be held at Willow Lane, Otter Lake and Oneka Elementary Schools. Click here for more information and registration materials.

Parent Notices:

  • Community Baby Shower - You and your baby - birth to six months old - are invited to a Community Baby Shower from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Monday, April 22. Join us for refreshments, infant massages, door prizes and helpful community resources. Call the Early Childhood Program at 651-653-3100 to RSVP.
  • ECFE Garage Sale - The 27th Annual ECFE Garage Sale will take place from 9 a.m. - 12 noon Saturday, April 27 at Otter Lake Elementary. Items that will be available include Children's clothing (newborn - size 16), children's toys and books, baby equipment, and maternity clothing.
  • Summer Extended Day Program - The District will offer a summer Extended Day Program from June 10 through August 16. This childcare program, for children entering kindergarten through those entering 6th grade, offers a variety of activities including camps, service projects and weekly field trips. Program locations are Willow Lane, Otter Lake and Oneka Elementary Schools. Click here for more information and registration materials.
  • Congressional Art Competition - The 2013 Congressional Art Competition - " An Artistic Discovery" - is open to all high school students attending school or residing in the Fourth Congressional District. The winning entry will be displayed as part of a national exhibit in the U.S. Capitol. The winner will also receive two free airline tickets to Washington, D.C. to attend the exhibit's opening on June 26, 2013! Entries must be received by 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 22, 2013.

Senior Program Updates:

The White Bear Area Senior Center is a program of the White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Services & Recreation Department.

  • Community Resources - The White Bear Lake Area offers many resources for older adults in the community. Click here to view a comprehensive list of programs and services.
  • Senior Activity Passes - It's not too late for spring activities Free Activity Passes are currently available for senior community members ages 65 and up. Those who would like a free pass and a 2012-13 Activities Calendar can contact Jody Reber at 651-407-7563 to request an application.
  • Fraud and Scam Prevention Event - Learn how to protect yourself against Fraud and Scams at this informational session 2-3:30 p.m. May 23 at the White Bear Lake Area Senior Center.

In Every Issue:

  • White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation, Inc. (WBLAEF) is an independent, non-profit corporation promoting excellence in education in White Bear Lake Area School District 624 schools. Find the WBLAEF website here.
    • WBLAEF Newsletter - Find the most recent White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation's newsletter here. To sign-up for the electronic newsletter, please send a request to lisa.lindvall@isd624.org or call 651-407-7696.
    • Gala - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation's Gala will take place the evening of April 27. Find an invitation here.
  • Energy Efficiency Program - The Schools for Energy Efficiency® (SEE) is a comprehensive program for K-12 schools to save energy and money by changing behavior throughout the district. Find the latest update here to learn about upcoming Earth Day opportunities.


Support WBLAS Students:

  • Beauty and the Beast Jr. Musical - Central and Sunrise Park Middle School students will come together to perform Beauty and the Beast Jr. at 7 p.m. on April 19 and at 2 p.m. on April 20 at the White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Auditorium.
  • Taste of Spring - You're invited to a Taste of Spring Fundraiser at WBLAHS - North Campus from 5 - 8 p.m. on April 25 at the WBLAHS - North Campus Cafeteria.
  • Annie Jr. Musical - More than 105 Lincoln Elementary K-5th graders will perform the musical 'Annie Jr.' at White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Auditorium. There are 4 performances available: 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28. Tickets are on sale at The Nest through April 25 for $8 each.
  • Asia Pacific Heritage Month - To celebrate Asia Pacific Heritage month this May, Koom Siab students from WBLAHS have organized an Asian Cultural Night with student performances and delicious food for students, staff, family and friends. The event will be take place from 6-8:30 p.m. May 3 at the WBLAHS - South Campus Theater.
  • WBLAHS - South Campus Band Booster Plant Sale Fundraiser - Now through May 1, WBLAHS band students are selling Linder's gift cards in denominations of $20 or $50. The cards have no expiration date and can be used at all Linder's locations that sell plants. Also available is Linder's Plant Purchase Weekend. Print off and bring this special invitation in to purchase plants May 17-20 at any Linder's location and Linder's will give the band 15% of all sales.
  • Aviation Program Fundraiser - The Patrick Marzitelli Science and Aviation Scholarship Fund Memorial Golf Tournament will take place May 18 at Manitou Ridge. Find a flyer here.
  • Musicworks Minnesota Fundraiser - A fundraiser to support Musicworks Minnesota's work with White Bear Lake Area Schools will take place May 18 at WBLAHS - South Campus. Find a flyer here.

2013 Teacher of the Year

The 2013 Teacher of the Year will be announced at the Teacher of the Year Extravaganza, will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 2 in the WBLAHS - South Campus Theater. Cake and punch will be served following the program. Find a flyer here.

Awards and Honors

  • Woman of Outstanding Leadership - Congratulations to the WBLAS Latino Cultural Liaison, Graciela Hammeken, on being selected as an International Women's Leadership Association woman of outstanding leadership for her contribution to family, career and community. Send Graciela a congratulations email here.
  • Video Competition - Congratulations to the WBLAHS Chemistry Club led by Cassandra Knutson for winning the Schoology Flipped Classroom Video Competition! Watch the video here. Send Cassandra a congratulations email here.
  • IZZIT Teach of the Year Runner-Up - White Bear Lake Area Learning Center teacher Tim McGraw recently was named one of five runners-up in the 2013 izzit.org Teacher of the Year contest for his work with economics students on a Kiva.org micro-financing project. Send Tim a congratulations email here.
  • Matoska International IB World School recently was recognized as a Sustained Exemplar PBIS School by the Minnesota Department of Education's Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) State Leadership Team. Send Matoska a congratulations email here.
  • Dr. Michael Lovett recently received the District Leadership in Communications Award from the Minnesota School Public Relations Association. Send Dr. Lovett a congratulations email here.

Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit District News, General Information, Opportunities or Awards & Honors for inclusion in future publications.

Friday fun

This morning brought a bit of action for Lakeaires Elementary students, who capped off a fun and healthy week today by traveling to the Vadnais Heights Dome for an active fitness day. Since Monday, the students have been tracking their fruit and veggie intake, effort to promote healthy eating. Students also kept track of their fitness hours by recording time spent active at home and in classroom fitness breaks.

Today's action is happening on stage as well. With opening night under their belt, Central and Sunrise Park Middle School students have been excited today for tonight's Middle School Players' production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. - happening tonight at 7 p.m at the White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Auditorium. There will also be a matinee showing at 2 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, April 20. Those who still need tickets for the show can purchase them at The Nest in Downtown White Bear Lake. (Photo at right is courtesy of the White Bear Press.)

And speaking of musicals, the touring cast of Calculus: The Musical made a stop at the White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus theater this morning to perform for 220 calculus students. This comic "review" of the concepts and history of Calculus featured a variety of musical parodies to spread the knowledge of Calculus. In the past, WBLAHS teacher Matt Danielson has taken students on a field trip to the play when it was performed at a theater in Minneapolis. However, this morning's experience marks the cast's first on-site location for a high school performance.


Students in action

April has been busy for members of the White Bear Lake Area High School Student Council. Earlier this month, Student Council members hosted a Battle of the Bands competition, featuring six student bands with musical styles ranging from acoustic to heavy metal. While the final votes were being tabulated, a teacher band consisting of Brian Perry, Fred Feirn, Connor Luby and John Forestell made a guest appearance. When all was said and done, third place went to The Executives, a jazz combo group (Mitch Hancock, Josh Mason, Taylor Isberner, Scott St. Amant, Ryan Allen, Sam Hassel and Joey Herring). Second place was the metal act, Heroes Aren't Born (Griffin Konkler, Gavin Lindeau, Henry Schwartz, Jordan Eckhoff-Bennett and Josh McGrane). Taking home 1st place was the winning classic rock trio, In the Basement (Jeff Guenther, Matt Guenther and Nick Bruton) who wowed the crowd by playing Led Zepplin with their 11-year-old drummer!


A delegation of WBLAHS Student Council members from both campuses also recently attended the Minnesota Association of Student Councils State Convention in Medford and Owatonna, joining more than 400 students from across the state. Student leaders shared ideas for how to improve their schools, engaged in service projects and even drafted an opinion for the state legislature. John Forestell, WBLAHS Student Council Advisor, was awarded Advisor of the Year for the Capital Division. The WBLAHS - South Campus Student Council also was awarded Outstanding Student Council of the Year.


Driven by dedicated members, the group is also preparing for another April event. Next week begins Fundraising Week including daily activities to support the White Bear Lake Education Foundation's Angel Fund. An iPad mini raffle, lunchtime karaoke, morning caffeine cart, bear hugs and powder buff volleyball are just a few of the events the students have planned. The events will culminate with a Saturday outdoor movie night. Community members of all ages are invited to attend the WBLAHS outdoor G-rated movie night at 7 p.m. on April 27 at WBLAHS - South Campus. A second feature PG-rated movie will begin at approximately 8:45 p.m. The movie location is planned for football field, but the location will change to the tennis courts if snow is covering the field. The cost of the double feature is $2. Student Council also will sell water and popcorn for $1 each. Proceeds will go to the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation’s Angel Fund.



White Bear Lake Area High School junior Bethany Kozak has been named a Minnesota State High School League ExCEL (Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership) award winner for the 2012-2013 school year. Kozak is the daughter of Matthew and Cheryl Kozak.

Outside of the classroom, Bethany is involved in the Ambassadors Program, Band, Leadership Club, State History Day, Cross Country and Track and Field. Bethany is also engaged in a wide variety of community service activities by volunteering at her local church, Feed My Starving Children, Dress for Success, Special Olympics and other activities. "I love being around a variety of groups to meet new people," said Bethany. "I have a pretty busy schedule, but I have fun with everything that I do." In her occasional block of free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, traveling and being outdoors.

According to White Bear Lake Area High School Director of Student Activities Tim Hermann, Bethany is the first WBLAHS student to receive this award. "When it comes to exemplifying the qualities of the Minnesota State High School League's ExCEL award, Bethany's body of work shines through!" says Hermann. "We all are proud of her accomplishments."

After a successful Cross Country season last fall, including first place finishes at conference and section meets, Bethany is looking forward to running in her first track and field meet of the season. She shares that her goals for the year are "to improve my times, run strong, stay healthy and have fun!" Another goal the junior would like to reach before graduating is that of setting a new WBLAHS record in both the 1-mile and 2-mile races. "When you put in that much work, you know that you can accomplish. My coaches give me the confidence to know that I can run with the lead pack and break away at the right time," said Bethany. "My parents, coaches and teachers are a great support team and I couldn't do it without them."

Bethany draws inspiration from her many role models including U.S. Olympic runners Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan. Following graduation, Bethany plans on continuing her running career in college and studying sports medicine or physical therapy.

ExCEL is a is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, who show leadership qualities and who volunteer in their communities. The annual award is presented to 32 juniors from across the state. Congratulations Bethany!

Activities Updates

Girls' lacrosse player Lyndee Boyce signed a National Letter of Intent this morning. She will attend the University of Tampa as a student and a female lacrosse team member. Cross country and track and field participant Bethany Kozak, junior, has been named a Minnesota State High School League ExCEL (Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership) award winner for the 2012-2013 school year.

White Bear Lake Area High School Athletics schedules can be found here.

A comprehensive 2012-13 District Activities schedule can be found here.

Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.

School Board Recognitions

School Board Meetings

Before its April 8 regular meeting, the School Board recognized the following students who recently competed at state or national competitions:

Scholastic Art Award recipients

National History Day competition participants

School Board Meetings

School Board meeting agendas and minutes can be found here.

Upcoming meetings

Date Type Time Location
Monday, April 22 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
Monday, May 13 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, May 20 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
Monday, June 10 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112