December 14, 2012

Student News

Encore, Encore!

For the fourth consecutive year, the White Bear Lake Area High School Theatre Department received accolades from the Hennepin Theatre Trust's SpotLight Music Theatre Program. The program honors high school musicals and students by recognizing their extraordinary achievements and works to develop young talent in Minnesota's high school musical theatre programs.

This year's cast and crew members are honored with 10 awards - a new school record - for their fall musical "Anything Goes." Overall awards include Outstanding Overall Production and Outstanding Overall Performance for chorus and choreography. The department also earned many individual awards: Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role: Emily Nies as 'Reno Sweeney' and Jon Woodruff as 'Billy Crocker'; Honorable Mention Performance in a Leading Role: Sarah Nelson as 'Hope Harcourt'; Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role: Sam Adamsson as 'Moonface Martin' and Maddy McLevish-Hughes as 'Erma'; Honorable Mention Performance in a Supporting Role: Noelle Rivard as 'Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt', Seaver Holter as 'Mr. Elisha J. Whitney' and Tommy Self as 'Lord Evelyn Oakleigh'.

Additionally, the four WBLAHS students who received an Outstanding honor (Nies, Woodruff, Adamsson and McLevish-Hughes) are eligible to compete for the Triple Threat Award. This vigorous process takes a well-rounded approach to discovering the two students that not only sing, dance and act well, but also encompass the spirit of SpotLight. In 2012, the Triple Threat Award was won by current White Bear Lake Area High School senior, Emily Nies. The full cast will perform a medley of the musical's numbers at the Orpheum Theatre this summer on June 3, 2013 as part of the SpotLight Showcase. All of the individual honorable mention and outstanding performance will perform group numbers with other students from around the state who received a similar award.


Taking a Stand

When facing an uncomfortable situation, what makes the difference between being a restrained bystander and standing up for what you believe? Seventh grade students from Central Middle School learned that the answer is courage.

For the second year, Central Middle School partnered with Youth Frontiers to teach students how to take a stance against bullying. Students spent the day at a special retreat that empowered students to act with moral courage and identify the social fears and peer pressures that prevent responsible decision-making. The retreat encouraged them to take positive risks that make a healthy difference for themselves, their peers and their school.

The all-day retreat combined music, games, dancing, small and large group discussions, engaging presentations and individual reflection. One of the highlights was a large group jump roping activity involving everyone - even the teachers. The day ended with an impactful exercise where students shared their own stories and experiences with bullying and acts of courage. After hearing some of the hardships faced by other students, many attendees vowed to make a change and take a stand for what is right.


High School After Dark

When the classrooms go dark, the day's activities are completed and the last cars pull out of the parking lot, many students are intrigued by the question: What would it be like to spend a night in the school?Recently, members of the WBLAHS Student Council participated in a Custodian Overnight Project to get the answer to this very question.

Over 80 students from WBLAHS teamed up to give the custodians a night off and complete a few school improvement projects at each campus. Instead of complete their usual list of tasks, custodians were fed as students tackled the cleaning. Senior Shoryeah Yang said, "I've realized that their job is really demanding and how much I take a clean school for granted."

Once the classrooms and common areas were cleaned, students at North Campus hung holiday trees with ornaments bearing each students' name. South Campus did a similar project using over 1,200 mittens. They also worked on other projects such as painting new bear paw logos around the building. Student Council members are looking forward to a busy winter of activities including: Holiday Grams, "Lunchtime Lounge" open-mic events, and Sno-Daze Week events.


A Good Deed

Just in time for the arrival of our recent snowfall, two retired Minnesota teachers knitted 250 hats for the students at Birch Lake Elementary School. For the past 10 years, Bob and Mavis Schwanke have been knitting hats for students simply because they still love using their talents to benefit students.

The hats seem to be the latest fashion trend for Birch Lake Elementary students. Walking through the halls, one can spot a sea of vibrant colors and fun patterns. Many students even ask for additional hats to share with their younger and older siblings. The Schwankes also knit hats and blankets for "People Serving People" in Minneapolis. This year alone they made over 250 blankets for a local Twin Cities shelter.


Up, Up and Away

White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus Aviation and Aerospace students joined forces with the University of Minnesota's Department of Aerospace Sciences to launch a high altitude balloon on December 6. The 5-foot wide latex balloon contained a payload of several high definitions cameras, tracking devices, radios and a suite of weather and other science-related instruments.

On the day of the big launch, the class welcomed ideal conditions as they made their final preparations. According to student Charlie Anderson,"the most intense point was the final five seconds before takeoff." Twenty minutes after launch, the balloon disappeared from sight and began its journey, reaching heights of 74,000 feet. The balloon traveled approximately 18 miles before exploding and sending the payload back down to earth with a parachute.

Students in the class were able to monitor the balloon movements and predict an approximate landing zone. Their models were accurate enough to be within a five mile range on the actual location. To see balloon in action, watch this video and explore the White Bear Lake area from the skies.

Activities Updates

The Boys Swim & Dive Team placed ninth and sixth in the first two meets of the season. The WBLAHS Football Team had a successful season tying for third in the Suburban East Conference with seven players making the All Conference roster. Seven additional athletes were awarded Honorable Mention. The tenth ranked WBLAHS Wrestling Team will host their next home meet at 5:30 p.m. for Junior Varsity and 7 p.m. for Varsity on December 20.


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 News

School Board Student Recognition

Before the December 10, 2012 Regular Meeting, the White Bear Lake Area School Board Recognized the following students:

  • Bowling Team state meet participants
  • Mountain Biking Team state meet participants
  • 2011-2012 AP Scholars
  • 2011-2012 National Merit Scholars


School Board Meetings

Upcoming meetings

Date Type Time Location
Monday, January 14 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, January 28 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
Monday, February 11 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, February 11 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201

District News

  • What Are We Doing Well?
  • Responding to Tragedy
  • General Information
  • Opportunities
  • Awards and Honors

Student News

  • Encore, Encore!
  • Taking a Stand
  • High School After Dark
  • A Good Deed
  • Up, Up and Away
  • Activities updates

School Board News

  • Student Recognition
  •  School Board Meetings


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