July 14, 2013

Hats off to the Class of 2013!

Last week the district celebrated nearly 650 high school graduates from the Transition Plus Program, White Bear Lake Area Learning Center and White Bear Lake Area High School. After achieving success in the classroom, fine arts and athletic activities for many years, we are proud to help them begin their postsecondary and career plans.

The first to receive diplomas were ten graduates from the White Bear Lake Area Transition Plus program on Thursday afternoon. Transition Plus provides a set of coordinated activities that assist students with disabilities, ages 18-21, to move from the school setting into post-graduation activities. From the White Bear Lake Area Learning Center, seventy-four students received their high school diploma in a special ceremony held at WBLAHS - South Campus on Thursday evening.

Family and friends filled Aldrich Arena last Friday for the WBLAHS Ceremony, which featured selections from the band and choir, student speakers, the announcement of the 2013 Bear Awards and the presentation of diplomas. Following the ceremony, seniors spent the night at the 2013 Senior All-Night Party lock-in, enjoying the chance to win prizes, play games and spend one last evening together with their classmates.

We thank the Class of 2013 for being a part of the White Bear Lake Area Schools family and wish them the best in all of their future endeavors. Visit the District's Facebook page to view photos from each graduation ceremony.

Good News Bears

What did you want to be when you grew up? ...a television anchor, journalist or sportscaster? White Bear Lake Area Schools, in conjunction with the 2013 Manitou Days "Good News Bears" theme, sponsored a writing contest asking students to report on a media profession to which they aspire. Students submitted articles on a variety of media careers and six students were selected as top winners. Congratulations to Sam Lemoro - Grade 1, Jordan Anderson - Grade 4, Kylie Kendall - Grade 4, Collin Little - Grade 4, Abby Maahs - Grade 4 and Zachary Swanovich - Grade 4 for their outstanding entries. Click here to read their stories.

Student winners will have the opportunity to be mentored by a media professional and have the opportunity to experience a day working in their desired profession. Other winning prizes include a celebratory pizza and pool party, the opportunity to walk in tonight's Manitou Days Grande Parade and the chance to participate in the school district Marketfest booth on July 18. 

Stop by then to say hello to the Good News Bears students, and stop by every Thursday through July 25 at the WBLAS Marketfest booth in Downtown White Bear Lake to meet District leaders and pick up school supply lists, pencils and Bear Paw decals. Select dates also will feature highlights of our innovative programs.

Turning Points

Congratulations to recent WBLAHS graduate Sarah Westad who was honored with a bronze award for her participation in the National History Day competition. Sarah traveled to Washington D.C. this week to take part in the Senior Individual Performance category. Entitled, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of the 14th Amendment: The Turning Point of In re Gault," Sarah's project addresses the Supreme Court's ruling that juveniles are entitled to the same due process rights as adults.

This is the twelfth consecutive year that a student from WBLAS has advanced to the competition in Washington D.C. Other qualifiers include Sunrise Park Middle School seventh-graders Anna Wieland, Emily Zoborowski and Jennie Hebaus. The annual competition invites students in grades 6-12 to research a historically significant person, event or movement and prepare a report, exhibit, presentation or documentary on the theme "Turning Points in History." Students may then enter their projects into History Day competitions at school, regional, state and national levels. Several students were recognized as state level competitors earlier this year.

Sarah participated in National History Day and competed at the state level each of her four years at White Bear Lake Area High School. Some of her past projectors include researching Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the evolution of child beauty pageants and Mary Surratt - a conspirator in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

Coming together

More than four decades ago, a group of seniors walked across the stage to receive their diplomas from White Bear Lake Area High School. Although they have since gone their separate ways, the classmates will come back together this weekend as they celebrate their 45th class reunion. While at the Manitou Days Parade, see if you can spot members of the Class of '68 on their float. The group will then have a chance to reconnect and reminisce at their reunion on Saturday evening.

Several members of the Class of '68 currently work in the District including: Mary Cleary Kowitz - Health and Safety Coordinator/Custodial Supervisor, Kim Price - Custodian Substitute, and James Shelhorn - Custodian Birch Lake. Fellow classmate Carol Venburg McFarlane is also a former member of the WBLAS School Board. To see other highlights and news from the class, click here to visit their webpage.

Activities Updates

Congratulations to the WBLAHS Boys' Lacrosse Team on an outstanding season leading to the state tournament semifinals!

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 Student Recognitions

Before its June 10 regular meeting, the School Board recognized the following students who recently competed at state or national competitions:

Students who placed 1st in Minnesota (3rd nation-wide) in the National Geography Contest

WBLAHS Boys' and Girls' Track and Field teams who participated at the state meet

WBLAHS Student Council who recently received the Outstanding Student Council of the Year award.

Also recognized were members of the WBLAHS Boy's Golf who won the Section Championship and participated at state. The team was not able to attend the ceremony, but were provided with certificates to be distributed at their end of the year banquet.

School Board Meetings

School Board meeting agendas and minutes can be found here.

Upcoming meetings

Date Type Time Location
Monday, July 8 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, August 12  Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112