Wrapping up the 2021-22 school year
As we finish out the last week of the 2021-22 school year, I'd like to express my appreciation for the role our students, families, staff and community have played in this successful year. Our students rebounded back from a couple of years of uncertainty with experiences this year that look closer to our old version of "normal" - coming out on the other side with the realization that they have it in them to overcome challenges and with the knowledge that they're surrounded by a supportive community.
Thank you for all you've done, and enjoy the summer break after this week's end-of-the-year activities!
Dr. Wayne A. Kazmierczak, Superintendent
In Photos: Celebrating Together
Students at Hugo Elementary enjoyed a day playing outside with their classmates and families for field day! Students took part in all kinds of activities from tug-of-war to running races and even trying to soak their principal, Mr. Morris in the dunk tank!
Oneka Elementary third, fourth and fifth graders involved with Girls on the Run celebrated the end of their program by running a 5K with their running buddies. Girls on the Run is a national non-profit organization whose program is designed to strengthen third to eighth grade girls’ social, emotional, physical and behavioral skills to successfully navigate life experiences.
WBLAHS student Meg Peterson is partnering on a mural project with Indulge Salon in Downtown White Bear Lake. Meg and a group of students are painting a mural, designed by Meg, on the side of the Indulge building as part of a National Honor Society project.
Members of the Class of 2022 are getting ready to celebrate a major educational milestone. This video highlights students picking up their graduation gowns and mortarboard caps in preparation for the June 10 Commencement Ceremony. Several members of the Class of 2022 also shared what it means to be a White Bear grad. You can see their responses in this video. Meanwhile, several seniors were already celebrated at the American Indian Graduate Honoring ceremony. Congratulations to this year’s graduates!
The White Bear Press recently offered a "Then -&- Now" section with photos of members of the Class of 2022, along with notes from family members who submitted the photos.
Speaking of milestones, some of our youngest Bears and their families are celebrating the end of the school year with a graduation ceremony. The students, who will attend kindergarten in the fall, enjoyed their time in the district’s preschool program this year making new friends and learning new lessons. Some of the ceremonies were captured in this video.
Middle school students are making their future classmates feel welcome. Central and Sunrise Park Middle Schools hosted fifth grade orientation events to welcome and help prepare incoming sixth graders for the transition from elementary school to middle school. Fifth graders received tours of the middle schools, learned how to open locks and were able to ask questions about classes and what their day-to-day schedules would look like.
Tenth grade honors language arts students showed off their final projects at the White Bear Center for the Arts. Students took a field trip to view their exhibit and to see each other's last masterpieces of the school year. Some students even performed their original songs and poems live! Get a closer look at the student's projects in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
IT Career Pathway students showed off their Raspberry Pi projects to WBLAHS staff. Students showcased their knowledge of coding, programming strategies, and created their own video games.
Lincoln Elementary first graders and kindergarteners were visited by Minnesota author Susan Egner who brought her friend, Woodfin the chameleon! Woodfin is the main character of the children’s book series, "Has Anyone Seen Woodfin?". Egner also visited classrooms to share her knowledge of storytelling and the process she goes through to write a book.
High school students involved in the Culture Club held a culture night event at the White Bear Lake Center for the Arts. Students were able to showcase their different cultures through a variety of performances, artwork, wearing traditional clothing and sharing food.
Fourth graders at Otter Lake Elementary performed "From Sea to Shining Sea", which included music and students' learning throughout the year focused on points of pride in our country's history. Students also shared family artifacts that highlighted something they are proud of in their family's history. Rehearsals of the performance were captured in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
District students were included in a recent White Bear Center for the Arts Heart 4 Art event video. Watch the full video here.
A fun collaboration between middle school and elementary school students led to the creation of a cool project! Students at Lincoln and Willow Lane sent their drawings of monsters to art students at Central and Sunrise Park. The middle schoolers then turned their drawings into 3D sculptures. Students also packaged the toys and included a comic strip featuring their monster.
Middle schoolers across the district took part in the Latinos Unidos Middle School Leadership Conference. The event was organized and led by high school students. Middle School students listened to the older students share stories, played games, held group discussions and reflected on important topics. Get a closer look at the conference in this video.
Willow Lane Elementary students are celebrating the end of an educational collaboration. Throughout the school year, students took part in the Reading Buddies Program. They were paired up with a community member or a former or current district staff member who took time to read with them. To show their appreciation, students held a Gratitude Gathering where they gave thank you cards to their reading buddy and enjoyed breakfast together.
High School students taking architecture classes took a tour of the WBLAHS - North Campus construction site. Students met with leaders from Wold Architects and Kraus Anderson who explained the process of planning, designing and building a large scale project. This exciting tour was featured in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". Another group of high schoolers also got an up close look at the construction happening at North. Members of the Superintendent's High School Advisory Committee and district leaders toured the building, which is set to become a single, unified grades 9-12 high school by the 2024-25 school year. You can follow along in the district’s Building Our Future Facilities Process to see all the projects happening right now, what's been completed and the projects still to come.
As North Star Elementary opens and Hugo Elementary no longer houses students this fall, a celebration and reunion was held at Hugo Elementary. Attendees were able to reconnect while looking at old yearbooks, touring the school, and posing for group photos with their fellow graduates by decade.
Seventh grade math students at Central Middle School organized a carnival event for Lincoln Elementary kindergarteners. Middle school students designed and made games for students to play like plinko and pick-a-duck which was highlighted in this video. They also handed out tickets and prizes!
The WBLAHS girls softball team is heading to the State tournament after defeating Stillwater in the Section 4AAAA championship game. This is the first time the Bears are state-tournament bound since 2002. Find more highlights in this White Bear Press article.
Several members of the WBLAHS boys' and girls' track and field teams are also heading to State. For the boys' team, A.J. Perron won both the 110 high hurdles and the 300 intermediate hurdles while teammate Ernest Mattson won the 1600 and 3200 races respectively. Luke Williams took second place in the 1600 and Eli Ebbert won the 100 meters. The Bears quartet of Caleb Anderson, Ebbert, Gavin Rogers and Jontay Vaulx won both the 4x100 relay and 4x200 relay. Find more highlights from the boys' meet here. For the girls' team, Oreoluwa Olusi won both the discus and shot put events. Also advancing to state with second place finishes are Lys-aurele D’almeida in the 100 dash and Katelyn Porter in the 800 run. Find more highlights from the girls' meet here. The top two in each individual event and first-place relay teams advance to state.
WBLAS Career Pathways Coordinator Jenny Moore was honored yesterday at Ramsey County's Workforce Innovation Board’s 2022 Vern Vick Award Ceremony. The Vern Vick Award is given to educators in Ramsey County for leadership in youth career development and dedication to the empowerment of young people. Moore was nominated by Liz Williams and Sareen Keenan Dunleavy from Greater Twin Cities United Way.
2022 grad Hailey Highland recently honored WBLAHS language arts teacher Barbara Bursack in a Star Tribune highlight of graduating high school seniors. Read the full article here.
Students, staff and families at Lincoln Elementary are thanking their principal, Mr. Schmidt for all his hard work and dedication to their school. Classes took photos with Mr. Schmidt next to this giant "thank you" yard sign. Mr. Schmidt is moving into the principal role at the district’s new North Star Elementary currently being constructed in Hugo. Current Hugo Elementary principal Mr. Morris has been chosen to fill the role of principal at Lincoln Elementary. The transition will happen over the summer before the start of the 2022-23 school year.
WBLAHS '95 grad Doug Brinker was named the new head coach of the Grand View University baseball team. Doug had a successful baseball career playing for both WBLAHS and Grand View. He's also a Hall of Fame inductee at Grand View University (2019) and White Bear Lake High School (2009). Read the University's full announcement here.
Former WBLAHS Track and Field star Sam Verkerke is making waves at the collegiate level for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In his first appearance at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field National Meet, Sam became the national champion in the 1500m with a time of 3:45.96, which is a new personal best and the second fastest time in UWEC program history. Find more highlights from the meet here. The White Bear Press also highlighted his impressive achievements in this article.
2014 grad Angela Hall, formerly a WBLAHS Girls' Hockey goalie and currently an Air Force soldier, recently received a Ticket Home Award from the Ben Jackson Foundation. Read the full White Bear Press story here.
The Boys Track & Field Team placed second at the Section 4AAA meet with several athletes qualifying for State. Find highlights from their meet here. Several members of the Girls Track & Field Team are also heading to State after the team placed third at the Section 4AAA meet. Find highlights here. The Bears Softball Team qualified for State after defeating Stillwater in the section championship game. Read their article here. The Bears Baseball Team edged out Mounds View 9-8 in a recent game. Find highlights here. The Boys Tennis Team wrapped up their season with a 5-9 record. Find highlights from their Section 4AA quarterfinals game here. The Boys Golf Team finished fourth in the final Suburban East Conference standings while the Girls Golf Team finished sixth.
Along with season passes and punch cards, the WBLAHS Activities office is now offering digital ticketing to all regular season, home athletic events. Information is available here.
Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.
The Week in 62.4 Seconds
Enjoy The Week in 62.4 Seconds videos highlighting weekly district activities throughout the school year.