May 8, 2022
In Photos: Indoor and Outdoor Activities
We asked middle and high school students at WBLAS to think of a staff member who has impacted their lives. Listen to their "Because Of You" testimonials in this moving video.
Congratulations to Matoska International kindergarten teacher Kendall Gonzalez, who was among 11 finalists for the 2022 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. Ahead of her final interview and the banquet ceremony, staff at Matoska threw Ms. G a surprise celebration which was captured in a video here and she was featured on WCCO as finalist. Ms. G was the 2021 White Bear Lake Area Educators’ Teacher of the Year, so it's fitting to congratulate the 2022 winner, Vadnais Heights Elementary teacher Mae Haley who was selected from a field of six candidates! Meanwhile, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, which was recently celebrated, WBLAHS students in the National Honor Society put together a video to thank teachers across the district.
WBLAHS Career Pathways Coordinator Jenny Moore also deserves a special shoutout! She was recently highlighted in an article by Construction Career Pathways, which explains her mission to give students more expose to construction based career options.
In student shoutout news, five Sunrise Park Middle School seventh graders qualified for the National History Day competition in June. Lilian Anderson, Emma Nomura, Eleanor Piri and Benna Sowles placed second in the Group Exhibit category for their project, "The Japanese-American Internment Camps". Allison Knoebel placed second in the Individual Documentary category for her project, "The Hormel Strike 1985 - 1986". She was also the recipient of the Minnesota History Topical Prize Award for an entry that addressed this year's theme of "Debate & Diplomacy in History" by examining events and issues that demonstrate the rich history of Minnesota and its people. Jack Firkus & Toby Hagen placed fifth in the Group Documentary category for their project, "The Cuban Missile Crisis". Congratulations to all WBLAS students who took part in this year's State History Day competition.
WBLAHS junior Malia Hasselius has been chosen as one of the Minnesota State Officers for HOSA. To be selected on the state team, Malia had to interview, pass a knowledge test, complete a teamwork project and give a speech. Only 7 students were selected. During the 2022-23 school year, Malia will act as the statewide Activities Coordinator and will lead the HOSA group with other Healthcare Career Pathway students.
Six White Bear Lake Area High School students were accepted to All-State Choir this year and will participate in an All-State camp this summer, which is the maximum number of singers accepted from a single school. The students to be accepted are eleventh grader Audrey Grawe and tenth graders Simon Anderson, Spencer Anderson, Gilberto Garrido, Wonser Mongrue and Sanyu Mwassa.
Ten students from Otter Lake Elementary participated in the Math Masters of Minnesota Challenge in April. The problem-solving competition included both individual and team components. Several students placed in the top eight in different categories.
Our final student shoutout story features two WBLAHS artists whose work was selected for the annual White Bear Center for the Arts High School Exhibition. Meg Peterson was honored with an Award of Merit and Astrid Scharff was awarded Best of Show. The exhibits features 141 works of art from students at area high schools. The exhibit can be viewed online on the WBCA site or in person until June 1.
Exciting Learning Opportunities
Students in Manufacturing 2 at WBLAHS - South Campus are getting ready for summer by making fire pits. They used a laser engraver to create designs on sheets of metal. Then, they rolled out the sheets and welded them together to create a circled fire pit. Get a closer look at the process in this video.
The Sunrise Park Middle School Poetry Club hosted another successful Poetry in the Park event. Families, teachers, and students listened to original poems written by students from a variety of schools and grades across the district.
Vadnais Heights Elementary held their Spring Festival. At the arts, science and culture fair, students displayed their works of art and science projects. Families also enjoyed many different cultural performances, entertainment from student musical groups and plenty of tasty food. See all the fun come to life in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
Lincoln Elementary students had a special guest visitor, Sidsel the learning horse! Students interacted with her and learned about how she helps people build social emotional learning skills. The special initiative was funded through the use of a Brosious Grant from the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation and was highlighted in this video.
Lessons In Service
District students, who work with H2O for Life to bring water to schools in the developing world, were highlighted for their efforts by the organization. Students from Matoska International and WBLAHS North and South Campuses raised money to help build a rain tank so students at a school in Kenya have access to safe, clean water. You can read more about the project in this article.
Fifth graders at Oneka Elementary involved with the B.O.S.S. Kids Group (Bears Outstanding Service Superheroes) are very familiar with serving their community. Students set out to make their school community a better place by picking up trash around their building which was highlighted in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
Fifth graders at Willow Lane Elementary are once again taking over Donatelli's restaurant in White Bear Lake. Students are working as cooks, servers and hosts during lunch from 11 a.m. - 1p.m. every Tuesday in May. Their dedication to serving restaurant guests was highlighted in this video. They prepared for their new jobs by writing resumes, cover letters and interviewing with the restaurant’s manager.
The WBLAHS Environmental Club focuses on acts of service for their community. The White Bear Press highlighted the club's recent efforts to offset paper usage in their school through a tree sale. Students distributed around 400 saplings to community members right in time for Arbor Day. Read the article here.
The Senior Center hosted its first Food Truck Friday of the year! Community members flocked to the parking lot to enjoy Russell’s Traveling Kitchen & Mini Donuts including the St. Paul Winter Carnival Royalty! If you missed out on the food truck fun, mark your calendar for the remaining dates on May 20, June 24, July 22 and August 19.
During the month of April, students at Willow Lane Elementary focused on the theme of perseverance. At a recent weekly summit, several members of the WBLAHS girls' basketball team, who attended Willow Lane, spoke to students about a time in their life when they persevered. The high school students also celebrated their third place finish at the State tournament with the younger students.
Students at the Area Learning Center heard from a guest speaker who shared her experiences as a young runaway who became victimized by human traffickers. This young woman was an inspiration to staff and students alike, as she shared her story of overcoming trauma, prioritizing her education, and building a new life for herself.
May is Asian American Pacific Islander month and it's fitting to share students in the AAPI Affinity Group at Sunrise Park Middle School are being celebrated all month long! Each week, a different group is being recognized during announcements through facts about their culture and photos of students dressed in their traditional clothing. The AAPI Affinity Group was also featured in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
High school students who are studying German met with delegates from Ludenscheid, Germany. The guests visited White Bear to learn about our sustainability efforts as part of the City’s Climate Smart Municipalities initiative. Their visit was highlighted in this video. In other news, three WBLAHS students (pictured far right) in the German CIS 1004 class took home two top honors from the University of Minnesota's video competition. They competed against more than 20 other schools in several categories. Their film was awarded an Oscar for overall best movie and the People's Choice Award! The student's video is based off the superhero Batman who is fighting crime again, but this time on a more suburban scale when it comes to people who do not tip at restaurants and jaywalkers.
White Bear Lake Area Schools was recently featured as part of BARR's (Building Assets, Reducing Risks) new Most Likely to Change the World Podcast. BARR is the nation's leading evidence-based school improvement model that brings education into the 21st century through intentionally deepened relationships and a data-driven, personalized and supportive approach. Find the episode here.
The WBLAHS softball team has been dominating the field with a 8-1 record so far this season. In recent games, the bears have topped NO. 1 Stillwater, Mounds View, and they shutout Cretin-Derham Hall twice winning 10-0 both times. Find highlights from those games in the White Bear Press. Catcher Heidi Barber was also recently selected as the White Bear Press Player of the Week.
The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation presented its 2022 Lynn Mielke Distinguished Educator Award on April 26 to Jackie Hook, Special Education Paraprofessional at Otter Lake Elementary. Find the full press release here.
Students in the AVID program at Sunrise Park Middle School were celebrated at the annual family breakfast. Students complied a folder of projects and work completed this year that they're most proud of to show their family members.
Add To Your Calendar
Swing by Podvin Park on Thursday, May 12 for the Touch-A-Truck event. From 5-7 p.m. you can explore and see many different trucks and vehicles including the WBLAS Nutrition Services truck!
Food Truck Friday's have returned to the White Bear Area Senior Center's parking lot. The remaining dates are May 20, June 24, July 22 and August 19. Enjoy tasty meals from 4:30-7 p.m. with a dine-in or to-go option. You can also shop in the parking lot on Saturday, May 21 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. during the flea market/parking lot sale.
The Boys Track Team won their own invitational, taking first place in 15 of 19 events. Read their article here. The Bears Baseball Team recently defeated Blaine and clipped Stillwater 3-1. Read that article here. The Bears Softball Team topped No. 1 Stillwater 2-1. Read their article here. They also clipped Mounds View 15-0. Read that article here. The Boys Golf Team tied for fourth place out of 20 teams at the Hudson Invitational. They also placed second out of 10 teams in their Suburban East Conference opener. The Girls Golf Team placed sixth out of 14 teams at the Forest Lake Invitational. Read their article here. The Girls Lacrosse Team recently edged out Woodbury and East Ridge. Read their article here. Boys Track star Elijah Ebbert, Softball catcher Heidi Barber and Baseball pitcher Derrick Smith were all recently named Athlete of the Week by the White Bear Press. Derrick was also featured as the KSTP-TV TRIA Prep Salute player of the week on April 27. Watch the story here. Boys Basketball guard Jack Janicki spoke with The Gopher Hole, an online publication for Minnesota Gopher fans, about his junior season, summer training and college plans.
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.
School Board News
Upcoming School Board Meetings
Past Meeting Highlights
March 28 Work Session
March 14 Regular Meeting
February 28 Work Session