In Photos: Busy Bears
Discovery & Exploration
While Bear enjoyed exploring the great outdoors and playing in the snow over Spring Break, there were definitely times when Bear was thinking of warmer weather! We hope Bears of all ages had a safe and fun break away from the classroom and checked out the 2023 Spring Break video, which highlights a variety of responses staff members gave when asked what they're grateful for.
Several middle school and high school students spent their Spring Break exploring different countries as part of the Week Without Walls program. Week Without Walls is a multi-day trip to an international destination during which time students engage in experiential learning by partaking in service and activities. Nineteen middle school students and three staff members traveled to Costa Rica while thirteen high school students and two staff members visited Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.
Central Middle School students in AVID classes are being exposed to a number of different career options throughout the year. As seen in this video, students are listening to different guest speakers explain the industry they work for, the training and courses they completed and what their day-to-day job requires. Before Spring Break, students were visited by two professionals who work for Parks and Recreation.
Students in Lakeaires Elementary's Extended Day program have been learning and exploring together. Over the last few weeks, students have worked on different design and art projects, enjoyed playing outside, sledding and simply having fun together!
The White Bear Press recently interviewed Astronaut Josh Cassada, a 1991 WBLAHS grad, and the SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew about their mission aboard the International Space Station. The four Crew-5 astronauts have been living and working aboard the station since October 6, 2022 and are excepted to undock from the space station sometime in March.
Last year's WBLAS Teacher of the Year Mae Haley is one of 44 semifinalists in the running for the 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. Ms. Haley is a 4/5 grade teacher at Vadnais Heights Elementary. A panel will review the semifinalists’ portfolios again and select 10-12 finalists. Learn more about the process here.
Six WBLAS staff members were Glasrud Family Fellowships from The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation (WBLAEF). They include: Maggie Skatrud (North Star Elementary), Traci Indlecoffer (Lincoln Elementary), Todd Weinhold (Sunrise Park Middle School), Amber Rustand, Calli Moreau (Central Middle School), Jenna Vollmer (Normandy Park Education Center) and Denise Callen (Sunrise Park and Central Middle Schools). Read more about the recipients here. Fellowships are awarded to teachers for personal professional growth with the hope that these awards will allow teachers to pursue professional development which would otherwise not be possible.
The WBLAHS Speech team competed in the You Lucky Dog! Meet in St. Anthony Village. Sophomore Evie Olson took home an Honorable Mention ribbon in Prose. Freshman Jinet Demanou received a 6th place Next-in ribbon in Poetry. Senior Shahd Hagelsafy received a 5th place Next-in ribbon in Creative Expression. Junior Alexander Her received a 2nd place Next-in ribbon in Informative. Freshman Ethan Christensen took 3rd in Varsity in Drama, and Junior Captains Sanyu Mwassa and Mariam Elias-Danjuma were both champions in their respective categories of Drama and Prose. The team also took home the Small Teams Champion Award.
Love of Learning
Central Middle School's Knowledge Bowl Team concluded their competition season. Central entered two teams into four meets this year. One team took first place at regionals, then placed 5th at the State competition. As a member of Knowledge Bowl, Central students compete to show their knowledge of social studies, language arts, math, science, fine arts, and current events. Any student at Central can join the team.
Willow Lane Elementary students are enjoying an educational collaboration during the school year. Students have paired up with community members and district volunteers, who stop by each week to read with their buddy. The Reading Buddies program is helping students build confidence while forming important connections and it was featured in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
Local author Roxy Humphrey paid a visit to Otter Lake Elementary before Spring Break. She read two of her children's stories to students, explained her process for writing a book and answered questions. Ms. Humphrey has a special connection to Dean of Students, Leah Erickson, as she was her former teacher.
Lakeaires Extended Day students are getting ready to welcome in the Spring season. They made lightning bugs out of tealight candles and plastic eggs. Every month, students also create a mural. This month they chose the theme, lucky charms. Each student made their own name shamrock to display next to the large pot of gold.
The indoor walking track, located in the newly built field house at White Bear Lake Area High School - North Campus, is officially open for public use. Several community members were seen enjoying the track in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". The track is open from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday each week. Walking the indoor track is free to community members. Find more information here.
The WBLAHS - North Campus field house also hosted Community Services and Recreation boys and girls youth basketball games. The end of the season tournament was a huge hit in the new space with many athletes, families and coaches enjoying the multi-court facility. You can start making summer plans for you and your student(s). Registration is open for a variety of different summer activities and programs through White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Services & Recreation. Find more details here.
White Bear Lake Area High School students received new knowledge of theatre productions after attending Gustavus Adolphus College's Theatre Day. The program offers high school students from across the state a taste of the collegiate theatre experience. Students took part in a variety of performances and technical workshops with Gustavus students and professors. Learn more about the program here.
While junior Gracyn Lehner was competing in her first State Gymnastics meet, two White Bear Lake Area High School violinists, Lauren Collier and Kaylee Zimmerman, once again performed the National Anthem at the Girls State High School Gymnastics Meet. The seniors did such an amazing job performing at last year’s meet, they were highly requested to perform again this year.
Mark Your Calendars
Thank Goodness It's Food is returning to the Senior Center! Enjoy a meal from Donatelli's on Friday, March 17 and Carbonne's on Friday, April 28. Both meals will have seating at 4:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Event registration can be found here.
WBLAS Community Services and Recreation will be hosting Pickleball Camps in the field house at White Bear Lake Area High School - North Campus on Tuesdays in March, May, June, July and August. Find more details and registration here.
The Boys Hockey Team ended their season 20-6 after a loss to Gentry Academy in the Section semifinals. The Bears were also the Suburban East Conference champions. The Girls Basketball Team finished their season 22-5 advancing to the semi finals of the Section 4AAAA tournament. Find a recap here. The Speech Team took home a first place team award and several individual awards at a recent meet.
This year White Bear Lake Area High School, along with every school in the Suburban East Conference (SEC) is going to online-only ticket sales for all varsity sporting events. All conference schools have partnered with Hometown Ticketing to make it easier for spectators. The easiest way to access our online tickets is by downloading the Hometown Ticketing App or you can access and purchase tickets to our home events by clicking here. An alternate way to view home games is by purchasing adult and/or student pass(es).
Senior community members (age 65+) who live in the District are invited to participate in the Senior Activities Pass program and enjoy complimentary admission to most school activities. Find out how to receive your free pass here.
Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.
The Week in 62.4 Seconds
School Board News
Upcoming School Board Meetings
At the November 13, 2023 School Board Regular Meeting, the School Board approved the following calendars:
- 2024-25 Academic Calendar
- 2025-26 Academic Calendar
At the February 13, 2023 School Board Regular Meeting, the White Bear Lake Area School Board approved a committee’s recommendation to change the name of Sunrise Park Middle School when it moves from the Sunrise Park neighborhood to the current White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus building in the fall of 2024. The new name, Mariner Middle School, is a nod to the District’s past.
At the August 8, 2022 School Board meeting, the Board heard an update of the District's Strategic Planning process and approved four updated strategies.
At the March 28, 2022 School Board Work Session, the White Bear Lake Area School Board unanimously approved a Resolution Supporting Commitment to Equity and Inclusion.
The district’s plan for changed attendance boundaries was approved at the Feb. 14, 2022 Regular School Board Meeting.
At its August 12 regular meeting, the White Bear Lake Area School Board approved two purchase agreements for land in Hugo that recently became available.