Tag: Trojan Tribune
By Trojan Tribune Editor Krista Logelin.
Local radio station B96, Lizzie Rahm (11), and WHS Family and Consumer Sciences teachers surprised Heather (12) and Stephanie (12) Wright with Christmas presents at the Wright’s home last Tuesday after Rahm nominated the twin sisters for B96’s Breaking and Entering Christmas.
Breaking and Entering Christmas surprises struggling families with gifts during the holiday season. Rahm sent B96 an e-mail nominating Heather and Stephanie because they would otherwise have not had received Christmas gifts.
Stephanie and Heather work as much as they can every day to pay for their own food and help with the bills because their mom does not have much money.
“They deserve this because they go to a school where labels are often a big thing,” said Rahm. “And it’s not just that; everyone wants a Christmas.”
It has been three years since Heather and Stephanie have been able to afford Christmas presents. “These girls pay for their house. They’re working very hard, yet they have not had a Christmas in three years.”
B96 eventually contacted Rahm to tell her that the Wrights were one of the ten families selected to receive the Breaking and Entering Christmas. When they were chosen, Rahm said she began planning the surprise with Personal and Family Issues teacher Anna Olson and the radio station. Olson called Stephanie and Heather’s bosses at work to get them the day off on Tuesday. Rahm invited the sisters to open her presents for them on that day. B96 went out and spent near $1000 on warm clothes, lotions, perfumes, and boots for the twins.
Tuesday afternoon, Rahm stalled after school in the Yearbook Room long enough for the B96 to drive through the snowy traffic and set up at Heather and Stephanie’s home. The sisters were still under the impression that they were exchanging presents with Rahm after school but that she was getting held up at Yearbook.
“I saw some guy with a video camera in my house when I walked in,” said Stephanie. “I was like ‘Who’s in my house!’”
The man she saw was B96 DJ Tone E. Fly accompanied by Danni Starr and their video crew. Stephanie and Heather’s grandma was sitting on the couch with the girls’ mom on the phone. Miss Hanley, Mrs. Olson, Miss Lejonvarn, and Mr. McNiel were there, too.
“It was a huge surprise!” said Heather. “I am so grateful to have a friend like Lizzy.”
“For them to get a Christmas,” said Rahm, “I know it made their entire year. It was good to see them and how happy they were. That is what made my Christmas this year.”
Rahm said that students at WHS should keep their eyes out for people less fortunate. “You don’t need to do something as big as I did. Just be their friend!” she said.
Miss Olson said her favorite part of the whole event was seeing Stephanie open her new winter coat. Everyone in the room cried as Stephanie rejoiced for having a coat for the first time in two years. “I knew she wanted one and I couldn’t afford it,” said Heather. “Seeing her so happy was the past part for me.”
“The girls are so resilient,” said Miss Olson. “They’re both going to succeed in life. I have the utmost confidence.”
Second year Trojet Dance Team captain Vanessa Iorio recently became Miss Dance Team Minnesota 2008.In 2007 Iorio was the runner-up and this year successfully went for the gold. Iorio competed against eighty girls in grades nine through twelve from morning until dusk on Sunday, October 26th. “There has not been a lot of Wayzata people that have done this, and I really wanted to represent our two-time state champs dance team.” Iorio said. Iorio’s friend Amy Quanbeck won the competition in 2006 and her other friend from Maple Grove, Kia Hill, won last year. After having being in it for a year and having friends in it, Vanessa new what to expect this year. “Last year my modeling was probably my weakest component so I worked hard at it for this year.” Iorio said.The competition consists of three parts; an interview, modeling, and a solo dance. Contestants started off their day with an interview in a quiet room with fifteen judges. The girls get a minute to think about the question they are asked, then must respond to the judges. “This years question was easier than last years,” Iorio said, “I had to describe my most favorite dance performance compared to last years explanation of why dance team is a sport and how my team represents that.”The modeling and solo is done in front of the fifteen judges and a large audience. “You model five different dance skills in a shape of a star,” Iorio said, “so they call it a skill star.” Vanessa performed her solo to an a Capella version of I am Every Woman by Whitney Houston.Wayzata.com is your Wayzata student wins Miss Dance Team leader.
Aaron Wong (12) started this group during the second semester of his junior year after he was inspired by a WHS graduate Huy Nguyen and Tony Moua (12).Although this dance group is not an official WHS club, Wong is enthusiastic in getting new and younger students like Johnny Lu (10) and Ty Hintzman (9) to join his dance group. “I think it’s great, it’s a fun way to express ourselves,” said Ty Hintzman (9). According to Hintzman, the group is described as a “blender” where everyone brings in their own unique styles to the table. Hintzman says the group holds dance-off or “battles” which provides a chance for each member to show off their best moves and provides an opportunity for other members to learn new moves. According to Wong, the group prefers students who already have basic background in dancing as dance lessons will not be offered, but if basically everyone is welcomed to join the group. “It’s not like ballet or something,” said Wong “If you learn from an instructor, you will be learning their style, not creating your own.”Wayzata.com is your break dancing at Wayzata High School leader.
Wayzata High School assembled freshmen into teams in 2006. The original team was about 120 students. In 2007 they expanded into having two teams with about 120 students each.
This year there are about 540 freshmen among four teams.
The eventual goal of administration and school board is to put every freshman on a team. The purpose of this is to help ease the transition into high school.
Teamed students have math and science together in one semester, communications and civics in the other.
Being on a team for Nelson Hunstad (9) is extremely helpful considering he is new to the district this year. “It gives you a chance to get to know a community of people better,” Hunstad said.
Math and science team Mr. Oden and Ms. Campbell are find the team setup ideal. “We complement each other. We’re both focused on what’s best for the students,” said Mr. Oden.
For the majority the classes have the same people in them which help students build a stronger bond, according to Oden. “It gets you in your own crew of friends and lets you rely on people,” said Kevin Donlin (9).
Most students that were on a team in the past have said that they were glad they were, including Emily Doss (10). “Since the teachers were together, it made it a lot easier since the teachers both know what the other is teaching. Transitioning to high school was easier since the teachers were close,” said Doss.
“I think it is a huge benefit to see the math and science connection,” said Oden.
Shannon Hamer (11) was on a team in 2006 and disliked it. “I was with the same people for half the day so I didn’t get to meet as many people,” said Hamer. She switched out of being on a team by second semester because she didn’t want to have classes with the same people.
Not everyone is put onto a team, but the goal is to fit as many students onto a team as possible. The teams are set according to the classes the students have selected.
Currently, data is being collected on the success of students that have been on teams.
Administration and the school board want to decrease the amount of struggling students. If a student is struggling, being on a team will help identify them more quickly, they said.
WHS gym teacher, Nancy Icopini’s long lasting dream of creating a ropes course for physical education students has finally come true this summer.
In January 2007, Icopini wrote a grant named ‘Physical Education, Science, and engineering Students in an Interdisciplinary Approach to Creating Curriculum – and Fun’ from the WHS Education Foundation to create the course. The ropes course totaled about thirty thousand dollars.
“It took a lot of time but every minute was worth it… everything we hoped it would be and I think it’ll add so many opportunities for the students to challenge themselves physically and emotionally,” said Icopini.
The dynamic course has seven elements as well as the static course which includes the dangle duo. There are team building activities such as balance and trust on the low elements throughout the woods.
In the static side, students are “connected to a cable running above each element with ‘sling-lines and lobster claws’ that attach to their harness,” said Icopini. “The Dynamic side is used by students who know how to do top-rope belaying as in rock climbing. Each climber is belayed to a partner on the ground walking under the element,” said Icopini.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking the first time but after you go up its pretty easy after that,” said Brandon Dorn (9). Leanna Krautkremer (9) agrees that it was “scary at first but it was a good experience. It’s scary at the top when you’re looking down.”
PJ McCourtney (9) said “it was an exhilarating experience.”
Shibaree Stirckland (9) on the other hand did not enjoy the course. “I didn’t like it because of the equipment. I wasn’t sure if it was tight enough… I was just scared.”
“What made this project unique is that it incorporated students from Engineering, Physics, and Outdoor Education in the design process. Students can explore many different physics concepts as they participate in the Challenge Course activities,” said Icopini.
In winter of 2007, a team of students from the Outdoor Education, Engineering, and Physics classes met to design the course and where to build it. Later in the spring, the team designed a storage shed to prevent vandalism and protect the gear.
A group of about 20 students, alumni, staff, and community members helped with the creation of the ropes course over the summer.
Icopini teaches ninth grade physical education alternating everyday with Avid. She also teaches Outdoor Education and Lifetime Activities. All of these classes get to use the ropes course.
Brad Olson, Social Studies teacher at WHS, won $25,000 on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”. His show aired on Thursday November 6th but he was only able to answer three questions before the buzzer and his show was finished on Friday.
To win the $25,000 Olson used his “Phone A Friend” lifeline to call his brother-in-law Ray who wasn’t able to give him a definite answer and so he used his “Double Dip” lifeline to win the question.
Olson used his “Ask the Expert” lifeline on his $16,000 question. The expert for that week was Ken Jennings, game show legend from Jeopardy.
He said that if he won big on “Millionaire,”he would pay for Ella’s medical bills and purchase a home.
His daughter Ella was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder when she was just an infant and has hadto have many surgeries. To compensate for the medical bills Olson and his wife, Mary-Kay, had to sell their house and are currently living at a friends house,who is away for a year.
It was the $50,000 question that landed Olson his still big winnings of $25,000. The question was ““Diaphoresis” is a fancy medical term for what common condition, which might be triggered by a difficult trivia question? A: Nail biting, B: Light headedness, C: Teeth grinding, D: Excessive sweating.” Olson’s final was B. but unfortunately the answer was D. Excessive Sweating.
The missing Wayzata High School girls swim team’s suits were found on Monday, November 3rd. “The cleaning staff found the suits,” said Kelsey Miller (12). The swimsuits were discovered stashed in the ceiling rafters of the team’s locker room at Lifetime Fitness in Plymouth.
The team discovered thirty-four swimsuits, along with several swim caps and goggles, missing on September 9th. The straps of the swimsuits were locked into the combination locks after the previous practice before they were stolen. Some lockers were also broken into.
“Most people do not even know that our locker room exists. We filed a police report but have not heard anything back yet,” said captain, Emma Cisneros (12).
“Most [swimsuits] were cut. There were very few that were not cut,” said Alex Alviani (9). The missing swim caps and goggles were not recovered.
When asked what role Lifetime Fitness played Miller answered, “[I’m] not really sure. They were going through the surveillance tapes.”
“[Lifetime] says they have no liability at all for stolen items,” said Cisneros.
The swim team learned a valuable lesson through this experience. “Some girls bring their own locks and some do not leave their suits, etc. there anymore. We got new locks on the door and the door is always locked when we are not there at practice,” said Cisneros.
Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights. In simpler terms, it is an organization that works to improve human rights around the world. Amnesty International’s mission is to conduct research and generate action to end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated. Club leader, Mo Pro teacher Amanda Craven said, “It is a group that works with helping to bring awareness to human rights violations around the world.” There are more than 2.2 million members worldwide in more than 150 countries.Among many other things, Amnesty International takes action to stop violence against women, oppose torture, combat terror, protect rights of refugees, and abolish the death penalty. This is achieved by public demonstrations, letter writing campaigns, human rights education, email petitions, and direct lobbying.At WHS students interested in this idea and the protection of human rights have started their own club, Amnesty International. The club meets once a week usually on Thursdays at 6:45.Craven says the goal of the club is to, “Motivate people to fight for a change when it comes to human rights violations.” She also says the best thing about advising the club is, “Seeing students passionate about people they have never met and taking on a topic they are truly interested in.”Connor Swenson (12), who joined the club last year, had a personal experience that made him want to join. “At a seminar presented at my old school, Benilde-St.Margarets, I learned about the Rwanda genocide in 1993 where 1 million people lost their lives in just 100 days. This had a powerful effect on me and is one of the main reasons I joined the club.” Swenson also says, “It’s also nice to meet other real people with interest in global issues, especially human rights and to have meaningful conversations with them.”Amnesty International started in the 1960s when two Portuguese students were sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for raising a toast to freedom. Peter Benenson of Great Britain heard this story and called for an international campaign for amnesty, calling people everywhere to protest against imprisonment of men and women for their political and religious beliefs.If you would like to get involved in Amnesty International you can donate money at http://www.amnesty.or/en/donate, go to their home page and work with Amnesty International by volunteering, or join the club at Wayzata High School.
By Kelsey Merriam. The incident occurred at the Wayzata High School girls swim team’s locker room at Lifetime Fitness in Plymouth, in late September. After practice on a Saturday morning, the swimmers locked the strap of their swimsuits into the combination locks; this is done regularly to allow for air-drying. They arrived Monday and found all the swimsuits missing. “The team initially thought I was doing it as a prank. I don’t know why. I was angry,” said Coach Elizabeth Miles.The original assumption was that someone cut the swimsuits; upon later investigation the team could not find additional swimsuits, swim caps, and goggles kept inside the lockers. Nothing appeared wrong with the locks. “All of my suits inside [my locker] were stolen…,” Alex Alviani (10) said. “…People had gotten into the lockers,” said Miles. “The people had also taken shampoo and squirted it all over toilet seats.”“It is still under investigation. We’re reviewing surveillance video and trying to identify suspects. I wish I could give you more information, but that is where it is at,” said WHS Resource Officer Michael Passig. “They are reviewing tapes, but they can not fast forward. They have to watch it in real time, so that is like sixteen hours worth of tape,” said captain, Emma Cisneros (12).“Everyone was really surprised. This is my fourth year and nothing has ever been stolen,” said captain, Rachel Path (12). The swimmers checked the lost and found at Lifetime and found nothing. “We were really shocked. Some girls were crying, and suits are pretty expensive. We were really mad and wanted to figure out who did it,” said Cisneros. Due to cleaning, the locker room was left unlocked when the team arrived Monday. Now the coach is the only one with a key, “Even us, captains, are not allowed to have a key,” added Cisneros.Although the locker room is designated for WHS swimmers, divers, synchronized swimmers, and coaches exclusively, any member of Lifetime can enter the pool area and potentially sneak in. “[The theft] may not even be school related. The police have not told me anything,” said Miles. “Who would want thirty-four used swimsuits? That is disgusting,” she said.Published as part of the Trojan Tribune / Wayzata.com content sharing program.