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News and Notes

News and Notes: Cool Things

Tom DeKeyser, Superintendent and WLMS/HS Principal

I am going to jump right to some of the cool stuff that has happened this week and, then, end with some information on book and technology collection.  

Cool Thing #1

Mrs. Sue Wanamaker, Principal of Whitmore Lake Elementary School, announced her retirement earlier this year.  However, an appropriate celebration with staff and students was not possible this year.  Mrs. Wanamaker, while saddened about the manner in which the year ended, took all of it in stride with her usual positive attitude.  She was quick to praise the collegiality of WLPS when her staff applauded her last night.  Reminding her wonderful staff not to take for granted how special it is to work in a small district like WLPS where we put the people first.  

I offer the praise right back to Mrs. Wanamaker.  Her professionalism, loyalty, and dedication to the WLPS family has always impressed me.  She joined WLPS 15 years ago as an Early Childhood Director.  Later, she served as an assistant principal at the middle school level.  In 2015, I promoted her to WLES principal and ECC Director.  She took on that dual role with the valor I had come to expect. Not one to ever complain, she put her incredible work ethic to good use and got the job done.  I am proud to have had the opportunity to work so closely with such a person.  

On behalf of the WLPS Board of Education, staff, students, and the WL community, I offer a huge thank you to Mrs. Wanamaker.   And, a restful month of retirement in a couple of weeks. 

Cool Thing #2

6th Grade Driveway Clap-Out was not something the staff of WLES was planning this year but it was a fitting end to the 6th-grade year.  And, it was very cool.  The staff, led by retiring principal, Mrs. Wanamaker, put together a grand send-off to this year’s 6th graders.  

“Maybe it was the nice weather and the music, but my guess it was the joy on the faces of the teachers and the student that was so inspiring I couldn’t get the smile off my face.  We are looking forward to having the Class of 2026 join our traditions at WLHS next year.   

Cool Thing #3

Middle School and undergraduate academic department awards are traditionally done the day after graduation.  Even though we’ve postponed graduation to June 28 this year, that didn’t stop the staff from hosting this traditional event virtually.  It is always nice to bring the school together for this event where we emphasize effort and performance.  However, I found it pretty cool to see the people in the background as students accepted the recognition.  It was like a family event and a school event at the same time.  

Thank you to Ms. Henry and Ms. Timmins for the work done to organize all of it.  Thank you to the staff who offered high praise to several students.  Thank you to the students who put in so much effort this year.  None of the students who earned these honors took a break during our distant learning phase of the year.  And that fact requires me to thank the families of these students.  This distant learning plan was truly a partnership– unexpected but cool partnership. 

You can view a complete list of middle school award winners HERE and a complete list of high school award winners HERE

(Honor Roll and academic letters will be awarded during Trojan Time in the fall, per usual.) 

Cool Thing #4

On Monday, June 1, Gov. Whitmer announced that Michigan was moving to Phase 4 of the Start Safe plan.  That was a cool thing to do.  This relaxation of the stay home order allowed me to quickly begin planning an outdoor graduation.  We are still planning on doing it on June 28, but we will be able to bring the graduates to our football stadium so they can be together…with proper distancing, of course. 

WLHS staff have done some pretty cool things to try to offset the abrupt and unfortunate way the Class of 2020 had to end their year.  Seniors were adopted, yard signs were made, stadium lights were lit, virtual Decision Day assemblies were created, but, I know they are really looking forward to a graduation, which we will have.  Rehearsal is planned for Friday, June 26, 12:00 to 1:30 PM.  

Cool Information

  • Cap/Gown pick up was done this week.  If any senior was unable to make it, please reach out to Lisa Ely (lisa.ely@wlps.net) to make an appointment.
  • MS/HS materials return is being planned for Monday, June 8 from 12:00 to 4:00 PM. 
  • Technology devices that were issued during distance learning K-12 should be dropped off at Whitmore Lake High School during the following days and times.
    • June 8 from 12:00 to 4:00 PM
    • June 15 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    • June 22 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM
  • High School yearbooks are ready for pick up on June 8, as well.  If you ordered one, Ms. Betz will be available to distribute from 12:00-4:00 PM.
  • Finally, I am hosting a Zoom meeting tomorrow at 11:00 AM ( Zoom Q and A ) for parents who have questions about next year and plans WLPS is making for school this fall.  Note:  We are planning on starting school August 31 and will be implementing an assortment of new procedures aimed at keeping our students and staff safe.  The meeting is limited to 100 participants but a recording will be made available.  

We will be sending reminders to parents and students about many activities mentioned above.  Thank you for your patience and support as we wrap up the 2019-20 school year.  

5 responses to “News and Notes: Cool Things

  1. I was on the project graduation committee to raise money for Senior night and since that didn’t happen I am wondering what will be done with the money? A bunch of us that were on the committee thought that splitting up the money and giving them each a gift card would be the best way. We also heard that the money might be passed down to another class. All of us disagree that this is not the best way since all of the fund raising was done by parents of seniors plus I know my company donated money in Bella’s honor and if they had known it was for another class they probably wouldn’t have donated. If there has been a decision please let us know. Thanks,

    1. Hi Shelley, Project Graduation is a parent ran organization. The district does not oversee the funds or decide how they are used. We would recommend you get in touch with the Project Graduation board to voice your opinion.

  2. Do you know when the district administration office will reopen as well as the transportation department? I’m only asking because I’m interested in applying for the substitute bus driver job and would like to get more information in person.

    1. Hi Charlie,

      You can give the administration office a call at 734.449.4464 to get more information on sub bus driving positions or information on when they are opening offices to the public.

  3. Hi Shelli.
    Plans are being made to use the funds for an event for the Class of 2020. An email communication will be coming home to seniors soon from the Project graduation board.

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