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News and Notes

News and Notes: 4.11

To Be or Not To Be…. A School Board Member

January is School Board Appreciation Month.  Probably not on a lot calendars, right?  January is a month where people try to stick to New Year’s resolutions. They don’t think about legal resolutions.  The members of the WLPS Board of Education (BOE) get to do both (without a lot of credit for the latter.)  But, it is credit that should be given because it is not a job that comes with a ton of perks…none, really.  So, why serve?

The WLPS BOE serves because of their collectively care for the children in this community.  They give up time with their own families, leave work early, take calls on weekends, and read countless emails from the superintendent in an effort to make our schools as strong as possible.  It is a commitment, to say the least.  I will gladly add, though, that this Board has been a successful group of leaders.  Many of them are relatively new to the job but their commitment to the community has overshadowed any inexperience.  Here is a quick list of accomplishments they have under their belts:

  • Passed a budget for the 2018 school year with over $1 million in fund equity.
  • Kept low class sizes a priority at the early education levels
  • Added foreign language to the WLES
  • Added two AP courses to WLHS
  • Adopted a cutting-edge curriculum in science and history at the middle school level
  • Invested in new technologies for the first significant overhaul of machines since 2004!

Not bad, right?  If you agree and have the opportunity, tell them thanks for making today a great day to be a Trojan.

WLPS BOE Members:

KEN DIGNAN
LAURA SCHWENNESEN
BOB HENRY
MICHELLE KRITZMAN
LEE COLE
LISA MCCULLY
JOHN MEADOWS JR.

 Alumni Spotlight

Pamela (Millard) Gossiaux

WLHS Class of 1985

University of Michigan, 1989, BA, double major in English Language and Literature and Creative Writing

My experience at Whitmore Lake Public Schools was a great stepping stone to achieving the life that I wanted. Our school was small, and because of that, I had a lot of individual attention from teachers. We had a tremendous teaching staff and wonderful librarian all the way through, and I especially appreciate how devoted they were to us. They cared a great deal about us and went out of their way to make sure we had a good education. We are one of the few graduating classes I know of that keeps in touch with their teachers, befriends them on Facebook, and hangs out with them, etc. some 30+ years later! I would name names, but I’m sure I would miss somebody!

I am very blessed to have been a part of such a wonderful community and am thankful that I can still keep in touch with them. I received a good education, but more than that, I became a better person because of their encouragement and belief in me.

Reading and writing are my passions, and when people ask me what I do, I am thrilled that I can include those two loves into my job description. I am a published author and speaker, but I also have my own business where I wear many hats, working as a freelance writer, editor, marketing consultant, ghostwriter and author shepherd. I was a reporter for the Ann Arbor News for 20+ years, both on-staff and as a freelance writer, where I won numerous awards. I have published five books. Two of them were with a publisher, one was self-published, and the last two were released through my own publishing company. I formed that in 2016 and have a contracted staff of copy editors, book cover artists, and formatters. I also teach writing workshops. Marketing is another interest of mine, and I volunteered as the public relations chair at a non-profit for eight years, as well as the PR person at an equine-assisted therapy center.

I love my jobs and am blessed to enjoy “going to work” every day! I have several more books coming out this year. In my spare time, I foster kittens for the Huron Valley Humane Society and volunteer in our school, church, and community.

I just released a new book, an inspirational romance with a bit of mystery. The book is called Mrs. Chartwell and the Cat Burglar and is available at any brick-and-mortar bookstore or online through Amazon or other retailers. To read more about it, visit my website www.PamelaGossiaux.com.

Achievements

  • Various creative writing awards at collegiate and professional level
  • Associated Press Michigan state-wide award for journalism

Community Involvement

  • School and church volunteer

Are you, or do you know, a Trojan alumni making WLPS proud? E-mail maria.carter-ewald@wlps.net. We would love to hear from you!

Rachel Speck: MVP

Rachel Speck blocks the volleyball during a game at Jackson Lumen Christi Catholic School.
Rachel Speck blocks the ball at the Jackson Lumen Christi Catholic School, Tuesday, November 7, 2017. (Claire Abendroth | Mlive.com)

This past weekend our very own WLHS junior, Rachel Speck, attended the Prepvolleyball.com Unsigned Showcase in Cleveland where she was named the Session 2 MVP.

In addition to playing for WLHS, Speck plays for the Michigan Elite East U17 team, which was in Cleveland competing in the JVA Rock ‘N’ Rumble Volleyball tournament. Any players competing in the tournament were invited to participate in the showcase.

160 college hopefuls from the classes of 2018-2021 were broken into two sessions. During the showcase players ran through a variety of skill tests where 50 college coaches evaluated them. Parents could attend recruiting seminars as well. And at the end of the event, player’s information and results were made available to every college in the country. To top that, video footage of the entire event is made available to any coach for free. Not only will the coaches at the event be exposed to Speck’s skills, but coaches all over the world will have a chance to witness her talent.

Kathy Coleman, WLHS Varsity Volleyball coach said the coaches in attendance at events like these are looking to find players to fit their teams two years from now, and it is prime-time recruiting season.

According to PrepVolleyball.com co-founder, John Tawa, Speck was called “the best we saw” by coaches. Coleman isn’t the least surprised at the recognition Speck received, calling it well-deserved.  

Rachel Speck spiking the ball at the JVA Rock ‘N’ Rumble Volleyball tournament (Connie Speck)

“I would say that Rachel is the best volleyball player to ever go through WL. She has the gift of height, but she works hard to get the full potential out of it.  Last year she was a main force on our team and definitely was key to our success.  She is consistently the ‘best middle on the floor.’,” said Coleman.  “Rachel takes on the best players of the opposing teams and shuts them down.”

Speck adds the MVP title to a list of her accomplishments, including breaking the WLHS single-season blocks record this past fall and leading the entire state of Michigan for Class C hitting percentage!

“[Volleyball] is like an escape. While I’m playing it, I forget everything and just have fun!” Speck said. And her joy for the game consistently shines through.

Next season looks just as bright. Though Speck said they are losing some valuable seniors this year, she is confident next year’s WLHS season will be successful, possibly leading to another district title.

And Coach Coleman agrees. “I’m just really proud of all the work she has put into it and gone after what she wants.  She wants to play in college, and there is little doubt in my mind that she will.  It’s just a matter of where.”

We all are excited to witness the bright future ahead of this student-athlete. We commend her for all her hard work, dedication and congratulate her on the recognition she has received for it thus far. I have the feeling it is only the beginning. #TrojanPride

You can read the article written by Tawa HERE.

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