On our campus, this is one of the busiest times for our extracurricular programs. When you have nearly 90% of your students involved with an extracurricular activity, certain times of the year are packed with opportunities for making great memories. This is the time of year where boys and girls basketball begin planning for the playoffs. We are looking forward to the playoffs this year as both teams are currently undefeated in district. Our wrestling team is focused on district, regional and the state tournaments. Our baseball and softball teams have begun their seasons as well with practices and scrimmaging. Our soccer teams have moved from tournament times to district play. We hope you take the time to take in a soccer match as we have two new head coaches, Darci Carruthers and James Baker, leading our student athletes. Boys and girls track begin their preparations for their seasons officially. Our robotics teams are looking forwards to state and national competitions. Our swim team will soon have their district swim meet as they look to defend or improve their boys’ and girls’ state runner-up finishes from last year. Our lacrosse and rugby clubs are in season as well. Our HST and CERT students are preparing for competition while Model United Nations, DECA and our Debate teams continue to compete and achieve at the highest levels. We currently have over 100 active student clubs at Westlake High School. We appreciate all the help from our parents and community who serve as volunteers, coaches and mentors that benefit our students daily. We also would like to thank our directors, coaches, sponsors and teachers who work so tirelessly to make all of our programs the best they can possibly be - this is a unique Westlake trait.
It’s musical time at Westlake High School. The musical extravaganza at Westlake High School is one of the events that separates our campus from many other campuses in the state. These high quality productions are at the highest levels in singing, dancing, and acting. Our tech theatre crew lights, arranges sound, and will even fly a few actors in this year’s performances. Over the years, we have performed Shrek, Cinderella, Westside Story, Beauty and the Beast, Bye-Bye Birdie, Music Man, The Wizard of Oz, and Mary Poppins. This year we will perform Anything Goes. Our thanks go to our fabulous choir directors: Ed Snouffer, Jenn Goodner, and Steve Sifner. Thanks to David Poole, Jeff Strange, Will Brooks and Michael Essad for their work in this fine production as well. Michael Essad, our new tech theatre teacher, has produced a magnificent set with our students. And we would like to thank all of our fabulous choir parents who put in countless hours to make this such a successful event. Tickets are on sale now!
What an interesting month of school due to our calendar and Mother Nature! Friday, January 26th, will be our first full week of the spring semester. It is difficult to grasp that next week we will be in the month of February. The month of February marks a new milestone for our seniors at WHS. The Class of 2018 is nearly 90% completed with their Westlake experience. This is the second time of the year where our seniors openly discuss the “lasts” they may experience. The latest “last” has been their last snow day. While we all mark dates and memories with events and special interactions, this group of seniors seems to enjoy the passing of certain “lasts “with a sincere nostalgia. It is never a “thank goodness it is over” but more of a reflective passing of a life event that will be remembered in its entirety. After our Senior Parent meeting on Monday evening, it is becoming clearer that this group has less than 80 days left at WHS. This is historically a fabulous time to check in with your senior about how life is going now. No need to discuss colleges and universities, but simply to visit about this weekend. Being mindful of the day to day goes a long way with seniors who constantly hear the mantra of their future endeavors.
One of the more energizing scenes to see on campus every year is the return of students after the Winter Break. There is pure joy in our students' eyes as they welcome each other back into each other’s lives. There are the loud hugs, the cool dude half hugs, the silly handshakes, and even the “run to each other” hug. The smiles are contagious, and it seems to be the one day where our kids are not worried about the normal teenage judgment in their friendship rituals. This day is also special for teachers since they have already developed relationships with our students unlike the first day of school. There are immediate conversations and discussions in the halls and classrooms about many things besides the new learning targets. This excitement is soon eroded by Thursday morning as the third day of getting back into the routine becomes a little laborious for all.
We are including some messaging and opportunities from the district and campus level about one of our main goals - SEL - Social Emotional Learning. We hope you take the time to read and explore the links provided.
Parents of Healthy Students (6-12)
Social-Awareness and caring for others is the EISD SEL focus for the third nine weeks. Empathy is being able to understand and value someone else’s perspective and having compassion for others even when they are different.
One of the ways parents can support their teens with tolerance and acceptance is to continue to have an open dialogue. “Providing messages that promote healthy self-esteem can go a long way to encourage [teens] to embrace differences in [themselves] and others”. We can also support our teens in understanding and accepting others by initiating conversations around relevant current issues. Our teens are watching and listening to how we treat others.
To learn more, read “Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice”.
We hope you have a wonderful three day weekend. Take care.
Steve Ramsey: WHS Principal Blog
Principal's Weekly Reflections