Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tree Planting Tomorrow Honors Social Studies Bob Ihrig’s 40 Years of Service as Teacher in Mankato

On Wednesday, June 4, at 2:00 p.m., there will be a tree planting ceremony to honor Social Studies Teacher Bob Ihrig’s 40 years of service as a teacher in Mankato Area Public Schools. For those interested in attending this ceremony, the tree will be planted toward the south side of the building on Stoltzman Avenue.

Ihrig’s 40 years of service at West have been rewarding. He said, “I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to serve the students, teachers, parents and community of District 77 as a classroom teacher, coach, and leader in curriculum and professional teacher activities. I have been allowed to use my talents and passion to make my mark and shape the lives of many. This has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I am not the same person I was 40 years ago when I started at West. It has been a wonderful journey that will be with me forever.”

Ihrig has particularly enjoyed the varied nature of teaching. He calls every day “a new adventure with opportunities and challenges to take on.” He appreciates the fact that boredom has never been an issue for him over the years. Ihrig said, ”I have truly enjoyed coming to West each day with anticipation and excitement about what would happen with students and colleagues.”

As Ihrig moves into retirement, he will remember both students and colleagues fondly. He explained, “The 6000+ students who have crossed my path during my 40 years will always be with me. I have been blessed to have taught and coached so many motivated and talented students in the classroom and in co-curricular activities. The opportunities to see them light up as they learn new knowledge and acquire new skills have been enriching.” Ihrig also has appreciated the “talented and fun-loving colleagues throughout the district” and said “the adult interaction has stimulated me over the years and added richness to my life.”

Leaving the classroom brings more freedom of time and schedule. Ihrig plans to spend more time with his wife, his five-month old grandson, his daughter and son-in-law, and his birth family in Switzerland and Germany. Additionally, he plans to travel around the United States to see both family and friends. Ihrig will continue working with the Minnesota State High School League as the manager of the state debate tournament and the assistant state speech tournament manager. He also plans to read, to cook, to be involved with his church, to judge speech, and to teach a debate class at Macalester College over the summer. Whatever the future holds for Ihrig, he would like “to take on new opportunities as well as maintaining current commitments that are important to me.”

For more information about the tree planting, call West High School at 387-3461.

Monday, June 2, 2014

West Fashion Students Travel to New York City

Recently, 13 students and 7 mothers went on a five-day fashion trip to New York City with Family and Consumer Science Teacher Laurie Hagberg. The group had the opportunity to tour the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), to see a Costume Vault and Textile Collection, and to go on a Fashion Accessories walking tour. The group also got to take a backstage tour of Radio City Music Hall and see theater performances of Wicked, Rocky, and Newsies. The group also was able to schedule time for individual preferences.

Hagberg said that the trip provides students with a way to experience historical sites and build self confidence while navigating the subway, map applications, and a large city. Junior Lynn Braun described the trip as “amazing” and enjoyed the experience of being in New York City. She said, “I learned how big the city of New York really is. It put a whole new perspective on our country’s size.” Braun also learned more about brand names in the fashion industry and sees these brands in a different way since she has returned from the trip.

The students and the chaperones gained a historical perspective on fashion. At the FIT, the group learned about how fashion has evolved from the 1900s to the present. This presentation deepened the perspective of both students and chaperones. Braun said, “I also learned how delicate clothing from the early nineteenth century was and the measures taken to protect the clothing.”  West English Teacher Sarah Kane went on the trip as a chaperone with her daughter, and Kane appreciated the guided tour of the FIT and seeing the different fashion silhouettes through the decades.

The guided tours and the experience of being in New York allowed students to learn in a different way. Hagberg enjoyed being a part of this experiential learning. She said, “Watching students become excited when they spot their class project designers' boutique and their decade represented during the Fashion Institute of Technology presentation are my favorite rewarding components of the trip.”

The students and chaperones enjoyed other parts of the cultural experience of New York. As someone with an interest in theater, Kane liked the plays the group saw. Kane said, “Mrs. Hagberg acquired great tickets, and the marvelous Gershwin Theater, set,and Broadway-quality actors made the production marvelous. We ended the night riding a plastic-enclosed, bike-pulled ‘taxi’ home through the pouring rain. It felt like we were on an amusement park ride.” Braun liked seeing famous places like the Empire State Building and Central Park. She said, “Taking the subway was fun as well because it’s the type of thing you would see in the movies.”

Students’ excitement from the trip continued when they returned back to school, and students frequently shared what they learned with their peers. Additionally, the students are proud to wear their “I love NY” t-shirts and hoodies.

Hagberg has been doing this trip for many years. Over the years, she has found that both students and chaperones remember the trip fondly. Hagberg said, ”Many years later when students or their parents stop me in public to talk about "that NY trip" is also gratifying.

The picture below shows the group at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Graduation Parking Information

We have arrived at our final week of school and a big week for the class of 2014!  For those who are attending Commencement on Wednesday, June 4, please be sure to park in lots 20, 21, 22 or 23 at MSU.  Commencement begins at 8 PM.

Handicap parking is also available as noted in the map below.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Home Activities and Events: June 2-June 7, 2014

Tuesday, June 3
• Final Exams Periods 1-4

Wednesday, June 4
• Last day of school!
• Final Exams Periods 5-7

• Graduation @ Minnesota State University - Mankato Taylor Center at 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Local Colleges Host Summer Learning Opportunities for Students in Grades 6-12 Register Through Mankato Community Education

If you are looking for ways to provide fun, unique and challenging learning opportunities for your student, there are some interesting local opportunities. Mankato Community Education / Recreation Department along with South Central College (the North Mankato Campus) and Minnesota State University-Mankato are offering a variety of academic summer programs for learners in grades 6-12.

South Central College offers the following opportunities: Architectural Design Camp for students in grades 10-12, Robotics Challenge Camp for students in grades 8-12, and Build Your Own Electric Guitar for students in grades 9-12. More information is posted on the flier below.

At Minnesota State University-Mankato, there are opportunities for students who have completed grades 6-8. The camps include: ZAP Camp Engineering where students work on hands-on engineering activities; ZAP Camp Mathematics where students take on challenging puzzles, problem-solving, and play strategic games; and ZAP Camp Robotics where students learn about robots in a fun, hands-on way. More information is posted on the flier below.

Registration information for any of these programs is located on the Mankato Community Education / Recreation Department website:  www.mankatocer.com (Community Education / Youth Development) or by calling the office at 507-387-5501.

Home Activities and Events: May 19–June 1, 2014

Tuesday, May 27
• Boys Varsity Baseball Section Team Tournament @ Hutchinson at 6:00 p.m.
• Boys Tennis Varsity Section Individual Tournament vs. 2AA @ Gustavus Adolphus College at TBD

Wednesday, May 28
• Boys Varsity Track & Field Section Tournament vs. 2AA @ Gustavus Adolphus College at 3:00 p.m.
• Girls Varsity Track & Field Section Tournament vs. 2AA @ Gustavus Adolphus College at 3:00 p.m.

Friday, May 30
• Boys Varsity Track & Field Section Tournament vs. 2AA @ Gustavus Adolphus College at 10:00 a.m.
• Girls Varsity Track & Field Section Tournament vs. 2AA @ Gustavus Adolphus College at 10:00 a.m.
• Choir Concert @ Mankato West Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 1

• Graduation Party Meeting @ Mankato West Cafeteria at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Final Exams Scheduled for June 3 and 4 Next Week (Seniors Will Take Exams for Hours 5-7 Prior to June 4)

As we approach the end of the school year semester, the time has come to plan for final exams, which are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, June 3 and 4.  Final exams for classes meeting during periods 1-4 will occur on Tuesday, June 3, and periods 5-7 on Wednesday, June 4.  There will also be a make-up period of time at the end of the day Wednesday for students who have work, tests, or other course required materials to finish before the end of the semester.  

Final Exam Schedule and Procedures

       Tuesday, June 3:                             Wednesday, June 4:
       Period 1: 8:15–9:35 (80)                  Period 5:   8:15–9:35 (80)
       Period 2: 9:45–11:05 (80)                  Period 6:   9:40–11:00 (80)
       Lunch:   11:05–12:15 (70)                Period 7:   11:05 –12:25 (80)*
       Period 3:  12:15–1:35 (80)                - Make Up Time 12:30–3:05
       Period 4: 1:45–3:05 (80)                  *Note: Busses run at regularly scheduled times     

1.  Each class will give a final exam or have a final project.  Students are expected to
attend all classes.
2.  Students are to stay in classrooms during the full 80-minute period.
3.  Study hall attendance is optional, but students in the building must report to their assigned room.
4.  All test rescheduling must be approved by the assistant principal.
5.  Busses run at their normally scheduled times.

Seniors, Graduation, and Expectations

Due to graduation practice on the morning of June 4, seniors will take final exams for periods 5-7 prior to June 4.  The testing dates and procedures will be arranged and communicated by the classroom teacher.

Seniors should make sure they know the following:
- Finals for periods 5-7 must be completed prior to the morning of Wednesday, June 4.
- Commencement Rehearsal is on June 4 from 9:00 -11:00 a.m. at MSU’s Taylor Center.
- Commencement is at 8:00 p.m. on June 4 at MSU’s Taylor Center.

Study Hall Attendance Optional and Good End-of-Year Decisions

Study hall attendance is optional during finals. All students who are in the building must report to their regular classes or study halls.  Also, please be aware that all students will have an OPEN campus lunch on both days of semester finals.  

We at West High School would like to encourage parents/guardians to visit with their student(s) about making good choices.  While on campus, students are expected to help maintain a quiet and appropriate testing environment.  Please discuss your plans and expectations with your student prior to final exams next week and do what you can to provide support for your child as they work hard and study for their final exams.  This is a great time to log in to the parent portal if you have not done so in a while to check to be sure your child has all missing work in.