Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shealyn Kawlewski Earns Third Place in State Speech Tournament

Earlier in April, junior Shealyn Kawlewski placed third in the Minnesota State High School League State Speech Tournament held in Blaine. She competed in the category of Extemporaneous Reading.



This trip to the state tournament was Kawlewski’s second time at the state tournament. The first time Kawlewski competed, she was a freshman. In order to place at the tournament, Kawlewski competed in three rounds of competition. The top eight students then earned places in a final round where the students competed to earn their places in the state competition.

Making this final round of competition was one of Kawlewski’s goals. She said,”My freshman year I had made it to state, and I was hoping this year that I broke finals.” Kawlewski was eating lunch when she found out she made final round, and she was glad to celebrate with friends she has made while competing in speech, her mom, and Head Speech Coach Kris Lindvall.

Lindvall was proud of Kawlewski’s success. She said, “I was thrilled for Shealyn when she advanced to finals because she worked so hard this season. Getting into the final round at state is very difficult to do, so this was an acknowledgement of all of her efforts this year.”

In Extemporaneous Reading, competitors choose to compete in poetry or prose. Kawlewski competes in prose where she is given a book of 17 short stories or excerpts from books that she is to have read and analyzed. Once Kawlewski gets to a tournament, she draws three random cuttings from these stories. She explained, “At each speech meet, I draw three titles a half hour before I perform, and I choose one of those titles in which I am judged on facial expressions, delivery, interpretation, gestures, and vocal inflection. I also have to include a memorized introduction to the piece which I wrote myself which encompasses the theme of the piece and/or addresses the plot.”

Kawlewski likes the variety of stories in Extemporaneous Reading and the opportunity to use parts of her theater background. She said, “I love Extemp. Reading because it's just like reading a story to someone and being judged on how well you can enchant the audience. It also reminds me a little of auditioning for a play, which I always have fun with!”

In fact, Kawlewski had to perform first in the final round of competition because she had to be back at West to perform in the spring play. As a result, Kawleski missed the awards ceremony. Luckily, she had a good friend who kept checking the Minnesota State High School League website for the postings and eventually told Kawlewski she took third. As soon as the results were posted, the play’s cast, crew, and costumers came into the dressing room to congratulate Kawlewski and celebrate her success.

While competing at state was certainly a highlight of the season for Kawlewski, she has other fond memories of the season. She said, “One of my favorite parts of speech is the draw room. I love the draw room so much because it's a bunch of goofy speech kids who are sitting in room about to be extremely stressed out for thirty minutes while they prepare a speech, but have fun the rest of the tournament. Some of the coolest people are in the draw room and some great discussions (as well as hilarious ones) ensue.”

Congratulations, Shealyn, for your success at state!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Home Activities and Events: April 21-26, 2014

Monday, April 21
• Boys Varsity Golf Match vs. Faribault @ Mankato Country Club at 2:30 p.m.
• Girls Varsity Golf Match vs. Rochester John Marshall @ Mankato Northlinks Golf Course at 2:30 p.m.
• Boys Varsity Baseball Game vs. Rochester Mayo @ Mankato Franklin Rogers Field at 5:00 p.m.
• Boys JV Baseball Game vs. Rochester Mayo  @ Mankato West High School Field at 5:00 p.m.
• Boys C Baseball Game vs. Rochester Mayo  @ Mankato West High School Field #2 at 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 22
• Varsity Adaptive Bowling Match vs. North Branch @ Mankato WOW! Zone at 3:45 p.m.
• Boys JV Tennis Match vs. Faribault @ Minnesota State University-Mankato Tennis Courts at 4:30 p.m.
• Boys Varsity Tennis Match vs. Faribault @ Mankato West High School Tennis Courts at 4:30 p.m.
• Girls Varsity Track and Field Meet vs. Mankato East and Rochester John Marshall @ Mankato East High School Track at 4:30 p.m.
• Girls JV Softball Game vs. Albert Lea @ Mankato Sibley Park Field #1 at 5:00 p.m.
• Girls C Softball Game vs. Albert Lea @ Mankato Sibley Park Field #2 at 5:00 p.m.
• Girls Varsity Softball Game vs. Albert Lea @ Mankato West High School Field #1 at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 24
• Varsity Adaptive Bowling Match vs. Alexandria @ Mankato WOW! Zone at 3:45 p.m.
• Boys Varsity Tennis Match vs. New Prague @ Mankato West High School Tennis Courts at 4:15 p.m.
• Boys JV Tennis Match vs. New Prague @ Minnesota State University-Mankato Tennis Courts at 4:30 p.m.

Friday, April 25
• Boys C Baseball Game vs. Mankato East @ Mankato East High School Field at 4:30 p.m.
• Boys JV Baseball Game vs. Mankato East @ Mankato East High School Field at 4:30 p.m.
• Boys Varsity Baseball Game vs. Mankato East @ Mankato East High School Field  at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 26

• Prom @ Mankato West High School: Doors Open at 6:00 p.m., Grand March at 7:00 p.m. in Mankato West Auditorium, and Dance in West Gymnasium after the Grand March

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Come Learn About The Minnesota Student Survey Results on April 22: A Time to Review and Encourage Responsible Decision Making in our Youth

On Tuesday, April 22, our community will come together at 7:00 p.m. in the Conference Center of South Central College to take time to look at the results of the Minnesota Student Survey.  This survey gives adults a candid look into the types of decisions teens have to make and what decisions teens are making.

Teens make these decisions on a daily basis, and these decisions impact teens lives in myriad ways. Sometimes, adults understand the decisions teens make, and other times, adults need to know more about teens’ lives. At this meeting, we will celebrate good choices that teens make and discuss what we can do to encourage teens to make those choices.  

As part of this evening, we will have a report from the Mankato area Drug Task Force, and a panel of people who work with our youth every day to promote responsible decision-making.  There will be an opportunity to ask your questions and gain ideas as to what we all can do as a community to support our youth. That night will also include a question and answer session that features school counselors, social workers, liaison officers, and psychologists.  

This meeting comes at an important time in the year. As we enter the spring season, our young people have many opportunities to enjoy various events our community has to offer.  These events include spring sports, spring concerts, spring plays, proms, and, of course, graduation.  With such events comes much excitement, celebration, and decision-making.  As our teens celebrate their many accomplishments, we also want to encourage their responsible decision making.  

Please join us on April 22 as a way to support our youth in Mankato.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Senior Josh Cook Will Sign with Southwest Minnesota State University-Marshall on Thursday in the Spring 2014 National Letter of Intent Signing Ceremony

Senior Josh Cook will sign his letter showing his intent to play baseball at Southwest Minnesota State University-Marshall. The ceremony will be on Thursday, April  17, 2014, at 10:00 a.m in the Mankato West High School Activities Office.

Cook has been a three-year member of the varsity baseball team during which time he has lettered twice. Through his junior season, Cook had a career batting average of .259 with a total of 22 hits, 4 extra base hits, and 13 runs batted in (RBI). As a pitcher, Cook has logged 23 ⅓ innings and recorded 21 strikeouts.  

Cook becomes the tenth Scarlet athlete to sign a Division 1 or Division 2 national letter of intent to participate in college athletics next year. Cook joins nine other Scarlet signees from the class of 2014. These students include:

   • Breanna Black - Softball - University of Sioux Falls
   • Madison Burandt - Soccer - Minnesota State University - Mankato
   • Will Claussen - Football - Winona State University
   • Megan Hulscher - Volleyball - Winona State
   • Molly Lohman - Volleyball - University of Minnesota
   • Danielle Nack - Swimming - University of Minnesota
   • McKenna Peters - Soccer - Southwest Minnesota State University - Marshall
   • Jake Russell - Football - Augustana College
   • Isaac Weber - Football - Minnesota State University - Mankato

Congratulations, Josh! Good luck with the rest of the spring baseball season!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Home Activities and Events: April 14-17, 2014

Monday, April 14
• Varsity Adaptive Bowling Match vs. Andover @ Mankato WOW! Zone at 3:45 p.m.
• Boys C Tennis Meet vs. St. James @ Mankato East High School Tennis Courts at 4:30 p.m.
• Junior Parent Meeting @ Mankato West Auditorium at 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 15
• MCA Testing for Sophomores and Juniors @ West at 8:15-10:05 a.m.
• Classes as Usual for Freshman and Seniors
• Girls Varsity Golf Match vs. Austin @ Mankato Northlinks Golf Course at 2:30 p.m.
• Varsity Adaptive Bowling Match vs. Anoka @ Mankato WOW! Zone at 3:45 p.m.
• Boys JV Tennis Match vs. Austin @ Mankato East High School Tennis Courts at 4:30 p.m.
• Boys Varsity Tennis Match vs. Austin @ Mankato West High School Tennis Courts at 4:30 p.m.
• Boys Varsity Track and Field Meet vs. Albert Lea, Rochester Century @ Mankato West High School Track at 4:30 p.m.
• Boys Varsity Baseball Game vs. Faribault @ Mankato Franklin Rogers Field at 5:00 p.m.
• Boys JV Baseball Game vs. Faribault @ Mankato West High School Field at 5:00 p.m.
• Boys C Baseball Game vs. Faribault @ Mankato West High School Field #2 at 5:00 p.m.
• Girls JV Softball Game vs. Faribault @ Mankato West at 5:00 p.m.
• Girls C Softball Game vs. Faribault @ Mankato West at 5:00 p.m.
• Girls Varsity Softball Game vs. Faribault @ Mankato West High School Field #1 at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 16
• MCA Testing for Sophomores and Juniors @ West at 8:15-10:05 a.m.
• Classes as Usual for Freshman and Seniors

Thursday, April 17
• Varsity Adaptive Bowling Match vs. Lake City @ Mankato WOW! Zone at 3:45 p.m.
• Boys Tennis C Meet vs. Owatonna @ Mankato West High School Tennis Courts at 4:30 p.m.

Friday, April 18
• No School

Friday, April 11, 2014

Art Department Facebook Page Showcases West Student Art

The Mankato West Art Department features student artwork in a virtual online gallery with almost 1,000 photos of student work. The page contains art from a variety of mediums, including drawing, painting, metal work, ceramics, and photography.

Art teacher Le Ann Ryan said the page is a popular place for people to visit, and people pay attention when  new pieces of art are added. She said, “Yesterday’s photorealism drawings have garnered 756 views in less than 24 hours. That's a pretty successful virtual gallery opening!”

Such a high number of views is typical for postings of new art on the West Facebook page. Each time Ryan posts, she gets several hundred views, which she said is a nice showing for a gallery space.

The online art gallery motivates students to work on their art. Ryan said, “Students take GREAT pride in being the cover photo or profile picture.” She also said that students find sharing their work easier with their friends and relatives who live far away.

Ryan is proud of what the students have accomplished even though she finds maintaining the page is a big time commitment for her.

Take a look at the public display of art that West students have created over the years at the West Art Department's Facebook page. The page contains art that dates back to 2006.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Opportunity for Spanish Students to Travel to Nicaragua and Costa Rica Informational Meeting on April 15 at 6:00 p.m.

There will be an informational meeting on Tuesday, April 15, for students interested in going on a Spanish trip to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The trip is scheduled for June of 2015 and Spanish students will have the opportunity to tour the countries and to live with a family during this unique 14-day trip.  

During the trip, students will work on their language skills while absorbing Costa Rican and Nicaraguan cultures. This trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some highlights of the adventure include the following activities: taking a Nicaraguan cooking class, participating in a salsa dancing class, kayaking, making chocolate, zip lining, spending time at the beach and Pacific Ocean, visiting volcanic hot springs, and attending a Costa Rican school!  

The informational meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. in room 200 at West High School.  More information and applications will be available then for students interested in going on the trip. For more information, contact West Spanish teacher Cindy Méndez at West High School at 387-3461.