Author Archives: Noah Nei

NHD Weekly Meetings

Attention 10th and 11th graders: the social studies department will hold weekly National History Day help sessions Tuesdays after school until 4:00 pm. Originally, these sessions were only planned for last Tuesday and next Tuesday. Social studies teachers Eric Nelson and Christopher Stewart have found it to be exceptionally helpful for students participating in NHD, so it will continue.

The sessions allow students to have in-depth talks about their topics with teachers and to get help with any questions. Students showed excitement for this opportunity and took advantage of the program Stewart and Nelson started.

There was only a small glitch in communication: when Stewart said to meet in his room, Nelson said to meet in his.  This error was corrected quickly.

Stewart is also under the impression that this will be the year that NLA sends a student to Nationals.

“This year’s 10th and 11th grade group has the best potential to produce a national competitor than any other back to back class in a while,” Stewart said.

Will you be the NLA’s History Day champion this year? Get some extra help from Stewart and Nelson and maybe you will be visiting Washington for Nationals this year.


Written by Hannah Quarnstrom

Grand Opening for the “Husky Den”

On Thursday November 20th North Lakes Academy celebrated The Grand Opening of the new Activity Center and West End of the upper-school campus. The festivities included; the ribbon cutting ceremony, tours of the West End, a NLA Husky cake with custard from Culvers, and the Junior Varsity and Varsity boys basketball games. 

Students from both the upper and lower school campuses came to celebrate the new additions, and cheer on the basketball teams. Mrs. Ottjes, the upper-school band and choir teacher, coordinated a pep band and conducted the choir for the National Anthem before the Varsity game. Student Body President Katrina Hanson(12) had the honors of cutting the ribbon to start the activities at the Activity Center with the Forest Lake Times.

The turnout for the Grand Opening was phenomenal, the gym was so crowded that Mr. Stottler, NLA’s school dean, had to bring out chairs for other guests because the bleachers were too packed. A job well done for NLA’s Kennel Club! The three Blue Men helped instigate the insane spirit that was shown while the boys played.

The Junior Varsity boys played hard against Math and Science Academy. The JV boys only lost 26 to 30 putting up a good fight, trailing their opponents by only a couple points the entire game. Coach Sundeen agreed saying “I thought we played very well, we only lost by four.”

The Varsity boys also played well. They lost 28 to 63, but never gave up. Neither did the crowd, especially when Jackson Newbauer(12) scored the first three points, shooting from beyond the arch. Newbauer continued throughout the game leading the team, scoring a total of 13 points; 3 three pointers, 1 two, and both of his free throws. Noah Nei(11) was second, with a total of 7 points; 2 two pointers, and 1 three pointer.

“As a team we underestimated our opponents. So when they came and hit us hard we didn’t know how to react. Our hustle level was low, it seemed like we didn’t know what to do. As a team we took good shots (barely any went in) we didn’t attack the rim, or go for the rebound. Like I said it seemed like we weren’t ready, we didn’t have a (alumni) Cody, Oz, Rose, or Beattys, to help us out. We didn’t step up. We didn’t talk, or really communicate either.” said Kyle Spillman, captain of the Varsity squad, regarding the game.

Although the loss was tough on the team, NLA’s last game against PACT went smoother all around. Even with the loss fans had lot’s of fun encouraging the team, every second of the way. The Blue Men Crew kept the fans involved and pumped throughout the game.


Written by Katie Alamo

NLA Blood Drive

The bi-annual blood drive is coming up at North Lakes Academy Upper School. It will take place on November 26th from 11-6 pm in the choir room.  The more units donated means the greater number of $250 scholarships offered to graduating NLA seniors. During the last drive, 116 units were collected.

If that isn’t encouraging enough, there will be snacks waiting for all donors after their donations. Donors will get a free pint of frozen custard from Culver’s in Forest Lake. This is a major motivating factor for several students.

“I can’t wait to get custard,” said Adriana Perkins(12).

Donors have certain requirements, according to Christopher Stewart who is NLA’s social studies teacher and blood drive coordinator. Students  must be at least 16 years old to donate, as well as a certain weight that is based on height (other variables also apply).

Even healthy, very active people do not always qualify.  For example, NLA athlete Claire Radatz (10) cannot donate blood because for her height (4’9’’) she has to be at least 118 pounds.

There are still spots available. To register, see Stewart for registration and qualification.

NLA Renovations

It has been another year of renovations for the North Lakes Academy Upper School, but the construction is coming to a close. The Activity Center (unofficially christened the “Husky Den”) was finished mid-September; new bleachers were installed on October 28th.  The second part of the project, the West End renovations, underwent final touches Tuesday, November 18th, two days shy of the building’s grand opening and the Huskies’ boys basketball first on-site home game.

The West End is the space previously occupied by Mrs. Cheri’s desk, the dance studios, and the stairway by the French classroom.  It now features a lunch room and band room upstairs, and two locker rooms, four bathrooms (two of which have showers), and a new weight room downstairs. The floors of the locker rooms and bathrooms have special paint on the floor called epoxy. This special type of flooring, according to Beimert, is easier to clean and is more durable than carpet or tile.

The stairway has also been removed. Sorry, couples.

The new additions to the school will be used for both Upper and Middle School sporting events, as well as gym classes, band and choir concerts, and other activities.  The students are excited about the new facilities.

“It’s really awesome,” said Sophie Crowell (11), “I’m really excited to use everything. It makes us seem more like a school.”

The facilities have also generated excitement among the staff.

“I am so excited that it is done,” said Activities Director Jeff Beimert, who was largely responsible for the project. “They are very positive additions, and the students seem to be very excited about it.”

NLA’s coaches already have plans for future additions to the new facilities.

“Long jump pit,” said Chelsie Thielen, NLA’s track and field coach, pointing out the lunch room window at the grassy area between the building and the freeway.  “[Assistant Coach Tom] Lutes and I will just go to Home Depot, get some Quick-rete, couple of shovels, and a lot of packing peanuts – or sand. Packing peanuts would be more fun.”

Currently, it is unclear how school administration feels about two English teachers building an unauthorized long jump pit behind the school.

In the end the new gymnasium has added a lot of beneficial features for students at NLA. It has been one of the most anticipated and exciting additions to the school, and students are relieved it is finally finished.


By Katie Alamo

Why the Hoedown Didn’t Go Down

Every year at North Lakes Academy students gather to celebrate Halloween in costumes and dress ups for an annual Halloween dance. Although the dance has become a traditional event in NLA’s History, this year was different. The dance never happened.

“Nothing like this has ever happened in NLA’s history of school dances before, ” said Madelyn Lennard (12). “This year the Halloween Committee consisted of ten to twenty members ranging from freshmen to seniors. We only met twice as a whole group. But what was different this year was that we had a mixed dance where we had half harvest/Thanksgiving and half Halloween theme. We were planning on having a DJ and games but we needed to sell at least forty tickets to pay for the DJ alone and to sell at least twenty tickets to pay for decor. Personally I think the reason we only sold twelve tickets was due to the fact of a western sounding title and bad advertising.” Explained Madelyn Lennard (12) a Halloween Committee member.

Overall most students agreed with Lennard’s hypothesis for the lack of ticket sales. The dance wasn’t well advertised and students weren’t driven to buy tickets. In the end the dance had to be canceled due to the lack of income the party planning committee was making. NLA’s art teacher is also on a leave of absence due to recent newborn child. Typically these dance events are planned out by our administration and art teachers alongside students, but with her absence a sense of leadership and direction was gone. Although the dance never occurred, students took great leadership and initiative towards creating their own Halloween dance


by Angela Adams

Parking Clots at NLA

Will North Lakes Academy run out of parking spots this year? This is a very common question for students here at NLA. At the beginning of year, the parking lot was redone with added spots for more student parking. Although the new parking lot opened up more opportunity for student drivers there are some complications.

“There are fifty spots for students in the north wing; right now, fifty six students have a parking pass,” said Cheri Jensen, NLA’s office manager.

The question now is will future students be able to hold a spot, and will our current students begin to lose theirs? The number of permits given is greater than the number of spaces for a few reasons.  Not all students drive every day. Some students have PSEO; therefore, they only fill a parking spot for half the day and are allowed to park out front for easy accessibility

“I only drive fridays, It’s better than nothing!” said Naomi Scott (11).

There are only four spots left for students who want a full-time parking permit. For those students who would like to only drive occasionally, the issue then becomes debatable. However, if the parking lot fills, there’s always the local businesses. Some students are already doing this to save themselves ten dollars. While NLA won’t tow you, there’s still a risk of getting your vehicle impounded.

“If Walmart or Target found out you were parking over there you could get towed,” Jensen said.

So if you want a parking permit, buying one now could save you some pain. Considering that permits our low, and spots are beginning to fill quickly, this could soon be a massive school issue.


Written by Chelsie Rosa


The Curse of Nelson

The North Lakes Academy boys’ soccer team didn’t experienced a win this season, and haven’t ever. They have been playing six years and continue to suffer loss time and time again. Students and players have grown tired of the continuous struggle for victory. They have finally developed a conspiracy for their constant losing streak, pointing a finger straight at NLA’s History teacher Eric Nelson.

“I think that Eric Nelson is the cause of bad luck this season,” explained Devon Beimert (12). Nelson has taken a lot of flack for his inexperience as a coach from his previous years, as well as the curse he created for the boys’ soccer team. “Since this goblet was made it’s only brought on bad luck. I wouldn’t care if the goblet were broken before a win.”

“The Goblet” of the boy’s soccer team represents “The Goblet of Fire,” a tall, slender wine-like glass with the names of five former players inscripted on it with Sharpie. The goblet was created by NLA’s history instructor and former soccer coach Eric Nelson.  It is supposed to represent “The Goblet of Fire” from the Harry Potter series.

“The goblet is supposed to be broken with the first win,” explained Brandon Rowe (11).  Obviously, it is still intact, indicating that there has not been such an event.

The team didn’t get a chance to bring home a win this year. Although they experienced another year of struggle, through their losses they have received gratification. Recently, after losing 0-19 to an opposing team, soccer Coach Joshua Ogaard received a letter from a parent of a player on that team.  It read:

“When my son got into the car after the game the first words he said to me were ‘Those kids are awesome.’ I had hope that he had seen what I had from your players on the field. He went on to point out that they never gave up, they were smiling all the time, no trash talking and they were honest when a call by the ref went their way when it shouldn’t have. He did see what I saw from the stands. When teams in many sports get down on the scoreboard, they often refer to cheap unsportsmanlike play. I saw none of that last night. Your kids worked hard, never gave up and carried themselves with great dignity when the cards were stacked against them. I noticed that even after the last goal with fifty-four seconds left in the game, the boys were still hustling to get the ball back to center field to get the game rolling again. As a parent and coach of many different soccer, baseball and basketball teams over the last eight years I would take that over a state championship any day. It is obvious you are doing something right with these boys. You should be very proud of them and I assume you are. Thanks for your time.”

NLA’s sports organizations have always been recognized for their sportsmanship within the Eastern Minnesota Athletic Conference. The boys’ soccer team even got praise from NLA’s dean, Cam Stottler (@NLAStottler), for their attitude and sportsmanship.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the type of students we educate. Boy’s soccer shows how you can win even when losing,” said Stottler. The players are satisfied with the character win. Although they haven’t won for years, their attitude has brought them a long way. “The team doesn’t care if they win or lose,” said Kyle Spillman (11), “all that matters is that the team gets to hang out and have a good time.”

Although the curse is still an active part in the culture of the NLA’s boys soccer group, it hasn’t stopped them from performing to the best of their abilities. Some day a win will become a reality for these boys, the goblet will be no more. Until then the boys soccer team lives under the curse of Nelson, peering through the darkness thirsty for victory.


Written by Angela Adams

New Gym Requirements for Upperclassmen

North Lakes Academy upperclassmen are upset because they have to take more gym classes. The State of Minnesota recently decided to consider making gym a yearlong course. Although this new regulation hasn’t gone into effect yet, it is looking as though NLA will be following through with the new gym requirements regardless of the State’s decision.

The state claims students are sitting too much and not getting enough exercise in a day. Many students here at NLA disagree.

“I think that as long as [juniors and seniors] are in sports, or are doing some form of physical movement that gym shouldn’t be required. We have our futures to worry about,” said Naomi Scott (11).

Another fear is that the course shouldn’t be required for current juniors in their senior year, as it interferes with the classes they have right now.

“It would take away from most students’ PSEO classes and then we would be paying about an extra $2000 in college for one class we could have gotten for free,” Scott said.

There are a few students that have no problem with the possibility of more gym. Some say it’s fun and a break from school, that gym allows students to relax and let out built up energy.  The opposing viewpoint does not see it that way.

“…I didn’t think we were still in first grade. We don’t need a ‘play time’ because we don’t get nap time anymore, so why should we have to have gym?” said Monica Dorsher (12).


Written by Chelsie Rosa

Remembering NLA 2013

2013 has been a fantastic year for North Lakes Academy. For students, teachers, and staff, it has been an incredibly enjoyable year.

The school has acquired permission to build an activity center, which will come in handy for the school in many ways. This decision has brought NLA a lot of attention, which has boosted the school’s popularity. NLA is finally beginning to become known throughout the city of Forest Lake, and beyond.

The Halloween dance was a huge hit this year with new art teacher Melissa Luchsinger in charge. Many people thought it was much better, and more enjoyable, than the previous year. It is still talked about and many students are looking forward to next year.

Everywhere you go, from hall to hall, classroom to classroom, students are happy. The year of 2013 was good for many students, and all only look brighter into the future in 2014!

Fantasy Geopolitics Classes Available to NLA

Fantasy Geopolitics has reached success founder and teacher Eric Nelson had never expected. Through his perspective on life and work ethics, this “Top 20” teacher has taken a simple idea and expanded on it creating success. Fantasy Geopolitics is getting more popular by the day, and constantly students are becoming intrigued with the idea of the game. Now to take this product to a whole new level, Nelson is teaching it as a second semester class to students at NLA.

This is the first time North Lakes Academy has used this Fantasy Geopolitics idea and based it around an entire class. Fantasy Geopolitics has been used briefly in Civics and some History courses, but this upcoming semester it will be based around a class. Fantasy Geopolitics will be up for grabs as an elective, and it’s already taking priority as an elective choice for a lot of students.

“It’ll be like a learn about the world, learn about business, and help me help you class. We’re going to try to do all those things and have some fun,” Nelson said regarding the class.

The purpose of this class, and Fantasy Geopolitics as a whole, is to get students interested in the world they live in. Nelson believes Fantasy Geopolitics is not just successful at teaching students about the world, but it makes them interested in learning.

“It’s a time where we can use, about getting curious about the world we live in, and once you get curious it usually takes a little more time to learn, and I think Fantasy Geopolitics does this in a more efficient way.” Fantasy Geopolitics gets students interested in the world they live in according to Nelson. “They’ll [students] will be learning because they want to, not because I’m teaching them in a Fantasy Geopolitics class.”

Because of this class’s effectiveness in reaching out to students and creating this curiosity in them, Mrs. Saunders has allowed this class to become a semester class. Fantasy Geopolitics will be used throughout time, here at NLA,  to help students become more successful. The  more successful Fantasy Geopolitics for students, the more accessible and easier it will be available to the students.

Make sure to submit for Fantasy Geopolitics as a class for next semester if you are interested. If you’re not sure about the class, get information and check out the FaceBook page.