Author Archives: Zoe Deal

ambassadors club

The Ambassadors Program, a new club at NLA, has many plans for the upcoming school year including parties for 8th and 11th grades as well as the 7th and 10th grades. Another idea being considered is a spring dance.

The ambassadors program was originally started last year,” said Abbey Millerbernd (12), the club’s leader. “Ryan Olsen (10) and I …just decided that we should try and get everyone involved in everything so then when the 9th graders come up they already know the seniors.”

Ambassadors Club held its first event this year, when it hosted a party for 9th and 12th graders to get to know one another.
Since then it has grown considerable amount. It now has 10 to 12 members and has organized one event as a group. The club is led by Millerbernd and Hannah Quarnstrom (10).

The main goal of the Ambassadors Club is to unite the students in the upper school and middle school.

Quarnstrom, Ambassadors Club’s secretary and treasurer, said the main goal of Ambassadors Club is to “make the school one big family and make sure everybody knows everybody.”

By the looks of it, they are accomplishing their goal. Their first event with seniors and freshmen turned out to be very successful.

Quarnstrom said, “After the 9th/12th grade party, so many freshmen came up to the seniors to talk. That means they’re not afraid anymore and then we are becoming a better family.”

Millerbernd agreed saying, “I think that the ambassadors program has impacted the North Lakes Academy community by getting everyone to know everyone.”

In the future, Ambassadors Club plans to organize a party for the 8th and 11th grades as well as the 7th and 10th grades. The Ambassadors Club might even plan a spring dance.

“It’s more than an idea,” Quarnstrom said about the dance, “It’s going to happen.”

Barnes & Noble Book Fair to raise funds for senior trip

The NLA senior class will hold a fundraiser at Barnes & Noble in Maplewood on December 14th from 9:00 am until 8:00pm to raise money for the senior class trip.

This will be the 4th time NLA has fundraised at Barnes & Noble. Unlike previous times, though, this is not being organized by the Student Council. This event is being organized by the senior class, with student body president Margret Krueger spearheading the effort.

With every purchase using a voucher, Barnes & Noble will contribute a percentage of the sale to the NLA senior class. Vouchers are available at They are also available at Barnes & Noble from any NLA senior representative.

All members of the senior class will be there at some point to support the fundraiser, and there will be a lot going on at the event.

“The student performance people will be performing….and the seniors are working; they’re going to hand out bookmarks and do gift wrapping stuff and then there will be some storytime for children,” Krueger said.

Come support NLA’s seniors at Barnes & Noble in Maplewood on the 14th or go online and make a purchase between December 14th and January 7th using the voucher linked above.

College Prep 101 event at NLA upper school


An event titled College Prep 101 was held at the North Lakes upper school on Monday, November 18th. The event was hosted by vice president of academic affairs at North Central University, Dr. Thomas Burkman. The night was spent focusing on when to start planning and how to be successful, going deeper into topics such as dual credit options, financial aid, taking ACTs/SATs, and filling out applications.

The event was a success, filling much of the new upstairs commons.

“It was about 70% full,” said Logan Haller (10). He was one of the few students who attended the event. “The chairs were deceivingly uncomfortable,” he said about the red chairs used for the event, “I sat in them for two hours; I could barely walk.”

Though the event was attended mostly by parents, students took a lot away from the event.

“I got excited for college,“ Katie Alamo (10) said, “College is really important and it’s do-able.”

“It gave us a really good outline of what to do,” added Liv Dufour (10).

Dufour and Alamo are referring to the powerpoint presentation Dr. Burkman presented. It went through what students and parents can do to prepare for college at each grade level.

“[I learned] that I need to save for college,” Haller said, “..and I can’t do it by having a job, I have to do well in school… You can’t possibly save enough…the only way you can really save for college, per-say, is to get good grades and good SATs.”

Girls Basketball Preview

Girls basketball captains practice for the 2013-14 season has started. This is the 5th year NLA has had a basketball program and the girls are consistently progressing.

“We are all working really hard and I think we can get some wins this year,” said Liv Dufour (10).

The girls varsity and J.V. teams will be coached by Mr. Biemert and Ms. Goulet, both are gym teachers at the upper school. This is Goulet’s second year coaching and Biemert’s fifth.

According to Biemert, girls will be working on “defense, defense, defense”.

“We struggle in [defense] consistently,” Biemert said.

Training for the girls basketball team, which will be coached by Biemert and Goulet, will begin this week.

This years’ team has a total of 17 girls in grades 7-12. Captains are Miranda McGlade, Abbey Millerbernd, and Nicole Rime, all seniors.

The Huskies are preparing for their first game against Minnesota Transitions on December 3rd.

Halloween Dance is a success

The NLA Upper School had its second annual Halloween dance last Friday, November 1st. With former teacher and dance advisor Joelle O’ Keefe gone, the responsibility was handed to the new art teacher, Melissa Luchsinger. The dance was organized by the yearbook class to raise money for yearbook while bringing students and staff together for a fun night.

The Halloween dance featured a haunted house, concessions, a costume contest, and a live DJ.

“It was fun,” said Sophie Crowell (10). “It’s better than last year; people were actually dancing.”

Dancing was much more popular this year with the addition of a DJ. There was music from 6-10pm, the length of the dance. The music varied immensely with country, pop, swing and more.

“It’s like a real dance this year,” said Hannah Quarnstrom (10). “Last year it was just music people would change all the time.”

Concessions including popcorn, soda, pizza, and cotton candy were sold downstairs by Rachel Lau (12), who was dressed like a flamingo.

Sadly Lau wasn’t able to participate in the costume contest, which was won by Margret Krueger (12), who was Marge from The Simpsons.

All in all, the dance was a success on many levels.

“My favorite part was watching all of the students work together from start to finish,” Luchsinger said. “We did a lot of planning during yearbook class, and some students really pulled through as leaders and made the event a success.”

“It was awesome,” Claire Radatz (9) said. “I’m really thirsty, but other than that I’m having a great time.”

According to Luchsinger, the dance will definitely happen next year.

“It was a lot of work, but the outcome was worth it, we had a blast!” she said.

National History Day

National History Day, an event that NLA students spend over 5 months preparing for, has more than half a million participants nationwide each year.
Mr. Stewart, the world histories teacher, said about NHD, “As a teacher it is very fulfilling because you get to see students’ passions really come out as they make a personal connection with historical ideas, events, and people.”
North Lakes Academy has been participating in NHD for five years sending about 6-10 10th and 11th graders to the regional competition every year.
In the past, the farthest a student from NLA has gone is to the state competition, only one event away from nationals. One of the three students who have made it to state is Margret Krueger, a senior and the student body president, who last year received an Honorable Mention for her exhibit. “NHD has prepared me for college, and taught me how to initiate my own learning.” Krueger said, “It’s definitely helped me in almost all my other classes because it’s improved my writing skills as well.
She also added, “It’s given me a new perspective on history because it’s forced me to look at events from an objective standpoint.
For the sophomores it is the first year doing NHD. Their project ideas vary immensely, with topics like Hiroshima, Jackie Robinson, and The Zipper.
Travis Fish, who plans to do his project on Hiroshima, said, “[NHD] is a pretty good way for students to get involved in a part of history they liked, and learn in depth about it.”
Josie Schlosser (10) agreed saying, “It’s cool learning about stuff you want to learn about in history.”
Their reactions were surprising to some, including Karley Landwehr, who said,”Why would I want to spend 5 1/2 months on some stupid topic that I will never remember?”
“I hate it,” said Rayna Yaeger (10) added, “[NHD] causes so much stress.”
Most juniors who have done NHD can start their projects with ease this year in world history.
“It’s easier because we know what to expect,” said Megan Peters (11)
Miranda Englar (11) is one of the exceptions, “My topic this year is a lot harder than last years. This years topic is so broad and is not restricted to just the U.S like in U.S history.”

Students doing NHD may not like it now, seniors who have done National History Day know that a lot of benefits come from doing it.
Kenzie Hale, a senior who is currently doing pseo full time, said that having to do “precise” citations in NHD has been useful in college. “I use this skill all the time at Century and it has served as a huge benefit to me anytime I have to do a research-based assignment.”
“[NHD] gives you more knowledge on certain subjects that you wouldn’t spend time learning about,” added senior Breanna Knutson.
The date for the 2013-2014 NHD will be held February 25 at the Upper School a mere 4 months from now.

NLA Girls Soccer Conference Tournament

The NLA girls soccer team had their first tournament of the year on last Tuesday, October 22. The tournament, located at Blaine National Sports Center, was against Hope Academy.

The girls were very excited to be playing in the tournament, which is the first the team has ever participated in.

“I am really excited for the game,” said Maria Svenkenson (10), “It is a great opportunity for the team.”

The first half went very smooth with 3 goals being scored by Claire Radatz (9) in the first 8 minutes.

“I am really proud of Claire and how well she did this season, said Abigale Millerbernd (12).

In the second half the girls took it up a notch, scoring 4 more goals. Breanna Knutson (12) and Radatz each scored one and Laura Stolz scored two. Stolz and Haley Hutchinson (11) led the aggressive center offense as they made many runs to the goal assisting in over 15 shots.

The team also kept up great defense with exemplary efforts from Anna Stolz and Kiera Haller (7).  Anna Stolz (8) trapped many airballs with control, which helped the girls keep possession of the ball. Haller did very well keeping the ball away from offense by going to the outside.

In the first half, Hope Academy was only able to make three shots on goal, none of  which went in. In the second half, Hope Academy was able to make two goals on Millerbernd, the keeper.
“I thought the team did really well,” said Millerbernd. ”We did have a few bumps, but I thought we passed really well.”

The final score was 7-2, the NLA Huskies being the winners.

Kyle Spillman (10) was one of the students that came to watch the game.

“The game was very fun to be at despite the cold,” Spillman said. “It was awesome seeing the girls show Hope what we are made of.”

The girls will now be preparing for the conference championship tournament Thursday, October 24th at 4:00pm, also at the Blaine National Sports Center.

Come cheer on the girls on Thursday as they compete for the first conference title!

Lady Huskies Set Sights on Conference Title

The North Lakes Academy girls soccer team has been having an outstanding season so far. Now, with the EMAC Tournament as the only game remaining in this incredible journey, the girls have set their eyes on a conference title.

“We have worked so hard and so well together this year,” said Sophie Cloutier (11). “I couldn’t ask for a better team.”

This year, NLA’s team is made up of 16 students in grades 7-12. The team has four seniors: Kenzie Hale (center mid), Abbey Millerbernd (keeper), Breanna Knutson (forward), and Laura Stolz (center mid). Team captains Stolz and Hale have been on the team since its start in 2009.

The road to a conference title has been long since those early days.

“We’ve improved both technically and tactically,” Stolz said. “Our ball skills have gotten so much better, from first-touch to making quality passes, and tactically we are able to view the field and make good choices both on and off the ball.”

As for things the soccer team can do better, Stolz believes they should continue practicing foot skills and communication. With the present attitude, she is confident about improvements.

“I think our work ethic and attitude are really good,” she said. ”Everyone out there is working hard to help each other. And we always have fun at practices!”

In addition to improving technically, the team has become very tight-knit over the years.

“When I first started, the team didn’t really know each other well,” said Cloutier, who has been on the team since 2010. ”Now we are like sisters. We can trust each other.”

NLA is part of the Eastern Minnesota Athletic Conference (EMAC) which consists of four teams from around Minnesota who play each other twice each season. Added to these are games against other small schools.

The EMAC Tournament will be held at 4pm October 22 & 24 at the Blaine National Sports Center. Come out to watch the Huskies make their bid for the conference title.

Stuffed Horse “Captain Montag” frequents toilet, English classes

Forest Lake, Minn –


Horse sits in on an American Literature class.

A large stuffed horse has been found unattended in different rooms around the Upper School over the past few weeks. The horse, which allegedly originated from Dance Tech, has been around since NLA came to the building.  It formerly occupied the space next to Mrs. Saunders’ old office.  Now, it is finally rising to fame.

The horse sightings started a week ago when someone opened the bathroom door to find the stuffed horse sitting on the toilet.

“That’s gross,” said Sophie Cloutier (11).  “So many people go to the bathroom in there.”

The horse was then hidden in the ceiling outside the bathroom with the assistance of English teacher Tom Lutes.

A horse cannot stay in the air forever, so it eventually made its way into the room of

English teacher Chelsie Thielen.

“I don’t know who put it there, but it was the most attentive student in the class,” Thielen said.  “Also, I’m deeply saddened that my request to have the horse’s photo taken on Picture Day was declined. Having a picture of a stuffed horse on the “Staff” page of the yearbook would be hilarious.”

These teachers have obviously both been active in the transportation of the horse and agree that it is humorous.

“I have been highly entertained by the pictures I have taken of the horse,” said Lutes, who has taken to referring to the stuffed animal as “Captain Montag” due to the Fahrenheit 451 helmet (an addition courtesy of Thielen’s American Literature students) which the horse was wearing when he found it in his room late last week.

Other teachers and students do not have the same opinion. To them, the horse is odd and unsanitary.

“It’s icky. I found it in the bathroom trying to drink out of the toilet,” said Mr. Sundeen.

The fact that it was in the bathroom has not grossed out only Sundeen, but most of the student body as well. Julia Schmidt, when asked about the horse, felt it was “creepy.”

Despite misgivings, Lutes would like to see more horse sightings.

“It would be pretty awesome if it became a trend to place the horse around the school and take pictures,” Lutes said.

Some students disagree.

“That’s a bad idea,” Kyle Spillman (10) said. ”It’s just a horse.”

Rayna Yaeger (10) has an idea that might make more sense, given our school mascot.

”We should get a big husky; the horse has nothing to do with our school,” she said.

NLA Welcomes the Class of 2017

This year, the North Lakes Academy welcomed [number needed] new freshmen into its Upper School. So what do the freshmen think  after the first week? When asked Middle School or Upper School, 75% of ninth graders interviewed answered Upper School.

“We have a lot more freedom,” said Raeanna Munkelwitz (9).

Upperclassmen Give Lukewarm Welcome

None of the freshmen felt upperclassmen were being very welcoming. For example, two upperclassmen, upon seeing a freshman walk into the bathroom, left. One of them said, “Ew. A freshman, let’s go.”

Other ninth graders feel like the upperclassmen are ignoring them.

“They hate me,” said one freshman, who preferred to remain anonymous. “…[O]nly my team accepts me.”

One thing ninth graders are looking forward to is the upcoming Upper School sports seasons. Isabel Thompson, who plays soccer and basketball is excited for high school competition.

“I’m really excited about playing high school basketball. I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time,” Thompson said.

Tri-sport NLA athlete Claire Radatz, who participates in cross country, track, and soccer said she was “very excited about the fun parts” that come with every sports season.

Missing Middle School

Though the freshmen unanimously preferred the Upper School, there are a few things they miss about the Middle School.

“I miss the teachers; they were so great,” Radatz said.

Raeanna and Adam Selbitschka (9) both answered without hesitation that they missed Mr. Mendenhall.

“I miss having a one-story building. It’s easier to get to classes without the stairs,” Raeanna said.


When asked what they were surprised by, there were a variety of answers. Adam was surprised that lunch is in classrooms. “I didn’t realize the upper school lunch would be so different,” he said.

Though there were many different answers involving the Upper School, they all agreed on one thing: they don’t really miss having lockers.

“I really like having all my stuff with me,” Radatz said.

Thompson found it difficult to bring a gym bag and lunchbox to school, but all in all she likes not having lockers.

Welcome to the Class of 2017!