Category Archives: School News

The Pranksters

On November 11th, North Lakes Academy Upper School math teacher Josh Ogaard walked into his classroom to a horrendous surprise. Thanks to Naomi Scott (11) and a couple of other students, Ogaard’s world was turned upside down, literally. Almost all of Ogaard’s class items, ranging from desks to chairs, had been completely flipped upside down – including the writing on the whiteboard. The students also managed to flip every poster in his room.

“We flipped everything – including the Albert Einstein poster and it remains flipped today,” Scott said.

Due to weather conditions the previous day, students who drove or could be picked up were allowed to leave school early. Staff members who lived far away, or had the longest commute home, were also sent home. Ogaard, Ben Saunders, Marie Waterworth and many others left early. Isabel Thompson (10) and others from the group of pranksters explained why they picked Ogaard over every other teacher in the school.

“He can often relate to students, he’s got a great sense of humor, and knows how to take a joke” Thompson said.

Ogaard was initially perplexed.

“My initial reaction was ‘what the heck happened?’  I immediately stopped in my tracks and was actually speechless for about a minute after it hit me.  I was definitely a little upset with what had happened.  I had many things that I needed to do that morning, but instead I had to use the time to fix my classroom and was scrambling to get my materials ready for class,” Ogaard said.

NLA Upper School Dean Cam Stottler left any consequences up to Ogaard. Stottler doesn’t consider pranks bad if they don’t disrupt things like learning and they don’t harm anyone.

“I wasn’t sure what the point of it was – what disappointed me was that whomever pulled the prank didn’t rectify the situation before learning started the next day and we had to disrupt several classes to get students to come back and put the room back to normal,” Stottler said.

In the end, it was an interesting situation for students as well as teachers.


Written by Chelsie Rosa

The Zoo is Brought to NLA

Who ever heard of a school allowing the zoo in? Well here at North Lakes Academy, the culture is definitely more unique than most schools. “Wow, for a school to let in a zoo and allowing us to pet and hold these animals is just amazing!” Senior Kali Reitmeier explained.

The zoo was actually Megan Pills’ pets. She had brought them in for a demonstration the TLC course had planned. They had the chance to learn about the animals and how most are endangered species throughout the wild. Among these animals included Chris the tortoise, a shy guy who was exploring the gymnasium floor while constantly being picked up by students wishing to test their strength. A skunk who loved hugs and seemed more like a house pet in nature. A large female gator by the name of Roger. A cute monkey like animal by the name of Emily who climbed on top of students heads in search for bugs, or simply just willing to give them a head massage. An arctic fox, who appeared very timid when introduced to the class. Lastly a walibi who gave kisses to students who were brave enough to stick their fingers in the cages.

It was a highlight for most students as their days passed. Even the staff of NLA were excited to see the animals, several of the teachers were even able to pose with some of the exotic creatures. Overall it was an enjoyable day for students at NLA.


written by Angela Adams


Newly Mysterious NLA Mascots

Students and parents were surprised to see three men run out onto the court wearing blue full body suits during the opening girls’ and boys’ basketball game. The men in these suits are none other than Andrew Warren (10) and Zachary Germany (12). The point of these new Mascots is to encourage NLA’s teams and inspire more school spirit.

Yes, during the opening night there was three blue men on the floor. Social studies teacher Eric Nelson was only a temporary third member; Warren and Germany are currently looking for a permanent third member.

They have yet to come up with an official name, but have been dubbed as “the blue men” or “the blue man group” by students all over North Lakes Academy. They will be performing at most major events that involve the newly constructed Husky Den, such as the girls’ and boys’ senior night for basketball and the Frozen Five week. Although NLA no longer has its cheerleaders, it now has Mascots.


Written by Madelyn Leonard

Snow Day’s at NLA

North Lakes Academy almost had a snow day cancellation on the day of Minnesota’s first snowfall. Considering this, then what will the rest of the this year’s frigid Minnesota winter look like? “I just want to get out of here.” explained Mr. Good during the day of the first snowfall. If the majority of the NLA staff were concerned about keeping students in school that first day, what will student and staff expectations be in the middle of winter when it is much worse? How many school days will NLA undergo this school year?

More than half of the school left that first day of snowfall with rides home because of the blizzard, just as if school was dismissed early. “This may cause days to be added on, at the end of the year if this continues”, anticipates Karley Landwehr.

Last school year, the school had six snow days in which the school had to make up one of those days. “We will always act in the best interest and safety of the students and staff, but will always attempt to do that in a way that maximizes learning opportunities. NLA has had a practice of following the lead of ISD 831 (Forest Lake District) when it comes to snow days.  This is mainly due to the fact the Forest Lake provides the busing for students.  Knowing that, NLA must cancel when Forest Lake cancels.” Mr. Stottler, NLA’s school dean, explained to students.

It has always been thought that teachers for the most part disapprove of snow days, but in fact most enjoy the free day off. “There is a persistent myth that teachers don’t like snow days…if this is true about some, it definitely isn’t true about all of us! I like snow days as much as any student. Who doesn’t love a surprise day off? It does make for some more work for us, and if they become too frequent it can be a nuisance, but one every now and again is just fine with me. Again, ultimately as a teacher and a Board member, I care most about the safety of my colleagues and my students.” explained Christopher Stewart, NLA’s social studies teacher.

Knowing that the students safety is the main concern of the school board is reassuring. Students were given the opportunity by the school of NLA to leave school with parental permission, even though busses were not in transit. This gave students a way to get home safely before the worst of the blizzard hit.

Yes at times the cancellations may be a hinderance on the progress of the curriculum NLA provides, but its better to have a slight inconvenience than risked lives. Snow Days are a major necessity and are needed during snowstorms. Weather can’t always be predicted and nobody knows how the approaching weather conditions will go, but at least students enrolled at North Lakes Academy know they are safe.


Written by Monica Dorsher

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

Cinco De Mayo

On Monday, May 5th, North Lakes Academy’s level two Spanish classes hosted a fiesta for the school in celebration of Cinco De Mayo. During the fiesta, students provided various authentic Spanish foods and drinks for the school to enjoy.

Zoe Deal (10), who participated in the festivities, said “I really liked Cassy’s cheesecake and I also had nachos which is always good, Ryan’s chip dip was good too.”

Unfortunately for some very upset U.S. History students, Mr. Nelson’s fourth hour class was not able to enjoy the fiesta. Nelson told his students that he would not allow them to participate in the festivities until they had finished their assignments.

Although History students weren’t able to participate in the fiesta, overall the feedback was positive for the event. Montes told his students that they had “come through” once again, and he is excited to continue the tradition next year.


Cinco de Mayo Party

This year is the third year Mr. Montes’s Spanish classes will be hosting a party to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The Spanish one students will decorate the halls and the Spanish two students will be cooking traditional food. This is always a fun time to take a break and enjoy Spanish fun.

The party is an opportunity to have fun and learn about the Spanish culture in a different way. It’s an exciting time with school winding down and may term coming to have a party.

Kids are excited to cook traditional foods like tacos, nachos, and traditional Spanish cake and cuisine.

Josie Schlosser will be making fruit smoothie drinks while Sophie Crowell will be making churros. Sydney Welsh will be making Guatemalan rice. That’s only just a few off the dishes that will be served for the event.

Although the idea is already highly anticipated this year, Mr. Montes is still hopeful for the tradition to continue and already finding ways to improve the event. Mr. Montes spoke about an idea for next year, “next year the French kids could put up a table.” he said eagerly hoping to expand the event.

The party will be during fourth block and will be lots of fun with foods, music and decorations. Come and enjoy Spanish culture and food.

Students Denied Access to Vehicles During Advisory

Students here at North Lakes Academy Upper school are upset because they are no longer able to walk out to their cars during school hours. They feel that they should be granted the freedom if they need to grab something such as sporting attire, lunch boxes, ect. The question that everyone is asking is why aren’t students allowed to go out to their cars?

According to Cam Stottler, the new rule was put in place because…

“We expect students to come to school prepared for the day, we ask that no students leave the building to access vehicles for forgotten assignments, lunches, or anything else they may need.  Two main reasons – one, we expect and encourage students to come prepared for the whole day.  Two, we feel allowing students to go to their vehicles requires supervision and is a gray area that we are not willing to take on with our current structure.”

Some students find that not being able to go out to their vehicles during advisory to grab certain accessories or items is unfair and shows that teachers and staff don’t trust the student body.

The reason that students aren’t allowed to go to their vehicle may be reasonable in some ways, such as it teaches students to be more responsible. It teaches them not to forget things they need and it prepares them for their future. However the topic is touchy, because there are also legitimate reasons for students to be able access their vehicles during lunch. Although the issue is still hot in the school, it has been determined that students won’t be able to access there vehicles during advisory without punishment. 





Sophomores Testing Out of F.S.T.

This year’s sophomore class, and even some of the more advanced freshmen, have shown exemplary skill in the mathematics course Algebra 2. As a result of this, Mr. Stottler sent out letters addressed to all students who showed they have what it takes to test out of F.S.T. and proceed straight to Calculus. According to what Stottler has said, the students who take this opportunity will take a may term class that will give them the basics of F.S.T.

“This won’t be as hard as you think. Most of what you will go over will either be an expansion of or the same as what you went over in Algebra 2… There will only be two sections that you haven’t seen… and we believe you can do well with these concepts as soon as you see them,” said Stottler regarding the jump from F.S.T. to Calculus.

The students who were selected for this opportunity were chosen based on recommendations from their math instructor and GPA averages for that class. Each of these students were sent home with a letter that they were required to turn back in for registration for the class.  There is, however, an important bit of information regarding the letters.  Some students received letters late, right around the time the forms were actually due. Mr. Stottler told students not to worry, he is still accepting any form of parent approval until may term begins.  This could be in the form of a phone call, email, signing the letter, etc.

However, the sooner you communicate your interest in the class, the sooner you can guarantee that you will have a spot to test out of F.S.T.


NLA Prom 2014

Unlike previous years, North Lakes Academy’s 2014 Senior/Junior prom will not be held on a boat. Location is not the only change, and definitely not the only shock to students. The date for prom recently changed from May 3rd to May 10th due to venue scheduling issues that occurred.

The date was first changed because there were no available boats for the chosen date. For other dates there were only larger boats available, which are more expensive and would result in higher prices for students who buy prom tickets.

“I like how it’s not on boat because then if I get mad at my date I can leave” says McGlade(12) when asked her opinion on the change of location.

Seniors will enjoy the change because it will be a significant difference from previous years. The last three years Prom has been held on a boat, and the change in scenery seems to be what Seniors have been looking for.

“I like that it’s different because I’ve gone three times already and the change is nice” Arm(12).

The Dalles House was found and chosen because it is a cheaper venue and something new will be an exciting experience for everyone.

This year there will be two food choices, one being a vegetarian option and the other being Alfredo Sauce.  

The changes will be exciting for everyone. We aren’t sure yet if this will become a tradition or not.

Sophomore Noah Nei(10) stated that he would prefer the change stayed.

“Personally I would like it to stay off a boat because there would be more room.”

We will see how this year goes and hope that the change stays for years to come.