Category Archives: School News

The Countdown to Summer

Here at North Lakes Academy Upper School, the excitement for summer is growing tremendously. For students and teachers here at NLA, the countdown has begun! Now that all the snow has finally melted and the temperatures have been above freezing, students and staff have started to bring out the Spring/Summer clothes.

In the 2013-2014 school year there’s only thirty days left of school. Yes, that may seem like a lot, but May Term is included in those days! We have ten A days and ten B days left, but for the students in biology classes, who will be  going to Audubon, it’s even less. The even better news is May Term is only twenty days away for students.

“I honestly want school to be over for this year because I’m looking forward to sleeping in and not having every day be busy with something.” Naomi Scott said, wishing for summer to come quickly.

However the warm weather could come with some consequences. Since the weather has been nicer students have been focusing more on enjoying the weather outside rather than their homework. According to some teachers, since the weather has gotten nicer students have turned in less homework and their grades have begun to slip.

MCA Testing Inconvenient or Worth While?

With the MCA flung on students and the rumors going around that the MCA’s don’t count towards graduation, students are curious whether it is even worth while. Some students complained how last year was so much preparation while this year not so much. Students barely even knew about the testing until Monday night. Also people wondered if this even counts toward graduation because of the rumors that are going away next year.

Well this truth about that is

Although MCA’s are old school and somewhat a waste of time, they are necessary as of this year. However is it really necessary to have a morning of testing and then 40 min classes after?

How are you supposed to learn after just putting all your energy into a test that might not even count for anything? Not to mention that your lunch was shortened by ten minutes.

Sophie Cloutier (11) said this about advisory being shortened advisory being shortened was pointless. We were separated for 160 minutes of no talking today. Our advisory was well deserved.

Seniors don’t even show up, freshman get to watch movies. Many sophomores/juniors are upset by that fact and think it is unfair that others get to slack of while they have to test. They are wondering where there fun is. Also they were also angered by the fact that they were held in classes for way to long and could finish the whole test but weren’t allowed to. Then tomorrow they have to do it all over again what this makes no sense.

The silver lining is that next year there will be no MCA’s and just an ACT, which is required for College anyways.

Mr. Darwin Retiring teaching at NLA

Mr. Darwin has been teaching social studies and geography at North Lakes Academy since August 1999, one year after the school’s opening in 1998. A teacher for exactly 40 years (started in 1974), Mr. Darwin feels it is “time to move to another phase of [his] life.”

Mr. Darwin has been at NLA since the beginning. He has seen all of NLA’s growth and change and has watched countless groups of students come and go.

“I told the seniors 4 years ago, ‘I’m leaving when you’re leaving’”, said Mr. Darwin. He kept to that agreement deciding that 2014 would be his last year at North Lakes Academy.

Fellow teachers have many memories with Mr.Darwin.

“Some of my favorite memories of him include his whistling/humming in the hallways, his wonderful beard (some years) and his genuine personality,” said Dan Mendenhall, the lower campus science teacher who has known Mr. Darwin for 8 years.

Andrea Yaeger, a 5th and 6th grade teacher, has known Mr. Darwin for 6 years and fondly remembers the yearbook pictures of him with crazy masks on.

“I will miss his gentle spirit and love for our students,” said Mrs. Yaeger.

Other staff at NLA have known Darwin for even longer.

“I have known and been friends with Mr. Darwin for 15 years,” said Ms. Cheri, NLA’s administrative person, “I have always had a special place in my heart for Terry and always will.”

Though Mr. Darwin has created many memories with teachers, he has created even more with his students. Darwin is known throughout NLA for the genuine relationships and care he shares for the students.

“I will miss the students the most, and the fun of learning from each other,” said Mr Darwin.

“He was very talkative,” started Claire Radatz (9), who had him as a teacher last year, “He really cared about you and wanted to know about your life.”

“My favorite memory would have to be may term making birdhouses,” said Raeanna Munkelwitz (9), “He always found a way to make us laugh.”

He has impacted many of his student’s lives and will surely continue to do that even after his retirement.

There will be a party to celebrate Mr. Darwins time at NLA on May 9th at 7 pm. As Mr. Darwin takes a new journey into life with his retirement and family we will join together and celebrate the 15 years that he has spent with us. Throughout the years here at NLA, Mr. Darwin has touched every one of our lives. Join us for coffee, punch, and treats. There will be special speakers, stories, memories, laughter, and a whole lot of fun! The party will be at the North Lakes Middle School. Anyone is welcome.


On Tuesday, April 8, Mr. Saunders fell victim to the sonar calls of a mysterious, lost beeping noise during first period.  While Saunders and his sophomore class were quietly working on their Taxonomy projects for Biology, Mr. Biemert waltzed in, without Saunders’ notice, and sat down smiling in his office. Saunders eventually took notice of this and talked to Biemert, who was wearing a mischievous smile. What they said was a mystery, but as soon as Biemert walked out of the room, the sonar beeping began.  At first, Saunders thought it was a failed alarm that he had forgotten about and began to rifle through his desk to find the phone. When that didn’t work, he interrogated the students until he decided that would yield nothing. So class resumed as normal for the next five minutes until the the sonar like beeping began again.  Saunders froze while the class laughed and Mr. Ogard walked in while the alarm was going off. Saunders sought reassurance from Ogard and said, “I’m not going crazy right?” Ogard smiled and said , “I don’t hear anything. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”  After that Saunders began to show signs of losing his mind. This was further emphasized by the fact the he went a biking trip the previous day and fell, landing on his face. This left him with two large cuts across his face and a few bruises, which led to a few students playfully speculating that Saunders had a minor concussion.

Saunders then happened to walk directly under what he thought to be the source of the beeping in the ceiling. Some students had already speculated this, this, however confirmed it. Therefore, Saunders evicted Ryan Olson (10) from his desk in order to stand on it and rip open a few ceiling tiles to search for the “beeping” device.  This yielded nothing but hilarity and a very frustrated teacher. Saunders then went out to get reinforcements to search for the device by grabbing, Mrs. Cherry, Mr. Biemert, and Mr. Hofland to help search for the device.

For the remainder of the class period, students had to maneuver around the teachers as they searched and dug into the ceiling tiles, which, still yielded nothing. They decided to search a little further during the following lunch period, so Saunders could regain what sanity he had at the beginning of this event. Again this yielded nothing and for the remainder of the week, the sonar beeping continued to drive Saunders crazy. The NLA staff does have it down to a specific time which it goes off every morning which is 8:00-8:30 every Tuesday and Thursday. They do not yet know what device it is that is going off, but many think its a phone. If it is a phone, the question we should be asking is…

“How did it get there?”


NLA Robotics Going to State

In North Lakes Academy rookie year of its robotics team the Huskies were able to place 4th overall. In the semifinals NLA was beat out by Nordic Storm. When leaving the competition they were told they had a very good chance at making it to state. Last weekend they finally got the official word.

With the huskies win loss record of 8-2 and there amazing wins in the championship rounds allowed them to be 15th in the state. This is quite amazing because of the fact there are 185 other teams in the state.

The Huskies beat out teams like Green Machine, The Robettes, and Blue Twilight, three of the biggest names in robotics.This is quite impressive, not only because they are rookies, but also because they didn’t have a thrower. This competition was basically based on throwing to score.

Doing well at state is not only important because of the state champion title that is at stake, but could also allow the NLA Robotics team to qualify for the state fair competition in August.

First however the Huskies must fix their catcher frame, bumpers, and sponsor board. The team must also talk about adding more weight vs. more speed and talk about height to defend against throwers.

The team is also very happy to compete because they have a chance to destroy Nordic Storm, the team that beat them out for nationals.

The team is very proud to represent North Lakes Academy and are very optimistic for the future of Husky Robotics.

See you at competition on May 17



The Italian Dinner

On March 28th on Friday night, North Lakes Academy held it’s annual Italian Dinner. Students did many different types of performances to raise money for the school at the dinner. There was singing to playing guitar and there was also a variety of raffle baskets. The dinner took place at the Lower School in the gymnasium, and the raffle baskets were in the cafeteria area located right outside the gym.

Freshman students from Civic’s classes arrived at the middle school early for service hours to help set up. They put up and decorated tables for the Dinner and put the raffle baskets in their correct place on the tables outside the gym. Once 4 o’clock came the food was brought out and teachers, parents, and students helped serve the meals and the performances started!

Some of the Performances were by Spencer Stanley, Mariah Carson, Sydney and Natalie Welsch, and Alex Munkelwitz. Spencer played “Just like you” by Three Days Grace on his guitar, Mariah sang “When you’re gone” by Avril Lavigne, Sydney and Natalie sang “Who you are” and Alex played “River Flows” on her flute.

 There were 75 auction items and 11 raffle baskets. The raffle basket that went for the most money was the “Everything Walt” basket which went for $77. NLA made over $1,000 on raffle tickets and served about 450 dinner meals. Over 45 students, teachers, and parents volunteered at the dinner. Danniel Haller was one of the Volunteers and she’s helped with the dinner for years. Mrs. Haller put up all of the decorations, and along with the help of students and the French teacher the tables were set up also. According to Mrs. Sherri,

“Danniel was an amazing volunteer!”.

The Night was a huge success and every year NLA earns more money for our schools! Once the Upper School gets the gym completed, it is possible the Dinner will be held there for more space; That way we can earn even more money for years to come.


Taco Bell Breakfast

On March 27th, Taco Bell unveiled a new line of breakfast foods to serve to their customers. They have released various delectable breakfast creations such as the Sausage Flatbread Melt, the Breakfast Burrito and the AM Grilled Taco. One of the most creative and popular items added to the menu is the Waffle Taco.

The Waffle Taco, according to the Taco Bell website, is a “warm waffle filled with scrambled eggs, cheese and your choice of bacon or sausage served with a sweet side of syrup.”

Another popular breakfast menu item is the AM Crunchwrap. The Taco Bell website describes the AM Crunchwrap as, “Fluffy scrambled eggs, a golden crispy hash brown, real cheddar cheese, creamy jalapeño sauce and your choice of bacon, sausage or steak wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla and grilled, so it’s good to go.”

As many of you may know, Taco Bell is very popular among the students at North Lakes Academy. The news of the long-awaited arrival of the delectable delicacy known as Taco Bell breakfast spread across the school like wildfire. Many students even received free breakfast coupons from the management at the local Taco Bell as a reward for their daily visits to the fast food chain. Many students enjoyed the new Taco Bell breakfast items and had plenty to say about them and whether or not it lived up to the hype students had given it before they’d even tried it.

When Haley Hutchinson (11) was asked what she thought of the breakfast, all she could say was, “It was delicious!”

When Jackson Newbauer (11) was asked what he thought of his breakfast, he said, “It was bien. No, not just bien, Muy Bien!”

These were just two opinions that can be closely compared to the student body’s reaction towards the new breakfast. If the rest of the world agrees with North Lakes, then the Taco Bell breakfast was overall, a success.

Spring Sports Affected by Weather

With this crazy weather we have gotten the past few days, our spring sports schedule may be affected. The rain gave many athletes hope that the snow would melt, until that rain unfortunately turned into snow. As long as snow is on the ground, track can no longer go outside even for a warm-up. Softball and Baseball are also unable to practice outside due to snow, and games have already been setback due to the unpredictable weather.

NLA has already had 7 baseball/softball games postponed and 1 track scrimmage cancelled due to the weather. And with this upcoming snow storm, there may be possibly more to come.

The first baseball and softball games were supposed to be played on April 1st, but the weather played an April Fools Joke on North Lakes Academy athletics and they have been postponed. Now the first games are scheduled for the week of April 14th.The first track meet is supposed to be on April 17th with high hopes that all this snow/rain will not affect the meet.

Hopefully by the end of next week track will be able to be outside for practice. No one really knows when baseball and softball will be able to have practices held outdoors. We can only hope for warm weather and all this snow to melt soon.

Lesbe Honest about NLA’s Lunches

“You’re not going to hurt our feelings,” said Mary, the owner of Done Right Foods, to Mr. Stewart’s advisory.

The current catering company at North Lakes Academy, Done Right Foods Catering, was looking to students for opinions and suggestions regarding the meals they serve students. During advisory last Monday, three representatives of the company came in to talk to students about their menu.

In Ms.Goulet’s advisory, Mary introduced her company’s goal, “We do healthy food. We do not serve junk food, it would go against my philosophy.”

Trying to get student input, she asked questions like ‘What don’t you like?’ and ‘What is your favorite item on the menu?’

Unfortunately, other than a few statements, students in both Mr.Stewart and Ms.Goulets advisories stayed quiet.

“We didn’t really talk much in the meeting because I feel like everyone was just shy. They didn’t really want to speak their feelings, I guess,” said Liv Dufour (10), who is part of Ms. Goulet’s advisory.

Other students in Ms.Goulet’s advisory of sophomores (and one junior) agreed. But why did one of the most opinionated group of students at NLA not speak up?

“I kinda feel like we didn’t say much because we didn’t want to insult them,” said Keeley Gray (10) also from Ms. Goulet’s, “Lesbe honest.”

The conversation was quite one sided in the room, apart from a few suggestions including having more chicken in menu items with chicken, and different fruits like strawberries. Mary responded with an analysis of the price of lunches and said how adding those items would raise it.

After some conversations with students in the meetings, the conclusion is that a written anonymous survey would be the best way for Done Right Food to get the answers they are seeking.

NLA’s Italian Dinner

This Friday, March 28th, North Lakes Academy will be holding their annual Italian Dinner/Silent Auction. The raised funds will be donated to the school, as well as the construction of the schools new activity center. Money will be raised in various ways. Objects will also be held up for raffle, and all the money raised will go straight to the School donations.

Two teachers, Mr. Nelson, from the High School and Mr. Mendenhal, from the Middle School, agreed to get their heads shaved under specific conditions.The agreement is that if the High School and Middle School combined can raise $5,000, the two teachers will shave themselves bald. Students will have to bring in the money by Friday for it to count.

Will Tiedeman(10) was asked what he thought about Mr. Nelson getting his head shaved and he simply said “It won’t be cute.”

There are believed to be many doubts about NLA’s student body being able to raise enough money for it to happen. When Noah Nei(10) was approached and asked if he thought that enough money would be raised he replied with “nahh”.

Although there are doubts for the donations to reach 5,000 dollars, all students are hoping NLA can accomplish this goal for many reasons. The entertainment of our teachers heads being shaved as well as a large amount of money raised to help our school and the new activity center.