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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

NLA Visits Festival of Nations

Last Friday, over half of the student body went on a field trip to the Festival of Nations. The Festival of Nations was held at the Saint Paul RiverCentre and showcased a variety of food, exhibits, merchandise and performances from over 100 nations across the globe. Students had the opportunity to immerse themselves into a wide variety of sights, smells, tastes and cultures that they otherwise wouldn’t have known about. Students also had the option to purchase a passport to remember all of the countries and cultures they were able to learn about. Many students had a positive experience at the Festival of Nations.

Haley Hutchinson (11) said, “I ate food. That’s all I did. I ate pizza. It was good. Oh wait, I watched the dancers and they were really good.”

“Well I wandered around and I got lost but the food was good and it was really fun being able to be with friends.” Zoe Deal(10) commented about her experience.

Logan Haller (10) said, “The bazar was packed and so many kids had those loud bird whistles.”

Even though many students were annoyed with those loud bird whistles, students thoroughly enjoyed the Festival of Nations.

NLA’s 2013-14 Yearbooks are Now Completed

Both campuses of North Lakes Academy have been working very hard on creating a unique yearbook for students to enjoy. As of last Friday the yearbook was completed, including the final touches that Mrs. Luschsinger needed at add.

Editors Kaylee Krogstad, Rachel Lou, Abbey Millerbernd and Autumn Percy held the class to high expectations and put countless hours into editing the book before it was print ready. Along with the editors, the students also worked hard all year taking pictures and getting quotes from fellow students for the yearbook. They used their creativity to layout and design each individual page in very unique ways.

Throughout the year there was some struggle for the yearbook team, but in the end they pulled through. For spring sports at NLA, the weather had a huge factor on the late start for sports. The bad weather didn’t just affect athletes at NLA, but also the yearbook team. It was difficult for students who were creating the yearbook to get quality pictures with the late start to spring sports. However, the yearbook team didn’t let the weather affect the quality of the pages and refused to take no for an answer.

The yearbook team tried to get each student in the yearbook at least three times, which at times was a struggle. Naomi Scott, who was part of the yearbook team, explained that

“We [the yearbook team] even got the new students in the yearbook at least twice and their picture in their grade even if they came to North Lakes the week before deadline.”

The yearbook staff put countless hours of work into this years yearbook, and the students have had plenty of positive feedback on the final outcome. If you ordered a yearbook they should be here before school gets out June 5th.

Gym Furnishing

Since last fall, when construction was first started on the gym, people have been wondering what the finished product was going to look like. Is it going to have bleachers? Will it have the lines on the floor? What will it look like? Will it have the school colors? All of the questions have been asked by many of both the students and  teachers at NLA. Some have even been answered.

When Jamie Goulet was asked  “Do you know anything about how the Gym is going to be furnished?,” she said, “ It will have basketball hoops and bleachers…scoreboards are already here!  We are starting with basic necessities to have functional facility and then incorporate wish lists after that.” Other teachers and staff members were asked the same question. Chris Stewart touched on an interesting note when asked this. He said, “The Booster Club along with the Capital Campaign Committee are in the process of game planning how to reach out into the community and other potential sources of funding to furnish the gym with a wood floor.”  What Stewart is saying here is that the landowner of the upper school campus has only paid for the construction of the shell of the gym. All other funding has to come out of NLA’s pocket. Which as Stewart later says, “The outfitting of the gym as an activity center is North Lakes’ responsibility.”

Stewart said, “We hope to raise more than $100,000 in many different ways to make the facility meet our needs.”

Details are still a little unclear as to how and what kind of fundraisers the school is planning on doing. What is clear, however, is that the rest of this project is up to NLA.

People also have strong visions as to what they want the gym to look like.

Goulet said, “I would hope that it includes our school colors/logo on the floor and our mascot/logo on the walls. I am all for the basic look of a facility – nothing too fancy, just a floor, pride, and hoops!”  It’s intriguing that she mentions pride because it obviously cannot be built because its not solid. However, on further inquiry as to why she said that, Goulet said,  “The school logo’s, future school song, colors, on the walls – seeing and knowing the atmosphere of Husky pride as soon as you walk into the doors.”

However, there are always those who are less passionate than the rest of us, like Jacob Grinstead (10). He admitted during his interview that he has barely been paying attention to the construction of the gym. Because of the this, he has only just noticed that the support beams were up. Therefore, he had a much more loose vision of what the gym would be. Grinstead said “I hope the Gym is a lot less white than the middle school gym if it has school colors. I also hope that it is bigger than the middle school one…. which by the looks of it, it already is.”

There was also talk of what people thought the first event to take place in the gym should be. Stewart said, “Graduation; what a great sendoff for our senior students who have been told so many times that we would either be a) moving, or b) getting a gym, and then have our best laid plans fall to pieces. They deserve it!” Apparently, this has been an ongoing, unfulfilled promise for sometime now… However, by having the graduation ceremonies in the new  gym would eliminate the need to rent out space, and could potentially save some money.

when Goulet was asked what she wanted the first event to be she said, “I feel that as a school, it should be an NLA wide open house for students, parents, teachers, community members that assisted with the fundraising. After that, then it should be NLA’s 1st student body Pep Fest/Assembly to celebrate our expansion!” Depending on when the gym is finished, the Pep Fest would probably be the next best thing to graduation to open up the gym because one would still get the whole school involved and it would be a very positive experience.

And then there was Jacob who said, “I think there should be a school gathering… At the end of the year because that’s when I think it will be finished.”

These are all just speculation, but NLA knows one thing. Everyone will be happy when NLA has its own gym for all school functions.


Science Wing Change

This last Monday, Mr. Saunders and Mr. Good finally switched to the room s in the science wing. This had been an idea in development for several months now.However, it hadn’t been able to happen because the rooms had not been finished. Mr. Lou was presented with the task of finishing the rooms, which included, leveling and sealing the floor.  Leveling the floor proved to be a nightmare because of the fact the floors were incredibly uneven.

During the Chorus of the change, students in either Saunders’s’ or Good’s classes were, as many said, “Forced into slave labor.”

Jacob Grinstead said, “At least im getting my exercise…. But I like Science Class more.”

However, bringing the cabinets and supplies through the school to get to Saunder’s room wasn’t all work. Zoe Deal(10) and Morgan Selbitschka (10) found a soccer ball among the various items that Saunders had spread throughout his room. Deal and Selbitschka tried both dribbling and passing the soccer ball in the hallways while taking chemicals to Saunders new room. Ironically, Saunders didn’t mind it, but Grinstead tried to take on a rule of authority and stop them from kicking the soccer ball around. They ended up talking in many circles, entertaining the rest of the class.

After everything was said and done, Saunders and Good now are both on the far east wing, sharing a walk in closet with various science chemicals. Tom Lutes has taken Saunder’s old room and desks, and Mrs. Waterworth had taken Lute’s old room.

Plane Goes Missing?

Where is flight 370? Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was an international flight that mysteriously disappeared on March 8th  from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport. On board were 12 crew members and 227 passengers from 15 different nations and regions. However most of the passengers were Chinese.

The same day flight 370 disappeared, one of the largest searches in history took place. The Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak , announced that satellite-related data showed that the aircraft’s ACARS and transponder had been turned off and the radar data indicated that the aircraft’s “movements are consistent with the deliberate action of someone on the plane.” (Razak, Najib). The FBI searched both the pilots homes but found nothing.  By March 18th, over 26 Countries were searching for the mysterious missing  plane that had somehow vanished into thin air.

There are many theories about what happened to the plane. Student Zoe deal states “It had to have landed on an invisible island in the middle of nowhere; Then they just turned off the tracking device, but why would anyone do that? You couldn’t fly anywhere without getting noticed.”

Hannah Quarnstrom thinks “It was UFOs that took the plane, then in 50 years we’ll all be watching the news and they’ll say the plane has been returned with all the passengers on it!”

A Fishermen believes they may have seen the missing Malaysia Airlines flight on the night it disappeared flying low over the Gulf of Thailand. They’re not 100% sure it was flight MH370, but if true it would suggest that the plane may have flown low to avoid radar what is known as “terrain masking.”

As of today flight 370 is still missing and theories of what happened continue to grow.

Target Center Games

On Monday, February 17th, NLA’s basketball teams played against Spectrum High School at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

The girls’ team played very well and showed improvement, though they failed to secure a win.  The last time the teams met, NLA lost to Spectrum 9 to 46; on Monday night, the Huskies held the competition off better than before, more than doubling their score from the last game. The final score was 20-54.

Defensively, the girls did very well. They tried out two new defensive plays, both of which focused on cutting off their shooters.

NLA’s boys team played an exciting game that ended in a 66-64 win for the Huskies.  It was very close all they way through, causing the crowd to get into it with various chants and lots of cheering, clapping, and screaming. For the majority of the game, Spectrum was up by just a few points and regulation play ended with a tie. The game was still tied at the end of the four-minute overtime  until Derek Beatty (12) scored the winning point right as the buzzer went off.

“Way to make a game at the Target Center more exciting than the Timberwolves could for their own fans,” Upper School social studies teacher Chris Stewart told Beatty afterward.

Everyone had a great time playing at the Target Center. There are plans being made to do this again next year. Possibly, it will become a tradition.

Students Feeling the Pressure of NHD Deadline

With National History Day approaching on February 25th, North Lakes Academy students are starting to feel the pressure as they realize it’s not as easy as they thought it would be to put a project together at the last minute.

Eric Nelson , social studies teacher and NHD coach, remains positive about the projects and efforts this year. He wants at least one student from North Lakes makes it to the national level of the competition in Washington D.C. in May.

Only a limited amount of people can go to regionals, state, and nationals; NLA students are doing their best to try to be among them. One quarter of students in each category can go to Regionals, a quarter of THAT quarter go to State and a quarter of that go on to Nationals.  “It hasn’t happened before, but I have a good feeling about this year,” Nelson said.

The stakes are high for NLA students regardless of whether they reach the next level of competition. At NLA, the project is worth 60% of students’ final Semester 2 history grade; students must pass history to graduate from high school.

One can imagine the stress this creates: poster boards are starting to run low, printers aren’t working, and students are going into stress mode. Over half of the students interviewed said they have already had at least one breakdown. Two of them were Noah Nei (10) and Hannah Quarnstrom (10).

“I have no time to work on it during the week unless I stay up until 11pm because we have a basketball game almost every day, and then I work on weekends,” Nei said.  He came close to a breakdown over the weekend of February 7th, which continued into the following week.  He said the script for his documentary on Jackie Robinson “sounded horrible,” so he deleted it and started the whole thing over.

Quarnstrom said her breakdown came during the last week in January, a result of trying to narrate her documentary on the Titanic. She needed iMovie or something similar to it to record her script, but iMovie is only on Apple products.  She couldn’t find a similar device or app to use on her PC.

“I was almost tempted to drive to Apple and buy a computer so I could use iMovie for the narration for my documentary!” she said. Quarnstrom later figured out how to record on her own device. 

People may be struggling and having their breaking moments but, as Nelson would put it, “the more you struggle, the better you learn!” History Day is a chance for us all to learn something new. Yes, it has its lows, but the highs are worth so much more. Stop complaining about struggling and stressing and start learning!

New Friendships Between Teachers

As some teachers have left North Lakes Academy this past year, new teachers have been welcomed into the community. These additions to our school have formed new friendships, like the one between math teacher Josh Ogaard and athletic director Jeff Beimert. Dare we call it a “bromance?”

Ogaard and Beimert tend to spend a lot of time together.  They’re both coaches; Ogaard took the position of boys’ soccer coach this past season and is currently the girls assistant basketball coach for Beimert. Also, they’re carpool buddies: both teachers live south of NLA and drive to school together, which has strengthened their bond.

It’s nice to see such great friendships being formed among the staff at NLA. It proves how close our community is.  This new bromance is a friendly reminder to all students that teachers are people too.