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Congratulations to the Class of 2019! You did it!

Senior Walk at Shirley Hills 2019

Borg Report May 23, 2019

This is an important weather-related message from the Westonka School District: The National Weather Service forecast for Sunday, May 26, includes temperatures well above zero and 0% chance of snow. Therefore, we predict that the Mound Westonka High School graduation ceremony will be held as scheduled. 

It’s my honor to help celebrate the MWHS Class of 2019. In addition to the extreme and never-ending winter weather, highlights of your senior year include the grand openings of the Westonka Activity Center and Westonka Performing Arts Center; and success in the classroom, on stage and in athletic competition.

Please read about a few of the many accomplishments and accolades of the 2019 MWHS graduates.

High Achievers

Each quarter, you have impressed us with your academic achievements. MWHS has been consistently ranked as one of the top high schools in the nation by publications such as U.S. News & World Report and Niche and has earned top-in-state test scores year after year. This would not have been possible without the hard work and achievements of the Class of 2019.

The College Board recognized six members of the Class of 2019 for outstanding achievement on Advanced Placement exams in 2018. Many more will be recognized later this summer for 2019 AP test results. Charlie Reinhardt qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award last year; and Lauren Kelly, Joshua Leech, JP Oftedahl, Taylor Smith and Ela Springer earned AP Scholar awards. Reinhardt and Springer were named National Merit Commended Students for scoring in the top 5 percent of the more than 1.5 million students who took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT).

Reinhardt and Lauren Kelly were winners of the ExCEL Award, which recognizes excellence in “community, education and leadership.” Kelly also received the Triple A award, along with Aidan Maloney, for excelling in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the fine arts.

Alex Kline and Tia Meyer served the school well as officers of Student Senate, which led a number of successful events this year. An impressive forty seniors are members of National Honor Society.

Fourteen of your classmates experienced the thrill of competing at state in DECA this year, and five seniors went on to compete at the 2019 International Career Development Conference in Orlando. Lauren Lachenmayer, Grace Elling, Asha Martel, JP Oftedahl and Sam Dufault networked with and competed against the top DECA teams from each U.S. state, as well as foreign teams, including Spain and China.

Walker Laughon was a presenter this year with the Westonka Tech Interns at the ISTE Conference in Chicago and at the TIES conference in Minneapolis, teaching educators about the student-led Chromebook repair program at MWHS. Aly Sveeggen competed with the Science Olympiad team at the state tournament.

Pitch Perfect Performers

At long last, we were able to welcome our talented musicians and actors to a true performance space this year. Your class took on the challenge of performing not one but two musicals on the Westonka Performing Arts Center stage. Emma Jordahl earned Outstanding Performance SpotLight Awards for her leading roles in both productions. Five other classmates earned SpotLight recognition for their contributions to the cast or crew: Joey Colianni Jr. and Zoe Peterson, who received Honorable Mention awards for both productions, and Sarah Brammer, Nick Drilling and Kris Kurtz.

Mound Westonka High School is home to some of the top musical groups in Minnesota, including the Madd Jazz, Concert Choir and Wind Ensemble groups. Camille Hill, Allen Soley, Trevor Spurbeck and Navin Thakurdial were selected for the Wright County Conference (WCC) Honor Band, and Thakurdial was also a member of the All-State Symphonic Band and University of Minnesota State Honor Band.

Sarah Brammer performed with the All-State Choir and was joined by Camryn Ess, Joey Colianni Jr., Emma Jordahl, Tia Meyer and Nick Drilling in the WCC Honor Choir. Brammer also earned “Best in Site” recognition for her vocal solo at the Region 2AA Solo-Ensemble Contest.

Athletic All-Stars

This year has been a great one for White Hawks athletics, and it’s not over yet! We had three teams compete in state tournaments this year - jazz dance, girls hockey and gymnastics - and individual and team records were broken along the way.

Continuing a long tradition of success, the MWHS dance team claimed conference and section titles in jazz and competed at state for the 13th consecutive year. The Hawkettes finished fourth overall—tying the team’s highest-ever placement. Seniors competing at state on the jazz team were Lauren Kelly and Eva Cherba. Kelly was named to the Wells Fargo All-Tournament Team and the Academic All-State Dance Team.

The White Hawks girls hockey team completed its most successful season in the history of the program, capped off by a fourth-place finish in the state tournament. Senior team members included Sydney Bowe, Lauren Burris, Sydney Hules, Emily Schepers and Taylor Smith. Starting goalie Smith was runner-up for Let’s Play Hockey Senior Goalie of the Year and was named to the All-State and All-State Academic teams. Burris was named All-State Honorable Mention.

The Watertown-Mayer/Mound Westonka gymnastics team also headed back to state this year and placed fifth overall. Competing for her fifth time at state was senior captain Teagan Schmidt, who was named to the All-State gymnastics team.

Schmidt also competed in the individual gymnastics state tournament, and six more members of your class competed at state as individuals: Andrew Abegglen and Charlie Reinhardt in Nordic skiing; Kris Kurtz, Felipe Mahmoud and Ben Schmalz in wrestling; and Ashley Storm in girls swimming.

Individual and team accomplishments go on and on. The White Hawks boys basketball team had an exciting, 20-win season and claimed the conference championship. The boys golf team also clinched its third WCC title in the past four seasons. Other White Hawks student-athletes broke records and led their teams to great success.

This year's Yost/Haddorff/Leopold awards, which are presented annually to the school’s top senior athletes, went to Kris Kurtz and Jen Schaible. Kurtz earned 12 varsity letters among football, wrestling, and track and field. He was one of only two MWHS student-athletes ever to play in the all-state football game and wrestle in the state tournament in their senior years. Schaible was a standout athlete on the White Hawks volleyball and basketball teams. She was the first basketball player in school history to reach the 1,000 career points milestone as a junior. 

We are excited to see more success from our spring sports programs!

Award-Winning Artists

Nine of your classmates received recognition in the 2018 Minnesota State Fair Art Competition, including Lilly Hamlin, who took home a first-place ribbon.

Lily Ness earned both a Gold Key Award and a Silver Key Award in the Minnesota Scholastic Art competition. Leandra O’Connell earned a Gold Key and an Honorable Mention. Bradford O’Connell also earned a pair of Honorable Mention recognitions.

Nine of your classmates earned Superior ratings at the Section 2AA Visual Arts Festival, including Iris Marohn, whose work was named Best in Show. Taylor Hummelsund and Kade Retterath exhibited work in the judged Third Congressional District Art Exhibit this year. Nick Drilling earned Honorable Mention in the Youth Art Month State Student Exhibition, and his work was displayed at the Minnesota State Capitol. 

Generous Givers

The Class of 2019 showed a commitment to giving back to your school and community. You proved that you could "Be the Change" by participating in a week of activities centered on creating a positive school climate. Last fall, the girls soccer and volleyball teams joined forces to support the local charity Hope Chest for Breast Cancer.

This group of DECA seniors has dedicated over 400 hours to volunteer work in the community over the past four years. Asha Martel and Grace Elling helped to create the #ThankYouWestonka DECA project to show the student body’s appreciation to the community for approving funding for the new PAC and WAC. 

Your class raised thousands of dollars for the Westonka Food Shelf and had successful donation drives throughout the school year. You also honored veterans in your families and community. We are thankful for your generous spirit!

Achieving Real-Life Success

As you graduate from Mound Westonka High School in just a few short days, I sincerely hope that you will look back on your time in Westonka with pride. I am confident that each of you is prepared for success in higher education and in life. I want to thank you for all that you have given to our schools and to our community.

We look forward to seeing all that is to come from your class! 

View a list of awards and accolades of the MWHS Class of 2019*

Sincerely,

Kevin Borg, Superintendent
(952) 491-8001
borgk@westonka.k12.mn.us

 

*Please note: We did our best to capture all of the outstanding accomplishments of the senior class. Please let us know if we missed you or someone you know by emailing neugerb@westonka.k12.mn.us. We will update the list with more spring awards information as it becomes available.