Semester Ends + Pack the Palace

What a way to end a semester!

While it’s entirely possible that a semester end has coincided with ‘Pack the Palace’ in the past, last night was a unique one, in many ways, for our students and community.

First our booster club joined forces with Mead High School to provide a free indoor tailgate, and it didn’t disappoint. Spectators were treated to the summer smell of BBQ immediately when they entered our doors, and I’m so very thankful for the time and care that these people spend to support our kids. Thanks to everyone who flipped a burger or dog, set up a table, manned a table for donations to the Ronald McDonald house, or cleaned up a mess. I am very appreciative.

Then, entering our gymnasium, our amazing pep band of current students, alumni and 8th graders set the tone with their moving performance of the national anthem. An emotional and intense girls game came down to the final shot. Halftimes provided both perspective and entertainment as our Unified basketball team joined with Mead’s to highlight the joy of sport with both student bodies cheering loudly in support. Our district qualifying dance team then performed to a packed house during intermission of the boys game, and I found myself marveling at the number of students who were involved. This is what high school should be about.

The night ended with our boys defeating Mead High School, winning the two-game series for the first time in many years. As I worked with our Athletic Director, Paul Kautzman, to pick up the remnants of a memorable evening, I was tired for all the right reasons. Thank you Mt. Spokane High School. That was a good night.

Darren

Bailey Nowlin – One Cool ‘Cat

Bailey Nowlin is one cool Wildcat.

In addition to being a dedicated sophomore student at MSHS, Bailey is also an accomplished when it comes to all things rodeo. Most recently Bailey was awarded as the 2016 EWJRA (Eastern Washington Junior Rodeo Association)Intermediate Cowgirl Champion. She received 1st place Barrels, 1st place Breakaway roping, 1st place Goat Tying, 1st place Cow Riding, 1st place Steer Daubing, and 2nd place Pole Bending.

Congratulations, Bailey, on all of your accomplishments! We are proud!

Go Bailey!
Go ‘Cats!

Stagecraft Final Projects – Simply Fantastic!

Ever wonder how scenes are constructed for our productions at Mt. Spokane?  Curious as to who runs the lights and sound when concerts are presented in our theatre?  The answer, in large part, lies within our 6th period Stagecraft class that is led by Theatre Arts Director Jessica Rempel.

As final projects are currently getting ready for submission in many classes, students in Stagecraft were given a unique, (and I’d argue cool), challenge. Consider the following:

1. All of the students were asked to select a “space” that they would be interested in designing their own version of and potentially building (this could be a room from a movie, video game, play, book, tv show, etc.).

2. They created digital research boards where they compiled images of their space, the furniture, characters, etc. that would be present in it.

3. In groups of about 6, they had to present their digital research and “sell” their idea to their group. Each group voted on the design they would continue to work on.

4. Each group created a design portfolio for their space, including a ground view of their room, a front view of their room, two costume designs, props lists, and lighting and sound concept designs.

5. Each group built their set (including fleshing it out with props and set dressings) working with materials in-house, a $30 budget, and items brought from home.

The final result? Boo’s bedroom from the Monsters, Inc. movie, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland and Jack Sparrow’s cell from The Pirates of the Caribbean.

GREAT job to all of our incredibly creative and talented students! Special thanks to Jessica Rempel for providing the opportunity!

Wildcat Dance – Congratulations!

The Wildcat Dance Team has worked all year long to qualify for districts, and this past weekend was a complete success!

Taking place at Rogers High School, our team competed in their second invitational of the year.  When the results were tallied, our ‘Cats qualified both their Hip Hop and Pom routines for Districts!

The girls will perform again at Pack the Palace this Friday night at Mt. Spokane and again at districts: March 11th at Lewis & Clark!

Congratulations to advisor Nancy Butz and our girls!

Wildcats Tackle Hunger

The Mt. Spokane DECA chapter certainly was in the giving spirit this holiday season.

Taking part in 2nd Harvest’s Tackle Hunger drive, our Wildcat DECA program raised a record $5300.00. This money translated into 26,500 meals for the Spokane community. . . what a gift!

To celebrate this accomplishment, Mt. Spokane DECA won the traveling “Tackle Hunger” trophy and a very generous $1500 donation from Darigold. This is the 3rd year in a row our DECA program has earned these honors!

Congratulations to our DECA students and their advisor, Dave Whitehead, for this fantastic accomplishment!

From left to right in picture. Chris Sloan 2nd Harvest, Haley Milligan, Devin Wiseman, Jonny Douglas, Ashton Wilber, Shannon Kinney, 2nd Harvest, and Scott Killsgaard from Darigold.

Thankful

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”
Ralph Marston

As we now enter Winter Break as a school community, I found myself reflecting on this quote as students and staff were leaving for a much deserved reprieve. The silence of an empty high school is an eerie thing, and it was within this silence that I found the opportunity to be thankful for those with whom I spend my days.

I am thankful for our amazingly dedicated staff. Regardless of the job people hold at Mt. Spokane, the level of care and excellence they bring each and every day is inspiring. They motivate me to bring my best self each day.

I am thankful for our empathetic, diverse and talented student body. 1500 students from ages 14-18 bring an energy that is indescribable, and their achievements and challenges make me excited to do what I do each day. Truly, they are the best.

I am thankful for a community that supports our students passionately. The packed attendance at concerts and athletic events that took place over the last few weeks cemented this truth. It is this kind of support that allows our school to evolve in our mission to serve students.

And so, as I make my way from the office for some time with my family, please know I am thankful beyond measure. I am the lucky one.

I wish everyone in our community a safe, memorable and joyous holiday season. While a few days away will be a needed time to rest and reflect, I’m excited and confident that 2017 will be our best year yet at Mt. Spokane High School.

Happy Holidays!

Go ‘Cats!

Darren
“Mr. Nelson”

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Wildcat DECA – Simply the BEST!

Mt. Spokane DECA competed in the regional competition on December 6th at SFCC with 18 other schools and over 900 competitors.

MSHS DECA qualified at least one person/team in every event they competed in and is sending a record number of  85 competitors to state, which will be held in Bellevue March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

Mt. Spokane competed 5 individuals or teams in the Individual Decision Making and Team Decision Making Events with the top 8 qualifying for state.  In the Professional Selling, Advertising, Promotion Plans, and Entrepreneurship events the top 6 qualified for state.   85 out of 141 competitors qualified! Go ‘Cats!

Mt. Spokane earned 37 of the available 96 spots in individual events including:

Apparel & Accessories

1st Alexis Desautel
3rd Tarienne Hoke
4th Anna Warner
7th Klaire Perry

Automotive Services Marketing
3rd Makayla Whitehead
5th Bradley Guevarra
6th Gavin Lemon

Business Financial Services
1st Heather LaCaze
3rd Jaden Hardy
7th Michael Tsuchida
8th Jacob Waters

Business Service Management
8th Jacob Morton

Food Marketing Service
3rd Hannah Madsen
6th Sukhleen Bolina
7th Gianna Parish

Hotel and Lodging Management
7th Megan Billeter

Human Resources Management
1st Andrew Sonneland
2nd Michelle McDonald
4th Hannah Sparber

Marketing Comunications
3rd Hanna Hess
6th Camryn Demarest
7th John Grieshaber

Quick Service Management
1st Nick Haynie
5th Ashton Wilber
6th Josh Rostollan
7th TJ (Tarek) Benton

Restaurant and Food Service Management
2nd Jaden Fleming
3rd Rebekah Neal
4th Devin Wiseman
5th Nicole Roman

Retail Merchandising Service
2nd Haley Milligan
6th Alyssa Powell

Sports and Entertainment Marketing
1st Lucas Thompson
2nd Brooke Pefley
4th Hayden Roberts
6th Jacob Carr
8th Brianna Carr

Mt. Spokane had 18 teams qualify out of 56 team event slots possible!

Business Law and Ethics Team Decision Making
1st Natalie Craudell and Emily Fry
7th Dakota Ervin and Jordan Quinlan

Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making
1st Kelsey Byus and Ava Figon
5th Baylie Moe and Bria Schwald
7th Rachel Linton and Maddie McDermott

Financial Analysis Team Decision Making
1st Jared Mehring and Sam Spears
2nd George Johnson and Adam Sonneland
5th Josie Martin and Shanley Oakes
6th Docker Davis and Cade Neuman
7th London Sanders and Lucas Smith

Hospitality Team Decision Making
5th Caleb Countryman and Annop Hothi
6th Ryan Alm and Risone Ama

Marketing Communication Team Decision Making
3rd Abbey Miller and Molly Stanford

Sports and Entertainment Team Decision Making
1st Jinna Brim and Meghan Tabacek
5th Erika Brooks and Baylee McHaney
7th Miahna Waters and Haley Schnug
8th Logan Anyan and Luke Clark

Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making
1st Sydney Campbell and Jesse Dupuis

Only 6 spots in each event go to state.  All but 1 of the competitors Mt. Spokane DECA entered in the events listed below qualified for state.

Advertising Campaign
2nd Lindsey Carlson and Halle Hanson

Fashion Merchandising Promotional Plan
2nd Katie Maher and Elizabeth Redmond

Entrepreneurial Innovational Promotional Plan
6th Payton Stiles and Preston Bingley

Financial Consulting
2nd Dylan Hathaway

Professional Selling
2nd Dayton Hammond
3rd Blake Peterson

Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling
1st Preston Bingley
2nd Savanna Romero
4th Dawson Kamalu-Nako

 

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Parent Survey – Please Participate!

Calling all MSHS parents!

Please consider taking a short survey that will be used to help our improvement efforts at Mt. Spokane. This survey will be open through November 28th, and the responses will guide action steps to make our school a better place for all involved!

Click HERE to be transported to the survey.

Thank you for your participation!

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Wildcat Volleyball – What a Season!

What an ending!

The Mt. Spokane volleyball team entered the 2016 State Tournament in Kennewick riding a wave of momentum. After defeating Garfield High School of Seattle in a “winner to state” match last Tuesday, our girls celebrated Veteran’s Day weekend by matching a feat that has only happened once in our school’s twenty year history: they qualified for the state title match.

While the magic of the tournament came up just a bit short against a talented Lakeside High School team (Seattle), there was nothing but pride from the MSHS section of the Toyota Center. Congratulations to our talented girls and their coaches! We are thankful and proud!

Go ‘Cats!

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A “Typical” Tuesday

Typical.

Initially, that’s how I may have described this Tuesday in October. Then, after just a few minutes to think, I realized that “typical” hardly defines what happens at Mt. Spokane High School. To be frank, it’s not an appropriate descriptor at all.

Consider for a minute what happened on this “typical” Tuesday:

* Multiple students engaged me with a “good morning”, “What’s up, Mr. Nelson?”, or a simple “Hi” as I made my way through our hallways. Always sincere, and usually delivered with a smile, these small interactions are so incredibly appreciated. I’m very thankful for our students.

* English teachers gathered to discuss their students and department before classes started. All in attendance were engaged, and their collective focus was so clearly on the well-being of our students. To say I was, and am, appreciative would be a gross understatement. I’m very thankful for our teachers.

* Throughout the day I interacted with each of our four counselors. Our discussions ranged from graduation requirements to students in crisis, and each time I left their offices I felt a sense of ease as I trust them so completely with our students. I’m very thankful for our counselors.

* Very casually, I stepped into a classroom that was supported with dedicated para-educators. Working one-on-one with students, I watched two different students open up and engage with professionals that, truly, help make our school feel the supportive way it does. I’m very thankful for our para-educators.

I could go on and on about our custodial staff, cooks, administrative assistants and specialists, (and I probably will in another blogpost), but my point is simple: Tuesday wasn’t too typical, and it’s because of the people I work with each day.

Thank you for entrusting me to do this job. What a day!

Go ‘Cats!

Darren