Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Photos of 1st Grade Field Trip to the Zoo


Senior Class Trip to New Orleans Article

2013 Senior Class Trip to New Orleans

     For twenty Lester Prairie High School seniors and two chaperones, school started at 5am on Monday, April 15, 2013. This group was headed to New Orleans for their senior class trip. While most senior classes head to New York, this group wanted to do something different and memorable. As Zach Roth said, “I had so much fun on our class trip to New Orleans. I thought it was a great experience. We learned a lot of history and the way they do it down south. We had great food and lots of fun with my classmates. If you haven’t been there, go! It’s worth it!” 

     The first exciting thing they did, besides getting up early to be at the school at 5am, was fly on an airplane to Dallas and then on to New Orleans. For many of the students, this was their first time flying. Matt Alberts said, “The class trip was the best trip I have ever had. It was the first time flying for me so I thought it was fun. I also had fun touring New Orleans and seeing all of the old buildings and learning about the culture and the people.” 
      “I liked that we always had something to do and they kept us busy,” said Brenna Messer. “It was really fun flying with everyone and traveling around as a class. It was a great bonding experience and we had a lot of fun.”
     Kyle Schultz remarked, “Our trip to New Orleans was by far the best vacation I have ever been on. The plane ride made things even better and we didn’t have to sit on a bus for 24 hours.”

     After landing in New Orleans, the group was met by New Orleans tour guide, Kristin Giles and tour bus driver Mark Davis. Both were experts at their job. Kristin was well-acquainted with the history, culture, and the city itself. There was never a dull moment. Ashle Lukes said, “Everything was so well put together. Even though we were on the go constantly, it was a lot of fun! Our bus driver was amazing.” 
     Adam Feltmann said, “It was a very cool experience and we saw a lot of cool things; I will remember it for a long time.”

     The group got to eat at some famous restaurants, including Hard Rock Café New Orleans, House of Blues, the Steamboat NATCHEZ dinner, jazz, and harbor cruise, and Pont Breaux’s Cajun Restaurant, formerly Mulates, the world’s most famous Cajun restaurant. The seafood and 
Cajun food was a treat for many of the students. “The trip was really fun. The weather was great,”said Peyton Thiry. “We got to try many different foods.”
      “The food was extremely delicious and the best seafood I have ever tasted,” said Kyle Schultz. 
     Jacob Paschke said, “The food was really good, especially the Cajun food!”
     “It was really amazing how much different the Cajun food, life style, and language was compared to Minnesota and other parts of the United States. It felt like a whole different country,” said Alex Kaluza.

     While it snowed here in Minnesota, the students were enjoying beautiful sunshine and temperatures in the 70's and 80's in New Orleans. The group toured such interesting places as the Musee Conti Wax Museum, Lake Pontchartrain, St. Louis Cemetery, Tulane University, Loyola University and the Garden District homes. They also got a somber view of the “before and after” effects of Hurricane Katrina. Students also got to browse the French Quarter for food and souvenirs, the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, and a tour of Mardi Gras World, the largest float building firm in the world. Jacob Paschke said, “It was really loud and always moving in New Orleans. There was always something that was going on in the streets, whether it was planned, like their many parties, or just ordinary people doing stuff on the streets, like bands and dancers. I enjoyed every part of it.”
     Ryan Quast said, “Although the scenery and the city of New Orleans was amazing, the way our whole class come together was a thing that I liked.” 
     “In New Orleans, I had tons of fun getting know how people live there. It was very cool!” said Heather Will.
     “The trip was exciting. It kept us busy, but was still a lot of fun learning about the different people and the history,” remarked Miranda Buesing.

     The group was also treated to such amazing and one-of-a-kind experiences as a Haunted Ghost Walk Tour, which began at Rev. Zombie’s Voodoo Shop; The National World War II Museum of New Orleans and a realistic 4-D movie/documentary about World War II; a guided tour of Laura Plantation, a Creole Plantation;  a guided tour of Cajun country and Shadows on the Teche, a southern sugar cane  plantation; dancing and listening to lively Cajun music; and a swamp boat tour of the Atchafalaya Basin. 
     Nick Bettcher said, “The ghost tour was very spooky.” 

     They also got to share a few moments of just having fun together while bowling at Rock-N-Bowl in New Orleans, and tasting the wonderful beignets at Café du Monde.

     Everywhere this group went, the people from Louisiana commented about what a wonderful group of young people they were. The students of Lester Prairie High School were polite, well-behaved, and attentive while on the many tours of various, museums, plantations, and buildings. They did not complain, even though they traveled many miles on the walking tour of New Orleans. The tour guide, Kristin, had tears in her eyes as she left this group of young people. She said, “They are a wonderful group of young people, but each one has something to offer as individuals as well.” The hotel staff also commented on how well the students behaved in the rooms and hallways of the hotels. 

     By the fifth day, April 19, the students were exhausted and ready to return to Minnesota. But it was a tour and an adventure many of them will never forget. “It was very fun to get out of small-town Lester Prairie and to visit The Big Easy. The French culture, including the Cajun food and the lively music, was a great experience. This trip definitely brought our class closer together and helped us make memories we will never forget,” said Morgan Roush.
     Peyton Thiry said, “It was awesome being able to spend a week with the class. I feel that we learned a lot and all had a good time.” 
     And finally, Ryan Quast said, “The whole class was brought together on the trip. On a side note, if they are planning to stop class trips, they should not. Many things are learned about, like other cultures. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.”

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Artist in Residency Sponsored by SMAHC and the Prairie Arts Council

Lester Prairie 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students have and will continue to work with professional artist Bart Buch.  Students will be working on making clay puppets and masks and will eventually create a presentation that deals with proper behaviors and anti-bullying messages.  
Mr. Buch is a puppet artist, poet, and teaching artist. He started in puppetry 15 years ago by creating bedtime puppet shows, about a salmon and starfish falling in love, in his backyard for friends and neighbors. Since the salmon and starfish stories, his aesthetic has stayed rooted in the poetic, romantic and intimate, but deepened in skill, style, and technique. Bart focuses on interpreting poetry from written text into puppetry arts performances and looks for the poetic qualities of any story to highlight. He seeks to convey poetry through evocative and gestural puppet movement, strong visual imagery, usually a lack of spoken word, and an enveloping musical language. Bart has presented several small independent puppet shows working with the poetry of Allen Ginsberg, Mark Doty, Adrienne Rich, Wendell Berry, Samuel Coleridge, Rumi, Federico Garcia Lorca, Walt Whitman, Dar Williams, and others, as well as his own poetry.  Bart has also worked at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre for 13 years as an Associate Artist developing, teaching, performing, and building puppet theatre of all types. He is currently Education Director at In the Heart of the Beast designing and teaching educational programming focusing on puppetry arts. 
Here are some photos from students working with Bart on their masks.  More photos will follow.  Thank you to the Prairie Arts Council for writing the grant, Heart of the Beast productions, and SMAHC.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

Please take some time to thank a teacher this week for "Teacher Appreciation Week!"  While parents have the greatest impact on our lives, teachers are another group of people who have the opportunity to influence students.  The saying it takes a village to raise a child is more needed today than ever before.  Here at Lester Prairie in my first year as the K-12 principal I have seen our teachers and staff do many great things, from coming early or staying after school to help students out, to attending the prom, helping students who are having bad days, listening to students and their ideas, playing dodgeball against students during homecoming, communicating with parents and families, and much, much more.  The amount of heart and soul the staff as a whole pours into our students and making sure we are doing everything we can to create successful students is very evident when you walk down our halls and into our classrooms.  The largest group of these would be the teachers who lead our students to this success and provide multiple avenues of learning each and every day.  I remind you again to thank a teacher for being a positive influence on your life and for being someone who comes to the school each day with doing everything possible for your success.


Thank You Teachers!

Mr. Landkamer participates in Physic's Day with the Twins

Recently, Lester Prairie staff member Greg Landkamer had the opportunity to participate as a presenter for Physics Day at Target Field.  Mr. Landkamer has been doing the presenting since the program started and took place at the Metrodome.  It is a great opportunity for students from many schools to get a chance to learn about physics and the abundance of it in the sporting arena.  When asked about the day, Landkamer commented that their is a great opportunity for not only the kids on this day, but also the participants who are able to collaborate and share ideas related to physics and the other sciences.  In addition, Landkamer adds while they were a little disappointed with the weather, there was still a decent turnout for both days of the event.  Some of the activities covered in this event and previous events included "fastball reaction time," "pitching speed," and "sweet spots."

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

5th Grade News and Events

On April 28th, the 5th graders attended the Minnesota Twins baseball game against the Texas Rangers, and the TWINS WON!!  This trip was a culmination activity to the DARE program, led by Chief Carlson,  which they participated in this year.  After the game the students ran around the bases just like baseball stars.  It was a beautiful day, and all of us had lots of fun eating stadium food and cheering on the Twins.

On Friday, May 10th, we take our 5th grade field trip to Lowry Nature Center.  We'll be working with a naturalist and investigating the plants and animals in the park during the morning.  After that we will be bowling at Hutch Bowl.  Let's hope they have the bumpers up!!

In the middle of April, we welcomed Andres to our class.  He is so much fun, and we are happy he is in our classroom.

Ms. Walker, our student teacher from Crown College, stopped by to say hello.  We were so excited to see her again and to hear about her graduation from college and plans for the future.  We wish her well and miss her.

We are all relieved to have completed the Minnesota Comprehensive Tests.  But we also know there is a month left of school, and we have more skills to learn and work to do.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spanish Students Attend Festival of Nations

On Friday, May 3rd, high school students from Lester Prairie School and Holy Trinity Catholic School spent the day attending Minnesota’s largest multi-cultural event, The Festival of Nations, held at St. Paul’s River Center.

Students were able to try ethnic foods, participate in mini-language lessons hosted by Concordia Language Camps, purchase authentic goods in the bazaar, watch traditional dance performances from all over the world, and learn about the cultures of 90 different people groups.  Students could also participate in cultural games and watch artisans as they worked on their crafts.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lester Prairie NHS Induction

Today we had the induction ceremony for the new students for NHS.  New inductees were:  Melissa Will, Caleb Sebora, Jesse Walter, and Jacob Roth.  These four students have earned at least a 3.4 GPA and have shown leadership skills through volunteer work and other school related activity participation.  It is a great honor to be a part of the National Honor Society.  The ceremony began with a surprise by current members, new inductees were then taken by limo to Glencoe where the ceremony and banquet took place.  The guest speaker was Mr. Johnson, who gave a wonderful speech on what it means to be an NHS member.  The current members of Miranda Buesing, Peyton Thiry, Krista Lange, Morgan Roush, Jack Fiecke, Danielle Lohse, Nicholas Machemehl, Emily Schnaser, Courtney Scoblic, and Taylor Ziermann were introduced.  The four senior then gave their speech on what it takes to be a leader and who they look up to as leader role models.  The roles and responsibilities followed.  The ceremony concluded with the induction ceremony and closing comments and pictures, along with a meal.  The Lester Prairie Lion's Club donated the banquet for members.  Congratulations to the current and new NHS members!!!!!