JULY 2014


Congratulations, Graduates!

The year is over; caps have been thrown; open houses attended, and yet the smell of the school hallway still lingers in the air.

However, that faint remembrance of high school life will soon be filled with new journeys – college, trade school, military, workforce… you name it! The world is yours for the taking, Graduates. Where do you plan to go? Who do you plan to become?

On June 5th, Principal Morgan spoke the final words to WMAES’ Class of 2014 Graduates as a whole, sending them out into the world full of knowledge, skills, determination, and perhaps a spark of rebellion. Graduates gracefully marched out of the gym, gowned in blue and white, gripping their diploma as the doors pushed open to the outside world.

It has been a year of many firsts for the 2014 Graduating Class. Two K-12 Legacy Students graduated, the first WMAES Alumni Organization began, Entrepreneurial Awards have been granted, not to mention WMAES being ranked the #3 Charter School and #36 High School in Michigan. It is time for our Graduates to experience life in the real world – which will be a first time for them as well. And next year, as the Class of 2015 files into the door, ready to learn, they will know how big of shoes they have to fill.

Congratulations Class of 2014 – YOU DID IT!

Common Core and the Common Questions

This year, Common Core will be used throughout all schools in Michigan.

Common Core has been leaving some parents with sour words in their mouth – and that’s okay. The Common Core standards are confusing and may leave you with more questions than answers. Thankfully, the National PTA has put together Parents' Guide to Student Success, covering all grades from K-12. If you are confused by the new learning methods used in your student's classroom, feel free to look at the PTA document. It is also important that you meet with your student's teacher to gain a greater understanding of what will occur in the classroom.

Ambassador Program – Rewarding our Parents and Students for Spreading the Word

West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science is launching a revamped Ambassador Program for our parents and students. As you may know, over 80% of our student population is made up of families who have been referred by other families.

Whether that’s because little Susie loves our school and told her Aunt how much she would love it if her nephews and nieces could join her, or if it was because Mr. Doe was sharing the news of his son’s class winning the recycling challenge at school… our parents and students know how to spread positive words about our school with others.

So… why not get REWARDED for growing our school? This year, for every student you invite to join our school who enrolls and attends on Fall Count Day (and did not attend last year), you will receive a $50 gift! We want to show you how thankful we are to have parents and students who continually spread positive vibes about West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science.

There is no sign-up required! All of our parents are AUTOMATICALLY Ambassadors. The catch? Word-of-mouth is the best way to share with others… so, I guess you’ll be talking a lot more. When you refer another family/student to WMAES, just make sure they include your name on the enrollment form under “How Did You Hear About Us.” That’s the only way we can keep track of who referred who.

All right, what are you waiting for? Get talking today!
If you have any questions, feel free to email AmbassadorCoach@choiceschools.com

Legacy Students

2014 marked an extraordinary year for our senior graduates. Aside from the many exciting adventures they participated in, two of our seniors participated in the same adventure for over 12 years!

Alex DePriest and Jacob Sochanek joined the WMAES family at the beginning of the 2000-01 school year. Alex and Jacob were young kindergarteners then, and back when WMAES didn’t have a full high school.

From the beginning of his school career at WMAES, Jacob faced many difficulties. He dealt with bullies and struggled a bit in his reading. He worked on his reading abilities in 2nd grade, and after considerable thought, his family decided to have him stay in 2nd grade the following year. During this second year, Jacob’s reading abilities grew immensely, and he made new friends. Fast-forward to his junior year at WMAES, Jacob decided that for his profession, he wanted to serve and protect the people while upholding the law. He earned the privileged spot of dual enrolling at Kent Career Technical Center. Through all of life’s difficulties, Jacob persevered and made sure his daily attendance at school was a priority. In his school career, he learned that he possesses the ability to be persistent and to continually find success in his life. He will make a very fine officer one day!

When Alex DePriest rode the school bus to kindergarten 13 years ago, WMAES was only a K-9 school. He played on an old wooden playground that is now the parking lot. He helped create the school’s first mud oven. Alex participated on the school’s first Odyssey of the Mind team, tapped maples for 5 seasons, and helped round-up wandering chickens during his years at WMAES. As he continued his education here, it was not without any obstacles. In early elementary, Alex struggled with a speech disorder. He attended speech therapy during elementary and found so much success that he hasn’t stopped speaking clearly since that time! In the 8th grade, Alex was cut from the basketball team – but that didn’t stop him! He was persistent and talked with Coach Jackson, who in turn found him a spot on the team. Alex worked hard and remained on the team throughout his high school career. His persistence paid off academically as well. Alex participated and medaled in the Science Olympiad, attended the GVSU Electrophoresis lab with the AP Bio class, and was one of only 4 students to receive college credit for AP Biology. He represented his class for 2 years on Student Council, and Service Learning trips to Colorado. Alex plans to attend Central Michigan University and major in Computer Sciences. He will surely continue to be an excellent example of the high quality of students that WMAES produces.


Join us for our FIRST EAGLE OUTING of the 2014-15 school year! WMAES families and staff will be able to join WMAES at a Whitecaps game, July 31.

If you are interested in purchasing tickets for you and your family, reserve your tickets by filling out the form here.

If you have any questions, email lanahenrickson@choiceschools.com or visit the WMAES Facebook page!

Tickets will be limited, so be sure to reserve your tickets before it’s too late!!


PreK & Young 5's

Preschool Ends with a Celebration

Preschoolers, thank you for ending the year with a fun celebration for you parents and family. It was great meeting you all this year, and I look forward to seeing you in the kindergarten hallway next year.

A Young 5’s Recap

What a great end to the school year! This year we spent time learning, playing, and enjoying new experiences. Young 5’s friends spent the last month of school learning all about plants and enjoying our awesome ecosystems here at school. We also did a couple fun field trips at John Ball Park Zoo and Tunnel Park Beach before school ended. These students are definitely kindergarten ready! Just to be sure, we encourage our families to spend some time practicing “Kindergarten Readiness” activities listed on the calendar/grid that went home the last day of school. This shares some fun ideas of how to practice important kindergarten skills during the summer. Have a great summer, and we will look forward to seeing all of our future kindergarten students at the Pig Roast in August!

Young students sitting on the grass with their teacher.


Elementary News

Letters from My Teacher...

Dear Second Grade Students,
I want to start out by saying thank you for an amazing year! I feel so lucky to have been your second grade teacher this year. I enjoyed watching you grow. I hope you have a wonderful summer! Please make sure to stop by next year and say “hi”. I’ll see you at the Pig Roast in August.
Mrs. Heintskill

All Elementary students,
The Talent Show was a huge success this year! From singers, to dancers, karate moves and hula hooping, you all did a fantastic job! I am so proud of all the K-5th grade participants! Way to showcase your talents.
Ms. Baxter

Dear Third Grade Parents and Grandparents,
I can’t believe this year is already over! I had such a great time getting to know each of your children this year! I also appreciated the relationships I was able to build with many of you. This was a great group of students, and I am so sad to see them go, but am looking forward to seeing them grow in the years to come.
Don’t be a stranger! Have a great summer!
Heather Garner

 First Grade Parents, Students, and Families,
First grade is a big year: many of our students entered the classroom reading a few words and are now reading full books all by themselves! What an exciting accomplishment! We’ve had a great school year full of new friends, field trips, and learning all sorts of new things. Please feel free to keep in touch during the summer months by checking our class blog: www.mrsshubertsclass.blogspot.com or by email: clareshubert@choiceschools.com.
Incoming first grade parents, please also feel free to contact me over the summer!
Have a great summer!
Mrs. Shubert

Hasta luego, Amigos!
It’s been a great year, and we worked hard. I look forward to seeing all of you in the 2014/15 school year. Por favor, practice your espanol throughout the summer. Everyone should know his or her colors and numbers very well. Any other vocabulary practiced this year, you should be using with your family so they can learn it too!
Have a wonderful summer!
Sra. Hosmer

Thank you to all my 4th graders for making this year so wonderful. You all worked so hard this year, especially during the last few months when you put together your mythology plays and talent show performances. You did a fantastic job!
See you next year,
Mrs. Briggs

We had a very fun year of learning in 2nd grade this year. A few highlights for you to remember, include:

We are all looking forward to the summer, and I am excited to see you return to WMAES in the fall as 3rd graders!
Stay safe and have fun.
Mrs. Lameris

What superstar readers and writers we had at WMAES this year! I am so proud of all of the students who have continued to work hard. Keep it up over the summer. I look forward to hearing what you read and write about during your time off from school!
Ms. Baxter


Middle School News

Letter from My Teacher...

Thanks for a great year, middle school students! Sixth grade, it was so much fun getting to know each other this year and ending on such a great note at camp! Seventh grade, I wish you the best of luck next year. I will miss teaching you and the awesome conversations we had every day.
Have a great summer, middle school!
Mrs. Moens


High School News

Environmental Science Goes Down River

Mr. Barrett and Mr. Williams' Environmental Classes (9th and 10th grades) went canoeing down the Rogue River, west of Rockford, June 9. The trip was a fun part of the curriculum. Students were able to view and experience what they had just learned in class, but in an outdoor setting. Most canoes ended up tipped and students wet by the end of the trip, but all had a good time.

Letter From My Teacher...

I hope that all my students have a wonderful summer. I will miss seeing you all!
Mrs. Peterson

To the Class of 2014,
It’s been a pleasure teaching you and an honor to have watched you grow throughout your four years of high school. You are a bright, committed, and gifted group of seniors. You will be dearly missed around the halls of WMAES, but I know that you are all ready to spread your wings and do great things. Just don’t forget to come back and visit – bragging about all the fun and wonderful things you have been completing after graduation!
Mrs. Sherman

Group photo of 2014 graduating class

Benefits of Reading

I cannot believe how quickly the school year has flown. As you move onto the next grade, no matter what you do, make sure that you are reading! Find something you enjoy, and read!

10 Benefits of Reading

So there you have it – the top 10 benefits of reading!
See you in the fall.
Mrs. Hoekstra

Senior Projects – Changes to Come

Big changes are coming to the West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science Senior Projects for the class of 2014-15 school year. Instead of students wrapping up their projects in May, students will be given the opportunity to complete their projects by early March. This means, those students participating in the course will be conducting research over their summer vacation and will come to school in the fall ready to roll! Parents, community members, family and friends can expect projects to be top notch next year! Look for announcements regarding presentation dates and times – coming soon.

Student Council Update and Nominations

Student Council concluded the year by assisting in the elementary field day. They all had a BLAST! If your student is entering grades 6-12 next year, and they are a natural leader and love to be involved with the school and the community, please encourage them to consider running for Student Council next year – September will be here before we know it.
Have a fabulous summer break!
Mrs. Tuuk and Mrs. Moens


Outdoor Bound Club

What a fantastic year filled with fun outdoor adventures! I can’t wait for our first trip next fall. Until then, get outside, explore the countryside, and bask in the beautiful summer sun (while wearing sunscreen!).

Group photo of students on the beach


Entrepreneurial News!

This summer will be used as a time for students to develop their products further.

Students are to meet with Mr. Johnson once a week to work on their business ideas. We are also setting up a fresh produce stand this fall for families to purchase fresh vegetables from our gardens! Be on the lookout.



Cross Country – Cross Country Camp sign-up is currently open. Camp will take place July 10-13 at PJ Hoffmaster State Park. Cross Country practice will begin August 13. Please contact Coach Johnson  at ericjohnson@choiceschools.com for more details.

Boys Soccer – WMAES Boys high school soccer practice starts August 13, 2014 at 8:30am. Those interested in playing soccer, in grades 9-12 for the 2014-15 school year, need to have physical and concussion forms turned into the school office before the 13th, or brought to the first practice. Boys are encouraged to run with Mr. Slider from 12:30-1:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays to build up stamina for the season. The first game is scheduled for August 28. If you have any questions, contact Coach Boyd at christopherboyd@choiceschools.com.


Alumni Corner

WMAES now has an Alumni Organization! If you were a WMAES student, visit the WMAES Alumni Organization on Facebook and invite others from your graduating class to join.

A special registration card will be sent to past graduates inviting them to join the Alumni Organization. Keep in touch with your fellow graduates and share your accomplishments with current WMAES students.

The first alumni reunion is being planned and scheduled for August 21 during the Pig Roast. Look for more info coming soon!















Independence Day






Cross Country Camp

Cross Country Camp

Cross Country Camp

Cross Country Camp


















Eagle Outing - Whitecaps Game