WVL Student Spotlights
Our students do amazing things, both inside and outside of school. This is our place to recognize and share all of the wonderful things our students are accomplishing!
WVL Student Wins Gold Medal
WVL 8th grade student, Dannylin Link, is a student of the martial arts. She trains at Link’s Martial Arts and holds the rank of Black Belt. Dannylin competed at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH on March 3, 2013. She won the gold medal in weapon forms and the silver medal in XMA.
Dannylin’s competitive weapon choice is the tessen, also known as a fan. The fan was used by the samurai for self-protection. The spines of the fan were sharpened into knives or had knives attached to them. An XMA form combines martial arts techniques with gymnastic tricking to create an exciting combination of moves set to music. Both form divisions require a series of precise movements against an imaginary opponent.
Dannylin’s win at the Arnold Classic qualifies her to compete at the nationals tournament held at Walt Disney World August 23, 24, & 25, 2013. Her next competition is April 20, 2013 in Indianapolis, IN. Congratulations and good luck in your upcoming competitions!
Former WVL Student Featured in Marquette University Commercial
A proud moment for WVL! One of our former students, now attending Marquette University, is featured in this wonderful commercial volunteering with children from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. Way to go, Marina! We're proud of your accomplishments and that you continue to be a wonderful influence on those around you.
WVL Dancer Wins First Place
Mikayla has been a member of the Dynamic Allstarz 2 Competitive Dance Team since July 2010. Her team specializes in Poms, Jazz and Hip Hop dance. This past weekend Mikayla and her team competed in Youth Jazz and Hip Hop Division. They won first place in both. They also won first place in their division. Due to their win the girls have received the opportunity to compete in the Rhode Island or Virginia Beach competition. Dates are to be determined. Mikayla's next competition will be held at the Navy Pier in Chicago, IL on April 13th - April 15th. Mikayla's dream is to one day perform on broadway and to also be a model. She admires and is inspired by Tyra Banks. Her favorite dancer is Fred Astaire.
WVL Student Named Finalist in National Merit Scholarship Competition
Michael Dieffenbach, a senior at Wisconsin Virtual Learning, has been named as a finalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Competition! Michael scored a perfect 36 on the ACT. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test–a test which serves as an initial screen of more than 1.5 million entrants each year–and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements.
WVL Student, Kithara Vogel, Awared Honorable Mention in the Adventure Write Contest for the Second Year in a Row
Congratulations to Kithara Vogel, WVL sophomore, for receiving an honorable mention in the Adventure Write Contest for the second year in a row! Read her story below:
A Different Perspective
So there I was, feeling around above me for a firm grip. With one swift movement, I pulled myself up and over the ledge jutting out from the side of the mountain. I stood up and looked triumphantly down at the tiny landscape below. My ponytail was plastered to the back of my sweating neck, and my face was flushed. I smiled despite the hot July afternoon. As I leaned daringly over the edge admiring the view, a bead of sweat fell from my face. I watched as it fell to the rocks far below and was reminded of my own fate if I should slip.
After taking a drink from my water bottle, I put it back into my emergency pack I kept at my waist and started investigating the uneven mountaintop. All around, the beauty of the Black Hills extended out until it met a flawless blue sky. My parents were somewhere down in those hills, roaming the trails and enjoying our vacation. Earlier in the day, I had split up from them to go exploring my way – free climbing.
As I climbed between two rocks, I stepped into a pile of brush and my foot caught on something. Kicking the brush aside, I spotted a rusted handle attached to a small metal door. I adjusted my position and grabbed the handle. With a firm tug, I tried to open it. At first it didn't move. I pulled harder, and before I knew it the entire door fell off its hinges and was clutched in my hand. Inside, a metal ladder led down into darkness. I admit, there was a second of hesitation, but my curiosity quickly overcame it.
The hole was just big enough for me to fit through, and I made my way down the ladder. The temperature dropped as sunlight from above grew dimmer. After descending for quite some time, my foot finally hit a hard surface. Positioning myself on the ground, I froze and listened for any noise. It was absolutely silent, with only the sound of my labored breathing filling my ears. On my left and in front of me, my hands immediately felt the cool surface of rock. To my right, however, there was nothing. With my arms still outstretched, I slowly proceeded.
As careful as I was, I still managed to trip and fall flat on my face. I felt around the area I had fallen, and my hand hit something. Since it wasn't rattling, squeaking, pinching, or crawling I decided it was safe enough to pick up and investigate. Just then I remembered the flashlight I kept in my pack and took it out. Suddenly, the darkness that enveloped me overflowed with light. I could finally see! Looking down, I saw what I had stumbled over--a stick of dynamite.
What I saw around me was mainly what I expected--a narrow tunnel carved into rock. What I hadn't expected was a clearing just a few feet ahead of me. From there, a small tunnel branched off in another direction. I followed the tunnel and caught my breath at what it led to. Loose, yellowed papers spilled out of the drawers of an ancient-looking wooden desk. I ran over to the desk and picked up a torn piece of paper that had fallen onto the ground. It was dated August 4, 1937. In small cursive, the words read:
It will be 10 years next week since the fellas and I began this job. Honestly, the time's gone by so fast it seems like only a couple years. We're about finished with the third one, which proves that construction is ahead of schedule. My daughter is getting married tomorrow. I hate to miss it, but the days get so rushed when we get close to finishing each section and we need all the help we can get. I will contact her the minute I get the chance. For now, I won't have any difficulty falling asleep tonight and the morning brings new work.
The bottom of the page was signed "Gutzom Borglum." I was confused and interested about what Borglum was talking about. Whatever they were working on must have been a big deal. I set the paper on the desk and looked around. Yet another tunnel extended from the room at the opposite end. I walked down it, expecting another chamber, or even a glimpse at the creation Borglum had talked about constructing. All of a sudden, the tunnel grew lighter, and I could see sunlight in the distance. I walked faster, anxious to see what lay ahead.
Then, as I saw the outside world, I realized where I was. How on Earth was this possible? I came to the end of the tunnel as well as a huge hole carved out of the rock. Standing there, I found myself staring at George Washington's magnificent stone-carved face. Beside him was Thomas Jefferson, and in the corner Teddy Roosevelt gazed at me. It took a minute to realize I was standing in the eyes of Abraham Lincoln. To my left, flags waved and crowds of people scattered a walkway. They were all staring directly at me, though I knew it wasn't me they had come to see. They had come to see the four famous faces of Mount Rushmore.
National Honor Society Induction
On May 14th, WVL had its 2nd National Honor Society induction. Three new Junior members were inducted into WVL's chapter of the NHS: Celina Brault, Michael Dieffenbach (Secretary), and Katie Lecato. Three graduating members were also recognized and gave their remarks, namely Dorothy Ahrens (Vice-President) , Levi Schmidt, and current NHS President, Mackenzie Woods. Family and friends attended to celebrate their accomplishments. Melissa Horn and Jeanna Goodman represented the school and gave their congratulations to all involved.
Mr. Conn and Mrs. Zander led the ceremony, explaining the importance of the National Honor Society's mission to promote scholarship and service. NHS gold pins were presented to the inductees as they took the pledge to uphold the NHS's vision. A nation-wide organization, the NHS encourages all high school students to reach higher. Those with a 3.5 GPA are invited to submit an application showing their commitment to character, leadership and service to their family, school and community.
This year the WVL chapter of the National Honor Society served the school through free tutoring and by creating Wisconsin Virtual Learning's first high school yearbook. The reviews for the yearbook thus far have been terrific! Next year promises to be even better for the WVL National Honor Society, with Michael Dieffenbach as President, Celina Brault as Vice-President, Katie Lecato as Secretary, and Mr. Conn and Mrs. Zander as experienced advisors.
Congratulations to the graduates and new inductees!
WVL Student Excels in State
School Music Festival
If you were to ask Sophie O'Loughlin what her most treasured possessions are, she would tell you, "Without a doubt, my cats and my violin." This WVL eighth grader from Milwaukee feels lucky to have had a chance to expand her musical skills by observing (and playing her violin for) conductors and teachers, and even world-famous musicians in Wisconsin and Illinois. In April, Sophie received a perfect score at the state level of the Wisconsin School Music Association Festival, the second year she has achieved this honor. Last year, she was thrilled to receive the Exemplary Solo Award, which only a small percentage of WSMA participants receive. She cherishes the medals she has received from these events and is very grateful toMr. Alan Dust (Northern Ozaukee High School Band Director), Ms. Laura Wenzell (Middle School Music Teacher), and Mrs. Janel Mielke (Student Learning Advocate), who have encouraged and supported her participation in WSMA
Sophie began taking violin lessons when she was three years old. Since 2004, she has studied with Carol Waldvogel, director of North Shore Suzuki Strings in Glendale. The Suzuki teaching method allows very young children to learn listening, rhythm, and playing techniques before they read musical notes. Even as a preschooler, Sophie had the opportunity to play music with other children in unison and in parts. Sophie's training led to playing in string quartets as well as to participation in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. She was concert mistress and co-principal of her MYSO orchestras during her first two years and was one of MYSO's concerto competition winners as a sixth grader.
For Sophie, learning and polishing a new musical piece is a creative outlet and passion. She is able to stick to a six- to seven-day practice schedule because of the flexible design of WVL's lectures and course pacing. During the school year, recitals, concerts, and competitions fill Sophie's calendar, but they also offer her the excitement of performing before live audiences and judges, who can offer helpful suggestions about her playing. Sophie hopes that someday music will be a part of her life's work-either as a teacher, or possibly a music therapist.
Congratulations WVL Smart Team!
Shannon Colton, Ph.D. from the Milwaukee School of Engineering sent a letter to Dr. Harbron, congratulating WVL teacher, Trish Strohfeldt, and her students for their successful completion of the SMART Team Program (Students Modeling A Research Topic), which brings together high school teachers, their students, and research scientists to explore molecular biology. The program consists of three phases: Qualification, Research and Model Design, and Presentation. Shannon Colton, Ph.D., SMART Team Program Director, stated that WVL’s SMART Team gave an excellent oral presentation to the Medical College of Wisconsin on March 19. Dr. Colton commended Ms. Strohfeldt and her students for their motivation and curiosity. Visit the following link (and scroll down) to view a summary of the Wisconsin Virtual Learning SMART Team project, including a link to their poster:
Congratulations to WVL Student Kithara Vogel!
In January of 2010, Adventure Write (a group of freelance writers based in Alaska) announced a national writing contest for aspiring writers up to 18 years of age. According to the rules, all stories were to begin with "So there I was..." Kithara Vogel, a freshman at Wisconsin Virtual Learning (WVL), decided on a fictitious story about a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness. The procedure of writing the story itself took many hours to develop. Kithara submitted her story, titled "Spirit Bear," on December 28, 2010.
On February 15, Kithara was notified that out of over 200 entries, she received an honorable mention and would be published on the contest's website.
Question and Answer with the author, Kithara Vogel:
Have you had any real life experiences that helped with your vivid explanation of some of the scenes and experiences in Spirit Bear?
The one thing I can relate to in Spirit Bear is winter! Having went on many walks in the woods with snow on the ground, it wasn't hard to transfer that experience into the story. Otherwise, I have never been in a plane accident and have only ridden in a plane once. Multiple times I have come across black bears, though never at a very close range. Mainly I collected the details through stories from plane crash survivors and movies.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about his/her work?
Ally Carter is one of my favorite authors. Her books have many unexpected twists and are always full of adventure. She has an amazing talent for writing and her books keep me hooked from beginning to end.
What are your aspirations for future writing projects?
Through high school, I want to continue entering writing contests. I love writing short stories, but there are entire novel contests which I am also thinking of. Right now, I'm working on writing another short story for the same contest Spirit Bear was in. Eventually, I hope to publish a few books.
What are your plans for after high school?
After I'm done with high school, I plan on going to UW-Milwaukee to major in science. After that, I want to continue my education by entering veterinary school and becoming a vet.
Please CLICK HERE to read Spirit Bear, by Kithara Vogel!