Welcome to Walled Lake Western High School
We are proud of our accomplishments as an educational community, so if you are considering sending your child to Walled Lake Western High School, I invite you to contact the office to set up a personal tour.
We will motivate all students to achieve academic excellence and to reach their full potential, academically, socially, physically and artistically. We develop citizens with strong interpersonal, technical and communication skills to contribute in a diverse global society.
Points of Pride
- Western was named among the nation’s top 3.5% (out of 2,000) high schools by Newsweek Magazine. Criteria include proving to be the most effective in turning out college-ready graduates, top standardized test percentages and college-prep course enrollment.
- Seniors, Umang Lathia, Perry Lee and Jennifer Lim, were named National Merit Scholar Finalists. All have demonstrated distinguished academic prowess and high potential for future academic accomplishment as defined by the National Merit Scholarship Program.
- Senior, Perry Lee, earned a PERFECT score in the Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition.
- Senior, David Sokol, received a 2,350 composite score on his SAT exam; with a perfect score on the reading and writing component.
- Junior, Vipul Nandigala, took an impressive 2nd place in Physics at the Intel International Science Fair. MIT’s Lincoln Observatory honored all 1st and 2nd place finishers by naming a minor planet, which they had discovered, after each of them. Vipul has represented Michigan at this competition for three consecutive years, competing against 1,700 students’ projects representing more than seventy countries.
- Government teacher, Mrs. Loe, took four students to Michigan’s Youth in Government Day with the Oakland County Board of Commissioners at the County complex in Pontiac. Students from all over Oakland County were invited to watch local government in action. In addition, the students had the opportunity to personally meet and have lunch with Commissioners and other top elected officials.
- Under the direction of Mr. Brian Blackney, Western’s Model United Nations Club took home six significant individual awards at the Mid-American Model UN Spring Conference.
- Student delegates earned Outstanding Delegate honors in; the exclusive and prestigious Secretary’s Crisis Committee, Special Committee, Crisis Committee and Environmental Committee. A delegation of Western juniors and seniors also won second honors in Best Delegation and General Assembly. Model United Nations is a conference similar to the United Nations in which students participate as delegates in various UN Committees. Participants research and formulate political positions based on the actual policies of the countries they represent.
- International Baccalaureate:
- Western High School is officially authorized as an International Baccalaureate World School to teach the IB Diploma Programme.
- Western is among only 832 high schools in the U.S. to offer the IB Diploma Programme out of a total of 18,000 high schools nationwide. The IB Diploma Programme is viewed by most universities as the most rigorous, comprehensive academic program available to high school students.
- This year, 17 of Western’s students graduated as the district’s first IB Diploma
- Two hundred twenty students (27% of junior class/30% of senior class) were enrolled in one or more IB courses for the 2013/14 school year.
- Western’s student enrollment, in 23 different IB courses, totaled 415.
- National Honor Society
- There were 155 student members of the National Honor Society during the 2013-
14 school year. These honor students participated in activities which included; school tutoring, community volunteer service and other various philanthropic events. Their participation in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, in conjunction with the school’s Warriors for Warriors, contributed to raising more than $17K for the ACS.
- There were 155 student members of the National Honor Society during the 2013-
- Advanced placement:
- The Advanced Placement (AP) Program at Western continues to provide the most challenging college preparatory experience for a large number of sophomores, juniors and seniors. This year, with the addition of AP Computer Science to our course offerings, Western’s student enrollment in AP classes totaled 636.
- In May of 2014, 389 advanced placement exams were administered in 18 different content areas.
- Career and Technical Education:
- Mr. Jack Wellman led a contingency of Western drafting students to the Michigan Drafting State Finals this year. The team came home with an impressive number of awards including; 10 1st place, seven 2nd place and eight 3rd place finishes. A total of 45 Western drafting students placed in the top ten in the State.
Western’s students are members of WLCSD’s combined Robotics Team, “308- The Monsters”, who had one of their best seasons in recent history. The team worked together to plan, design and develop the robot and to scout their alliance strategies. They recruited new students, mentors and sponsors and graduated a large group of senior students. These students gained valuable experience while competing in a hard work, but fun arena. The team qualified for various district, regional and statewide competitions and took home impressive awards culminating in a state ranking of 44th out of 270 teams. Corporate sponsors; Delphi, Rockwell and Motorola recognized our students by bestowing awards in Engineering, Automotive Innovation and Control and Quality, respectively.
- Fine Arts:
- Western art students, under the leadership of art teacher, Mrs. Jane Culling, created a unique 3D mural which has been put on permanent display on Maple Road in Walled Lake. “Summertime in Walled Lake” was the vision of Mrs. Culling whereby she duplicated a technique created by an Israeli artist, Yaacov Agam. The two paintings, making up the amazing mural, were constructed from marine-grade, weatherproof wood in a folded paper fan method. Looking from one direction, passers-by see a hand-painted pontoon boat on Walled Lake at sunset and, from the opposite direction, the view is the gateway sign to Walled Lake’s Mercer Beach. This is the fifth piece of public art that has been brought into Walled Lake by district art students.
- Western students had artwork selected for exhibition in the MI Southeast Region of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Their creative excellence was recognized by receiving twenty-two awards including; 5 gold keys, 7 silver keys and 10 honorable mentions for individual pieces. Gold keys for portfolios were also earned by two Western students and a Best in Show gold key was awarded for one of our student’s photo portfolio.
- Performing Arts
- Band & Orchestra:
- Western’s three concert bands and the marching band received 1st division ratings at MSBOA’s State Band Festival and the jazz band received a 1st division rating at the MSBOA’s State Jazz Festival.
- Fourteen students were selected for MSBOA’s District IV Honors Band while Michigan Youth Arts selected a Western band member as part of their prestigious band. Additionally, a flute trio was nominated to participate in the Michigan Youth Arts Festival.
- Western had two choir members qualify to participate in the MSVMA State Honors Choir enabling them to perform with advanced choirs from around the state. Their recognition was culminated with a performance at the annual Michigan Youth Arts Festival at WMU.
- Five Western choirs received top scores of “Superior” and “Excellent” from a panel of eight non-partial adjudicators at MSVMA’s District Choir Festival. Likewise, nine chorale ensembles and forty-two soloists competed at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival qualifying to attend by earning ratings of “Superior” or “Excellent” at the MSVMA’s District Solo and Ensemble.
- Western’s production of “Shrek-The Musical” was presented to eight sold out performances. Captivated audiences commented that they were not sure if they were at a high school or in a Broadway theater. The show, which demanded excellence beyond the scope of a customary high school production, involved more than 125 students; either on stage, in the pit or behind the scenes.
- Under the direction of Ms. Kimberly Paullin, Western’s Drama Department presented “Almost Maine”; a play comprised of nine short stories of love, laughter, heartbreak and happiness in the fictional town of Almost, Maine. A stellar student cast lit up the Western stage in three performances that received rave reviews.
- Western’s WLTV class and internship program filmed 105 different events throughout the year giving the students the opportunity to produce, tape and edit a variety of programming at multiple venues. Additional community events were part of the crew’s filmed accomplishments. “Walled Lake Report with the Superintendent” episodes were produced on a quarterly basis. Students were able to compete in three film contests resulting in awards in various categories/genres. The WLTV crew and Tech students gained valuable behind the scenes information by visiting the TV and theatre production areas of Cedar Point. From commercials for the park to live performances to camera shot techniques, the interaction with the Cedar Point employees enabled our students to see the “real world” of careers in this field.
- Forensics director, Mr. Doug Bevier, led his team, to a first-ever 1st place finish at the Michigan Speech Coaches, Inc. (MSCI) Spring Tournament. This prestigious event, held annually for over 30 years, attracts the top teams from across the state. The Western win dethroned 16-year consecutive 1st place finisher, Portage Northern HS. Winning this tournament was a unified team goal which culminated in this amazing finish. The Western team competes in five tournaments, a regional and a state competition throughout the season and hosts the region’s largest tournament. Western’s Forensicators claimed a 1st place, Bronze Division win at its tournament season opener, “The Henry Ford II Tournament", held at Seaholm High School. The team earned impressive awards all season including bringing home a State Champion in the Storytelling Division, Western’s Sam Bloch! Coach Bevier introduced Forensics to our future Warriors, this year, by bringing Forensics, as a club, to both Geisler and Banks Middle Schools.
- Band & Orchestra:
- Western continued its partnership with Friendship Circle of West Bloomfield in 2013/14, by delivering the “Upstander Curriculum” to our students. One hundred Western students were visited by Upstander staff for a series of monthly, hour long sessions. The educational material provides students with interactive activities and the opportunity to become an active part of the bullying solution by proposing new ideas to reduce bullying within our own school.
- Approximately 300 students participated in Western’s 34th Annual Volleyball Marathon hosted by Student Activities Leadership, under the guidance of advisor Bradley Scheck. Over $30,000 was raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; since 1955, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has been the driving force behind the pursuit of a cure.
- Mr. Scheck’s Student Activities members organized events and raised and donated funds to a variety of non-profit organizations including: The American Red Cross, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Foundation for Excellence, canned food drive for Hospitality House of Walled Lake, Upstander (anti-bullying curriculum) and Warriors for Warriors cancer fundraising partnership with Ford Motor Company, supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure, the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer and the Lakes Area St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
- The American Red Cross benefitted from two blood drives held at Western culminating in a donation of over 100 pints of blood.
- Hospitality House also benefitted from the efforts of other Western student groups including our Performing Arts Production of “Shrek-The Musical” whose audiences, combined with the Student Activities school drive, raised over $8,000 in food and cash donations during the show’s November, 2013 run. All total Western donated over $10,000 and 1,600 pounds of food to the local food pantry.
- Students without Borders, sponsored by Mr. Brian Blackney, donated $780 through a “Clean Water for Africa” fundraiser through the Christian humanitarian organization, World Vision, whose mission it is to fight global poverty and injustice.
- National Honor Society, in conjunction with Warriors for Warriors, participated in the district’s annual Relay for Life event, with Western’s NHS topping the participating groups with a $17,200 donation.
- Student, Olivia Svenson, combined forces with the school’s Interact Club, to initiate a holiday toy drive for CS Mott’s Children’s’ Hospital. Olivia’s enthusiasm for her dream inspired others to become involved which resulted in over fifty toys and $600 in cash being personally delivered to the hospital.
- Warriors for Warriors continued their amazing effort with their annual Pink Out football game. This year’s event raised over $60,000 to benefit the American Cancer Society, The Lakes Area St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Pediatric Cancer and the Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure. Player involvement remains at the forefront by wearing jerseys in honor of loved ones who have been affected by cancer. The event was featured during the Month of October on the NFL Network’s NFL.com; including interviews filmed by the network here at Western. The promos were aired nationally during CBS games coverage, NBC Sunday Night Football and ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Head Football Coach Michael Zdebski, along with our Warriors for Warriors Parent Co-Chairs, received a commemorative football during half-time at the October 20th Lions game.
- Thirteen Western graduates will continue their athletic careers in baseball, cross country, football, soccer, track, volleyball and wrestling at universities, both in and out of state.
- Academic All-State designations were earned by Western’s baseball, football, girls’ and boys’ skiing, girls’ soccer, softball, girls’ and boys’ swimming, girls’ and boys’ tennis and volleyball teams.
- Competitive Cheer: The Varsity Competitive Cheer Team was the 2014 KLAA North Division Champions.
- Boys’ Cross-Country & Track: Senior, Mitchell Dennis, qualified for All-State in both cross country and track for the 4th year in a row.
- Football: The team finished the season with a 9-2 record and took both City and Division championships. The team was recognized as Academic All-State. Senior, Kyle Bambard, was named, by the National Football Association to the All-State Dream Team, nominated for Mr. Football, sponsored by State Champs, and received honors by both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press as All-Metro. Likewise, seniors, Alex Joss and David Walczyk received Detroit News All-Metro honors.
- Hockey: The team achieved Academic All-State recognition along with individual academic honors going to Jack Bleibtrey and Joe Orr. Chris Donaldson was named AllState, 2nd Team, Division 2.
- Girls’ Soccer: The Warriors compiled a 13-3 record season and earned the titles of Division, Conference and District Champions while setting school records in the process. They also earned the distinction of Academic All-State.
- Wrestling: Seniors, Anthony Chudler and Austin Murray were MHSAA District Champions.
- Motivational speaker, Mr. Brooks Gibbs, addressed our student body on the topic of tolerance and shared his anti-bullying message.
- Environmental Science and Literature students visited and explored England, Scotland and France in a combined/inter-disciplinary tour of the countries. Comparing sustainability issues in older cities, students were able to analyze the unique consumption and waste management challenges in correlation and contrast, geographically, between the UK and the US. Simultaneously, literary settings; as in Shakespeare’s hometown, the English and Scottish countryside, as studied in Hamlet, and the landscape of Voltaire’s Candide, were all part of the travelers’ itinerary.
- Forty-two members of the Vocal Music Department, along with parent chaperones, travelled to Italy for an eleven day performance tour during Spring Break, 2014. History came to life for these students while touring castles, cathedrals, famous homes and museums. The highlight of the trip was a unique opportunity to perform at St. Peter’s in the Vatican as well as a performing arts high school in Rome.
- French students had the opportunity to experience French culture firsthand during a seven day trip to France. Visiting landmarks and sites studied in Western’s curriculum and conversing in French, on a daily basis through interactions with the people of France, provided the students with invaluable, lifelong lessons.
- Orchestra students had the opportunity to tour Vienna and Salzburg, Austria and Prague, Czech Republic with both WL Northern and WL Central HS Orchestra students. This unique enrichment opportunity took them to the center of the classical music world where they performed concerts in the same venues as Mozart, Beethoven & Bach. The students visited the homes and grave sites of the most famous composers in the world.
- Western’s Symphony Orchestra earned straight “1’s” in all categories at the region’s annual festival.
Faculty & Staff:
- Social Studies teacher, Mr. Bill Kussy, was elected by our student body to attend the Marine Corps Recruit Camp as part of the Corps’ Education Workshop. Kussy traveled to Parris Island, SC where he joined other elected educators from around the country in gaining insight on the history, traditions and skills required to become a US Marine. Taking part in rigorous physical training, conditioning, drills, weapons safety and marksmanship, the experience enabled him to provide firsthand information to students considering a Marine Corp career.
- Western’s Head Football Coach, Michael Zdebski, was named Regional High School Football Coach of the Year by the Michigan High School Football Coaches’ Association. Zdebski was also appointed the Defensive Coordinator for the Michigan HS All-Star Team.
- The Detroit Lions named Coach Michael Zdebski as the week eight recipient of their 2013 High School Football Coach of the Week designation. With 21 of Zdebski’s 27 years of coaching at Western, he has posted a career record of 146-64 and has led the Warriors to 13 state playoff appearances including a Division I State Championship which was recognized by the Lions.