Wonderful Words Win 1st Place

What does it take to be a writer? Well, one of our own can answer that. She has earned the honor of first place for Youth Poetry at the Central Oregon Writer’s Guild 2020 Writing Contest. Her poem, why is it hard to love a poet? will be shared at a showcase later this year. Her English teacher states, “Her poetry is noticeably complex and stylistic. Her words are relentlessly real and revelatory. She is an amazing writer and we are proud of her.”

We can’t have these words all to ourselves and want to share here. Enjoy the read.

why it is hard to love a poet?
it is such a curse
to see the beauty in
everything as long as
it's impersonal
the vulnerability reserved for
the blooming flowers
or the music that moves my
feet into a
pathetic one-two step
being a poet is no more painful
than being human, it's just that i feel
it more.  it feels like a fog-drenched cliff with no
lighthouse in sight
more like a soliloquy that won't stop
no matter how many rotten tomatoes the
front row tosses heavy-handed
i eat until the juice drips down
my face my callused hands ripe and red
and i am still unfulfilled
it is such a curse to see the beauty
in every word, except for the ones
you create
It’s Just Rocket Science.

It’s Just Rocket Science.

Oh man, it’s time to build ROCKETS! *shwoosh* *roar* *pew pew!* The teachers and students have chosen to build rockets as one of the many fun and engaging activities we do at Maple Lake Academy. The plan for our rockets is to build them, note the differences in design, and then launch them to see how the differences in design affect the rocket’s flight! Even though the rockets are still not finished, we have already noticed many differences. Each rocket is unique, just like our students! Some rockets are smooth, some are a little rough, and some only have two fins. No matter what the rocket looks like, we are excited to see how high each of them will go! We plan to keep the blog updated on the status of our rockets until they are finished and ready to launch! Here is a picture of a few current rocket models:

We plan to paint them, put in the engines and parachutes, and launch them very soon! In the meantime we are having a great time being rocket scientists:

Stay tuned for more status updates on our rockets!

You Can Teach Old Dogs New Tricks

This may look like our teachers are hovering over the computer making secret plans but this is no secret. Maple Lake Academy is training teachers to use video conferencing as a format for lessons. In the wake of current world events, the education department is determined to do all they can to keep school in session. Nothing will take the place of having a teacher in the classroom and giving their personal touch to the lessons, but being able to keep the flow of academics going is an important part of what we do at Maple Lake Academy. In fact, these two teachers are piloting video conferencing this week and have worked hard to adapt the curriculum to this format. Math, English, Social Studies and Science will get a new look this Spring as we continue to adapt to our changing world.

Congratulations to one of our own!

Flowers and Lobsters

One of Maple Lake’s own was honored by a local museum by earning the privilege of having her art work displayed to the public for several weeks. The local museum sponsors high school art each year during March as thousands of submissions are reviewed and evaluated for presentation and only a fraction are placed on display.

This social statement of incorporating water creatures to a bouquet of flowers comes from the student’s home town and the over use of lobsters in the local artwork. Her color choices reflect a trend toward warm and cool colors representing the vacillating ideas reflected in the piece.

Congratulations student Liz!

Choices and Change

One of our students at the Boy’s School created a claymation video for his Success Assignment last semester. We thought it was really cool. So cool that we’re posting it here for your viewing pleasure. When asked about what led him to claymation, He said, “It was something I had done in the past, and I thought it was really fun. I wanted to do it again”. This video is a representation of this student coming out of his shell and learning to trust himself and others. What a brave soul. We sure like this video, and we think that you will too!

A New Era

Thank you to all the parents that were able to make it out for Parent’s Weekend.  The boys had a wonderful time!  It was a special week!

Parent weekend was not the only thing that made last week special.  Last week, our new Education Director showed up on the scene.  Enter Jolyn Mitchell.

Jolyn Mitchell has been an educator since 1999 as a classroom teacher, teacher mentor and child advocate.   Her experience in working with students of all backgrounds has fostered a love for the learning process and a student-centered approach to education.  She has a BS in elementary education, an MS in curriculum and instruction as well as an Ed S. in administration and supervision from Tennessee State University in Nashville.  She has experience in public and private education and has served her school communities in many ways; such as athletic director, emergency response team, mentoring programs and more.  She loves hiking, skiing, biking and reading.  Jolyn is a mother of 5 children and 15 grandchildren.

Maple Lake Academy is delighted to welcome such a wonderful person to our team.  Academics are an important part of our process here at MLA.  You can rest assured that Jolyn will do everything she can to help your student reach their full potential.

Welcome aboard Jo!

New Teacher’s Assistant

Heartfelt Goodbye

Maple Lake Academy has said goodbye to our amazing Donna Breckenridge, as she heads north of the boarder to serve an LDS mission in Montreal, Canada.  Donna has been our faithful Teacher’s Assistant for the past two years.  Thank you for all of your hard work Donna!  We will miss you!

Enthusiastic Hello!

We are excited to announce our new Teacher’s Assistant who is learning to fill Donna’s shoes.  His name is Regan Whimpey.  Regan graduated from UVU with a Bachelor Degree in Theatre Performance with an emphasis in Directing.  He is currently working on his Secondary Teaching license in Theatre & Social Studies, as well as a Master in Teaching the Arts from Idaho State University.  Regan comes to us from American Preparatory Academy.  He is also heavily involved in Theatre in the Utah community, appearing in and directing many shows throughout Utah.  He has also taught Acting 101 at the Hale Center Theater from 2013 – 2018.



“I live for teaching.  There is no greater feeling in the world than seeing a student succeed at something that is really difficult for them.  I love that.  I love that I get to see that change within the student. Every time the student wins, I win. I’m extremely excited to get to know each student, and to help them succeed academically.  The goal is for them to thrive in life once they finish this program.  I believe in that goal wholeheartedly.  I am dedicated to helping your student reach their full potential academically.”  

 – Regan Whimpey

So What Does The TA Do For Your Student?

Our TA is responsible for proctoring tests, working one-on-one with your student on any academic principle that your student needs to work on.  The TA substitute teaches when need as well.  The most important part of the TA’s responsibilities is the one-on-one tutoring and academic mentoring that they provide the student.


It Was Great to See You!

A BIG thank you to everyone who came out for Parent Weekend and to the Fine Arts shows. It was wonderful to see the conversation, the support and the parental enthusiasm over awards and the students’ hard work displayed.


This past week, both schools were able to go to the Family History Center in Salt Lake City. They were able to find distant ancestors, famous relatives and even found that some students were related to staff! The guides at the Center remarked that the boys’ school was the most well behaved youth group they had ever had! Thank you again for setting those accounts up. We are excited for our writing projects coming up.

A few items of business:

  • We have updated our “About Us” section with all of the Education Department’s emails, so you can have more personal communication with the teachers. Please allow 3-5 business days for a response as our teachers are busy sculpting minds and grading towers of homework! We hope that this will be a helpful tool to a more transparent and open communication.
  • The Academic Calendar has also been updated to accommodate the new Parent Weekend dates in 2019! So, take a look and download a copy for yourself. It is very helpful and important that home passes be coordinated with the break schedule for school, as to help our students be successful and not fall behind, as it is sometimes hard and overwhelming for them when such occasions occur.

We look forward to seeing you soon! Until then enjoy this recap of our year at           Maple Lake Academy.



Off and Rollin’

It has been a busy term! From poetry, robotics, Tic-Tac-Toe speed racing, building bridges in science that are unbreakable! The students at Maple Lake Academy are working hard.

Here’s what we’re working on in school:

English – Students are currently working on Poetry Projects from writing their own to sharing them with others. Out of a list of 15 options, they get to choose if they write a poem about their families, share a poem with the community, stand on a chair and recite it to the house and many other challenges that pushes them out of their element. It’s proving to be both academically and personally challenging as they try to write their own voice into verse.

Math– Students are just buzzing away at their numeric calculations. Jeff is a wizard at using the smart boards and making the classes visually stimulating as they learn graphs, functions and breaking down algebraic equations. I sat in on a class last week and was blown away at how much I had forgotten but had a classroom of teens willing to “school” me on what I was missing.

Social Studies– This term we started World Civilizations and the students are creating 3D projects of what Mesopotamia looked like from agriculture, economy and language. When I visited their class, they all spouted off the different key elements of what makes a civilization. I was once again “schooled” but this time in unison!

Science– There are so many hands on activities that happen in science. Recently, the students had the opportunity to dissect a cow eye ball after learning the make up of it. In other classes, they are building indestructible bridges and working on their ECO challenge projects for Thanksgiving Point’s annual competition. The students are working on making clothing out of recyclable items, designing t-shirts about awareness of endangered species and writing songs about the earth. The ECO challenge is April 12! Wish them luck!

Student Government–  The students just had re-elections. Some won for their second term while new candidates filled their leadership positions. The class focuses on building attributes that make up a leader and then they practice those skills as they work as a group to bring about a term project that unifies both the classroom and community.

Robotics– The focus of this term’s class is working as a group to create different challenges. Last week they had to make a crane. It was fun to watch them congregate together and throw ideas out where they were then discussed to make their robot come to life.

PE– Physical Education! It has been revamped and restructured to incorporate a more rigorous workout as well as learning opportunities for applicable health. At first, there were a lot of complaints. “I’m so sore from all of the squats!” “I can’t stand the health portion! Why, MaryLynn, why?!” Our teachers and therapists have even joined in on some of the exercises!

Overall, great things are happening in school. We are seeing less students with missing assignments. They are working hard and trying their best to improve not only their work ethic but their overall skills when it comes to thinking deeply, managing anxiety specifically with assignments and deadlines and advocating for help.

We are impressed with our students and look forward to finishing off the term strong.