Woodside second-graders generous in reading, giving

Woodside Elementary School second-graders have experienced the joy of reading and giving this holiday season. The students have been involved in a monthlong reading incentive project that will provide a brighter, happier Christmas for less fortunate community members.

The “Books for Toys” project asks second-graders to earn pledges from relatives and friends for every 15 minutes of reading they complete during November. Reading activity was high – netting $884.74 for the community service project. Parent volunteers purchased the toys which were donated to the Sussex Food Pantry for delivery to area families before Christmas.

Woodside second grade teachers Kristin Enoch, Peggy Olson, Beverly Thielen, Kim Weber and Jo-Ann Zeisloft organized the community service project that has a 20-year tradition in the Hamilton School District.

Woodside Elementary School is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Rd., Sussex.

Zeng nominated for national award

Hamilton High School senior Flora Zeng was nominated to compete in the national Principal’s Leadership Award (PLA) scholarship program sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) funded by Herff Jones, Inc.

Hamilton Principal David Furrer announced the nomination that places Zeng in the national competition. Zeng is in the running to be selected one of 150 national PLA winners chosen this spring to receive $1,000 college scholarships.

“Flora is a talented and energetic student who uses every opportunity to learn and develop as a student and as a competent, thoughtful member of society,” Furrer said. “Flora has continuously sought out a challenging education and has achieved tremendous success. She also identified the need for more volunteer opportunities in her community and was instrumental in establishing a local chapter of the Leo Club of which she serves as president.”

High school principals from across the country could nominate one of their student leaders. Zeng was selected based on her leadership skills, participation in service organizations and clubs; achievements in the arts and sciences; employment experience; and academic record. She also was required to write an essay.

In recognizing leadership in co-curricular activities as well as academic performance, the PLA scholarship recognizes the importance of a well-rounded education. Co-curricular activities are an essential part of the school curriculum. NASSP administers the National Honor Society, the National Junior Honor Society and the National Association of Student Councils.

Hamilton announces November students of the month

Hamilton High School students representing 11 curriculum areas were selected students of the month for November. They are:

  • Joshua Ball, technology education;
  • Danielle Behling, mathematics;
  • Elizabeth Blewett and Megan Wagner, communication arts;
  • Stephanie Bronikowski, art;
  • Sarah Christofferson, world languages;
  • Lisa Dardich, business education;
  • Dana Eimermann, physical education;
  • Ines Linke, social studies;
  • Amanda Lutz, music;
  • Christa Neuhaus, family & consumer education; and
  • Robert Pothier, science.

December 7, 2004

High school sees goal as attainable

When the Hamilton High School Site Planning Committee developed its single goal in 2003, some saw it as one that was difficult and complex to attain. One year later, many committee members expressed excitement about the prospect of making headway into attaining the goal.

School site planners identified in 2003-04 their 5-year goal as, “Students will demonstrate higher-level thinking skills across the curriculum.” Hamilton Principal David Furrer reported on the work of the site planning committee to the School Board.

“Many of the committee members expressed excitement in watching such a difficult goal take life through the development of our action plans,” Furrer wrote in this report to the School Board. “For the first time, the committee was able to understand how we would take such a complex and difficult goal of assisting students in demonstrating higher level thinking skills across the curriculum.”

The school plans to reach its goal next four years by:

  • continuing implementation of recommendations from a North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement peer review in October;
  • building a staff development program that supports the goal;
  • creating local assessments that identify and assess higher level thinking skills;
  • ensuring that what is learned through staff development will be applied in the classroom; and
  • making modification to curriculum and instructional practices based on student assessment results.

School Board member Deborah Briggs complimented Hamilton staff for looking at data to determine the direction in which to move.

Willow Springs presents its site plan

Willow Springs Learning Center has developed two intervention in its quest to reach its goal that states, “Students will be enriched in a unique, well-defined and articulated 4-year-old kindergarten program.”

Willow Springs and Special Services Program Support Administrator John Vitale reported on the school site planning process. The interventions state that the school will:

  • organize the 4-year-old kindergarten curriculum to match the Wisconsin Model of Early Learning Standards; and
  • develop an alternative start to the school year to increase the partnership and communication between students, parents and teachers.

Vitale reported that the Wisconsin model was released only last year. He described some of the possible changes including use of “centers” in the classrooms.

He also forewarned School Board members that he will present a proposal in January that will allow parents and students to meet with teachers individually before the entire school congregates. Vitale said the face-to-face meetings could alleviate worries that kindergartners and their parents encounter especially if the 4-year-old has not experienced a preschool program.

Music is final curriculum aligned with state standards

The final curriculum that was revised to align with the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards was presented to the School Board. Instructional Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., presented the music curriculum. The curriculum identified student learning expectations and benchmarks for general, choral and instrumental music.

All Hamilton students in kindergarten through third grade participate in general music classes twice a week. In fourth and fifth grades, a choral music class is added once each week. Students in fifth grade may elect to take instrumental music by participating in the band program. At the middle school level, sixth and seventh grade students select either a general, choral or instrumental music class. Beginning in eighth grade, music becomes an elective program.

School Board recognizes parent, teacher, students

Two adults and four students were recognized with certificates of appreciation.

Seniors and Students Program Coordinator and Hamilton parent Janet Paterson was recognized as “an exceptional individual who has made significant contributions to our school district and community.”

Public Information and Volunteer Program Coordinator Denise Dorn Lindberg recognized Paterson who resigned her position with the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program to move with her family to Arizona. Lindberg noted Paterson’s role in the district as a parent volunteer, co-chair of the community referendum campaign committee and Seniors and Student Coordinator.

Hamilton art teacher Al Skell and four of his art students were honored for the stained glass artwork they created for the Hamilton Fine Arts Center. The students who created the project were Kelly Grabko, Theresa Henninger, Kelly Kornel and September Mueller.

Hamilton Principal David Furrer commended Skell and the students for a masterfully created work of art.

School Board approves personnel matters

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignation of Maple Avenue Special Services paraprofessional Joelle Quimby effective Nov. 19; and
  • appointed Melissa Mansfield as the new Maple Avenue Special Services paraprofessional beginning Nov. 30, and Alvin Johnson as the Hamilton PM cleaner beginning Dec. 6.

District to conduct telephone survey

A random sample of 525 Hamilton School District residents will be called during the evenings of Dec. 6-14 as part of a community survey. Student volunteers will make the telephone calls between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. asking residents to respond to the 54-question survey. Each survey will take about 10 minutes to complete.

The survey is a follow-up to ones conducted four and seven years ago. The district conducts the survey to:

  • learn the expectations and priorities the community has for its schools;
  • understand community sentiment on critical school issues;
  • verify perceptions of satisfaction with the district’s overall performance; and
  • evaluate and plan communication.

School officials are asking community members for their cooperation if they are contacted.
“It’s important to learn the perceptions of all members in our community – including those who do and do not have children enrolled in our schools,” Public Information Coordinator Denise Dorn Lindberg said. “When contacted by one of our volunteer callers, I hope residents will agree to participate in the survey.”

Hamilton school social worker elected leader

Hamilton School District social worker Murrene Payton was elected president-elect of the Wisconsin School Social Workers Association (WSSWA). Payton took office at the WSSWA fall board meeting. The honor is a 3-year commitment that includes being president in the second year and past president in the third.

“School social workers help ensure academic success for all students,” Payton said. “They are a vital link between home, school and the community.”

Payton was hired as a Hamilton school social worker in 1998. She serves students and their families at three schools – Hamilton High School and Maple and Lannon elementary schools. Before joining the Hamilton staff, she was a social worker for the Tomah Area School District and Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin and interned at Central City Catholic Schools in Milwaukee. She earned her master’s degree in social work and her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Among her WSSWA duties in the next few years are serving on the Professional Development Committee, acting as the group’s official representative, chairing board meetings, attending the Midwest School Social Work Council meetings and providing orientation for new board members.