Hamilton schools contribute to community during holidays

Hamilton School District students, staff and families showed appreciation for the needs of others during the holidays by contributing to charitable organizations and extending acts of kindness within the community and beyond. Following is a summary of activities at each school.

  • Lannon Elementary School students, families and staff members contributed four 33-gallon bags of clothing and 250 cans of food to the Sussex Food Pantry, 100 mittens and hats to the Hope House in Waukesha, and 200 pencils and $200 to a school in Ghana, Africa.
  • Maple Avenue Elementary School buddy classes in first and third grades earned money by doing extra work at home and contributing the money at school. A total of $475 was raised and used to purchase items for children served by the Sussex Food Pantry. Fifth-graders collected 2,200 items for the Sussex Food Pantry as part of their community service project called “Uniting Kids With Community.” Their next project is a coat and winter gear drive in January. Kindergartners made decorations for senior residents at the Wyndham House in Pewaukee. They also sang Christmas carols and spent time visiting the residents there.
  • Marcy Elementary School collected more than 200 items to support both Community Memorial Hospital and the Sussex Food Pantry.
  • Woodside Elementary School collected nonperishable food items at its first grade concert in November and third grade concert in December. The food items were contributed to the Sussex Food Pantry. In addition, the school filled 30 boxes with DVDs, greeting cards, drink mixes, shampoo, blankets and other personal supplies and sent them to the Army base in Afghanistan where school custodian Sgt. Mike Figueroa is stationed. The school received a call from Figueroa who reported that the troops were delighted to receive the items. Woodside’s Student Council has planned another collection that will begin Jan. 2 in which old tennis shoes will be donated to create soft-court playgrounds for underprivileged children.
  • Willow Springs Learning Center students and their families contributed generously to the Sussex Food Pantry this holiday season. They participated in a service project, “Making Wishes Come True,” that resulted in more than 400 items of clothing or toys that will be distributed through the Sussex Food Pantry to local families.
  • The Templeton Middle School Student Council raised an astounding $9,036.52 in its schoolwide Holiday Gift Drive. Student council members purchased gifts for six families in need, supplies for a battered women’s shelter and a homeless shelter in Waukesha, and donated money to the Sussex Food Pantry and Porcupine Foundation. Family and consumer arts (FACE) and Spanish classes made 11 quilts that they will ship to Bolivian orphanages. Students also raised money through a bake sale and donations to provide scholarships to Bolivian orphans. FACE students cut and tied 30 blankets, sewed a picture and letter to each and donated them to Community Memorial Hospital for children in long-term care. FACE students also sewed 30 holiday drawstring bags and filled them with small gifts and a personal letter for residents of a local nursing home. Students raised more than $6,900 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital through a math-a-thon.
  • Hamilton High School students contributed to various community groups during the holiday season. The Student Council conducted a successful food drive that generated 2,677 food items and $511.44 for the Sussex Food Pantry. The Distributive Education Club of America (DECA) chapter adopted a classroom at Milwaukee’s LaFollette Elementary School and provided 40 students with gift bags. The German Club organized its annual sweater drive and donated more than 150 sweaters to the Hebron House in Waukesha. Each of the 62 National Honor Society members donated a new toy at the December meeting which were delivered to the Women’s Center in Waukesha. The school library’s Student Advisory Panel coordinated a “Snowflakes of Hope” campaign in which hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, socks, toiletries, slippers and other items were donated to the Women’s Center in Waukesha. Pep Club and Student Council gathered 190 toys that were donated to the Salvation Army and given to children whose parents were overseas in the military. Students in freshman seminar and advisement bought gifts for children identified through Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County.

  • Staff members throughout the district adopted families in lieu of exchanging gifts with one another. They provided gifts of toys, games, clothing, food, personal items, household goods and gift certificates for families in need of support.

Hamilton one-act play awarded All State

Hamilton High School’s one-act play came away with several prestigious awards at the 2006 State High School Theater Festival. The cast and crew of “Inner Circle” received an All State Award. The entire cast received an Ensemble Acting Award, and Kyle Florence was presented with an Acting Award for his role as Danny.

“You and your school should be extremely proud of your drama program and the accomplishment of this entire cast and crew who represented Hamilton High School in such an outstanding manner,” wrote Wisconsin High School Forensic Association Executive Director Chuck Malone.

In addition to Florence, members of the production were Sarah Buck, Kathryn Doyle, Jaclyn Michl, Joshua Greiveldinger, Michael Guzman and Gabrielle Mears. Hamilton communication arts and theater teacher Erin Brigham is the advisor.

December 18, 2006

Detachment request tabled
School Board members tabled discussion and action on a request from a developer who wants a 1.52-acre parcel detached from the Hamilton to the Elmbrook School District. Brad Wilson, developer of Bradon Preserve, located directly adjacent to Lisbon Road, requested the detachment so that the 27-lot subdivision being developed would be served by only one school district.

The Village of Menomonee Falls recently permitted detachment of the same parcel after the City of Brookfield agreed to pay Menomonee Falls for some of the future tax revenue loss. Before the meeting, Wilson distributed a letter offering the district $5,000 to compensate for future revenue to the district.

Hamilton School Board members voted to table discussion and action to the next meeting so that it could negotiate the matter in a closed session.

District presented Community Betterment award
Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., reported that the Menomonee Falls Community Chamber of Commerce presented its Community Betterment Award to the Hamilton School District Dec. 12 at the 2006 Chamber Awards Banquet. In addition to the award from the Chamber, Cooke showed the Legislative citation that state representatives gave the district.

The award was given to the district because of its enhancement of the community through its vision and public services. It identified the Hamilton Fine Arts Center which has had a positive impact on people of all ages in the community. The Legislative citation concluded that “the Hamilton School District has proved to be a valued member of our community through its dedication to and active support of the families in our area.”

Enrollment, staffing studied
School Board members took a look at enrollment projections and heard how many additional staff members might be needed for the 2007-08 school year. Enrollment from September to December increased by five students this year from 4,324 to 4,329. Educational Services Assistant Superintendent Dean Schultz predicted student enrollment would increase by another 75 students next fall.

Administrators recommended that the School Board consider up to three full-time equivalency (FTE) positions for anticipated enrollment growth at the middle and high school next year. They also suggested budgeting two FTEs as contingency positions for elementary schools and special education needs. If all the positions are needed, the added costs could be $400,000.

A half-time position to assist in administration at Woodside was also proposed.
School Board members did not take action on any of the administrative proposals. They will take up the recommendations in the next several months as they develop the 2007-08 budget that they will approve in May and present to taxpayers at the Annual Meeting in June.

Hamilton student fees compared
Hamilton’s student participation fees are on the “low end of average” compared to the going rates charged at 24 area school districts, according to Buildings and Grounds and Finance Committee Chairman Michael Hyland. A chart showed comparison of fees that districts charge families including general school fees and those charged for drivers’ education, athletics, technology, clubs and activities and parking. Hyland said the district will continue to monitor the fees.

“The Finance Committee is comfortable with where we are at with our fee schedule,” he said.

Templeton Course Catalog approved
Templeton Middle School’s Course Catalog was approved. The catalog included revisions such the name change from technology education courses to technology and engineering. Course revisions include:

  • fitness education that reflect fitness skill development grades 6-8, participation in lifelong sports, teamwork, cooperation and healthy lifestyle choices;
  • technology and engineering focus on pre-engineering, computer design, automation, electronics and other components of Project Lead the Way; and
  • eighth grade family and consumer education curriculum that emphasizes nutrition, personal finance, teamwork and cooperation, and community service.

Personnel matters decided
In personnel matters, the School Board:
Accepted the retirement request of Templeton paraprofessional Carolyn Mrozinski; and
Appointed Keith Griebler as Hamilton custodian.

Templeton students reach out with care to others

Templeton Middle School family and consumer arts (FACE) classes have been busy as they worked on various community service projects. FACE teacher Rebecca Tomsovic summarized their activities:

  • Hearts and Hands Across the Americas – Eighth grade FACE and Spanish students created 11 beautiful quilts that will be shipped to Bolivian orphanages in March. Students designed and drew their own quilt squares which were collected and sewn together in FACE classes. The public is invited to view the artwork and craftsmanship of the quilts that will be shown Jan. 9 – Feb. 9 in Templeton display cases and in the hallways.
  • Scholarships Abroad – As an extension of the Hearts and Hands Across the Americas project, FACE and Spanish classes raised money through a bake sale and donation. The money will be donated as scholarships to Bolivian orphans.
  • Blankets of Love – In an effort to bring their caring closer to home, students will donate 30 tie blankets to Community Memorial Hospital for children in long-term care. Parents and faculty donated the fleece used for the blankets that were cut and tied in eighth grade FACE class. A picture and letter was sewn to the blankets to let the children know that the blanket was made with love for them. They wished to give children who are having a tough time in the hospital something warm and soft to cheer them up and remind them that there are people who care about them.
  • Helping During the Holiday – Students will provide 30 holiday drawstring bags filled with small gifts to a local nursing home. An eighth grade FACE class made the bags out of holiday-themed material and filled them with Chapstick, hand lotion and playing cards – items that were donated by Tomsovic’s mother and grandmother. Students sewed the bags in class and wrote personal letters to include in each bag. Students recognize that the holidays can by a lonely time for the elderly, and wanted to bring some cheer to them with their sincere letters and holiday gift bags.

Templeton raises money in St. Jude’s Math-a-Thon

Templeton Middle School students are magnificent fundraisers. Students and faculty raised $6,906.55 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital to help young people with life-threatening illnesses.

The top Templeton student fundraisers were:

  • Daniel Smith, seventh grade, who brought in $550 in pledges;
  • Makenzie Muehler, seventh grade, with $475;
  • Nicole Fuerstenberg, sixth grade, with $438; and
  • Amanda Franklin, seventh grade, with $370.

With $2,178.34, Seventh Grade Gold had the top house contributions, followed by Sixth Grade Gold with $901.75, Sixth Grade Blue with $686.50, Sixth Grade White with $666.80, Seventh Grade Blue with $635, and Eighth Grade Gold with $611.50

St. Jude Children’s Hospital is a non-sectarian hospital that treats children without regard to race, religion, creed or ability to pay. Located in Memphis, Tenn., the hospital treats about 4,500 patients who are in active status, returning for treatment as needed. It treats about 160 patients every day on an out-patient basis and maintains 58 inpatient beds. It holds special meaning for some Templeton students because they have had family members who were treated there.

ALSAC/St. Jude, the fundraising arm, covers all costs not covered by insurance for medical treatment rendered at the hospital. All medical treatment costs not covered by insurance are paid by fund-raising.

“Families without insurance are never asked to pay and that is why Templeton Middle School feels so good about raising money for this organization,” said Templeton teacher Sherry Malmon, who coordinated the project.

Maple Avenue students making holidays brighter for others

Maple Avenue Elementary School buddy classes in first and third grades are literally “working” to make the holidays brighter for people in their community. The students are earning money by doing extra work at home and contributing the money at school. The money will be used to purchase items that are considered luxuries for children served by the Sussex Food Pantry such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, “fun” shampoos, and character underwear and socks.

Students will see what their contributions netted for the Sussex Food Pantry on Dec. 21. Half the buddy classes will meet in the school’s Large Group Area at 8:50 a.m., and the other half will meet at 9:30 a.m. The children have been excited about earning their own money and making a difference for someone else.

Maple Avenue Elementary School is located at W240 N6059 Maple Ave., Sussex.

Templeton students selected for Honors Band

Six Templeton Middle School eighth grade band members were honored by being selected for the 40th Annual Honors Band Festival. They participated Dec. 2 and 3 in the festival at the University of Wisconsin (UW) – Milwaukee. Students selected for the festival were:

  • Paula Myatt – flute;
  • Michael Yu – oboe;
  • Daniel Chartrand – clarinet;
  • Zachary Hintz – clarinet;
  • Kelsey Jasinski – bass clarinet; and
  • Erin Swierczek – tenor saxophone.

Students were selected from approximately 700 nominations from across Wisconsin and Illinois. They participated in all-day rehearsals and instrument master classes on Dec. 2 and 3. The festival concluded on the second day with a concert at the Helene Zelazo Center For The Performing Arts on the UW-Milwaukee campus.

Students in the festival were divided into three performance bands that were directed by renowned music educators from across the Midwest.

Hamilton band to perform Dec. 20

The Hamilton High School Symphonic and Concert Band will present a holiday concert Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. The concert will be in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center, W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex. Music to be performed will include a mix of traditional concert band selections and holiday favorites. Admission is free.

Jon Waite is the Hamilton band director.

December 5, 2006

School Board members approved site plans for two schools – one that is the first entry into the district for many students and the other from which they will graduate.

Willow Springs site plan approved
Principal Margaret Tackes presented the Willow Springs Learning Center Site Plan which has one tactic that states “students will be enriched in a unique, well-defined and articulated four-year-old kindergarten program.” The tactic is supported by two interventions that indicate the school will:

  • Organize the 4K curriculum to align with 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.

Tackes reported that the faculty has worked on curriculum alignment since January 2004 and the 4K program and curriculum has developed significantly since its inception.

She also reported that the “Transition to Success” Program has been implemented successfully for two years.

“The program has multiple successes including increased students engagement, stronger parental connection with school, immediate instruction and better aligned teacher preparedness and assessments,” the report stated.

Next steps for the school include:

  • Sharing and celebrating the site plan with the whole school;
  • Refining curriculum, standards, activities, timelines and assessments;
  • Develop and align standards, implementation and authentic assessments during a summer curriculum-writing project;
  • Develop a survey to give to 5K teachers regarding student transitions;
  • Explore and develop a transition-to-5K teacher plan;
  • Analyze data from standardized tests; and
  • Refine the details of the “Transition to Success” Program including evaluation, timeline, brochures and procedures.

Tackes summarized her report by describing Willow Springs this way: “We have beautiful children with families who care and a faculty who love them dearly.”

Hamilton site plan approved

Principal Candis Mongan shared Hamilton’s School Profile with the board. In its fourth year of implementation, the high school continues to focus on one improvement goal that states “Students will demonstrate higher-level thinking skills across the curriculum.”

The goal includes three interventions:

  • All students will apply Polya’s problem-solving model to analyze, synthesize and evaluate information and conclusions in both structured and authentic situations.
  • Students will apply reading strategies to support higher-level thinking skills across the curriculum.
  • Students will evaluate their personal level of thinking in the cognitive domain by using Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Mongan described the school’s strengths, its culture and concerns. The strengths include rising PLAN scores, the highest ACT score in the school’s history, and strong performance on the state standardized Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam. Concerns to be addressed are achievement gap for special education students and science results in the WKCE, ACT achievement gap among disaggregated data; and low enrollment in AP and Honors courses.

Lannon staff honored for Green, Healthy School Program
Lannon Elementary School Principal Dick Ladd presented seven current and former teachers for recognition because of their work with the Green and Healthy School Program. The teachers who were honored were: Laureanna Raymond-Duvernell, Patty Gmeinder, Judy Gurath, Monika Lichey, Andrea Tarantino, Kristine Wetherall and Kathy Voss-Schwartz.

The team headed up an effort that resulted in Lannon being named a Wisconsin Green and Healthy School by the Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The designation signifies that Lannon is a model for its community for health, safety and environmental excellence.

Briskis recognized for contributions to Willow Springs
Jerry and Lynn Briski were recognized for their generosity to Willow Springs students. The Briskis planted a pumpkin patch for Willow children for the past six years. Every year the 4-year-old kindergartners have attended a half-day field trip to the Briski farm where they each pick a pumpkin and gourd from the patch. Both Briskis have taken off of their regular jobs to make the trip possible for the children, and Lynn makes a treat for each child.

In nominating the Briskis, Willow Spring teacher Rita Forrester told this story: “When we were hiking in the patch this fall, which was a cold blustery day, I noticed that the vines looked a little different,” Forrester wrote. “Due to the cold weather and the threat of a frost, the Briskis had picked all the pumpkins, washed them, stored them and put them back in the patch for our children to pick them! This is definitely going above and beyond any expectations of a farmer!”

April School Board meeting date changed
Because several School Board members will not be able to attend the April 16 meeting, the board voted to reschedule it to April 23.

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:

  • Eric Reimer, science;
  • Lauren Kirsch, applied engineering and technology;
  • Samantha Runingen, family and consumer education;
  • Kathleen Beitzel, music;
  • Ellen Kudronowicz, mathematics;
  • Tyler Golimowski, social studies;
  • Travis Schirpke, art;
  • Elizabeth Peters, world languages;
  • Kristin Cox and Shawn Vergiels, communication arts;
  • Amanda Wagner, fitness education; and
  • Allison Umhoefer, business education.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.