May 21, 2007

District applies to DPI for waiver
Hamilton School District students have more days and minutes of instruction than is required by the state. And, parents are happy that the district offers parent-teacher conferences in the evenings when they are most convenient for them. Still, the School Board was required to hold a public hearing and seek a waiver from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to approve the district’s school calendar.

DPI recently notified the district that it would not count its parent-teacher conferences toward its school calendar because they were held late afternoons and evenings on days when students had been in school. The district was informed that conferences scheduled on non-student contact days would contribute to the school calendar. The district could move its parent-teacher conferences to the daytime hours of a non-student contact day or apply for a waiver.

When parents learned about the option through letters and at meetings, they unanimously voiced support for keeping the late afternoon and evening conferences. Two parents spoke at the meeting encouraging the School Board to keep the evening conferences and apply for the waiver.

Following the public hearing, the School Board approved a resolution at its regular meeting that requests a waiver from the state.

WRS prepayment nets savings
The School Board’s previous decision to prepay taxable bonds for the Wisconsin Retirement System Pension Liability has saved the district about $1.9 million in interest over two years and freed up about $300,000 under the district’s revenue cap. The district prepayed $1 million in bonds in 2006, which saved $826,975 in interest charges. The remaining balance of $2.62 million was prepaid this year, resulting in $1.06 million in interest savings.

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., credited Business Services Director Bryan Ruud for the insight to identify the savings for the district.

Board approves $44.8 million budget
Community members will have an opportunity to vote on the district levy June 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Hamilton High School. The School Board approved a $44.8 million budget that is up 5.07 percent over the current budget. The local levy is expected to be $9.37 per $1,000 of property value. The budget was built using conservative assumptions that there will be no additional state aid and the property growth rate will increase 5.0 percent.

Retirees recognized
Eighteen employees, with combined service of more than 450 years to Hamilton School District students and community, will retiree at the end of the 2006-07 school year. Their outstanding contributions to the district and the field of education were highlighted and they were presented with a clock, citation from the state Legislature and a certificate from the Department of Public Instruction. Those who were recognized were:
Lannon: Wayne E. Niederdorfer – custodian;
Maple Avenue: Mary Beth Ahmed-Yahia – physical education teacher, Terry L. Fojtik – music teacher;
Marcy: Nancy Boeck – library-media specialist;
Woodside: Thomas Noonan – third grade teacher; Jo-Ann E. Zeisloft – second grade teacher;
Templeton: Jeanne Johns – physical education teacher; Maxine Kay – sixth grade science and communication arts teacher; Carolyn Mrozinski – paraprofessional; Nancy Sommer – custodian; Cynthia Worzella – fitness education teacher;
Hamilton High School: William G. Bodette – social studies teacher; Mary R. Label – Spanish teacher; Jill Matarrese – alternative programs coordinator; Joanne M. Nolde – communication arts teacher; Byron C. Olson – technology education teacher; Steven Younk – social studies teacher; and
District: Mary Spaeth – Special Services administrative assistant.

Students and staff recognized
In addition to recognition of retirees, the School Board presented its annual Community Service Award to parent and volunteer Sue Posh. Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., said that Posh was deserving of the district’s highest award because of many ways in which she supports the district.

The board also recognized students Stephanie Smith and Zachary Dumke for being student board representatives in 2006-07.

School lunch prices going up
School Board members approved school lunch price hikes for 2007-08. Prices will be up 25 cents for students to $2 at the elementary level and $2.25 at middle and high school. Adult prices will increase 35 cents to $3. Milk will remain at 30 per carton.

Cutbacks in commodity food and increased costs for labor, equipment and food required the price adjustments.

Personnel business
In personnel business, the School Board:

  • Accepted the retirement request of Special Services administrative assistant Mary Spaeth;
  • Approved the resignation of Public Information Office administrative assistant Tracey Webster;
  • Appointed Katie Smith as a Marcy third grade teacher, Kaila Feudner as a Hamilton part-time Spanish teacher, Andrew Fox as a Templeton physical education and health teacher, and Amanda Petroff as a Maple Avenue physical education and health teacher;
  • Modified the contract of Hamilton communication arts teacher Misty Draeger from one-third to one-half of a position; and
  • Approved a leave of absence for Woodside emotional behavioral disabilities teacher Anne Gavigan for the 2007-08 school year.

Project Graduation gives seniors safe celebration

Hamilton High School 2007 seniors will have one last opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments as they participate in Project Graduation, an alcohol and drug free lock-in held at school. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. on June 9, and runs until 4:30 a.m. the following day.

The theme this year is “007 Sr. Agent – Life is an Adventure.” Students will enjoy music by DJ Express, karaoke, casino games, basketball, volleyball, Comedy Sportz, Velcro wall, Adrenalin and contests. Great food and prizes are highlights as well.

Project Graduation began in 1989 when parents first organized the event. Seniors pay $25 for a ticket to attend. Area businesses provide donations to offset the cost of the celebration. Seniors may purchase tickets May 29, 30 and 31 during lunch hours or in Office B.

The party is traditionally organized by parents of underclassmen, giving parents of seniors an opportunity to plan for a busy graduation weekend.

Adult volunteers are needed to help make Project Graduation a success. For more information contact Project Graduation co-chairpersons Candy Leskinen at (262) 253-6701 or Nancy Gin at (262) 246-4220 during the day or (262) 246-5957 evenings.

Hamilton announces April students of the month

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

  • Carl Benn, applied engineering and technology;
  • Amanda Emmer, science;
  • Nicole Emmer, communication arts;
  • Melanie Farra, family and consumer education;
  • Michael Guzman, music;
  • Kaila Klein and Hannah Wiesneski, mathematics;
  • Radoslav Radinov, business education;
  • Katelyn Sasse, world languages;
  • Yoana Taseva, art;
  • Erik Toy, fitness education; and
  • Margaret VanReenen, social studies.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

Academic search shines light on students

Dozens of Hamilton School District students participated in the Midwest Academic Talent Search (MATS) by taking above-grade level tests to measure their intellectual abilities. Three students who took the EXPLORE, ACT or SAT tests were recognized for exceptional performance among Wisconsin students, and two students were noted for their exceptional performance in the Midwest.

Students qualified for MATS based on their scores on the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam. Qualifying seventh and eighth grade students took the ACT or SAT, which are college entrance exams normally given to high school students. Fifth- and sixth-graders who qualified for MATS took EXPLORE, a test normally given to eighth grade students.

Templeton Middle School eighth-grader Paula Myatt and Woodside Elementary School fifth-grader Thomas Diehl earned outstanding scores on the ACT and EXPLORE, respectively, and were invited to the June awards ceremony at Northwestern University. They were among only 525 students from eight Midwestern states invited to the event, which will be on the Evanston, Ill. campus. In addition, Templeton sixth-grader Nathan Goecks was recognized for his high EXPLORE score among Wisconsin students.

Other Templeton students who participated in MATS were: Jasmine Badreddine, Danielle Barbian, Miranda Brown, Cassandera Chiao, Aaron Davis, Kelsey Depue, Allison Ehlert, Sean Fox, Tara Garbe, Sarah Geier, Zachary Herriges, Tyler Hoell, Makayla Imrie, Kelsey Jasinski, Daniel Koepke, Lillie La Marre, Danielle Latt, Nicholas Lehman, Seth Leinbach, AJ Mamerow, Brooke Menzia, Ashley Oelhafen, Matthew Oleszczak, Michael Pellechia, Miranda Simes, Daniel Smith, Rebecca Steiner, Derek Stone, Aleksandar Styles, Marissa Weiman, Kathryn Weinand, Marlee Williams, Lauren Wirsbinski, Michael Yu and Zachary Zarling. In recognition of their achievement, the Templeton Home and School invited each student to a May 11 Celebration Breakfast at school.

Other elementary students who participated were: Conner Ladwig and Evan Rentmeester from Maple Avenue; Bailee Bobert, Craig Bumgardner, Jonathon Joll, Annalise Kluender, Alex Magoon, Jackson Petermann, Kira Welcenbach and Justin Whorral from Marcy; and Rachel Branton, Mackenzie Latt and John Phillips from Woodside.

MATS is a program of Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development that offers testing for academically talented students in grades 3-9. MATS has been serving students in the Midwest and beyond since 1981. Nearly 31,000 students use MATS each year to help them understand their abilities and plan for their future. It is a well-researched and respected program model in gifted education.

Hamilton students to attend Badger State

Hamilton High School juniors were selected to attend Badger Boys and Girls State in June.

The males who will attend Badger Boys State June 9-16 at Ripon College will be:

  • Brian Konyn; and
  • Paul Graves.

Attending Badger Girls State June 17-22 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh are:

  • Eva Ennamorato; and
  • Angela Zeng.

The Sussex Lions Club and the Hamilton High School Athletic Department sponsor the students’ participation in the program. The students were chosen based on their interest in government, class standing and qualities of leadership, character and fitness.

For more than 50 years, Wisconsin high school juniors have been chosen to participate in this unique program where they can meet other students and learn about Wisconsin’s system of government. This year more than 850 boys and 750 girls will participate statewide. They will learn about city, county and state government by carrying out citizenship procedures such as campaigning, voting and holding offices.

Hamilton band members successful at state

Many Hamilton High School Band members competed April 28 in the state-level Wisconsin State Music Association Solo and Ensemble Festival held on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus. The state competition featured all students who received the highest rating of 1* at the district festival in Shorewood.

The following students and groups earned the highest rating of 1 at state:

  • Hamilton Woodwind Ensemble consisting of Alexandra Koelbl, Stephanie Maletz, Lydia Hickey; Sarah Buck, Kara Wisniewski, Lauren Kirsch, Shantelle Kind, Gabrielle Lyons, Courtney Gray, Ellen Kudronowicz, Elizabeth Bertucci, Stephanie Thiede, Betty Liang, Stephanie Englert, Alyssa Reetz, Sarah Vowels, Shannon Duenow, Ashley Mueller, Alyssa Gray, Joshua Guarisco, Matthew Kline, Joshua Gratz, Andrew Jost, Nicholas Talerico, Valerie Becker, Gina Philippi, Joshua Schwitz;
  • Hamilton Clarinet Ensemble consisting of Ellen Kudronowicz, Elizabeth Bertucci, Betty Liang, Stephanie Englert, Morgan Burns, Alissa Klobukowski, Alyssa Reetz, Sarah Vowels, Alyssa Gray, Shannon Duenow, Ashley Mueller, Andrew Jost, Joshua Schwitz and Briana Botros;
  • John Okruhlica – marimba solo;
  • Thomas Matthias – drum set solo;
  • Alexandra Koelbl, Lydia Hickey, Gabrielle Lyons – flute solos;
  • Kyle Giese – alto sax solo;
  • Daniel Fourness – trombone solo; and
  • Alexandra Koelbl and Kaitlyn Jacobi – flute duet.

In addition, Alexander Koelbl’s flute solo and Kyle Giese’s saxophone solo were chosen by festival adjudicators for Exemplary Solo Recognition Project honors. Adjudicators select the most exceptional student soloists at each of the WSMA State Festival sites. Koelbl and Giese were among only 450 soloists chosen among the 8,445 solos that were performed at state festivals.

Receiving a score of 2 were:

  • The Hamilton Saxophone Ensemble, consisting of Evan Flink, Nicholas Talerico, Lindsay James, Chris Sendelbach, Jennifer Dardich, Lauren Speckin, Andrew Doucette, Christian MacLeod, Valerie Becker, Emily Pride, Darcy Adams, Robert Matthias, Lauren Kirsch;
  • Alexander Klett – trumpet solo;
  • Lauren Kirsch and Joshua Schwitz – flute/clarinet duet;
  • Joshua Schwitz, Ellen Kudronowicz, Betty Liang, Andrew Jost – clarinet quartet;
  • Stephanie Maletz, Shantelle Kind – flute solos;
  • Alana Strait and Shantelle Kind – flute duet;
  • Joshua Guarisco – oboe solo; and
  • Ellen Kudronowicz – piano solo.

Hamilton students win essay contest

The essays of three Hamilton High School students were chosen winners in the 2007 Philosophy Essay Contest. Students were invited to write about how a current issue, event or trend will have a significant impact on human values in the future.

The top essays were:

  • “Talk to the Pixel” by senior Jennifer Posh, first place with a prize of $250;
  • “The Future of the Human Machine” by junior Joshua Pothier, second place and $100; and
  • “The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself (And Terrorists, and Rapists, and Nuclear Bombs, and the Slow Decay of Moral Values)” by senior Sara Willkomm, third place and $50.

Essays were rated based on response to the prompt, ability to express views clearly and cogently, and command of the language and conventions of writing.

Contestants wrote about the perils of poverty, the dangers of smoking or drinking, media influences, the impact of the Internet and other noteworthy concerns. The contest was sponsored by the Hamilton Philosophy Club.

Woodside plans family carnival May 19

Mark your calendars for May 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. when Woodside Elementary School will host a Family Fun Day Carnival.

The school fundraiser, which features a Hawaiian Lua theme, will include inflatable rides, midway games, photo booth, tattoo booth, a DJ, food and lots of fun. This family event (adult supervision of children necessary) will be held rain or shine.

The Woodside Home & School is sponsoring the carnival. Woodside Elementary School, W236 N7465 Woodside Road, Sussex, WI 53089.

Maple Avenue hosts “Muffins for Mom”

Maple Avenue Elementary School will host “Muffins With Mom,” an event that allows students to spend time with their mothers or other special female guests in a festive, school environment. The event will begin at 8 a.m. on May 11 in the school gymnasium. The theme this year is “The Love of a Mother is Like No Other,” with the children decorating the gym with hearts that express what makes their mother’s love so special.

More than 500 mothers and students are expected to attend.

The school is located at W240 N6059 Maple Ave., Sussex.

Intergenerational party slated at Marcy

Generations will come together May 18 for Marcy Elementary School’s annual Pen Pal Party. Fourth-graders in the classes of Beth Schaefer, Barb Gogan and Pam Biron meet their senior citizen pen pals. The students and seniors have been corresponding since fall and are excited to finally meet in person.

The pen pal project is part of the district’s Seniors and Students Program, a collaboration between the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Waukesha County and the Hamilton School District. The goal of the project is to give students letter-writing experience while learning about life in the past through stories shared with their pen pals.

The celebration will include a sing-a-long of old-fashioned American songs, a photo of the student and pen pal, a keepsake craft project, refreshments and a tour of the school. To cover the cost of the event, the students recently held an ice cream sale as part of their economics unit.

The Pen Pal Party will be from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the school gymnasium. Marcy Elementary School is located at W180 N4851 Marcy Road in Menomonee Falls.