Woodside students excited about new chess club

A new chess club at Woodside Elementary School is generating a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm. The Woodside Kings and Queens – a name chosen by its members – meets twice each month. The 43-member club is open to students from kindergarten to fifth grade.

Woodside parent Jeanne Rhodes approached school staff about forming a club because of her own son’s interest in chess. Her son attended a chess camp offered by the Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Federation (WSCF), and Rhodes’ contact with the camp organizers provided her with the inspiration to make her idea a reality for Woodside students. The club was formed last fall.

Each club meeting begins with a brief lesson from a certified chess instructor and continues with chess matches between players. Parents and volunteers assist the players with questions as needed.

The Woodside Kings and Queens participate in local chess tournaments hosted by the WSCF including one recently held at Rose Glen Elementary School in Waukesha. Woodside students received trophies in two divisions. Representing the K-3 team and taking second place in their division were Hunter Slaats, Hunter Dow, Jesse Schleicher and Jonah Greenwood. Representing the K-6 team and taking fifth place in their division were Grant Gorski, Connor Rhodes, Jake Myatt, Matt Kolesari and Austin Dalzin.

Rhodes points to studies that show prolonged exposure to chess at the elementary level can help raise IQ scores, strengthen problem-solving skills, teach kids how to make difficult and abstract decisions independently and enhance reading, memory, language and mathematical abilities.

“Parent volunteers and the enthusiasm of the student members have established a solid foundation for the Woodside Kings and Queens with a great future ahead,” Rhodes said.

Hamilton students qualify for state music festival

Hamilton High School music students participated March 21 in the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) District Solo and Ensemble Music Festival held at Brown Deer High School. The following students qualified for state competition:
– Corie Spankowski,
– Daniel Barch,
– Jarrett Taivalkoski,
– Lindsay James,
– Jennifer Dardich,
– Nicholas Ritter,
– Sarah Geier,
– Kelson Zarling,
– Alex Crane,
– Matthew Kline,
– Darcie Adams,
– Ellen Kudronowicz,
– Joshua Guarisco,
– Lauren Dawley,
– Andrew Kerber,
– Alexandra Koelbl,
– Lauren Little,
– Gabrielle Lyons,
– Stephanie Peterson,
– Seth Leinbach,
– Sarah Vowels and
– Kelsey Steinmetz.

The WSMA state competition will be held April 25 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Hamilton qualifies seven for international competition

After a successful performance at the annual state DECA Career Development Conference in Lake Geneva March 17-19, seven of 10 Hamilton High School competitors qualified for international competition. Students who qualified for international competition in Anaheim, Calif., April 29-May 3 include:

  • Halley Greeneway and Holly Rindfleisch – second place overall for travel and tourism marketing;
  • Mitchell Muehler and Christopher Ebsen – fourth place overall for hospitality services;
  • Cody Ellis and Carson Leet – fourth place overall for business law and ethics; and
  • Supriya Talwar – eighth place overall for business services.

Along with the international qualifiers, Lukas Ballo and the team of Kelly Rodenkirk and Sarah Vowels also competed at the state competition. All ten competitors were recognized on stage at the state event for their accomplishments with medals or trophies.

Hamilton also received the highest level possible for every award available to individual chapters including:

  • Outstanding Gold Chapter;
  • Diamond Level Membership;
  • Muscular Dystrophy award; and
  • Coins for Campers.

In addition, the Charger Corner school-based enterprise was recognized for gold level recertification for the third straight year. This level of certification has only been granted to 12 school-based enterprises in the state and 116 in the nation, making The Charger Corner a model operation for others to emulate.

Business education teacher Skip Hay is the Hamilton DECA advisor. DECA is an association for students interested in marketing, management and entrepreneurship that provides opportunities to compete in more than 50 categories related to business career development.

Outstanding seniors to be recognized

Hamilton High School will recognize outstanding seniors May 20 at the Senior Scholarship Ceremony. This is a special night to recognize seniors for their accomplishments as outstanding scholars, athletes, actors and musicians. Students who win scholarships or other awards will be notified they should attend. Parents or students should inform the Guidance Office of outside scholarships received. Parents and other interested students also are encouraged to attend.

The ceremony will be held in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center, W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. and conclude with refreshments in the Hamilton High School cafeteria.

Any business or individuals interested in supporting the Hamilton High School Scholarship Program with a scholarship may contact Patricia Mitchell at (262) 246-6476 x1134.

Tryouts slated for Hamilton pom, dance team

Tryouts for the 2009-10 Hamilton High School Chargerette Pom and Dance Team will be May 18-20 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tryouts will be in the high school large gymnasium.

Please contact coach Jessica Ronk at (262) 246-6471 x1450 or e-mail her at for more information.

Students must bring a signed emergency card which is available from the high school office or online on the high school Web site under “athletic forms” on the athletics page.

Templeton students recognized in literature contest

Templeton Middle School eighth-grader Caroline Hope earned an honorable mention in the Letters About Literature contest, sponsored by the United States Library of Congress. She wrote to Mary O’Hara about the novel “My Friend Flicka.”

With 54,000 entries submitted and after two rounds of evaluation, the following students’ work were among the 75 semi-finalists for their age division in Wisconsin:
– Kevin Fantl, grade 6;
– Katherine Bitz, grade 8;
– Makayla Emmer, grade 8;
– Theodora Hermberg, grade 8; and
– Nathan Goecks, grade 8.

All were invited to an awards ceremony April 18 at Grant Elementary School in Wisconsin Rapids, during the Wisconsin Literary Bash/Prairie Chicken Festival.

To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre – fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic – explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves.

Lannon students, families to help with park clean-up

In celebration of Earth Day 2009, Lannon Elementary School families will partner with the Waukesha County Parks Department the weekend after to clean up Menomonee Park. Families will help park staff members from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on April 25 pull garlic mustard plants, an invasive species that crowds out native plants. After clean-up, participants will enjoy picnic lunches at the park.

The school chose to give back to the community by helping clean up Menomonee Park because it is the site of their end-of-the-year school picnic. Lannon family members of all ages are encouraged to participate in this eco-friendly work day. Volunteers are asked to bring gardening gloves for their family, work clothes and picnic lunches. Beverages will be provided for the picnic.

Lannon families who plan to volunteer in the work day should contact third grade teacher Laureanna Raymond-Duvernell at (262) 255-6106 or by April 22. The rain date is May 2.

Menomonee Park is located at W220 N7884 Townline Road, Menomonee Falls. Earth Day 2009 is April 22.

Templeton students to visit UW-Waukesha

All Templeton Middle School eighth-graders will visit the University of Wisconsin- Waukesha to learn about college. Groups of students will visit the university April 22, April 29, May 6 and May 12 to tour the campus and obtain information about academic planning and career choices beyond high school.

The day will consist of three components each lasting 30 minutes – a campus tour, student panel session and lunch in the student union.

Templeton Future Problem Solvers qualify for state

The Templeton Middle School Future Problem Solving team of Taylor Burns, Megan Hessler, Caitlin Kennedy and Brendan Schlaman created a booklet about the issue of “space junk” that qualified them for the State Bowl in Green Lake on April 19-21.

Students are already researching the new topic of “counterfeit economy.” Marquette Law Professor Bruce Boyden spoke March 3 to all Future Problem Solvers explaining the differences between copyright, trademark and patent laws.

Woodside plans Family Fun Night May 29

Mark your calendars for May 29 for an evening of rides, food, prizes and entertainment at Woodside Elementary School. Family Fun Night, which runs from 5 p.m – 8:30 p.m., is a fundraiser to support Woodside Home and School’s enriching learning programs for students and teachers.

Woodside invites the community to join in and welcomes support from local businesses to benefit the upcoming event. The school is collecting silent auction items and looking for volunteers to help with rides and games.

“It is a great opportunity for students to volunteer together and fulfill those much needed community service hours,” said Family Fun Night Committee Chair Jessi Wrench.

The event will be open to the public. Tickets for rides, games and food will be available in May at Woodside or at the event. For more information on how to get involved with the upcoming event, contact Wrench at (262) 820-1826.

Woodside Elementary School is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Road, Sussex, WI 53089.
The event will be held indoors if it is rainy or windy.