Hamilton wins statewide “Spirit of Excellence Award”

Hamilton High School was presented Feb. 23 with the “Spirit of Excellence Award” from the Wisconsin Association of School Councils (WASC). Hamilton was first chosen as one of six regional recipients, and then as the statewide winner of the award which honors schools that achieve excellence in leadership, sportsmanship and service to their school and communities.
Schools across Wisconsin submitted a detailed portfolio highlighting their achievements which was then judged by a team of leaders from Wisconsin.
Hamilton was recognized by WASC, the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) at an all-school assembly where, in front of the entire student body, Student Council representatives were presented with a banner and trophy. Further recognition will take place during an awards presentation at half-time of the March 20 Milwaukee Bucks Game, at the May 8 WASC State Senior High School Conference in Green Bay, a promotional spot during the WIAA State Boys and Girls Basketball tournament and continued recognition on Fox Sports Network throughout the year.
Other 2011 regional recipients were St. Croix, Lakeland Union, Oconto Falls, Brodhead and Adams-Friendship high schools.

Sign-up for Bulldog football slated March 16

Sign-up for the Templeton Middle School Bulldog Youth Football Program for next year’s seventh and eighth grade students will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 16 in the school’s Main Gym. Under the direction of Hamilton High School Charger Football Head Coach John Damato, the program is designed to benefit Hamilton’s upcoming young players while enhancing the overall football program.

Templeton Middle School is located at N59 W22490 Silver Spring Drive, Sussex.

Hamilton senior selected as Coca-Cola Scholarship finalist

Hamilton senior Hanna Jensen was one of 252 high school seniors selected as a national finalist in the 2011 Coca-Cola Scholarship competition. Finalists were chosen from more than 2,100 semifinalists who demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and community involvement.
Jensen will travel to Atlanta on April 14 to compete for 52 four-year scholarships of $20,000 and 200 four-year scholarships of $10,000. During the four-day weekend, finalists will interview with a national selection committee, tour local landmarks, engage with former Coca-Cola Scholars and participate in a range of activities including a community service project.  Scholars will also be the guest of honor at the annual Scholars Banquet.
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation was created in 1986 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Coca-Cola and to establish a legacy for the education of tomorrow’s leaders through college scholarships.  The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has provided nearly 4,800 students nationwide with nearly $45 million since the Foundation’s inception. The program is open to all high school seniors in the U.S.

Woodside hosts a celebration of science Feb. 28-March 3

Woodside Elementary School students will celebrate science Feb. 28-March 3 with their annual all-school Science Fair. Community members and families are invited to see the student projects from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on March 3. All children should be supervised by an adult.
Each grade level is involved.
  • Kindergarteners will have displays on the four seasons.
  • First-graders will display habitat posters.
  • Second-graders will show 3D dinosaur models.
  • Third-graders will have demonstrations or experiments.
  • Fourth- and fifth-grade participants will display and tell about their recent investigations. In each of their investigations, the young scientists will use the “Scientific Method” of PHEOC – problem, hypothesis, experiment, observation and conclusion.
Woodside Elementary School is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Road, Sussex.

February 21, 2011

Simays recognized for national certification

School Board members recognized Hamilton High School science teacher Alan Simays for attaining his National Teacher Board Certification, an advanced teaching credential that complements a teacher license.


Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan said that Simays characterizes the five standards that the certification process promotes. Those standards state that teachers:

  • are committed to students and their learning;
  • know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students;
  • are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning;
  • think systematically about their practice and learn from experience; and
  • are members of learning communities.

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., said that Simays’ accomplishment is a validation of what his students and colleagues already know about him, that “he’s an incredible teacher.”

Simays thanked several Hamilton board-certified teachers who supported him in the process including his mentor Steve Akin and Kim Leannais and Debbie Figueroa.

National Board Certification is available nationwide for most preK–12 teachers. As part of the certification process, candidates complete 10 assessments that are reviewed by trained teachers in their certificate areas. The assessments include four portfolio entries that feature teaching practice and six constructed response exercises that assess content knowledge.

Six approved for early graduation

Six students met stated requirements and conditions and were approved for early graduation in January, 2012. They are Stephanie Gouin, Melanie Hahn, Alison Laszkiewicz, Jessica Paul, Elizabeth Selestow and Chi Vang. The students, who applied in January, had their transcripts reviewed and met with staff to discuss their future plans. Even though their requests were approved, they will have the opportunity to change their minds next year.

Summer school plans underway

Plans for the 2011 Summer Opportunity Program are underway even though school staff are not certain if the state will continue to provide funding to support it. Summer Opportunities Director and Lannon Elementary School Principal Dick Ladd reported that the district intends to offer a 19-day summer school enrichment program, a 29-day middle school promotional program and two 19-day high school credit make-up sessions, similar to what had been offered in the past.

Fees for classes will range from $4 to $12, which covers consumable materials. In the past the district received state aid that allowed the program to operate. The district will know better after the governor’s budget proposal is released next week if funding will continue.

Ladd said depending on level of state aid available to run the program, fees and the number of classes offered could change.

He noted that there has been behind-the-scenes work to avoid online registration problems that created difficulty in the last two years. He said outside technology companies were brought in to ensure that the system will not overload, especially in the first several minutes when registration opens.

Curriculum revisions on track

The K-12 mathematics and 6-12 communication arts-writing curriculums are on track for approval at the May or June School Board meeting, according to Educational Services and Human Resources Director John Roubik.

In the mathematics curriculum, staff members have looked closely at preparing students for “Algebra” at eighth grade, designing sixth grade transitional math sequence and using “Everyday Math” materials for fifth grade enrichment. In the communication arts-writing curriculum, changes include modifications to the Advanced Placement sequence and newly structured “Business and Technical Communications” electives.

Roubik presented an extended timeline of future curriculum revisions which include:

  • 2011-12 – social studies, guidance, family & consumer education, K-5 communication arts-writing;
  • 2012-13 – applied engineering and technology education, business education, reading-learning strategies, K-5 spelling;
  • 2013-14 – art, fitness education, health, science, world languages;
  • 2014-15 – music and information & technology literacy.

Personnel action

In personnel matters, the School Board approved a leave of absence for Lannon first grade teacher Heidi Vorndran for the 2011-12 school year.

Hamilton schools celebrate Youth Art Month with art show at Pauline Haass Public Library

In celebration of Youth Art Month, the artwork of students from throughout the Hamilton School District will be on display during March at the Pauline Haass Public Library, N64 W23820 Main St., Sussex. The public is invited to view the artwork during regular library hours.
A reception honoring the artists and their teachers will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 3. During the reception a Hamilton High Jazz Band combo will perform and art activities will be offered in the Youth Services area. The Friends of the Pauline Haass Public Library will provide refreshments.
Youth Art Month is celebrated each year to emphasize the value of art education for all children and to encourage public support for quality school art programs. It began in 1961 as Children’s Art Month with support from the nonprofit Crayon, Water Color and Craft Institute and the National Art Education Association.

Hamilton announces January students of the month

Hamilton High School students representing 11 curriculum areas were selected as students of the month for January. They are:
  • Garret Horn, applied engineering and technology;
  • Nicholas Verhaalen, social studies;
  • Erin Swierczek, business education;
  • Frances Van Eyck and Nicole Wolf, communication arts;
  • Bradley Geers, art;
  • Kristen Serchen, mathematics;
  • Drew Patterson, fitness education;
  • Kristin Jerde, family and consumer education;
  • Zachary Herriges, world languages;
  • Paula Myatt, music; and
  • Frances Weiss, science.
Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

Kindergartners to celebrate literacy through bedtime stories

Willow Springs Learning Center students in the 4-year-old kindergarten program will celebrate the 11th annual Bedtime Story Time – Literacy Night at their school on Feb. 17. Morning students and their families were invited to come at 6 p.m., and afternoon students and their families were invited at 7:10 p.m. 
Bedtime Story Time is a fun-filled, interactive family night where students and families come back to school in their pajamas and listen to read-aloud stories and nursery rhymes performed by special guests. Students will receive a special keepsake and also create a take-home project as a remembrance.
Willow Springs is located at W220 N6660 Town Line Rd., Menomonee Falls.

Hamilton School Board members recognized for service

Michael Hyland, James Long and Dawn Van Aacken were honored at the 2011 State Education Convention for each serving 20 years on the Hamilton School Board. Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) President Mary Janssen, a school board member for the Little Chute Area School District, thanked the three school leaders for their service.
“The character trait of perseverance and dedication demonstrated by these board members is truly remarkable,” Janssen said. “Their commitment to quality public schools is one that serves all of us well.”
The WASB also recognizes the experience and knowledge the three members bring to their school board. In addition to work at the local level, Long is a regional WASB director. In this role, Long advocates on behalf of school board members across the state. Hamilton School Board President Gabe Kolesari is also a past president of the WASB.
Van Aacken, Hyland and Long’s service provides an outstanding example of a fundamental tenet of Wisconsin’s system of public education – local schools that are governed by their own communities.
The Wisconsin Association of School Boards is a nonprofit association that provides information and services to Wisconsin school boards in the areas of school law and policymaking, collective bargaining, legislation and leadership development.

Hamilton students win awards in regional art contest

Hamilton High School art students earned eight  awards in the 2011 Scholastic Art Awards – Wisconsin Regional Competition and Exhibit. Students who earned awards were:
  • Bradley Geers, Gold Key for photography portfolio;
  • Laura Eichsteadt, Gold Key for photography;
  • Jennifer Potts, Gold Key for photography;
  • Hailee Weber, Gold Key for glass;
  • Skylar Michels,  Gold Key for glass ;
  • Kathleen Richards, Gold Key for glass;
  • Hanna Lutynski, Silver Key for glass; and
  • Hannah Zielinski, Silver Key for ceramics.
The Wisconsin Scholastic Art Awards program, which features outstanding works by students in grades 7–12, is the regional section of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards National Program conducted by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, Inc.
Students were recognized Feb. 5 at an awards ceremony at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The Silver Key and Gold Key artwork will be exhibited until March 5 in the museum’s Schroeder West Galleria. The Gold Key award-winners’ work will go on for national competition.