Five Hamilton students attend technology conference

Five Hamilton High School students attended the 2011 PDS Technology Conference Sept. 15 at the Frontier Airlines Center in Milwaukee. Seniors Brittany Paa, Riley Feldman, Zachary Geis, Timothy Jansen and Clinton Lampshire were accompanied by Hamilton business education teacher Toni Hillmann.

Attendees heard from keynote speaker Malcolm Gladwell, a staff writer for the New York Times, who discussed the importance of technology in the changing world. Gladwell is the bestselling author of “The Tipping Point,” “Blink” and “Outliers” and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. Students also attended breakout sessions and visited exhibit booths that featured local technology companies and products.



Hamilton students learn about healthcare careers

Eight Hamilton High School students had the opportunity to learn about different healthcare careers as a result of the participation in Froedtert Health Community Memorial Hospital’s 2011 Healthcare Career Academy. To be selected for the program, students submitted formal applications which were reviewed by high school staff members. Successful applicants were interviewed by a team of hospital and high school staff. The students spent three weeks at Froedtert Health Community Memorial Hospital for four hours each day. The experience provided students with a well-balanced approach toward healthcare career exposure by shadowing and learning from professionals in various departments.



September 19, 2011

Woodside recognized for PBIS implementation

The Hamilton School Board recognized Woodside Elementary School for selection as a School of Merit in implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The Wisconsin PBIS Network, an initiative of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, selected Woodside for its tremendous work accomplished through the implementation of PBIS, a proactive approach in promoting effective, safe schools. In her letter to the district, Assistant State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor wrote that the selection committee was especially impressed with the school’s “engagement of parents in the PBIS implementation process as well as the use and sharing of data to staff for action planning.”

Woodside staff members who were recognized at the School Board meeting were Principal James Edmond, Associate Principal Linda Hake, teachers Margy Supa, Peter Dargatz, Ann Tamblingson, Robyn Hassani and Chris Botsford, paraprofessionals  Penny Monroe and Sally Thompson and social worker Cheryl Johnson. Those who were not able to attend were teacher Julie Pettit, guidance counselor Pam Biloudeau, paraprofessional Kirsten Schlaman and psychologist Cynthia Johnson-Romain.

2011-12 compensation for support staff approved

The School Board approved 2011-12 compensation for several support staff groups. The average hourly increase will be 47 cents for associate kitchen employees and 50 cents for assistant cooks. The new hourly rate for hall monitors is $14.83 for those who have teaching certification and $13.77 for those who are not certified. The School Board also approved a .34% total aggregate salary and benefit compensation increase for administrative assistants. The package includes mandated employee retirement contributions, health insurance concessions and retiree health insurance concessions. The 2011-12 Administrative Assistant Staff Handbook, which is similar to the handbook approved last month for professional teaching staff, was approved.

Instructional leader representation expands

After modifying the role of district instructional leaders earlier this year, School Board members approved adding four more positions to ensure that all areas were represented. Instructional leaders will play important roles in implementation of curriculum and professional development activities and other district initiatives. Additional positions were approved for 6-12 applied engineering, K-12 art, K-12 library media and elementary resource specialists representing math support, reading specialists and writing technology teachers. Instructional leaders are paid $981 for their additional responsibilities, so the addition of four more positions is just under $4,000.

Federal funds decrease over time

Human Resources Director John Roubik reported on federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) allocations from 2003 to 2011 and noted significant decreases. At the highest point in 2007-08, the district received approximately $477,000 to assist with teacher training, technology, English language learners and to support safe and drug free school initiatives. In 2011-12 the district will receive $173,160. Roubik said the district anticipates further funding reductions due to the federal budget crisis.

Personnel matters

In other personnel matters, the School Board approved the appointment of Lynnette Zimmermann as Hamilton Fine Arts Center coordinator, Nancy Schulz as Hamilton High School administrative assistant, Dan Resch as Marcy special services paraprofessional, Gerald Herman as Willow Springs custodian, Lisa Anderson as Marcy instructional and supervision paraprofessional and Sarah Kahlscheuer as Marcy Early Mathematics Empowerment paraprofessional.

Foundation presents awards, grants to Hamilton staff

The Hamilton Education Foundation presented 18 Hamilton School District staff members with awards at the Aug. 31 Back-to-School Breakfast. Five teachers were presented with A Class Act tributes, another nine teachers were awarded New Horizons Grants and four support staff members received ROSS awards.

A Class Act Tributes salute teachers for meritorious performance in the classroom who are outstanding role models in “enhancing our children’s futures.” These awards went to (from left): Woodside Elementary School teacher Abby Janssen, Lannon Elementary School teachers Kim Weber and Jay Orlowski and Hamilton High School teacher Jon Waite. (Not pictured is Templeton Middle School teacher Jeannette Smith.)

New Horizons grants will fund a total of about $5,000 unique and innovative projects as requested by Hamilton teachers to enrich or supplement teaching efforts and learning activities that directly benefit students.  Each New Horizon Grant offers up to $750 to help implement new ideas into the class curriculum beyond those supported by budgeted school funds. Since its inception in 1991, the Hamilton Education Foundation has awarded nearly $150,000 in New Horizons Grants to more than 322 teachers for projects which have benefitted more than 43,000 students in the elementary, middle and high schools. The following teachers were awarded 2011-12 New Horizons grants: (from left) Maple Avenue Elementary School teachers Kristina Garley and Laura Kasper, Marcy Elementary School teachers Elizabeth Kane-Sidders and Kaye Hunt, and Templeton teachers Kristin Netzel-Muehlenbach and Ellen Smith. (Not pictured are Lannon teachers Kristy Hecker and Moni Lichey, and Templeton teacher Mary Caucutt.)

Recognition of Support Staff (ROSS) tributes are presented to district support staff members who are committed and dedicated to a positive and professional environment in Hamilton schools. The awards went to (from left) Hamilton High School paraprofessional Debbie Ann Curtis, Maple Avenue paraprofessional Eileen Swierczek, Maple Avenue custodian Bill Hahn and (not pictured) Woodside paraprofessional Sally Thompson.










“Rachel’s Challenge” speaker comes to Hamilton Sept. 19

The first Get Connected program of the school year features Colleen Kirk, a presenter from “Rachel’s Challenge.” The presentation will be Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Hamilton

 Fine Arts Center, W220N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.

Rachel Scott was the first person killed in the Columbine High School tragedy on April 20, 1999. She left behind an amazing legacy and a simple challenge to anyone who will accept it — treat others with kindness and compassion and you just may change the world you live in.

Rachel’s act of kindness and compassion, coupled with the contents of her six diaries, have become the foundation for a life-changing school program. After the tragedy, Rachel’s father founded “Rachel’s Challenge.” More than 1.5 million students annually experience “Rachel’s Challenge” and have the opportunity to accept the challenges modeled after Rachel’s life and writings.

When Colleen Kirk was in middle school she watched Rachel’s funeral live on CNN. Deeply captivated by Rachel’s story, she hoped that one day she would be able to share this message with others. As a speaker for Rachel’s Challenge, that dream has come true.

Get Connected is a parent network that helps parents navigate children through their school years with age-appropriate information, networking with other parents, presentations from professionals, guidance and support. Funding for the program is provided through the Hamilton School District, United Way of Waukesha County’s “Helping Kids Succeed” initiative and local business sponsorships.  Business and community members who are interested in supporting Get Connected are encouraged to  contact Hamilton school counselor and Get Connected Coordinator  Kristin Hasbrook at (246) 1973 x1128.

September 6, 2011

Hamilton to join districts for curriculum collaboration

Hamilton will join with 12 other southeastern Wisconsin school districts to coordinate curriculum review efforts. Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., reported on plans for school districts to share a common curriculum process and cycle. The intent of the collaboration would to streamline the work of curriculum and instruction, but not to adopt a common curriculum. Districts would continue to develop learning targets that align with their own strategic plans and learning objectives.

The advantage would allow districts to possibly pool knowledge, resources, purchasing strength and professional development. School districts that are interested in the collaboration are Elmbrook, Franklin, Grafton, Greendale, Mequon-Thiensville, Mukwonago, South Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, St. Francis and Whitefish Bay.

The group plans to begin the initiative with the social studies curriculum in July 2012. Involvement in the project requires Hamilton to switch its social studies curriculum revision from 2011-12 to 2012-13, and reading-learning strategies revision from 2012-13 to 2011-12

Five goals set for district

The School Board approved five broad goals that it and the superintendent will focus on in the 2011-12 school year. The goals were created based on formal conversations Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., had with School Board members during the summer. They are:

  • Develop resources and implement strategies and initiatives to enhance student achievement;
  • Update the district’s Strategic Plan;
  • Monitor status of Wisconsin’s public education funding and prepare 2012-13 district budget;
  • Monitor district enrollments and community growth;
  • Implement staff handbook; and
  • Update School Board policies and position descriptions.

Technology services makes another year of progress

Technology updates, upgrades and implementations have kept the district’s Information Technology Services team busy in the past year. Information Technology Manager Ryan McMillan provided a written report to the School Board. He outlined significant initiatives of the department, which include:

  • The second phase of the network infrastructure upgrade that saw network switch replacement at Hamilton and Templeton, wireless access added to cover 85 percent of Hamilton and nearly all of Templeton and common areas in elementary schools;
  • Other network initiatives such as fiber optic installation at elementary schools and Willow Springs to provide more bandwidth, more storage for staff and student data, summer school server and storage addition for online registration, upgraded firewall and active directory environment upgrade;
  • Software deployment of Microsoft Windows 7 deployed to most computer labs, Mac Snow Leopard deployment, Microtype 5 upgrade at high school, Every Math installation in elementary math rooms and Infinite Pre-Algebra at Templeton and Hamilton;
  • Project Lead the Way computer lab software updates;
  • Installation of more than 70 SMART boards;
  • Replacement of nearly 300 desktop and laptop computers as part of the district’s five-year rotation cycle; and
  • Fielding of more than 4,000 HelpDesk trouble tickets.

 One student admitted into kindergarten early

One student was admitted early into kindergarten for 5-year-olds last year, according to a report presented by Special Services Supervisor Mardi Freeman. District policy indicates children must be four, five or six years old by Sept. 1 to enter four-year-old kindergarten, regular kindergarten or first grade, respectively. While procedures exist for early admission to regular kindergarten and first grade, no early admission is granted for four-year-old kindergarten.

Student artist recognized

In other business, Hamilton junior Natalie Semrad was recognized for selection of her 3-D artwork for the Hamilton Fine Arts Center.

Personnel business

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations Maple Avenue fifth grade teacher Stephanie Obermyer, Maple Avenue paraprofessionals Alicia Ide and Lisa Dardich, Hamilton administrative assistant Kirsten Ellsworth and Marcy paraprofessional Ann Myrold;
  • appointed Charise Dawson as a half-time Hamilton communication arts teacher, Julie Corbin as a part-time Templeton paraprofessional, Christina White as a part-time Lannon Early Reading Empowerment (ERE) teacher, DeMaris Gill as a part-time Maple ERE teacher, Kristen Lee as a Maple fifth grade replacement teacher, Angela Nolan as a part-time Woodside ERE teacher, Phillip Losey as a Templeton part-time Spanish replacement teacher, Andrea Diedrick as a Hamilton cleaner and Linda Hake as the part-time Woodside associate principal;
  • modified the contract of Hamilton communication arts teacher Misty Draeger from 50 to 83 percent.


PSAT offered Oct. 12 at Hamilton

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) will be given Oct. 12 from 7:20 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Hamilton High School. This voluntary test provides an opportunity for college-bound sophomores and juniors to experience and practice taking a shortened version of the SAT Reasoning Test. (The SAT may be used for the University of Wisconsin System admission although the ACT is preferred.)

For juniors, the PSAT is the only route of entry into the National Merit Scholarship Competition (NMSC) and may be required for some other scholarships.  Sophomores who are interested in entering the NMSC next year are encouraged to take the PSAT this year as practice.

Interested students must register in the high school guidance office by Sept. 26.  The $14 test fee is payable at the time of registration. Juniors enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program are eligible for a fee-waiver. Please contact the school Guidance Department for more information.