Outstanding Hamilton seniors to be recognized

Hamilton High School will recognize outstanding seniors May 23 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, which will be held in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center, W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex, begins at 7 p.m. and concludes with refreshments in the lobby.

Any business or individuals interested in supporting the Hamilton High School Scholarship Program with a scholarship may contact David Johnson at (262) 246-6476 x1133.

Hamilton wins regional “Spirit of Excellence Award”

Hamilton High School won the regional “Spirit of Excellence Award” from the Wisconsin Association of School Councils (WASC). Hamilton was chosen as one of six regional recipients. The award 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.

Other 2012 regional recipients were St. Croix, Lakeland Union, Neenah, Waunakee and Adams-Friendship high schools.

Templeton chosen WTEA Middle School Program of Year

Templeton Middle School was chosen the Middle School Program of the Year by the Wisconsin Technology Education Association (WTEA). The award honors education and industry professionals who have demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to technology education.

Templeton applied engineering and technology teacher Shannon Flaherty received the award March 8 at the WTEA ”Building Wisconsin Strong” annual conference in Wisconsin Dells. The award recognized Templeton’s success in:

  • integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum throughout the school;
  • increasing female enrollment in technology and engineering classes; and
  • providing afterschool activities for students.

Templeton transformed its technology and engineering program in 2006-07, taking it from a traditional industrial arts to a modern STEM-based curriculum. In those six years, the program has seen an increase in course offerings, elective enrollments and female student enrollment.

All seventh grade students are required to take “Gateway to Technology and Engineering” which focuses on technology and the design and modeling process. Eighth-graders may choose “Technology and Engineering Education” which introduces students to material properties, structures, computer-aided 3D design, digital electronics, energy transfer, wood and plastic fabrication and automation. Both classes follow the Project Lead the Way curriculum to integrate increasingly high levels of math, science and writing.

Flaherty said he is proud that Templeton has significantly increased the rigor of the program while attracting more students. Enrollment in the eighth grade elective course increased from 43 students in 2006 to 118 student last year.

STEM curriculum is spread across Templeton as well. Eighth grade science classes include a unit on simple machines, work and energy in which students fabricate a Rube Goldberg machine using STEM principles. Students in a sixth grade social studies-science class create a primitive irrigation tool to better understand the use of technology in ancient Egypt. More integration units are planned.

In addition, Flaherty works with students in extracurricular activities such as the Bulldog Club and Manufacturing and Entrepreneur Club.

 

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March 19, 2012

District refinances for savings

For the eighth time since 2001, the Hamilton School Board approved refinancing district debt. This time, the district will save $475,457 by refinancing $5.84 million of debt. BOSC, Inc. came in with the lowest competitive bid at 1.6762 percent.

Robert W. Baird & Co. prepared a “Summary of Savings” for the district that shows nearly $12.6 million in savings through debt refinancing since 2001. Business Services Assistant Superintendent Bryan Ruud said the savings go back to taxpayers. He said the new financing plan will even out payments without extending payments beyond the original maturity date of 2022.

As part of the process to sell bonds, the district was rated as Aa1 by Moody’s Investor Service – the highest possible rating for a district Hamilton’s size. The favorable Moody’s rating resulted in the district’s ability to obtain low interest rates from bidders.

Milwaukee Magazine ranks Hamilton in top 10

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., reported on the district’s latest recognition for high performance. Milwaukee Magazine rated the district and Hamilton High School in the top 10 in southeastern Wisconsin. Both the high school and district were rated No. 7. The rankings were based on state standardized test score results and college readiness as measured by the ACT and Advanced Placement tests. Cooke noted that among the top 10 school districts, Hamilton had the lowest per-pupil spending. Some districts spent nearly $2,600 more per pupil than Hamilton. She said the statistics reflect the hard work and high quality results of staff members.

Girls can play in hockey co-op

Hamilton girls interested in playing hockey will be able to participate in a co-op team beginning next fall as a result of the School Board approval. Hamilton will join Kettle Moraine, Brookfield Central and East, Menomonee Falls, Milwaukee King, Mukwonago and Waukesha North and West as part of the Eastern Shores Hockey Conference. The program will be family-paid, the same as the boys’ program.

Board re-establishes Open Enrollment waitlist

The School Board acted on an item it took up in October to place all incoming Open Enrollment applicants on a waiting list. The decision was made based on a review of class sizes and enrollment projections. The district had to take the action again because the state Open Enrollment law changed since October.

Participation in programs continues

With School Board action, the district will continue to participate in several long-standing programs including North Central Association accreditation, summer teacher workshops for curriculum and professional development and Cooperative Education Service Agency #1 alternative schools.

15 apply for Youth Options

A total of 15 high school students requested admission to the Youth Options Program that will allow them potentially to take classes next fall at Waukesha County Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and Carroll University.

Youth Options is a program mandated by the state that allows students who have completed 10th grade, are in good academic standing and have no disciplinary problems to attend a technical college or university if they have exhausted their high school curriculum. Often, students who have been approved for Youth Options are not able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes.

Art students recognized

High school art students who earned 15 awards in the 2012 Scholastic Art Awards were recognized for their success in the statewide contest. Students who earned awards were: Maya Pechenov, Gold Keys for printmaking and design (cut paper self-portrait); Erica Jakubic, Gold Key for ceramics and glass; Rebecca Mulkey, Gold Key for ceramics and glass; Kendall Taivalkoski, Gold Key for design (stained glass panel); Grace Thompson,  Gold Key for ceramics and glass; Amy Zoulek, Gold Key for glass; Jordan Kind, Silver Key for painting; Rachel Merkel, Silver Key for ceramics and glass; Amanda Frey-Klug, Honorable Mention for digital photograph; Samantha Hennecke, Honorable Mention for ceramics and glass; Shelbey Keel, Honorable Mention for ceramics and glass; Maxine Mueller, Honorable Mention for ceramics and glass; Alyssa Norton, Honorable Mention for digital photograph; and Joseph Rosewicz, Honorable Mention for printmaking

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Personnel

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved Hamilton High School technology education teacher Ryan Little as the district’s Buildings and Grounds assistant manager, effective July 1;
  • appointed Murrene Payton, Daniel Tackes and Steve Akin as summer school assistant coordinators for 2012; and
  • changed the name of “elementary writing technology teachers” to “elementary technology integration resource teachers” to better reflect their roles in integrating technology in all areas of the curriculum.

 

2012 Summer Opportunities Program to be announced

The 2012 Summer Opportunities Program will run from June 18 to July 13, with no school on July 4. Brochures will be sent home March 30, and will be available on the district website. Registration begins April 4 at 6 p.m. and will continue through May 4. Families can register online, by mail or in person.

Registration forms received by mail or in person will be processed April 4 at 7 p.m. in the order in which they were received. Online registration is strongly encouraged. For more information, please call the Summer Opportunities office at (262) 255-3653.

Hamilton celebrates “Financial March Madness”

Hamilton High School Business Education Department is celebrating Financial March Madness with guest speakers, decorated halls and a financial literacy simulation.

All Business Education classes are hearing from experts in the field on personal financial management topics including budgeting, saving, banking, credit, the work world, investing, check-writing and debit card use. The presenters are volunteers from Make a Difference – Wisconsin (MAD-WI), Kohl’s Corporation, Manpower Inc. and Heartland Company.

The second annual “Reality Check” will be held March 29 from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Silver Spring Country Club in Menomonee Falls. This financial literacy simulation prepares students for the financial decisions they will face in their future. Business representatives, community members and staff will participate in the simulation.

Hamilton announces February students of the month

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

  • Shane Tennyson, applied engineering and technology;
  • Amy Zoulek, art;
  • Riley Feldmann, business education;
  • Rachel Klima, communication arts;
  • Jennie Scholl, family and consumer sciences;
  • Anna Selestow, fitness education;
  • Leah Stapelman, mathematics;
  • Brian Kerber, music;
  • Peter Herrmann and Nikole Simmerman, science;
  • Kate Wehrman, social studies; and
  • Alissa Krenke, world languages.

 Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

 

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Templeton student qualifies for State Geographic Bee

Templeton Middle School eighth-grader Taylor Beimborn qualified for the Wisconsin State Geographic Bee based on the results of his written test. The top 100 scoring students in Wisconsin qualified for the state level competition.

The Wisconsin State Geographic Bee will be March 30 in Madison. State champions who advance to the National Geographic Bee competition will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. The national finals will take place May 24.

March 6, 2012

Technology takes center stage

It was an evening to showcase technology in the schools. First, elementary students demonstrated how information technology is integrated into curricular initiatives. Writing-technology teachers and students from each elementary school showed School Board members projects they completed using technology.

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The district Information Technology Department was honored for providing exceptional service to the district. Members of the IT team who were recognized were Ryan McMillan, Scott Singer, Cindy Robb, Ben Hawley and Kristin Feucht.

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School Board President recognizes IT staff, (from right) Ryan McMillan, Scott Singer, Cindy Robb, Ben Hawley and Kristin Feucht.

Year-end capital projects OK’d

A list of projects totaling $465,200 was approved that will be completed at the end of the school year. While each school has projects on the list, significant items include high school heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls, asphalt projects and a storage garage at Woodside. The amount of money being spent on the capital projects is much less than in past years because the district plans to construct additions at Woodside and Marcy elementary schools in the next two years using the maintenance year-end capital improvement fund and the district’s fund balance.

Bulldog football fees to increase

The cost to participate in Bulldog Football will go from $225 to $275. School Board members approved the $50 fee increase to cover additional costs of replacing uniforms and helmets over the next four years.

Bulldogs Football equipment was purchased six years ago when the program was started. Of particular concern is helmet replacement because vendors have changed warranties, not recertifying helmets past 10 years. Replacement of 140 helmets over the next four years is expected to cost $12,320. The fee increase will allow for helmet replacement and shoring up a fund balance to allow for future replacement of other uniform components and equipment.

The fee is competitive with other community football program fees. The $275 fee matches the early enrollment rate of the Jayhawks program and is less than its late enrollment fee. The board kept in place an incentive that allows parents who work events to receive a $25 reimbursement at the end of the season.

Contract with Dairyland-Hamilton extended

The contract with Dairyland-Hamilton, Inc. for bus transportation services was extended for five years. The bus company offered the district two proposals to extend the contract –a $40,000 credit for a three-year extension or an $80,000 credit for a five-year extension.

Business Services Assistant Superintendent Bryan Ruud wrote in a memo to the board that Dairyland’s costs have remained in line and service has been excellent. In a letter to the district, Daryland-Hamilton President Michael Pjevach said a long-term contract benefits the district and the bus company because it allows for good management of a capital-intensive business on a long-term basis resulting in high level of service at the lowest possible cost.

Dairyland-Hamilton, which operates from a bus garage in Lannon, was sold about six months ago to Student Transportation of America. School Board member Gerald Schmitz said the board waited to extend the contract to ensure that the Lannon facilities and personnel remained intact.

2012-13 calendar approved

School Board members approved the 2012-13 school calendar. The first day of school for students will be Sept. 4 and the last day is June 11. The calendar is similar to previous calendars with180 student contact days, 192 teacher contract days, traditional break periods, early release days for professional development, days for teachers to prepare and close out their classrooms and parent-teacher conferences. Winter break will be Dec. 24-Jan. 1, and spring break is March 29-April 5.

In the past, calendars were negotiated between the School Board and teachers’ association. With implementation of Wisconsin Act 10 last year, establishing the calendar can no longer be negotiated. Instead, using parameters established by the board at a previous meeting, administrators developed a draft calendar and gathered input from parent groups and instructional leaders.

Personnel news

In personnel business, the School Board:
• approved the resignation of Lannon first grade teacher Heidi Vorndran and Hamilton alternative program teacher Justin Friske, effective at the end of the school year, and Hamilton mathematics teacher Lara Lopez, effective Dec. 13; and
• accepted the retirement request of Woodside fourth grade teacher Beverly Konkol, effective at the end of the school year.

Spring Fest – Better Together offers fun for all

Fun for all ages is in store for those who visit Spring Fest – Better Together March 17 at Hamilton High School in Sussex. This daylong event, organized by the Sussex Area Chamber of Commerce and involving many community organizations, offers free admission.

Spring Fest’s fun-filled gathering showcases the many resources and high quality of life in northern Waukesha County. The event is made possible because of major sponsorship from Froedtert Health, Sussex Sun, Orion Web, Special Editions Printing, George Webb, ProHealth Care, Sussex IM, and Davians Banquet and Conference Center.

Informational booths, entertainment, health screenings, children’s activities and demonstrations are among the highlights of this event that is free and open to the public. Exhibits and activities will occur from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the high school, located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex. Entertainment includes Mad Science, Pampered Chef, the UW Marching Band, Melt Fitness, Okinawan Karate-Do, Accompany of Kids, Waukesha Sheriff K-9 Unit, Fred Astaire Dance, J.K. Lee Black Belt Academy and the Trinity Irish Dancers.

Join us for this year’s healthy living themed event with a focus on wellness screenings and health education. The great activities include a child identification fair, seed planting for children, tips for financial health, a blood drive and so much more. Youngsters can also participate in a passport activity that emphasizes healthy behaviors for a chance to win prizes.

The Spring Fest Kick-Off Breakfast, hosted by the Hamilton High School National Honor Society (NHS) and prepared by George Webb Restaurant of Sussex, will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the high school cafeteria. Advance tickets are available on the Spring Fest website, from NHS members and at school offices. Prices for adults are $7 advance and $9 at the door, children 4-11 years $4, children under 3 are free. Proceeds from the breakfast will benefit the Sussex Food Pantry. More breakfast ticket information is available at www.springfestsussex.org.

An award presentation will be held at 9:45 a.m. at breakfast to celebrate Sussex being named as the best place to raise a child in Wisconsin by Bloomberg Businessweek. Come together to share in the community pride that makes the Sussex area home.

Please visit the Spring Fest website at www.springfestsussex.org for more information about Spring Fest and the kick-off breakfast.  You can also find information at Twitter.com/SpringFestSX or Facebook.com/SpringFstSussex.