Community invited to holiday concerts at HFAC

The public is invited to attend free holiday concerts in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC), W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.

  • Dec. 12, 1 p.m. – Hamilton & Templeton Winter Holiday Concert

The Templeton Middle School Eighth Grade Chorus, Hamilton Concert Choir and Hamilton A Cappella Choir performance is an annual holiday tradition for senior citizens and community members. Directors are Jaye Mier, Templeton chorus and Marilyn Mascitti, Hamilton choirs.

  • Dec. 19, 7 p.m. – Hamilton Band and Choir Joint Winter Concert

This concert is a festive celebration of winter holiday music. Jon Waite directs the Hamilton band program and Marilyn Mascitti, Hamilton choirs. All are welcome.

Woodside students collect food for SOS

Altruism was already motivating Woodside Elementary School families to collect items for the Sussex Food Pantry, but two parents decided to add fun to the mix by having classrooms compete to bring in the most items.

When Kristyn Brandt and Jen Southern, Woodside parent volunteers in charge of the Scholastic Book Fair, realized reward bonuses from the fair were soon to expire, they came up with a plan to ramp up contributions. Teachers of the two classes that have the most items for the food collection will be awarded the Scholastic “bonus money” that will allow them to purchase books for their classrooms.

“We thought that the students would really get into it because who wouldn’t want their teacher to win something?” Brandt said. “Plus, it would show the students that they can help others who are in need.”

The food drive will continue until Dec. 14, and community members are invited help support the cause by dropping off donations between  9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Woodside office. The food pantry is most in need of peanut butter, one-dish meals like hamburger helper, spaghettios, canned fruit, boxed potatoes, rice, noodle sides and personal care products such as deodorant, shampoo and shower gel.

The winning teachers will be announced the week of Dec. 17. Woodside Elementary School is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Road, Sussex.

Hamilton yearbook earns honors

Hamilton High School’s Lance members learned that their 2011-12 yearbook, “On the Edge,” earned high honors from regional and national student journalism associations. “On the Edge” earned a first class rating from the National Scholastic Press Association and was awarded the prestigious ALL KEMPA, presented to the top 10 judged books by the Kettle Moraine Press Association.

Students participated in the KEMPA Journalism Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater shortly after returning from the national convention in San Antonio. Students who attended the conference and were members of the extracurricular club when “On the Edge” was created were former Lance editor and 2012 Hamilton graduate Mariah Schuldt and current Hamilton students Caroline Hope, Hannah Hutchison, Maureen Heaster, Brianna Stubler, Amanda Heisdorf and Amanda Frey-Klug. They were accompanied by Hamilton art teacher and yearbook advisor Pam Mierow.

 

Hamilton yearbook earns honors

Hamilton High School’s Lance members learned that their 2011-12 yearbook, “On the Edge,” earned high honors from regional and national student journalism associations. “On the Edge” earned a first class rating from the National Scholastic Press Association and was awarded the prestigious ALL KEMPA, presented to the top 10 judged books by the Kettle Moraine Press Association.

Students participated in the KEMPA Journalism Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater shortly after returning from the national convention in San Antonio. Students who attended the conference and were members of the extracurricular club when “On the Edge” was created were former Lance editor and 2012 Hamilton graduate Mariah Schuldt and current Hamilton students Caroline Hope, Hannah Hutchison, Maureen Heaster, Brianna Stubler, Amanda Heisdorf and Amanda Frey-Klug. They were accompanied by Hamilton art teacher and yearbook advisor Pam Mierow.

Hamilton ensembles, show choir to perform Nov. 27

Hamilton High School jazz ensembles and the show choir will perform Nov. 27  beginning at 7 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC) in a concert that is free and open to the public.

The concert celebrates the growth of the school’s music program. Two big bands, a jazz combo and the show choir will perform traditional swing music and contemporary selections.

The HFAC is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road in Sussex.

Hamilton students selected for Honors Band Festival

Seven Hamilton High School band students were selected to participate in the 2012 University of Wisconsin (UW) – Milwaukee Honors Band Festival. They are:

  • Miranda Brown;
  • Shannan Brown;
  • Emma Chung;
  • Carissa Dowden;
  • Kathleen Meagher;
  • Jackson Petermann; and
  • Michael Scott.

Southeastern Wisconsin high school band directors nominated their most musically talented students, and UW-Milwaukee Music Department staff members made final selections. The festival was held Nov. 16-18 and provided the seven Hamilton students with the opportunity to work with the region’s top high school musicians and nationally recognized university conductors.

Marcy recognized for outdoor classrooms

The Wisconsin Retired Educators’ Association (WREA) recently recognized Marcy Elementary School for its Education Naturally outdoor classroom project and awarded it $2,000 to support the program.

Marcy has had two outdoor classrooms since 2010 that have become part of the school’s culture and curriculum. They allow children to expand learning past school walls and provide hands-on experiences and real-world skills.

Marcy first grade teacher Tricia Mayer, who applied for the WREA grant described the outdoor classrooms as a place where students can be “unplugged” and generate new ideas and inquiries by exploring their natural surroundings. It is a popular place for students to gather to read and play math games. Science and environmental education content standards are taught hands-on using rain gauges, a sun dial, thermometers and bird feeders.

Education Naturally classrooms are a result of collaboration among many. A local nursery, quarry and carpentry training center provided landscape plans, 18 benches, soil, mulch and other natural material. Families volunteered on workdays to stain benches, plant and mulch trees and plant gardens. An Eagle Scout candidate built bird nesting houses and an arbor in the classroom with information boards explaining the animals the houses were built to attract.

 

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Hamilton junior varsity cheerleaders sponsor clinic

Hamilton High School junior varsity cheerleaders and their coaches will conduct a cheerleading clinic Jan. 5 in the high school gymnasium. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to learn cheers, stunts and dance at this event which is slated from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Participants are invited to appear with the high school cheerleaders in a spectacular half-time performance Jan.11 at the varsity boys basketball game. Cost for the clinic is $30 and includes a T-shirt, snack and half-time performance. Payments, which are due Dec. 21, should be made to Hamilton High School and sent to W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex. T-shirts are not guaranteed for those whose payments are not received by Dec. 21. Registration at the door is available, but will not include a T-shirt.

Participants should wear a T-shirt, shorts and athletic shoes to the clinic. For more information, please contact Coach Kristin Kendall at kkendall@waukesha.k12.wi.us or (414) 531-1844.

November 19, 2012

Board keeps calendar parameters

The Hamilton School District 2013-14 school calendar will be similar to those in the past. School Board members approved parameters for administrators to use in developing next year’s calendar that have essentially the same considerations that have been in place for years when calendars were negotiated between the School Board and teachers’ association. With implementation of Wisconsin Act 10 two years ago, calendars can no longer be negotiated. Similar to the process used last year, administrators will the guidelines established by the School Board to draft a calendar and gather input from parent groups and instructional leaders. The School Board is expected to take final action on a calendar in January.

The parameters include having 180 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.

Administrators are exploring two options for the timing of Spring Break. One keeps it the week after Easter, and the other moves it to mid-March. In addition, additional summer learning academies may be offered.

Board approve one-time supplemental salary adjustment for 10 teachers

School Board members approved a one-time supplemental salary adjustment for eight teachers who attained their master’s degree last summer. Their programs of study had been approved by the district under the terms of the 2009-11 collective bargaining agreement. In addition, two teachers who will finish their master’s degrees in December will receive the one-time supplemental salary adjustment when they present the proper paperwork to district offices.

High school makes progress in site plan

Hamilton High School Principal Candis Mongan gave School Board members an update on the school’s progress and next steps for continued success. The school’s site plan goal is to apply 21st century learning to maximize students’ potential in the global community. Two interventions to support that target state that students will:

  • take an active role in their learning to develop personal and social responsibility skills essential to contribute to their communities; and
  • demonstrate effective communication for a range of purposes in diverse environments.

Mongan said the school will continue to work on the existing goal and tactics in the upcoming year. She pointed out various significant data points that show Hamilton is successful. Superintendent Kathleen Cooke congratulated the high school for reaching high academic standards including being named to the AP Honor Roll for the third consecutive year and being ranked third highest among 64 high schools in southeastern Wisconsin on the new School Report Card.

Woodside site plan progress noted

Cooke summarized Woodside Elementary School’s site plan for Principal James Edmond, Jr., who was home ill. Two tactics that were created by the school site planning team last year indicate that students will:

  • use data to plan, implement and evaluate the effective use of Response to Intervention (RtI) tools and practices to meet the needs of all students; and
  • integrate collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity into daily instruction and monitor growth using rubrics.

Focus at Woodside has been on use of an intervention block, staff development and implementation of the four Cs. The school will continue to focus on those areas.

OPEB change lowers district liability

A report from the Milliman Actuarial Firm showed that the district Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) liability has dropped from $37.4 million to less than $5.5 million as a result of moving from a defined-benefit to a defined-contribution plan. The remaining liability is expected to be eliminated in the next six years as existing retirees are no longer covered and the custodians’ contract, which still stipulates a defined-benefit plan, expires.

Business Services Assistant Superintendent Bryan Ruud said the move to a defined-contribution plan to a health retirement account worked as expected by reducing the district’s OPEB liability.

School Board election calendar released

The schedule for the 2013 spring election was released. Terms of School Board members Gabe Kolesar, who holds the Village of Sussex seat, and Gerald Schmitz, who has an at-large seat, are up. Both men have indicated they plan to run again.

The election schedule includes:

  • Jan. 2 – deadline for candidacy declaration and nominations papers;
  • Feb. 19 – primary election if needed;
  • April 2 – spring election; and
  • April 22 – taking of office.

 Exceptional Ink recognized

Students and staff members involved with Hamilton High School’s Exceptional Ink student card company were recognized. Staff members Kathryn Foy, Jen Knapp, Julie Orvold and Nicole Hammer accompanied students who introduced themselves and described their responsibilities with the greeting card company where, with the help of teachers and paraprofessionals, they create and sell cards. Knapp played a video describing the program which provides life skills for the students who have created more than 5,000 cards since the company was created in 2010. Each handmade card sells for $1.

Hamilton announces October students of the month

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

  • Keeley Hayden, applied engineering and technology;
  • Breanna Hertzberg, art;
  • Ian Kloehn, business education;
  • Mitchell Hudson, communication arts;
  • Vince Pascale, family and consumer sciences;
  • Joseph Klobukowski, fitness education;
  • Melody Zimmerman, mathematics;
  • Jessica Hutchison, music;
  • Megan Beardsley and Aaron Sonnemann, science;
  • David Hanson, social studies; and
  • Grace Thompson, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

 

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