Community supports Hamilton NHS blood drive

The Hamilton High School National Honor Society (NHS) sponsored a blood drive Nov. 2 that brought in more than 100 donors and enough blood to save the lives of 288 people in local hospitals. The student group’s efforts resulted in twice the amount of blood it had expected to donate to the Blood Center of Wisconsin.

“It was quite a success, thanks to the thoughtful people of this community,” said Hamilton teacher and NHS advisor Misti Swanson.


Hamilton High School student Madison Czerwinski finishes up after donating blood at the Nov. 2 National Honor Society blood drive.


Woodside to contribute baskets for families in need

Woodside Elementary School families and staff members are showing compassion for others this Thanksgiving season by donating “turkey baskets” to families in need in Milwaukee’s Notre Dame Middle School community.

“Helping provide a Thanksgiving basket to each family in the school is a simple way to reach out and directly help a family in need,” said Rayelle Simonsen, a Woodside teacher who helped organize the collection.

Woodside students were asked to donate money they earned by doing chores at home. With the $2,220 collected, parent volunteers will shop for groceries to build the baskets. Items will include a frozen turkey, bag of stuffing, jar of gravy, white and sweet potatoes, fresh vegetables, bread, canned cranberries, a fresh pie, beverages, appetizers such as cheese, crackers and nuts, along with an aluminum roasting pan. All of the items will be put into a large sturdy laundry basket to be delivered to families.

Parent volunteers will drop off completed baskets Nov. 19 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Woodside, and individuals from Notre Dame will pick them up after 10 a.m.

Notre Dame is a successful middle school in Milwaukee that serves Hispanic girls in grades 5-8. The school’s academic outcomes includes a 98 percent high school graduation rate with 82 percent of its students continuing on to college. Some 94 percent of the families live  at or below poverty level and the past few years have been especially difficult because the recession has affected many jobs .

Woodside has committed to providing 23 classroom baskets to help fill the need for 175 baskets for families in the Notre Dame school neighborhood. Any money left over after the Thanksgiving meals have been purchased will be donated to the Sussex Food Pantry.

Templeton Robotics wraps up successful season

The Templeton Middle School Junior Robotics team wrapped up its season Nov. 10 with a strong showing at regional competition in Watertown. Junior Robotics is an afterschool program that challenges students to work cooperatively to develop engineering solutions to problems that affect everyday lives.

The theme of this year’s competition was “Senior Solutions.” Students designed, built and programmed robots to complete challenges on a “Senior Solutions” themed board.

In addition to robotics, students researched and developed solutions to problems that people face as they grow older. The Templeton Blue Team developed a modified cutting board with a special fixture to help people who have osteoarthritis make uniform cuts with a kitchen knife. The Templeton White Team developed a unique application for a touchscreen device that would help people with Alzheimer’s disease remember to complete daily tasks.

Templeton applied engineering and technology teacher Shannon Flaherty is the Junior Robotics advisor.


(From left, front row) Malaya King, Zachary Sucharski, Brodey Hunt, Rushil Patel, Hunter Dow, Taylor Sohre, and Matthew Albrecht (back row) Mentor Alex Bushke, Anna Wood, Alexandra Oleszczak, Austin Rovge, Salvatore Calatola-Young, Sean Durian, Dylan Wick, Kinnan Lassiter and advisor Shannon Flaherty


Hamilton students named GMC Fall Scholar Athletes

The Greater Metro Conference (GMC) has named the following Hamilton High School students Fall 2012-13 Scholar Athletes:

  • Ian Kloehn, Connor Leuty, Andrew McClone, Brenton Reilly, Tyler Wischnefski – boys soccer;
  • Rachael Kwiatkowski, Courtney Vaughn, Hailee Weber, Frances Weiss – girls tennis;
  • Samantha Williams, Meghan Anthony, Liza Thies – girls golf;
  • Makayla Emmer, Tristen Hayes, Hannah Jasinski, Abigail Purfuerst, Rachel Merkel, Nicole Zeman – volleyball; and
  • Corey Parris, Aaron Zagorski, Daniel Demler, Mitchell Barbeau, Joshua Chamberlain, Evon Selestow, Anton Gumina – football.

Coaches nominate student-athletes who:

  • earned a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average;
  • participated in at least 75 percent of the team’s varsity matches; and
  • have senior standing.

These student-athletes serve as a great example to others demonstrating combined academic and athletic success.

November 6, 2012

District avoids more than $1.3 million in energy costs since 2001

More than $1.3 million worth of savings have accumulated since 2001 as a result of energy conservation measures the Hamilton School District has in place. Buildings and Grounds Manager Jeff Grove provided a report to the School Board detailing how the district avoided increased energy costs.

Energy avoidance costs for 2011 were $243,200 — significantly higher than any of the past 11 years. The greatest savings in 2011 came from Hamilton High School at $95,289, Templeton Middle School at $62,228 and Maple Avenue Elementary School at $49,731. The remaining four schools had a combined energy cost avoidance of nearly $39,000.

The numbers reflect dollars that would have been spent on energy if the district had not taken conservation measures that included:

  • added insulation to roof replacements;
  • use of low E argon gas in window replacements;
  • energy-efficient boiler upgrades;
  • water-conserving fixtures;
  • energy-efficient lighting upgrades including use of T-8 fluorescent lighting and solar lighting in the football field shelter;
  • new air conditioning units with “green” refrigerants; and
  • building management system upgrades that automatically troubleshoot and schedule heating and air conditioning.

Grove noted that the district is at a point where most of the major capital changes have been made and will now rely on technology to help keep costs down.

In addition to taking advantage of Focus on Energy rebates for energy-efficient purchases, the district uses the services of a Project Save consultant who helps to analyze energy use.

Templeton to create new action steps

Templeton Middle School saw significant accomplishments in each of its site plan tactics last year and its planning team believes the tactics are still important for the school’s success. Because most of the action steps related to each tactic are at or near completion, the school will have new action steps next year to increase student achievement and align with the district strategic plan and initiatives such as Response to Intervention and disciplinary literacy. Principal Patricia Polczynski said committees will form in the coming year to create deeper action steps.

The tactics that will remain the same indicate that Templeton students will:

  • increase literary skills and competencies across all content areas;
  • develop critical thinking and problem solving skills to become productive citizens in our global society; and
  • increase their emotional intelligence and individual resiliency skills to be increasingly successful young adults.

Maple Avenue site plan approved

Maple Avenue Elementary School staff members have done a good job in meeting the needs of students at their school, a job that has added challenges for the portion of students who are more transient.

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., said the Maple Avenue staff members have made remarkable progress with students, especially those who transition in and out of the school. She credited staff with doing a good job in targeting student needs.

Principal Kristin Koeper-Hamblin said staff members “take ownership of all students” including the majority of students who need to be challenged.  She provided an update to the School Board on the school’s site plan which indicates that:

  • Students will develop oral and written skills to communicate effectively and purposefully with others;
  • Students will be engaged in meaningful and active learning to support maximum achievement for each child; and
  • Teachers will implement quality assessment practices and assist students in monitoring their own progress to ensure continuous learning.