Hamilton schools contribute to community during holidays

Hamilton School District students, staff and families showed appreciation for the needs of others during the holidays by contributing to charitable organizations and extending acts of kindness within the community and beyond. Following is a summary of activities at each school.


Willow Springs Learning Center

Willow Springs Learning Center four-year-old kindergartners and their families contributed generously to the Sussex Food Pantry this holiday season. They participated in a service project, “Making Wishes Come True,” that resulted in more than 300 gifts that will be distributed through the Sussex Food Pantry to local families.

In addition, the Willow Springs staff raised $200 to assist families in need.


Lannon Elementary School

Lannon Elementary School students, families and staff members collected a brimming barrel of children’s new under garments and gently-used winter clothing that was donated to Sussex Outreach Services.

The Lannon staff adopted a family for Christmas and generously donated gifts and gift cards to help them this holiday season. In addition, money was collected through a staff “Jeans for Charity” day and donated to the Sussex Food Pantry.

Maple Avenue Elementary School

Maple Avenue buddy classes in first and third grades earned money by doing extra work at home. Over $400 was raised and used to purchase items for children served by the Sussex Outreach Services. They contributed items including 53 board or card games, toys, crayons, and DVDs, 16 miscellaneous toiletries and 24 miscellaneous clothing items.

Jenifer Maier-Ortlieb’s third grade classroom sent holiday greetings to service men and women in the Marines.

Fifth grade through its Uniting Kids and Community program coordinated a stuffed animal drive for children at St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee. The hospital gives stuffed animals to patients before surgery. A total of 182 new stuffed animals were collected.

Maple Avenue staff members sponsored three families providing gifts, books, games, educational toys, clothing, gift cards, snacks and holiday décor for family members.

Maple Avenue Home and School collected used summer clothing to assist residents in two of the regions hardest hit by the typhoon in the Philippines. Families and associated groups collected 25 large boxes of clothing.


Marcy Elementary School

The entire Marcy student body made cards to send to veterans at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. Students collected socks, hats, mittens and scarves for distribution to the veterans.

Kindergarten classes made placemats and hand delivered them to Community Projects for Seniors in Milwaukee. Students donated money to Kayla’s Krew whose mission is to build an all-accessible and fully-inclusive playground in Franklin, Wis.

First grade students collected 300 non-perishable food items for the Sussex Food Pantry in December. Second grade students also collected for the Sussex Food Pantry and made holiday cards to accompany the donations.

Marcy staff raised more than $1,300 for the Sussex Food Pantry. This money was raised through Jeans for Charity.

Woodside Elementary School

Woodside Elementary School families held a successful food drive for the Sussex Food Pantry collecting non-perishable food items during first grade and third grade music programs.

All kindergarten classes collected gifts for residents at a local assisted living residence. The gifts were distributed at the residents’ holiday party.

Six families were sponsored by Woodside students and staff through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County: first grade, two families; second grade, one family; third grade, one family; Woodside Students of Service, one family; and staff specialists and paraprofessionals, one family.

Fifth grade students donated almost 1,000 books to the Neighborhood House in Milwaukee. Books will be read by students in an after-school program and used by teachers as instructional resources in early childhood classrooms.

Kelly Flanagan’s fourth grade class prepared lunches for the Repairers of the Breach Homeless Shelter in Milwaukee.

Woodside Students of Service sorted used crayons and put them into packs that were sent to Africa.


Templeton Middle School

Templeton student council conducted a two week Pajama Drive to benefit Scholastic Reading Club Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive. A total of 134 pairs of new pajamas were collected and distributed to families in need.

Eighth grade art students sponsored a school-wide collection of gently-used shoes that were sent to adults and children in Africa.

Templeton staff collected toys and gift cards for three adopted families.


Hamilton High School

A Novel Idea book group’s “Snowflakes of Hope” program collected items for families in need. Students accepted donations for Sussex Outreach Services and Project Concern in Cudahy. They donated sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, mittens, toiletries and gently-used clothing.

Club Action raised money at the annual “Rock Fest.” This year a food drive to benefit Sussex Food Pantry was added to the event. A donation of $150 was made to Organic Consumers Association, a consumers advocacy group. Gently-used school supplies and books were collected and personally delivered to St. Catherine’s choice school in Milwaukee. The club has volunteered at Retzer Nature Center and Sussex Recreation Department event “Spooky Sussex.” Toys were made for local animal shelters. 

Students in Hamilton High School’s Freshman Seminar class spent their lunch period preparing and wrapping gifts for their adopted family. The class was given a family through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County and students signed up to provide items on the family’s wish list. A total of 15 gifts and a stocking packed with smaller items was provided to the mother, father and five-year-old of the family. One student also brought homemade cookies from home for the family.

German Club St. Martin’s Day Clothing Drive: To help people who are less fortunate and in the spirit of the German St. Martin’s Day tradition, the Hamilton German Club collected 450 articles of clothing, jackets and shoes. Items were donated to Red Door Clothes to be distributed to Waukesha families in need.
The legend of St. Martin tells of a soldier riding horseback into a small village on a cold evening when he happened upon a beggar on the side of the road who was freezing. Martin (the soldier) had no extra provisions, but wanted to help the man who was less fortunate than he. He cut his cloak in half with his sword and gave half to the freezing man. Word of Martin’s good deed spread throughout the land and eventually Martin was canonized.

 Spanish Club adopted three Hispanic families (with eight children total) through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County. Students in all Spanish classes donated a total of $1,500 to purchase gifts for the families including winter jackets, clothing, toys, books and gift cards. Spanish Club members wrapped the gifts and the officers delivered them to the families.

 National Honor Society held a November blood drive. At this event, over 100 pints of blood were donated — enough to save more than 300 lives. Members also hosted several food drives to benefit Sussex Outreach Services the week before Thanksgiving, producing more than 3,000 food items and $1,500 in donations. A toy drive to benefit Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee Cancer Care Gifts for Kids was held in December. Over 200 toys were donated.

 Hamilton School Student Council adopted one family through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County. The family is a single-parent household with four children. Student Council members joined together to shop and wrap the gifts. Gifts were delivered to the parent by the advisor and students. Student Council also sponsored the annual No Shave Novembeard campaign during November. Hamilton males pledged to go unshaven during November. Each participant obtained sponsors, usually other students, who pledged an amount for each day the young man does not shave or a flat donation at the end of the month. Proceeds were donated to Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Hamilton DECA members shopped for holiday presents for the first grade class at Gaenslen Elementary School in Milwaukee. First graders at Gaenslen completed “All About Me” forms and Hamilton DECA members provided gift bags with at least one nice toy and other inexpensive gifts to these students. Gaenslen Elementary is located in a Milwaukee neighborhood that has one of the lowest household incomes in the state. Several of the first grade students are currently homeless. Students at Hamilton enjoy one of the highest household incomes in the state. In addition to delivering presents, Hamilton DECA took cookies and juice, and the Hamilton students spent an afternoon Dec. 11 with the children they shopped for, reading them books, putting together their new toys, and playing with them. This has become an annual event for Hamilton DECA and is always a heart-warming experience for the students who participate. Two advisors and 34 students made the trip.

 Offices A, B, C, Publications and Health Room – High school staff members adopted two families in lieu of exchanging gifts with one another providing them with many items to brighten their holidays including wrapped gifts of toys, games, clothing, personal items, household goods and gift cards for families in need.


District staff members

Staff members throughout the district adopted families in lieu of exchanging gifts with one another. They provided wrapped gifts of toys, games, clothing, food, personal items, household goods and gift certificates for numerous families in need of support.


HHSDECAadopt-classvisitWeb     HHSDECAadopt-classvisit2Web

Woodside students jump for heart health

Woodside Elementary School students raised $8,169 Dec. 11 for the American Heart Association through a “Jump Rope for Heart” event.

Third-, fourth- and fifth-graders collected donations and worked on nine levels of jump-roping skills in their physical education classes. The unit concluded with “Jump Rope for Heart,” an after-school event. Students participated in various jump-rope competitions.

Prizes were also awarded to students for collecting donations. The two top collectors were Maeve Schummer and Leah Balsbaugh who raised $550 and $325 respectively.

Woodside Elementary School is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Road, Sussex.



December 16, 2013

Board gives final OK to practice facility


Hamilton School Board members gave final approval for construction of a multi-purpose athletic and classroom training facility at Hamilton High School. If all goes as planned, the facility will completed in the fall of 2014, with much of the building erected in the summer.

With student athletic participation increasing 33 percent and the addition of six levels of sports in the past decade, practice and training space at the high school is at a premium. School hallways and the cafeteria are used for training in addition to the main gym, small gym and wrestling room. The second floor weight room is not ADA accessible, and dropping of free weights on the floor creates facility distress. School Board member Mike Hyland read from a FAQ sheet about the project.

The community Facility Advisory Committee (FAC )reviewed building space needs in 2006 and concluded that additional space was needed for fitness classes and athletic use. The committee considered construction of a fieldhouse as a solution, but survey data showed lack of support for a facility that was expected to cost nearly $15 million in 2008, and the idea was dropped.

After the School Board took an initial look at the practice center concept this fall, the FAC regrouped in October and recommended moving forward with the plan which was estimated to be less than one-third the cost of a fieldhouse.

The new facility would allow the high school weight room to be relocated with additional space for indoor athletic practices and training. Nearly 40 girls and boys teams and squads as well as the marching band could take advantage of the dedicated indoor practice space.

Cost of the facility, which is not to exceed $4.83 million, will be funded through the district’s maintenance budget and fund balance. Although popular in southern states, the training and classroom facility would be the first of its kind in a Wisconsin school district.

Marcy, Willow Springs site plans accepted

Two school site plans were presented, with School Board members offering praise to staff at those schools for the fine work they do with students.

Marcy Principal Michele Trawicki reported on the district’s new approach to elementary level site planning which involved gathering a team from each school to review district and building data. She described the new process as one which resulted in her school’s “best site plan yet” because it came about through a collaborative process with in-depth data analysis.

The Marcy site plan included three tactics that focused on implementation of Response to Intervention, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), effective use of technology and technology-based assessments.

Four new tactics were written to help the school achieve goals related to literacy, math and school culture. The tactics indicate that:

  • Staff will restructure classroom grouping during intervention block to maximize learning opportunities.
  • Teachers will analyze data to determine appropriate instructional programming and resource allocation to best meet student needs.
  • Staff will continue to focus on math strategies in the area of math vocabulary and fluency.
  • Marcy will continue implementation of PBIS.

Willow Springs Learning Center Principal Margee Tackes was unable to be at the meeting, but her written report on her school’s site planning process was presented. Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik gave a summary of the plan.

He noted that the school will continue its tactics related to developing social, pre-academic, fine motor and communication skills and the  21st century skills of communication, conflict resolution, creativity, collaboration problem solving and technology skills.

Focus during the coming year will be on be on data collection through the PALS screener, pre-academic assessment with revisions learned from PALS, social emotional information from report cards, the 5k teacher survey, parent survey, RtI information, and early childhood assessment.

Personnel news

In personnel business, School Board members:

  • accepted the resignation of Templeton special services paraprofessional Gretchen Cunningham; and
  • appointed Sarah France as a Marcy associate kitchen employee and Sarah Marsh as a Woodside custodian.

Freshman Seminar collects, wraps gifts for adopted family

Students in Hamilton High School’s Freshman Seminar class recently spent their lunch period preparing and wrapping gifts for their adopted family. The class was given a family through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County and students signed up to provide items on the family’s wish list. A total of 15 gifts and a stocking packed with smaller items was provided to the mother, father and five-year-old of the family. One student also brought homemade cookies from home for the family.

Freshman Seminar is taught by Hamilton reading specialist Wendy Otto.

5Web     9Web

3Web      2Web

1Web   8Web

7Web   6Web



Hamilton announces November students of the month


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

·        Katherine Larson, applied engineering and technology;

·        Emily Bader, art;

·        Therese Merkel, business education;

·        Taylor Beimborn and Amanda Melk-McCrary, communication arts;

·        Angela Castillo, family and consumer sciences;

·        Bo Parker, fitness education;

·        Alyssa Grove, mathematics;

·        Samantha Gusho, music;

·        Brenna Kempen, science;

·        Alexandra Detweiler, social studies; and

·        Chad Schultz, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.


From left (front row) Brenna Kempen, Bo Parker, Taylor Beimborn, Chad Schultz (second row) Katherine Larson, Samantha Gusho, Alyssa Grove, Emily Bader
(back row) Alexandra Detweiler, Angela Castillo, Amanda Melk-McCrary, Therese Merkel

Hamilton junior varsity cheerleaders sponsor clinic

Hamilton High School junior varsity cheerleaders and their coaches will conduct a cheerleading clinic Jan. 4 in the high school gymnasium. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to learn cheers, tumbling, 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.10 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 may 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 or (414) 531-1844.

Community invited to holiday concert

The public is invited to attend a free Winter Holiday Concert Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC).

The Templeton Middle School Eighth Grade Chorus, Hamilton Concert Choir and Hamilton A Cappella Choir will perform traditional and non-traditional holiday music. This event is an annual holiday tradition for senior citizens and community members.

Directors are Jaye Mier, Templeton chorus and Marilyn Mascitti, Hamilton choirs. The HFAC is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.

Hamilton National Honor Society hosts food drive

The Hamilton National Honor Society (NHS) collected $1,500 in donations and 3,000 non-perishable food items to contribute to Sussex Outreach Services (SOS) Food Pantry. Jennifer Waltz, SOS executive director, described the three-day event as a “major food drive” that saw the food pantry’s shelves fully stocked.

Hamilton NHS Advisor Misti Swanson expressed appreciation for community support of the students’ efforts.

“The Hamilton National Honor Society members would like to thank Sussex Pick’n Save and Piggly Wiggly for allowing them to host the drive and is deeply grateful for the generosity of community members who helped secure a bountiful Thanksgiving for so many,” Swanson said.



Hamilton students selected for Honors Band Festival

Nine Hamilton High School band students were selected to participate in the 2013 University of Wisconsin (UW) – Milwaukee Honors Band Festival. They are:

  • Jonah Brown;
  • Emma Chung;
  • Kevin Jansen;
  • Erin Magoon;
  • Kate Meagher;
  • Jackson Petermann;
  • Devin Sartler
  • Michael Scott; and
  • Chloe Simchick.

Southeastern Wisconsin high school band directors nominated 700 musically talented students, and UW-Milwaukee Music Department staff members selected only 150 to participate. Five of the nine Hamilton students were selected for the top band of the festival.

The festival was held Nov. 22-24 and provided students with the opportunity to work with internationally recognized composer and conductor Mark Camphouse, nationally recognized university conductors and the region’s top high school musicians.