December 3, 2013

Templeton teacher recognized for national award

Hamilton School Board members recognized Templeton Middle School social studies teacher Rhonda Watton for being recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Middle Level Social Studies Teacher of the Year from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).

Principal Patty Polczynski described Watton’s accomplishments and credited her for being an excellent teacher who stretches kids’ thinking and makes connections between what they are learning in eighth grade history class to current events.


The annual NCSS Outstanding Teacher of the Year Awards recognize social studies teachers who show exceptional abilities in the classroom through effective instructional strategies and creative use of instructional materials. The award honors social studies teachers who foster a spirit of inquiry and the development of information and decision-making skills.

Watton was presented with the award Nov. 22 during the NCSS Annual Conference in St. Louis. She also presented a session for teachers from throughout the country who were in attendance.

Business Education curriculum changes approved

Hamilton School Board members approved revisions to the district’s Business Education curriculum. Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little reported that the changes included course revisions.

  • At the middle school, “Introduction to Computers” for sixth-graders, which covered areas that students get in elementary school, will be “Technology Essentials” addressing many of the topics previously found in the high school “Computer Essentials” course. The eighth grade “Career Path Exploration” and “Business Technology” courses were combined into “Introduction to Business and Marketing.”
  • At the high school, “Computer Essentials” was eliminated. International business concepts will be incorporated in the “Entrepreneurship” course, and two courses were added — “Sports and Event Marketing” and “Game Design and Programming.”

District choses CESA #6 Strong model for Educator Effectiveness

The district will use the CESA #6 Strong model as its framework for implementing Educator Effectiveness. The district was required to declare by Nov. 30 whether it would use the Danielson framework developed by the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) or an alternate model.

Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik reported that administrators and members of the district’s Supervision-Evaluation Committee reviewed DPI and CESA #6 models. The Strong model was recommended because CESA #6 had a more fully developed plan for professional development, allowed the district to customize feedback and its electronic management platform is operational in many districts across the state. The Teachscape platform used with the Danielson model is still under development. Costs for each system was the same.

Templeton Site Plan approved

Templeton Principal Patty Polczynski reported on her school’s site planning. She provided an overview of successes and areas that need additional focus, and noted an increase in student mobility rate which is the percentage of students who move in or out of the school.

The plan includes three tactics with strategies to achieve them that indicate students will:

  • increase literacy skills and competencies across all content areas

Strategies include using disciplinary-specific reading strategies to comprehend text and writing strategies to improve proficiency including vocabulary specific to each discipline.

  • develop critical thinking and problem solving skills in order to become productive citizens in our global society

The strategy involves developing and deepening students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills through classroom activities.

  • increase emotional intelligence and individual resiliency skills to be increasingly successful young adults

This will be addressed by increasing student engagement in a positive school environment to increase personal commitment to learning and improve social competencies.

After review, Templeton’s Site Planning Committee concluded that the school’s tactics are aligned with the district and will help increase student achievement and commitment for their own learning.

Personnel business

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • Accepted the resignation of Marcy associate kitchen employee Elizabeth Erfert; and
  • Appointed Warren Fisher as a Maple custodian and Michael Figueroa as a Templeton custodian, both effective Dec. 11.

Templeton Junior Robotics Team competes at regional

Templeton Middle School FIRST Junior Robotics Team recently participated in regional competition at Watertown High School. The theme for this year’s season-ending competition was Nature’s Fury. Students worked cooperatively to design, build and program robots to complete challenges on a Nature’s Fury-themed board. In addition, students researched and developed solutions to problems people face when presented with extreme weather.

Three Templeton teams competed.

Robodogs developed the concept of a house capable of floating above its foundation in the event of a flood.
Templeton Twisters envisioned an exterior sprinkler system integrated into aluminum siding for homes in the path of wildfires. The Twisters team was nominated for the First Lego League Spirit award because of its demonstrated interest and excitement in science, math, engineering and robotics, and the Gracious Professionalism award in recognition of groups that go out of their way to help within the club, school and community.
Evolution 7 designed a system to maintain constant tension on power lines during blizzards when lines are exposed to iceload and falling branches. It was nominated for the Project Award for its design and development.
First Junior Robotics is an afterschool program for students ages 9-14 years where they develop engineering solutions to problems that affect everyday life. For more information visit


Robodogs: (Front row from left) Sean Tat, Shawn Betters, Tyler Bartel, Lucas Wick, Ashlee Albrecht (Back row from left) Samuel Beffa, Jonathan Costa, Shiva Senthil, Kien Rea, Hunter Frederick, Maxwell Aberman


Templeton Twisters: (Front row from left) Ty Kozic, Zachary Sucharski, Hunter Dow, James Lang (Back row from left) Taylor Sohre, Anna Wood, Aubrey White, Christopher Lawrence, Matthew Albrecht, Shawn Cichosz (Not pictured) Abigail Dowse


Evolution 7: (Front row from left) Nicholas Zarling, Tyler McMurray, Mehak Oberoi, Malaya King (Back row from left) Nicholas Wood, Ryan Kahlscheuer, Andrew Tai, Kinnan Lassiter, Rushil Patel (Not pictured) Emma Stokman