Hamilton students named GMC Scholar Athletes

The Greater Metro Conference has named the following Hamilton High School students Winter 2013-14 Scholar Athletes:

  • Brady Ellingson – boys basketball;
  • Vince Pascale – wrestling;
  • Hannah Menzia and Emily Kneer – girls basketball; and
  • Matthew Ciolkosz – boys swimming.

The following Hamilton High School students were named Spring 2013-14 Scholar Athletes:

  • Aaron Hintz, Robert Little, Chais Blackburn, Joel Fotsch, Peter Keppler, Garrett Minor, Vince Pascale, Andrew Witlacil, Mark Radcliffe and Jacob Storm – boys track;
  • Therese Merkel, Victoria Schulze, Katlyn Pollari and Ashlyn Paulson – girls track;
  • Hannah Menzia and Hannah Bjorkland – soccer;
  • Danielle Draggoo, Bailee Bobert, Whitney Wnuk, Kathryn Baker, Taylor Vigani and Kelsey Mason – softball; and
  • Michael Banda and Brandon Joel – boys tennis.

Student-athletes have earned a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average and have senior standing.


School Board appoints new special services supervisor

JohnPetersonWebThe Hamilton School Board approved the appointment June 16 of John Peterson as the special services supervisor, contingent on contract release from his current employer. Peterson replaces Mardi Freeman who accepted the position of special education and student services director for the Cooperative Educational Service Agency #1. Peterson will begin his position July 1.

“We are pleased to hire an individual who brings strong leadership and is committed to developing the full potential of each student,” Hamilton Superintendent Kathleen Cooke said. “Mr. Peterson has great knowledge of special education, is an advocate for children with disabilities and has the ability to establish collaborative, working relationships with parents and staff.”

Peterson has been the pupil services director for the Fort Atkinson School District since 2007. He started his education career in 1999 as a school psychologist for the Albany School District where he was later named special education director before taking that role with the Waterford Special Education Cooperative in 2004. He has been on the Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services (WCASS) executive board since 2006 and was recently chosen president elect. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist degrees from the University of Wisconsin (UW) – Eau Claire and completed other postgraduate work at UW – Madison.


Hamilton named Top Workplace

For the third consecutive year, the Hamilton School District was listed among the best places to work in southeastern Wisconsin in the June 8 publication, “The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top Workplaces.” Hamilton was among the 150 businesses and organizations named in a special section of the Sunday newspaper and online at www.jsonline.com. The district’s ranking among large organizations was 13th among 25 based on results of an survey sent to all employees in November.

Evaluation for the Top Workplaces program is based on feedback from an anonymous employee survey conducted by an independent research firm that many employees completed a few months ago. Hamilton had an 84 percent response rate among all employees.


Representatives from the district were invited to attend a reception recognizing top workplaces. Those attending were: (from left) seated, Hamilton School Board President Gabe Kolesari, Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., Marcy Administrative Assistant Kelly Rouse, standing, Public Information Coordinator Denise Dorn Lindberg, District Maintenance Foreman David LaPerriere,Templeton Middle School Art Teacher Jay Bergemann, Lannon Reading Specialist Kim Weber, Maple Avenue Grade 4 Teacher Patty Coburn and Hamilton High School mathematics teacher Steve Wunschel.

Hamilton cheerleaders sponsor clinic

Hamilton High School cheerleaders and their coaches will conduct a cheerleading clinic June 27 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 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Participants are invited to appear with the high school cheerleaders in the Sussex Lions Daze parade July 13. Cost for the clinic is $30 and includes a T-shirt, snack, beverage and parade performance. Payments should be made to Hamilton High School and sent to W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex. Registration at the door is available.

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

Trafton chosen for Hamilton alumnus award


Graduate Keith Trafton was presented with the 2014 Hamilton High School Distinguished Alumnus Award at the school’s June 14 graduation ceremonies. A 1986 graduate, Trafton is the chief financial officer (CFO) and managing partner of the Bartolotta Restaurant Group.

After high school, Trafton continued his education at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration. He spent nearly 20 years in the manufacturing sector, working in areas of accounting, operations, sales, human resources, information technology and leadership. He rose to the role of president and chief executive officer for a leading international contract manufacturer headquartered in Milwaukee serving the agricultural, construction, industrial, transportation and defense markets. He has been with the Bartolotta group since 2008, and in 2012 was named the Small Private Company CFO of the Year by the Milwaukee Business Journal.


Marcy students provide for SOS

Marcy Elementary School families collected jars of peanut butter and jelly to contribute to Sussex Outreach Services (SOS) Food Pantry. The Marcy fifth grade Leadership Group organized this service project among others throughout the year.

Marcy Elementary School is located at W180 N4851 Marcy Road, Menomonee Falls.



Templeton students earn State Honors

The Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) Middle Level State Honors Music Project invited three Templeton Middle School students to participate in the band and orchestra:

  • Megan Jansett – french horn;
  • Ann Marie Krolczyk – baritone; and
  • Holly Venkitaswaran – flute.

This is the third consecutive year that Templeton students have been invited. Students went through a rigorous audition process held in April and were notified of their acceptance early June. Only 300 students were chosen to participate from more than 1,200 auditions throughout the state.

The Wisconsin State Honors Music Project offers talented youth the opportunity to rehearse and perform with nationally-known conductors in choir, orchestra and band. All Honors groups will perform in November at the Wisconsin State Music Conference.

Hamilton announces May students of the month

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

  • Ryan Yates, applied engineering and technology;
  • Jacob Ritter, art;
  • Kyle Higgins, business education;
  • Kennedy Evans, communication arts;
  • Angela Zindrick, family and consumer sciences;
  • Melissa Schweigert, fitness education;
  • Nicholas Loden, mathematics;
  • Matthew Ciolkosz, music;
  • Luke Beringer, science;
  • Erika Ludorf, social studies; and
  • Christopher Jelden and Ashleigh Xiong, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.



June 3, 2014

Addition of 700 laptops has impact in classrooms

Hamilton School Board members heard from library-media specialists what the impact of having 700 additional laptops in the schools has meant for learning. Maple Avenue Elementary School’s Brian Latus, Templeton Middle School’s Anita Paque and Hamilton High School’s Jacque Gorski thanked the board for its decision 16 months ago to lease computers beyond the district regular technology replacement cycle. With the additional laptops, schools could create computer-on-wheels smart carts that allowed teachers to roll 15 or more wireless computers into a classroom.

The move provided 28 carts among the four elementary schools, 12 carts at the middle school and 15 carts at the high school. The infusion of laptops, according to the library media specialists, allow teachers to provide high quality instruction and learning opportunities for students including differentiating instruction, completing assessments, accessing school library collections and research tools, participating in flipped classes and having support for reading and writing initiatives.

Cost for the four-year laptop lease was $399,026 with an additional cost of $112,719 for purchase of the carts. The specialists reported that the carts are booked solid at least 70 percent of the school day, which led School Board Member Jim Long to ask if the district had enough laptops. Information Technology Manager Ryan McMillan said he doubted it.

“Our carts are almost at maximum capacity,” McMillan said. “I don’t think we do at this point, especially considering our labs will be blocked out for three weeks for smarter balanced testing.”

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke noted that the intention of the presentation was to show that technology was being used for high quality, rigorous instruction. She said the district could not afford to have a 1-to-1 student-to-computer ratio due to budget, but the goal is to balance high quality instruction using technology.

Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., noted that with the approval of the laptop lease the district “has come so far.”


Students, staff recognized

Hamilton School Board members recognized several students and staff members including:


  • High school DECA members Yuchun Wang, Therese Merkel and Rohan Washikar for their success competition at the International Career Development Conference (not able to attend were Grace Modl and Jessica Neumann);

    MistyDraegerWeb  CandisMonganWeb

  • Hamilton Student Council Advisor Misty Draeger, who was chosen the Wisconsin Association of School Councils (WASC) advisor of the year, and Principal Candis Mongan, who previously was selected WASC administrator of the year; and


  • Hamilton Band Director Jon Waite who received the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee teacher of the year award.

Maple Avenue Readers’ Café highlighted

Details of a program that brings senior volunteers to Maple Avenue Elementary School to mentor and read with students over their lunch hours was presented by Becky Hubred, Seniors and Students program support, Maple Avenue’s reading specialist Heidi Spingola and principal Kristin Koeper-Hamblin. Readers’ Cafe started in 2012-13 at Maple Avenue Elementary School with five volunteers who were recruited from the Sussex Senior Center. It expanded in 2013-14 to eight volunteers who reached more than 50 students.

Students have lunch in the school library every other week for five weeks with their Readers’ Café volunteer who reads with them. The goal is to reach students who would enjoy and benefit from having one-on-one time with a caring adult.

Committee choses CESA model for staff evaluation

School Board members approved the Supervision-Evaluation Committee report as presented by Human Resources Director John Roubik. The committee recommended using the CESA #6 Effectiveness Project instead of the Department of Public Instruction’s Educator Effectiveness model because the CESA #6 project offered greater customization for alignment to the district’s strategic vision, a more compact framework to offer feedback to staff and a technology platform which is easy to navigate and ready for implementation.

Next years’ staff development presented

Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., presented the 2014-15 Professional Development Plan as developed by the Professional Development Planning Team. The plan forecasts areas of training in the coming year which include the new student information system, Effectiveness Project, vertical teaming, personalized learning, elementary English language arts curriculum implementation and new teacher orientation.

Personnel news

In personnel business, the School Board revised and added new position descriptions for administrative assistants. The revision – which was not spurred by existing problems, but by the district’s legal counsel recommendation to comply with Fair Labor Standards guidelines – specifies that responsibilities are to be performed on school premises and within established work hours. The new position description allows the high school to have an 11-month position instead of all positions being year-round.

In other personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Hamilton assistant cook Sandy Douglas and Templeton special services paraprofessional Amy Helgeson;
  • appointed George Murillo as custodian at Marcy Elementary School;
  • modified the contract of Hamilton reading specialist Lynn Panek-Heeren from 50 to 67 percent; and
  • adjusted salary for specific professional staff based on market factors.

Other business

In other business, the board:

  • approved participation for 2014-15 in the Southeastern Wisconsin School Alliance including Suburban Schools Legislative Committee Affiliation at a cost of $3,000 for each group;
  • approved continued partnership with Elmbrook School District to hire a Mandarin teacher who teaches a shared course offered to both Elmbrook and Hamilton students;
  • approved Special Education Procedures Handbook, Emergency Nursing Services Policies and Procedures and Bloodborne Pathogens Procedures as presented by Special Services Supervisor Mardi Freeman; and
  • received 198 applications from nonresident students for acceptance under Open Enrollment. No spaces are available in the district, so applicants were placed on a waiting list for the 2014-15 school year. The district will monitor expected enrollment throughout the summer to determine if students will be recommended for placement at schools based on space availability.