HEF partners with SOS to bring holiday cheer for children


The Hamilton Education Foundation will team up with Sussex Outreach Services (SOS) to help more than 200 local children have a better holiday season. Participants of Charger Challenge: Santa Edition 5K run-walk, to be held Dec. 6 on the Hamilton High School grounds, are asked to bring an unwrapped toy or gift card for the SOS Christmas Distributions and Adopt-a-Family programs.

Donations will be collected for children from infants to older children, including teenagers who are often overlooked during toy drives. Among the items suggested are toys, DVDs, new clothes and gift cards in increments of $25, including those from Kohls, Target, Walmart and iTunes. Toys and gifts will be distributed Dec. 13 at St. James Church. Clients must sign up at the food pantry, if interested.
Charger Challenge: Santa Edition not only benefits SOS, but the run itself is a fundraiser for the Hamilton Education Foundation. It is a family-friendly 5k run and walk with holiday-themed stations along the route which is open to all athletic abilities, and families are welcome. After finishing the race, participants will be able to tour the new Hamilton Athletic Center, which is scheduled to be completed at the end of November. The Sussex Leo Club will provide games for children 12 years and younger in the new facility.

Please go to www.hamiltoneducationfoundation.org for more information or to register for the event. Fees are $25 for children ages 4-12 years and $35 for 13 and older. Each paid participant who registers by Nov. 26 will receive a long sleeved Dri-FIT shirt and goody bag. Any questions? You can email event organizers at Hefchargerchallenge@yahoo.com.

The Hamilton Education Foundation provides funding and other resources to enhance, extend and enrich the educational opportunities of Hamilton School District students. Established in 1991 by friends of the Hamilton school community, the Foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees and operates independently from the Hamilton School Board.

Students perform at State Middle Level Honors Concert

The Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) invited three Hamilton School District students to perform at the Middle Level Honors Concert Nov. 1 at the Wisconsin State Music Conference in Madison. The students, who were selected last spring when they were middle school students are eighth-grader Holly Venkitaswaran, flute, freshmen Megan Jansett, French horn, and Ann Marie Krolczyk, baritone.


Only 300 students were chosen to participate from more than 1,200 auditions throughout the state last spring. The Wisconsin State Honors Music Project offers talented youth the opportunity to rehearse and perform with nationally-known conductors in choir, orchestra and band.


Hamilton marching band completes successful season

Hamilton High School Charger Marching Band finished one of its most successful seasons in memory by placing third out of nine bands in class AAAA at the Wisconsin School Music Association’s (WSMA) Wisconsin Marching Band Championships. Hamilton placed ninth overall at the state competition held Oct. 18 at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. It was Hamilton’s highest placement in history at the state championships.

Earlier in the season the band took two first places in class AAAA competition at the Sept. 27 Waukesha West High School Fox River Invite and Sept. 26 Waukesha South High School MarchFest. Hamilton Chargers took first overall among eight bands participating at the Fox River Invite and earned trophies for best musical presentation and best visual presentation. In addition to placing first in its class AAAA division at MarchFest, the Charger band took second overall among 10 bands.

The Charger Marching Band also presented a free indoor performance Oct. 14 at the Hamilton Fine Arts Center for the public and all Templeton Middle School band students.

The band’s 2014 field show, titled “Witch and Famous,” was inspired by the Broadway musical “Wicked” and featured various music from the classical era to modern pop radio.

October 20, 2014

Tax rate less than projected at Annual Meeting

School Board members approved a $55.03 million budget that includes a mil rate of $9.76 per $1,000 of property. For each $100,000 of property citizens own, they will pay $976 in property taxes to support the school district. The mil rate is 52 cents less than school officials projected at the Annual Meeting in June and 44 cents less than the rate from last year.

The total budget increased 3.83 percent — due in part to the cost of educating 32 more students.

The lower-than-expected mil rate is attributable to community growth and higher property values that spread school costs over more and higher-valued properties. The district’s equalized valuation increased by 5.78 percent in the past year. State aid also increased by 1.69 percent.

The net tax levy — the portion of the budget paid by local taxpayers — increased to $29.46 million from $29.08 million in 2013-14.

Each October, the School Board must adopt the budget, certify the tax levy and establish the tax rate after the Department of Revenue determines property values in the district. Tax bills are sent to property owners in December.

District holds Chapter 220, Open Enrollment numbers

The number of seats available for students to enroll in the district through the Chapter 220 will remain at 110 students and no new Open Enrollment students are recommended for the 2015-16 school year. The School Board voted to maintain the number of students in the Chapter 220 Program contingent on continued full funding from the state.

Chapter 220 is a voluntary integration program that brings Milwaukee Public Schools students to suburban districts. The Open Enrollment Program allows students to attend school in other districts if space allows. The number of incoming seats has been limited in the past several years because of space availability.

Board approves Youth Options requests

A total of 19 high school students requested admission to the Youth Options Program that will allow them to take classes next semester at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and Milwaukee, Waukesha County Technical College, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Mount Mary, Marquette University and Carroll University. Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan noted, as in the past, many students will not be able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes. A total of 13 students requested admission to Youth Options last year.

Youth Options is a program mandated by the state that allows students who have completed tenth grade, are in good academic standing and have no disciplinary problems to attend a technical college or university if they have exhausted their high school curriculum.

Woodside, Templeton site plans approved

Woodside Elementary School Site Plan team met Aug. 15 to review and revise its plan for maximizing success for each student. Principal James Edmond, Ph.D., and Associate Principal Linda Hake, described the school’s work in achieving its goals.

New Woodside tactics state that, using 2014 MAP scores, it will increase the percentage of students who meet or exceed their projected growth targets by 3 percent in reading and mathematics.

Using an approach that was initiated last year, all four of the district’s elementary schools gathered to share updates on their current plan, new data and ideas to design their own unique plan. A team of elementary staff from throughout the district met Aug. 15 to review the district’s new tactical plan and then looked at their own building data to craft site plans for the rest of the year.

School Board member Gerald Schmitz commended the elementary schools for collaborating.
Edmond said the collaborative goal-setting will ensure that a student could attend any elementary school in the district without noticing an academic difference in the educational program.

Presenting results from Templeton Middle School’s site planning process for the first time, Principal Paul Mielke, Ph.D., outlined the work of the 15-member planning team. Templeton developed two tactics as part of its Oct. 7 site planning meeting:

  • Students will engage in authentic reading and writing within classes to promote critical literacy, a combination of critical thinking and literacy skills; and
  • Staff will analyze current structure and schedule to determine if changes are needed to maximize student achievement and growth potential.

Mielke said Templeton staff will be guided by questions as they evaluate the school’s progress: What will teachers do differently and how will teaching change? What will students do differently and to what extent do we expect making the changes to impact student learning?

Enrollment up by 32 students

The district picked up an additional 32 students with the start of the school year. Enrollment districtwide is at 4,680 students – an all-time high. School enrollments compared to last year were:
School         2013-14      2014-15
Willow          271            252
Lannon         276            289
Maple          462            442
Marcy          574            582
Woodside     644           656
Templeton   1,053         1,047
Hamilton     1,368         1,412
District       4,648         4,680

School facilities projects completed during summer

Summer was a busy time for maintenance and custodial staff as they prepared facilities for the coming school year. Buildings and Grounds Manager Jeffrey Grove provided School Board members with an exhaustive list of projects accomplished at each school that included items such as asphalt patching and striping, locker replacement, landscaping, painting, chiller coil cleaning. Grove noted that an increasing number of projects completed by outside contractors in the past are now being handled by existing staff, saving the district money.

School Board member Gerald Schmitz appreciated the work of staff.

“I think it’s great that 50 percent of the jobs (on the summer project list) are being completed in-house and it really pays off for us,” Schmitz said.

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., credited Grove for providing the training, resources and high expectations that allowed staff members to complete the projects.

Educational Services team reports on priorities

Three Educational Services administrators reported on accomplishments of the past year and priorities for the coming year. Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik, Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D., and Special Services Supervisor John Peterson updated the School Board on work of the department. They covered numerous initiatives regarding strategic planning, curriculum development, professional development, special education assessment, Response to Intervention, personalized and differentiated instruction, benchmark literacy and employee compensation.

Personnel business

In personnel news, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Willow Springs administrative assistant Susan Steldt and Maple Avenue assistant cook Grace Norton; and
  • appointed Melissa Hartung as a Maple Avenue paraprofessional, funded through federal Title I program.

Hamilton students recognized in NMSC competition

Five Hamilton High School seniors learned recently that they were named in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. Eligibility for the distinction is based on results of the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Brandon Fedie, Adam Klager and Sean Thompson were named Semifinalists. They are among approximately 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide and will continue in the competition for Merit Scholarship awards. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. To become a finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm the students’ earlier test performance.

Joyce Chen and Remi Lassiter were named Commended Students and are among 34,000 students who were recognized for their exceptional academic promise.

In addition, Lassiter is one of 1,600 Black American high school seniors named Semifinalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program who will have the opportunity to compete for Achievement Scholarship awards.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), established in 1955, is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions to honor the nation’s scholastic champions and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.

4-year-old kindergartners participate in Harvest Parade

Students in the Hamilton School District’s 4-year-old kindergarten program will celebrate student learning and accomplishments Oct. 23.

Activities include a story time presented by Willow Springs staff, decorating pumpkin-shaped cookies and the Harvest Parade showcasing examples of their learning and achievements.

Parents are invited to attend the Harvest Parade at 10:30 a.m. for the morning kindergarten session and at 2:15 p.m. for the afternoon session.

The 4-year-old kindergarten program is housed at Willow Springs Learning Center, W220 N6660 Town Line Road, Menomonee Falls.

Hamilton National Honor Society to sponsor blood drive

The Hamilton National Honor Society (NHS) will sponsor a Blood Drive Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Hamilton High School Cafeteria. The date is an early release day for students.

Students, families and community members are encouraged to participate. Pre-registered appointments and walk-ins will be accepted. Parental consent is required for 16-year-olds to donate.

Blood donors will need to provide photo identification that includes birth date and answer basic health history questions. The entire process takes about an hour, and snacks and drinks will be served to donors.

If you would like to make an appointment, please contact Wendy Otto or Misti Swanson, Hamilton NHS advisors, at (262) 246-6471 x1167 or visit www.bcw.edu/hamiltonhs. The high school is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.


Hamilton Connects




A network for Hamilton School District parents to support their children’s success through information, support, presentations and guidance.

 Upcoming events

  • Programming for 2016-17 school year being finalized





For more information, please contact Hamilton Connects Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook, a licensed school counselor who supports AODA efforts in the Hamilton School District, at (262) 246-1973 x1128 or e-mail her at hasbkr@hamilton.k12.wi.us.

Newsletter sign-up

Parents in the Hamilton School District get regular reminders about Hamilton Connects programs. If you are not a parent or staff member in the Hamilton School District and would like to receive these notifications, please sign up for the Hamilton Connects newsletter.

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Submit a question for the All About Parenting column here.




Hamilton Connects


Presentations Resources AllAboutParenting

Nov. 11 at 6:30 p.m.:

Learn about parenting from a mother of 12
Join with author, speaker, professional coach and facilitator of Love and Logic®, Kimberly Krueger to find out how a mother of 12 stays sane. Kimberly will share her best practical tips, day-to-day routine and profound relational experiences that changed the course of her family history. Kimberly speaks from her heart and years of experience parenting 12 children, ages 8 to 26 years, to help you give your kids the best shot at success in the real world.
Tuesday, Nov.11, 2104
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Templeton Middle School
Large Group Area
N59W22490 Silver Spring Dr.
RSVP required for this presentation. Please e-mail Hamilton Connects by Nov.4.
“Parenting the Love & Logic WayR
Two-night course offers overview of highly successful parent program
“Parenting the Love and Logic Way” is a two-night overview of Love and Logic parenting strategies, presented by Kristin Hasbrook, school counselor, Hamilton Connects coordinator and parent educator.
Tuesdays, Nov. 4 and 18
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Pauline Haass Public Library
N64W23820 Main St., Sussex.
Whether you are interested in learning about Love and Logic or want a refresher, this is the class for you.
Learn how to:
  • end arguing;
  • teach responsibility;
  • avoid power struggles; and
  • guide kids to solve their own problems.
RSVP required for participation in the Love & Logicsessions. Please e-mail Hamilton Connects by Oct. 30.


Mark your calendars for upcoming Hamilton Connects presentations

  • Nov. 11 – “Parenting Tips from a Mother of 12: Getting Kids Ready for the Real World”
    Templeton Middle School
  • Dec. 9 – “Generations Against Bullying – Zero Tolerance for Bullying”
    Hamilton High School
  • Feb. 24 – “Ready, Set, College”
    Hamilton High School Little Theater
  • April 21 – “Financial Literacy for Children”
    Pauline Haass Public Library



Hamilton announces September students of the month

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

  • Ryan Boehler, applied engineering and technology;
  • Kiley Goodenow and Jesse Fuerst, art;
  • Natalie Hagenow, business education;
  • Samantha Johnson, communication arts;
  • Kristin Mueller, family and consumer sciences;
  • Nicholas Gierach, fitness education;
  • Vanessa Ignatew, mathematics;
  • Sam Kivimaki, music;
  • Damon Bukouras, science;
  • Jack Rieder, social studies; and
  • Michael Barnes, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.