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 Sussex Outreach Services (SOS) this holiday season. Families and staff collected 300 gifts, and students hand delivered them as a group to St. James Catholic Church where they sang songs before returning to school. The toys and gifts will be distributed within the local community.

Lannon Elementary School
Lannon Elementary School students, families and staff members collected a brimming barrel of 112 pairs of socks, 28 slippers, 33 hats and 62 children’s new under garments. In addition, 326 boxes of macaroni and cheese and 85 canned goods were donated to SOS for holiday needs.

Lannon staff sponsored a family for Christmas through SOS and generously donated gifts and gift cards to help them this holiday season.

Students decorated 290 paper grocery bags donated by Sussex Piggly Wiggly to be used at the Sussex Food Pantry Christmas dinner distribution.

Maple Avenue Elementary School
Maple Avenue fifth grade students, through their Uniting Kids and Community (UKC) program, sponsored a food drive. Maple Avenue students collected more than 700 non-perishable healthy foods and snacks to be donated to the Sussex Food Pantry.

Maple Avenue buddy classes in first and third grades earned money by doing extra work at home. They raised $630 to purchase 125 books for all ages and reading levels that families could enjoy during the holiday season. All books were donated to SOS.

Maple Avenue staff members sponsored a family through SOS and provided gifts, books, games, educational toys, arts and crafts, clothing, gift cards, meal items, snacks and holiday décor.

Christina Garley’s fifth-grade classroom is collecting money for a charitable organization as part of its “Buck a Book” program.

Marcy Elementary School
Marcy students collected more than $750 during Veteran’s Day week to purchase a bench for the Templeton Middle School veterans’ memorial. The bench from Marcy will say “Welcome home. Thank you for your service.”

Marcy Parent Teacher Organization raised more than $8,000 during the Marcy Fun Run to give to area charities. Funds were donated to Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County (HAWS), Honor Flights, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Fund and Children’s Hospital.

Kindergarten classes raised money for the HAWS.

First grade students made blankets and collected food for HAWS. In addition, they held a food drive for Sussex Food Pantry.

Second-graders collected books for a kindergarten class in Milwaukee and made treat bags for the Ronald McDonald House

Fourth grade classes donated toys, food and home goods to the Ronald McDonald House, collected items for HAWS and made placemats for Milwaukee’s Community Projects for Seniors meal program.

Fifth grade classes collected 653 items for the Sussex Food Pantry.

Woodside Elementary School
Woodside’s Students of Service (SOS) Club made toys and fleece blankets for the cats at HAWS.

Kindergartners in Peter Dargatz’s class collected tickets for classroom tasks in their “wants and needs” unit. Tickets will be turned in for items the students want and donated to patients in need at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Kindergarten classes delivered gifts for 75 residents at Serenity Village, an assisted living residence in Slinger. As part of the Kindergarten Service Project, students and their families signed up to provide gifts for individuals at the facility. The gifts were distributed at the residents’ holiday party.

Woodside first grade and third grade families brought donations for the Sussex Food Pantry to their holiday music performances.

Woodside families and staff members collected more than $2,275 before Thanksgiving to create turkey baskets filled with groceries for families in need in Milwaukee’s Notre Dame Middle School community. Woodside students were asked to donate money they earned by doing chores at home. Parent volunteers shopped for groceries to build the baskets. Items included 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 crackers and nuts, along with an aluminum roasting pan. All of the items were put into a large sturdy laundry basket and delivered to families.

Templeton Middle School
Templeton employees donated money to be able to wear jeans to school for one day. A total of $180 was raised for the Sussex Food Pantry.

Student Council collected pajamas for the Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive through Scholastic Reading Program. Scholastic will pair the pajamas with a book to give to children in need.

The sixth grade Blue House, under the concept of giving and appreciation, collected for the Templeton Pajama Drive, Toys for Tots and Sussex Food Pantry drive as well as donating gently used books for children.

Hamilton High School
Club Action raised money by hosting “Rock Fest” at Sussex Bowl. All proceeds were donated to Make-A-Wish foundation in honor of Isaac Steven Krill. In addition, the club collected gently used school supplies during locker cleanout which were donated to Hope Center of Waukesha.

Charger Robotics Team 537 held monthly drives for nonperishable food and personal care items to support SOS. Team members, parent and mentors contribute to this ongoing community service project. The December drive accented the needs of the holiday season.

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 750 articles of clothing, jackets and shoes. Items were donated to Red Door Clothes to be distributed to Waukesha families in need.

German Club hosted a clubwide coin drive. A total of $500 was collected and used to sponsor five children through Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County. German Club members shopped, wrapped and delivered gifts to the families. Gifts included snow pants, gloves, hats, socks, clothes and toys.

Spanish Club adopted five Hispanic families with 14 children total through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County. Students in all Spanish classes donated a total of $1,700 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.

Hamilton Cantabile and Concert Choirs sponsored a food drive for the Sussex Food Pantry. The drive was promoted in class as well as at their fall concert. Together the choirs contributed nearly 500 items to the Sussex Food Pantry in time for Thanksgiving.

In addition, Hamilton choir members spread cheer by caroling at the Power Test Company tree-lighting ceremony, Milwaukee’s Third Ward tree-lighting ceremony and Hamilton Education Foundation Charger Challenge: Holiday Edition.

National Honor Society (NHS) held a community blood drive serving the Blood Center of Wisconsin. More than 100 pints of blood were donated — enough to save 312 lives. Members also hosted several food drives to benefit SOS the week before Thanksgiving, producing more than 1,200 pounds of food and $1,800 in donations. NHS sponsored two families through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County and donated 60 gifts collectively. NHS members assisted at the YMCA Breakfast with Santa and Hamilton Education Foundation Charger Challenge: Holiday Edition. Students are gathering items for cancer comfort totes which will be distributed to local hospitals for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Hamilton School Student Council adopted four children through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County. Student Council members joined together to shop and wrap the gifts. Student Council also completed a Spirit of Giving initiative in the community and school. Members randomly selected students from all four grade levels and distributed $5 gift cards. In addition, members visited local stores to do the same wishing members of the public happy holidays.

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 homeless. In addition to delivering presents, Hamilton DECA took cookies and juice, and the Hamilton students spent an afternoon Dec. 16 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. The advisor and 28 students made the trip.

Hamilton Charger football team members teamed up with Hamilton cheerleaders to host a food drive at the Dec. 22 basketball game for the Sussex Food Pantry. During the Christmas season, team members volunteered at the Charger Challenge: Holiday Edition and shared cookies and carols with the residents of the Sterling House in Sussex.

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.



December 21, 2015

Superintendent selection process chosen

School Board members decided to secure the services of an outside consultant to help them in the superintendent search process. It was one of three options they considered which also included hiring a national search firm which could cost up to $25,000 or conduct the search on their own for little outside expenses but relying on district staff to assist with clerical responsibilities. The option they chose is expected to cost $7,000-10,000. Continue reading

Woodside students jump for heart health

WDS - Jump Rope For Heart Photo

Woodside Elementary School students smashed their highest total ever and raised more than $20,822 for the American Heart Association Dec. 16 through a “Jump Rope for Heart” event. With 272 students and their families participating, Woodside had a 92 percent participation rate.

The event was coordinated by Woodside fitness education teachers Jen Reuter and Chris Botsford, who expressed gratitude to participating students and parent volunteer who donated snacks and raffle prizes for the event.

The school more than doubled its previous fundraising record of $8,200.

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

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:

  • Chase Smiltneek, applied engineering and technology;
  • Ella VanHaren, art;
  • Morgan Hillmann, business education;
  • Nicholas Bell, communication arts;
  • Maxwell Zarling, family and consumer sciences;
  • Olivia Neils, fitness education;
  • Eliana Selin, mathematics;
  • Austin Dalzin, music;
  • Sara Hubbell and Taylor Swanson, science;
  • Veronica Anderson, social studies; and
  • Alayna Larson, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.   



Holidays rock at Hamilton Fine Arts Center

YuletideGIFThe 2015-16 performing arts season begins with an exciting world premiere at the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC).

Yuletide Conspiracy Project (YCP) – Dec. 12, 8 p.m.
Yuletide Conspiracy Project is a world premiere event featuring members of the acclaimed local rock band, Rhythm Method. Those familiar with Trans-Siberian Orchestra will love YCP. The holidays have never been celebrated like this before.

The group features Bobby Rouse, vocals, Brent Taritas, guitars and vocals, Raymond Tevich keyboards, Kevin Baumann, drums and vocals and Craig Tevich, bass. Special guest Brooke St. James is a gifted guitarist and member of Moxy Roxx and national recording artist Tyketto.

YCP is a talented, seasoned rock band playing all-original arrangements of popular holiday classics. Creative interpretations of Christmas and holiday tunes with special nods to groups like Toto, Dream Theater, Deep Purple, Beatles, Yes, Asia and Kansas await the audience. This is not your typical holiday concert. The music will be familiar, but the originality and fresh take on the tunes will impress and inspire. It is holiday music that rocks.

Don’t miss other exciting events:

Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra presents “The Drums of Christmastide” – Dec. 6, 3 p.m.
MFSO introduces the light and intriguing harmonies of the vocal quartet “Heart to Heart.” The concert will feature Christmas favorites highlighting special rhythms, especially with drums. Children are invited to bring their own homemade drums (coffee cans, etc.) to make joyous Christmas music with the orchestra.

Brookfield Academy presents “Mary Poppins” – March 3-5
Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins is an enchanting mixture of unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers, and astonishing stagecraft. Young Jane and Michael Banks have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Through her combination of magic and common sense, she teaches the family how to value each other again. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that “Anything can happen if you let it.” Showtimes are 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Kids from Wisconsin – July 12 at 7 p.m.
Performing live annually for more than 100,000 people across Wisconsin and the Midwest, Kids from Wisconsin presents great entertainment with some of Wisconsin’s most talented performers ages 15-20. The revue is produced in collaboration with some of this country’s best writers, arrangers and choreographers. Costumes are designed and created in Broadway style. Kids from Wisconsin performs a diverse repertoire of morale-boosting musical entertainment for audiences of all ages.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.HamiltonFineArtsCenter.com, by phone at (800) 838-3006 or by visiting the HFAC box office on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. when school is in session. The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.

Hamilton students named GMC Scholar Athletes

The Greater Metro Conference has named the following Hamilton High School students Fall 2015-16 Scholar Athletes:

  • Ashlyn Adams, Brenna Kempen, Kaitlyn Pilo, Lauren Immekus, Colleen Coady, Emily Hartung – girls golf;
  • Stephanie Hopkins, Sarah Liedtke – girls swimming;
  • Rebecca Becker, Rachel Stuempfig- volleyball;
  • Marie Ammel, Claire Birk, Janelle Davies, Kristina Neitzke, Maya Peske, Ericka Serg – girls cross country;
  • Emily Fisher, Vanessa Ignatew – girls tennis;
  • Kyle Blaedow, Jacob Hartung, Benjamin Kneer, Nicholas Loden, Devin McMurray, Matthew Smith, Rohan Washikar – boys cross country;
  • Hayden Barth, Benjamin Krolzcyk, Matthew Ammel, Zachary Jasinski – boys soccer; and
  • Travis Janus, Coleman Anderson, Christopher Anderson, Joshua Anderson, Brett Gluth, Michael Bruch, Samuel Herriges, Benjamin Sciortino, Nicholas Wishart and Zachary Jasinski – football.

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


Templeton bands to perform holiday concerts

Templeton Middle School bands will perform three holiday concerts in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC). The concerts, which are free and open to the public, begin at 7 p.m. and will be held on:

  • Dec. 8 – grade 6 with Jazz Band;
  • Dec. 9 – grade 7; and
  • Dec. 22 – grade 8.

“The concerts are a culmination of more than three months of rehearsals and practices in which the bands have shown tremendous growth,” said Templeton Band Director David Neubauer. “The Templeton bands are eager to share their holiday concerts with the community.”

The HFAC is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road in Sussex.

Community invited to Dec. 16 holiday concert

The public is invited to attend a free Winter Holiday Concert Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC).

A total of 250 students who are members of Hamilton High School choirs and Templeton Middle School Eighth Grade Chorus will perform traditional holiday and winter-themed music. This event is an annual holiday tradition for senior citizens and community members.

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

Woodside contributes baskets for families in need

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

For the fourth year, Woodside students were asked to donate money they earned by doing chores at home. With more than $2,275 collected, 32 parent volunteers shopped for groceries to build the baskets. Items included 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 crackers and nuts, along with an aluminum roasting pan. All of the items were put into a large sturdy laundry basket and delivered to families.

“This has been an extremely rewarding service project for all the students,” said Rayelle Simonsen, a Woodside teacher who helped organize the collection. “It’s amazing how just doing a few chores around the house is now going to feed 35 families.”

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. Notre Dame recently added a co-ed primary school which has increased the need for baskets.

Remaining money after the Thanksgiving meals were purchased was donated to the Sussex Food Pantry.





School Board accepts Cooke’s retirement request

The Hamilton School Board accepted the retirement request of Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., at its Dec. 1 meeting. Cooke has been superintendent of the district since 1993. Her retirement will be effective at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

School Board President Gabe Kolesari said the Hamilton School District was fortunate to have Cooke as its leader for the past 23 years.

“Dr. Cooke has provided dedicated service and worked collaboratively to build a school district that reflects the community’s expectations for high performance,” Kolesari said. “She worked in partnership with staff, parents, community members and business leaders to affect meaningful, positive change.”

Under Cooke’s leadership, the district saw significant increases in student achievement, completion of nearly $50 million of facility additions and renovations, and realization of considerable cost-saving measures. In the past two decades, Hamilton has become one of the highest-achieving, lowest-spending school districts in the region.

She oversaw the implementation of numerous initiatives including: school improvement, strategic and tactical planning processes; the Seniors & Students Volunteer Program; and innovative programs to increase achievement including the high school block schedule, four-year-old kindergarten, early reading and early mathematics empowerment programs, honors and advanced placement programming.

To better understand constituency expectations, she promoted engagement of stakeholders through surveys, focus groups, quality interviews, learning environment reviews, formation of a Business Advisory Council and other advisory groups that studied facilities, budget, curriculum, achievement and attendance boundaries.

After graduating from Marian College in Fond du Lac in 1979, Cooke began her career in the Oconomowoc Area School District where she went from elementary teacher to program evaluation specialist, elementary and middle school principal, human resources director and ultimately assistant superintendent. She earned her master’s degree in 1984 from the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Milwaukee and doctorate in 1991 from UW-Madison.

While superintendent in Hamilton, she was recognized for outstanding leaderships skills and the district earned awards for high performance and efficient operations from more than a dozen regional, state and national associations, watchdog groups and publications.

At its next meeting Dec. 21, the School Board will establish parameters and a timeline for the superintendent search process. Opportunities will be available for staff, parents and community members to provide input to develop a profile of ideal candidate.