Cooke presented with PPF lifetime achievement award

Cooke presented with PPF Lifetime Achievement AwardThe Public Policy Forum presented Hamilton School District Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., with the “James R. Ryan Lifetime Achievement Award” June 21 at its 2016 Salute to Local Government program.

Cooke is retiring after serving 23 years as Hamilton’s superintendent. In presenting her with the award, Public Policy Forum noted that among her accomplishments, Cooke has presided over a series of advances in academic achievement, approval of four referendums by voters for enhanced funding for school construction and operations, implementation of several building projects that were not subject to referendum, improvements in the district’s bond rating, and elimination of its OPEB liability. She has been honored by the Wisconsin State Reading Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, and others for distinguished service and administrative acumen.

“During a year like this one that is marked by fierce local, state, and national electoral battles, it is particularly important to recognize the outstanding work performed by nonpartisan professionals in the halls of local government and in school administration buildings across southeast Wisconsin,” said Public Policy Forum President Rob Henken. “The Salute reflects the Forum’s strong belief that ‘good government’ is a value shared by citizens of all political stripes, and that exceptional public sector performance should be trumpeted and celebrated.”

A video highlighting Cooke’s accomplishments was presented at the awards ceremony is available on the Forum’s YouTube channel.

Public Policy Forum is a Milwaukee based, nonpartisan public policy research organization.

Summer Opportunities hosts annual food drive

The Hamilton School District Summer Opportunities Program is hosting its annual Fantastic Food Drive June 20 through July 15. Families of students and community members are encouraged to contribute non-perishable food items to benefit Sussex Outreach Services (SOS) Food Pantry.

The most needed items include rice sides, pasta sides, boxed potatoes (excluding mashed), mandarin oranges and individual fruit cups. Drop-off locations are: Summer Opportunities office; Hamilton High School cafeteria; Willow Springs Learning Center; Maple Avenue Elementary School gymnasium; and many Summer Opportunities classrooms.

Hamilton High School is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex.

Hamilton named Top Workplace

For the fifth consecutive year, the Hamilton School District was listed among the best places to work in southeastern Wisconsin in “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

The district’s ranking among large organizations was 13th among 25 – the highest ranking of all K-12 school districts. Evaluation for the Top Workplaces program is based on feedback from an anonymous employee survey conducted by an independent research firm.

Kruse chosen for Hamilton alumnus award

Graduate Autumn Howell Kruse will be presented with the 2016 Hamilton High School Distinguished Alumnus Award at the school’s Autumn Howell KruseJune 11 graduation ceremonies. A 1995 graduate, Kruse is leader of the U.S. labor and employment legal team for Procter and Gamble.

After graduating from Hamilton, Kruse was awarded a Chancellor’s Scholarship at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where she earned a bachelor’s in political science and a law degree. She began her career at Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee, representing indigent victims of domestic abuse and families with disabled family members.

Kruse is a co-chair of Procter and Gamble’s global labor and employment legal practice and a member of its Global Inclusion and Diversity Council. She was selected in 2013 to be the company’s Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow and in 2014 was awarded Global Legal Compass Award for her work on diversity and inclusion.

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:

  • Caleb Balsiger, applied engineering and technology;
  • Morgan Price, art;
  • Morgan Mierendorf, business education;
  • Joshua Pfeifer, communication arts;
  • Mira Guenette, family and consumer sciences;
  • Dustin Griepentrog, fitness education;
  • Justin Ness and Hannah Wilson, mathematics;
  • Jake Myatt, music;
  • Jordan Koeller, science;
  • Simon Ackaouy, social studies; and
  • Amberly Velasquez, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

Hamilton High School May 2016 Students of the Month

June 7, 2016

Board action provides K-12 instructional coach

After studying the benefits and piloting a program, the district will move ahead with instructional coaching for teaching staff. The School Board approved hiring Templeton teacher Cathy Drago as a full-time K-12 instructional coach as the latest step to implement instructional coaching throughout the district. Continue reading

Montez chosen Templeton associate principal

The Hamilton School Board appointed Laura Montez as the new associate principal ofLaura Montez chosen as Templeton associate principal Templeton Middle School following the promotion of current associate principal Brad Hoffmann to principal. Montez is the academic dean and instructional administrator at Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate School in West Allis. She had been a middle and high school teacher for nine years in Fontana, Elkhorn and Kenosha before taking the administrative position in West Allis in 2013.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in social science and history from Wisconsin Lutheran College and her master’s degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from UW – Madison.

“Laura Montez is an experienced middle school administrator who will help Templeton promote a safe and engaging learning environment to support all students and ensure they succeed,” said Hoffmann. “She is committed to collaborating with students, staff, parents and community members to make decisions that are based on what’s best for students.”
She begins her new post July 1.

Templeton student achieves perfect score on ACT

Shiva Senthil’s perfect score on the ACT college admission test is exceptional for a high Shiva Senthilschool student, but even more so because Senthil is only an eighth-grader. The Templeton Middle School student was notified that he achieved a perfect composite score of 36 on the test he took this year. His performance was higher than 99.9 percent of students who took the college admissions exam. It is the first time that a middle school student has achieved a perfect score on the ACT in the district’s history.

“We are so proud of Shiva for this rare accomplishment of a perfect score on the ACT,” Templeton Principal Paul Mielke, Ph.D., said. “His significant achievement reflects his hard work and dedication as he pursues his goals.”

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1–36, and a student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all test-takers earns the top score. Some students also take the optional ACT writing test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT Composite score.

ACT test scores are accepted by all major US colleges. Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.