May 15: Board hears financial impact of projects

Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Bryan Ruud gave details about the financial impact of projects and operating costs under consideration to address projected increased enrollments. He noted that:Growing-banner

  • The district has handled recent enrollment growth without going to referendum. Despite experiencing increased enrollments, the last referendum the district had was in 2002.
  • Unlike recent referendums in other school districts, Hamilton is not asking for additional taxes to pay for delayed or neglected maintenance. The projects being considered are for classroom space, not maintenance.
  • The costs of the proposed solutions are: $42.9 million, which would increase the mill rate by 76 cents, for the intermediate school; $1.5 million, a 44-cent addition to the mill rate, for operating costs; $9.6 million, an 18-cent increase to the mill rate for a high school classroom addition; and $4.9 million, increasing the mill rate by 9 cents, for the applied engineering and technology program update.
  • Because debt service has been dropping off, the tax rate trend is down. If all the projects and operating costs were added to the current budget, the mill rate would be 1 cent lower than in 2012-13. The mill rate increase would not come online in one year. As the facilities are constructed and operational costs added after construction of a new school, the tax rate would increase over several years.
  • The Hamilton School District has one of the lowest mill rates and per pupil spending in Waukesha County.
  • Delayed construction could add as much as 5 percent to the projects over the next two years.

Ruud encouraged School Board members to visit to learn more details.

Growth, school facilities options topic at May 23 meeting

Community members are invited to attend a meeting May 23 at 7:30 p.m. to learn about community growth and options the Hamilton School Board will consider to address projected increased enrollments.Growing-banner

Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., will host the meetings in the Large Group Area at Hamilton High School. He will present key findings from the Community Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) report and answer questions.

A 50-member committee, CFAC studied community growth, enrollment projections and facilities needs of the district. It presented a preliminary report to the School Board in March and will give a final recommendation next fall to the School Board which will decide whether to hold a referendum.

For more information about district growth and facilities options, please visit

Hamilton High School is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex. The Large Group Area is at the back of the school where a separate entrance and parking lot exist for those attending meetings.

Hamilton on lists naming America’s best, most challenging high schools

Hamilton High School made the lists of America’s top high schools as determined by two national news media outlets – U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post.WaPO-US-News-badges

For the fifth year, Hamilton High School was named to U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best High Schools” list. The ranking highlights the best public high schools in the nation after reviewing data from 28,000 high schools to determine the ones that have proven to be the most effective in turning out college-ready graduates. It includes performance on state-required tests, graduation rates and Advanced Placement participation and performance, and factors in the percentage of economically disadvantaged students.

For the fourth year, Hamilton made The Washington Post’s “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” list. High schools are ranked through an index formula that is the number of Advanced Placement tests given each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. A ratio of 1.000 means the school had as many tests as graduates. Hamilton’s index score is 1.567.

Among Wisconsin’s 510 public high schools, Hamilton ranked 18th on the U.S. News list and 26th on the Washington Post list.

Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan said being named to the lists reflects the diligent work of teachers and staff in meeting the needs of students and the high expectations of parents and the community.

“Our parents want the best for their children, and our teaching staff promote academic growth through high expectations and implementation of site plan initiatives,” Mongan said. “Teachers share innovative ideas with each other and support personalized learning strategies within their classrooms.”

Hamilton announces April students of the month

Hamilton High School students representing 11 curriculum areas were selected as students of the month for April.


They are:

  • Stephen Naragon, applied engineering and technology;
  • Aubrie Taerud, art;
  • Alexandra Oleszczak, business education;
  • Madison Denny and Kayla Treuber, communication arts;
  • Gabriella Swearingen, family and consumer sciences;
  • Haley Pifher, fitness education;
  • Ashlynn Lueck, mathematics;
  • Emily Bader, music;
  • Brie Ana Perkins, science;
  • Ninfa Weathersby, social studies; and
  • Adam Panten, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

Bring items to free recycling event May 20

Cimco Recycling Milwaukee will set up May 20 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the service drive between Hamilton High School and Templeton Middle School to accept recyclable metals and other items from community members. Recycle-Support-Hamilton-RoboticsThe event is hosted by Hamilton High School Robotics Team 537.

It’s a great time to clean out your home and garage and dispose of items, free of charge. Bring your aluminum, stainless steel, brass, cast iron, sheet iron, copper items and more to the service drive near Templeton. Please check out the Cimco Recycling list of items that can be recycled.

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

DECA members compete at International Career Development Conference

Nine Hamilton High School students competed April 26-30 at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif.HHS-sign-Home-Of-Chargers

Freshman Maanya Kashyap won first place in her event in the Principles of Marketing competition. Kashyap is the first Hamilton freshman to earn first place at the DECA International Career Development Conference.

The following students are recognized for their participation and achievement:

  • Mackenzie Jene competed in Quick Serve Restaurant Management and medaled for her achievement in her first role play.
  • Andrew Tai competed in Travel and Tourism and medaled for his test score.
  • Julia Gahr competed in Business Services.
  • Jessica Morgan competed and participated in workshops for School-Based Enterprise.
  • Logan Ambrookian competed in Travel and Tourism.
  • John Weber graduated from DECA’s Thrive Leadership Academy.
  • Shiva Senthil competed in Principles of Business Management and Administration.
  • Sophia Detweiler competed in Principles of Business Management and Administration.

As a chapter, Hamilton was also recognized for being a Gold Certified School-Based Enterprise and for completing DECA’s chapter membership campaign.

Hamilton DECA members and DECA advisor and business education and marketing educator Amanda Fields were among 15,000 DECA members, advisors and partners from over six countries who attended the conference. DECA student members take part in regional and state competitions designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skills development. The top state winners put their talents to the test during the program’s final round of competition in Anaheim.

DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA enhances the preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, apply learning, connect to business and promote competition.

May 2, 2017

High school facilities needs presented

Hamilton High School Principal Candis Mongan and Associate Principal Mark Otto presented information on the classroom space needs of the school. As communities in the Hamilton School District are poised to experience significant residential growth in the next five years, high school enrollment is projected to increase by more than 100 students.

Even though a 10-classroom addition was added to the high school in 2014 to handle previous enrollment increases, not all teachers have designated classrooms and some classes are held in less than ideal circumstances, including:

  • Music and applied engineering classes do not have separate classrooms and lab spaces.
  • The show choir practices in the school cafeteria where risers must be set up and taken down before and after each practice.
  • Teachers must share classrooms. Seven teachers travel to different classrooms each hour with their materials on a cart.
  • Standardized testing cannot be accommodated without sending students off site.

A classroom addition at Hamilton High School would address enrollment growth and provide for a learning environment where students can actively engage in the curriculum. The greatest impact would be on instrumental and choral music, Advanced Placement, health, applied engineering and media production. In addition to numerous classrooms, the addition would include two multi-purpose learning spaces used for academic interventions, various music classes, extended learning opportunities, multiple Advanced Placement classes and blended coursework, meeting space and teacher work areas. Groups could effectively use larger spaces for after school events.

In addition, the Applied Engineering and Technology (AET) Department is undergoing change to graduate students with a high level of technical skills and ability, and an understanding the design process. Foundry-area-WEBCourses have been revised and new class offerings are being proposed. Current facilities, equipment, technology and space configurations, however, will prevent some of these opportunities from becoming a reality. Potential changes to the space include the following.

  • Much of the AET area is original to the school built in 1962. The current design calls for increasing the space and equipment in the graphics lab, allowing for new equipment to be brought in and a shared lab space between multiple classes.
  • Additionally, the fabrication, machining, and manufacturing labs will be expanded to add work space and to create a separate, clean, classroom space. Having a separate space where students can work at desks and on computers, completing designs is an integral part of the curriculum and something that is not realistic given the current space.
  • The wood shop will be renovated to include a separate, clean classroom space where project design can occur. Updated machines and safety equipment will be utilized to provide a safe and dynamic learning environment for students.

School career opportunities highlighted

Hamilton High School Associate Principal and Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator Mark Otto presented three items to the School Board.

  • The School Board approved continued participation in the Carl Perkins grant consortium offered through CESA #1 which provides the district with $15,091 in grant funding this year. The purpose of the grant is to provide students with academic and technical skills to succeed in a knowledge- and skills-based economy. It supports career and technical education that prepares students for postsecondary education and careers. The consortium provides grant-writing management, interaction with professionals from other districts, exposure to what is occurring at state and national levels and consultation services.
  • The district’s Extended Learning Opportunities Program annual report was accepted. The program grew out of the school-to-work initiative that aimed to connect education and employment where 4-year college degrees were not required. Experiences in the program include apprenticeships, mentorships, internships and job shadowing. The program strengthens partnerships with the business community to prepare students for the world of work, regardless of the education or career track they choose.
  • Participation in the Waukesha County School-to-Work consortium for 2017-18 was approved. The School-to-Work Consortium provides grant funding that supports co-op, youth apprenticeship, work experience programs and K-12 career-related initiatives. Participation in the consortium is voluntary and provided at no cost to the district.

Summer workshops for teachers approved

Summer workshops for teachers were authorized. The action allows teachers to participate in curriculum and professional development workshops focused on district initiatives. Curriculum and professional development projects will focus on Skyward technology, Hamilton edCamp, middle school mathematics resources, secondary applied engineering and technology, elementary science, social studies, Microsoft Office certification, personal fitness, eduClimber data visualization tool, assessment and grading, disciplinary literacy and new teacher orientation.

Next year’s staff development presented

Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., presented the 2017-18 Professional Development Plan as created by a planning team of teachers and administrators. The plan forecasts areas of training in the coming year.

Maple Avenue in the Spotlight


The Maple Avenue Elementary School fifth grade class of Michelle Schultz was in the School Board spotlight. Schultz and Principal Kristin Koeper-Hamblin described Genius Hour activities. Prior to the meeting, the students displayed and talked about their Genius Hour projects. Genius Hour is held once a week and students are allowed to research, design, build and work on projects of their own personal interest. Schultz said it is a way to personalize learning for the students.

Annual Meeting postponed

The School Board moved the Annual Meeting from June 19 to July 17 so that the Wisconsin biennium budget will be approved before presenting the district’s local levy to citizens.

Students recognized for achievements

The School Board recognized various student groups including:

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High school DECA state and international competitors  Logan Ambrookian, Julia Gahr, Sophia Detweiler, Mackenzie Jene, Maanya Kashyap, Shiva Senthil and Andrew Tai presented by advisor Amanda Fields

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High school forensic state competitors Jack Larsen, Jordan Koeller, Emma Stokman, Rachel Betters, Matthew Gnanadass, Emily Keith, Kavya Ayalasomayajula, Emily Bader and Abhijeet Puri as presented by Advisors Barry Holloway and Addie Starett and Athletics-Activities Director Mike Gosz


High school National Merit Scholars Dominic Pino presented by Associate Principal Mark Otto


State History Bowl champions Dominic Pino and Andrew Tai presented by Principal Candis Mongan


Templeton National History Day state competitors Connor Gordon and Isabella Sansone presented by Principal Brad Hoffmann


Board officers elected

The School Board elected officers. School Board members chose Gabe Kolesari as their president, Jennifer Waltz as vice president, Dawn Van Aacken as clerk and Deborah Briggs as treasurer.

Personnel matters

In personnel related matters, the School Board:

  • accepted the retirement request of Marcy special education teacher Kimberly Stumpf;
  • accepted the resignation of Hamilton mathematics teacher Ryan Witt; and
  • approved the appointment of Russell Comer as Woodside associate kitchen employee.

Hamilton named Top Workplace

For the sixth consecutive year, the Hamilton School District was listed among the best places to work in southeastern Wisconsin in “The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top Workplaces.”TWP_Milwaukee_Portrait_2017_AW

Hamilton was among the 150 businesses and organizations named in a special section of the Sunday, April 30 newspaper and online at

The district’s ranking overall was 15th among the 150 workplaces. Evaluation for the Top Workplaces program is based on feedback from an anonymous employee survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics, an independent research firm.