Hamilton bands present holiday events

Hamilton High School Charger Band members will be busy this holiday season with performances at home and in the greater community.Candy-cane

Two holiday concerts, which are free and open to the public, will be held in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center, W220 N6151 Town Line Road in Sussex.

  • Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. – Jazz Ensembles 1 and 2 will play a variety of classic big band repertoire mixed with holiday fun.
  • Dec. 20. at 7 p.m. – Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band will perform with Hamilton choirs in a concert that features timeless band and choral music.

Hamilton Flute Ensemble will perform Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. in the third annual Flutiz Navidad Holiday Community Flute Choir Concert and Food Drive sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Flute Studio. The benefit for the Whitewater Food Pantry will feature Hamilton students together with other student musicians. Hamilton Band Director Jon Waite will guest conduct the concert which will be held at Whitewater’s Greenhill Center for the Arts.

Hamilton students named GMC Scholar Athletes

The Greater Metro Conference has named the following Hamilton High School students Fall 2018-19 Scholar Athletes:HHS-sign-Home-Of-Chargers

  • Kirsten Leonardi, Ashley Johnson, Julia Nolde, Sarah Lane, Olivia Remm, Morgan Remm, Morgan Donnelly, Malinda Gammon – girls golf;
  • Jessica Bagley, Abigail Jeter, Ava Rebarchik, Sarah Schrader – girls volleyball;
  • Ashlee Albrecht, Emily Bagin, Allison Eichmann, Megan McGuire, Lisa Nuelk, Mehak Oberoi, Mackenzie Prodoehl, Bella Raykowski, Mallory Remm, Harper Rhodes, Lindsey Rubelowksi, Liberty Sabol, Kaitlin Schmucker, Victoria Zubella – girls tennis;
  • Abigail Dowse, Taylor Hibicke, Rachel Passow, Isabel Seay, Taylor Sohre, Gwendolyn Watson, Lauren Bratzke, Megan Dewing, Audrey Downs, Abigail Frick – girls cross country;
  • Matthew Bohlman, Mitchell Claas, Jacob Egloff, Peyton Feudner, Brandon Hoff, Samuel Kneer, Ryan Kops, Dylan Melotik, Dillon Moore, Michael Pappas, Cole Peske, Evan Selin, Isaac Struebing, Trevor Gundrum, Matthew Jelinski, Garret Staab – boys cross country;
  • Jacob Anthony, Nicholas Carran, Grant Frohna, Joseph Lemen, Trevor Millonzi, Michael Murtos, Matthew Polzer, Carter Rupkey, Zachary Wilcox, Benjamin Wilichowski, Noah Badalamente, Joel Hoytink, Bennett Pauls – boys soccer;
  • Augustus Bronson, James Richter, Aaron Thompson – boys volleyball and
  • Zachary Bagley, Hunter Slaats, Matthew Mysliwski, Connor Smith, James Hayden, Adam Panten, Samuel Yarnot, Grant Kessen, Cal Botsford, Zachary Lawrence, William Enneking, Zachary Storbakken, James Troutman, Cole Sanchez, John Enneking, Charles Phillips – football.

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

Hamilton teachers raise funds for future educators

Hamilton High School teachers showed their support for teaching during American Education Week by purchasing T-shirts that supported the Future Educators Club. The “Teaching Team” T-shirts raised $455 to provide scholarships to Hamilton graduates as they enter student teaching.


Future Educators Club was established last year for Hamilton students interested in pursuing a career in education. Club members attend monthly meetings where they hear from professional educators on topics ranging from school selection, college coursework, clinical experiences, employment outlook and challenges of the profession.

Club members also work with teachers and students at Marcy Elementary School and assist with special evening activities.

In addition to the $455 raised through the T-shirt sale, another $2,000 was contributed by an anonymous staff member to the Future Educators Club scholarship fund. The first scholarship will be awarded in January 2020.

Hamilton teachers Penny Komatz and Lauren Rogahn are advisors of the 13-member club.

Templeton students travel to Washington, D.C.

A total of 67 Templeton Middle School students and six teacher-chaperones traveled Oct. 27-30 on an extended field trip to Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg.


The school group visited Mount Vernon, U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress, National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Holocaust Museum, several Smithsonian museums, Arlington Cemetery, White House, U. S. Supreme Court and the Lincoln, Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Korean and Vietnam war memorials. In Gettysburg, the group toured the battlefields and learned of the strategies of the three-day battle.TMS-Arlington-Cemetery-Web

A highlight of the trip was the visit to Arlington National Cemetery where students witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Templeton students, Kailyn Benoit, Grace Farrell, Hayden Reich and McKenzie Tyriver participated in the wreath-laying ceremony.

November 19, 2018

AODA measures in place to help students, families


Student Assistance Program and AODA Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook presented an annual report to School Board members about efforts to keep students from getting involved in alcohol and other drugs. She brought three high school peer leaders who serve as a bridge between students and guidance counselors and other adults who can help students dealing with difficulties. In addition to responding to students who reach out to them, the peer leaders present on stress management and depression in seventh and 10th grade health classes.

Providing initial screening and AODA referral services, helping families find appropriate community services and conducting activities in the schools comprised 2017-18 activities.

Middle and high school activities included ongoing individual student support and giving and organizing presentations for students about drugs and alcohol and depression. In addition, selected students received peer trainer instruction for peer depression presentations. Districtwide activities involved coordination of the parent network Hamilton Connects, creating and implementing a presentation for parents about anxiety, training parents in the Love and Logic program. She also continued to engage with REDgen, an organization that offers training and support to help reduce student suicide and mental health issues.

Future plans are to:

  • use the Question-Persuade-Respond (QPR) model to train students on depression, grief and suicide;
  • create a student club that would extend the mission of Peer Leaders;
  • emphasize mental health education and support for parents;
  • seek additional funding for Hamilton Connects;
  • continue regular support for Hamilton and Templeton students; and
  • support REDgen West as it creates programming in Waukesha County.

3 classes under development for HHS Course Catalog

Three new classes are under development to be included in the 2019-20 Hamilton High School Course Catalog. They are:

  • Math and Logic – provides students preparing for higher education, but for whom Business Math is not the best fit, with another senior-level math elective;
  • Cultures of Healthcare – in the family and consumer sciences department, blends concepts of the current Introduction to Healthcare Professions and Culture of Healthcare offered by Waukesha County Technical College. The course examines employment trends, professionalism, interpersonal and written communication skills, patient privacy and confidentiality issues;
  • Digital Design & Web Development – a Business Education course redesigned from Advanced Applications and Web Page Design to provide rigorous learning as the foundation for success in college and related careers. Students will design and create professional graphics and websites using Adobe Creative Cloud.

Hamilton’s achievement higher, but gaps exist

Achievement discrepancy between majority and minority students, students of low economic status, special education and English learners exists in education. While the Hamilton School District sees this to a lesser extent than state and national averages, gaps among the various student groups exist.

Human Resources Director John Roubik and Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D. presented district data and initiatives concerning “Closing the Achievement Gap.” Hamilton students in disaggregated groups outperform their state counterparts on the Forward Exam.

Key findings of the report are:

  • Hamilton’s 2017-18 “Closing the Achievement Gap” score on the School Report Card is 17.5 points better than the state average.
  • Socioeconomically disadvantaged, special education and English learners are underrepresented or not represented in Advanced Placement course testing data.
  • All district subgroups score higher than the state average. The achievement gaps of the socioeconomically disadvantaged, special education and English learner populations attending the Hamilton School District are greater than the state average. This larger discrepancy is attributed to the higher achievement level of the district’s comparative group. However, work is being done with individual students to increase the overall achievement for these populations.
  • For minority populations, discrepancies in reading and math are more pronounced at the elementary level. Using differentiated instructional practices and targeted interventions, achievement narrows as students move up in the grade levels.
  • Achievement gaps for socioeconomically disadvantaged, special education and students learning English remain wide. Individual student needs are being addressed through the RtI and IEP processes.
  • When compared to the state, all subgroups except special education scored higher on the ACT Composite. In most instances, achievement discrepancies are seen between the subgroups and their counterparts. ACT score gaps are seen between the majority and other student groups with the exception of Asian and those identifying with two or more races.

Action steps to ensure the success of all students include:

  • allocating Title I services for direct instruction at targeted school;
  • differentiating instruction to providing interventions for students with larger gaps;
  • matching Response to Intervention actions with student needs to ensure greatest academic gains;
  • meeting of district interventionists to review effectiveness of current interventions and expand intervention options;
  • training for effective use of Comprehensive Intention Model, strategy-based interventions for reading and writing;
  • implementing EduClimber software to monitor student progress and identify interventions;
  • offering specific intervention programming at each school to meet students’ needs;
  • implementing learner profiles and student goal-setting strategies to support personalization of student learning; and
  • training staff on designing strategies and learning environments to meets the needs of all learners.

Athletic-activities report presented

Hamilton Athletic and Activities Director Michael Gosz presented the annual Co-Curricular Activities Report. He noted that 88 coaches and 75 activity advisors lead 62 interscholastic sports teams and 52 student activities. Nearly half the coaches and 91 percent of the activity advisors are district faculty members.

In his report, Gosz recommended that the district:

  • work with the Hamilton Athletic Booster Club to construct a new concession stand on Grove field;
  • replace existing baseball field backstop and netting;
  • explore the possibility of adding synthetic turf to baseball infield to prevent rainouts as baseball will become a spring sport in 2019;
  • resurface the tennis courts;
  • monitor athletic specialization and off-season programs; and
  • consider coach and advisory salaries that have not been adjusted in more than 15 years.

Personnel action – Nov. 19, 2018

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Woodside special services paraprofessional Carrie Goodman, effective Nov. 7, and Maple Avenue literacy interventionist DeMaris Gill, effective Dec. 20; and
  • appointed Carina Esparza as a Lannon special services paraprofessional.

Community invited to Dec. 13 holiday concert

The public is invited to attend a free Winter Holiday Concert Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC).Snowflake

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 Megan Menzel, Hamilton choirs. The HFAC is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.

Hamilton announces October students of the month

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


They are:

  • Andrew Hamilton, applied engineering and technology;
  • Conner Simchick, art
  • Haley Pifher, business education
  • Callen Kluender, communication arts;
  • Jasmine Garbarek, family and consumer sciences;
  • Meghan Backus, fitness education;
  • Joshua Hang and Nadia Yakich, mathematics;
  • Ashlyn Rapisarda, music;
  • Madelyn Gammon, science
  • Julia Lenz, social studies; and
  • Amanda Seidl, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

Hamilton School Report Card: First in county, third in state

Wisconsin School Report Card data were released today, and the Hamilton School District’s performance once again was among the highest in the state. Hamilton was the highest rated school district in Waukesha County and third highest among Wisconsin’s 367 K-12 school districts.WiscAppleBooks

School Report Cards are based on four priority areas: student achievement in English language arts and mathematics; student growth; closing gaps between student populations; and measures of readiness for graduation and postsecondary success. In addition, they measure chronic absenteeism and dropout rates. Using all these measures, Hamilton ranked third among 367 Wisconsin school districts and was one of only 29 districts to earn the top designation of “significantly exceeds” expectations for performance.

Hamilton’s student achievement scores were most impressive. Among the 367 K-12 school districts in the state, Hamilton had the:

  • highest student achievement score;
  • second highest mathematics score; and
  • third highest reading and language arts results.

Hamilton’s district rankings increased in every category over the previous year. Hamilton’s state rank increased from sixth place to third place. Its achievement score went from third to first, mathematics went from fourth to second, and reading and language arts went from fourth to third place statewide.

In addition to the district earning the highest designation possible, Lannon, Maple Avenue, Marcy and Woodside elementary schools and Templeton Middle School also earned “significantly exceeds expectations” at the school level. Hamilton High School earned the second highest rating of “exceeds expectations.”

“Once again, the Hamilton School District performed quite well on the State Report Card,” said Hamilton Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D. “This is one measure to assess the district’s performance, but it is an important one that illuminates the successes to build upon and areas to pinpoint for future focus.”

“This high level of performance is the result of the hard work of students and staff who put a priority on learning, as well as the support and high expectations of our parents and community,” Mielke said.

“These results along with the School Board’s recent tax rate approval show that Hamilton truly is a high-achieving, low-spending school district,” he said. “This does not happen by accident. It comes from the diligent efforts and proactive planning of many in the district.”

In October, the Hamilton School Board approved a $57.4 million budget that includes a mil rate of $8.92 – instead of $9.55 that was predicted at the July Annual Meeting. The latest school district mill rate comparisons show Hamilton has the third lowest tax rate in Waukesha County.

Wisconsin implemented a new educational accountability system six years ago with more rigorous benchmarks and a new way to report school progress. Each public school now has a School Report Card that lets people know how well it is preparing students for their futures. Because of strategic planning efforts and a track record of focusing on student achievement, schools in the Hamilton School District earned positive ratings under the new system.The overall accountability score rates schools on a scale of 0 to 100 and places them in one of five categories: significantly exceeds expectations (83-100), exceeds expectations (73-82.9), meets expectations (63-72.9), meets few expectations (53-62.9) and fails to meet expectations (52.9 and below).

Hamilton School District 2017-18 School Report Card data

School Overall score Student achievement Reading/lng arts


Math achievement Overall


Lannon 87.8 94.9 45.2 49.7 Signif. exceeds
Maple Ave. 86.9 95.7 46.1 49.6 Signif. exceeds
Marcy 94.3 99.1 49.1 50.0 Signif. exceeds
Woodside 90.5 94.9 45.4 49.5 Signif. exceeds
Templeton 86.1 88.6 46 42.6 Signif. exceeds
Hamilton High 79.8 83.3 40.9 42.4 Exceeds
District 89.3 92.2 45.6 46.6 Signif. exceeds

Among Waukesha County K-12 school districts, Hamilton was:

  • first for the overall accountability score;
  • first for overall student achievement;
  • first for reading and language arts achievement;
  • first for mathematics achievement.

Charger Marching Band completes successful season

Hamilton High School Charger Marching Band finished one of its most successful seasons Oct. 15 by placing third in class AAAA at the Wisconsin Marching Band Championships.HHS – Charger-Marching-BandWeb

The Chargers were among eight bands in AAAA at the competition held at the University of Wisconsin –Whitewater. The third-place finish equals the band’s highest placement at state championships in 2014 and 2015.

The band’s 2018 field show, “Volcanic Voices,” chronicles the sibling rivalry of Polynesian goddesses Pele, representing fire, and Namaka, signifying water.

Earlier in the season, the band earned its highest overall scores ever for the season’s opening weekend – placing second at Waukesha South High School’s Marchfest and third at the Fox River Invite at Waukesha West High School.

The Charger Band also performed Oct. 9 for the public and Templeton Middle School band students at Grove Field football stadium.

“The band is grateful for the tremendous district, community and parent support which helped to make a successful season,” said Charger Band Director Jon Waite.

November 6, 2018

Dargatz shares success of learning in nature

Woodside Elementary School kindergarten teacher Peter Dargatz gave School Board members a glimpse of the outdoor education programming started more than three years ago. Initially, Dargartz started with a Nature Kindergarten program that incorporated the Woodside Timberwolf Trail, a natural play area and several outdoor learning spaces. It was created in a previously unused parcel of oak savanna prairie land behind the school building.Dargatz-Web-600

Since then students from throughout Woodside have had opportunities to learn while outdoors on the trail and through a partnership with the Retzer Nature Center.

The Hamilton Education Foundation has supported the outdoor education initiatives. This year Dargatz was encouraged to apply for additional funding through the Waukesha County Community Foundation which provided a grant that will make it possible for students from throughout the district to experience Woodside’s nature trail.

The Timberwolf Trail and outdoor classroom were featured this summer at the World of Wonder, an international nature-based early learning conference held in Chicago. Some 50 educators from throughout the country including 11 states and four countries visited Woodside as part of the conference’s Wisconsin Field Trip option. Former Woodside kindergartners led guests around the trail.


No space to take Open Enrollment students

School administrators calculated that the district will not have enough classroom space to take additional Open Enrollment students for the 2019-20 school year due to projected resident enrollment. Open Enrollment is a statewide program that allows students to attend public schools outside of their districts if space is available.

School Board election calendar released

The schedule for the 2019 spring election was released. Terms are up for School Board members Gabe Kolesari, who holds the Sussex seat, Jennifer Waltz, who is in the at-large seat, and Rebecca Zingsheim, who holds the Butler seat.

The election schedule includes:

  • Jan. 2 – deadline for candidacy declaration and nominations papers;
  • Feb. 19 – primary election if needed;
  • April 2 – spring election; and
  • April 22 – taking of office.

Personnel action from Nov. 6

In personnel action, the School Board:

  • approved hiring of a 69 percent special education paraprofessional at Lannon for the current school year;
  • accepted the resignations of Hamilton cook Jessica Samz, effective Oct. 25 and Hamilton administrative assistant Elizabeth Aho, effective Oct. 26;
  • appointed Patricia Messina as Maple Avenue special service paraprofessional, Julie Karnthaler, as Marcy special service paraprofessional, Aida Kozic as Woodside media center paraprofessional, Carrie Goodman as Woodside special service paraprofessional, and JaKoby Morrell as Hamilton custodian.