Hamilton receives state AP Pacesetter award

The Wisconsin Advanced Placement Advisory Council (WAPAC) recognized Hamilton High School as a Level II 2018 Advanced Placement (AP) Pacesetter School for impressive student AP access and exam scores.HHS-sign-Home-Of-Chargers

Schools are recognized at three levels based on the following criteria:

  • Level I – 30% or more of all student participation in at least one AP exam and 70% or more earning scores of 3 or above on the exams.
  • Level II – 20% or more of all student participation in at least one AP exam and 65% or more earning scores of 3 or above on the exams.
  • Level III – 10% or more of all student participation in at least one AP exam and 60% or more earning scores of 3 or above on the exams.

Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan credited staff members and students for the school’s success.

“We are proud of our high Advanced Placement pass rate,” said Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan. “I commend Hamilton teachers for their lesson design, rigor in the classroom and purposeful professional development.”

“Students need to be acknowledged for their willingness to extend their learning beyond the classroom,” Mongan added. “Our goal remains to increase the number of students challenging themselves to take rigorous Advanced Placement coursework.”

The Pacesetter awards are unique to Wisconsin. WAPAC is comprised of Wisconsin secondary and collegiate educators that are dedicated to expanding access to AP coursework and rigorous learning for all students.

Hamilton student named Academic All-State

Hamilton High School senior Taylor Hibicke was named an Academic All-State honoree by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).HHS-sign-Home-Of-Chargers

Hibicke is a member of the Hamilton girls basketball team that had the second highest grade point average in Division 1.

Hibicke is a student-athlete who serves as a great example to others, proving that academic and athletic successes are not mutually exclusive.

The WBCA is comprised of more than 4,000 members who coach at the high school or collegiate level. Its mission is to improve, preserve and promote basketball in Wisconsin.

Hamilton students participate in Dual Academy

Hamilton High School and Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) are helping 17 students get a jump start on their careers while earning both high school and college credits. Students in the Dual Enrollment Academy are at WCTC from 8 a.m. – noon every day during their senior year and attend high school at Hamilton for their fourth block class.

The students enrolled are:HHS-DualEnrollmentPhotoWeb

  • Maria Barnes, Tate Breier, Robert Sailor and James Venn – information technology systems;
  • Sean Buchanan, Noah Kusserow, Morgan Middaugh, Paul Osterman, Grant Reek, Zachary Zingsheim – building construction;
  • Mathew Conrad, Devan Leisten, Evrett Rachow – tool and die;
  • Nicholas Cup and Tanner Polaski – welding;
  • Tyler Hurd – firefighter-EMT; and
  • Spencer Lee – automation.

After successfully completing the program, students earn a WCTC certificate or diploma and high school credits.

The Dual Enrollment Academy helps ease the transition from high school to postsecondary education, providing insight into college academics and a jump-start on apprenticeship programs. This initiative also gives business and industry access to a pipeline of new, well-trained talent.

School Board accepts Ruud’s retirement request, appoints Reilly to position

The Hamilton School Board accepted the retirement request of Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Bryan Ruud at its May 20 meeting and appointed the district’s comptroller, Shelli Reilly, as his replacement effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Hamilton Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., said the Hamilton School District was fortunate to have Ruud as a leader for the past 26 years.

“Mr. Ruud’s fiscal stewardship has helped the Hamilton School District provide an excellent educational program for students while maintaining low per-pupil spending,” Mielke said. “His sound management led to an upgrade in our Moody’s Investor Services rating which is one of the highest among Wisconsin school districts.”

Ruud joined the district in 1993 as the buildings and grounds manager. He became business director in 2000 and assistant superintendent in 2007. The Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials named him Wisconsin School Business Official of the Year in 2013. The award is presented to a member who has shown outstanding accomplishments in his or her career.

Before joining the Hamilton School District, Ruud worked at United Parcel Service. He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin (UW) – Milwaukee in 1988 and his master’s degree in education and school business manager’s license from UW – Whitewater in 1998.

Woodside first-graders collect summer fun kits

Woodside Elementary School students in Gretchen Sciortino’s first grade class participated in a service project that will bring summertime fun to children in the community.WDS—Rachel’s-Fun-Kits-in-tubsWEB

Students collected supplies such as coloring books, crayons, jump ropes, sunglasses, cards, chalk and bubbles that were put into “Rachel’s Summer Fun Kits” that will be distributed to children through the Sussex Outreach Center.

The project is named in memory of Gretchen’s sister-in-law, Rachel Sciortino, a parent in the district who was a strong school and community advocate who died in 2017. Students contributed enough supplies to pack 41 kits.

“She would have loved to see the smiling faces on the students who will receive the kits,” Gretchen said.

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.US-News-Washington-Post-2019Web477

For the fifth consecutive 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 more than 21,000 high schools to identify how well public schools serve all of their students in preparing them in basic skills and readiness for college-level work. Schools were rated on reading and math proficiency and performance (40%), college readiness (30%), college curriculum breadth (10%), underserved student performance (10%) and graduation rate (10%).

Hamilton is ranked 17th among 517 Wisconsin public high schools and 755th among more than 17,000 U.S. public high schools – placing it in the top 5 percent of high schools in the state and country. Its national rank is the highest in the school’s history.

For the fifth year since 2014, Hamilton made The Washington Post’s “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” list. Public and private 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 1.967 – the highest in the school’s history. Hamilton was one of only 21 Wisconsin high schools that made the list.

Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan said being named to the lists reflects the hard work of the teaching staff and their commitment to offering an academically rigorous learning environment, but one that is also focused on the social and emotional needs of students.

“Academic excellence has become a tradition at Hamilton High School because we are a community of learners focused on achievement, growth and what is best for all students,” Mongan said.

Willow Springs students branching out

Willow Springs Learning Center will hold its annual Branching Out Ceremony June 10 at 9:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center.Willow Springs

The ceremony is the culminating activity of the year for students who will attend 5-year-old kindergarten at their neighborhood school next year. The ceremony recognizes their growth as 4-year-old kindergartners during the year and symbolizes how they will branch out to another school.

The children will sing songs, place a leaf on a tree to mark their new school and be introduced as the future class of 2032.

Parents and families will help students celebrate their accomplishment. The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.

May 20, 2019

Kelly presented with district’s Community Service Award

Kolesari-Kelly-Mielke

The Hamilton School District presented the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Deputy and School Resource Officer Gary Kelly with its 2019 Community Service Award at the May 20 School Board meeting. Public Information Coordinator Denise Dorn Lindberg said Kelly was most deserving of the award because of his tireless efforts to keep schools safe.

“His demeanor with students was not as a disciplinarian, but as a trusting adult who wanted to keep our school safe,” Lindberg said.

Kelly became the district resource officer in 2012. He is leaving that post at the end of the school year to take on other responsibilities in the sheriff’s department.

School Board accepts Ruud’s retirement request, appoints Reilly to position

The Hamilton School Board accepted the retirement request of Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Bryan Ruud at its May 20 meeting and appointed the district’s comptroller, Shelli Reilly, as his replacement effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Hamilton Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., said the Hamilton School District was fortunate to have Ruud as a leader for the past 26 years.

“Mr. Ruud’s fiscal stewardship has helped the Hamilton School District provide an excellent educational program for students while maintaining low per-pupil spending,” Mielke said. “His sound management led to an upgrade in our Moody’s Investor Services rating which is one of the highest among Wisconsin school districts.”

Ruud joined the district in 1993 as the buildings and grounds manager. He became business director in 2000 and assistant superintendent in 2007.

Final budget approved to be presented at Annual Meeting

The Hamilton School Board gave its approval for the 2019-20 budget that will be presented to voters at the Annual Meeting.

The budget totals $60.5 million, which is a 6.38 percent increase over the current budget. It assumes property value will increase 2.5 percent and state aid will increase 4.07 percent.

The tax rate is projected to be $9.10 per $1,000 of equalized property value – 18 cents more than the current rate. For each $100,000 of property owned, citizens will pay $910 to support local school taxes which is $18 more than this year’s rate. If student enrollment and property value are greater than the conservative assumptions made in the budget, the tax rate will be lower.

Seniors & Students sees increase in volunteers, activities, service hours

Public Information and Volunteer Program Coordinator Denise Dorn Lindberg and Jen Galang updated the School Board on the Seniors & Students Program, a volunteer program designed to recruit, train and place senior citizen volunteers age 55 and older in the district. More than 250 senior volunteers serve throughout the district. Nearly 30,000 volunteer hours have been logged since the program began 21 years ago – a value of more than $2.7 million.

The program saw substantial increases in the number of volunteers, activities and hours of service. Readers’ Café, tutoring, Pen Pals and the Greatest Generation oral history project have continued and volunteers were offered a new opportunity to participate in Templeton Middle School’s intergenerational book discussions.

Open Enrollment students placed on waiting list

The district received 143 applications from nonresident students to attend Hamilton schools under Open Enrollment. No spaces are available in the district, so applicants will be placed on a waiting list for the 2019-20 school year. The district will monitor expected enrollment throughout the summer to determine if students will be recommended for placement at schools based on space availability.

Student representatives recognized

Kolesari-Pfiefer-Wenger-Cup-Mielke

School Board President Gabe Kolesari (left) and Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., (right) recognized Hamilton High School students (from left) Haley Pifher and Mikayla Cup for their service to the School Board as the student representatives during the 2018-19 school year. (Not pictured is student Hannah Wenger.)

Peronnel matters

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the retirement request of Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Bryan Ruud, effective March 13, 2020;
  • appointed District Comptroller Shelli Reilly assistant superintendent of business services, effective Jan. 1, 2020; and
  • appointed Kara Rosenthal as Silver Spring Intermediate School media center paraprofessional, Tanya Simonis as Woodside clerical paraprofessional, Sarah Sallmann as Maple Avenue technology integration resource teacher, Melanie Peterson as Silver Spring health room paraprofessional, Kaitlin Schumaker as Hamilton High School communications arts-reading teacher and Kelly Fant as Maple Avenue associate kitchen employee, effective at the start of the new school year.

Hamilton announces April students of the month

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

HHS-2019 April students470

They are:

  • Isabell Gutowski, applied engineering and technology;
  • Cora Brooks, art;
  • Kayla Zsakovics, business education;
  • Juliette Mattair, communication arts;
  • Megan Hawthorne, family and consumer sciences;
  • Jimmy Baisden, fitness education;
  • Lakyn Graves, mathematics;
  • Jonathan Sciortino, music;
  • Samuel Flor and Kielie Nedeau, science;
  • Samantha Middlestead, social studies; and
  • Sarah Michalski, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

Hamilton drama receives 15 Jerry Award nominations

Hamilton High School Drama Society was nominated for 15 Jerry Awards for the production of “Mary Poppins – The Broadway Musical.” Jerry Awards are the high school equivalent of Broadway’s Tony Awards.MaryPoppinsStreetSceneWeb477

Hamilton students will be among southern and central Wisconsin’s top high school musical theater performers who will gather June 9 at Overture Hall in Madison for the awards show. This is the second year Hamilton has been involved in the program which encourages, recognizes and honors excellence in high school musical theater.

To qualify, three professional reviewers attended Hamilton’s musical and provided a formal critique. Based on that critique, Hamilton was nominated for:

  • Outstanding orchestra;
  • Outstanding lead performance: Hayden Hotchkiss – Bert, Joseph Davila – Mr. George Banks, Laura Steiner – Mary Poppins and Margaret Flynn – Mrs. Banks.
  • Outstanding supporting performance: Taryn Lassiter – Miss Andrew, Anna Kurhajec – Jane Banks, Grace Butscher – Michael Banks, Sarah Harder – Mrs. Brill, Lauren Schlaman – Bird Woman, Nicholas Mitchell – Robertson Ay and Logan Wroblewski – Neleus.
  • Outstanding musical direction: Jim Gornick;
  • Outstanding choreography: Sarah Plamann;
  • Outstanding costume design: Darcy Devans; and
  • Spirit Award: Charles Bruch.MaryPoppinsWholeCastWeb470

Sarah Plamann, Maple Avenue music teacher, is the Hamilton Drama Society advisor and musical director.