Hamilton team wins state Battle of the Books

Hamilton High School students Dorothy Palmer, Maja Pechanach, Nikhita Nair, Ellie DeCleene and Sean LaVoy (alternate) took first place in the senior division at the Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association (WEMTA) Battle of the Books competing against 61 teams statewide. This is the third time Hamilton has won first place in the last six years.HHS-Battle-of-the-BooksWEB477

The senior reading list includes 20 books that students read deeply to retain information about plot, character, theme, setting and other elements. The teams will receive a plaque and students will receive individual certificates.

Battle of the Books is a fun, academic-based statewide competition designed to promote a love of reading among students. It encourages students to read a variety of books and remember information about the plots, characters and settings. Every question asked in a battle is answered by the title and author of the book.

Hamilton students offer musical theater workshop April 13

Members of Hamilton High School Drama Society’s spring musical “Mary Poppins” are offering a musical theater workshop for children ages 6-13 years. The workshop will be from 9 a.m. – noon April 13 in the Hamilton High School Little Theater.musicaltheater

All participants will learn a song and dance from the musical “Mary Poppins,” and participants will perform their routines for family and friends at 11:40 a.m. in the Little Theatre.

Participants will be placed into age groups. In addition to dance lessons and vocal practice at the workshop, all participants will receive one voucher for a free child’s ticket to see “Mary Poppins” May 3-5 in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center. The workshop is limited to 50 participants.

Completed registration form and payment are due by April 1. Cost is $30 and a check should be made payable to HHS Drama Club to Hamilton High School, Attn. Drama Club, W220N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex, WI 53089.

All participants should wear clothes they can move in and shoes safe for dancing.

Woodside students compete at Bucks Math Hoops state tournament

Woodside Elementary School students Connor Wasserburger and Cooper Carlson in Susan Schramka’s fifth grade math class competed March 8 in the Bucks Math Hoops state tournament.WDS—Math-Hoops-Carlson-Wasserburger-Schramka-web

Math Hoops is a fast-paced board game and mobile app that teaches students fundamental math skills through the basketball statistics of their favorite NBA and WNBA players.

Schramka signed up her mathematics enrichment class this fall. After playing 25 games, Wasserburger and Carlson emerged as class champions, qualifying them for the state tournament where 80 students in grades 4-8 competed at the Milwaukee Bucks Training Center.

The competition involved rolling dice to get two numbers that contestants add, subtract, multiply and divide within a 24-second shot clock. The Woodside champions played a three-game round robin where they went 3-0, but did not score enough points to move to the next level of competition. At the tournament, Bucks’ center Brook Lopez and mascot Bango visited with students.

Hamilton students, teacher, principal win Kohl awards

Hamilton High School seniors Abigail Dowse and Maxwell Unger, Marcy Elementary School teacher Callie Lauer and Marcy Principal Michele Trawicki all were chosen recipients of the 2019 Herb Kohl Foundation Awards. They are among 188 graduating students, 100 teachers and 16 principals statewide who will be honored.Kohl-winners-web2

Dowse and Unger each will be presented with a $10,000 Student Excellence Scholarship for demonstrated academic excellence, high motivation to achieve, activity and leadership outside of academics and strong promise for success in college and beyond. Lauer is receiving the Teacher Fellowship based on her superior ability to inspire a love of learning in students and motivate others, and leadership and service within and outside the classroom. Trawicki was chosen for the Principal Leadership Award for setting high standards for instruction, achievement and character, and creating a climate to best serve students, families, staff and community. Awards in the amount of $6,000 will be made to each teacher and principal and their schools.

The recipients were selected by a statewide committee of civic leaders and representatives of the program’s co-sponsors: Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools (WCRIS), regional Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESA), Association of Wisconsin School Administrators and Wisconsin Parents Association.

The Kohl Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program was established by Herb Kohl, philanthropist and businessman, in 1990. To date the foundation has awarded $17.8 million to Wisconsin educators, principals, students, and schools.

“Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation. I am very proud of the accomplishments of these students, teachers and principals and look forward to the great contributions they will make in the future,” Kohl said.

Recipients will be honored at regional luncheons where Kohl will present the awards. Dowse, Unger, Lauer and Trawicki will be recognized April 13 at Greenfield High School.

Hamilton principal accepts position in Oak Creek-Franklin

Hamilton High School Principal Candis Mongan submitted her resignation March 11 to become principal at Oak Creek High School, effective July 1.CandisMongan175

“The district has been truly fortunate to have the strong leadership of Ms. Mongan who has helped Hamilton High School reach high levels of achievement and success,” Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., said. “She has been a collaborative leader who set high goals for students and staff alike. Under her leadership, Hamilton High School has been recognized for its high level of academic rigor, strong ACT scores and increasing Advanced Placement pass rates, participation and Challenge Index score. We will miss her greatly.”

Mongan was hired in the district in 2001 as a transitions counselor for the high school and Templeton Middle School. She became Hamilton’s associate principal in 2004, and in 2006 she was hired as principal. Before joining the district, Mongan was a school counselor and middle school teacher in Wauwatosa. She began her career as a sixth grade teacher at a private school. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary and middle education, master’s degree in counseling and administrative license – all from Concordia University in Mequon.

The search for Hamilton High School’s next principal will begin immediately. Staff and parents will have an opportunity for input during the hiring process.

March 5, 2019

JP Cullen reports progress, future action on construction projects


It has been a little more than a year since Hamilton School District citizens voted in favor of a referendum to build a new intermediate school and renovate and add space at the high school, but in that short time, construction progress has been substantial. At the start of the school in September, several high school applied engineering & technology classrooms and labs were opened.

JP Cullen Senior Project Manager Shannon Metoxen provided a progress report on major work that has been recently completed and what is to come.

At the high school, the past 30 days focused on the classroom and office addition on the front of the school that included mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection rough work. Stone veneer was completed on all faces of the front addition. The district office area has a roof, windows have been installed and drywalling is underway. High school offices have windows and will soon have a roof. Windows are being installed in the classroom addition.

The next 30 days will see completion of the permanent roof, window frames and glass installed, building façade architectural metal panel nearing completion and continuation of drywalling and painting. Ceiling grids will follow painting and cabinet installation is slated to begin March 18. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protections finishes will continue when the ceiling grid is in place.

District staff are expected to move to the new space in May, earlier than initially expected so that the construction crew has more time to return the office space back into classrooms.


At Silver Spring Intermediate School, masonry crews installed interior walls in the music area. The north side receiving area and office outside walls are being brick veneered. Almost all roof joists have been set. With 80 percent of the roof decking completed, the remaining areas that don’t have roof decking are the library and northeast classroom pod. All stairs have been installed. Roofing is completed on the second floor of the south side classroom pods. First floor exterior windows are installed and 75 percent of second floor windows are in. After second floor windows are complete, the canopy will be the only remaining area. The steel stud structure on the canopy and feature columns are nearing completion and work will continue inside. Office drywall is almost complete. When the remainder of the building is weather-tight, drywalling will continue throughout the rest of the building. Crews have painted most of the office space and the gym is underway.

In the next 30 days, interior block work will be completed and brick veneer will continue around the building. Exterior metal panels will be installed and roofers finish up the roof and get the building weather tight. Concrete crews will pour the topping slabs and stairs for the second floor. Terrazzo installation will begin on the first floor corridors and break-out areas. Acoustical ceilings will be installed, followed by casework. When the gym is painted, equipment will go up. The elevator will be installed in mid-March. When the topping slabs and roof is completed, paint crews will paint the break-out spaces.

Cooperative agreement with Elmbrook approved

The School Board authorized district staff to once again contract with the Elmbrook School District special education services in the 2019-20 school year. The contract will provide low-incidence disabilities services for students who have autism, intellectual, hearing and vision disabilities and for the placement of one student at Fairview South, a school that serves students with cognitive disabilities. Hamilton is one of 26 school districts that contracts with Elmbrook for services. Districts reimburse Elmbrook based on usage of services.

Strategic Plan update presented

Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik gave an update to the School Board on the priorities of the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. The district’s strategic planning team met Jan. 31 to review progress of each tactic, and it recommended continuation of the four priority areas of the plan which are:

  • Systems of learning & assessment — All students will be challenged and supported to maximize their learning and achievement.
  • Social & emotional wellness — All students will be supported to develop social and emotional wellness related to academic, career and life experiences.
  • Workforce & organizational wellness –All staff will engage in continuous professional learning and be provided opportunities to improve personal wellness.
  • Facilities & technology — The district will provide adequate classroom learning space while maintaining existing buildings and infrastructure and optimal student access to technology.

Personnel action

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement request of Woodside administrative assistant Phyllis Akins, effective June 30;
  • accepted the resignation of Templeton special services paraprofessional Amy Jung, effecctive Feb. 25; and
  • appointed Marianne Selkey as Hamilton cook, effective Feb. 18, Julie Bigley, district administrative assistant, effective March 18, Murrene Payton, Elizabeth Lodl and Nick Roth, as Summer Opportunities assistant coordinators, effective May 13.

Templeton Junior Robotics excels in FLL competition

Templeton Middle School had its best year ever in FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition, with two of its teams qualifying for state competition – one of them earning a state award.

Members of the Radioactive Pyros and Bullistic Bulldogs were among 36 teams statewide that competed Feb. 23 in the Wisconsin FLL Championship. The Radioactive Pyros won the Project Research Award and were nominated for the Project Presentation Award. The statewide award is the first in Templeton history.TMS-FLL-Preparing-For-Robot-CompetitionWEB

Previous to the state competition, Templeton’s three teams – the Radioactive Pyros, Bullistic Bulldogs and Templebotz – competed in regional and sectional tournaments.

At regionals:

  • Radioactive Pyros won the Project Research Award and was runner-up for the Robot Performance Award;
  • Bullistic Bulldogs won the Project Innovation Solution Award; and
  • Templebotz was nominated for the Robot Mechanical Design and Teamwork Awards.

In sectional competition:

  • Radioactive Pyros won the Project Presentation Award and was nominated for the Gracious Professionalism and Champions Award; and
  • Bullistic Bulldogs won the Project Research Award and was nominated for the Project Innovative Solution Award.

TMS-FLL-PyrosGroupAtRegionalsWEBFLL challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. This year, teams chose and solved problems related to long duration space explorations. Templebotz chose to solve back muscle deterioration in microgravity. Bullistic Bulldogs wanted to overcome the problem of humans generating enough oxygen to survive in space. Radioactive Pyros attempted to solve the problem of astronauts not getting quality sleep due to noise and an unbalanced biological clock.

In addition to the problems, the teams also built, tested and programmed an autonomous robot to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. Throughout their experience, teams are encouraged to operate under the FIRST core values that include celebrating discovery, teamwork and gracious professionalism.

Kathy Betters, Kelly Mallinger, Dave Kaiser, Bill Haley, Matt Zank, Jason Fuhr, Deepak Babu, Dave Neuman, Beth Volden and Brian Nagai coach the Templeton Junior Robotics Program. The advisor is Kathy Betters.

Hamilton groups support student’s fundraising goal

Hamilton High School Student Council and National Honor Society are getting behind a student’s campaign to help The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Hamilton senior Mikayla Cup is spearheading a seven-week fundraising challenge in hopes of becoming the 2019 LLS Student of the Year. The campaign supports LLS’s mission to find a cure for blood cancers and assist patients and families as battle the disease.LSS-team477

Leukemia is the most common cancer in children, adolescents and young adults under the age of 20 years old.

Mikayla_Cup150“One of my goals in this campaign is to generate awareness about the LLS and bring the community together through the support of the high school, local businesses and events,” Cup said.

Student Council, National Honor Society (NHS), Club Action and Club Unique have supported the cause by selling cookies, brownies, flowers and locker decorations. NHS sponsored a “Put Cancer to Bed” pajama day Feb. 22 and raised $713.

Cup and her team will sell brownies March 1 at the Hamilton Boys Basketball game, and Oscars Frozen Custard in Brookfield will donate a portion of all purchases from 4-8 pm. on March 5. People can contribute directly at https://events.lls.org/wi/milwaukeesoy19/mcup

LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer that funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services. Every dollar raised counts as one vote in the LLS Student of the Year challenge. The campaign ends March 7.

February 18, 2019


Literacy Lounge engages students in reading

Templeton Middle School grade 7 teachers Mary Caucutt and Ashley Pfeifer and nine of their students described their school’s Literacy Lounge which was started two years ago with a grant from the Hamilton Education Foundation. Their goal was to create a coffee shop or bookstore environment that encouraged students to engage in reading and discuss books. This year they took it to another level by inviting older volunteers from the Seniors & Students Program to participate in book discussions. They showed a video that they submitted as part of entrance in the Follett Challenge.

Instructional Services reports on purchases, curriculum, assessments

Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D., gave three reports in which she recommended resource purchases and updated the School Board on curriculum committee processes and standardized assessments.

  • The School Board adopted nearly $220,000 of math, family and consumer sciences, science and social studies resources as recommended by committees of teachers. Funds will come from Educational Services Department, high school and career prep grants and student fees.
  • The following curricular areas are under review or are being developed: K-12 science; K-12 English language arts; intermediate school applied engineering and technology, and health and wellness; high school courses of math and logic, culture of healthcare and digital design and web development.
  • The Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) is a comprehensive statewide program that includes the Wisconsin Forward Exam, ACT Aspire, ACT, ACT WorkKeys, Dynamic Learning Maps, ACCESS for ELL and National Assessment of Educational Progress. In addition, the district implements elementary benchmark assessments in reading, mathematics and writing, along with Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments and the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS). After looking into the STAR assessment as a potential replacement for MAP, administrators recommended continued use of MAP.

Personnel business

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • Accepted the resignation of Hamilton cook Jane Schmid, effective Feb. 15; and
  • Appointed Kalyn Graziano as Hamilton High School administrative assistant, effective Feb. 25; and Laurie Roth as executive assistant to the instructional services supervisor, effective March 1.

February 5, 2019

Peperkorn chosen Silver Spring principal

The Hamilton School Board approved the hiring of Mark Peperkorn as the principal of Silver Spring Intermediate School at its Feb. 5 meeting. He will begin his new position July 1.Peperkorn-at-meeting-500

Peperkorn has been principal at Pilgrim Park Middle School in the Elmbrook School District since 2015. He was the Pilgrim Park associate principal before then. He started his career in education in 1997 as a social studies teacher at Waterford Union High School. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from Marian University in 2009 and his bachelor’s degree in social studies from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 1995.

“We are fortunate to hire Mr. Peperkorn who has significant experience as a successful administrator and educator,” said Hamilton Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D. “He is known as a highly visible, engaged leader who has the ability to build a collaborative learning environment by listening to and understanding the needs of students, families and staff.”

“His strong knowledge of instructional practice, desire to support the best interests of students and ability to forge positive partnerships with families and the community will serve Silver Spring Intermediate School well,” Mielke said. Hamilton School Board members approved the appointment of five employees including the new Silver Spring Intermediate School principal.

Marcy students contribute to review of Addams book nominees

Marcy Elementary School second grade teacher Whitney Roth, along with four of her students, described their involvement with the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Program, named in honor of the first American woman who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.Roth-students-250 The award is given to children’s books that advance the causes of peace and social equality. The Marcy students explained the criteria used for the award.

Roth first participated in the program while an education student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. After becoming a teacher at Marcy, she had students read and discuss nominated books and provide their insights about the books based on criteria of the program. Her reviews of the nominated books now include perspectives of her students.

Personnel news

In other personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement request of Woodside reading specialist Pamela Welter, effective at the end of the school year; and
  • appointed Tamera Ericksen as a part-time Woodside Elementary School special education paraprofessional, effective Feb. 11 and Melissa Brokate El-Meanawy as a Templeton Middle School replacement special education teacher, effective Jan. 24.

Board members report on state convention

School Board members Jay Jones and Mike Hyland as well as board president Gabe Kolesari reported on the sessions they attended at the 2019 State School Boards Association Convention.

Students approved for early graduation

In a report, Hamilton High School Principal Candis Mongan presented the applications of juniors – Kayla Kidman, Vincent Polidori, Zoe Schultz and Payton Wunschel – who requested to graduate early. The students met School Board policy requirements and will be eligible to graduate in January 2020.