September 17, 2018

Board considers removing graduation ceremony details from policy

School Board members are considering a policy change to eliminate the time, date and location of Hamilton High School graduation ceremonies. Currently, the policy states that graduation ceremonies will be held the first Saturday following the completion of the school year, at 1 p.m. in the high school gym.

By eliminating the language, the School Board will be able to consider other options for graduation ceremonies, including having it outdoors as was done in the past. The change was presented to the School Board for the first time. The policy change proposal will come before the board again before it takes action.

High school rigor evident in results

Because Hamilton High School rewrote its main goal and tactics last year, this year’s site team chose to reaffirm its current framework and goal that states, “Students will increase their literacy skills and social-emotional wellness to be prepared to meet the demands of college, career and global competition.”

Hamilton High School Principal Candis Mongan reported on the school’s progress. Hamilton saw greater participation in Advanced Placement courses with continued high achievement in the last three years. The number of exams taken, sections offered, students taking exams and pass rate of 3 or higher all went up in the past year. The participation rate compared to three years ago was up markedly. Typically as more students take rigorous exams, test scores drop. This was not the case at Hamilton.

Year Exams taken Sections offered Students Score 3+
2015-16 573 40 358 85.9%
2016-17 664 46 411 81.5%
2017-18 722 48 440 83.0%

In another measure of school rigor, the Challenge Index increased to +1.95 in 2017-18, up from +1.90 in 2016-17 and +1.57 in 2015-16. Challenge Index represents the availability of advanced coursework in the school’s curriculum. Because many more students are taking AP exams, the school’s Challenge Index score increased to its highest level in school history.

Throughout the state, ACT scores dropped for the class of 2016 because as juniors in 2015, they were the first class in which all juniors in Wisconsin public high schools were required to take the test. The ACT composite score for Hamilton’s class of 2015 was 24.5, and dropped to 22.3 for the class of 2016. It rebounded to 23.0 for the class of 2017.

In addition to test results, Hamilton was named to U.S. News and World Report’s “Best High Schools” list five of the last six years, Advanced Placement Honor Roll four of the last five years and Washington Post’s “Most Challenging High Schools” list three of the last four years.

Lannon site focuses on literacy, social-emotional goals

Lannon Elementary School Principal Brian Balfany presented his school’s site plan update. He reported on the progress of last year’s tactics which focused primarily on literacy and social-emotional goals while embedding practices that will promote students’ positive well-being. Again, Lannon was recognized as a school that “significantly exceeds expectations” on the State Report Card. The site team identified that early intervention in kindergarten and grade 1 has had a positive impact on state Forward Exam results.

Summer Opportunities reports on successful year

Summer Opportunities Coordinator and Lannon Principal Brian Balfany gave the School Board an update on the 2018 program. A total of 2,004 students in grades 4K to 11 enrolled in classes, 31 fewer students than in 2017. Combined, 121 teachers were employed, a majority of whom were Hamilton School District staff. In all, 219 employees were employed including three administrative assistants, 32 paraprofessionals, 58 student teaching assistants, one coordinator and four assistant coordinators. The staff count represents a 10 percent reduction from last year and 35 percent over the past two years.

Recommendations for next year include:

  • scheduling the summer program to be in session June 19 – July 17 with days off on July 4 and 5;
  • enhancing course offerings;
  • continue training math instructors in Everyday Math strategies and reading teachers in Reader’s Workshop, as was done this year;
  • exploring recovery credit make-up and credit acquisition opportunities; and
  • increasing enrollment of students invited to take mathematics or reading.

List of TSA vendors narrows to 4

Hamilton School District employees will have one less vendor to choose from if they participate in payroll deductions for tax sheltered annuities. The list is now Axa Equitable, VOYA Financial Advisors, Oppenheimer Funds and WEA. Annuity Premium Account – Kemper, which previously was on the list, was omitted because there is no longer a local presence for employees to access.

Paraprofessional position added

A part-time special education paraprofessional position was added at Lannon Elementary School due to increased needs. The position will be the equivalent of a 94 percent position.

Personnel news

In personnel action, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement of Lannon music teacher Eileen Casper, effective at the end of the 2018-19 school year;
  • appointed Carol Hamilton as a Lannon associate kitchen employee, Jennifer Adams as a Maple Avenue paraprofessional and Cynthia Dow as a Templeton paraprofessional; and
  • modified the contract of Templeton speech-language pathologist Kristin Muehlenbach due to increase caseload.

Bring items to free recycling event Sept. 15

Cimco Recycling Milwaukee will set up Sept. 15 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Templeton Middle School parking lot to accept recyclable metals and other items from community members. The event is hosted by Hamilton High School Robotics Team 537.recycle

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. Please check out the Cimco Recycling list of items that can be recycled.

September 4, 2018

No students admitted into kindergarten, grade 1 early

No students were admitted early into kindergarten for 5-year-olds or grade 1, according to a report presented by Special Services Supervisor John Peterson. Two students participated in the early admission 5K screening process, but were not recommended for placement. No parents requested early admissions for first grade. District policy indicates children must be four, five or six years old by Sept. 1 to enter four-year-old kindergarten, regular kindergarten or first grade, respectively. While procedures exist for early admission to regular kindergarten and first grade, no early admission is granted for four-year-old kindergarten.

Training, curriculum work ramps up in summer

Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., reported on summer professional development.  Grades K-8 science teachers received training in the Next Generational Science Standards and cross-cutting concepts, grades 6 and 8 science teachers were trained in Lab-Aids science resources. Other professional development focused on grades 4-8 math training, Assessment Team members in lesson design and application of assessment concepts, EduClimber navigation training, new teacher orientation and ALICE safety training.

Summer curriculum projects included grades K-8 science practices and rubrics, grades 4-8 mathematics articulation between elementary and middle schools, English language arts curriculum review, creation of Comprehensive Intervention Model website for lesson plans and resources, ERE online learning modules, consistent instruction planning for elementary technology integrators and review of district assessments to avoid redundancy between district and state required assessments.

Curriculum cycle to align with assessment

As staff worked on the assessment tactics of the Strategic Plan, they recommended greater alignment of the curriculum development cycle and assessment work to better clarify what high quality learning looks like in each content area. As the district moves to a five-year curriculum review cycle, it will dive deeply into the standards for each content area.

The five-year cycle involves research and review, curriculum review, implementation, revision and maintenance and monitory. The schedule for the curriculum cycle is:

  • 2017-18 – technology & applied engineering, business education and science (new curriculum format)
  • 2018-19 – English language arts
  • 2019-20 – English language arts, Silver Spring Intermediate School opening
  • 2020-21 – mathematics, fitness education & health, social studies
  • 2021-22 – art, music, world languages, information technology literacy
  • 2022-23 – technology & applied engineering, business education, science
  • 2023-24 – family and consumer education, guidance, English language arts
  • 2024-25 – mathematics, fitness education & health, social studies

Classroom instructional practices in content areas not involved in formal curriculum review will continue to be evaluated using Understanding By Design (UbD), also known as backward design through assessment.

Testing schedule, coaching reports given

Little presented the district’s testing schedule which includes assessments such as PALS, ACCESS, various ACT exams, Dynamic Learning Maps, Forward Exam and National Assessment of Educational Progress. She also presented a status report on instructional and literacy coaching.

Woodside, Marcy jointly presented site plans

Woodside and Marcy elementary schools presented their site plans to the School Board describing many ways in which staff are collaborating to enrich learning experiences for students and staff. Both stressed the relationship of their site plans to the district’s Strategic Plan, especially tactics regarding assessment and social and emotional wellness.

Woodside Principal James Edmond, Jr., Ph.D, and Associate Principal Linda Hake and Marcy Principal Michele Trawicki and Associate Principal Katie Ritchie described progress at their schools.

They emphasized the work of staff members in developing and presenting professional development for their colleagues throughout the district. They also described a move to student-led conferences in which students have greater responsibility to define what they are learning to their parents.

Both schools have two tactics stating that students will meet or exceed their own individual projected growth targets in literacy and mathematics.

Personnel action

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved the resignation of Templeton special services paraprofessional Diane Jakubowski and Maple Avenue paraprofessional Paula Joecks; and
  • appointed Lisa Minue as Maple Avenue cook, Tiffany Wolf as Maple Avenue special services paraprofessional, Julie Taylor as Lannon replacement guidance counselor, Mary Chetney as Lannon paraprofessional, Laura Watson Maple Avenue paraprofessional, Elaine Meissner as Templeton associate kitchen employee and Carina Esparza as Lannon paraprofessional.

Summer School Board meeting summary

Following are summaries of action taken at School Board meetings during the summer of 2018

June 18, 2018

A Teacher Expertise (TE) option within educator effectiveness evaluation system was introduced, and 43 teachers participated in it. The TE option shifts the focus from a checklist of artifacts to a process that is directly focused on teaching and learning growth and driven by the teacher’s self-assessment of practice. Teachers grow by targeting specific skills that are analyzed through video recordings, peer observation and peer discussion within a comprehensive teaching framework. The district will expand the option in 2018-19 to educational specialists and administrators. Some 107 educators have indicated that they will participate in the option as a way to individualize and personalized professional growth.

In curriculum business, the School Board approved: revised curriculum documents for grades K-8 science, grades 8-12 business education, grades 6-12 applied engineering and technology; new curriculum documents for oral and interpersonal communication, drama in literature and production, performance conditioning 1 & 2; and curriculum resources purchases for grades 6-7 science.

Several reports and requests were approved including those regarding district interventions, membership in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, Hamilton High School co-curricular and Hamilton and Templeton student handbooks.

After meeting School Board policy requirements, early graduation requests of John Enneking in June 2019 and Isabella den Hond in June 2020 were approved.

Personnel business

  • Resignations: Templeton paraprofessional Jennifer Collins, Maple Avenue paraprofessional Molly Zajac and Marcy paraprofessional Sarah Kahlcheuer
  • Appointments: Hamilton – Templeton physical education Joshua Neary and Marcy grade 4 replacement teacher Erica Carlson

June 28, 2018

Personnel business

  • Resignations: Woodside teachers Elizabeth Berry, grade 4, and Brian Siegel, grade 3
  • Appointments: Templeton building & grounds assistant manager Eduardo Navarro, district maintenance Brian Wissbeck, Hamilton special service paraprofessional Adam Maciejewski, Hamilton world languages – French teacher Rachel Wenndt  as of January 21, 2019, Maple special education teacher Amy Kelly and Hamilton entrance monitor paraprofessional Nancy Holzem.
  • The School Board approved following total aggregate salary compensation adjustments for the 2018-19 school year to: administrators, 2.39 percent; confidential support staff, 2.45 percent; administrative assistants, cooks, associate kitchen employees, custodial and maintenance staff, and paraprofessionals, 2.5 percent.
  • A contract for 2018-20 for the district administrator was approved.
  • 2018-19 Non-Group salary recommendations were approved.

July 16, 2018

Approved were 2018-19 academic standards and management plan for students with life-threatening allergies.

Personnel business

  • Resignations: Lannon literacy interventionist Susan Klawans, Templeton special service paraprofessional April Elsesser and Hamilton custodian Steve Pelzman
  • Retirements: Maple Avenue cook Betty Baatz, effective July 2, 2018 and Business Office payroll executive assistant Kim Krimmer, effective Jan. 2, 2019
  • Appointments: Woodside grade 1 teacher Amanda Desmarais, and Templeton special service paraprofessional Michelle Mattheis

August 20, 2018

After taking the oath of office at a special meeting on July 16, Rebecca Zingsheim was welcomed at the Aug. 20 School Board meeting. School Board president Gabe Kolesari congratulates her after she was officially sworn in.


No students on the Open Enrollment waiting list will be accepted into the district for the 2018-19 school year due to space availability.

School Board members toured the construction progress of the newly renovated applied engineering and technology area.

Updates on the new teacher induction and coaching program and district facilities safety were provided to the School Board.

School Board committee assignments were made and they are:

  • Personnel Committee – Dawn Van Aacken, chair, Jennifer Waltz, Rebecca Zingsheim with Brian Schneider, alternate;
  • Buildings and Grounds & Finance Committee – Jay Jones, chair, Mike Hyland, Brian Schneider with Rebecca Zingsheim, alternate;
  • Legislative Liaison – Rebecca Zingsheim;
  • CESA #1 liaison – Gabe Kolesari with Rebecca Zingsheim, alternate;
  • Facilities Committee – Mike Hyland, Brian Schneider, Dawn Van Aacken and Jennifer Waltz;
  • Strategic Planning Team – Dawn Van Aacken, Jennifer Waltz;
  • SWSA – Michael Hyland with Rebecca Zingsheim, alternate.

Personnel business

  • Resignations: Templeton special services paraprofessional Kerry Wagner, Woodside special services paraprofessional Beth Lassiter, Maple Avenue special services paraprofessional Bethany Walker, Marcy special services paraprofessional Kimberley Mittelstaedt, Maple Avenue special services paraprofessional Jennifer Weisgerber, Lannon guidance counselor Lynda Pesch, Woodside associate kitchen employee Sarah Akin and Templeton associate kitchen employee Laura Anders.
  • Appointments: Templeton technology integration resource teacher Laura Busch, Templeton special services paraprofessional Casey Chopp, Woodside grade 4 teacher Barbara Leach, Maple Avenue reading specialist Tamera Harpster, Lannon literacy interventionist Elizabeth Berry, Marcy special services paraprofessional Stacy See, Lannon grade 3 replacement teacher Jaclyn Weiss, Marcy paraprofessional Ireland Andrews, Woodside grade 2 teacher Nicole Welter, Lannon grade 5 replacement teacher Michael Schramek, Lannon physical education teacher Molly Wirnsberger, Maple Avenue paraprofessional Susan McMahon, Woodside special services paraprofessional Michella Morgan, Marcy special services paraprofessional Sara Viloria, and Templeton special education teacher Jessica Foderaro
  • Contract modifications: Templeton choral teacher Megan Menzel, Lanon technology integration resource teacher Julie Kleist, Woodside physical education teacher Benjamin Lena and Marcy art teacher Katie Cormican.
  • Revised Employee Handbooks for 2018-19 were approved.

School Board choses Zingsheim for Butler seat

Hamilton School Board members chose Rebecca Zingsheim to fill the Butler seat on the School Board at its July 25 special meeting. Zingsheim will take the oath of office at the Aug. 20 School Board meeting.Rebecca-Zingsheim-Web

Zingsheim has been a resident of Butler since 2005 and has two children attending Hamilton High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Cardinal Stritch University and her master’s degree in literacy from Concordia University. She has been an elementary special education teacher for the last eight years, currently teaching in the Mequon-Thiensville School District.

“I am passionate about education and believe in giving back to my community,” Zingsheim said. “Being a member of the Hamilton School Board will allow me to bring my passion and knowledge of education, along with a teacher’s perspective, to the School Board.”

Deborah Briggs, who served as the Butler representative to the School Board for 24 years, chose not to seek re-election this spring and no Butler resident filed to run for the seat. When a vacancy on the School Board occurs, the remaining members are responsible to appoint a qualified citizen to fill the position. Zingsheim will serve until spring of 2019 when she can run to fill out the remainder of the three-year term which ends in April, 2021.

The Hamilton School Board has seven seats representing five municipalities and two at-large posts. While district voters cast ballots for all the positions, candidates must live in the communities they represent. Candidates can live anywhere in the district to qualify for the at-large positions.

Hamilton’s AP scores strong, participation high

Hamilton High School Advanced Placement (AP) results released in July show that Hamilton students performed well while dramatically increasing the number of students and exams taken.College-Board-AP-web

Some 83 percent of Hamilton students received a score of 3 or higher on AP exams, which earn them credits that are recognized by many colleges and universities. Hamilton students earned college credits in biology, calculus, chemistry, Chinese, English literature and language, environmental science, macroeconomics, physics, statistics, studio art 2-D and drawing, European history and U.S. government and politics. In contrast, only 69 percent of Wisconsin students and 61 percent of students globally had scores of 3 or higher.

Not only is the AP pass rate fifth highest in the school’s history, but the number of students and AP exams taken is at an all-time high. In 2018, 440 students took a combined 722 exams. This compares to 322 students who took 528 exams five years ago and 157 students took 225 exams in 2008.

Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan credited a long-range commitment to increasing rigor and expectations for the impressive accomplishment.

“While we celebrate our success, we understand the work that lies ahead of us,” Mongan said. “We will continue to develop initiatives that further support student achievement.”

Mongan pointed to the school’s site plan that focuses initiatives on literacy and assessment practices.

“Hamilton High School has seen incremental improvement in learning and achievement over the past decade,” Mongan said “We will continue to seek ways to better serve students and remain focused on initiatives that prepare students to be college and career ready.”

School Board accepting applicants for Butler seat

The Hamilton School Board is accepting applications from Butler residents interested in filling a seat on the board. The deadline for application is June 27.

Deborah Briggs, who served as the Butler representative to the School Board for 24 years, chose not to seek re-election this spring and no Butler resident filed to run for the seat.

The Hamilton School Board has seven seats representing five municipalities and two at-large posts. While district voters cast ballots for all the positions, candidates must live in the communities they represent. Candidates can live anywhere in the district to qualify for the at-large positions.

When a vacancy on the School Board occurs, the remaining members are responsible to appoint a qualified citizen to fill the position. The applicant appointed to the position must be a Butler resident and will serve until spring of 2019 when he or she can run to fill out the remainder of the three- year term which ends in April, 2021.

The School Board approved a timeline outlining the process to fill the vacancy including:

  • June 13-27 – candidates may submit letter of application and complete Declaration of Eligibility to Hold Office as an Appointee;
  • June 28  – School Board holds special meeting to interview and consider applicants;
  • June 29 – School Board president informs applicant of board’s decision; and
  • July 16 – Appointed applicant takes oath of office at School Board meeting.

Butler citizen interested in applying for the position should contact the Superintendent’s Office at (262) 246-1973 x1108.

June 5, 2018

Students recognized

Three groups of students from Templeton Middle School and one from Hamilton High School were recognized June 5 at the Hamilton School Board meeting for success at state-level competition.


Templeton members of the Whipping Up Wellness Wisconsin Student Chef Competition included Stephanie Burg, Mikayla Giles, Emily Hokanson, Ella Packer, Mya Trafficante and Alyssa Wick.


Members on the Templeton State Forensic team were Colleen Flynn, Kayla Johnson, Theresa Barthel, Jasleen Kaur and Hiranmayi Swaminathan.


Templeton Robotics team members who were successful at state competition were Reed Barthel, Sahebveer Sangha, Krishay Toomu, Pranavesh Saravanan, Akash Deepak, Will Hartman, Zachary Neuman, Jackson Grimm, Jonathan Wang, Cole Klade, Richard Johnson, Akhil Pidikiti, Brady Hicks, Cameron Aron, Alexander Meihsner, Andrew Dahlgren, Prathmesh Konda and Scott Durian.


Hamilton State Honors Music Project team members were Nolan VanHaren, Cynthia Yan – alternate, Olivia Neils – alternate, and Megan Nielsen.

Board approves documents and reports

The School Board approved several documents including the National Honor Society Handbook, Special Education Procedures Handbook, Emergency Nursing Services Policies and Procedures and Bloodborne Pathogens Procedures.

Personnel matters

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Maple Avenue reading specialist Heidi Spingola and Hamilton part-time social teacher Kameron Cerroni; and
  • appointed Susan Klawans as Lannon literacy interventionist, Joan Wirth as Hamilton part-time German teacher, Jennifer Bartelme as Templeton associate kitchen employee, Lisa Rezash as Hamilton science teacher, Kim Brussel as Templeton special education teacher, Marquea Goike as Woodside 5K replacement teacher, Benjamin Lena as Woodside and Marcy physical education teacher, Rebecca McGinley as Woodside grade 1 teacher, Sara Gale as Maple Avenue 5K replacement teacher, Jack McCaigue as a district technology support specialist and Erin Ridosko as a Maple Avenue grade 4 teacher.

Hamilton students plan 5K to make wish come true

Four Hamilton High School juniors are seeking the community’s help in making a wish come true for a girl from Richfield who suffers from a heart condition.


(From left) Gwen Watson, Morgan Donnelly, Mallie Gammon and Josh Pfeifer are coordinating a 5K run at Hamilton High School beginning at 9 a.m. July 21 to raise money for Make-A-Wish. Their goal is to raise money to help make 16-year-old Raphi’s wish of a train to ride in her backyard come true.

All participants will be able to enjoy food, music, water and raffle chances after the run, and the first 50 people who sign up for the race will receive a T-shirt.

Sign up for the race is at and those who want to donate to the cause without doing the run can go to

Hamilton High School is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex. Questions? Please contact the planners at

Leland selected Templeton associate principal

The Hamilton School Board approved the selection of Cody Leland as the new Templeton Middle School associate principal at it May 21 meeting. Leland officially begins his new position July 1.CodyLeland-300-2018

Since 2012, Leland has taught social studies, history, science and technology to Richmond School students in grades 6-8. He also held positions of athletic-activities director, summer school principal and wellness coordinator while at Richmond School.

He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership in 2016 from Viterbo University and his bachelor’s degree in education in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse.

Hamilton Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., said Leland would serve Templeton students and families well.

“We are pleased to hire an individual who helps students find success through positive interaction and compassionate understanding of their needs,” Mielke said. “Mr. Leland is an outgoing, energetic educator who holds high standards for students and works collaboratively with families and staff to ensure student achievement.”