May 20, 2019

Kelly presented with district’s Community Service Award


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


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.

May 7, 2019

Board appoints Newcomer Hamilton principal

The Hamilton School Board appointed Rebecca Newcomer Hamilton High School principal at its May 7 meeting. Newcomer, who has been a high school administrator in the Waukesha School District for the past seven years, will begin her new post effective July 1. She replaces Candis Mongan, Hamilton principal since 2006 who will become principal at Oak Creek High School.


Newcomer has spent her 21-year career in the Waukesha School District, the first 13 years as an English teacher at South High School and then as an instructional coach for two years before moving into administration. She was an assistant principal for nearly two years, then principal for five years at North High School and is currently South High School principal.

Willow staff honor custodian

Willow Springs Learning Center staff members honored their head custodian before the Hamilton School Board. Principal Renae MacCudden and staff planned the surprise recognition for Dewayne Jackson because he takes every opportunity to go above and beyond for Willow Springs students and staff. A dozen staff members shared their favorite moments when Jackson took care of things for them and their students.



District extends contract with Teachers On Call

The Hamilton School Board approved a 2-year contract extension with Teachers On Call (TOC) to provide substitute staffing services through June 30, 2021. The School Board accepted the recommendation from Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik to renew a contract with the company that offers an automated process to secure substitute teachers and paraprofessionals. The district has used TOC for six years.

Because TOC provides services to more than 100 school districts in Wisconsin and Minnesota, it provides a larger pool of substitutes and its economy-of-scale allows for greater operational efficiencies than a single school district could produce. Consequently, substitutes are eligible for an enhanced compensation packet that school districts did not typically offer including paid holidays, bonuses, insurance and more.

The hourly rate is set by the district, and a 27 percent mark-up to TOC covers payroll, benefits, retirement, taxes, liability, unemployment, workers’ compensation, background checks, physicals and other indirect personnel functions such as recruitment, monitoring compliance with state and federal mandates, time sheets, hiring and communication.

Winter teams recognized

Teams that were conference champs or competed at state were recognized. School Board President Gabe Kolesari and Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., presented each team with a certificate. Those recognized were:


Cheer – State champions


Boys Soccer – State finalist


Girls Bowling – State qualifier


Wrestling – Individual state qualifiers


Boys Swim and Dive – Individual state qualifiers


Poms – State qualifier


Boys Basketball – Conference champions and sectional finalist

School career opportunities highlighted

Hamilton High School Associate Principal and Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator Mark Otto presented four 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 $15,121 in grant funding this year, an increase from $13,934 the previous 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. While some career development opportunities occur at the elementary and middle school level, a majority of activities are for high school students. They include career speakers, Youth Apprenticeship, work experience, academic assistants, Robotics, Earl College Credit Program, DECA, Healthcare Career Academy, Manufacturing Career Expo, Reality Check and Schools2Skills.
  • Participation in the Waukesha County School-to-Work consortium for 2019-20 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.
  • The district’s Education for Employment (E4E) was accepted. The plan identifies, coordinates and assists in preparing students to be college and career ready. It identifies work that has been done, identifies gaps, coordinates and aligns services in the district. Hamilton, like most districts, is adjusting its E4E plan to coordinate implementation of students’ Academic and Career Plans.

New intermediate school causes staffing shifts in 2019-20

The district will have the full-time equivalency (FTE) of 3.62 more certified staff members next year. Significant shifts will occur as elementary and middle schools lose one full grade when grades 5 and 6 attend Silver Spring Intermediate School. Staff will drop by nearly 24 FTEs at the elementary level and 22 FTEs at Templeton. Nearly 49 FTEs will work at Silver Spring. Hamilton High School will see an increase of .43 FTEs as a result of a psychologist and social worker reassignment.

Board officers elected

School Board members elected Gabe Kolesari as their president, Jennifer Waltz as vice president, Dawn Van Aacken as clerk and Jay Jones as treasurer.

CESA contract approved

A $299,583 contract for 2019-20 with the Cooperative Educational Services Agency was approved. The contract provides services such as occupational and physical therapy, alternative and charter at-risk schools at lower costs than if the district purchased them independently.

Personnel action

In personnel action, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Special Services administrative assistant Elizabeth Rose, effective June 30;
  • appointed Elizabeth Rose as Silver Spring Intermediate School administrative assistant, effective July 1; Karen Figarino, Woodside associate kitchen employee, effective May 13; Zachary Beckman, Templeton special education teacher, effective Aug. 21; Tyler Schoemann, Lannon and Marcy music teacher, effective Aug. 21 ; Roberta Semrow, Silver Spring administrative assistant, effective July 1; Rebecca Newcomer, Hamilton principal, effective July 1 ; John Schaeffler, Hamilton pm custodian, effective May 23 ; Jessica Landergott, Woodside fitness education teacher, effective Aug. 21 ; Pawel Skrzypek, Hamilton pm custodian, effective May 28 ; and Celina Pauly, Maple guidance counselor, effective Aug. 21.

Hamilton Education Foundation plans May 11 Auction Dinner

Join the Hamilton Education Foundation for an evening of fun May 11 beginning at 5 p.m. as it celebrates its 2019 Auction Dinner. The fundraiser will be held at the Milwaukee Marriott West, W231N1600 Corporate Ct., Waukesha.2019AuctionDinner430x300

The evening features raffles, games, silent auction, dinner, live auction and Grand Raffle Drawing. This year, Grand Raffle prizes will be $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, $250 for third place and $100 for fourth place. Ticket prices are one for $5, three for $10 or 10 for $20.

Proceeds from the dinner auction will benefit educational opportunities for students in the Hamilton School District. This event is sponsored in part by Neumann Developments, Inc.  There is still time to become a sponsor or donate items for our auction. Contact the Hamilton Education Foundation at for more information.

For more details, please visit

April 15, 2019

Board gets first look at budget

Hamilton School Board members took a look at the 2019-20 budget which is the first one that includes facilities and operational expenses that voters approved in the February 2018 referendum. The budget totals $61.1 million, a $3.6 million increase over the current budget with $1.5 million of the increase going toward operational costs of the new Silver Spring Intermediate School.

The tax rate is expected to increase 18 cents from $8.92 to $9.10. Last year, voters approved a referendum authorizing a $1.37 increase in the tax rate that would be phased in over two years. The mil rate increased 37 cents last year, for a total two-year tax rate increase of 55 cents — 60 percent lower than what was projected during the referendum.

The budget assumes conservatively that property value will increase 2.5 percent and resident enrollment will increase by 50 students. State aid to Hamilton is expected to increase 4.07 percent from $24.4 million to $25.4 million. If these assumptions are actually higher, the tax rate will be lower than $9.10.

The budget also includes $600,000 for Lannon Elementary School hook-up to municipal water this summer.

The Annual Meeting, when citizens are able to vote on the local levy, is set for July 15 in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center.

Three board members sworn in


From left, Rebecca Zingsheim, Gabe Kolesari and Jennifer Waltz being sworn in.

Three board members were sworn into office following their successful election April 2. Gabe Kolesari will serve in the Sussex seat, Jennifer Waltz in the at-large seat and Rebecca Zingsheim in the Butler seat. Kolesari and Waltz will serve a three-year term. Zingsheim, who was appointed to board when the Butler seat was vacant last year, was re-elected to serve the remaining two years of the term.

School Board recognizes students, staff


Scholastic Art Award winners Hamilton High School students Lexi Neels and Madelyn Mascotti


2019 Herb Kohl Foundation Awards student winner Hamilton High School senior Maxwell Unger


2019 Herb Kohl Foundation Awards winner Marcy teacher Callie Lauer


2019 Herb Kohl Foundation Awards winner Marcy Principal Michele Trawicki

District to complete 1:1 initiative in grades 5-12

With the completion of the new intermediate school this summer, the district will complete its 1:1 initiative for students in grades 5-8 at Silver Spring Intermediate, Templeton Middle and Hamilton High schools.

As part of that plan, the School Board approved the purchase of 1,200 Chromebooks, 300 HP desktops, 120 HP laptops and 2000 cases among other items. In addition, new networking switches and access points were purchased. Cost for the technology, which is in the bidding process, will come from the Information Technology Department budget and referendum funds.  About $86,000 of expense will be refunded through a state technology grant and E-rate, a federal program that makes information services more affordable for schools.

For the past three years, the district has been able to purchase more devices by going with the less costly Chromebooks that meet student needs in the classroom and support the mandatory testing.

Fees, lunch prices remain the same for most students

Student fees and lunch prices for 2019-20 will remain unchanged for most students in the district. Lunch prices are: $2.60 for elementary and $2.95 for intermediate, middle and high school students. Intermediate students’ meals will include a salad bar, and bistro box meals will be $2.60. The cost for a carton of milk for all students will remain at 35 cents.

Student fees will remain the same except for a $15 technology fee increase for students in grades 5-8, from $25 to $40, to accommodate the 1:1 initiative. All other fees — including athletic, activity, club and parking — will remain the same.

Changes approved in 2019-20 board meeting schedule

Board members approved a 2019-20 School Board meeting schedule that includes changes. Instead of beginning at 7:30 p.m., meetings will start at 6:30 p.m., and six meetings have been eliminated. The board will only meet once instead of twice in September, November, December, January, February and March. It will continue to have two meetings in October, April, May and June. It traditionally has had only one meeting each in July and August. Currently, meetings are designated as curriculum & instruction or regular meetings. In the future, they will all be regular meetings.

Personnel action

In personnel business, the School Board accepted the resignation of Hamilton clerical and student supervision paraprofessional Kathleen Krolczyk and appointed her to serve as Hamilton media center paraprofessional, effective Sept. 3.


Hamilton presents “Mary Poppins” May 3-5

Hamilton High School Drama Society presents “Mary Poppins – The Broadway Musical” May 3-5 at the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC). Shows begin at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. for the Sunday performance.Mary-Poppins477

Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, join the chimney sweep Bert and young Jane and Michael Banks on magical and memorable adventures with Mary Poppins. Using a combination of magic and common sense, Mary Poppins teaches the family to value each other. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson from the nanny who advises that “anything can happen if you let it.”

The musical is an ambitious production that features a cast of 39 students supported by a crew of 20 students and many adults along with an orchestra of 25 student musicians. With special wire harness rigging, the characters of Mary Poppins and Bert will actually fly on stage.

General seating tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students under 18 years of age and senior citizens over age 60. Tickets are now available at Office C in the high school and through the HFAC website at They also may be purchased 30 minutes prior to the show at the HFAC box office where only cash and checks can be accepted.

The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex.

Marcy leader chosen 2019 Wisconsin Elementary Principal of the Year

Marcy Elementary School Principal Michele Trawicki was selected the 2019 Wisconsin Elementary School Principal of the Year by Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA).

AWSA President and Superior Middle School Principal Rick Flaherty (left) made a surprise announcement to Marcy Elementary staff that their principal, Michele Trawicki, was selected Wisconsin’s 2019 Elementary Principal of the Year.

Trawicki, who has been Marcy principal since 2008, was presented with the award April 5 at a surprise presentation in front of her staff, Hamilton School Board members and family. In a written statement, AWSA Executive Director Jim Lynch characterized her as an effective school leader who is known for her ability to form strong teams of teacher-leaders who relentlessly work to raise student achievement and engage parents and families in the learning process.

Hamilton Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., credited Trawicki with empowering her staff to play an active role in selecting effective professional development and working to ensure parents are closely involved in the learning process.

Every year the state asks parents, teachers and others to nominate excellent leaders for state and national Principal of the Year Programs. Trawicki was among the twelve leaders who were selected in February for the Herb Kohl Foundation Principal Leadership Awards. From the Kohl principal recipients, one is selected as Wisconsin’s Elementary Principal of the Year.

“We would like to congratulate Ms. Trawicki and thank her for her outstanding leadership and service to the Marcy Elementary School community,” Lynch said. “Her effectiveness in fostering challenging instruction and meeting the social and emotional needs of Marcy’s students has led to considerable success at the school. This award is well deserved.”

Trawicki has been principal at Marcy since 2008. Before then she had been principal for three years at Tonawonda Elementary School in the Elmbrook School District where she started in 1993 as a second grade teacher and was then an instructional resource teacher before becoming principal. She began her education career as a first grade teacher in the Wausau and Whitefish Bay school districts. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UW-Stevens Point in 1989 and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University in 1995.

Trawicki will represent Wisconsin this fall when she attends a ceremony in Washington, D.C. that will include the other 49 state principals of the year. She was presented with a $500 check to offset travel costs, and $1,000 for a project at Marcy.

Supported by the Meemic Foundation, the Principal of the Year award recognizes school leaders who have helped drive student learning, foster instructional collaboration and create safe and positive school environments. Recipients are selected based on their dedication to professional excellence, leadership skills and service to their communities.

Marcy Elementary School staff members gave their principal a standing ovation.
Hamilton School Board President Gabe Kolesari (right) congratulates Marcy Principal Michele Trawicki who was chosen 2019 Wisconsin Elementary School Principal of the Year.
AWSA Executive Director Jim Lynch, AWSA President Rick Flaherty, Hamilton Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.,D., Marcy Principal Michele Trawicki, Hamilton School Board President Gabe Kolesari and MEEMIC Insurance Company Agent Dan Stefanovich.

April 2, 2019

Woodside spotlights paraprofessionals

Seven Woodside Elementary School students read tributes written about the school’s paraprofessionals at the April 2 Hamilton School Board meeting. Principal James Edmond, Jr., Ph.D., said the school would not be as successful without the contributions of the paraprofessional group who come to school with great attitudes and build strong relationships with children and families.

Woodside students explained in detail why their paraprofessionals were so important to the school. Those recognized were:

Missy Heckman


Aida Kozik


Penny Monroe


Amy Roth


Greg Winston


Kelly Wood


Board approves requests for college courses

Nine high school students requested admission to the Early College Credit Program (ECCP) that will allow them to take classes next semester at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and Milwaukee, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Marquette University and Carroll University. In addition, 17 students’ requests to take Waukesha County Technical College courses through Start College Now were also approved. Both programs were formerly part of the Youth Options Program. Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan noted in a report to the School Board, as in the past, many students will not be able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes. A total of 31 students requested admission to programs last year.

ECCP and Start College Now are programs mandated by the state that allow students who have completed tenth grade, are in good academic standing and have no disciplinary problems to attend a technical college or university if the high school does not offer comparable courses.

Battle of Books, National Merit finalists honored

School Board members recognized the accomplishments of two Hamilton High School groups.

Below, from left: Maja Pechanach, Ellie DeCleene and Nikhita Nair were honored for taking first place at the Wisconsin Education Media & Technology Association Battle of the Books. Members of the team who were not at the meeting were Sean LaVoy and Dorothy Palmer.


National Merit finalists Abigail Dowse, Ty Kozic, Jonathan Sciortino and Molly Hubred were recognized.


Personnel business

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved the resignations of Hamilton media center paraprofessional Rebecca Lloyd, effective at the end of the school year; and
  • accepted the retirement requests of Maple Avenue special education teacher Weigel-Mary Smith, Templeton clerical paraprofessional Cathy Henk and Templeton custodian George Murillo.

Hamilton student raises $35,000+ for LSS

The fundraising efforts of Hamilton High School senior Mikayla Cup resulted in $35,138.84 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Cup spearheaded a 7-week campaign that was supported by Hamilton’s Student Council, National Honor Society, Club Action and Club Unique. Students sold cookies, brownies, flowers and locker decorations and sponsored a “Put Cancer to Bed” pajama day to raise about $5,000 for the cause. Most of the contributions for Cup’s campaign came from direct cash and online donations.JohnMikaylaLauraCup477

The campaign supported LLS’s mission to find a cure for blood cancers and assist patients and families as battle the disease. Leukemia is the most common cancer in children, adolescents and young adults under the age of 20 years old.

In addition to raising money, Cup said her goal during the campaign was to generate awareness about blood cancers and bring the community together in support of LSS.

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.