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June 6, 2006

Board appoints Ferge as new high school associate principal
The Hamilton School Board appointed Peter Ferge as the new Hamilton High School associate principal and extended learning opportunities coordinator at its June 6 meeting. Ferge, who has been a communication arts teacher at Hamilton for the past six years, will begin his new post effective July 1. He replaces Candis Mongan, who will become principal.

“Mr. Ferge is an outstanding educator who has strong rapport with students and parents,” said Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D. “Having been a part of the high school team, he will be in a position to help guide the school into the future.”

In his new role, Ferge will coordinate extended learning opportunities for students, the school’s accreditation planning process and applied engineering curriculum improvements. He will also supervise several departments, standardized testing, student attendance and disciplinary matters.

Ferge coached the Hamilton girls’ freshman basketball team four years before joining the teaching staff. He started his education career as an English teacher at Campbellsport and Milwaukee Pius XI high schools. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English education and broadcast/electronic communication in 1997 from Marquette University and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Marian College in 2004.

Students able to self-report violations
Hamilton High School students who self-report a violation of alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) rules could cut in half the consequence of their first-time infraction. The School Board approved changes to the Co-Curricular Handbook that allows students to self-report a violation prior to an investigation from high school administration and receive a 15-percent penalty from athletic competition or four hours of community service for those involved in noncompetitive activities. Restriction from competition or performances for a first-time offense is normally 30 percent of the season or eight hours of community service.

Hamilton Athletic Director Mike Gosz said students members of the committee that recommended changes to the handbook thought the option to self-report was a good idea because it would encourage students to come forward on their own.

In addition, students who have a first-time ATOD offense will not be eligible to serve in a leadership role for one calendar year from the date of suspension. The handbook previously stated student-athletes with an ATOD infraction would be barred from being a captain for their entire high school career. Second violation of the code would mean removal as a captain for their career.

School Board member Deborah Briggs said she liked the change because it allowed students to redeem themselves if they make a mistake early in high school.

The hours of community service for those involved in non-competitive athletics and activities went from 16 to 8 hours for first-time violations and 32 to 16 hours for second offenses. Gosz said the change was suggested because noncompetitive participants were serving nearly twice as many hours of restriction as competitive athletic players.

Technology plan approved
The School Board approved the 2006-09 Information and Technology Literacy Plan that focuses on staff training, technology proficiency development for students and expansion of parent access to a student-teacher grade book.

No new funds were requested because the initiatives detailed in the plan will be funded through existing technology funds and supported with professional development resources. Among the initiatives that were highlighted were use of a help desk ticketing system to increase the speed and efficiency of network and desktop repairs, implementation of a technology proficiency assessment for students and staff, and integration of a uniform electronic card catalog system for school library collections accessible by students and staff within the district and from their homes.

In other technology business, the School Board extended the contract for the district’s technical support company, MPC Solutions Sales until 2009.

Students recognized
The School Board recognized two student groups for their outstanding accomplishments. Members of the Hamilton FIRST Robotic Club were honored. Hamilton Principal David Furrer said advisors John Budish and Lori Hinytz were responsible for the club’s success.

Templeton Middle School Student Council members were honored for their efforts during the 2005-06 school year. Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., credited their advisor Arlyn Clarksen for the guidance that he provided.

Personnel business
In personnel business the School Board:

  • accepted the retirement request of Templeton custodian Nancy Sommer effective Sept. 1;
  • accepted the resignations of Templeton administrative assistant Natalie Levanetz, Marcy Special Services paraprofessional Monica Dorsey, Marcy third grade teacher Steven Brooks, district maintenance staff member Colin Casey and Woodside fifth grade teacher Robert Heider;
  • appointed Al Johnson as Maple Avenue custodian, Tricia Rigg as the Templeton and Hamilton guidance-transitions counselor, Alyssa DeKarske as Woodside fifth grade teacher, Tiffany Campbell as an elementary teacher, William Hahn as a Templeton cleaner, Richard Adams as a Hamilton custodian and Keith Griebler as a Hamilton afternoon cleaner;
  • appointed Murrene Payton and Bob Blessington as summer school assistant coordinators;
  • hired Jaclyn Mauer and Jeanna Tinus as half-time English as a Second Language teachers; and
  • modified the contract of Maple Avenue Early Mathematics Empowerment teacher Donna Uselmann from 40 to 60 percent.