Praising the fighters for freedom

Leader Photos by Lee Pulaski Marine Cpl. Greg Waupekenay, left, talks with National Guard Lt. Rod Watson, associate principal at Shawano Community Middle School, and eighth-grade students Nathan Ahler, second from right, and Domanic Helder in the middle school commons Friday following the school’s Veterans Day tribute.

Shawano Community Middle School students paid tribute to the community’s veterans during their annual Veterans Day ceremony Friday — holding their flags, singing their songs and recounting their stories.

The ceremony featured a number of student speeches that honored veterans. Many of the students spoke with veterans, and many more had someone who serves in the military today.

Tristan Tetting, a seventh-grade student, said Veterans Day should be every day.

“Veterans spend more time with their unit than they do their family,” Tetting said. “They see each other as family. They have a stronger bond than anyone can imagine.”

Shayna Daney, a sixth-grade student, told the crowd about her great-grandfather, Eugene Schultz, who joined the Army at 19 years old and served in the Vietnam War. Daney said her great-grandfather had to either serve his country or go to jail because of the draft.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski The Shawano Community High School jazz band runs through “The Mooche,” a Duke Ellington song composed during Prohibition, during a rehearsal Thursday in the school’s band room. The jazz band will join the show choir for its fall music revue “Just Desserts” next week.

For more than 25 years, Shawano Community High School’s jazz band and show choir have provided audiences with an evening of dining and entertainment comparable to the kind of experience one would get from a nightclub.

This year, the entertainment experience will be the same, but you’ll want to grab dinner before you come to this year’s music revue, as the annual Dinner Dance is now being billed as “Just Desserts.” Christopher Kent, who directs the school bands, had worked with his brother, Jonathan, who directed the choirs before his retirement in June, on the dinner shows, but there had been a desire for several years to turn the fall music fundraiser into a dessert show similar to the Last Dance event held each spring.


Clintonville characters head ‘Into the Woods’

Contributed Photo Director Leah Armstrong, third from left, works on the set of Clintonville High School’s upcoming production of “Into The Woods” with cast and crew members. All had to work together to create the large paper mâché trees needed for the show’s set.

A musical journey based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale characters will come to life on the Clintonville High School auditorium stage, as the drama club presents “Into the Woods” next month. The Tony Award-winning musical is being directed by choir teacher Leah Armstrong.

The show, written by Stephen Sondheim, follows well-known characters from such stories as Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk through new twists and predicaments that question what it means to live happily ever after.

“The soaring music and the sophisticated and clever score make this one of the best musicals of all time,” Armstrong said. “It’s a difficult show, but the students are up to the challenge.”

Main characters include: Little Red Riding Hood, played by Jetlyn Michonski; Rapunzel, played by Paige Dulavy; Jack, played by Trenton Laack; Cinderella, played by Makayla Easley; and the witch, Laurel Pingle. The show is being narrated by Garret Jahnke.


Golden Strings going electric

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Dan O’Connell, Shawano Community Middle School orchestra director, works with his group recently on a song they will be performing for Golden Strings next week. This will be the first time the middle school orchestra has joined the high school orchestra for the Golden Strings concert.

The Golden Strings concert has been a traditional fundraiser for the Shawano Community High School orchestra for decades, but that tradition is about to be electrified.

The orchestra is getting a little boost from Mark Wood, one of the founding members of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who will be including the students in a workshop called “Electrify Your Strings.” Wood will work with the orchestras from both the high school and Shawano Community Middle School for several days next week, culminating in the annual concert Nov. 3-4.

“Mark Wood’s ‘Electrify Your Strings’ program has been around for quite a while,” said Jill Sousek, SCHS orchestra director. “I have a few friends who have worked with him before, and they suggested I get in contact with Mark to see if we could make something happen here.”


Wood eager to electrify Shawano’s strings

Photo courtesy of Mark Wood Mark Wood, shown performing in another concert, will be working with students from Shawano Community Middle School and Shawano Community High School next week before performing two concerts with them. Wood travels to schools all over the United States, helping them to re-energize their orchestra programs.

Shawano Community High School’s orchestra brings classical music to life several times a year for local audiences, but strings programs are dwindling among America’s schools.

Mark Wood, one of the founding members of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, is working to change that through the Electrify Your Strings program. He performs dozens of workshops every year in schools across the United States, which puts him constantly on the road.

This causes him sometimes to forget his bearings, as he had to ascertain that Shawano was in Wisconsin before proceeding with an interview with The Shawano Leader on Monday.

“I’ve just got back from California and Florida, and I don’t know where I am,” Wood said in a phone conversation from New York.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Christine Boone, played by Caitlyn Katchenago, cannot understand why her father, played by Matthew Schwitzer, won’t allow her to look into who killed the neighbor’s dog in a scene from “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.” The play, written by Simon Stephens, is based on the novel written by Mark Haddon.

Shawano Community High School is presenting an unusual mystery for its fall play.

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time,” which debuts next week at the high school, features a protagonist rarely seen in a main role — a teen with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Based on the book by the same name written by Mark Haddon, “Curious Incident” follows Christopher Boone, a mathematical genius who has difficulty interacting with those around him.

“I was reading a lot of different scripts, and as is usually the case, this was the last one I read, which meant this was the one I wanted to do,” said Alex Konen, director. “I was thinking of a few other scripts initially, but this one stood out for me. It seems to me to be a tale of bravery on the part of the main character who is autistic and really struggles interacting with people.”


Class of 2019 can apply for Kohl scholarships

The deadline is approaching to apply online for the 2019 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship. A total of 100 students will be chosen to receive $10,000 scholarships from applicants throughout the state.

Applicants must be Wisconsin residents who will graduate from high school in 2019 and plan to continue their education at a college, university or vocational/technical school. Students will be evaluated on academic achievement, leadership, citizenship and school and community activities. Completed online applications are due Nov. 4 for public high school students and Nov. 25 for religious, independent and homeschooled high school students. Students should go to to learn more and apply.


Clintonville schools ask for input

Residents of the Clintonville School District can offer feedback on the future of the schools during a community conversation circle on Oct. 23.

The event begins with a light meal at 5 p.m. in the high school commons, 64 W. Green Tree Road, Clintonville. The session will run until 7:30 p.m.

Residents will have the opportunity to visit with the school board, administration, staff and other community members to discuss, share ideas and provide feedback on Clintonville schools.

Discussions will center on the district’s focus areas including safety, learning, communication and responsible decision making.

To attend, contact Business Manager Holly Burr at

For information, contact David Dyb at or 715-823-7215, ext. 2604.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Jeff Grignon, a consultant for the College of Menominee Nation, checks to see if one of the Sustainable Development Institute’s phenology signs is level before dirt is packed in the holes Thursday on the college’s Learning Path in Keshena. Besides the phenology trail, the path also has exercise areas, a frisbee golf course and Glenhenge, an outdoor learning classroom.

Anyone who walks along a nature trail and wonders about how plants and trees grow can now find out for themselves through a project with the College of Menominee Nation’s Sustainable Dependability Institute.

New signs for the college’s Learning Path went up this week showing the phenology for a number of plants and trees in the forest land behind CMN. Phenology is the study of life cycles, and the signs will explain how the plants grow, leaf, flower and more.

“The Learning Path has a lot of things on it,” said Rebecca Edler, the SDI’s sustainability development coordinator. “This is the phenology part of it, where we’re looking at certain plants.”


Walk to School Day gets students hoofing

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Students from Bonduel Elementary School walk along Mill Street near the First Street intersection Wednesday for the annual Walk to School Day. Most of the journey was on a sidewalk, but this segment of road has no sidewalks, so students walked in an area set apart by orange cones.

The fog was thick for Walk to School Day on Wednesday, but the rain stayed away just long enough for Bonduel Elementary School students to walk along Mill Street and get to classes on time.

An estimated 275 to 300 of the school’s 350 students participated in Walk to School Day, an annual fall event facilitated through local school districts and the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

Brad Grayvold, Bonduel Elementary’s principal, stood at the intersection of First and Mill streets waiting for parents to walk by with their children and school buses to drop off students participating in the event. Tyler Debruin, a planner for ECWRPC’s Safe Routes to School program, stood at the crosswalk for the school with stickers to reward those who walked the entire route.


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