School gyms get summer upgrades

Contributed Photo Installed by a firm that has worked on NBA basketball courts, the new gymnasium floor at St. James Lutheran School is made of glistening hardwood.

Contributed Photo Crews work on the gymnasium floor inside St. James Lutheran School, which uses its gym for physical education classes and also team athletics.

Students returning from summer vacation will find significant improvements to athletic facilities at two parochial schools in Shawano.

St. James Lutheran School and Sacred Heart Catholic School both are investing heavily this summer in improvements to their gymnasiums.

Although school officials say educational quality in the classroom is foremost in maintaining quality institutions, facilities for physical activity and competition are also important.

“Athletics are a big deal to families,” said Danny Fosheim, athletic director at St. James.

St. James is installing a new hardwood floor in its gymnasium this summer, replacing an old vinyl floor that was worn and outdated.

Sacred Heart, meanwhile, is equipping its gymnasium with new basketball hoops, new volleyball nets, a new sound system and more.


3 area men complete college’s first CDL class

Contributed Photo Graduates of the first commercial driver’s license class offered at College of Menominee Nation are, from left, Weston Fredenberg, Adam Waukau Sr. and Shannon Tucker.

Three area men are the first to receive commercial driver’s license certification through a new program offered this year at the College of Menominee Nation.

Graduating on June 30 were Weston Fredenberg, of Gresham, Adam Waukau Sr., of Keshena, and Shannon Tucker, of Middle Village.

The men earned the Class A CDL certification required for employment in over-the-road driving of semitractor-trailers for commercial use. The national requirement applies to drivers of any type of vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds, or 10,001 pounds with any type of trailer towed.

The training is a pilot series offered as a collaborative effort of the college, Menominee Job Center Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act program, Bay Area Workforce Development and Fox Valley Technical College.

Enrollment for the July CDL session at CMN has reached capacity, but a waiting list of eligible applicants is being developed. An August session is planned.


School Notes

Contributed Photo Members of the Shawano FFA veterinary science team, which was runner-up at the spring competition in Madison, are, from left, Emma Magee, Meghan Hoffman, Abby Jones ​and​ Callie Boyles.

Contributed Photo Shawano FFA members Maya Ihrcke ​and ​Alex Hoffman placed fourth at the district competition in the landscape ​and​ nursery division at the career development events held at Fox Valley Technical College.

Shawano Community High School

Members of the Shawano FFA chapter have had a busy spring and start to the summer​.​

Local members were recognized at the end of the school year by the state FFA association for testing their skills and top placements at the district and state levels of the career development events.

Maya Ihrcke ​and​ Alex Hoffman placed fourth at the district competition in the landscape ​and​ nursery division at the career development events at Fox Valley Technical College.

The veterinary ​science team of Callie Boyles, Meghan Hoffman, Abby Jones and Emma Magee received second place at the state competition​.​ Abby Jones was recognized as a top ranking individual.


Shawano woman receives teaching award

Contributed Photo Vern Dahlstrom, representing the Nicolet Oconto Retired Teachers Association, presents the organization’s Gillett Educator of Excellence Award for 2015-16 to Brenda Hansen, of Shawano. Hansen teaches third grade in the Gillett School District.

Brenda Hansen, of Shawano, recently received the 2015-16 Educator of Excellence Award for the Gillett School District.

The award is sponsored by the Nicolet Oconto Retired Teachers Association. The recipient is selected by the Gillett School District faculty.

Hansen grew up in Rice Lake. She started her teaching career at Gillett Elementary School, where she teaches third grade, and has been with the district for 28 years.

Hansen said she has stayed in Gillett her entire teaching career because the staff that she works with is like a family to her.

Hansen has served on several school committees over the years. She is the chairperson of the writing and science committees, and serves on the wellness committee and the Pride Inside committee.

She is also involved with community projects such as the November food drive, Timber Rattlers reading program,and the Heavenly Hats foundation.


School district honors retirees

Contributed Photo Pupil services director Karen Smith, right, gets ready to hug pupil services secretary Kathryn Westfahl, who is retiring after 15 years of service in the Shawano School District.

Contributed Photo Retiring after 29 years in the school district, Mart Grams, left, a social studies teacher at Shawano Community High School, shares a light moment with School Superintendent Gary Cumberland.

The Shawano School District honored some of its longest-serving employees Friday and also bid farewell to retiring staff members who are stepping aside with a combined more than 150 years of experience.

More than 40 teachers and other district employees shared the spotlight during an end-of-school-year luncheon at Shawano Community High School.

Those being honored for longevity have served the school district for as long as four decades in some cases.

“They have done so much for our students here in Shawano,” School Superintendent Gary Cumberland said.


Anatomically correct donation helps SCHS

Contributed Photo Shawano Community High School’s Angela Kowalewski, left, a Northeast Wisconsin Technical College general anatomy and physiology instructor, and principal Scott Zwirschitz, second from left, receive a hand-painted model of the lymphatic system, donated by Dr. Jeff and Holly Zander, of Shawano, right. This donation was partially funded by the Bill Mielke Volunteer Educator Award received by Dr. Zander in 2015.

Dr. Jeff Zander and his wife, Holly, have donated a high quality, hand-painted model of the lymphatic system to the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s general anatomy and physiology course at Shawano Community High School.

Zander, a dentist practicing in Shawano, was awarded the Bill Mielke Volunteer Educator Award in 2015, as part of the Celebration of Giving awards presented annually by the Shawano Area Community Foundation. He donated the $1,000 from the award to the SCHS science department, specifically benefiting the general anatomy and physiology curriculum.

Seeing a need for the lymphatic system model, the Zanders decided to donate over $500 of their own money in order to purchase the model and complete the representation of all systems for the course.


Junior Achievement honors Hillcrest teacher

Contributed Photo Hillcrest Primary School teacher Lori Schwecke is pictured with her second-grade class. Schwecke last week was named the 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year for the Junior Achievement Wolf River District.

Contributed Photo Lori Schwecke, center, receives her Teacher of the Year award from Junior Achievement of the Wolf River District representatives Marty Monfils, left, and Sandy Ebbinger on May 12.

Junior Achievement of the Wolf River District last week awarded Hillcrest Primary School teacher Lori Schwecke its 2015­16 Teacher of the Year award.

JA volunteers submitted nominations for the award through an online survey. Results were compiled and judged by members of the JA board and staff.

According to one nomination, Schwecke gives her students “hope for the future by teaching them that they can accomplish anything that they put their minds to.”

The award was presented May 12 by Principal Troy Edwards, JA district director Sandy Ebbinger and JA board secretary/treasurer Marty Monfils during a staff meeting. JA representatives thanked Schwecke for the difference she makes in her students’ lives.

Junior Achievement partners with educators to empower youth to achieve success through volunteer-­led courses promoting financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. The courses are available to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.


Supermileage masters

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Jared Rickert does a lap around the track at Bowler High School in the Supermileage vehicle he and Jarred Boswell designed. Bowler has been part of the Wisconsin Energy Efficient Vehicle Association’s Supermileage Challenge for the last four years.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Bowler High School senior Jared Rickert sits in the driver’s seat of an award-winning Supermileage vehicle while his partner, Jarred Boswell, does a final check before a test run. The vehicle was estimated to be running at a peak of 765 miles per gallon during a competition in April at Fox Valley Technical College.

Most people can only dream of having a motor vehicle that would get 765 mpg.

But two students at Bowler High School found a way to make that happen.

The school has been part of the Wisconsin Energy Efficient Vehicle Association for the last four years. This year nine students worked on experimental vehicles that could run on either fuel or electricity as part of the association’s Supermileage Challenge.

After researching vehicle designs, internal combustion engines and powertrain systems, the students designed four single-person vehicles that could travel several hundred miles on either electricity or a gallon of fuel.

A vehicle designed by seniors Jared Rickert and Jarred Boswell blew away the competition, improving the vehicle’s initial performance from 200 mpg to 765.


School Notes

Bonduel Elementary School

The Bonduel Elementary first-graders have been working on “Wizard of Oz” theme-based activities such as characters, setting, vocabulary, math word problems, compare/contrast, fairy tales and graphing. This is in preparation for their production of the mini musical, “The Wizard of Oz.” They have been practicing their songs and parts since the beginning of March and are very excited to show off their hard work. They will perform at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Sousa Hall at Bonduel High School. Community members are welcome to come and enjoy the presentation.

The children also made digital pictures of themselves in costume. The photos will be shown when the students are introduced at the conclusion of their presentation. Mark your calendars and make sure you come early to get a good seat; you won’t want to miss it! Refreshments will be served.


Surprise celebration honors teacher’s 50-year career

Photo by Grace Kirchner Stannye Meads sits in front of a banner that reads: “50 Years of Teaching!! Congratulations Ms. Stannye!!” during a surprise celebration Friday at Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School in Clintonville.

Photo by Grace Kirchner Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers was among those honoring Stannye Meads on her 50 years of teaching at a celebration Friday in Clintonville.

There were tears, but no one was “sad, oh sad” at Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School on Friday as friends, students and former students, family, coworkers and others surprised Stannye Meads with a celebration honoring her 50th year in teaching.

Meads, known for the phrase above, has taught in Clintonville for 25 years. Prior to that, she taught in Illinois and Kentucky.

Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers was among those honoring Meads — Ms. Stannye to her students and others — at the celebration.

”I have been superintendent of public instruction for the past seven years, but I have never before recognized someone that has been teaching 50 years,” Evers said. He presented a plaque of appreciation to Meads on behalf of the DPI.


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