Meet Jan Koch

Photo by Carol Wagner Jan Koch is co-chair of the Shawano Area Women’s Network and belongs to several other organizations including the Custom and Classics Car Club.

Jan Koch is co-chair of the Shawano Area Women’s Network.

A native of Wauwatosa, she graduated from Wauwatosa High School. Koch earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and later a master’s in education from UW-Platteville. She taught in the Lancaster School District and then the Menominee Indian School District, first in the classroom and then a Title I reading specialist. Koch taught in Osceola for five years and Luck for 14 years as a reading specialist and gifted and talented coordinator.

Koch and her husband, Chuck, also an educator, retired to Shawano Lake.

“We have been to all four corners of Wisconsin,” Koch said. “This is my favorite place.”

They have two sons and three grandchildren. Koch sews and quilts and enjoys reading and gardening.

How long have you been part of the Shawano Area Women’s Network?


Shawano Area Writers make college scholarship available

Due to the generosity of George Putz Jr., Shawano Area Writers is making an annual $1,000 scholarship available to a graduating high school senior from Shawano or Menominee county to pursue a writing-related degree from an accredited post-secondary institution.

The non-renewable scholarship may be applied to tuition, fees, room and board, books or other college expenses for a student pursing a degree in creative writing, English, journalism or a similar field.

Complete information is available on the Shawano Area Writers’ website: Deadline for entries is midnight Monday. The winner will be notified on or before June 30.


Students win local writing contest

The Shawano Area Writers recently announced the winners for the annual George Putz Memorial Writing Contest. An awards ceremony was held April 28 at the Mielke Arts Center.

The winners for the 2018 contest are as follows:

• Poetry, grades 1-4: Nora Bushman, first place; Jonah Bushman, second place and honorable mention; Wyatt Bratz, third place; and Laney Rich, honorable mention.

• Poetry, grades 5-8: Kemewan Kinepoway, first place; Akyrie Onesti, second place; Jodeci Lopez, third place; Henrietta Long, honorable mention; and Lucas White, honorable mention.

• Poetry, grades 9-12: Morgan Fregien, first place and honorable mention; Jacob Bratz, second place and honorable mention; and Reanne Kietlinski, third place.

• Nonfiction, grades 1-4: Caroline Bergmann, first place; Wyatt Bratz, second place; Grace Hegewald, third place; Josiah Kuehl, honorable mention; and Garret Hofman, honorable mention.


Thrift shop helps support counseling services

Photo by Carol Wagner - Some of the women who volunteer at the Lutheran Counseling and Family Services Thrift Shop in Shawano are, from left, Murylene Clements, Leah Giese, Lauri Cornelius, Kathy Suehring, Carol Stanek and Darlyne Wright.

The Lutheran Counseling and Family Services Thrift Shop in Shawano is co-managed by Carol Stanek, Kathy Suehring, and Leah Lehman.

Stanek gets help with sorting in the back room. She also does the store layout, changing things around to better display what is available.

“It works really well,” Stanek said. “Different things are selling that didn’t before.”

The usual fare is available — clothes, shoes, dishes, furniture, books, bedding, puzzles, games, decorations, collectibles, and jewelry. Occasionally new items are in a special area of the shop. All items are color coded and reasonably priced.

“I thing we’re on the low end,” Stanek said about their prices.

Suehring does the accounting, keeping track of the receipts and showing volunteers how to use the cash register. The income is sent to the home office which then pays the bills and helps the Shawano counseling office.


World Mom grew up in different from today’s world

My mother was born in 1900, and as I think about that, I am reminded that the world she was born into, is light years from the world we live in today.

She was the oldest child, born at home, I am sure. Funny, that is something we never really talked about. She was not one to share a whole lot of her personal stories of childhood. From my own childhood recollections from visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s farm, I have a tiny idea of her home environment.

I can recall the kerosene lamp that hung over the dining room table. I remember, the handle we had to pump to get water to do the dishes after a meal. There was a parlor with a player piano. One night I remember staying overnight, sleeping upstairs.


Meet Ardis Klosterman

Photo by Carol Wagner - Ardis Klosterman volunteers at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bonduel.

Ardis Klosterman volunteers at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bonduel.

Klosterman was born and raised in Shawano County, graduating from Bonduel High School. She worked for Aid Association for Lutherans, now Thrivent, for five and a half years. She then worked for 30 years at the Bonduel Post Office, beginning part time for 15 years and retiring as the postmaster after 15 years. Klosterman and her husband, Melvin, were married for 50 years before his death three years ago. They have two children and five grandchildren. Klosterman lives in Bonduel and enjoys doing crafts. She is a lifetime member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, as was her late husband.

How long have you volunteered at St. Paul Lutheran Church?

“Since 1999. I came over in the fall and helped serve hot lunch and wash dishes for the school.”

What do you do now?


Missing Mom

I miss my mom. My mother was a remarkable woman. Without entering high school, she earned her degree in the business of life. That might sound cliché, I know, but unquestionably true. Coming from a farm, marrying a farmer and raising her children, she absolutely honed her life skills — hard work, determination, fortitude — and then taught us.

Mom and Dad had a textbook marriage. They were not saints, not at all, but we kids understood they loved each other. They first met at McKinley School in 1928 when Dad was in third grade and Mom was in first. We have a picture of them sitting next to each other! In 2009, they went Home, mere months apart.

Marrying in 1942, Mom knew what Dad needed before Dad needed it. She was his helpmate, working side-by-side on the farm: driving tractor, feeding calves, milking cows. She was Dad’s best friend, his confidante, business partner and the mother of his five children.


Be safe on the water during boating season

While growing up near the Wolf River and many lakes in Waupaca and surrounding counties, I’ve been involved in boating activities on these and many other waterways in and outside of Wisconsin. As with many of you, powerboating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, rafting, water skiing and tubing have always been a part of my life. To go along with these activities comes maintenance and a lot of responsibility.

I’ve had the experience of using various boats and trailers for over 45 years. While working in a law enforcement capacity, I’ve been involved in educating boaters, enforcement of boating laws, and search and rescue for 30 years. I’ve instructed Wisconsin boater safety courses for 20 years, certifying more than 900 safe boaters.

Boater safety course


SAM’s House reflects on past numbers, clients

Photo by Carol Wagner The staff of Shawano Area Matthew 25 met recently to discuss the 2017-2018 emergency shelter. From left, seated, Chris Ciucci, Pam Tadych, and Sylvia Baird; standing, Lois Welch, Jennifer Laude Bisterfeldt, Rich Montoure, and Bill Grogan. Not pictured are Adam Schulz and Tammie Guyette.

The staff and volunteers at SAM’s House ended the emergency shelter season with sadness and hope for the future. They reluctantly said goodbye to all the clients they have helped.

“Every year, the numbers have gone up significantly,” said executive director Jennifer Laude Bisterfeldt.

The first year, there were 630 adults and children and the second year 1,683. In the third year, the shelter housed 2,224 people.

“Poverty is everywhere,” Bisterfeldt said. “It’s been eye-opening to me.”

On most nights, the shelter has been at maximum capacity or over.

“We don’t have a ton of room,” she said.

However, the shelter at the former Shawano City Hall has worked out well, and SAM25 is grateful for being allowed to be able to use it. There is always fundraising and writing grants to keep the shelter open. In the future, they would like a larger building and will be working toward that in the next couple of years.


Meet John Mocadlo

Photo by Carol Wagner John Mocadlo volunteers at the Shawano Area Matthew 25 emergency shelter.

John Mocadlo volunteers at the Shawano Area Matthew 25 emergency shelter.

Mocadlo was born and raised in Stevens Point, graduating from Stevens Point High School. Mocadlo attended UW-Stevens Point for one year and then got a degree in police science from Northcentral Technical College. He worked for the Athens Police Department, then the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, and retired after 31½ years with the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department in June 2017.

Mocadlo lives in Shawano with his wife, Kathi, who works at Advanced Physical Therapy. He has two sons and a stepdaughter. Mocadlo enjoys golf, working out and his Harley Davidson. He works part-time as a security officer at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano.

How long have you volunteered at SAM25?

“This is my first year. I volunteer one day a week on Tuesdays from 4:45 p.m. to 9 p.m.”

What do you do?


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