Sacred Heart honors veterans

Contributed Photo Sergeant First Class Lori Mathwich, a retired 21-year member of the U.S. Army, stands with her oldest son, Wyatt, a third-grade student at Sacred Heart Catholic School, following the school’s ceremony Nov. 16.

Sacred Heart Catholic School students and staff honored local veterans Nov. 16 with a special ceremony.

The all-school assembly included reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem, prayer and blessing from the Rev. Tom Farrell, musical videos, Biblical readings, prayer intercessions and the presence of guests from AMVETS Post 10, American Legion Post 117 and VFW Post 2723.

This year’s guest speaker was Lori Mathwich, Sacred Heart Parish’s coordinator of religion education, parish member and Sacred Heart Catholic School parent and alumna. Mathwich, a sergeant first class who spent 21 years in the U.S. Army, was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and did three tours to South America in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama. She was a readiness non-commissioned officer and a Blackhawk crew chief.

Mathwich retired in 2016 to spend more time with her family. Her husband, Shawn Mathwich, is still an active duty officer.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski College of Menominee Nation students reenact the day that the Menominee Restoration Act was signed on Dec. 22, 1973, which is shown in a black-and-white image in the background, in a scene from the play ““Menominee Restoration Day: Reader’s Theatre That Helps Us Remember.” Shown at the signing are, from left, back row, Curtis Wilhelmi, Lillian Martinez, Natalie Ninham, Brandon Boyd and Adrienne Tucker; front row, Thomas Seidler and Evelynn Grignon.

The day that the Menominee Nation was terminated as a federally recognized tribe was a dark day in history for the Menominee people, while the day the tribe’s federal rights were restored was a day of joy.

Many of the elders remember the tumultuous period when the tribe wasn’t recognized and the efforts that they made to remedy the situation, but it is not something that springs to mind for the reservation’s youth.

With that in mind, the College of Menominee Nation is producing a play, “Menominee Restoration Day: Reader’s Theatre That Helps Us Remember,” to educate the next generation about how the Menominee tribe lost its status and how it was regained.

CMN is performing shows for Menominee Indian High School and Menominee Tribal School during school hours, but it is also putting on a community show Dec. 6.

Ryan Winn, who teaches English and theater, said he was asked by some of the tribal elders to write the play.


Eland teaching English at WBHS


NEW Media recently chatted with Brianna Eland, a new English teacher at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School.

Q: What is your work/education background?

A: This is my first year teaching. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater this past May where I studied English and math education. UW-Whitewater gave me experience teaching at Ronald Reagan High School in Milwaukee, Marshall Middle School in Janesville and East Troy High School, which is in East Troy. I also worked in the tutoring center at UW-Whitewater, where I tutored students one-on-one in math and writing, and I was a supplemental instructor for an English class designed for struggling first-year students. During these experiences, I gained a lot of knowledge about working with high-need students.

Q: Where are you from?


Sacred Heart students get hands-on wildlife lesson

Contributed Photo Jeff Besaw, center, talks about whitetail deer as 3-year-old preschool students from Sacred Heart Catholic School examine the buck Monday.

The 3-year-old preschool class at Sacred Heart Catholic School has been studying the animals that live in Wisconsin. On Monday, they invited in a couple of wildlife enthusiasts to further the lesson.

Jeff and Cathy Besaw, of Clintonville, who have two grandchildren at Sacred Heart, visited the classroom of teachers Stacey Dickmann and Melissa Marquardt. They brought with them several life-sized animal mounts, including a whitetail buck, tom turkey, black bear yearling, cow elk and raccoon. They also showed off the pelts of a coyote, red fox, beaver, otter, muskrat, mink and opossum.

Jeff Besaw demonstrated the sounds some of the animal make when communicating with their own species or when warding off predators and announcing danger. A few students even had the opportunity to try the animal sounds themselves.


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.”


Subscribe to RSS - Schools