Valedictorians, salutatorians named at area schools

With the last of the Class of 2017 graduations concluding this week in Shawano County, here is a glance at the top students at each of the area high schools.

Shawano Community High School

Valedictorian Patrick Brodhagen

Patrick is the son of Roy and Kim Brodhagen. He has achieved a 4.0 grade-point average at SCHS and also participated in Mathematics League, Science Society, Rocketry Club and Astronomy Club. His other special achievements include Optimistic Club Academic Honors and Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship. He plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to study environmental science and geoscience.

Valedictorian Julia Haarth


Science teacher now a science advocate

Pam Patterson-Anhalt has always had a passion for science.

Soon, she will be able to spend more time working to instill that same passion in students at Shawano Community High School.

The high school faculty member has been chosen among 45 teachers nationally to promote better science education and to debunk myths about the difficulty of scientific research.

The honor from the Society for Science & the Public comes with a $3,000 grant, as well as specialized training in how to mentor young would-be scientists.

Patterson-Anhalt, a former private sector chemist and researcher, is looking forward to working with select students during the 2017-18 academic year who have shown an interest and aptitude for scientific research.

The program is geared toward encouraging students to enter research competitions that often propel young people into science-based career tracks.

“This is really a cool thing,” Patterson-Anhalt said. “I’m thrilled.”


CMN awards degrees, diplomas to 80

Contributed Photo College of Menominee Nation’s spring graduating class included, front, from left, Melinda Cook, of Shawano, Lloyd Rieson Jr., of Keshena, and Sally Hill, of Seymour. Cook and Frieson received Bachelor of Arts degrees in public administration, and Hill received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

Residents of 26 Wisconsin communities, including members of nine American Indian tribes, received academic degrees and technical diplomas in College of Menominee Nation ceremonies Saturday in Keshena.

Retired founding President S. Verna Fowler presented the guest address, and baccalaureate degree graduate, Lloyd J. Frieson Jr. spoke on behalf of the Class of 2017. Both reside in Keshena.

Saturday ceremonies also honored Dennis Vickers, who was named the American Indian College Fund Faculty Member of the Year. Vickers, who teaches in the college’s humanities program, holds philosophy degrees from the University of Texas (Ph.D.), Bowling Green University (master’s), and University of Wyoming (bachelor’s). A resident of White Lake, he has served on the CMN faculty since 2006.

Here are the graduates:

Bachelor of Arts

Public Administration: Melinda L. Cook, high honors, Shawano, and Lloyd J. Frieson Jr., Keshena.


22 receive diplomas at Tigerton graduation

Photo by Leah Lehman Salutatorian Wyatt Mattson and valedictorian Amber Brown march out at the end of the Tigerton High School graduation ceremony Friday.

The 108th Tigerton High School commencement exercise was held Friday at Tigerton High School.

The 22 graduates marched in to “Pomp and Circumstance” by the school band.

Valedictorian Amber Brown and class President Wyatt Mattson, also the salutatorian, addressed the audience.

Hall of Fame awards were given to Philip Salzman, accepted by his widow, Rosemarie, and to Corin Spiegel.

A slideshow of memories was presented. Diplomas were given out by District Administrator Benjamin Rayome and school board President Bonnie Levandoski.

The graduates marched out to “Premiere Suite.”


‘Wizard’ finale grand for teacher

Contributed Photo First-grade students performing “The Wizard of Oz” last week at Bonduel Elementary School include, from left, Ryan Niles, Peyton Westrich, Mary Sue Margelofsky and Ryley Kurtz.

Leader Photo by Scott Williams Denise Rudersdorf, shown in her classroom at Bonduel Elementary School, is retiring after more than 20 years of producing “The Wizard of Oz” shows with the school’s first-graders.

Denise Rudersdorf has reached the end of her yellow brick road.

The Bonduel school teacher is retiring after producing “The Wizard of Oz” every year for more than two decades with first-grade students playing Dorothy and the other beloved characters.

The show has become a popular community tradition that draws big audiences. It also creates lasting memories for the first-graders who get a chance to step into the spotlight.

So much so that members of Rudersdorf’s first cast from 1995 returned last week and surprised her with an impromptu reunion during her final show before retirement.

Mindy Lohff, who played Dorothy as a first-grader in 1995, is now a 28-year-old career woman with a son who will be starting school in another year or two. Lohff remembers the excitement of performing in the

“Wizard of Oz” in first grade, and she is impressed that Rudersdorf made the show a yearly tradition with other children.


School Notes

Contributed Photo Marion Elementary School teachers, from left, Stephanie Schroeder, Michelle Brill and Chelsey Gieseler hold a plaque presented to the school for raising the most money in a “penny war” benefiting the Bridge the Gap autism program. Gieseler’s fourth-grade class was Marion’s overall winner. Schroeder’s first-graders won weeks one and two, and Brill’s third-grade class was the week three winner.

Contributed Photo McGruff the Crime Dog paid a visit to Bowler Elementary on May 18. He was joined by Officer Scott Brown of the Stockbridge-Munsee Police Department. Brown gave an anti-bullying presentation to more than 100 preschool to third-grade students.

Gresham Community School

We had our annual Cystic Fibrosis Walk on May 12. Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults. It is a life-threatening disorder. Cody Pluger, a charismatic member of Gresham community, lost his battle to this deadly disease at the age of 17. He was a loving son, brother and friend. We sold T-shirts and raised around $1,500.

We had our elementary and high school spring concert for choir and band May 11.

The FFA also had a clean-up day May 12.

The seniors had a garbage pickup day May 13 at the North Star Casino for the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe.

The Culture Club went on its end-of-the-year trip to the Milwaukee County Zoo on May 17. They got to tour the zoo and visit the animals. Many of them got the chance to ride the Sky Safari and the Safari Train. Afterward, they stopped in Appleton and walked around the mall.


Preschoolers follow in St. Teresa’s footsteps

Contributed Photo Members of Stacy Dickmann’s 3-year-old preschool class at Sacred Heart Catholic School that recently established a Blessing Box to help others in need include, from left, Colton Farley, Bailey Wild, Logan Williams, Zayden Roehl, Holly Gee, Bennett Bahr, Max Marcks and William Joy.

Contributed Photo Bennett Bahr gives the new Blessing Box at Sacred Heart Catholic School a thumbs-up.

The 3-year-old preschool class at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Shawano recently painted and implemented a St. Teresa of Calcutta Blessing Box as a community service project.

Led by teacher Stacy Dickmann, the students painted the box with the help of parent volunteer Chris Marcks. The box was built and donated by Crossroads Custom Cabinetry of Shawano.

The class took their inspiration from the newly canonized St. Teresa of Calcutta, a Roman Catholic nun and missionary who helped the poorest of the poor.

The Blessing Box contains items that people in need can take. Students have filled the box several times with items such as toothpaste, diapers, canned food, bubbles and soap. The items are donated by parish families.


Retired CMN president returns as graduation speaker

The educator who presided over all previous commencement ceremonies at the College of Menominee Nation returns May 27 in a new role.

S. Verna Fowler retired as CMN’s president in June 2016, shortly after CMN’s last graduation celebration. This year, she attends as the guest speaker.

Ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. in the Five Clans Ballroom of the Menominee Casino Resort Conference Center, Keshena.


School Notes

Leader Photo by Scott Williams Menominee Indian High School students Shania Teller, left, and Kemaewen Waupkeney, center, take their turn Tuesday performing for students at Shawano Community Middle School.

Bonduel Elementary School

The Bonduel Elementary first-graders have been working on “Wizard of Oz”-themed 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. May 19 at Bonduel High School in Sousa Hall. Community members are welcome to come and enjoy the presentation.

The children also make digital pictures of themselves in costume, which is shown at the conclusion when they are introduced. Each year we add more to the performance to make it better than before. 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 at the conclusion of the presentation.


Seniors ready to shine at ‘Dance’

Seniors in the Shawano Community High School music program have been waiting four years to step into the spotlight, and they’ll have their chance this week at the annual Last Dance.

The school’s jazz band and Showstoppers choir will perform more than two hours of beloved classics and some modern tunes as guests dine on stage on desserts provided by Fannita’s Bakery.

This year’s show is expected to be one of the best since the Last Dance debuted in 2005, according to band director Christopher Kent. One reason is that the selection of music includes some heavy hitters, including songs from Chicago, Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington.

“We have Earth, Wind and Fire tossed in there with ‘September,’” Kent said. “I don’t think I’ve ever done multiple Chicago tunes with Earth, Wind and Fire in the same set, never mind three Glenn Miller tunes, two Duke Ellington tunes and, oh, just for fun I’ll throw ‘Free Bird’ (by Allen Collins and Ronnie Van Zant) in.”


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