Applications being accepted for Community Foundation scholarships

The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region is accepting applications for more than $1 million in scholarship money available to area students.

A change in federal rules allows many college-bound students to apply for scholarships sooner than they could have in the past. They now can use information from their parents’ 2015 federal tax to complete the FAFSA rather than waiting for them to complete their 2016 return, as the old rules would have required. Many of the Community Foundation scholarships require the FAFSA, which provides information about the family’s financial situation.

The Community Foundation’s scholarship web page at lists scholarships available to students from 60 schools, primarily high schools in its Fox Valley service region, which includes regional families of funds in Brillion, Chilton, Clintonville, Shawano and Waupaca.


MISD planning annual scholarship gala

The fifth annual Menominee Indian School District Scholarship Gala will be held April 7 at the Menominee Indian Casino Resort Conference Center.

All proceeds will go to MISD’s scholarship fund, with a portion given out annually as scholarships to students currently attending college. In the past four years, the gala has raised more than $78,000, including $23,000 in 2016.

“More and more of our students are pursuing post-secondary education opportunities, and we want to ensure these students have the financial resources they need to stay in school,” MISD Superintendent Wendell Waukau said. “The scholarship monies raised at this event can make a big difference in a student’s ability to finish pursuing a degree.”


Annual student writing contest begins

Shawano Area Writers has launched its 11th annual George Putz Memorial Student Writing Contest with a call for entries.

Letters have been delivered to schools and home- schooled groups announcing the 2017 contest for students in Shawano and Menominee counties.

The contest deadline is March 31.

Students compete in three grade groups — grades 1-4, grades 5-8 and grades 9-12 — in the categories of poetry, fiction and nonfiction.

Each entry must include an entry form, but students can compete as much as they want. There is no charge to enter.

The contest judges are chosen from outside Shawano and Menominee counties. Judges choose first, second, and third place winners in each category, and within each grade group. Each of the three winners in each age group receives cash prizes.

All winners, including honorable mentions, receive certificates of achievement at the awards ceremony held at the Mielke Arts Center.


School Notes

Contributed Photo Freshman history students at Gresham Community School play Trench Warfare with dodgeballs and exercise mats.

Bonduel Elementary School

Are you aware that our third-graders at Bonduel Elementary are required to learn cursive handwriting? We have used the Zaner-Bloser approach for over 25 years.

Students not only learn the correct way to form the letters, but also how to write and read words in cursive. They work on legibility, spacing, size and slant.

According to Iris Hatfield, a handwriting coach, here are the top 10 reasons to learn cursive:

1. Improved neural connections. Cursive handwriting stimulates the brain in ways that typing cannot.

2. Improved ability to read cursive. When an individual cannot read cursive, they are cursively illiterate in their own language.

3. Increased speed. The connectivity of a simple cursive style is faster to write than the stop-and-start strokes of printing. Speed has been shown to increase attention span during writing.

4. Improved fine motor skills.


First time’s the charm for winning speller

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Anna Etten, a sixth-grade student at Shawano Community Middle School, looks toward the judges as she spells a word in the first round of the Shawano School District’s spelling bee on Wednesday. After more than hour, Etten was victorious after spelling “stilton” correctly.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski The remaining 20 contestants return to their seats after a short break during Wednesday’s district spelling bee at Shawano Community Middle School. About 40 students competed in the annual event; 46 students in grades 4-8 were eligible.

Anna Etten showed few signs that she didn’t know how to spell a word as she coasted to victory in the Shawano School District’s annual spelling bee on Wednesday.

Etten, who is in sixth grade at Shawano Community Middle School, was competing for the first time in the spelling bee, which included almost 40 students from the middle school and Olga Brener Intermediate School.

Her winning word was stilton, a type of English cheese — almost poetic for a student living in the heart of the dairy state.

Etten will go on to compete at the regional spelling bee at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at Bonduel High School. The winner of that contest will compete in the state bee March 25 in Madison.

Etten said it felt good to win, even though she was surprised about the word she received at the end.

“I was just guessing,” Etten said. “I did quite a bit of studying — about five or six hours or so.”


Area 4-H member will attend inauguration

A Bowler 4-H member is one of 31 Wisconsin 4-H representatives who will attend the inauguration of Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th president Friday in Washington, D.C.

Lauren Bahr, a freshman at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, will attend Citizenship Washington Focus, a 4-H program that strengthens youth citizenship skills, which for the first time is convening during a presidential inauguration.

“It’s a chance for me to learn about the government in a more hands-on learning atmosphere with people from across the country,” Bahr said. “I am excited to be part of this.”

Approximately 500 4-H members from around the country will gather for five days next week to learn more about the democratic process, the executive branch, careers in politics, history of the presidency, election process and role of the press.


Wildcats in living color

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Gresham Community School students, from left, Kali Jones, Billy Mommaerts, Ryan Schroeder, Sydney Coffman and Misty Wilson-Goranson paint a mural that, once completed, will show the eyes and facial features of a wildcat, the school’s mascot. The students have been working for weeks on the mural, one of two that will be hung in the school gymnasium.

Two white boards with painted segments sit in the basement classroom of art teacher Natalie Onesti at Gresham Community School. They don’t look like much now, but in a couple of weeks, they will be sources of pride for students and the greater Gresham community.

Students in the school’s advanced high school art class have been working tirelessly for weeks on murals representing the school’s wildcat mascot. One shows the eyes and the facial features of the wildcat, while the other shows slashing claw marks with a big G, basketball and volleyball.

Once complete, they will hang in the gymnasium.

“It’s been a process where we’ve tried to involve the community,” Onesti said. “The students came up with all of their ideas, and they’re transferring their designs to do the work.”


Teacher gets grant to help students build chicken coops

Contributed Photo Tim Dobbs, right, a teacher at the Student Health Center of the Menominee Indian School District, recently received a grant from the Meemic Foundation to help students build and sell chicken coops. Shown, from left, are Karl Morrin, student director at the Student Health Center, Jim Mayefski, from the Schoolhouse Agency in Green Bay, and teacher Beth Waukechon.

Tim Dobbs, a teacher at the Student Health Center of the Menominee Indian School District, recently received a $500 grant to help students plan, design, construct and sell chicken coops.

The grant came from the Meemic Foundation, a nonprofit organization created by Meemic Insurance Company.

Under Dobbs’ guidance, the students will also help develop and implement the school-based business program that will eventually offer chicken coops to rural community residents.

Students who attend the Student Health Center are nontraditional learners who sometimes struggle with behavioral health or substance abuse issues. Most of the students cannot function to their full potential in a regular classroom setting.


Sacred Heart plans Catholic Schools Week activities

Sacred Heart Catholic School in Shawano will celebrate National Catholic Schools Week from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4 with a community service project and a week filled with faith and fun.

The school, which sponsored 13 community service projects during the 2015-16 school year, is partnering with Bellin College and Friends of Haiti to hold a supply drive throughout the week for their spring mission trip.

The school will collect simple yet high-demand items such as bars of soap and children’s tooth brushes all week, and then present them to Kathie DeMuth, assistant professor of nursing at Bellin College and Friends of Haiti representative, who is coming to share her experiences in Haiti with the students on Feb. 2.

Schools typically observe Catholic Schools Week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members to share the value Catholic education provides to young people, our communities and nation.


School Notes

Shawano Community High School

Shawano Community High School freshmen orientation is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the school.

Shawano Community High School’s Winter Wonderland dance will be held from 8-11 p.m. Jan. 21 at the school.

Hillcrest Primary/LEADS Charter School

Hillcrest is looking for volunteers to assist with listening to students read during the day and putting books away in the guided library. Any interested community members are encouraged to call 715-524-2134 for information.

Shawano School District

For more information about the district’s inclement weather policies, check under Quick Links on Contact your student’s school office if you have questions or concerns about the district’s policies.

There will be no school for students on Jan. 16.

Sacred Heart Catholic School


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