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.”


Class of 2019 can apply for Kohl scholarships

The deadline is approaching to apply online for the 2019 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship. A total of 100 students will be chosen to receive $10,000 scholarships from applicants throughout the state.

Applicants must be Wisconsin residents who will graduate from high school in 2019 and plan to continue their education at a college, university or vocational/technical school. Students will be evaluated on academic achievement, leadership, citizenship and school and community activities. Completed online applications are due Nov. 4 for public high school students and Nov. 25 for religious, independent and homeschooled high school students. Students should go to to learn more and apply.


Clintonville schools ask for input

Residents of the Clintonville School District can offer feedback on the future of the schools during a community conversation circle on Oct. 23.

The event begins with a light meal at 5 p.m. in the high school commons, 64 W. Green Tree Road, Clintonville. The session will run until 7:30 p.m.

Residents will have the opportunity to visit with the school board, administration, staff and other community members to discuss, share ideas and provide feedback on Clintonville schools.

Discussions will center on the district’s focus areas including safety, learning, communication and responsible decision making.

To attend, contact Business Manager Holly Burr at

For information, contact David Dyb at or 715-823-7215, ext. 2604.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Jeff Grignon, a consultant for the College of Menominee Nation, checks to see if one of the Sustainable Development Institute’s phenology signs is level before dirt is packed in the holes Thursday on the college’s Learning Path in Keshena. Besides the phenology trail, the path also has exercise areas, a frisbee golf course and Glenhenge, an outdoor learning classroom.

Anyone who walks along a nature trail and wonders about how plants and trees grow can now find out for themselves through a project with the College of Menominee Nation’s Sustainable Dependability Institute.

New signs for the college’s Learning Path went up this week showing the phenology for a number of plants and trees in the forest land behind CMN. Phenology is the study of life cycles, and the signs will explain how the plants grow, leaf, flower and more.

“The Learning Path has a lot of things on it,” said Rebecca Edler, the SDI’s sustainability development coordinator. “This is the phenology part of it, where we’re looking at certain plants.”


Walk to School Day gets students hoofing

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Students from Bonduel Elementary School walk along Mill Street near the First Street intersection Wednesday for the annual Walk to School Day. Most of the journey was on a sidewalk, but this segment of road has no sidewalks, so students walked in an area set apart by orange cones.

The fog was thick for Walk to School Day on Wednesday, but the rain stayed away just long enough for Bonduel Elementary School students to walk along Mill Street and get to classes on time.

An estimated 275 to 300 of the school’s 350 students participated in Walk to School Day, an annual fall event facilitated through local school districts and the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

Brad Grayvold, Bonduel Elementary’s principal, stood at the intersection of First and Mill streets waiting for parents to walk by with their children and school buses to drop off students participating in the event. Tyler Debruin, a planner for ECWRPC’s Safe Routes to School program, stood at the crosswalk for the school with stickers to reward those who walked the entire route.


Walk to School Day approaches

Students, parents and volunteers from Bonduel Elementary School will be among thousands of people celebrating International Walk to School Day on Oct. 10. The one-day event highlighting the importance of youth fitness and emphasizing traffic safety and environmental concerns is celebrated in more than 40 countries.

Parents are encouraged to walk their children to school on the morning of Oct. 10. Those students who ride the bus to school, with parental permission, will be dropped off at the Bonduel fire station and walk from there. Shawano County and Bonduel police will be on hand. Walkers are encouraged to wear school colors or Bonduel Elementary apparel and will be eligible for prizes.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Rebecca Edler, left, sustainability coordinator for the College of Menominee Nation, shows a cob with dark red and purple kernels to Jamie Patton, northeast regional outreach specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension office, during a harvest of corn that took place Friday at the college’s Sustainability Development Institute. Many of the healthier cobs had a variety of colors.

It’s harvest season in Wisconsin, and for those farmers that grow corn, there is a lot of golden color waiting to be discovered underneath the husks.

Volunteers and staff at the College of Menominee Nation found some of that gold as they harvested some of the corn at the Sustainable Development Institute but the Bear Island Flint corn had more red, orange, blue and purple tints to it. Some cobs had multiple colors, and even some of the individual kernels had more than one color.

The corn harvested from the SDI is for more than human consumption. It is the second harvest in a multi-year research project the college is engaging in through funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


2 Bowler students going to AMVETS conference

Bowler High School students Skye Breitrick and McKayla Putnam will be participating in the AMVETS Spirit of America Program from Nov. 1-4 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Each year, students in Patrick Curran’s social studies class participate in a local veterans organization’s essay contest. Students submit their essays in the fall and await the results. Both Breitrick and Putnam advanced to the national level and, as a reward, are going on an all-expense paid trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Since 1987, AMVETS and the AMVETS National Service Foundation have offered this unique educational experience at the Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge to give young people a better appreciation of their freedoms granted by the U.S. Constitution.


Menominee Indian School District gets literacy grant

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded $23,500 in youth literacy grants last month to Wisconsin schools and nonprofit organizations. The Menominee Indian School District received a $2,000 grant.

The youth literacy grants will provide financial funding to teachers, libraries and literacy organizations to support a successful academic year throughout the 44 states that Dollar General serves.

“The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to be an ardent supporter of schools, libraries and nonprofit literacy organizations,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief executive officer.

Vasos said that, since its inception in 1993, the foundation has partnered with thousands of organizations, awarding more than $159 million in grants to schools, libraries and literacy groups to help increase literacy skills for individuals of all ages.


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