Celebrating the littlest of learners

Investing in high-quality early childhood education and educators will make America brighter, stronger and more competitive, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children. To that end, Sacred Heart Catholic School of Shawano recently celebrated the association’s “Week of the Young Child” April 16-20, to help support its mission.

Though Sacred Heart’s 3-year-old preschool and 4-year-old kindergarten students were off school Monday due to a blizzard, they still got to celebrate Tasty Tuesday, Work Together Wednesday, Artsy Thursday and Family Fun Friday, under the instruction of teachers Stacey Dickmann and Michelle Powers.

Friday was a highlight of the week when nearly 70 percent of preschool and 4K families enjoyed breakfast, all-school Mass, classroom exploration, snacks and a music and movement activity in the gym.


MISD scholarship fundraiser sets record

The weather was challenging, but that didn’t stop several hundred people from attending the sixth annual Menominee Indian School District scholarship gala Friday. The event, held at the Menominee Casino and Resort in Keshena, raised a record $35,813.

“We had a great turnout, and it was a lot of fun,” said Kate Mikle, gala coordinator. “People were definitely in the mood to help build our scholarship fund. In fact, four pies — part of the live auction — raised a combined total of more than $2,800. People really got into the spirit of friendly competition during the bidding.”

The event featured a dinner, bucket raffles, 50/50 raffle, meat raffles and live auction. Attendees also heard from Menominee School alumnus Ron Frechette, who talked about the importance of the ongoing scholarship programs. He is attending Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and pursuing a criminal justice degree.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Gresham School District Superintendent Newell Haffner announces the good news about the school winning the state Matific competition as math teacher Taylor Welcing, center, and Matific representative Sean Tiernan stand behind the medals and trophies that would later be distributed.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Gresham Community School students go through a line to get pizza and soda Friday afternoon following an assembly announcing the school was ranked first in Wisconsin and 15th in the nation in Matific. The international program provided the food and drinks for the more than 150 students who participated.

An educational celebration Friday at Gresham Community School was done by the numbers, with certificates and medals — and pizza.

Gresham had plenty to celebrate, as the small school beat out larger competitors like Stevens Point, D.C. Everest and Wisconsin Dells to be the top-ranked Wisconsin school in the Matific contest, an online program that makes solving math problems fun. If that wasn’t enough, the local school was ranked 15th in the nation out of 3,000 participating schools.

Sean Tiernan, a Matific representative from Greenville, Wisconsin, noted that Matific got its start eight years ago in Australia and Israel but didn’t become prevalent in the United States until three years ago. The program is designed to help bridge the historic gap between students learning math, he said.


State FFA to honor two Bowler members

Two Bowler FFA members will receive state recognition for outstanding work in completing their proficiencies and will be honored at the state FFA convention.

Noah Bestul and Alyssa Strassburg had to successfully complete their Supervised Agricultural Experiences to be eligible for the awards. The competition, in which there are roughly 50 areas of study ranging from agricultural communications to wildlife management, has four types of proficiency awards.

Students can enter the categories of agriscience research, entrepreneurship, combined or placement, in which a student commits to working for a business or completing an apprenticeship or internship. Both Bestul and Strassburg completed their placement proficiency.

Bestul filled out his placement proficiency for food processing while working at Wright Place Bar & Grill in Tilleda. His responsibilities included making pizzas, ensuring proper food storage and getting toppings and condiments ready for use.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Benjamin Grignon, who teaches traditional arts at Menominee Indian High School, works with students on their projects in the advanced beadwork class. Grignon’s work teaching students about Menominee art forms, language and culture earned him a fellowship from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.

Benjamin Grignon grew up in a traditional Menominee household. He knew the native tongue, and he practiced the traditional arts.

Now, Grignon spends most of his days teaching what he knows to students at Menominee Indian High School as the traditional arts teacher. Besides teaching, Grignon also heads up the school’s gardening and language clubs, and he works with the community to run summer culture camps.

His hard work to keep the Menominee culture alive has not gone unnoticed. Grignon will be receiving a fellowship from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation on April 28 at Denmark High School, one of 100 in the state and one of only three in CESA 8 so recognized.

Grignon started his career at MIHS 10 years ago as the school’s librarian. About five years ago, the position for the traditional arts teacher opened up, and he got the job.


SCMS has plenty of Helping Hands

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Shawano Community Middle School students, from left, Alexis Cherney, Jasmine Soto, KK Rohr, Emily Spreeman, Elise Pyatskowit and Alex Bellingrath chat back and forth as they work on crafting denim pieces with sexual assault awareness messages and art during a session of the Helping Hands Club on Monday. The club has 26 students on average participating, but some projects have seen 40 to 50 students participate.

At one time or another, everyone needs a helping hand.

Shawano Community Middle School has plenty to go around.

The school started the Helping Hands Club at the beginning of the school year, and already it has conducted two dozen service projects that help local organizations. Among the projects are making pet treats for Safe Haven, Shawano Area Matthew 25 and the Shawano County Humane Society; making supplies for autism awareness activities; making valentines for the veterans home in King and traveling there to play bingo with them; ringing bells in Green Bay for the Salvation Army; and helping to run the school’s Santa Shop.

Using fundraisers, community donations and Thrivent funds, Helping Hands has put over $3,000 into the community, according to Trish Berg, the club’s adviser.


Witness a ‘Miracle’ at SCHS

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Annie Sullivan, played by Alana Krolow, left, struggles to teach Helen Keller, played by Emma Etten, in a scene from “The Miracle Worker.” The show opens Thursday at the auditorium at Shawano Community High School.

Most of the students at Shawano Community High School are fortunate enough to have eyes to see, ears to hear and the gift of their own voice.

That didn’t stop some students from diving into the amazing story of Helen Keller as they bring “The Miracle Worker” to life this week.

The play follows along the lines of Keller’s autobiography, “The Story of My Life.” As an infant, she suffered an illness that left her both blind and deaf, and she became mute as a result of losing two of her senses. Keller’s parents took pity on her and never taught her discipline, resulting in her becoming a wild child by the age of 6.

The Keller family hired Annie Sullivan to be Helen’s governess and teacher but were surprised by Sullivan’s no-nonsense methods. Having once been blind herself, she saw the potential in unlocking the box that Keller had been trapped in and turning her into a functioning member of society.


Pulaski breaking ground on sports complex

Contributed image Artist rendering of PCSD baseball/softball complex is provided by Point of Beginning.

A groundbreaking ceremony is set for 11 a.m. Thursday at the future site of the Pulaski Community School District’s baseball/softball complex, east of Saputo Stadium.

The first portion of Phase II includes two baseball fields and two softball fields at Pulaski High School, a press box and storage area, concession stands and bathrooms.

The second portion of Phase II will include three additional tennis courts at PHS, additional practice fields, and upgrades to the Pulaski Community Middle School soccer complex

The baseball/softball portion of Phase II is expected to cost $2.3 million, with about $1.5 million yet to be raised. The remaining Phase II work will occur after the baseball/softball portion of Phase II is completed.


Student entries sought for Packers art contest

Area students have a few weeks to complete their entries for the 2018 Packers Student Art Contest, the winners of which will receive a $5,000 donation for their school and have their artwork displayed on Lambeau Field’s club levels next season.

The theme of this year’s contest is “100 Seasons of Packers Football.” Students are asked to create a piece that tells the story of the NFL team’s history — such as its victories, defeats, comebacks, traditions, generations of fans, etc. Submissions of paintings, drawings, prints, digital art, mixed media or collage will be accepted through April 19. The final artwork size must be 16-by-20 inches and fit comfortably inside a standard frame.



Gresham Community School will be taking theater lovers south for its next musical, far enough south that they might feel the wind sweeping down the plain.

The school will bring the classic musical “Oklahoma!” to its stage next week with three shows from March 22-24.

The show is set in Oklahoma in 1906, when it was a territory and one year before it became a state. It is based on the play “Green Grow the Lilacs,” written by Lynn Riggs.

However, the musical itself was written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, their first, and debuted in 1943. It is the second consecutive year that Gresham has performed a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical after performing “The Sound of Music,” the final collaboration between the two.

“We wanted to try something set in America,” said director Heidi Cerveny. “This is right around the turn of the century.”

This year’s musical performance features 19 students from grades 6-12.


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