In this section of the website, we'll share information about noteworthy achievements, District-wide events, or timely news items.
Chegwin Elementary Teacher Selected to Serve on Wisconsin’s Promoting Excellence for All Task Force
Rasma Barbee, a fifth grade teacher at Chegwin Elementary School, has been selected to serve on a task force charged with identifying classroom-centered best practices to address Wisconsin’s achievement gap. Mrs. Barbee is one of seventeen educators who will assist State Superintendent Tony Evers with “the most important work he’ll do this spring.” These educators were selected because their schools are showing increased academic achievement and the achievement of non-white students in their schools is improving.
Evers is asking the group to examine proactive instructional strategies and resources for Wisconsin educators to use to close achievement gaps in their schools and districts and to recommend local school board policy changes that can support efforts to close the achievement gaps in the state. The task force will produce a resource for teachers to utilize for focusing on instructional strategies to close the achievement gap and a report highlighting the task force’s findings.
Mequon-Thiensville School District Superintendent Demond Means will chair the task force. A strong advocate for underrepresented students, Means has nearly two decades of administrative experience. His background as a former social studies teacher, coach, and adviser will benefit the practitioner-laden task force with practical instructional knowledge. “Throughout his career, Demond has been committed to kids,” said Evers. “He shares my commitment to Wisconsin’s students and making sure all students in the state achieve to the highest levels possible.”
Means explained, “The issue of closing achievement gaps is a professional and personal passion of mine. As we become a more diverse state, the need for all schools to have courageous conversations about performance gaps will become increasingly important. Our intent is to identify strategies that can immediately assist principals and classroom teachers to improve achievement for all students.”
Fond du Lac School District Superintendent Dr. James Sebert noted, “Rasma will do an incredible job on this task force. Rasma, her colleagues and her principal work tirelessly each day to ensure every child learns at Chegwin." Theresa Loehr, Principal at Chegwin, expressed, “This is an exciting opportunity for Rasma and for Chegwin. Just to be recognized in this way for the work we do is an honor. As an added benefit, this will be a chance to learn what other schools across the state are doing well and adapt their ideas for Fond du Lac.”
Wisconsin as a state has overall high achievement on the ACT college admissions exam and is the “Best in the Midwest” for performance on Advanced Placement exams. Its statewide graduation rate is among the tops in the nation. However, Evers calls the graduation rates for students of color, unacceptable. One in four Hispanic and American Indian students drop out, and one in three African-American students drop out each year. According to data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the state also is among the worst in the nation for achievement gaps in reading and mathematics between black and white students. Achievement gaps for students with disabilities, English learners, and students of poverty are also large.
“This task force is the key to helping me address Wisconsin’s achievement gap,” Evers said. “We want to find out strategies at the classroom and school levels that these educators have found to be successful in promoting excellence for all of their students.”
Riverside and Sabish Teachers Recognized as Kohl Fellowship Award Recipients
Herb Kohl Educational Foundation 2014 Fellowship Awards were presented to Jacquie Wendt, early childhood teacher at Riverside Elementary School, and Cecelia "Cele" Preston, math teacher at Sabish Middle School, at a recognition luncheon hosted by U.S. Senator Herb Kohl on March 22, 2014.
Riverside Principal Tim Schipper shared, “Jacquie is a talented, intelligent, and compassionate educator that has caught excellence. She pursues perfection daily and is a tireless worker. She truly embraces the successes and challenges that each child brings to us. The Rocket family counts ourselves as the individuals both fortunate and blessed to work with her every day.”
Torrie Rochon-Luft, Sabish Principal, shared, “Sabish is unbelievably proud to have Cele, one of our phenomenal teachers, bestowed with an incredible honor. To the many, many students and educators whose lives she has touched, this honor will come as no surprise because she gives her heart and soul to Sabish and teaches math with fervor and grit!"
The Herb Kohl Fellowship recognizes teachers who have demonstrated superior ability to inspire love of learning in their students, have motivated others, and have provided meritorious service both inside and outside the classroom.
Each year the Herb Kohl Foundation awards 100 teachers throughout Wisconsin with $1000 Fellowships, and an additional $1000 grant is awarded to each Fellow’s school for use in innovative educational projects. Since it was established in 1990, the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation has awarded $8.6 million to Wisconsin students, teachers and schools.
FDL High School’s Student Council Donates to Police Department K-9 Unit
Fond du Lac High School’s Student Council conducted a raffle and chuck-a-duck fundraiser during the senior/staff basketball game raising $350 and then matching that amount and donating a total of $700 to FDL Police Department K-9 Unit. Police Chief Lamb, Officer Williams, and newly retired K-9 Grendel stopped by for the check presentation.
Back row: Colin Gormican, Ali Gedlinske, Annie Hierl, Antonia Winkler, Jasmine Waters, Brianna Colton, Hailey Ahrens, Rachel Zahradnik, Officer Williams, Chief Lamb, Shayna Williams (vice president), Keenan Gerred, Sam Retzlaff (president) Front row: Alex Ramirez, Savannah Washnieski, Caroline Wagner, Sadie Dean, Kiana Heiman, Abbey George, Kassidy Vaness, Grendel, Jaidyn Gilgenbach, Hannah Grahl, Jaylah Pannau, Maddie Krolczyk
Not pictured: Gabby Kuber (vice president), and advisors: Mr. Poquette, Mrs. Suemnicht and Mr. Sitter
Fondy High's Academic Excellence Recipients
Fond du Lac High School recently announced the 2013-14 Academic Excellence Scholarship recipients. These scholarships are awarded to students based on their cumulative grade point average (GPA) and their future plans to attend a state of Wisconsin public or private institution. The Higher Education Aids Board (HEAB) in partnership with the college the scholarship recipient is attending funds these scholarships, valued at $2,250 per year for up to 4 years. The Fond du Lac High School seniors receiving these scholarships are:
Erica Daniels, the daughter of Mark and Catherine Daniels, is involved in soccer, cross country, Students Working As Teachers (SWAT), Athletic Leadership, Future Business Leaders of America, and the National Honor Society. She was selected for first team all-conference cross country and as an individual state qualifier in cross country. She received the highest score (5) on her Biology Advanced Placement (AP) exam in and a 4 on her AP language exam. Her future plans include attending medical school.
Kevin Ditter, son of Ken and Sandy Ditter, is involved in cross country, the Math Team, and Key Club. His accomplishments include being an AP Scholar with Honors. His future plans include attending UW-Green Bay and possibly becoming a math teacher or engineer
Elizabeth Doll, daughter of Matthew Doll and Elizabeth Rogers-Doll, is involved in cross country, track, the Rock Climbing Team, Girls of the Gridiron, Student Council, Key Club, SWAT, Vocal Jazz and Madrigals (VJAM), Ignition Mentoring, Cardinal Singers, and choir. She has been selected Rotary Student of the Month, received the Noon Optimist Youth Appreciation Award and the Herb Kohl Scholarship, and is both a nominee and alumni of the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. She was also awarded *1 for solo and ensemble vocal events, and scored 5 on all three of her Advanced Placement tests. Her future plans are to pursue a degree in medicine.
Nathan Gunderson, son of Brian and Diane Gunderson, is involved in track and field, cross country, the Math Team, Show Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Pit Orchestra, and serves as a Peer Tutor. He was selected as the Fox Valley Association (FVA) all-conference runner for cross country and first team all conference for cross country, recognized as the Regional and Sectional Champion for the 400m dash, and holds the school record for the 4x800m relay. He is a member of the National Honor Society (4.0 GPA), was selected as the Exemplary Soloist Award for Solo Ensemble in both his freshman and junior years, and participated in the Wisconsin Schools Music Association honors band and orchestra. His future plans are to attend UW-Platteville and major in engineering, most likely software engineering and either work for a software firm or creating a start-up company.
Bradley Morgan, son of Bill and Sara Morgan, is a class officer, a National Honor Society member, secretary of the Key Club, Vice President of the Future Business Leaders of America, and is involved in Ignition Mentoring, SWAT, the Spirit Committee, Peer Tutoring, and the Yearbook. His accomplishments include being an 2013 AP Scholar, Fond du Lac Noon Rotary Club November Student of the Month, and being nominated for Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Scholarship. His future plans are to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison (entering as a technical sophomore) to obtain a degree in biology or another medical science with a double-major in Spanish in hopes of studying abroad for a semester. Beyond his three- or four-year degree, he plans to apply at Marquette University’s dental program, open his own dental practice, and go on a mission to provide free dental care to underprivileged families in other countries.
Congratulations to Donna Waldon at Waters Elementary School
Waters Elementary School’s Donna Waldon, a kindergarten teacher, was recently awarded the Pre-Service Educator Mentor Award by the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education in Madison, Wisconsin.
As one of twenty-five state award winners, Donna was recognized for her commitment to education and dedication to sharing her 18 years of elementary education experience with students pursuing teaching degrees. The field placement students and student teachers glean valuable skills in the art of teaching such as collaboration, planning and assessment, and effective classroom management from their mentor relationship with Mrs. Waldon. She shares experiential knowledge that helps to make them successful in their own classrooms.
Cathy Daniels, Principal at Waters Elementary, remarked, “Donna Waldon is an exceptional kindergarten teacher who LOVES children and believes with all her heart that each one of them is capable of learning at the highest levels. She is a dedicated life-long learner herself, who has a passion to find out what motivates children. Her daily mission is to allow her students numerous opportunities to fall in love with reading and writing every day at school. One of her greatest gifts is her willingness to share this knowledge with others.”
Chegwin Elementary Chess Champs
Kindergarteners in Ms. Stacy Serwe’s class at Chegwin Elementary School won the Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Federation Grade Level Championships in Milwaukee on Saturday, March 30. Shown here with their trophy are Koreanna Klausen, Riley Schultz, Gabriel Keys, and Eva Jacobson with Ms. Serwe. Koreanna Klausen also took fifth place at the competition for her grade level.
Woodworth Middle School Has Can Do Attitude
Woodworth Middle School staff and students conducted a canned food drive with the goal of collecting 1,000 cans. They not only reached their goal, but surpassed it by collecting 1,192 cans. Festival Foods of Fond du Lac heard about the school's project and got involved by matching with a 1,000-can donation of their own. Pictured are some of the 7th grade students (left to right) that participated: (seated) Emma Guelig, Annabelle Bohn, Madison Hughes, and Brooke McDowell; (second row) Abby Zidarich, Shannon Borndahl, Desiree Snyder, and Amelia Wehner; (back row) Jaydin Romalia, Payton Walgenbach, Brianna Pierce, and Liz Ziegler along with 7th grade teacher, Margaret Hayes (left), Festival Foods representative Kurt Gilhart (second from right), and Fond du Lac Food Pantry representative Darcy Zeleske (right).
STEM Academy Odyssey of the Mind Wins State Title and Advances to World Finals
Many hours of hard work have paid off as the STEM Academy ‘s Odyssey of the Mind (OM) team earned an invitation to the World Finals at Iowa State University. The team of Mason McGrath, Miles Dennis, Sophie Schmidt, Jared Ott, Eleanor Sitter, Allison Riley, and Alexis Lord became Wisconsin Odyssey of the Mind State Champions on March 22 in Madison by placing first in Division I with their solution for the problem, “The Not-So-Haunted House.”
Students prepared for the competition by studying science, math, art, and the language arts to develop an eight-minute solution to the problem. The five-month process included the OM team researching special effects, learning about communication, researching music, studying language, practicing creative problem solving, writing a play, and creating building plans. In addition, students learned how to operate power tools safely. Students then combined all their acquired knowledge and skills to create a production.
The students will represent Fond du Lac and the state of Wisconsin at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa on May 26 through May 31. At the World Finals, they will compete against future world leaders from over 33 countries.
The team’s journey to Ames will start with further work on their team-created solution and fundraising to make the trip possible. Anyone wishing to learn more about the team’s odyssey or aid in financing the trip may contact Archie Barribeau at the STEM Academy.
What is Odyssey of the Mind?
Odyssey of the Mind is a non-profit, international creative problem-solving program for students, Kindergarten through College! The philosophy behind the Odyssey of the Mind program is that creativity can be learned. Problems cover many disciplines such as classics, performance, vehicle, structure, and technical. All solutions are done entirely by team members and outside assistance is not allowed! Students learn lifelong skills such as teamwork, project management and divergent thinking. Students learn to examine problems and identify the real challenge without limiting the possible solutions and their potential success. In Odyssey of the Mind there are no wrong answers!
Taken from http://wi.odysseyofthemind.org/
FOND DU LAC SCHOOL DISTRICT SUMMER SCHOOL PROGRAM JUNE 12 - JULY 2, 2014
The 2014 Fond du Lac District Summer School program offerings are now available on the District website under “Parent Information.” The link will take you to the brochure and the online registration form. You may also look at the brochure at any school building or at the Administration Building, 72 W. 9th Street. The program starts Thursday, June 12 and runs through Wednesday, July 2. Most classes run mornings only Monday through Friday. The registration deadline is Thursday, April 17 Elementary enrichment classes are being held primarily at Parkside and Chegwin Elementary Schools, with some classes at other sites from 8:00 - 11:30 a.m. Free breakfast and lunch will be available at most sites. Math and reading remedial classes by teacher recommendation will be held at Chegwin, Evans, and Riverside. A shuttle bus will be available from Parkside to Evans picking up at 7:25 a.m. and returning after lunch at 12:00 p.m. Middle school and high school remedial classes are held at Fond du Lac High School and a majority of these classes run from 8:00 - 11:45 a.m. A shuttle bus is provided for students needing transportation from the middle schools to the high school. The pick-up (listed first) and drop-off times are as follows: Sabish 7:10 a.m. and 12:20 p.m.; Theisen 7:20 a.m. and 12:10 p.m.; Woodworth 7:30 a.m. and 12:00 pm. Enrichment classes are held at the middle schools and high school. A free breakfast/snack will be available at the high school. Please call 906-6510 for any questions.
STEM Academy Student Presentation and Open House/Tour Information
Owen Gray (left) and Dustin Matty, students at Fond du Lac STEM Academy, recently presented their project on the National Football League. The boys researched the history of the National Football League and created a timeline showing when each team joined the league. They also practiced using longitude and latitude to map out where “home” is for each team. Their final presentation utilized Smart Board technology, data charts, and Google Presentation to provide a thorough overview of NFL expansion.
Fond du Lac STEM Academy, located at 401 S. Military Road, is a charter school for grades 3-5 that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). All subjects are taught through project-based learning with a STEM influence. Families and students interested in learning more about STEM Academy are invited to attend one or more of the Open Houses being held from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on March 12, April 10, and May 12. Staff will be available for questions and students will be presenting various projects. Daytime tours are also available at 1:00 p.m. on March 7, March 17, March 25, April 2, April 10 and April 24. No appointment is necessary for the tours and the Walker Street entrance should be used.