STEM Symposium showcases student research

Kids belly up to the “Alien Juice Bar” run by, from left, Trinady Vorpahl, Willamina Peterson and Navalee Bauer at the Oconto Falls High School STEM Symposium on Monday. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

More than 150 science, technology, engineering and math projects are on display at the annual STEM Symposium at Oconto Falls High School on March 4. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Kailey VanLanen, left, and Lydia Murphy-Hendricks demonstrate with a tennis ball the trebuchet they used to measure trajectory and distance in their “Orange Smackdown” experiment. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics ruled the day Monday evening in the gymnasium and commons of Oconto Falls High School, where hundreds of students shared the results of their research in the school’s annual STEM Symposium.

Seniors Kailey VanLanen and Lydia Murphy-Hendricks explained the results of their “Orange Smackdown” experiment, using their hand-crafted trebuchet — a catapult-like device that uses a heavy counterweight to hurl its payload — to determine the launch angle needed to throw an orange the farthest.

Their attempts showed that the “sweet spot” is when the trebuchet was pulled 80 to 100 degrees off center. A greater or lesser angle was less effective.


OFHS dance team qualifies for state

Oconto Falls School Board President Ron Leja, standing at left, congratulates the high school dance team for advancing to the state championships. Front row from left, Abby Decker, Ali Brown, Gabby Konop, Emma Howey and Lindsey Schuster; middle row, Haylee Whiting, Brett Norling, Karen Mielke, Cedar Olson, McKenzie Jackson and Sami Drews; back row, Ari Kubsh, Loryn Wolf, Ashley Britton, Cameron Mercier, Autumn Payette, Isabella Clausen and head coach Laura Kostreva. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The Oconto Falls High School dance team competed Feb. 2 at the Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches state dance championships in La Crosse, capping one of the most successful seasons in the team’s history.

The team performed a jazz routine titled “Clearly” and a hip hop routine titled “BZRK” at the regional competition at Kimberly High School in late January, advancing to compete in hip hop at the state level.

“Oconto Falls has never competed in hip hop before; it’s kind of a challenging style,” head coach Laura Kostreva told the Oconto Falls School Board when the team was recognized at the board’s Feb. 11 meeting. “Our girls did fantastic. They did an amazing job, and I’m so proud.”

The state judges announce only the top five finishers, and the Panthers team did not place, Kostreva said. “We’re hoping in the future that we can make one of those coveted spots.”


Stop Spreading the News

Newsies Mike (Adrian Caylor), Crutchie (Alyssa Bruckert), Davey (Marcus Moss), Jack (Caleb Miller) and Les (T.J. Hock) perform a dance number as they vow to strike against the New York World in a scene from “Newsies.” Pulaski High School is performing the musical for the next two weekends. (Times Herald photo by Lee Pulaski)

Newsie Romeo (Connor Heezen) tries to charm newspaper reporter Katherine (Ava Baenen) in a scene from “Newsies,” but Katherine is having none of it. (Times Herald photo by Lee Pulaski)

Medda Larkin (Jessica Goska) performs a song for the newsies, including, from left, Jack (Caleb Miller) and Davey (Marcus Moss) in the first act of “Newsies.” The musical is not only a first for Pulaski High School, but for most schools as Disney extended performing rights to high schools in 2018. (Times Herald photo by Lee Pulaski)

Newspaper subscribers tend to get irritated when they don’t get the news delivered on time, but imagine that the late deliveries are on purpose.

That scenario is at the center of “Newsies,” a musical being performed by Pulaski High School this weekend and next. The musical is based on the 1992 film, which was based on the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City.

The show follows a ragtag band of newspaper delivery boys as they struggle to make a living delivering the news. Many of them are living on the streets, and others are delivering papers to help their families put food on the table. That living is put in jeopardy when Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, hikes the price for the newsies to purchase their papers to sell. After finding that the other papers in the city are planning to follow suit, the newsies, led by Jack Kelly, decide to go on strike.


Pulaski High School presents 'Newsies' in February

Pulaski High School students rehearse for the musical “Newsies,” which will be staged next month. (Photo courtesy Kathleen Caylor Photography)

Pulaski High School is staging the musical “Newsies” in February.

Performances are 7 p.m. Feb. 9 and Feb. 16, and 2 p.m. Feb. 10 and Feb. 17. Reserved-seat tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the Pulaski News office at Pulaski High School or by calling 920-822-6800.

Newsies is based on the Newboys Strike of July 1899 and is adapted from the 1992 Disney film. It was first produced on Broadway in 2012. The show is fictional but based on real people. Joseph Pulitzer wasn’t actually in New York during the strike, and Gov. Theodore Roosevelt didn’t actually intervene. Newsies leaders Kid Blink and Morris Cohen were the inspiration for Jack Kelly and Nellie Bly inspired Katherine Plumber.


Principal touts innovate kindergarten program

“Pirates” Autumn Pate, Ethen Britzke and Mashya Webster check out the seven seas during a Gillett Elementary School kindergarten class.

Walking down the hallway of Gillett Elementary School, you might be surprised to hear the loud, joyful voices of tiny pirates shouting, “Arrrghhh!” Sticking your head in the door, you might see 5-year-olds, decked out in eye patches and brimmed hats, boarding an actual pirate ship and preparing to set sail on the wide-open sea.

And you might think, “Are these kids just playing in school or are they learning?” and the best answer to that question would be, “Both!”

This year, our 5-year-old kindergarten classes have adopted and implemented the Tools of the Mind curriculum, a program that develops cognitive skills (such as self-regulation, working memory and cognitive flexibility) while also developing academic skills such as symbolic thought, literacy and mathematical understanding. But “play” is used as the skill-development activity for the students, and the teacher works to support the development of mature, intentional and dramatic play.


OFHS choirs to present holiday concert

The Oconto Falls High School Choirs will be presenting Home for the Holidays XI on Saturday (Dec. 1) in the Falls Area Performing Arts Center, located at Oconto Falls High School, 210 N. Farm Road. Pre-concert music with soloists will begin at 6:10 p.m. in the commons area, with the concert beginning at 7 p.m. in the PAC.

This year’s concert will feature selections by the chamber singers, cantabile, chorale and concert choir, as well as the vocal jazz ensemble.

The combined choirs will perform several selections and include a special rendition of “The Polar Express.” Vocal selections will include “Let it Snow!,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Believe,” and “Cool Yule,” along with children’s favorites “Frosty the Snowman,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town,” and “We Are Santa’s Elves.” The Choirs will also perform “O Holy Night,” “Silent Night,” “Away In A Manger,” and “Joy to the World” as part of their traditional Candlelight Processional.

Admission is free.


Suring Homecoming Court 2018

SURING HOMECOMING: This year’s homecoming court at Suring High School is comprised of, from left, Princess Madelynne School, Prince Duncan Breed, Queen Linzy Runge and King Reece Garrigan. (Contributed photo)


Sound of Music rings through OFHS

It’s going to be a fun week for theater lovers in Oconto Falls, with the high school musical “The Sound of Music” playing Thursday through Sunday and the drama club’s spaghetti dinner and one-act play coming up Tuesday.

The school’s production of the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical about the Von Trapp family is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Falls Area Performing Arts Center in the high school, 210 N. Farm Road, Oconto Falls. Tickets at $12 for adults and $8 for children and students are available at the high school office and an hour before each performance at the door.

Meanwhile, in a district performance of the Dennis Bush play “On the Edge” at Tomahawk last weekend, the drama club earned the opportunity to advance to sectionals in Green Bay on Thursday. If they make it through there, the team will represent Oconto Falls at the state festival in La Crosse.


Firefighters visit Oconto Falls Elementary School

Crystal Berg’s kindergarten class poses in front of the Oconto Falls fire truck. Students were allowed to climb inside the fire truck to see what it looks like. (Contributed photo)

Members of the Oconto Falls Fire Department recently came to visit the 5-year-old kindergarten classes at Oconto Falls Elementary. They brought one of their fire trucks along with equipment to show the students, and they spent time talking about fire safety and fire prevention. Teacher Crystal Berg said the firefighters “did a wonderful job sharing their experiences and their knowledge, and time was appreciated by all.”


Pulaski teachers integral to state honors concerts

Tim Kozlovsky directs the Pulaski Community Middle School’s eighth-grade band during a spring concert at the school. (Pulaski Community School District photo)

Two Pulaski Community Middle School teachers are assisting with the Wisconsin School Music Association’s State Honors Music Project. And while they are giving their expertise to talented state high schools musicians, the duo says they, too, get much back in the process. And that, in turn, benefits PCMS students.

They both play important roles, said Victoria Donahue, WSMA State Honors Music Project program manager.

Tim Kozlovsky, middle school band teacher at Pulaski, is the music project’s operations manager for the second straight year and has served in other roles previously.


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