VEX Robotics competition attracts 30+ teams

Middle and high school students from across Wisconsin will descend upon Oconto Falls High School on Jan. 13 for the fifth annual Northeast Wisconsin VEX Robotics Challenge.

More than 30 teams will come together for a non-stop, action-packed day of competition where they will compete against each other with robots created from the VEX Robotics Design System. Participants will square off in this season’s game, “In the Zone,” developed by VEX Robotics Inc. and the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation, which are considered leaders in educational and competitive robotics.

Qualifying matches are scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., followed by alliance selection and finals from 2:30-5 p.m. The awards ceremony will follow.

The competition is being hosted by Team Green 4-H Robotics Club from Oconto County. Admission is free and the event is at the high school, 210 N. Farm Road, Oconto Falls.


Texts were about a different Pulaski High School

Some students and parents of Pulaski High School were surprised just before the holiday break when they received a text message about “cellphones being collected during morning scan after break.”

The Pulaski Community School District sent out word that the message was directed toward students who attend Casimir Pulaski High School in Milwaukee. After school officials researched the issue, they found that some student and staff accounts were linked to Casimir Pulaski High School in Milwaukee, rather than Pulaski High School in Pulaski.

The district contacted to resolve the issue and planned to continue to work with the messaging service after holiday break until all accounts are affiliated with the correct school.


Test-drive event raises $4,200 for wrestlers

Mike Peterson of Peterson Ford, left, shares the ceremonial check for $4,200 with Oconto Falls wrestling coaches and parents Debbie Woods, coach Brett Ash, coach Marc Kinziger, Rodney Woods, Trisha Trudell, and coaches Jack Magnin and Dave Brasier. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Local residents who took a test drive in a new Ford on Sept. 16 helped raise $4,200 for Panther Area Wrestling.

During the event at Peterson Ford, the carmaker donated $20 per adult who test-drove a vehicle, up to $6,000. For this first event, 210 adults came out for a total of $4,200. The funds will be used to send local athletes to team camps as well as purchase wrestling mats and other new equipment for the Oconto Falls wrestling program.

“We would like to thank both the Ford Corp. and most importantly Peterson Ford, which supplied us with the vehicles,” the club said. “Without Peterson Ford, we would not have been able to put on a great fundraising event. We would also like to thank those parents and wrestlers who helped out that day.”

The club has its sights set on raising the full $6,000 next fall.


Oconto Falls High School offers spaghetti and a play

The public has a chance Friday to enjoy a spaghetti dinner and a performance of the Oconto Falls High School Drama Team’s one-act production of “The Distracted Scholar’s Guide to Literature and Drama.”

“The Distracted Scholar” will be performed at 7 p.m. in the Falls Area Performing Arts Center. Prior to the show will be a spaghetti dinner fundraiser, sponsored by the school’s drama club. Dinner will be served from 5-6:45 p.m. in the high school commons.

Dealing with the topic of short attention spans, this comedy offers to teach the audience everything they’d ever need to know about the major movements and works in Western literature and drama. Well, kind of.


Gillett students attend state FFA conference

From left, Phillip Heroux, Laney DeBauch, Ava Woodke and Blake Goodreau of the Gillett FFA chapter took part in a state “Foundations in Reaching Excellence” conference Sept. 30 in Appleton. (Contributed photo)

Phillip Heroux, Laney DeBauch, Ava Woodke and Blake Goodreau of the Gillett FFA chapter attended the Wisconsin Association of FFA FIRE Conference on Sept. 30 at the Fox Valley Technical College Campus in Appleton.

FIRE stands for “Foundations in Reaching Excellence.” The conference helps young FFA members discover opportunities in the FFA organization and gain valuable leadership skills. This is one of three conferences held around the state for seventh-, eighth- and ninth- grade FFA members.

Gillett FFA was awarded a Spirit Award for its active participation at the conference.

The conference is designed to inform beginning FFA members about FFA and motivate them to participate in its many activities. Students learned about communication skills, social skills, goal setting, FFA awards and programs, and opportunities in agriculture. along with developing leadership skills to help them be effective members in their local chapters.


Panther Pride fundraiser set for Nov. 10

The seventh annual Panther Pride Association fundraiser is scheduled for Nov. 10 at Romy’s Holiday Inn Restaurant, 9600 County Road G, Kelly Lake.

The association is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports Oconto Falls School District student athletes and their activities. The event features a chicken and tips meal with all the trimmings, more than 60 bucket raffle prizes, and a 50/50 cash raffle.

A $50 ticket covers dinner for two, free beer and soda from 6 p.m. to midnight, and music provided by a disc jockey from 8 p.m. to midnight. The ticket also includes one entry into the cash raffle, which has 25 prizes ranging from $100 up, with a top prize of $1,000.

For information or to donate items for the bucket raffles, call Sue Mogged at 920-373-6663. Tickets may also be purchased at the Oconto Falls School District office, 200 N. Farm Road.


Suring has 3 new teachers

The Suring Public School District has three new teachers for the 2017-18 school year.

Tracy Martin, the new special education teacher in the elementary school, grades 1-5, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1999.

A native of Wauwatosa, she has taught third- through fifth-grade regular education classes and fourth through high school special education.

“I have a twin brother, an older sister, and an older brother. We are all very close and do lots of activities together,” Martin said. “In my free time I like to kayak, ride horses and travel throughout the world.”

Mary E. Smith teaches agricultural education, including food science, horticulture, animal science and seventh- and eighth grade ag ed, and is the Suring FFA adviser. This is her first year of teaching after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture with a minor in journalism from UW-River Falls.


Pulaski High School marching band goes high-tech

Contributed Photo

From left, Jacob Wittman, William Murphy and Benjamin Thomas use iPads to learn their field routine during this year’s band camp, which consisted of four long days of practice culminated by a public performance of the band’s 2017 field show.

You could excuse those passing by Saputo Stadium last week if they were confused by Pulaski High School marching band members holding iPads in front of them while they marched instead of their musical instruments.

But that’s just another example of technology being used in a new way to teach. During the PHS marching band’s annual summer camp, members used an iPad app, Pyware 3D, to learn this year’s Billy Joel-themed field routine that will be performed during halftime of PHS football games and at marching band competitions.

PHS director of bands Thomas Busch said previously students would have drill-charts on paper and each drill chart would represent a single set or image of the show.

“Typically, we would have between 40-50 sets per show, which means the students would have to learn 40-50 movement patterns that are associated with the music,” he said.


Gillett grads’ scholarship awards listed

The greater Gillett community collectively contributed nearly $40,000 in scholarships for this year’s Gillett High School graduates. Below is a list of known scholarships given at the time of this publication and their recipients:

Richard Bains III: Gillett Cement Products Scholarship. He plans to attend Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to study graphic design.

Erin Balthazor: Robert R. Quade Scholarship, Woodlands of Gillett Nursing Home Scholarship, American Legion Auxiliary Scholarship, Finnegan Lake Walleye Club and Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship. She plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to study biochemistry

Zachary Bierhal: Kenneth Dittman and Loraine Dittman Scholarship, BMO Harris Bank Scholarship, Emery and Eleanor Ansorage Scholarship, St. John’s Alter Society Scholarship, Jensen Family Scholarship, Peshtigo Bank Scholarship. He plans to attend Northeast Wisconsin Technical Collage to study CNC programming,


Strong turnout for Bike to School Day

Photo by Keri Hicks

Parent Diana Woodke walks the route as her daughter, Reese Woodke, left, Kynlee Van Kauwenberg and Noah Soper ride their bikes to school from Zippel Park.

The streets of Gillett were filled with kids on bicycles — and their parents — the morning of May 10 as the elementary school held a special Bike to School Day event.

With Police Chief Jess Keplinger leading the way in his squad, 175 people biked or walked from Zippel Park to the school several blocks away. There were 116 students and 59 adults.

Prior to the event, 104 brand-new helmets were given away and 17 other students brought their helmets to be fitted properly.

Participants of the Bike to School were able to get some snacks when they arrived to school. The event sponsors were HSHS St. Clare Prevea Gillett Health Center, Gillett Civic Club, Saputo Cheese, Gillett Police Department, Robert’s Hometown Hardware and the Nurse’s Nook.


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