Schools

Wed
04
Jun

Cook’s retirement ends family tradition


Contributed Photo

Shirley Kushava will end her career as a cook in the Lena School District this week. She will retire after 29 years in the kitchen.

A 45-year family tradition ended this week with the retirement of Shirley Kushava as head cook at Lena School. Kushava ended her 29-year career in food service, the past 16 years spent as head cook.

Kushava comes from a long line of cooks who dished up meals at the school. Her great-aunt Margaret Patenaude was head cook from 1969-1979. Her mother, Angie Patenaude, was head cook from 1979-1998.

Kushava started as a substitute cook in 1982, then was hired as an assistant cook in 1985 and was named head cook in 1998 after her mother retired.

“I truly cared about my job, the people I worked with and especially the students,” she said. “I would do just about anything for anyone. I put my all in this job and took pride in it. And I made good stuff.”

Wed
04
Jun

N.E.W. Credit Union awards scholarships

Five Oconto County high school graduates and one Marinette County graduate are recipients of the Method Vizelka Memorial scholarship awarded by N.E.W. Credit Union.

Vizelka was a 12-year volunteer on the credit union’s board of directors and a believer in the power of education. Every year the credit union awards a scholarship in his memory to a graduating senior from the five Oconto County high schools. A scholarship is also offered to one student from Shawano, Marinette or Brown County.

This year’s recipients are Olivia Strom, Lena High School; Seth Haines, Oconto Falls High School; Jacquelyn Lenz, Suring High School; Natalie Flint, Oconto High School; Eric Fischer, Gillett High School; and Brooke Pashek, Coleman High School.

Strom is the daughter of Sherry Drees and Duane Strom. She will attend Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in the field of criminal justice.

Wed
28
May

OFHS sweeps podium twice at SkillsUSA


Times Herald Photo by Joan Koehne

Oconto Falls High School junior Jake Lubenske uses a slip roll machine to bend sheet metal into a circular ring in the tech ed department at Oconto Falls High School. Set on the table in front of him is his sheet metal project that led to a first place at the state SkillsUSA competition. Lubenske will compete at the national competition at the end of June.

Two Oconto Falls High School juniors earned gold medals at the state SkillsUSA competition April 29-30, and Oconto Falls swept the podium in two events.

According to John Bursa, OFHS tech ed instructor and SkillsUSA adviser, it was the first time OFHS students swept any event since the school started competing in 2001.

OFHS took the top three awards in masonry, with Travis Schmechel winning the gold medal, junior Kyle Sharboneau, silver, and junior Brandon Kamm, bronze.

Oconto Falls also swept the podium in sheet metal. Of the 16 competitors, the top three were from Oconto Falls. Junior Jake Lubenske earned gold, sophomore Mariah Vorpahl won silver, and sophomore Amber Lubenske, Jake’s sister, won bronze.

“It is especially nice to show everyone that female students can be successful in a trade,” Bursa said.

Wed
28
May

HCE awards scholarships


Contributed Photo

Home Community Education scholarship recipients are, from left, Rachel Tigert, Kelli Griffin and Emily Hockers.

Each year at the annual Home Community Education (HCE) banquet, three $250 scholarships are awarded to members’ dependents.

For the first time in Oconto County HCE history, one member had two grandchildren receiving scholarships. Lois Griffin, member of Lakewood HCE Club, is the grandmother of recipients Kelli Griffin and Rachel Tigert.

Griffin attends Tremper High School in Kenosha. She is the daughter of Kevin and Tracy Griffin, and plans to combine two of her passions, dance and psychology, to become a dance therapist.

Tigert, daughter of Jim and Diane Tigert, plans to follow her mother’s career path and become a teacher. She is a senior at Oshkosh West High School.

The third scholarship recipient was Emily Hockers, granddaughter of Arlene Hanrahan, member of Pen Brook Club. Hockers is the daughter of Lee and Cindy Hockers. She will graduate from Oconto High School and will pursue a career in business.

Wed
21
May

Raffle prizes include custom-built trailer

Through a partnership involving the Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, Oconto Falls High School tech ed department and two local businesses, a custom trailer was built and will be part of a prize package in the Falls Fun Fest raffle.

The chamber will raffle off a Cabela’s ATV and trailer, kayaks and other items. The prizes will be on display at various businesses where tickets will be sold, and the trailer will be used in community parades during the summer.

OFHS welding instructor Tom Karban jumped at the chance to design and fabricate the trailer and put his students to work. Peterson Ford donated tires for the trailer, and John Senn of Senn Landscaping donated the decking. The trailer was designed with a rack, which could also be used for ladders, to display the kayaks.

Wed
21
May

FBLA inducts officer team

The Oconto Falls High School FBLA Chapter on May 5 held its annual end of the year banquet to recognize members for their achievements and to induct officers for 2014-2015.

As part of the induction process, current officers lit candles and handed them to the officers who would take their positions. Each candle was a different color, symbolizing the unique characteristics and responsibilities of each officer position. This candle-lighting ceremony is a widespread FBLA practice.

The 2014-2015 Oconto Falls FBLA officer team is Liz Coopman, president; Brittany Russell, vice president; Bailey Wolf, secretary; Liza Leja, treasurer; Corrina Romandine, reporter; Mikaela Thomson, promotions chair; Alexa Barribeau, events coordinator; Holly Virtues, fundraising chair; Matthew VerVelde, technology coordinator; and Madison Helmle, historian/photographer.

Wed
21
May

FFA teams recognized at annual banquet

The Oconto Falls FFA agronomy team of Emily Birr, Nathan Birr, Connor Iverson and Mercedes Ondik will compete at the national FFA competition in October. The team placed first at contests at River Falls and Fox Valley Technical College and won the state contest. Team members were honored at the FFA annual banquet April 27.

Career Development Event teams also participated in contests at River Falls, Platteville and Fox Valley Technical College. By participating in these contests, members learned new skills, such as handling and restraining animals, identifying crops and weeds and judging the quality of livestock.

Wed
21
May

FFA members earn proficiency awards

Proficiency award results for Oconto Falls FFA members were revealed April 27 at the annual FFA banquet. This year, 21 students sent 29 proficiency applications to the state.

Amber Baeten received a Gold 9 and was a Section 8 winner in agricultural processing, a Gold 3 and Section 8 winner for beef production, and Gold 7 for vegetable production; Nathan Birr received a Gold 17 for dairy production, a Gold 9 for diversified agricultural production, and a Gold 3 and Section 8 winner for forage production; Alexys Christensen received a Gold 11 in beef production; Emily Coopman received a Silver for beef production; Hannah Cunningham received a Gold 7 in wildlife production and management;

Wed
21
May

Students get taste of life on their own


Contributed Photo

Students Marisa Slempkes and Olivia Strom have their check registers reviewed at Reality Day at Suring School. The event simulated real-life experiences for high school seniors from Lena, Suring and White Lake.

Seniors from Lena, White Lake and Suring took part in Reality Day on May 1 in the Suring School gymnasium. This event was a simulation of what real life would be like after graduation.

The students spent their morning writing checks and managing check registers for expenses such as a home, car, insurance payments, childcare, utilities and groceries. After they bought life’s necessities, they spent the remaining money on exciting purchases such as a Disney vacation or a pair of snowmobiles.

This event was planned by Suring teachers Vicki Buettner, Tammy Steffeck and Becky Dickson, Lena teachers Laurie Jensen and Mark Hansen, White Lake teacher Cathy Lundgren and NEW Credit Union Suring branch manager Jodi Cook.

Wed
21
May

FFA members honored at banquet

The Oconto Falls FFA members celebrated their accomplishments at their annual banquet on April 27.

All first-year FFA members received the Greenhand Degree: Emily Birr, Alex Borkovec, Isaac Carlton, Hunter Christiansen, Garrett Cole, Kyanah Cornelius, Landon Cunningham, Justin Dequaine, Travis Dequaine, Kalie Elkins, Ashley Hebel, Ashley Keuken, Tyler Klimpke, Taylor Koehne, Jenny Krueger, Rachel Lambert, Megan Loberger, Jen Longsine, Haley Meunier, Courtney Meunier, Rosalinda Mora, Kaylin Nickels, Laken Patenaude, Gabby Pearce, Sonja Sanford, Trever Schefdore, Adrianna Siech and Lucas Stueber.

Emily Birr received a Star Greenhand award, given to the most significant first-year member.

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