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.


3 OHS students earn scholarships at NWTC event

Contributed Photo

Posing with trailers built in Travis Falkowski’s welding class are, from left, Tyler Wusterbarth, Trevor Schlauch,Chad Hendzel, Dylan Hendzel, Cody Laatsch, Jake Gordon, Falkowski, Collin VanHulle, Camrin Yudes and Jeff Eckes.

Three Oconto High School students from Travis Falkowski’s Northeast Wisconsin Technical College welding class were awarded $1,000 scholarships Friday at the NWTC Tech Challenge.

Tyler Wusterbarth, Jake Gordon and Dylan Hendzel were among seven Oconto students who participated in the welding competitions at the event, which enables high school students to test their skills and compete for college scholarships.

Along with live competitions, the challenge featured completed project categories. Falkowski’s class entered a steel trailer and an aluminum trailer in the display competition. Sales from the trailers will pay for students’ lab fees in tech ed class at Oconto High School.

One of the highlights of the competition was when judges questioned whether the steel trailer was actually built from scratch, because it was so well-made, Falkowski said.


OFHS drama students prepare Romeo and Juliet sequel

Contributed Photo

Kraig Patenaude and Addy Hatch rehearse a scene as star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet in Oconto Falls High School’s upcoming spring production of “Romeo and Juliet’s Unofficial, Unnecessary Sequel.”

All Oconto Falls High School freshmen study the writings of William Shakespeare, including “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet,” in English class.

The OFHS Drama Club this year decided that it was time to bring Romeo and Juliet to the local stage, but with a twist. Rather than the original story, the students will present “Romeo and Juliet’s Unofficial, Unnecessary Sequel” by Edward J. Thomas.

Not happy with how the story of Romeo and Juliet ended, Prince Escalus decides that everything would have been better had the two famous lovers lived. With Romeo and Juliet alive and their fathers agreeing to end their vicious feud, it appears that there will finally be a happy ending.

Preparations are made for the couple to renew their vows in front of both families to cement the new peace. Will they live happily ever after, or will the fickleness of being a teenager – coupled with Romeo’s knack for getting those around him killed – ruin this famous relationship?


OFHS dancer advances to state

A student from Oconto Falls High School competed recently at the 2017 High School State Dance Championships in La Crosse.

Sophomore Haylee Whiting, 15, was one of 24 dancers statewide chosen for state. She presented a solo performance that she choreographed.

Haylee is the first Oconto Falls High School student ever to advance to state as a dance soloist.

“Competing at state was a great experience,” she said, “and I hope I get the opportunity next year.”

Haylee started dancing at age 5 and has been dancing for the past six years at Christian Dance Company in Oconto Falls, where she takes classes and performs in ballet/contemporary lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop. She played basketball and softball in middle school, but forced to choose, she realized dance was her true passion.


Delegates announced for girls convention

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 44 in Wabeno will sponsor four girls nominated by local high schools to attend Badger Girls State.

The 73rd annual Badger Girls State convention is scheduled for June 18-22 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Money to fund local delegates is raised through the auxiliary’s annual fall raffle.

Selected from Laona High School is McKenna Murray, daughter of Al and Brenda Murray. Selected from Wabeno High School are Kassidy Ashbeck, daughter of Steve and Raletta Ashbeck; Emma Barfknecht, daughter of Dan and Ann Barfknecht; and Hannah Christianson, daughter of Dan and Laurie Christianson.

The criteria for selection as a Badger Girl include scholarship, character, community service and an interest in learning more about government. Girls are nominated by their high school principals and guidance counselors, with final selection by the auxiliary’s committee.


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