St. Anthony students training for 2 events

St. Anthony School in Oconto Falls has started a running and walking club, with the purpose of having fun and being active.

The club, composed of 28 second- to fifth-graders, meets two to three times a week after school. They have practiced rain or shine, or even snow, since March 30 and will continue practicing until June 2. They run on the west side trail along the river or on the track at Memorial Field.

Members are training for two events. The first is Dash O.F. Color, a 3-mile walk/run sponsored by the Oconto Falls Lioness Club on Saturday, May 28. Seventy people have registered to represent St. Anthony’s, and the school hopes to win the award for largest team.

Students also are training for the 6-mile Bellin Run on Saturday, June 11. Eighteen have registered from St. Anthony’s, including students, parents and Principal Kate Sayers.


Disc golf course opens

The sports marketing class and the FBLA chapter at Oconto Falls High School recently announced the opening of a nine-hole disc golf course in Oconto Falls.

After a long process of planning and developing, the Oconto Falls Disc Golf Course, which started out as a class idea, has become a reality.

The course is located around Oconto Falls High School and Oconto Falls Elementary School. All you need to play is a disc-golf Frisbee, which can be purchased at any sporting goods store and are typically under $15.

The course map and first tee are located just north of the district office by the high school parking lot. There is no fee to play.

OFHS senior Liza Leja led the project from the start to finish.

The project had many sponsors, including the technology education department and various businesses in the community.


After busing 3 generations, driver retires

A bus driver with nearly 40 years behind the wheel has retired.

Gary Thompson has been a driver for the Suring School District since 1979, when he was hired by John and Norma Brickner, the owners of the bus company who transported students in Mountain. In 1985 he was hired by Lamers Bus Line Inc.

Thompson has been driving bus so long, he has picked up three generations of students from the Mountain area.

For Thompson, his student riders became part of his daily life. He had a student who helped him one year, and he bought the boy cowboy boots as a reward for his help.

He not only picked up students, in one instance he also picked up their animals. He once had a goat named Ju Ju who decided he was getting on the bus and going to school. The goat would not get off the bus, so Thompson took the goat by the horns to steer him off the bus.


Suring recognizes academic accomplishment

Sixteen Suring High School seniors were honored for scholastic achievement at the 34th annual honors banquet April 18 at the Red Maple Golf Club.

The welcome was given by Allan DePuydt, and the invocation was given by Ruben Rakow of the Suring Lions Club.

Jay Tousey, Suring village president, was the featured speaker and gave a speech about the value of education. He thanked the parents and grandparents for supporting their children’s education at Suring High School. He also commented on the dedication that students made to their education and stressed the importance of furthering their education in whatever field they have chosen.

A musical selection was performed by Parker Wanish and Faith Buhrandt, singing “Pie Jesu,” under the direction of choral music teacher Mikki Carlson.


Oconto Falls FBLA members qualify for nationals

Seven members of the Oconto Falls High School Future Business Leaders of America club have qualified for the national FBLA conference. Students qualified by achieving fourth place or better at the FBLA State Leadership Conference held April 11-12 in La Crosse.

Advancing to nationals are Eliza Bradford and Liza Leja, community service project; Addison Hatch, introduction to business procedures; Jack Huberty, client service; Brittany Russell and Mikaela Thomson, business plan; and Bailey Wolf, job interview.

This year’s National Leadership Conference will take place from June 29-July 2 in Atlanta.

Russell earned special recognition for qualifying for nationals for all four years of high school and for completing a successful year as the Wisconsin FBLA state vice president.


Holub advances to national FBLA contest

A Suring High School senior has advanced to the national computer game design and programming event at the Future Business Leaders of America’s National Leadership Conference.

Rylee Holub placed fourth at the State Leadership Conference held April 10-12 in La Crosse, thus qualifying to represent Wisconsin at the National Leadership Conference in Atlanta in June.

Also at the state conference, Jadyn Stuart, a sophomore at Suring High School, was elected to the 2016-2017 state officer team. She will serve as the 2016-2017 Region III vice president.

Members of Suring FBLA attended workshops and participated in tours at the state conference. They listened to keynote speaker Kyle Scheele and raised money for the March of Dimes by taking part in a Miracle Minute. Members also competed in a variety of business-related events.


GHS forensic team brings home hardware

Thirty students from Gillett High School participated in the Wisconsin High School Forensic Association’s State Speech Festival on April 15 and 16 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Students who scored a perfect 25 of 25 points received a gold medal. Seven students from Gillett received this “Critics Choice Award”: Jacob Timm, Mark Fischer, Leeland Kahler and Alex Zeitler in a play called “Beans,” Alex Rodgers and Kaylee Simon for their prose reading, and Lily Schroder for solo acting.

Silver medals were given to students who scored a 23 or 24. Sixteen Gillett students received this “All State Award”: Maya Breed, Brittany Fetterly, Faith Sorlie, Zach Wiese, Dylan Pratsch, Joe Karls, Tristan Wolske, Victoria Loberger, Lauren Herzog, Elizabeth Kahler, Kalea Britton, Willow Pecha, Anastasia Lizarraga, Kesaesaeh Koebach, Jerika Heroux and Crystal Marohl.


Gillett celebrates autism awareness

The Gillett School District marked April as Worldwide Autism Awareness Month.

Wendy Vorpahl, parent representative for the district’s autism grant team, shared her perspective as a mother of four sons, two of whom have a diagnosis of classic autism.

“When my son Mark was diagnosed with autism in 2002, the statistics were one in 166,” she said. “When Aaron was diagnosed in 2005, it was one in 150. Today, that statistic is for one in 68 births, a child will be diagnosed with autism. One in every 44 boys will be diagnosed with autism.”

In an effort to inform students and staff about autism, schoolwide activities were held in April. Each grade level created a puzzle piece that is signed by the staff and students and includes a fact about autism. The autism grant team invites people to walk along the fence by the football field to see the puzzle pieces on display.


Students enjoy arts immersion

Students at Oconto Falls Elementary School experienced many artistic forms of expression April 1 during All Arts Day 2016 at the school.

Throughout the day, students rotated among various fine art forms, with music, theater, dance and applied art all represented.

To kick off the day, musician Tom Pease engaged the entire student body with an assortment of songs. Students incorporated sign language and silly movements to express the words they sang.

Other art forms shared with students included storytelling, quilting, origami, folk toys, juggling and taekwondo. The closing assembly was a performance by the Oneida Dancers, who introduced dances from the Oneida culture.

Many parent and grandparent volunteers helped ensure the success of All Arts Day 2016.


Students bring pies to mark Pi Day

Seventh-grade students at Washington Middle School in Oconto Falls celebrated Pi Day on March 14 by sharing pies.

Pi Day is an annual celebration of the irrational number π. It is celebrated on March 14 because the number 3.14 represents the first three digits of π.

Students celebrated by participating in special lessons about π. They also brought pies to school to enjoy as part of their celebration, and to share with area senior citizens as part of the Oconto Falls Senior Center and Meals on Wheels lunch programs.

Students donated 30 pies of different varieties.

Seventh-grade students have participated in a number of community service projects under the guidance of their teachers. Projects have included writing letters and donating items to residents of King Veteran’s Home, collecting donations for Kingdom Come Food Pantry, and collecting items to support the Oconto Area Humane Society.


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