Helping hands

Contributed photo

Kaylee Witt, right, grabs a pair of scissors while she and other students at St. John Lutheran School work on assembling health care kits and school kits to donate overseas.

Students at St. John Lutheran School in unincorporated Hayes recently worked with the St. John Ladies Aid to assemble health care kits and school kits to donate to needy people overseas.

The project was coordinated through the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, with funding donated by Thrivent Financial.

All finished kits were later to be sent overseas by the missionary league.


Drama team to perform 1-act comedy

The Oconto Falls High School drama team is in production with hopes of making a return trip to the state competition for high school theater. Successfully completing the district level at Tomahawk, the Panthers move on to sectionals at Ashwaubenon, with their eyes set on state at Stevens Point in mid-November.

This year’s entry is the one-act comedy, “The Magician’s Daughter or The Villain Refused to Disappear,” a modern-day twist to the old-style melodrama.

Dastardly doings are happening within a run-down professional theater in Sagebrush, Nevada. The evil theater owner schemes to make ailing magician Alexandra the Great disappear so he can steal both her act and her lovely daughter. He fools the magician’s fading-rose assistant into helping set up a fatal stage trick. Can the heroic and love-struck young stage manager come to the rescue in time?


Suring to use grant to help pollinators in school forest

The Suring School District will use a $1,000 grant to plant wildflowers, natural grasses and shrubs to help pollinators in the school forest.

Monica Wagner, middle and high school science teacher, received the grant from the Teachers Outdoor Environmental Education Fund.

“Our goal is to help provide natural habitats for many pollinators that are decreasing in numbers,” she said.

Students will be involved in planting seeds and plants this spring, then participate in outdoor labs to track pollinators, plant growth patterns and other data.

The project will involve the seventh-grade life science students, sophomore biology students, and junior and senior environmental science students.

In addition, tech ed students will make the pollinator homes.

Students will learn about seeds, plants, ecosystems, food webs and chains, the importance of plants and pollinators, and migratory patterns of pollinators.


Students tell grandparents about today’s classroom

Oconto Falls Elementary School hosted its annual Grandparents Day on Oct. 7.

Fourth-grade students were excited to teach their grandparents what they are learning at school.

Grandparents and students practiced finding the median, mode and range of a set of numbers using candy corn.

Students and grandparents also used a Venn diagram to compare school now and in the past.


Enrollment up at Falls Elementary

A surge at Oconto Falls Elementary School drove up enrollment numbers in the Oconto Falls School District for the 2016-17 school year.

According to figures presented to the School Board on Monday, enrollment at OFES is up from 549 students in September 2015 to 577 as of Sept. 16, the third Friday of the month when the official census is taken at public schools statewide. The increase of 28 students at OFES contributed to the overall growth in the school district, with 1,748 students enrolled in 2016, 30 more than 2015.

A preliminary enrollment count taken Sept. 7 indicated OFES grew by nearly 50 students from September 2015, but miscommunication led staff members to count a dozen early childhood students twice, artificially inflating the numbers, Superintendent Dean Hess said.

Transient families moving out of the district also caused student numbers to fall from Sept. 7-16.


OFES wins national Blue Ribbon award

Times Herald photo by Joan Koehne
Students arrive at Oconto Falls Elementary School on Monday morning and walk beneath the “Committed to Excellence” message that serves as a guide for education in the school district. The elementary school won recognition in the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program for closing achievement gaps between student groups.

Oconto Falls Elementary School is one of 329 public elementary schools gaining national recognition in the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Oconto Falls Elementary was nominated by State Superintendent Tony Evers in January for closing achievement gaps among student groups.

“The recognition is appreciated, as the staff is highly committed to making Oconto Falls Elementary a great place for kids,” Principal Dan Moore said. “It’s the result of countless hours of hard work by many — a true team effort.”

Eight schools in Wisconsin won the Blue Ribbon award. On Nov. 7 and 8, the U.S. Department of Education will formally recognize the 279 public and 50 private schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Moore said the school will not send representatives to Washington, D.C., but will organize a celebratory assembly at the school.


Free flu vaccines available at area schools

Oconto County Public Health will visit Oconto County schools in October to offer free flu vaccines to students ages 3 to 18.

Oconto County Public Health will also offer free Hepatitis A, HPV and meningitis vaccines to all sixth-12th graders.

Consent forms and vaccine information sheets are available from the schools or at A completed, signed consent form is required for each student receiving any vaccine.


Sorlie participates in energy research program

Lisa Sorlie, district library media specialist for the Bonduel School District, spent part of her summer investigating the key challenges of making sustainable biofuels.

Sorlie, of Green Valley, participated in the Research Experience for Teachers program hosted by the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and the Wisconsin Energy Institute.

Sorlie spent seven weeks at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus working alongside GLBRC scientists. While immersing herself in biofuel research, she also developed instructional materials that will provide her students with the experience of investigating similar scientific questions in the classroom.

Sorlie scrutinized various yeast species for the Yeast Exploration and Analysis Science Team. Yeasts, which help convert plant sugar to fuel, are key to biofuel production.

She will return to Bonduel with a variety of instructional materials related to yeasts and advanced biofuels.


Wolf takes over as principal of St. Anthony School

First a Catholic school student, then a teacher and now a principal.

Catholic schools have long been at the center of Alex Wolf’s life. The Waukesha native has joined the staff of St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Oconto Falls as its elementary school principal and religious education director.

“We’re very excited to have Alex here,” said the Rev. Joel Sember, pastor of St. Anthony’s, Holy Trinity and St. Patrick’s churches. “He brings a varied background and a lot of youth and enthusiasm, and quite a bit of classroom experience as well.”

Wolf attended Catholic schools from first grade through college then taught six years at Catholic high schools, making him more than familiar with the Catholic school atmosphere.

“Where I came from, the Catholic school provided a safe haven for the kids and a loving environment,” he said. He said a Catholic school education also teaches things not found in a public school setting.


New leadership team comes to WMS

Washington Middle School is under new leadership for the 2016-17 school year.

Principal Stephanie Landreman joined the staff in June, replacing Lou Hobyan, who retired, and Tony Logue was named the assistant principal/curriculum director last month after Lucas Cromell resigned.

“We’ll make a really good team,” Landreman said Aug. 31, the day before school opened. “Together, and with the rest of our staff, we can move mountains.”

Logue said he and Landreman had developed a synergy in just the few short weeks they’ve known each other.

“We’re both very student-centered. We’re both big on building relationships. We’re both a little bit goofy,” he said.

Landreman, previously a teacher and dean of students for the Seymour Community School District, said she was familiar with Oconto Falls because both school districts compete in the North Eastern Conference.


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