Tab collectors treated to pancakes

The Oconto Falls School District has been collecting aluminum tabs for many years and donates them to the Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee.

Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for families of seriously ill children being treated at Milwaukee area hospitals.

This year in an effort to break the school’s goal of 400 pounds of tabs, Oconto Falls Elementary School Principal Dan Moore offered his master flapjack cooking skills as an incentive. Any class that collected three milk jugs full of tabs received a pancake party.

So far, 447 pounds of tabs have been collected. Anyone wishing to donate tabs can drop them off at the Oconto Falls Elementary School office.


Forensics team plans open house

The public is invited to attend a Gillett High School forensics open house at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 10, in the Gillett Secondary School commons.

All 31 students competing for the Gillett High School forensics team have qualified for the state competition April 15 and 16 in Madison. Participants received two or three scores of 20 or better at the district contest March 19 in Marinette to advance to the state competition.

Thirteen students received a perfect score of 25 points. They are Alex Young, Brittany Fetterly, Maya Breed, Faith Sorlie, Joe Karls, Dylan Pratsch, Tristan Wolske, Zach Wiese, Jaylan Lauersdorf, Kendyl Sturm, Megan Wolfe, Hanna Brock and Lily Schroeder.

The team also participated in the Marinette & Oconto Conference meet Feb. 1 in Suring and subdistrict festival Feb. 22 in Oconto. All participants were invited to participate in the district competition.

The team is coached by Tami McQuillan, Stephanie Spang and Don Olderman.


Club members teach ski skills

The Oconto Falls Elementary Physical Education Department partnered with the Ray Tabar and the Machickanee Cross-Country Ski Club to give fourth- and fifth-grade students an opportunity to cross-country ski.

Cross-country skiing is an activity that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. The students had fun while they gained benefits related to cardiovascular fitness, strength and balance.

Donating their time to help the students learn to ski were Ray Tabar, Chique Tousey-Tabar, Don Liesch, Lyle LeTendre and Chris Walters.


Students interact with Serenity residents

The Gillett Middle School Student Council visited Serenity Gardens Assisted Living Center on March 3.

Annie Kohls and Sydney Young shared their forensic selection, Serenity Corona and Macy Franti played a trumpet duet, and the students played bingo and Scattergories with the residents.

The students used their Thrivent action grant to purchase lollipops to sell for the “Heart O’Gram” fundraiser. The money generated from the fundraiser was used to purchase goodie bags for the residents at Serenity Gardens.


OFHS send 64 musicians to state music festival

Sixty-four Oconto Falls High School Music Department students advanced to the state solo and ensemble festival with their performances March 12 at the Near North Music Conference District Festival at Oconto High School.

Participating schools in the Near North Music Conference included Oconto Falls High School, Washington Middle School-Oconto Falls, Oconto High School, Oconto Middle School, Marinette High School, Marinette Middle School and St. Thomas Aquinas School.

OFHS choral director Amy Thiel and band director Ben Burish both commented on how proud they were of the students.

Students were evaluated by WSMA adjudicators in a variety of musical categories, including tone, intonation, balance, technique and expression.

OFHS students will participate in 45 events at state on May 7 at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Class A: Starred first (state qualifiers)


3 students named school’s artists of the year

Artists of the year have been chosen at Oconto Falls Elementary School.

This year’s winners are Maggie Kaczmarek’s “Fish Collage,” Allison Yuma’s “Pop Art Cake” and John Wolford’s “Bicycle.”

The award honors one art student from each of three groups: kindergarten and first grade, second and third grade, and fourth and fifth grade.

Selections are made by the school staff. Two-dimensional artwork from the 2014-2015 school year were put on display, and the faculty voted for the piece of art that best displayed skill over media, creativity and superior craftsmanship.

There is a delay in the year chosen to allow art from the entire school year to qualify.

The pictures have been professionally matted and framed and are now hanging on permanent display. P.I.E. and Frame of Mind, Green Bay, donated the time and money for the professional presentations.


Drama club to present ‘Matchmaker’

Before Broadway ever sang “Hello Dolly!” there was “The Matchmaker.” The Oconto Falls High School Drama Club is preparing for its spring production of the play that led to the creation of the musical made famous by Barbra Streisand and Carol Channing.

Written by Wisconsin native Thornton Wilder, “The Matchmaker” in four acts highlights the mischievous dealings of Mrs. Dolly Levi, the matchmaker.

A certain old merchant of Yonkers, New York, is so rich in the 1800s that he decides to take a wife. He employs a matchmaker, a woman who subsequently becomes involved with two of his menial clerks, assorted young and lovely ladies, and the headwaiter at an expensive restaurant where this swift farce runs headlong into hilarious complications and a series of hide-and-seek scenes.


Little Tigers learn through play

Photo by RJ Reinhold

Suzzie Bessette, early education and 4-year-old kindergarten teacher at Gillett Elementary School, assists Dane Walker with a craft project as Tim Soper encourages his son, Noah, with his project. They were participating in the Little Tiger Play Group at Gillett Elementary School.

An active group of preschool children kept busy with building blocks, farm toys, a kitchen set and play dough when they met on Feb. 10 for the Little Tiger Play Group at Gillett Elementary School. Suzzie Bessett, early childhood and 4-year-old kindergarten teacher, spent time with each group of children and parents as they interacted.

As many as 16 children have attended the Little Tiger Play Group, more than Bessett ever dreamed when the group was organized at the start of the school year.

The play group is a community outreach program that provides support for parents and children. It’s funded by the school district at minimal cost, and kids and their parents attend for free. The group meets twice a month at Gillett Elementary School for play time, a snack and a story. The children range in age from 2 months to 5 years old.


Oconto student wins spelling bee

Oconto Middle School student Grace Holmgren took first place in the regional spelling bee on Feb. 11 and will advance to the state spelling bee on March 18 in Madison.

Oconto Middle School student Amber Grulkowski placed second.

Students from eight area schools participated in the bee, hosted by the Peshtigo Elementary Learning Center.

Participants were Autumn Payette, Washington Middle School, Oconto Falls; Aidan Patza, Gillett Middle School; Ryann Wagner, Suring Elementary School; Liam Roman, Crivitz Middle School; Celina Demmith, Coleman Elementary School; and Alex Fontaine, Peshtigo Elementary Learning Center.


Fishing derby winners listed

Kaden VanArk, 10, of Oconto Falls, was a two-time winner at the St. Anthony School fishing derby held Feb. 13 at the East Side Beach in Oconto Falls.

VanArk won the youth contest for crappie, with a weight of .54 pounds, and panfish, with a weight of .59 pounds.

Darryel Skarban, 8, of Oconto Falls, caught the heaviest northern at .45 pounds.

No youth registered a bass in the tournament.

Adult winners were Brook Evenstad, Abrams, .83-pound crappie; Jay Booth, Oconto Falls, 2.1-pound bass; KC Johnson, Oconto Falls, .32-pound panfish; and Josh LaBrosse, Oconto Falls, 4.16-pound northern.

Each person won $50.

Winners of the cash raffle were Sherri Konitzer, $500; Adam Orth, $250; Lynnette Sinclair, $100; and Gloria Blazer, Wes Heise and Randy Renel, $50.

Gold sponsors for the tournament were ST Paper and St. Louis Concrete. Other local businesses also contributed. Organizers reported a great turnout, despite the cold weather.


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