Former OFHS classroom houses credit union, concessions stand

What do a concession stand and a credit union have in common? At Oconto Falls High School, a renovated classroom will be a credit union by day and a concession stand by night — with a school store yet to come.

A ribbon cutting was held Aug. 31 in a little-used classroom converted into a concessions stand and school credit union.

The concession stand, located across from the field house, officially opened Thursday for a home volleyball game, one of an estimated 40 indoor events in which food and refreshments will be served from the former math classroom.

With the transition to one-to-one technology, which puts a computer device in the hands of every student, an OFHS computer lab was closed. Once a math classroom was moved to the defunct lab, space was available for the renovation.


Kids learn to grow, prepare fresh vegetables in Seeds 2 Service

Times Herald Photo by Joan Koehne

Members of the Gillett School Board interact with students in the garden area developed behind Gillett Elementary School through the Seeds 2 Service program. Through the program, students learn to grow and harvest their own food, then use it to prepare healthy meals.

Members of the Gillett School Board broke from their monthly meeting Thursday night to visit the garden behind the elementary school. Seeds 2 Service created the garden, where students learn about growing and harvesting their own food, plus how to cook the food and plan healthy meals.

The program got its start in 2013, buoyed by $70,000 in grant funding. In the first years of the program, students made raised beds from kits, hauled dirt and mulch, and planted the seeds.

“They worked really hard on it. I think they’re pretty proud of it,” said coordinator Sara Peterson.

About 50 students were enrolled in the program, which met after school during the school year. This prevents some students from going home to an empty house, Peterson said.

During the summer, five or six summer school classes are offered, enrolling about 20 students per class.

“We talk about healthy eating, whole grains, and we try different foods with the kids,” Peterson said.


Businesses recognized for job skills partnership

Awards were presented July 21 at the Gillett School Board meeting to local businesses that partner with the Gillett High School Transition Program.

Receiving awards were Sunshine Child Center, the Gillett Public Library, Earthaven Museum, Woodland Village Nursing Center, the Gillett School District­­ and Howl’in Grooming and Training.

While participating in the transition program, high school students work on job sites to learn valuable information from mentors in the field. Representatives at each job site complete an evaluation of the student at the end of the job, providing feedback to the students and school staff.

The students are on the job three days a week and in the classroom twice a week.


Inexperience hampers OFHS student at national contest

Times Herald Photo by Joan Koehne

Oconto Falls School Board President Ron Leja, center, and tech ed teacher David Heisel read the certificate to be presented to Oconto Falls High School student Jeffery Blazer. Blazer won first place in the state SkillsUSA motorcycle service technology contest this spring and competed at the national contest in June.

A solid understanding of small engine mechanics carried Jeffery Blazer to the top spot in the state SkillsUSA motorcycle service technology contest this spring.

A lack of expertise specific to motorcycles prevented him from replicating that success at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference last month. The Oconto Falls High School senior placed 19th out of 29 competitors at nationals, held from June 22-23 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Blazer said he can’t wait to try again next year, after he enrolls in the yearlong motorcycle fundamentals class at OFHS and learns more of the skills he was asked to perform in the contest.

“I had never done 90 percent of the stuff they had me do,” he admitted.

He said lacing a wheel was the hardest part of the contest. He also replaced wheel bearings and removed and replaced a wheel in the skills portion of the contest, participated in an interview and took a written test.


Suring students attend national FBLA conference

Two Suring FBLA members attended the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference from June 29-July 2 in Atlanta, Georgia. Jadyn Stuart represented Wisconsin as a member of the 2016-2017 state officer team, and Rylee Holub competed in the Computer Game & Simulation Programming event.

The conference offered members the opportunity to hear national speakers, attend a variety of workshops, compete in business-related events and network with members from across the country.

Stuart’s duties included helping to lead the state meeting, attending the Institute for Leaders and representing Wisconsin in a variety of ways throughout the conference.

Holub’s event included 90 teams from across the country. Before the conference began, Holub submitted a game he created. At the conference, he told a panel of judges how he created his game. He was not selected as a finalist.


Students encouraged to try out for MCT show

Students entering grades 1 through 12 are encouraged to audition for the Missoula Children’s Theatre production of “Rumpelstiltskin.” Auditions will be held from 9-11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 1, in the Falls Area Performing Arts Center.

Students auditioning should arrive by 8:45 a.m. and plan to stay for the full two hours. Some of the cast members will be asked to stay for a rehearsal immediately following the audition. All rehearsals will be held in the PAC and the choir room at Oconto Falls High School.

“Rumpelstiltskin” will be presented at 12 and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at the PAC.

Among the roles to be cast are Rumpelstiltskin, Queen Beatrice, Clara, a jester, King Whatsat, villagers, gnomes, wizards, knights and bees. No preparation is necessary. Assistant directors will also be cast to aid in rehearsals throughout the week and to take on essential backstage responsibilities.


Lee, Loberger completing community health internships

The Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers System recently selected college students Rebecca Lee and Kelly Loberger for summer internships in community health.

Lee is performing an internship in community health at the Sheboygan County Division of Public Health. The focus of this internship is assisting the county in reducing sexually transmitted diseases through education.

Lee, of Oconto Falls, graduated from Oconto Falls High School in 2013. She is studying biology and forensics investigation at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Loberger is at the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Health Center in Shawano County. The focus of the internship is a food assessment survey. Loberger, of Oconto, graduated from Oconto High School in 2012 and is studying biology and global health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


FBLA students brew up award-winning business plan

If Oconto Falls High School graduates Mikaela Thomson and Brittany Russell ever decide to open a coffee house, they’ve got an award-winning business plan to use as a guide.

The 2016 OFHS graduates placed third in the nation at the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference held from June 29-July 2 in Atlanta, Georgia. The girls developed a 30-page business plan for a fictional small business called the Birchwood Brew. The plan included all aspects of the start-up of a food service establishment, including employee recruitment, product inventory, company financials and a marketing plan.

“It’s realistic to what an actual business plans would look like,” Russell said.


Falls student earns national recognition at SkillsUSA

Contributed Photo

Oconto Falls High School graduate Jared Kennedy works on a project at the national SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Kentucky. Kennedy was the only Oconto Falls student to compete, and he placed eighth out of 48 in the carpentry contest. Kennedy became interested in carpentry when he was 7 years old and hopes to one day have his own construction company.

For Oconto Falls High School graduate Jared Kennedy, carpentry is second nature. Kennedy placed eighth out of 48 competitors and earned a Skill Point Certificate in carpentry at the 52nd annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills conference held June 22-23 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Skill Point Certificates were awarded in 86 occupational and leadership areas to students who met a predetermined threshold score in the competition.

Kennedy’s interest in carpentry began when he was 7 years old and helped remodel his family’s house. Time has flown since then, and Kennedy this spring found himself preparing for the national SkillsUSA competition. He placed first at the state competition on April 27 to earn the right to advance to the national contest.

“I prepared for this event by helping out my local summer construction class, teaching them how to do siding and remodel buildings,” Kennedy said.


Runners collect pledges for roof fund

On the last day of school, 3-year-old kindergarten to eighth-grade students and families from St. John Lutheran School in Hayes took part in a “Walking and Leaping and Praising God” fun run.

Prior to the run, the students sent out pledge letters asking for donations to replace the roof on the school. Thrivent also supported the event. The school has received $3,366 to date.

Due to the support from the congregation, families, friends and businesses, St. John School has continued teaching God’s word for over 100 years to generations of students. The school is one of the few remaining four-room schoolhouses in which children are taught in multi-grade classrooms.

For information about the school or to enroll a student, call 920-842-4443.


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