By Tim Verboomen
It’s hard to believe that, as of the writing of this article, we’re already through 22.2% of the school year, and we’ve had a great start. With the other 78.8% ahead of us, we still have a lot to look forward to, but we can also already look back on the first couple months with pride. As you probably know, our amazing students and staff are committed to teaching, learning, growing, and succeeding: October was an exemplary month of living out our school’s mission.
We began this month with a celebration of excellence in teaching. Our very own Science/STEM teacher, Miranda Dahlke, was one of the Wisconsin Finalists this year for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) award. On October 2, a representative from the DPI came to Washington Island to honor her. We invited all her students, members of her family, teachers and the School Board to surprise Miranda with the honor. The PAEMST awards are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teaching. The Awards were established by Congress in 1983, and the President recognizes just 110 exemplary teachers each year. Her students and colleagues are very proud of Mrs. Dahlke!
Our students were also able to take their learning on the road last month. Our elementary students were able to visit the Open Door Bird Sanctuary, a 34 acre sanctuary that provides homes for un-releasable birds of prey, near Jacksonport. Our students were able to see some of the most amazing birds from our area and around the world with their raptor educational program. Our 5-12 students were able to see a live performance of Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Story, by Mystery award-winning, Ken Ludwig. The Peninsula Players performed the murderously funny adventure that took our students from Baker Street in London, to the haunted moors of England as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson worked their way through a dizzying web of clues, disguises, and deceit (as well as getting to see just five actors portray more than 40 characters … something our cast of Shrek Jr. knows a bit about from last year!) Our 10th grade students also took a trip down to Sturgeon Bay to visit TTX and Hatco to learn more about manufacturing and employment opportunities in the trades they may be interested in as they contemplate their futures. Our high students will also be attending an educational fair later this year to learn about post secondary learning opportunities from colleges and universities around the area, as well as cosmetology schools and opportunities in our military.
Our student council has also been very active this year, already hosting two hot lunches, two spirit weeks, and partnering with WICHP for the Packers Party. Our student council is planning to attend the Wisconsin Association of School Council’s Leadership Tour in Green Bay in November. The tour will serve over 900 student leaders and student council advisors from all over Wisconsin, and will “combine motivational content, quality instruction, and great ideas.”
Finally, we’re expanding the learning opportunities in our school to members of our community, beginning with Mr. Sullivan’s Fab Lab & Woodshop Class. Community members in this class are working on personal projects on the school’s woodworking/shop equipment, CNC router, laser engraver, and more. We’d love to expand class offerings and look forward to hearing from you about what classes you’d be interested in taking or, better yet, teaching in our school. As always, we look forward to partnering with you!
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