News & Notes - October

News & Notes - October
Posted on 10/12/2018
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Each month, “News and Notes” recognizes the many contributions and achievements of staff, students, and members of our school community.  

West Allis Central High School had a team of special education teachers from Batavia High School (Batavia, Illinois) observe the Social Inquiry class led by teachers Sarah Bartosch and Katie Ancel in hopes of starting a similar program at their school.

Nathan Hale High School:  

  • Spanish teacher, Bridget Geboy-Helfenstein, helping to lead the travel-study group of students that will visit Ecuador in July, secured four tickets to the Monday Night Football Game (Packers vs. 49ers) from an anonymous donor. The tickets were sold at the "buy now" price of $1,000 to Interact Travel, the agency they are using. The donation will help defray the cost of the trip.

  • Hale’s PBIS student of the month is senior, Maggie Marcinkiewicz, and the PBIS teacher of the month is art teacher, Michelle Flayter.

  • Senior, Sean Borak has been selected as a “Semifinalist” and senior, Erika Koester has been selected as “Commended” student in the 2019 National Merit Program.  Sean is one of the approximately 16,000 highest scoring entrants nationally (top 1%), while Erika is one of the approximate 50,000 highest scoring entrants nationally (top 3%).

James E. Dottke High School:

  • Opened a Dottke Closet with the help of volunteers from Brooklife Church.  Church members donated time, clothing and other resources to help provide clothing and hygiene packs for students and their families.

  • Science teacher, Jill Frey, received a $100 grant through Meemic to purchase Deeper Learning classroom supplies through Quill.  

  • Mr. Tegtmeier and 14 members of his Service Learning & Leadership Group held its first Blood Drive on October 4, 2018.  Over the years, Dottke has hosted 28 Blood Drives with collections said to have helped save over 2,300 lives.

Shared Journeys:  

  • On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, at 4:30 p.m., a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 1509 South 76th Street in West Allis.

  • Was awarded a $52,000 grant from the State of Wisconsin and Department of Public Instruction to create an Infant Lab for the children of students that attend Shared Journeys High School. The Infant Lab will provide parenting teens with childcare while they attend school.  

  • PBS aired an outstanding segment about Shared Journeys on Thursday, September 20, 2018.

Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate School was the recipient of a generous donation of school supplies from TOSHIBA AMERICA ENERGY Systems Corporation.

Lane Intermediate School:

  • Recognized on September 21, 2018 for being a "Heart Safe Certified School" by Project Adam sponsored by Children's Hospital.

  • FJ.H. Findorff & Son Inc.donated an eye wash station, pencils, tape measures, and screwdrivers for the new Fabrication Lab.  

  • West Allis Heating and Air Conditioning donated $1,000  to offset the cost of the 7th and 8th grade trip to Washington DC.

West Milwaukee Intermediate School: 

  •  West Milwaukee Intermediate School teachers Becky Argyres, Alex Dollar, and Andrea Baron have been selected to present at the 9th Annual Personalized Learning Convening at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee this November.  Their presentation, “Three Blind Mice” explains how they moved from traditional instructional practice to project-based learning with a “Genius Hour Program” that involves personalized learning for students.

  • Received 375 backpacks filled with school supplies donated by the Salvation Army.

  • 8th grade Balanced Literacy teacher, Wendi Lewis, worked with the PTSA to coordinate a Color Run. Over 130 students participated and $3,124 was raised for future events at West.

Franklin Elementary School:

  • Teacher, Becky Simonson, was awarded a Donors Choose grant to purchase furniture for flexible seating in her classroom.  

  • Teacher, Christie Kleinowski, was awarded a Donors Choose grant to purchase a book series called "Books that Look Just Like Me” for each classroom in the school.

Hoover Elementary School received an $800 donation from the Ridge Community Church to be used for field trips for students.  Also, Hoover’s PTA was awarded a $1,000 grant from Mathnasium to hold a family math night co-planned by teachers and staff.

Jefferson Elementary School teacher, Robin Uttke, was awarded a Donors Choose grant for a classroom project called "Help Our Posture, Enhance Our Music."  She received 16 stackable steel risers to be used when students perform in music concerts.

Longfellow Elementary School:

  • Has received the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) grant of $10,000 for the fifth year in a row.

  • 4th grader, Ezri A., was the top scorer on Achieve 3000 at Longfellow and in the State of Wisconsin on September 13, 2018.

Walker Elementary School:  4K/5K teacher, Amanda Barber, was recognized as Donors Choose grant writing ambassador. Counselor, Kristyn Brownell and 4th/5th grade teacher, Patti Kaisler, completed the “Start with Hello” designed by the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation to help engage students and build positive relationships.

Wilson Elementary School:  First grade teachers, Miranda Pierce and Mackenzie Novitski and their students, raised money to purchase two Free Little Libraries. They also held a book drive to stock them.  One library is located inside the school for students to use. The other is located outside the building for neighbors to use.

Pershing Elementary School: Third grade teacher, Deb Groth, obtained a grant in the amount of $920 from Discovery World. Fourth grade teacher, Stacey Rippman, received a grant in the amount of $950 from Junior Achievement. These grants will allow students to attend field trips related to deeper learning at no cost to their families.  

Finance and Operations Department:

  • District Wellness Team (Nicole Weeks, Mary Capel, and Janet Delikat) accepted the Silver level recognition award on behalf of the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District from the American Heart Association for taking significant steps to build a culture of health in the workplace.  

Leadership and Learning Department:  

  • Deeper Learning Coach, Alyssa Johnson, has participated in a Collaborative Problem Solving Program by child psychologist, Ross W. Greene.  Her work will help support students affected by trauma at Horace Mann Elementary School.

  • Received a $21,875 Peer Review and Mentoring Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to for Deeper Learning Coaches, Literacy Specialists, and Innovation coaches to participate in six days worth of training in "Student Centered Coaching" by Diane Sweeney's Consulting group over the course of the year.

Recreation and Community Services Department:

  • Bobby Foreman, Out of School Time Program Recreation Specialist has successfully implemented and started the AM Action program at 11 elementary schools with close to 400 students enrolled in the program.

  • Shelly Strasser, Director of Recreation and Community Services will be presenting at the National Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference in Indianapolis this week.  The session title is: Empowering Youth Impacted by the Opioid Crisis: Providing a Safe, Supportive Environment through Recreation Programs.  The department was invited based on the work they are doing with community groups, staff, and after school programs.

Wisconsin RtI Center Recognized Schools:  

  • The Wisconsin RtI Center Recognized Schools Program celebrates school progress in expanding, refining, and sustaining implementation of both PBIS (behavior) and RtI (reading and math).



Behavior Level

Reading Level

Math Level

Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate




Franklin Elementary




Hoover Elementary




Horace Mann Elementary




Irving Elementary




Jefferson Elementary




Longfellow Elementary




Madison Elementary




Mitchell Elementary




Nathan Hale High School



Pershing Elementary




Dottke High School




Walker Elementary




West Milwaukee Intermediate




Wilson Elementary