District News

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Crescent Elementary School Kindergarten Community Field Trip

Kindergarten Fieldtrip

Crescent Elementary School's Kindergartners went on a Rhinelander community field trip thanks to a generous grant from the Hodag Schools Foundation (HSF). The students learned about various careers and their wonderful community of Rhinelander while showcasing their respectful and caring character traits practiced through the school district's Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports program (PBIS).

The Kindergartners started with creating tie-dyed t-shirts to show their own sense of community within their grade level and at their school. Partners in Education (PIE) also helped out by providing willing businesses that wanted to share their expertise with the young students. The kindergartners visited CoVantage Credit Union, Grace Lodge, Trig's, the Rhinelander Court House and the Chamber of Commerce. During a lunch break at Pioneer Park, the Rhinelander Fire Department, Oneida County Sheriff's Department, the City of Rhinelander, and WJFW Newswatch 12 stopped by to visit with their vehicles and shared a little about their careers. The final destination was at the Chamber of Commerce's large Hodag statue where the students were filmed thanking the businesses, the Rhinelander community, HSF, PIE, and The School District of Rhinelander, and also wishing WJFW a Happy 50th Anniversary! 

Central Artists of the Month for May

Central Artists
Pictured: Front Row - Abe Barlong, Julia Wacker, Alexia Robinson, Madyson Kramsvogel and Richard Threlkeld. Back Row - Elizabeth Joswick, Hannah Connor, Haylee Connor, Paige Oleinik, Brady Schreiber and Leah Froehlich. Not Pictured - Riley Zarm.

Central Intermediate School's Art Department is in its third round of "Artist of the Month" recognition.

Fourth graders combined painting, warping and weaving techniques to create a fun and colorful spiderweb-like masterpiece! Fifth grade students had created decorative pinch pots out of clay, however their work will not appear at Nicolet National Bank as they are moving on to the Middle School next year. In turn, fifth graders did have an opportunity to turn their pinch pots into something extra special to take home with them for the summer, by incorporating plants into their art to make a flower pot.  

Students are chosen as Artist of the Month for their innovative thinking skills, creative applications, showcasing of exemplary learning through the project expectations, and by positively demonstrating the 4 B's (Be here, Be responsible, Be respectful, and Be safe).  

The last round of student artwork for this school-year will be on display within Nicolet National Bank from June 3rd throughout the summer months. Community members are encouraged to check it out.

Congratulations to the May Artists and a very special "Thank-you" to Nicolet National Bank!

RHS Student Wins Car!

PBIS Car Giveaway
RHS freshman Makayla Koser had the winning key to the 2006 Chevrolet HHR (photo courtesy of Bob Mainhardt).

On Wednesday, June 1st, the Rhinelander High School PBIS team hosted the 4th Annual PBIS Car Giveaway at RHS.

Throughout the day, students were recognized for their positive behaviors, culminating in the giveaway of a 2006 Chevy HHR donated by Rhinelander GM, and refurbished by RHS students through generous donations by various Rhinelander businesses. Makayla Koser, a freshman at RHS, won this year's car.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, or PBIS, is a program that focuses on collecting and analyzing data on student behaviors, in order to encourage a school environment of respect and rapport, and to reinforce the positive behaviors demonstrated by students. After collecting, analyzing and supporting positive behaviors throughout the 2015-16 school year, the PBIS team gave a car to a lucky student for the fourth consecutive year.

The vast majority of the prizes that were awarded, including the vehicle itself, were donations from a long list of local businesses. Without their past and continued support, these giveaways would not be possible. Representatives from the following businesses were invited to attend in acknowledgment of their ongoing support:

Rhinelander GM
East Side Automotive
Rhinelander Detail Pros
Sounds and Motion
Northstar Steel Fabrication

Thank you to everyone who made this year's PBIS Day a huge success!

Central School Continues Tradition with 21st Annual Flower Garden

Central Garden

Fourth grade students are working on the twenty-first flower garden at Central Intermediate School. Each year, students are involved in the planning, fundraising, and planting of the garden. The first flower garden was planted when Beth Hanson, from Hanson's Garden Village, was a fifth grade student in Mike Wiernasz's classroom at Central School. Hanson's and Mr. Wiernasz continue to be involved with the planting of the flower garden each year. Mrs. Hunter has carried on this tradition. As you go by Timber Drive this summer be looking for the great design for this year. 

RHS Residential Construction Class Invites Public to Open House

Open House

The Rhinelander High School (RHS) Residential Construction Class of 2016 would like to cordially invite the public to a showing of this year's house project. The project is located at 5660 Westview Rd., Town of Pine Lake.

Open House for the public will be held on Saturday, June 4th from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM.


- Take CTY Rd W past BP gas station to
- LEFT on River Rd to
- LEFT on Trails End Rd to
- RIGHT on Oak Drive to
- LEFT on Westview Rd to
- Fire # 5660 Westview

Watch for signs.

A special showing for all students, parents and SDR staff is scheduled for Friday, June 3rd from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM. 

- Tours will be provided by students
- Certificate presentation starting at 4:15
- Light refreshments will be provided

RASF and RHS Host Scholarship Award Ceremony

Pictured: The 2016 RHS students who received the RASF scholarship awards.

The Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation (RASF), along with Rhinelander High School (RHS), held the annual scholarship award ceremony on Sunday, May 22. Ninety-seven local donors provided scholarships to 84 seniors, who received 178 local scholarships for a total of $227,425.

Additional awards recognized were from Wisconsin Public Service, Nicolet College, State of Wisconsin Academic Excellence Award, and State of Wisconsin Technical Excellence Award, totaling of $40,500. The total scholarships awarded were $267,925 combined.

The Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit, 501c3 charitable organization with a volunteer board. RASF raises money for and distributes scholarships to Rhinelander students. Celebrating their 25th year, RASF has raised an additional $290,250, to provide 336 students scholarships, many of whom may not get scholarship support from other sources.

Mini Garden Fantasy Planter Class

Fantasy Planters

Offered in collaboration with the School District of Rhinelander's Community Education Program, this is one of Hanson's Garden Village's most popular classes! This class is great for kids or kids at heart! We help you create your own mini fantasy planter! Decorative stones, moss and other landscaping materials are provided. The rest of the items are ala carte for an additional cost - you choose the ingredients for your planter and make it exclusively yours. Hanson's has everything to offer including plants, decorative furniture and accessories, figures, and fairies. Make it and take it home that day. ONLINE REGISTRATION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THIS CLASS. To register, please visit http://www.rhinelander/k12.wi.us/community/communityeducation.cfm, print off a registration form and mail it in with payment.

The class is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14 from 6:00-7:30 pm at Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander. Ages 5-11 may participate with an adult. Ages 12 and over may participate by themselves. The fee is $15/family for the first pot and $10 for each additional pot. Participants are free to bring their own mini décor items, however there is a large selection of miniature garden accessories available for purchase at Hanson's Garden Village. The fee includes instruction, soil, fertilizer and pot.

The registration deadline is June 9 and the course number is 2016-28. Please call Mike Cheslock at 715-365-9745 if you have questions.

2016 Summer Family Fun Guide

Summer Guide

To better help you and your family plan your summer, the School District of Rhinelander has once again compiled information for the annual Summer Family Fun Guide. This guide provides information from multiple organizations about all the fun-filled activities that are planned for this summer. Please view the guide by clicking here! We hope you have a fun-filled and safe summer break! 

4th Annual PBIS Car Giveaway

PBIS Car Giveaway
Pictured: The 2006 Chevy HHR that will be awarded to one student on June 1.

The Rhinelander High School PBIS team will be hosting the 4th Annual PBIS Car Giveaway at Rhinelander High School. The event will be held on Wednesday, June 1 and will kick off at 2:00 pm with the giveaway of several prizes in the Rhinelander High School Auditorium. Shortly after 2:00, the RHS band will lead students and staff to the Mike Webster Stadium for the presentation and giveaway of the vehicle. The vehicle giveaway will take place at 2:45 pm. Students will be recognized for their positive behaviors throughout the day, culminating in the giveaway of a 2006 Chevy HHR donated by Rhinelander GM, and refurbished by RHS students through generous donations by various Rhinelander businesses.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, or PBIS, is a program that focuses on collecting and analyzing data on student behaviors, in order to encourage a school environment of respect and rapport, and to reinforce the positive behaviors demonstrated by students. After collecting, analyzing and supporting positive behaviors throughout the 2015-16 school year, the PBIS team will be giving a car to a lucky student for the fourth consecutive year.

The vast majority of the prizes being awarded, including the vehicle itself, are donations from a long list of local businesses. Without their past and continued support, these giveaways would not be possible. Representatives from the following businesses have been invited to attend in acknowledgment of their ongoing support:

Rhinelander GM
East Side Automotive
Rhinelander Detail Pros
Sounds and Motion
Northstar Steel Fabrication

JWMS Students of the Month

Students of the Month

James Williams Middle School staff again recognized six students for the explementary behavior they display at school. These students have consistently followed the 4 B's and have proven to be positive leaders. The students for April 2016 are Megan Brown and Kody Litzen, 6th Grade, Jaida Salaam and Trenton Jameson, 7th Grade, and Ali Jankowski and Calvin Schneider, 8th Grade. Congratulations to these students and keep up the good work!

Pictured (left to right): Trenton Jameson, Kody Litzen, Jaida Salaam, Ali Jankowski, and Calvin Schneider. Missing from the photo is Megan Brown.

CHAMPS students visit Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum and Wausau West Planetarium

CHAMPS Field Trip
Pictured: Students from the Crescent CHAMPS program enjoyed the field trip on May 11th.

On May 11th the Crescent Elementary CHAMPS (Community Helping Afterschool to Mold Positive Students) students visited both the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum and the Wausau West Planetarium.

The spring exhibition at Leigh Yawkey, a first class free museum, was of the photographic illustrator, Walter Wick. Walter Wick is best known for his search and find Scholastic books, books that the students researched before visiting the museum. Wick creates elaborate sets and models that are filled with toys, machines, fairy tales, and optical illusions. The enticing looks of Wick's photographs are the result of several detailed processes working together to create a single image. As our students learned during their visit to the Art Museum, Wick's illustrations involve the efforts and talents of multiple people working together in a studio to develop and photograph Wick's intricate scenes, encompassing small-scale models resembling movie sets. It was a challenge for children and adults alike to keep their hands off!

The Wausau West Planetarium exhibition was about the moon and its influence on the Earth. The students also learned how to find the North Star and learned a few of the constellations and the story behind each. They were able to lay back, see a meteor shower and watch the movement of the stars as they cross the sky throughout the seasons. It was a very fun learning experience.

Pelican School Paraprofessional is presented with WCASS Paraprofessional of the Year Award

Paraprofessional Award
Pictured: Renee Miszewski (left) accepts the award from WCASS representative Karen Baker (right).

On Tuesday, May 17, Renee Miszewski, a paraprofessional at Pelican Elementary School, received an award for WCASS Paraprofessional of the Year. WCASS stands for Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services. Denise Check (teacher) and Martha Knudtson (Pelican Principal) nominated Renee for the Special Education Paraprofessional award. This is a statewide event through all the 12 CESAs.

The award is coming from CESA 9. Renee has been a special education paraprofessional in the School District of Rhinelander for 15 years. She stands out because of her cheerful attitude and willingness to go above and beyond even when no one is watching. When she's working with students, she has a great rapport, which is evident in how they respond to her. Renee uses all sorts of techniques and multisensory approaches to help her students learn. She is very creative, and comes up with awesome projects that keep the students engaged, challenging their fine motor and cognitive skills.  Renee is definitely a team player, helping other colleagues in the building. She provides in-class support for some of the students, and will often assist the teacher with the activities in the classroom. She is very versatile, and can easily adapt to any given situation. Renee is not afraid to dive in at a time of crisis, and will take the initiative in building-wide projects.  

Most recently, Pelican celebrated Grandparents Day by inviting grandparents to have lunch with their grandchild.  Renee was instrumental in planning the event, taking pictures of the grandparent and their grandchild, as well as creating a keepsake for all to take home. Renee has also been the leader in planning fun activities for teachers to recognize them during Teacher Appreciation Week. Last year, she created a "red carpet" for teachers to walk down and be recognized.

Renee took on a huge project in helping organize the building Book Room for teachers, which was in honor of a colleague that lost her battle to breast cancer. She has helped plan as well as attended many of the Family Nights, has been instrumental in helping the district pass referendums, and is notorious for finding items her students are in need of, and purchases them with her own money (ex. shoes, boots, mittens, snacks).

Renee has been active in staying current with practices and techniques in education. She has taken part in professional development opportunities such as Autism trainings, NVCI classes, as well as CPR. Renee is at work every day before her scheduled hours, and will often stay late. She likes to attend staff meetings on her own time, and has shared presentations regarding the trainings she's participated in.  

Principal Martha Knudtson said, "Having this opportunity to work with Renee is a great honor.  She is upbeat, kind-hearted, and is always smiling. Renee is a real pleasure to work with, and I'm proud to call her a colleague as well as a friend!" 

Beekeeper Visits Crescent First Graders

Pictured: Tracy Skubal, from Skubee Honey Farm, and first grader Rylie Gilbert model a beekeeping veil.

Mrs. Deitz's first graders participated in an inquiry project about insects. After the students chose an insect, they wrote many questions that they wanted to know about their insects.  In turn, they used these questions as a start for their research project. To research, the students used their ipads to scan QR codes. Then they showcased their learning through 30 Hands. The application allowed students to make a movie using photographs and their voice to show what they had learned about their chosen insect.   

One insect that was researched was the honeybee. Tracy Skubal, from SkuBee Honey Farm in Tomahawk, visited Mrs. Deitz's first graders at Crescent Elementary. Mrs. Skubal has fourteen bee colonies in her yard. The students learned that honeybees are very helpful. They help in pollinating flowers, fruits and vegetables. They give us honey and beeswax to make crayons, candles and lip balm.

Mrs. Skubal brought in a queen bee and two worker bees for the students to view. The students learned that queen bees only will sting another queen bee. A queen bee will not sting a person. The students learned  that once a worker bee or a drone stings, they will die. The students tasted honey from Skubee Honey Bee Farm. They also used Mrs. Skubal's lip balm made from her honeybees. She also showed the students the protective clothing that she wears when she collects honey.  A big thank you to Tracy Skubal for teaching the first graders about honeybees!

Rhinelander Students Shine at Solo and Ensemble Festival

Solo and Ensemble

Forty-one events (involving 79 students) from Rhinelander High School (RHS) participated at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival on Saturday, May 7th at UW-Stevens Point.   

Twenty-one of these 41 events received the top score possible. A record number of RHS students were nominated for an Exemplary Soloist Award. This nomination goes to "students whose performances were truly exceptional - beyond what is typically expected for this age group".

RHS students are pictured (left to right):
Samantha Bullard (Classical Vocal Solo), Faith Bartelt (Musical Theater Solo and Classical Vocal Solo), Seth Bowen (Classical Vocal Solo), Lauren Iverson (Clarinet Solo) and Erin Bloom (Classical Vocal Solo).

RHS Makes Great Showing at State FICB Finals

Pictured: Front row (L to R) - Andrew Padgett, Max Holperin, Jacob Piasecki, Jeff Chizever, Adam Mueller, and Mitchel Modic. Back row (L to R) - Patrick Kubeny (teacher), Bryce Young, Alison Kubeny, Jon Fox, and Henry Kipper.

Rhinelander took three teams to the state Financial and Investment Challenge Bowl (FICB) in Milwaukee on Wednesday, April 27. Sixteen teams from across the state competed in a live, college bowl style tournament consisting of 30 questions. The questions focused on a range of finance-related questions, with half of the questions asked about personal money management, and the rest were about current events, general business terms, technology, economics, and insurance.  

Alison Kubeny, Bryce Young, Andrew Padgett, and Max Holperin made Rhinelander's Team I. Jeff Chizever, Mitchell Modic, and Jacob Piesecki competed at State as Team II. The third team consisted of Adam Mueller, Henry Kipper, and Jon Fox.

For the first competitive round, RHS Team I competed against Marshfield and won 125-100. RHS II also won against Pius XI from the Milwaukee region, while RHS III lost to Monroe.  During the 2nd round it was RHS II's turn to go against Monroe, and they lost on the tie-breaking question. Rhinelander 1, however, beat Racine Case 1 to make it to the Final Four. Ironically, Rhinelander 1 had to go against Monroe again, but was beaten. The final two teams, Monroe and Sauk Prairie, competed in the finals, and Monroe won on the last question. Ironically, the two teams had already competed against each other in the Madison regional finals.

Rhinelander's coach Pat Kubeny said that he thought Rhinelander had a good shot to be in the Final Four, but had hoped for Rhinelander to make it into the Championship Round.  "I've gone to state with Rhinelander for several years now, but we've never gotten past the Final Four." he said.  He expressed a lot of enthusiasm for Rhinelander being able to take three teams to state. "This year, taking three teams to state was a fluke, but I certainly hope to be able get first and second at the Northwoods region again."

Crescent Students Gather Pop Tops for Ronald McDonald House

Pop Tops
Pictured: Mrs. Olson's kindergarten class shows off the pop-tops that were gathered at Crescent Elementary School.

On behalf of Crescent Elementary School, Mrs. Olson's kindergarten class gathered all the pop tops that the 4K-3rd graders had brought in from home. The class loaded them into Mrs. Tinsman's van for delivering them to the Ronald McDonald House in Marshfield, Wisconsin.  Students learned how the pop tops help raise money for the House and learned how the Ronald McDonald House helps families of children. Crescent Elementary will continue to collect pop tops as a way to help others in our community and our state. 

JWMS Students Take Part in Annual 3K Run

3K Run

On Thursday, May 5th, James Williams Middle School (JWMS) students participated in a 3K Run/Fitness Walk Activity. All students who qualified for the 3K Run in their physical education classes took part in the run. The 3K Run started at JWMS, looping around Central Intermediate School and back to the finish line at JWMS.  

Students who did not qualify for the 3K Run participated in the Fitness Walk on the track. 

These activities are promoting the physical and emotional well-being of the students.

3K Run Results:

The top-five boys and girls in each grade included -

Sixth-grade boys

Jaden Beske, Cayden Neri, Jackson Smith, Cole Price, Carter Detienne.

Sixth-grade girls

Annika Johnson, Megan Brown, Sage Flory, Brynn Brzycki, McKenna Brown.

Seventh-grade boys

Jacob Weddle, Jake Losch, Joe Lieder, Zach Goodrich, Isaac Bixby.

Seventh-grade girls

Ellery Werner, Marissa Martin, Delaney Chillemi, Lilly Eternicka, Bel Ernst.

Eighth-grade boys

Abe Laggis Walker Hartman, Nick Kriesel, Calvin Schneider, Charlie Skinner.

Eighth-grade girls

Izzy Haverkampf, Lexis Morrison, Kendra Durkee, Isabella Anderson, Carleene Morien.



To show support for the recent tragedy in Antigo, students in many area schools, including schools in Rhinelander, wore maroon and white (Antigo's school colors) on May 4th. Pictures were taken and many were posted on websites, social media, and news outlets. It was great to see so much love and support shown by these caring students.

Pictured: A group of students from Rhinelander High School dress in maroon and white to show their support for Antigo.

What is a Matrix Walk?

Matrix Walk
Pictured: A group of students from Pelican Elementary School discuss classroom and school-wide expectations during a Matrix Walk.

Three times per year the entire Pelican K-3 student body and staff participate in a Matrix Walk. What is a Matrix Walk? A Matrix Walk is a time for students and staff to "get on the same page" about expected school-wide behaviors and the 4 B's at Pelican which are Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe and Be Here.

Each class pairs up with it's "Buddy Class" and attends eight 15 minute sessions on commonly expected behaviors in different places they go in or out of school. Sessions are presented by school staff (including Food Service and Custodial). Presenters may also include Bowen's Bus Service, School District Police Liaison Officers, the School Nurse, and other area resource personnel. Topics for the Mid-year Matrix Walk included: Personal Hygiene, Personal Safety, Internet Safety, Playground Snow Safety, Manners and Etiquette, Respect Beyond School, Respecting Differences, and Portion Sizes for Lunch.

Home - School Connection...

Parents can reinforce these commonly expected social behaviors at home. Ask your child about these topics and discuss what they can do at home and in public to show the "4 B's". For ideas, try the following conversation starters:

How can you be safe on the Internet?
What can you do to show respect for yourself?
What does it mean to have "Good Manners?"
How can you be respectful away from school?

A School-wide Matrix Walk is a great way to ensure all students and staff are hearing the same message. Students feel more secure when they know that what is expected of them does not change from teacher to teacher or place to place within the building. They know that Pelican School is a great place to be!

RHS Mock Trial wraps up season, designs shirts to commemorate national record

Mock Trial
Pictured (L to R): Max Holperin, Jarod Hoha, Emily Ditzler, Anna Catlin, Albiona Sabani, Ellie Rickman, and Sydney Schallock.

The RHS Mock Trial team recently celebrated the end of another successful season at their annual awards banquet.  This year, the team won a record-setting 30th consecutive Regional title, en route to a second-place finish in the State Tournament. Pictured at the banquet are the members of the varsity team, sporting the shirts they designed to commemorate their national record of 30 back-to-back Regional titles. The back of the shirt reads: REGIONAL CHAMPS, 1987-2016, and repeats "back-to-back" 30 times.

"Our kids proposed the design after seeing the members of one of the opposing teams at State, wearing Mock Trial shirts that boasted "back-to-back" Regional titles," explained coach Kathy Vick-Martini.  "There aren't too many competitive programs of any type that can claim 30 back-to-back appearances at State, so the kids wanted to create a shirt that observed this milestone in Mock Trial history," Vick-Martini added.  

"Hundreds of former RHS students have contributed to this record over the past 30 years, and for that reason, the shirts are being made available to any families of former RHS Mock Trial participants," stated Vick-Martini. Anyone interested in ordering a shirt should contact Metro Screen Printing for details.

RHS Dance Team Holds End-of-Year Banquet

RHS Dance Team

The Rhinelander High School Dance Team held their end of year awards banquet on Sunday, April 24th. The team had a successful year placing 5th at Regionals and 7th at State in Division 2 Hip Hop and 1st at DX AmeriCup in Varsity Small School Hip Hop.

The following were recognized individually by the team and coaches (from left to right): Most Improved - Makayla Koser, Miss Congeniality - Tina Kansariwala, Most Spirited - Nicki Metropulos, Most Valuable - Alyssa Kossack, Captain/Senior of Distinction - Finlee Saari, Most Dedicated - Delanie Stafford, Captain/Distinguished Leader - Marissa Kaster.

FCCLA State Competition

Pictured (from left to right): Front Row - Sam Rocha, Elly Laggis, Ciarra Kadlec, and Tina Kansariwala. Back Row - Braeden Bell, Josie Vandervest, Karli Doughty, Hannah Arbuckle, Emma Alonso, and Alexandra Pond.

Rhinelander High School sent ten students along with their advisor to the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells for the FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) State Leadership Conference from April 18-20. This year's events included: Event Planning, Recycle and Redesign, Pastry Arts, Entrepreneurship, Basic Culinary Math, and Focus on Children. Medals for the ten students competing included 1 gold, 7 silver and 2 bronze.

Melissa Hasselberger is the advisor for FCCLA and is very proud of the accomplishments of the competing students. Next year she hopes for more members and students competing in events at the regional and state level.

For more information about FCCLA, please visit http://dpi.wi.gov/fccla.   

Central Intermediate Students Explore Space with STARLAB

Pictured: The STARLAB (photo courtesy of Kayla Breese from Northwoods River News).

Central Intermediate School students recently had an experience that they soon won't forget. To culminate their units in space and mythology, the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) generously provided funds for the use of an inflatable planetarium called 'STARLAB'. This portable lab is able to be acquired from CESA 9, which is a consortium that the School District is a part of.

STARLAB has different 'cylinders' that go on a rotating motor that projects images on the inflatable dome. The students enter through a tunnel and sit around the edge of the dome. When the lights are dimmed, the lights for the images are turned on, and when the motor is started it projects the images on the top of the dome in relation to the coordinates and time of year.

The fourth-grade students saw the mythology constellations and the fifth-grade students saw continents to identify the hemispheres, the star/moon cylinder that displays the stars and the moon phases, and finally the constellation cylinder that enabled them to identify the constellations that they would see in the night sky at this time of year.

Kyle Raleigh, a fifth-grade teacher shared, "The excitement of the students from day one was incredible! They couldn't wait for the next visit to STARLAB! This was the most beneficial way to finish our science unit in space."

Some of the fifth-grade students shared their perspectives and experiences about STARLAB as well. Ivy from Ms. Ledgerwood's class commented, "It was AWESOME! I was cold and once I entered STARLAB it was once again like a summer night, watching the stars. When Mr. Young put in the constellations imprint light thing I was in a daze! It literally took my breath for a little bit, I never wanted to leave!"

Abigail from Mr. Young's class said, "Today was our last day in STARLAB... AWWW! I loved STARLAB because I could just let all of my stress go out and I can just relax and learn about the constellations and look at all the pretty stars."

Pelican School Celebrates Perfect Attendance for March

Amazing Attendance
Pictured (l to r): Kimberly Bilogan and Pelican student Haylee Sadnick.

Over 150 students from Pelican Elementary School were recently honored for having perfect attendance for the month of March. RHS Senior Kimberly Bilogan, and Chief of Police Mike Steffes were the guest readers, emphasizing the importance of being at work and school, as well as doing their best. Afterwards, Kimberly stayed and read with some of the students.

Crescent Elementary First Graders Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day
Pictured: Mrs. Deitz's first graders from Crescent Elementary celebrate Earth Day at CAVOC.

The Crescent Elementary first graders celebrated Earth Day by visiting the Cedric A. Vig Outdoor Classroom (CAVOC) on April 22. They participated in a variety of activities to learn about their outdoor environment at the school forest.
First, the students went on a scavenger hunt. Some of the nature items that they looked for were an acorn, a bird's nest, water, clover, a pine cone and deer tracks. The students were surprised to find two small birds' nests and one large eagle's nest.

The students learned about the importance of recycling. They learned that even youngsters can help improve the earth by recycling. Many students shared their recycling habits that take place at home. They also learned that items can be reused. The clothes that are too small for them, but are in a good condition can be handed down to a younger sibling instead of being thrown away.  A few first graders shared how their family uses a compost pile in their yard. Therefore, their classmates learned that apple cores, banana and orange peelings can give important nutrients back to the soil.

Then the students went on an ABC Nature Hunt. With a partner, the students had to find something in nature that began with each letter of the alphabet. The youngsters found an insect, moss, stumps, birch trees and even an owl pellet!  

Finally, the students made an earth day critter out of paper.  Using a paper earth as the body, the students added body parts to make a frog, bird, fish, turtle or a bug. The first graders enjoyed many learning experiences during their visit to CAVOC on Earth Day.

Wisconsin Association of Student Council's State Conference

Pictured: RHS Student Council and advisors who attended the WASC State Conference.

14 members of the Rhinelander High School Student Council attended the Wisconsin Association of Student Council's State Conference in Madison April 24-25. Over 1200 students from across the state took part in the weekend of activities, which included: 3 inspiring keynote speakers, a wide variety of breakout Sectionals & Super Sectionals that cover everything from school spirit ideas to volunteering to college planning, a banquet and awards ceremony where the WASC honors Advisors of the Year, Special Award Recipients, and Student Achievements, regional meetings where business and officer elections took place, the State Delegate Assembly, which took place on the Senate floor in the state house, competition programs which feature many opportunities to showcase talent, as well as fun and energetic activities throughout.

Tyler Frederick, a sophomore received gold in the speech competition, Rhinelander High School received silver in the best project competition, and the annual scrapbook received a gold designation. 

Funds are raised each year during the state conference for a chosen charity. This year the host school, Sun Prairie High School designated the Wisconsin Honor Flight as the one to receive what was raised. A challenge ensued as to which school could raise the most funds, with the winning school receiving a huge prize basket. Instead of competing against each other, the Region two schools (Rhinelander, Lakeland, Mosinee, SPASH, Tomahawk, Merrill) voted at their business meeting to put all of their funds in the Antigo jar as a tribute to them in their time of tragedy. Word spread and all of the schools put their funds in Antigo's jar and they won the prize.

It was a powerful, enlightening weekend and the students will bring many new ideas to their next years at RHS.

Impressive Finishes at FBLA State

FBLA State
Pictured: All RHS students who competed at FBLA State.

Rhinelander High School recently sent 21 students to La Crosse for the 62nd Annual Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference. They competed among 2,700 other Wisconsin high school students in several business-related events like Business Law or Business Math. Students either took a 60-minute test, or prepared a presentation or speech to present to judges. The theme for the two-day conference was "Connect", which the students who attended were able to do with other members, state and national officers, and LaCrosse business owners. Along with competing, students could connect with a host of prospective colleges, take tours of the city, and attend workshops.

To be able to attend the state conference, students had to have taken first through third in their event at their Regional Competition? all seven Regional Competitions were held in February. Those who place first through fourth at state will move on to National Competition in Atlanta this summer.

Rhinelander placed well enough to get seven spots to compete and 'connect' with students from all 50 states and several other countries in Atlanta. Faith Bartelt and Gunnar Millot took first in their event, Community Service Project. With the help of their local FBLA Chapter, they organized a Jeans for Teens drive in January. They then wrote a 15 page paper and gave a presentation at state to earn first.

Max Holperin (Public Speaking II), Elliot Fehlen (Client Service), and Jeff Chizever (Computer Problem Solving) took second in their respective events. Also qualifying for National competition is Gunnar Millot, who double qualified by taking third in his event, Sales Presentation. Alison Kubeny will go to Atlanta because she took fourth in her event, Impromptu Speaking.

Rhinelander as a chapter also returned with a few great awards. Rhinelander once again got first in Community Service due to the chapter's efforts in projects like Highway Cleanup, Miracle Minutes at high school games, Jeans for Teens, and helping with Santa Letters and Valentines Boxes with the School District's elementary schools. Rhinelander got an unexpected award for having the fifth largest chapter in the state (Rhinelander FBLA has 120 members), and finished 8th place overall in the State based on first through fourth place finishes at the Conference.

Advisors Mischell Fryar and Patrick Kubeny are very proud of everyone who competed at the State Conference and are excited to see what might happen in Atlanta. Nationals will be held June 28-July 3 in Atlanta, GA. If you have any questions regarding FBLA or would be interested in supporting the FBLA students as they advance to the national competition please contact Ms. Fryar or Mr. Kubeny at (715)365-9500 or fryarmis@rhinelander.k12.wi.us or kubenpat@rhinelander.k12.wi.us.

Central Artists of the Month

Central Artists
Back Row: Camryn Huber, Wyndi Saari, Ava Lamers, Grace Berger, Cynthia Schuppler & Justin Orth. Front Row: Abbigail Struck, Abishea Winnicki, Brooke Schroeder, Emma Chiamulera, Peyton Clark & Maria Hubler.

Central Intermediate School's Art Department is in its second round of "Artist of the Month" recognition!

In this month, we see 4th grade connecting cultural traditions to modern day art with their "African Masks". Students used original symmetrical designs and operational thinking to create these masks. 5th grade students were inspired by the Chinese New Year Dragon and constructed a unique sculpture of a dragon using TP Tubes! "TP Tube Dragons" used many steps and various materials, resulting in some colorful, fire-breathing creatures.

Students are chosen as Artist of the Month for their innovative thinking skills, creative applications, showcasing of exemplar learning through the project expectations, and of course, by positively demonstrating the 4B's which are Be Here, Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful.

The second round of student artwork will hang within Nicolet National Bank from April 15th - May 15th. Art teacher Kim Martiny encourages the public to check it out!

Congratulations to the April Artists and a very special Thank-you to Nicolet National Bank!

RHS Sends 12 Students to HOSA/Future Health Professionals State Leadership Conference

Pictured: A group photo of the students who attended the State Conference.

Rhinelander High School sent their first ever team to HOSA/future health professionals State Leadership Conference April 10-12 at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

1100 Wisconsin HOSA students competed in 27 health care focused events such as Medical Math, Epidemiology, Medical Reading and Biomedical Laboratory Science. 12 RHS students competed in 5 events. After preliminary judging, 3 teams received call backs for a second round of judging. Final results for the Rhinelander HOSA club are as follows.

5th Place in Prepared Speech: Grace Hoger

5th Place in Public Service Announcement: Eva O'Meila, Grace Hoger and Maddie Fix

3rd Place in Career Investigation Poster: Hannah Hicks and Brooke Carlson (qualifying for National Conference in Nashville, TN).
Betsey Perkins is the advisor for HOSA and is very proud of the accomplishments of these 12 students. This year's theme was "Make Your Mark" and they certainly did! She is looking forward to an even stronger showing next year as the club has now been established within the High School.    

HOSA stands for Health Occupations Students of America. For more information about HOSA, please visit http://dpi.wi.gov/hosa

JWMS Students of the Month for March

Students of the Month
Pictured from left to right: Gavin Hackbarth (6th), Trevor Knapp (8th), Cooper Kovac (7th), Sophia Cook (7th), Allyson Heslip (6th), and Jackie Wells (8th).

James Williams Middle School (JWMS) has started a new tradition with a Student of the Month initiative. The 4 Be's focus on: Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Here. The Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) leadership team spent a great deal of time organizing a way to reward and recognize those students who are regularly following the 4 Be's. These students are productive leaders with positive behavior and also great students in the JWMS community.

Grade-level teams met and chose the top two students who demonstrated these positive behaviors in the past month.  Teachers take note of the exceptional behavior all month long and use school-wide data to vote for the outstanding students! Congratulations to Gavin Hackbarth (6th), Trevor Knapp (8th), Cooper Kovac (7th), Sophia Cook (7th), Allyson Heslip (6th), and Jackie Wells (8th). Keep up the amazing work!

Youth Recognized at Teen Character Awards Banquet

Teen Character Awards

The 2016 Y Teen Character Awards Banquet took place on Monday, April 4th at Holiday Acres Resort in Rhinelander. The evening was filled with inspiration and promise as our surrounding community honored 24 exceptional young adults from Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Lincoln, and Langlade counties. The recipients of this award are living examples of strong moral character, leadership and service dedicated to strengthening their families, schools and communities. We are proud of the 2016 honorees and look forward to see them shine as they move forward with their journeys.

The YMCA of the Northwoods would not be able to make events like this possible without the support of the community. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the organizations that supported this amazing event. Major Event Sponsors: Forest County Potawatomi, Rhinelander Rotary Club, and WJFW, News Watch 12. Table Sponsors: Rhinelander Kiwanis Club, Rhinelander Woman's Club, Rhinelander Lions Club, NRG Media, Fourth Floral, and Trig's of Rhinelander. Thank you for supporting the growth and wellbeing of our Northwoods Community.

The Y would like to give a special thank you to the Keynote Speaker, Attorney Cana Laska, of Grace Legal LLC. We would also like to thank Pastor Joseph Fehlen, Lane Kimble and Geoff Weller, Samantha Smith, and Holiday Acres.

2016 Honorees: Maria Huber, Anike Sulaimon, Presley Keeble, Tressa Lanse, Mason Wamego, Jade Kitchmaster, Eric Hedberg, Laurie Wildcat, Zach Shrock, Taylor Huza, Caitlin Crawford, Sawyer Rosner, Kiah Francis, Grace Hoger, Luke Ring, Jeb Skubal, Thaddeas Heck, Adam Engel, Andrew Padgett, Samantha Siefert, Brandon Reinthaler, Alison Kubeny, Matthew Rudolph, and Madalyn Sowinski.

Meteorologist Visits Students at Crescent

Pictured: WJFW Meteorologist Matt Benz explains how static electricity works using a balloon.

On Tuesday, April 5th, WJFW Channel 12 Meteorologist Matt Benz made a recent visit to Crescent Elementary School to speak with students about weather. Matt explained different weather phenomenons to the Crescent CHAMPS students. He explained how rain, hail, and snow are formed. He explained what causes storms and how lightning is formed. Much to the children's delight, he used a hair dryer and ping pong balls to demonstrate wind currents. With just as much enthusiasm, and the use of balloons, he explained static electricity. Last, he spoke about tornados. He had an electric operated tornado in a jar that was very interesting. The students then had something to share with Matt. They had created their own tornados in a bottle. This was a very worthwhile learning experience for the students. A very special thank you goes out to Matt Benz for giving his time to the students.

Rhinelander Students Compete and Advance in Finance and Investment Challenge Bowl

Pictured: All the students from Rhinelander who competed in FICB.

Rhinelander High School qualified three teams for the Finance and Investment Challenge Bowl (FICB) state finals at the 4th Annual Northwoods Regional at Nicolet College in Rhinelander on March 30, 2016. The FICB is a live, college-bowl tournament where teams compete to determine regional champions to compete in the statewide finals to be held at Manpower world headquarters in Milwaukee, WI on April 27, 2016.  Four teams from Three Lakes and two teams from Bowler also participated in the event this year. One team from Bowler will be joining the three Rhinelander teams at the state tournament.

This is the first time Rhinelander has qualified three teams for the state finals by placing three teams in the final four. The third place team is Eva O'Melia, Taylor Trachte, Jon Fox, and Adam Mueller. The runner-ups were Jeff Chizever, Gunnar Millot, Mitchel Modic, and Jacob Piasecki. The championship team of the Northwoods regional is Andy Padgett, Max Holperin, Alison Kubeny, and Bryce Young. These three teams will compete against the other regional winners from around the state of Wisconsin. The Rhinelander teams are coached by Rhinelander High School Business Instructor, Patrick Kubeny.

JWMS Students Participate in 2016 Wisconsin School Math Contest

Math Contest

James Williams Middle School participated in the annual 2016 Wisconsin School Math Contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Mathematics Council, Inc. Participants were (from left to right) - Lisa Kennedy, Emma Squires, Emily Radke, John Krueger, Makenzie Denny, Nathan Roberts, Charlotte Swierzynski and Quinn Lamers. Nathan Roberts was the team high scorer and the recipient of a Class B 2016 All-State 2nd Team certificate. The team finished in fifth place out of ten teams in the Class B division. Congratulations to the JWMS Math Competitors!

RHS Key Club Hosts Annual Staff vs. Students Basketball Game

Students vs. Staff

Each year the Rhinelander High School Key Club organizes a charity basketball game that pits the students against the staff. After consecutive years of winning, the staff found themselves on the losing end at this year's event. It was primarily Varsity players from both the boys and girls teams who helped lead the students to an 84-71 victory. The event was run a bit differently than in the past. The first seven minutes had female students playing against female staff, followed by seven minutes of male students against male staff. Those two round were repeated, followed by two rounds of mixed students and staff. Funds raised at the event will help the RHS Key Club with future projects. All involved had a great time and are looking forward to next year's game.

Pictured below (left to right)...

Top Photo (student team): Front Row - Maddie Meyer, Eva O'Melia, Reeve Craig, Devin Oleinik, Gunnar Millot, Kaly Kostrova, and Brooke Mork. Back Row - Adam Mueller, Owen White, Eric Tracy, Ethan Roberts, and Matthew Reinthaler.

Bottom photo (staff team): Front Row - Brittany Haakenson, Holly Dervetski, Derek Lemmens, David Pokrandt, Megan Biscobing, Cole Oettinger and Brian Paulson. Back Row - Chad Bolkema, Eric Prom, Brandon Karaba, Gretta Layman, Niki Kostrova, Mike Cheslock, Kurt Zalewski, Shane Dornfeld, and Tim Howell.

Photos courtesy of Bob Mainhardt.

RHS teacher Russell Germain has been selected to receive the 2016 Secondary Energy Educator of the Year Award

Energy Educator
Pictured: Russ Germain leads the Building Trades class at Rhinelander High School.

Rhinelander High School (RHS) Technology & Engineering teacher Russell Germain has been selected to receive the 2016 Secondary Energy Educator of the Year Award through KEEP due to his energy education efforts and successes in the School District of Rhinelander. This award recognizes individuals who are taking the extra step to improve energy literacy among students and teachers by helping learners gain the knowledge and skills needed to analyze and resolve energy issues while making wise energy decisions.

Mr. Germain was nominated by former RHS teacher Adam Matyska. Here is how Mr. Matyska describes Mr. Germain and his accomplishments...

"Russ Germain has been teaching Building Trades in the Technology Education Department at Rhinelander High School for over seventeen years, teaching on average 50 students annually. Since taking over as Building Trades Coordinator in 2004, he has overseen the construction of a different structure each school year, including residential structures as well as Rhinelander's School Forest Environmental Education Center. His goal for each building has been to make it as energy efficient as possible, while in the process educating students on current best practices in energy efficient material advances and construction techniques."

Matyska goes on to say...

"Mr. Germain teams with local contractors, utilities, and programs such as Focus on Energy in constructing a building every year, in order to give his students real-world, applied techniques in making energy efficient structures. Mr. Germain goes above and beyond the norm in his concern for energy efficiency. The energy efficient qualities, materials, and techniques employed in each home are displayed during an annual community open house, where students lead parents, teachers, and the community on tours of the structure. Local television, radio, and print media also cover the home-building process every year, further publicizing (and thus educating) the energy efficient qualities of these student-built structures."

In recognition of Mr. Germain's contributions to energy education, a $500 award will be sent to RHS to support the ongoing educational efforts.

Mr. Germain will be recognized and presented his award at the Celebration of Excellence in Environmental Education Awards Banquet on April 30 at Riveredge Nature Center in Saukville (north of Milwaukee).

Congratulations to Russ Germain on his efforts and successes.

Information can be found on the KEEP website at: www.uwsp.edu/keep (go to Networking).

DECA State 2016

DECA State
Pictured are this year's DECA State winners (from left to right): Robert Ritchie, Faith Bartelt, Alison Kubeny, Haley Sisel, Taylor Trachte, Brianna DeNamur, and Markus Johnson.

Sixteen Rhinelander High School students competed at DECA State Conference March 8-10th in Lake Geneva. They competed in multiple events that focused on one of four tenets of business: marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. All competitors had to take a 100 question test about one of the four business cluster categories, depending on which one their event fell under. For example, those competing in the Travel and Tourism event had to take a hospitality test. After taking the test, each student or team of two or three students had to perform two role plays with judges. Role plays are similar to real life situations that may occur and the students have to do their best to solve it in front of a potential non-compliant customer, business partner, or client (played by the judge). All competitors also had to take a 100 question economics test prior to competing. Medals are awarded to students who do exceptionally well in a role play or test, as well as places to the overall top competitors.

Of the 16 Hodag competitors, one individual and a team of three qualified for the 2016 DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Nashville, TN. ICDC is held from April 22-27th with about 11,000 competitors from all 50 U.S. states and other countries such as Canada, Mexico, China, Guam, and Germany. Faith Bartelt qualified to go by taking 7th place at state in Business Services. Alison Kubeny, Haley Sisel, and Taylor Trachte competed in a project-based event, Community Service, and placed 2nd, also qualifying them to go to Internationals. Gunnar Millot will be joining the four in Nashville to represent Rhinelander in the Emerging Leaders Academy. He applied for this position and was selected by the State DECA Advisor to attend.

Besides those who qualified for Internationals, Rhinelander had five other students on the stage at State. Travel & Tourism team Brianna DeNamur and Taylor Trachte were Overall Series finalists, meaning that they competed especially well overall, but didn't qualify for the next level. They also were awarded medals for their performance in their test and a role play. Robert Ritchie was an Overall Series Finalist in Automotive Services? he received a medal for his series test. Alison Kubeny was on stage for a role play in her event, Human Resources. Markus Johnson also received a medal in Principles of Business Administration for one of his role plays.

Gunnar Millot was a state officer candidate finalist for Vice President of Brand Management at DECA State. He gave a platform speech to all the voting candidates before the Opening Ceremony. He was then asked questions for 12 minutes before the vote. He was up against Addie Kubitz of Monona Grove. Running for office is an arduous process that requires submitting a lengthy application and going down to Deforest High School for a day of interviews? all prior to the state speeches and interviews. Although Kubitz ended up with the most votes, Millot says he is glad for the opportunity to be a nominee and for the more extensive experience he has with interviews.

Faith Bartelt was on stage for something exciting besides competing -- she sang the National Anthem at the Opening Ceremony in front of about 2,000 people including competitors, advisers, and business/industry representatives.

As a chapter, Rhinelander was recognized for: Donations to Muscular Dystrophy Association (DECA's national charity), General Contributions to Charities, Diamond Level Membership (increased chapter size by 20% from last year), 100 hours of service, Gold Level Certification as a chapter, Acts of Kindness, and the membership campaign process. Advisors Mischell Fryar and Patrick Kubeny are very proud of everyone who competed at DECA and are excited for what is to come at internationals. If you would like to make a donation to assist the students attending ICDC or have any questions, please contact adviser Mischell Fryar at 715-365-9500 or fryarmis@rhinelander.k12.wi.us.

4th and 5th Graders Take Part in Basketball Program

Youth Basketball

Northwoods Community Elementary School (NCES) & Central Intermediate School brought back some competitive school spirit by having 4th & 5th grade boys/girls compete in basketball. They had a six week season to learn the fundamentals of the sport. Having fun was an emphasis, which the kids succeeded in. What a great thing to bring back and hopefully this sparks interest in this wonderful sport for the kids!

Local Grant Provides Funding for Pelican School Garden

Pelican Garden

Recently a nutrition-based grant was awarded to Pelican Elementary School in the amount of $1,200 to enhance the school's garden. This grant was provided by the Northwoods L.E.A.N. (Linking Education, Activity, and Nutrition) coalition, through the Oneida County Health Department. The school garden was developed from a previous garden-based nutrition grant through Northwoods L.E.A.N. last spring.

In the upcoming months, Pelican students, families, and staff will be actively involved in planning, preparing, and planting the school garden, in anticipation of a successful harvest and taste-testing in the fall. Pelican Elementary School is an exciting place to learn and grow.

RHS Places Second at Wisconsin High School Mock Trial State Tournament

Mock Trial

In their record 23rd appearance in the State Finals of the Wisconsin High School Mock Trial Tournament, Rhinelander High School was defeated by Shorewood High School, last year's second place finisher.  In 2014, the two teams also met in the Finals, with RHS prevailing.

"Qualifying for the Finals is the goal of all sixteen teams at the State Tournament," noted legal adviser, Judge Michael Bloom, "And since 2000, Rhinelander High School has been one of the two finalists fourteen times."  The RHS squad qualified for the Finals this year by defeating teams from Appleton West, Dodgeland, Wausau West, and Lodi.  

"We were undefeated going into the State Finals," stated attorney coach Amy Ferguson.  "The quality of our students' performances was excellent, but unfortunately, our competition keeps improving, as well.  Each year it becomes more difficult to prevail."   

RHS has won the state title seventeen times and has placed second six times in its 30 consecutive trips to State.  "I know our students are disappointed with the end result this year, but, as I told them, I know there are a hundred teams in the state who wouldn't mind finishing where we did," commented faculty coach Kathy Vick-Martini.  "Their individual performances in the tournament were amazing, and I couldn't be more proud of them."

Team members include co-captains Anna Catlin and Emily Ditzler, Jarod Hoha, Max Holperin, Ellie Rickman, Albiona Sabani, and Sydney Schallock.

By virtue of their state championship win, Shorewood High School will represent the State of Wisconsin in the National Mock Trial Tournament in Boise, Idaho, May 13-15.  To date, Rhinelander High School is the only Wisconsin school to win the National title.

Pictured: The RHS Mock Trial team is pictured with the judging panel in the State Supreme Court Hearing Room.

Front (l to r): Team members - Albiona Sabani, Jarod Hoha, Ellie Rickman, Anna Catlin, Sydney Schallock, Emily Ditzler, Max Holperin.

Back (l to r): Judging panel - Atty. Michael Rosenberg, Hon. Thomas Hruz, Hon. Stephen Crocker, Atty. Cassell Villarreal, Hon. Brian Blanchard.

JWMS Students Compete at State Poster Contest

Poster Contest
Pictured - Carleene Morien (left) and Mallory Meyers (right).

On March 2nd, 2016, all Wisconsin Regional Environmental Poster Contest winners were submitted and judged to the state competition in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Sixth grade student Mallory Meyers finished in second place at the state competition for her Environmental Poster titled "We All Need Trees." Carleene Morien's artwork was also submitted to state competition and she was awarded a certificate for her participation.  

Both students will be recognized at the April Oneida County Board Meeting on April 15th.

Congratulations goes out to both contestants as well as their families.

Green Shades takes first place in their division at Shawano Area Jazz Festival

Green Shades

Congratulations to Green Shades Jazz Ensemble. They took first place in their division for the second year in a row at the Shawano Area Jazz Festival. Twenty two jazz ensembles from around the state worked with world renowned saxophonist Eric Marienthal and guitarist Chuck Loeb. Three Green Shades band members also received Outstanding Musicianship Awards:  Faith Bartelt (alto sax), Samantha Smith (piano) and Alex Wagler (guitar).

Pictured (left to right):
Row 1: Carmen Incha, Bailey Nebgen, Andrea Sawyer, Faith Bartelt, Olivia Bowman, Heather Riesbeck.
Row 2: Samantha Smith, Alec Lowry, Duncan Seidel, Robert Ritchie, Katie Harder, Morgan Elko.
Row 3: Clint McCue, Alex Wagler, Valarie Puza, Annika Benoy, Andy Padgett, Marshall Dana, Rachel Uhlarik, Elliot Fehlen.

Pi Day at JWMS

Pi Day
Pictured: 8th graders at James Williams Middle School enjoyed some pie while celebrating Pi Day.

James Williams Middle School 8th graders enjoyed a Pi Day Celebration on Monday, 3/14, by bringing in their favorite pie to share with their class. Students explored the history of Pi, created artwork using the digits of Pi, and measured the circumference of circular objects while devouring several pieces of pie.

Central Artist of the Month

Central Artists

Central Intermediate School's Art Department has begun its "Artist of the Month" recognition.  After months of careful planning and collaboration, they are ready to present their new and exciting project and the first round of students.

First, they have developed a very unique way to show off student work. In addition to recognition at the monthly SuperStar Assembly, student artwork will be displayed in a special location outside of the school. As a supporter of the schools and of the Arts, Nicolet National Bank has graciously agreed to partner up with Central School's Art Department and publicly display student work within their business. This is such an exciting opportunity to show off the talents of the students for the community!

Students are chosen as Artist of the Month for their innovative thinking skills, creative applications, showcasing of exemplary learning through the project expectations, and of course, by positively demonstrating the 4B's (Be Here, Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible).  

The hope is that promotion of such a program within the community will build confidence, pride and character within the students. In addition, this opportunity will showcase the talents of the students for the community. The first round of student artwork will hang within Nicolet National Bank from March 1-31st. Everyone is encouraged to go view this artwork.

Congratulations to the March Artists and a very special "thank you" to Nicolet National Bank!

Pictured: March Artist of the Month Students & Artwork. Back Row: Madalynn Roser, Amanda DeMeyer, Emma Wilcox-Pauke, Emma Gerdes & Morgan Louis. Front Row: Ryan Morien, Hailey Zubricky, Conner Hanneman, Adrian Patrone, Delainio Zivko & Kylie Kjos. Not Pictured: Amber Bramm.

First Graders Celebrate Dr. Seuss Day

Dr. Seuss
Pictured: Students in Mrs. Denis' class display their favorite Dr. Seuss books.

The first graders at Crescent Elementary celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday by participating in a variety of reading activities on March 2. The students visited each first grade classroom.

Mrs. Denis led students in a walk around the room to find words that begin with the letters t-h-e-c-a-t-s-h-a-t-s.  After reading "Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?," the students pretended that they were one of the characters by blowing a huge bubble with bubble gum. The students also completed a Dr. Seuss word search.  

Mrs. Deitz read "Green Eggs and Ham" to the students. After showing the students a mango, she learned that many students had never tasted a mango. The students were asked if they thought they would like the taste of a mango. Their responses were graphed. Then the students tasted the mango and to their surprise, the majority of them liked the mango! The students learned that they should keep trying new foods.

Mrs. Houg and Ms. Olk guided the students through a variety of nonfiction "Cat in the Hat" videos sponsored by PBSKids.  

Theodor Seuss Geisel, known as Dr. Seuss, was an American illustrator and writer who changed the way authors wrote books for children. He wrote forty six children's books. His first book, "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street," was rejected twenty seven times before it was finally published in 1937. Dr. Seuss died in 1991.

Spread the Word to End the Word Day

Spread the Word
Pictured: Staff and students at JWMS and RHS wore their "Spread the Word to End the Word" shirts in support of the "r-word" campaign.

We need leaders in our community who are role models of unity. That we have found with great pride in the School District of Rhinelander. Project Unify is a club at Rhinelander High School that includes students with and without disabilities. The overall goal of the club is to reach out in our schools and community and promote inclusion.  
On Wednesday, March 2nd, the Project Unify Club worked hard to hold a Spread the Word to End the Word at James Williams Middle School and Rhinelander High School. Students and staff wore Spread the Word to End the Word t-shirts, made posters, sent out resources to teachers to use in class, made a video at RHS and asked all students to take the pledge to stop using the R word. Banners are on display in the lunchroom allowing students to sign to pledge to stop using the word.  You may also go online and pledge at www.R-word.org.  

The annual day of awareness is held every first Wednesday in March and is put on by Special Olympics/Project Unify. The word hurts, even if it is not directed at a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For too long, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have had to overcome the challenges society has put forth through stereotypes.

Spread the Word to End the Word is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Project Unify to inspire respect and acceptance through raising the consciousness of society about the R-word and how hurtful words and disrespect can be toward people with intellectual disabilities. Language affects attitudes. Attitudes impact actions. Make your pledge for #Respect today at www.R-Word.org.

Students Participate in FCCLA Regionals

Pictured: First row (from left) - Lexi Pond, Josie Berry, Braeden Bell, Karli Doughty, and Hannah Arbuckle. Second row (from left) - Josie Vandervest, Tina Kansariwala, Ciarra Kadlec, Sam Rocha, Elly Laggis and Emma Alonso.

On Monday, February 29th, eleven Rhinelander High School FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) members participated in regional competition, with hopes of moving their projects on to State competition. This year's events included: Event Planning, Recycle and Redesign, Pastry Arts, Entrepreneurship, Basic Culinary Math, and Focus on Children. Ten of the eleven participants completed that goal and will be presenting their projects at the State FCCLA Leadership Conference at the Kalahari Resort April 18-20th.

RHS Project Unify Club Takes the Plunge!

Pictured: RHS students Madeline Barnes (left) and Kim Bilogan (right) were two of the twenty Rhinelander students who took the plunge to raise money for Special Olympics.

On Friday, February 26th, the Project Unify Club from Rhinelander High School participated in a Polar Plunge at Sunnyvale Park in Wausau, WI. The plunge was to raise money for Wisconsin Special Olympics. The club took 20 students down from RHS to take the plunge. The RHS group raised close to $2000.00 alone to put towards Wisconsin Special Olympics.  Project Unify is a club that is a branch off of Special Olympics that consists of regular and special education students. The clubs main focus is to bring about change in our school and community so that we have a more inclusive environment. Way to go Hodags!

"Take Time" for "One Meatball"

Lem Sheppard
Pictured: Lem Sheppard performs for students and staff at Pelican Elementary School.

On Thursday, February 25th, Pelican Elementary School celebrated "Black History Month" with renowned musician Mr. Lem Sheppard. His performance included traditional jazz, blues and folk songs, which portrayed the struggles and triumphs of black men, women and children in America.

A highly educated musician, with an amazing voice and phenomenal guitar and banjo playing skills, Mr.Sheppard uses his knowledge of music and storytelling abilities to not only entertain his audiences, but also to teach about the history of music and culture in Black America. He taught the students at Pelican that throughout history, songs were not only used to entertain people, but were also often used as work songs and ways to communicate stories and secret messages. The students especially loved Lem Sheppard's performance of "The Crawdad Song," because it was very interesting to hear his story about how he used to be afraid of crawdads when he was younger, until he found out that they don't eat people,  people eat them!
The students and staff were encouraged by Mr. Sheppard to embrace the songs and become active participants as he demonstrated traditional stomping, clapping and body movements that accompanied many of the songs including the song "One Meatball," which was an instant hit. In his closing song "Take Time," Mr. Sheppard reminds everyone to take time and enjoy life because time passes so quickly and we shouldn't miss the truly important moments. The performance by Lem Sheppard was both fun and educational and was a great way to celebrate positive behavior at Pelican Elementary. 

One of Our Own

Guest Speaker
Pictured: Matt Berth presents to students in the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium at RHS.

On Friday, February 26, some students in RHS Global Studies, Physical Ed, Special Ed and NCSS classes were fortunate to listen to an RHS graduate as a guest speaker. Matt Berth graduated in 2000 and enlisted in the military in 2001, before 9/11. He served in the National Guard with a number of others he knew from high school. His job title was Combat Engineer and his duties consisted of clearing roadside IEDs so troops could travel safely. He was also the gunner on his M-RAP vehicle. He completed a tour in Iraq and was sent to Afghanistan in early 2009. While on a mission, his vehicle was bombed, resulting in Matt receiving multiple injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. Matt went through a long recovery and has had to deal with PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) as a result of his injuries. Matt brought his dog Bristol along. Bristol is an 8 year old beagle/spaniel mix and Matt is now training the dog to act as a service dog to help him cope with PTS. Bristol helps Matt by nudging him if he becomes stressed, wakes him if he is having nightmares, and helps keep him grounded to his surroundings on a daily basis. Bristol travels everywhere with Matt and is a great companion. Matt is also teaching Bristol to turn lights on and off, as well as help him locate things he may misplace, such as his wallet or cell phone.

Matt works with a variety of non-profit organizations to help veterans and raise awareness of veteran's needs. He works with Labs for Liberty, a group that trains service dogs for veterans. Labs for Liberty receives pups for free from kennels, trains them, and gives them to a vet who can use their services, all with no cost to the veteran. Matt also works with Battle Dawgs, another non-profit group that helps veterans reintegrate into society by providing adventure camps in Alaska. Matt was invited to participate in the Iditarod Camp run by Battle Dawgs last year. Rick Casillo and his wife run the camp and own a dog sled racing kennel in Alaska. Matt served as part of Rick's race crew for last year's Iditarod Dog Sled Race, a 1,000 mile race across Alaska that commemorates the Serum Run in 1929 that took diphtheria serum from Anchorage to Nome, as well as the continued use and presence of sled dogs in Alaska. Rick runs in several dog sled races throughout the year and uses his racing proceeds to fund his Battle Dawg adventure camps.  Matt will be going to the Iditarod race again this year, this time to assist 2 other vets who are multiple amputees and are participating in the Iditarod race camp experience.  

All of the students enjoyed listening to Matt discuss his military service, his use of a service dog, and the information he provided about all of the veteran assistance organizations he is involved with. Matt is dedicated to providing help and support to his fellow veterans. He has also become a presence in the weight room at RHS and has created connections with students there as well. We thank Matt for his service to our country and admire what a great asset he is to our community.

Hoops for Heart 2016

Hoops for Heart
Pictured: Sixth graders Ariel Pauer (left) and Aubrey Barber (right) were two of the many JWMS students who took part in Hoops for Heart.

JWMS students shoot hoops for their hearts and help save lives...

On February 25th and 26th, James Williams Middle school (JWMS) hosted a Hoops For Heart event to raise money for the American Heart Association, which funds research, programs and education to fight heart disease and stroke, our nation's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. JWMS students raised over $950.00 for the American Heart Association. 8th Grader Emily Malone was the top fundraiser in the school raising an incredible $570 for the cause. Staff members volunteered their time and joined classes to challenge students to $1 mini-games which raised $50 during the two day event.

"I'm so pleased with the success of this year's event," said Amanda Rezny, Hoops For Heart coordinator. "We all had a lot of fun, a lot of staff got involved, and the kids enjoyed learning about the importance of heart healthy lifestyles and how they can play a role in saving lives."

Hoops For Heart is a program that promotes physical activity and heart health through playing basketball. It is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and SHAPE America-Society of Health and Physical Educators.

To make a donation or to find out more about Hoops For Heart, call your nearest American Heart Association office at 1-800-AHA-USA1 (1-800-242-8721). You can also visit online at heart.org/hoops

Amazing Attendance at Pelican

Amazing Attendance
Top photo: Bryce Young and Aidden Peterson. Bottom photo: Calvin Loomis and Taylor Trachte.

Pelican School recognized their monthly Amazing Attendance recipients during their Jumpstart celebration. Seniors, Bryce Young and Taylor Trachte, read the names of the students who had perfect attendance for the months of December (171 students) and January (135 students). Both high school students expressed the importance of being at school and all sports practices on time. Afterwards, Bryce and Taylor stayed to read with some of the students. It was also a chance for Taylor to show off her Spanish skills, as her reading partner chose a book that was part English and part Spanish!

PBIS Winter Fun Day for Middle School Students

JWMS Fun Day

James Williams Middle School students celebrated good behavior at the school with a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) Winter Fun Day on Friday, February 12th. Students were able to select their activity(ies). Choices included: Ski Brule, Fort Wilderness, ice fishing, cooking, arts/crafts, ice skating, swimming, open gym, and bowling. Chaperones and students alike enjoyed a day away from the classroom.

RHS Dance Team Finishes First at Dance Xtreme USA AmeriCup Dance Championship

RHS Dance Team

The Rhinelander High School Dance Team traveled to Minneapolis this past weekend, February 19- 21, 2016 to compete at the Dance Xtreme USA AmeriCup Dance Championship held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This is the 7th year that the team has competed at this event (formerly UPA Nationals) under the direction of Head Coach Tricia Winter, who just completed her 8th year of coaching. The team is also coached by Bailey Welch.

The Hodags took first place out of five teams in Varsity Small School Hip Hop. This is the fifth National title that the Hodags have earned in the Hip Hop category. They also performed their Jazz routine this weekend and received an Academic Excellence Award for having a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

Escorting them through town in recognition of their achievement were the Rhinelander Police Department, Rhinelander Fire Department and the Oneida County Sheriff's Department and the team is most appreciative of their support. They are additionally thankful for the continued support of the school administration and community businesses that assisted them in making their way to this event, including: United Steel Workers Local 2-15, Metro Screenprinting & Embroidery, Trinity Lutheran Church, Spine & Sport, Amerigas, Rhinelander GM Auto Center, Boyd Financial, Stifel, The Feed Store, Advanced Health, Anytime Fitness, Frasiers Plumbing & Heating, Eversco Ltd., Hearing Advantage, LLC, Aspirus Clinics, Inc., Diel Insurance Group, Pawz 'n Clawz, Enterprise Wood Products, Essential Oils - Danette Denny, Jamberry - April Keating, RHS Class of 1965, Thirty One - Karrie Liebherr, The Koth Family, The Gilbert Family, The Koser Family, The Harris Family, Penca Photography, Britton Photography, Oneida County Tavern League, Hodag Gun & Pawn, Dominic's, Rhinelander Cafe & Pub, Northwestern Mutual, Swearingen's Al-Gen Dinner Club, Printpack, Karaba, Susan DeGrant, Susan Schmidt, Darrell E. Schmidt, DDS, SC, Jailhouse, Shady Sue's, Jason's Automotive Service, Hjelle Chiropractic, Sark Investments, Re-Vive and the entire community for their support of the referendum.

Pictured are: Front row - Makenzie Pence, Nicki Metropulos, Marissa Kaster, Head Coach Tricia Winter, Finlee Saari, Caitlin Harris, Emily Wulf. Middle row - Assistant Coach Kari Britton, Alyssa Kossack, Miranda Koth, Katie Gilbert, Delanie Stafford, Kayla Kossack. Top row - Hannah Hicks, Tina Kansariwala, Alexx Knapp, Olivia DeNamur, Makayla Koser, Alexis Denny.

Not pictured: Assistant Head Coach Bailey Welch, Natasha Wacker

Learning About Each Other With QR Codes

QR Codes
Pictured: Three of the multiage third graders who participated in the QR creation activity. From left to right are Riley Glodowski, Elsa Vadis, and Morgan Davies.

The School District of Rhinelander celebrated Digital Learning Day on February 17, 2016 along with many other schools across the country. Technology plays a key role in our everyday lives with the internet, mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and more. Digital Learning Day started in 2012 to highlight how educators use technology to improve the learning experiences in their classrooms. Each teacher at Pelican Elementary chose an activity involving technology to share with their students to celebrate Digital Learning Day!

The multiage program focused their activities on QR codes. A QR (Quick Response) code is a type of label that contains different types of information. The information can be read by a variety of QR code readers from most digital devices. On Thursday, the multiage third graders created QR codes to answer a variety of questions about themselves such as their middle names, favorite foods, favorite colors, number of siblings, etc. They created the questions and inserted the QR codes into a Google document. On Friday then, the first and second graders worked together to guess the answers to the questions the third graders created. They scanned the QR codes with iPads to see if their guesses were correct. All multiage students traveled around to the different QR codes to learn more about each other. It was a wonderful learning experience for all students and a great way to celebrate Digital Learning Day!

Rhinelander Students Compete at FBLA Regionals

FBLA Regionals

On Saturday, February 6th, 42 students competed at Abbotsford against schools from across Northern Wisconsin in business-related events from Accounting to Parliamentary Procedure. Twenty-three schools and over 700 people competed. Community members may recall reading about Rhinelander students that competed in DECA Districts back in January. That is because Rhinelander combined both DECA and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) into one organization, giving students two chances to compete.

As a chapter, Rhinelander took first in Community Service, and second in Outstanding Chapter Award, after Marathon. First through third place finishers in both individual and team events will continue on to state in April? Rhinelander had 25 state qualifiers.

First-place finishers were: Mitch Modic (Business Law), Susanna Roberts (Publication Design), Taylor Trachte (Business Communications), Alison Kubeny (Impromptu Speaking), Elliot Fehlen (Client Service), and Jeff Chizever (Computer Problem Solving).

Rhinelander had eight second place finishers: Taylor Kriesel (Accounting I), Jacob Piasecki (Business Law), Jared Chizever (Cyber Security), Leah Schindeldecker (Business Calculations), Jasmine Pugh (Computer Applications), Gunnar Millot (Sales Presentation), Max Holperin (Public Speaking II), and a team consisting of Kaly Kostrova, Hannah Stroede, Lauren Fabich, Shelby Kuehn, and Gracie Quinn who competed in Parliamentary Procedure.

Robert Ritchie (Economics), Faith Bartelt (Business Calculations), Logan Wild and Tait Spencer (Management Decision Making), and team Luke Roberts, Markus Johnson, Brandon Reinthaler (Sports & Entertainment), are also state-eligible as they took 3rd place.

Those who took 5th-8th place were also recognized: Andrew Padgett (Economics) and Hospitality Management team Hallie Wright, Brad Quade, and Jacob Mahner were 4th place finishers in their events. Graphic Design team Jeanna Cogar and Kali Lund as well as Aaron Huber returned with 5th place. Devin Olenik took 7th in Personal Finance, and Patience Novak finished 8th in the Job Interview event.

Rhinelander has finished second behind Marathon for six years, advisors Pat Kubeny and Mischell Fryar hope that next year Rhinelander will take the regional title next year. The 25 state-eligible competitors have the chance to show off their knowledge in business at the State Competition in LaCrosse from April 10-12. For more information on the national organization, visit the website www.fblapbl.org.

Rhinelander High School Announces Senior as a National Merit Finalist

National Merit Scholarship

Rhinelander High School is proud to announce that senior, Bailey Nebgen, is a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Bailey's hard work and dedication through her years at Rhinelander High School have made her an excellent recipient as a National Merit Finalist.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program their junior year by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. About 1.5 million students take the PSAT/NMSQT. Of these juniors, about 16,000 gain scores that qualify them as Semifinalists (that's a little more than 1%). This group is narrowed down to 15,000, who become Finalists.

Every finalist competes for a single payment scholarship of $2,500, awarded on a state-representational basis.

Congratulations to Bailey and the best to you in the finalist competition.

Rhinelander Robotics Club Competes Well at State

Team Members from front (l to r): Conor Natrop, Seth Bowen, Bailey Nebgen, Joe Fox, Jack Rich, Tristan Fuss. Back Row: Bridget Rich, co-advisor Mike Wojtusik, Michael Bartelt, Marshall Dana, Adam Engel, Hunter Bachman, David Bennett, and co-advisor Adam S

On Friday, February 5th, the Rhinelander Robotics team travelled to Milwaukee to compete in the First Tech Challenge state tournament held in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.  The team qualified for the state tournament by winning the Fox Valley Regional qualifier in January at Hortonville High School.

Friday consisted of the team and robot navigating strict inspection criteria where tournament officials ensure that the robot fits all hardware and software parameters as established in the tournament rules. The team had their robot set well within those boundaries and they were eager to compete the following day.

On Saturday morning the Robohodags participated in the judging portion of the event, which included an interview from a panel of judges made up of engineers and professors from UWM, and were required to answer a series of questions pertaining to the learning process experienced by the group of aspiring engineers. These questions ranged from technical questions about the bot to fundraising and community outreach programs that the club is involved with. The students did a great job of representing Rhinelander and the entire Northwoods throughout the judging process.

Competition matches began shortly after the judging portion of the event and concluded with the Robohodags competing against what would eventually prove to be the state champions, Hortonville Robotics. The first of five matches for the day ended with the Robohodags experiencing what would be their only catastrophic failure of the competition when their robot flipped over on its back while attempting to climb the mountain obstacle, leaving them unable to score any points and resulting in their only loss of the preliminary rounds.  The next four matches saw the Robohodags, led by Senior Captain Adam Engel, Junior Captain Marshall Dana, and Senior Competition Coach and Captain Bailey Nebgen, along with their alliances, sweep up the preliminary competition and finish the qualifying rounds with an outstanding record of four wins and one loss. With those four wins, the Robohodags came storming back to receive the fourth and final seed, setting them up with a chance to compete at the national tournament held in St. Louis.

From the remaining 20 teams not seeded, the Robohodags had to choose two of those teams that would form a three team alliance and compete in the coveted championship rounds.  After a quick meeting and discussion, it was decided that "The Phoenix" from Madison and "Great Scott!" from Homestead High School in Mequon would be asked to become alliances with the Robohodags. Engel, in front of a crowd of about 200 people, would graciously invite the two teams to join the Robohodags, the only team from Northern Wisconsin, into the exciting final rounds. As expected, those two teams would graciously accept the Robohodags invitation.

The championship rounds consisted of the best of three semifinal matches in which the alliance teams of the Robohodags would be matched with the three teams from the number one seed. Seeds two and three would be staged against each other in the other half of the championship bracket, setting up what would be one final "best of three series" to see who moved on to St Louis.

The Robohodags would choose to have the high scoring machine of the Phoenix to be their first match alliance as their average scores were a bit higher than that of Great Scott!  The first round went well for the blue alliance with the Robohodags team coming out on top by over 100 points. The second match in the best out of three series would go to red alliance team of "Straight Out of Wiscomption," and "That Team!" from Homestead High. It was in match two that the Robohodags began to experience an intermittent problem with the right hand drive motor which resulted in a lower score than normal from the Rhinelander team, setting up the elimination match with the winner moving to the state championship.  

With only about 5 minutes between matches, the team had no chance to switch the failing motor but held hope it would last. The final match started out well for the blue alliance with the Robohodags positioning themselves to earn enough points to win the match and move to the final. However, the drive motor that slowed them in the previous match finally gave out and all the team could do is watch as the opposing alliance scored enough points to hand them the defeat.  

The Robohodags would like to thank their sponsors, Airpro, Walmart, Gaber Electric, Rhinelander Honda and Dr. Randall Natrop Dentistry. If anyone is interested in having the Robohodags demonstrate their knowledge of Robotics and STEM education or more information about the club, please contact Mike Wojtusik at wojtumic@rhinelander.k12.wi.us.

Mock Trial Earns 30th Consecutive Regional Championship

Mock Trial
Pictured (left to right): Front Row - Ellie Rickman, Emily Ditzler, Anna Catlin, and Albiona Sabani. Back Row - Max Holperin, Sydney Schallock, and Jarod Hoha.

Rhinelander High School broke its own state record this past weekend at the Marathon County Courthouse in Wausau, capturing its 30th  consecutive Regional Mock Trial championship. The tournament was power-paired, resulting in a match between the top two teams in the final round, Rhinelander and D.C. Everest. RHS  prevailed, to remain perfect on the day with  a 4-0 record.  

"Extending the winning streak at Regionals was, of course, our goal," said head coach, Kathy Vick-Martini. "Because we have been successful for so long, there is an expectation that we will win, regardless of the fact that all of our opponents have improved considerably over the past three decades.  The kids were really feeling the pressure. No one wants to be a member of the team that breaks the streak."

"In addition, the referendum was weighing heavily on their minds," Vick-Martini added. "They went into the tournament this past weekend knowing that if the referendum failed, this would be the last year  there would be a mock trial program at Rhinelander High School and if so, they wanted  to go out with a bang."

Placing second in the Regional Tournament was Wausau West #1, followed by DC Everest #1 and Rhinelander #2. "The students on RHS #2 were very competitive," stated attorney coach Amy Ferguson. "They were the only team in the tournament to win a ballot from RHS #1. If there is a future mock trial program at RHS, these students will be an integral part of it."

Other teams participating in the competition were  Lakeland Union, Phillips #1 and #2,  DC Everest #2 and Wausau West #2. The tournament was sponsored by the Wisconsin Law Foundation and was coordinated by attorney Lance Leonhard of Wausau.  

RHS #1was led by seniors Emily Ditzler, Anna Catlin, and Jarod Hoha. Also returning from last year's  team were juniors, Albiona Sabani, Ellie Rickman, and Sydney Schallock. New to the team was junior, Max Holperin.

Members of RHS #2 were junior Zack DuBois, sophomores Tyler Fredrick, Mason Hageny, Emily McFarland, Grace Payfer, and Samantha Smith, and freshmen Ben Kubisiak and Ben Sheth.   

The RHS teams are coached by Kathy Vick-Martini, attorney Amy Ferguson, and Oneida Circuit Court judge Michael Bloom.  Also assisting the team this year are Nicolet play director, Jim Nuttal, attorney Jim Jacobi and  retired Oneida Circuit Court Judge Robert E. Kinney.

"The competition seems to get tougher each year, at both the Regional and the State levels," observed Judge Bloom. "This year's team has risen to the challenge so far and, I believe, will be competitive at the State Tournament next month.

RHS #1 will advance to the State Mock Trial Tournament in Madison on March 12-13. In the past thirty-two years since the program's inception, teams from Rhinelander have won the state championship seventeen times, most recently, in 2014.  More than 100 teams statewide are competing in the tournament this year.

Conservation Poster Contest Winners

Poster Contest
Pictured: Some of the artwork from the Conservation Poster Contest.

Listed below are the results of the annual Oneida County Land & Water Conservation Poster Contest. A "GREAT JOB" goes out to all Rhinelander area students!

2ND - 3RD Grade

4TH - 6TH Grade


7TH - 9TH Grade


RHS Dance Team Competes at WACPC Western Dance State Competition

RHS Dance Team

The Rhinelander High School Dance Team competed at the WACPC State Dance Championships on Saturday, February 6th at the LaCrosse Center in LaCrosse, WI placing seventh out of thirteen teams in Division 2 Hip Hop. Head Coach Tricia Winter and Assistant Head Coach Bailey Welch were very pleased with their placement as competition was close. The team was only four and one half points out of sixth place and five points out of fifth, placing better than three of the teams that beat them at Regionals.

Front row: Assistant Head Coach Bailey Welch, Head Coach Tricia Winter, Finlee Saari, Marissa Kaster, Assistant Coach Kari Britton, Hannah Penca

Middle row: Nicki Metropulos, Alyssa Kossack, Delanie Stafford, Hannah Hicks, Emily Wulf, Alexis Denny
Top row: Makenzie Pence, Katie Gilbert, Olivia DeNamur, Tina Kansariwala, Alexx Knapp, Miranda Koth, Makayla Koser, Kayla Kossack

Not pictured: Caitlin Harris, Natasha Wacker

Winter Olympics at Crescent

Crescent Olympics

The 3rd annual Crescent Winter Olympics, held on Friday, January 29th, was a huge success! Teams were selected from each grade level by teachers from a pool of amazing and enthusiastic student athletes. There were also, somewhat less enchanting, but infinitely more hilarious, athletes gleaned from the ranks of the teaching staff competing in each relay.

The events were as follows:

1) The Balloon Relay - Athletes had to race across the gym, around a cone, and back to tag the next teammate, carrying a blown up balloon between their knees. Students then sat down behind teammates as the next team member ran his/her leg of the race.

2) The Ping Pong Carry - Athletes had to race across the gym, carrying a ping pong ball on a plastic spork, curve around a cone, race back to their team, and hand off the spork to the next team member waiting to run the next leg of this challenge.

3) The Basketball Dribble - Athletes were given a basketball per team and instructed to dribble down the gym, around a cone, and dribble back to pass the ball to their next waiting teammate. When finished each athlete sat down.

4) The Runway Run - Our phenomenal athletes were instructed to race to the other side of the gym, grab an article of clothing from a crate, put it on, then race back to sit down behind their team as the next team member ran to find a piece of clothing.

5) Speed Walking - Athletes used what they'd learned from Ms. Debbi about speed walking. They traveled around a cone, and back to the waiting team and next racer.

The spectators all sported self-decorated "Crescent is #1" cardstock hands and cheered loudly for classmates and friends. Even the teachers received cheers!

In the end, bronze, silver, and gold medals were awarded to the winners and team spirit and community were strengthened in the fantastic, fun-loving, 4 "Be's" following school! Go Crescent!

Finally, the Crescent PAC gave "Silly String your teacher" as a prize to the classes bringing in the greatest value of pennies during their penny challenge, with the overall winning class also getting to silly string the principal, Mrs. Huseby. The results were hilarious!

First Graders Participate in Penguin Inquiry Project

Penguin Project
Pictured: Mrs. Deitz's first graders participate in a Google Hangout with the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

The first graders in Mrs. Deitz's class at Crescent Elementary participated in an inquiry project in January.  Each student chose a penguin to research. The students had to find out how their special penguin is best fitted for its habitat.

With the help of Mrs. Rumney, Library Media Specialist, the students scanned QR codes with iPads to quickly arrive at informational sites about penguins. The students spent several days gathering facts and answering their questions about their chosen penguin.

Once the youngsters gathered their facts, they were ready to showcase what they learned. Using PicKids on the iPads, the students created a series of PicCollages. Each student's collages showed their penguin's habitat, physical characteristics, diet and interesting facts.  

To end their research project, the students participated in a Google Hangout with one of the Animal Educators at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois. The zoo is in the process of building a penguin exhibit for the African Black Footed Penguin. The students learned that the African Black Footed Penguin is an endangered penguin. Therefore, the Lincoln Park Zoo is helping the species by building an exhibit. The new penguins will be transferred to the Chicago zoo from other zoos. The new arrivals will eat a pound of food in a day. The interactive penguin exhibit will open in the fall of 2016.

The first graders also participated in a Google Hangout with students from James William Middle School. The three middle schoolers read passages from Mr. Popper's Penguins.

RHS Dance Team Competes at WACPC Western Dance Regionals

RHS Dance Team

The Rhinelander High School Dance Team competed in the WACPC Western Dance Regionals on Saturday, January 30th. The team placed 5th in Division 2 Hip Hop and 8th in Division 2 Jazz. Their fifth place finish garnered them a spot to compete in the WACPC State Dance Championships at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, WI on Saturday, February 6th.
Pictured are: Front row - Nicki Metropulos, Finlee Saari, Marissa Kaster, Hannah Hicks. Middle row - Head Coach Tricia Winter, Miranda Koth, Alyssa Kossack, Olivia DeNamur, Katie Gilbert, Emily Wulf, Delanie Stafford, Assistant Head Coach Bailey Welch. Top row - Makenzie Pence, Alexis Denny, Caitlin Harris, Tasha Wacker, Tina Kansariwala, Kayla Kossack, Makayla Koser, Assistant Coach Kari Britton. Not pictured: Alexx Knapp

Mock Trial Regional Tournament on February 13

Mock Trial

Rhinelander High School will be defending its Regional championship title on Saturday, February 13, at the 33rd  annual Mock Trial Regional Tournament.  Last year, RHS broke its own state record by winning its 29th consecutive regional title.

The tournament is sponsored by the Wisconsin Law Foundation and will be held in the Marathon County Courthouse in Wausau. Four rounds of competition will be held, with trials scheduled for 8:00 AM, 10:15 AM, 1:00 PM, and 3:15 PM. The tournament is open to the public.

Rhinelander High School will be represented by two teams.  Other high schools participating in the regional tournament are Lakeland Union, Wausau West, Merrill, Phillips, and D.C. Everest.  

This year's case involves the arrest of a homeless person who was suspected of stealing a purse. During the arrest, the suspect experienced a seizure, which the arresting officer mistook for resistive behavior. The Plaintiff, Sammie Smid,  contends that the Defendant, Officer Robin O'Reilly, used excessive force in arresting her, causing traumatic and permanent injury. The Plaintiff also alleges that the Defendant was not properly trained by the city. The Defense maintains that Officer O'Reilly reasonably believed the suspect was resisting arrest and used the force that was necessary to subdue her. Students will play attorney and witness roles in the competition, which is judged by local attorneys and judges.

Members of RHS Team #1 are seniors Anna Catlin,  Emily Ditzler, and Jarod Hoha, and juniors Max Holperin, Ellie Rickman, Albiona Sabani, and Sydney Schallock.

Members of RHS Team #2 are junior Zack DuBois, sophomores  Tyler Fredrick, Mason Hageny, Emily McFarland, and Grace Payfer, and freshmen Ben Kubisiak and Ben Sheth.

The teams are coached by Kathy Vick-Martini, attorney Amy Ferguson, and Judge Michael Bloom.

Top Photo - Team 1: Front (L to R): Anna Catlin, Emily Ditzler, Albiona Sabani, and Ellie Rickman. Back (L to R): Jarod Hoha, Sydney Schallock, and Max Holperin

Bottom Photo - Team 2: Front (L to R): Mason Hageny, Emily McFarland, Grace Payfer, and Ben Sheth. Back (L to R): Samantha Smith, Ben Kubisiak, Zack DuBois, and Tyler Fredrick  

Robo-Hodags Take First Place at Fox Valley Regional Competition


The RHS Robotics Club, aka the Robo-Hodags, placed first at the Fox Valley Regional the weekend of January 16. The club consists of 12 students with various skills and experience levels. An Android-based platform was used to communicate with a robot, which had to fit in a 17-by-17 inch box and is controlled using wireless video-game controllers. Different students have worked on different aspects of the robot since the beginning of October. It is a true team effort. At the regional competition, four robots battled in a ring and the Robo-Hodags were victorious. The club now advances to the State Championship set for February 6 in Milwaukee. Good luck to the Robo-Hodags! 

FBLA DECA Food Drive

FBLA-DECA Food Drive

Rhinelander High School FBLA/DECA sponsored a food drive at the Varsity Boys Basketball Game on January 19th. The group collected 114 items from flour to tuna to be donated to the Rhinelander Food Pantry to help replenish their stock after a frenzied Christmas-time. Those who brought in an item got a dollar off admission to the game, while most people brought in 4 items so they wouldn't have to pay to get into the game. The FBLA/DECA officers would like to thank all of the community members who donated items at the game. FBLA and DECA are both national organizations that Rhinelander High School combined into one. For more information on the chapter, please contact advisors Mischell Fryar or Pat Kubeny at 715-365-9500. 

DECA Students Deliver at Districts

DECA Districts

DECA Districts was held in Wisconsin Rapids on January 8, 2016; 28 Rhinelander students competed against about 500 other students in the North-Central region of Wisconsin in numerous business-related fields. DECA competitions fall into one of four clusters: marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Within those clusters there are more specific events, like automotive services or accounting. Competitors studied throughout December to get the highest score, which consists of four aspects: an economics test, a career cluster test, and two role plays.  

The economics test was taken before students went to Rapids and included a variety of 100 questions to count for a quarter of the score. Once at Rapids, students first took a career cluster test that related to the general event they were competing in (marketing, finance, hospitality, or management). For the other half of their score, students were given a 'real-life' situation which they had to try to work out in front of a judge (who is often a complaining customer, a business partner, or an employee).  

Of the 28 students that competed at regionals, 12 individuals and three teams of two were awarded with a medal or plaque.  Five students took first in their event: Faith Bartelt (Business Services), Alison Kubeny (Human Resources), Markus Johnson (Principles of Business Administration), and Ellen Padgett (Principles of Finance). Kubeny also won three medals, Padgett returned with two, and Johnson one. Max Holperin took 1st place in Economics, which was an event that all 500 competitors had to take online prior to going to Rapids.

The following 4 students earned 2nd in their event: Emily Ditzler (Hotel and Lodging), Max Holperin (Marketing Management), and team Taylor Trachte and Brianna DeNamur (Travel & Tourism). Ditzler took home three medals, Holperin brought back two, and the Tourism team received three.  

One individual and two teams took 3rd in an event: Haley Sisel (Hotel & Lodging) not only finished with 3rd, but earned three medals doing so. Team Gunnar Millot and Jacob Piesecki also took 3rd place and three medals.  

Rhinelander also had some Overall Series Finalists (OSF), meaning they placed between 4th and 10th in their events.  Leah Schindeldecker was an OSF in Accounting, she also got a medal for her performance in a role play. Robert Ritchie was awarded medals for his rank in the economics and event tests, as well as being an OSF in Restaurant Management. Kim Bilogan and Eva O'Melia were Overall Series Finalists in Hospitality. Abby Krueger competed in Principles of Hospitality and was an OSF. Luke Roberts earned a medal for one of his role plays in Sports & Entertainment Marketing.

Rhinelander High School has only been involved in DECA for two years, but already this year has brought home the most awards out of all the schools that competed. They competed in District 2, which includes high schools from Lakeland to Adams-Friendship. Rhinelander students will be going to State Competition in Lake Geneva March 8 - 10th, with a lot of studying in between. If you would like to assist in sending these students to competition or have any questions, please contact advisers Mischell Fryar or Pat Kubeny at 715-365-9500.

Crescent First Graders Participate in Family Night

Family Night
Ava Rathbun and her father Scott Rathbun enjoy a spaghetti dinner together. Ava shows the book that she won.

The first graders at Crescent Elementary School invited their parents to school during the evening of January 11 to participate in their Warm Up With Words. Warm Up With Words was an interactive family night. The students and their parents visited a variety of rooms to learn about how their first graders are learning how to read.

Mrs. Houg and Ms.Olk introduced the parents to many reading strategies that could help their child decode unknown words while reading. Title 1 teachers, Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Kennedy explained how students could choose books to read that are just the right reading level for them. Mrs. Denis and Mrs. Deitz involved the students in a variety of word work stations. In the Betty White Library, Ms. Pekoc assisted families in exploring the many digital resources available to help students become better readers.

After participating in the interactive stations, the families gathered in the gym for a spaghetti dinner and door prizes. Many students won gift certificates and books.

RHS Students Inducted Into National Honor Society

National Honor Society
Photo courtesy of Bob Mainhardt.

On January 10th, the Walter F. Kruschke Chapter of the National Honor Society of Rhinelander High School inducted 12 new members. These students are selected for their character, service, leadership, and scholarship. The induction ceremony took place at CAVOC and appertizers were provided by the high school ProStart culinary classes.

The National Honor Society is sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. As a professional organization servings schools and students, the National Association of Secondary School Principals encourages the establishment of chapters in secondary schools in order to further develop the scholarship, character, leadership, and service of the members.

To become eligible for membership, a student must be a sophomore, junior, or senior with a 3.8 cumulative grade point average. Although scholarship is the initial qualification of eligibility for membership, leadership, character, and service are also vital to the meaning and purpose of the organization.

Back row (left to right): Ashley Adams, Maxwell Holperin, Markus Johnson, Karyn Roberts.

Front row (left to right): Samantha Rocha, Rachel Uhlarik, Cara Dreifuerst, Marissa Kaster, Sidney Zettler, Lauren Fabich, Delanie Stafford.

Not present for the ceremony: Grace Quinn

RHS Dance Team Competes at Kaukauna Dance Classic

RHS Dance Team

On Saturday, January 16th the Rhinelander High School Dance Team competed at the 13th Annual Kaukauna Dance Classic, placing 7th in Division 2 Hip Hop. Competition was close as only 4 points separated 4th through 7th place.  The team is coached by Head Coach Tricia Winter, Assistant Head Coach Bailey Welch, and Assistant Coach Kari Britton. Team members are:  Finlee Saari, Marissa Kaster, Olivia DeNamur, Katie Gilbert, Hannah Hicks, Alexx Knapp, Alyssa Kossack, Miranda Koth Nicki Metropulos, Delanie Stafford, Emily Wulf, Caitlin Harris, Kayla Kossack, Makenzie Pence, Alexis Denny, Tina Kansariwala, Makayla Koser and Natasha Wacker.

Sock it to Homelessness

Sock it to Homelessness

The multiage classes at Pelican Elementary School learned that socks are the most needed but least donated article of clothing in homeless shelters. After learning this fact, the students and teachers decided in lieu of exchanging gifts for the holidays they would instead bring in socks to donate to the local homeless shelter. Families brought in socks in all colors and sizes to decorate a sock tree in the hallway of Pelican School. The spirit of giving was apparent with the donations that were brought to the NATH Homeless Shelter at the beginning of January.

To continue with the sock theme, for a culminating activity to a folktale unit, students made sock puppets to represent a character from a Reader's Theater that was performed for families and friends. Students worked very hard to create their puppets and practiced their Reader's Theater parts so they could read fluently and with expression. Families joined in before the holidays to enjoy the folktales as well as hot chocolate and cookies which the children frosted and decorated for the performances. 

RHS FBLA/DECA wraps up Jeans for Teens Drive

Jeans for Teens

This year's Jeans for Teen's Drive, sponsored by the RHS FBLA/DECA organization, was a huge success! The drive lasted from December 16th to January 6th, and had drop off sites at Rhinelander's Coffee Beans, Public Library, and On-the-Go Laundry. With a goal of 300 jeans, the community's excitement and support left the club with 419 pairs of jeans to be donated to the Rhinelander Frederick Place as well as the Family Resource Connection; amazingly exceeding any expectations the club might have had! We couldn't have done it without the help and support of the Rhinelander community over the past three weeks, and we can't tell you how much it means to the people and organizations receiving this incredible donation. Thank you again to everybody who donated, and we can't wait to continue working with the community on drives and fundraisers like this in the future!

James Williams Middle School 8th grader takes first place in Wisconsin Outdoor News magazine's annual Youth Writing Contest

Writing Contest

James Williams Middle School eighth grader Lily Alsteen was recently honored by the Wisconsin Outdoor News magazine's annual Youth Writing Contest sponsored by Cabelas. Lily took first place in the poetry division where she won a cash prize and a plaque. The contest received entries from all over the state of Wisconsin including entries from the 8th grade science and language arts classes at James Williams Middle School.

The writing contest asked students to put their outdoor experiences on paper to share with readers of the Wisconsin Outdoor News magazine in either prose or poetry form. Wisconsin Outdoor News will now enter Lily's poem in the 2016 Norm Strung Youth Writing Competition, which is sponsored by the Outdoor Writers of America Association, Safari Club International, the Izaak Walton League of America, and Delta Waterfowl. Lily will have a chance to win additional cash prizes.

Lily is the daughter of Gary Alsteen and Stacy Nolden of Rhinelander and her sponsoring teachers are Lisa Brunette, Alexis Koshollek, and Jeff Skubal.

Zumba, Pottery, and Music Garden Highlight Upcoming Community Education Classes

Community Classes

Zumba with Val - Enjoy fun, lively, and upbeat Latin music, easy to follow moves that are gentle on joints and an introduction to all the core ZUMBA fitness moves. The class is scheduled on Wednesdays from 6:45 - 7:45 pm in the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium (located in Rhinelander High School). It starts on January 13th and runs until February 17th. The instructor is Val Foley. The fee is $18/person for the entire 6-week session or $4 per person per time for the drop in fee.

Playing in Dirt (Pottery) - Have fun with clay! Learn the basics of hand-building, wheel-throwing, rolling clay for slab work, and glazing. Explore texturing devices like wall coverings, spools, chopsticks, kitchen utensils and more. Indulge your creative muse and come away from the class with several handmade pieces and a love of this art form. You might want to bring old pillow cases, items with interesting textures and an apron. Playing in the dirt can be messy! Class is for the beginning/intermediate level.
The class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, January 19th - February 11th from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Rhinelander High School Room 131. Grades 9 - adult are welcome to participate. The instructor will be Torrey Youngstrum. The fee for the class is $80/person.

Music Garden - Brought to you in collaboration with Family Resource Connection, Music Garden is a music and movement program for caregiver and child. It is designed to stimulate the child's development, while celebrating and nurturing the remarkable bond you share. Classes will run on Tuesdays, from 5:30 - 6:30 pm, starting January 19th and running until February 23rd. The class will take place in the James Williams Middle School Library. The instructor will be Tondra Koser. The fee is $10/family.  

Pre-registration is required for all classes. To register, please visit http://www.rhinelander.k12.wi.us/community/communityeducation.cfm. Online registration is available with a credit or debit card. Simply follow the instructions on the website. Paper registration is available by mail or drop off. If you have questions, please contact Community Education Coordinator Mike Cheslock at 715-365-9745 or email cheslmik@rhinelander.k12.wi.us.

A full listing of January - May community classes can be found on the School District's website by clicking here. Discover something new with lifelong learning!

RHS Work Experience Students Deliver Holiday Treats

Holiday Treats

Special Education students at Rhinelander High School who participate in community work experience delivered trays of holiday treats to their places of work on Tuesday, December 22. They appreciate the opportunities to develop workplace skills that will enhance their ability to be gainfully employed at some point in the future. They are also getting a chance to try out different types of jobs to help them determine what kind of job/career they would like once they graduate from high school. Many thanks to these community businesses for helping with this endeavor:

Bob's Power Center
Forth Floral
Rouman Cinema
ReStore (Habitat for Humanity)
Computer Repair
Nativity/Pine Lake Thrift Store

JWMS Student Finishes Top Ten in State Art Exhibit Contest

Art Exhibit Contest

Congratulations to 7th grade James Williams Middle School student, Valerie Kravchenko, for finishing in the top ten for the 2016 Wisconsin Association of School Boards Student Art Exhibit Contest. Her work, along with others from around the state, will be on exhibit at the State Education Convention on January 20th and 21st at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee for over 3,000 convention attendees to view. This year, students were encouraged to design an idea around the theme: Educating Hearts and Minds to Build Sustainable Communities and a Healthy Future.

RHS Students Visit Pelican School for WIN Time

Everybody WINs
Pictured from left to right: Jon Fox, Reuben Guzik, Hudson LaCrosse, Jaylend Hardin, Anthony Nejdlik, and Austin Smith.

"Everybody WINs"...Rhinelander High School Senior Jon Fox, and Sophomore Reuben Guzik recently visited Pelican Elementary School to help read the names for the Amazing Attendance for November. While they were there they were put to work, helping out some kindergarten students during their "WIN" (What I Need) time. All kindergarten students meet for 30 minutes, four times a week, to help them develop literacy skills needed to become fluent readers. Jon and Reuben tested the students by giving them clues as to what letter of the alphabet they were hiding. The students needed to identify the letter and the sound that it makes, with the winner getting to keep that letter. The high school students were amazed at what the kindergarten students need to know. The Pelican students were in awe of the "big" kids, and thought it was cool that they came to help out.

RHS Dance Team Competes in Rambler Invite

RHS Dance Team

The Rhinelander High School Dance Team competed at the Rambler Invite at Regis High School in Eau Claire on Saturday, December 19th, placing 3rd in Jazz and 4th in Hip Hop.

Pictured in their Jazz uniforms are:

Top row (left to right): Caitlin Harris, Tina Kansariwala, Marissa Kaster, Delanie Stafford

4th row: Emily Wulf, Alyssa Kossack, Katie Gilbert, Natasha Wacker

3rd row: Makenzie Pence, Miranda Koth, Olivia DeNamur, Alexis Denny

2nd row: Nicki Metropulos, Hannah Hicks, Alexx Knapp, Finlee Saari

Front row: Assistant Coach - Kari Britton, Head Coach - Tricia Winter, Assistant Head Coach - Bailey Welch, Kayla Kossack

High School Students Help First Graders Write Santa Letters

Letters to Santa

Many DECA/FBLA students from the Rhinelander High School helped the first graders write letters to Santa on December 16.

The young writers first asked Santa a question or two about his life. Some students asked Santa if Mrs. Claus was busy making cookies for him. Other students asked Santa if the reindeer were busy exercising their legs for the big night. Second, the students had to tell Santa about their good behavior during the past year. The first graders were proud to tell Santa that they read every night at home, brushed their teeth before they went to bed, helped with younger siblings and fed their pet every day. Last, the students asked Santa to bring them two special gifts for Christmas.

The high schoolers helped the students sound out words and reminded them to print neatly. They also gave them ideas to write about and reminded them to keep a finger space between words. After the first graders finished writing their letters to Santa, the high school students read Christmas stories to them. A big thank you to Haley Sisel, FBLA/DECA member, for setting up the event.

FBLA DECA Students Help with Letters to Santa

Letters to Santa

Don't be fooled by the lack of snow, it's Christmas time in the Northwoods once again! In an effort to spread holiday cheer, Rhinelander High School FBLA/DECA is getting busy writing letters to Santa. The business-orientated organization is sending many of its members to various elementary classrooms around town. The high school FBLA/DECA members will get to spend a few hours with the young and eager elementary students, helping them write their very own letters to Santa Claus. It's a great opportunity for mentorship, bonding, and building relationships between Rhinelander youth of all ages.
FBLA/DECA will be visiting the following elementary classrooms at the corresponding times:
Crescent School:
Mrs. Olson- Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 at 1:30 PM
Mrs. Pekoc- Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 at 1:30 PM
Mrs. Olk- Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 at 7:45 AM
Mrs. Deitz- Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Mrs. Bart- Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 at 1:30 PM
Mrs. Westfahl- Thursday, December 17th, 2015 at 1:00 PM
Mrs. Gerth- Friday, December 18th, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Mrs. Prom- Friday, December 18th, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School (North Building, grades K-2)
All classrooms- Friday, December 18th, 2015 at 1:30 PM
This event got off to a great start last week, on Thursday, December 10th, when 17 FBLA/DECA members visited Ms. Kaster's kindergarten classroom at Pelican Elementary School. Merry Christmas!
For more information, please email FBLA/DECA Advisor Mischell Fryar at fryarmis@rhinelander.k12.wi.us or call 715-365-9500.

Fifth Grade Classroom Receives $100 Meemic Book Grant

Book Grant

The Central School fifth graders were at the edge of their seats ready to dart toward the table when the word was given, and it wasn't because the final bell was going to ring. The Scholastic Book Box had arrived!

In Ms. Ledgerwood's fifth grade classroom, students were awarded a $100 Meemic Book Grant. With the money, they were able to purchase and add thirty-one more books to their classroom library from Scholastic. More importantly, they were able to add many happy hours of reading and engage many readers with the exciting new texts. Thanks, Meemic!

Jeans for Teens

Jeans for Teens

'Tis the season to be generous. The holiday season is fast approaching and sadly this year there are still many families left struggling to just get by. About 17 percent of children in the Northwoods live below the poverty level. These children may go through their day to day life without the necessities needed to live a healthy life such as food, shelter, and clothes.  Rhinelander High School FBLA/DECA would love to help these children out in its latest service activity -- Jeans for Teens. From December 16- January 6, the group will be collecting gently used jeans and giving them to teens who need them.

Please help out FBLA/DECA by donating some of your old jeans. The collection sites to drop off your jean donations are located at: Rhinelander High School, James Williams Middle School, Rhinelander District Library, and Coffee Beans. Look for the big box wrapped in colorful paper and bows. If you have a pair of jeans that have been sitting in your closet since you can't remember when, a pair that you got last Christmas and never actually liked, or even a pair you just don't fit into anymore; we will take them! Donated jeans will go to the local Frederick Place so children and families in our area can feel the love and warmth from their "new" jeans. Please help us out by donating some of your Jeans for Teens.

For more information, please email FBLA/DECA Advisor Mischell Fryar at fryarmis@rhinelander.k12.wi.us or call 715-365-9500.

Staff and Students "Ring the Bell" for the Salvation Army

Bell Ringing

A group of the Pelican Elementary School support staff started the month and Holiday Season by helping out those less fortunate. K. Morois, R. Miszewski, T. Fortier, R. Kecker and K. Kellen were joined by some Pelican students while they rang the bell for the Salvation Army. They rang with style and flare as they sang Christmas carols while they danced and celebrated with all who they encountered. They had a wonderful time while raising funds for the area.

The School District of Rhinelander challenges staff each year to a contest to see which school can accomplish the most bell ringing hours. Pelican School has won the past couple of years.

District Announces Referendum Presentations for the Community

Referendum Presentations

The School District of Rhinelander will be hosting several community presentations with information about the upcoming referendum. The goal of the presentations is to inform the community about all aspects of the referendum.  Presentation dates, times and locations are as follows:

- December 16th, 5:00 pm at the Northwoods Community Elementary School Library

- January 4th, 6:00 p.m. at Rhinelander High School Library

- January 14th, 10:00 a.m. at the Oneida County Senior Center (Balsam Room)

- January 18th, 5:00 p.m. at the James Williams Middle School Library

- January 21st, 2:00 p.m. at Northern Coffee Haus

- January 22nd, 10:00 a.m. at Pelican Elementary School

- February 2nd, 2:00 p.m. at Northern Coffee Haus

- February 10th, 10:00 a.m. at the YMCA of the Northwoods (Multi-Purpose Room)

A full listing of community presentations can be found on the School District of Rhinelander website at http://www.rhinelander.k12.wi.us/district/referendum.cfm.  This will be kept up-to-date if additional presentations are scheduled.

Spreading the Cheer this Time of Year!

Food Drive

Crescent Elementary Multiage students recently organized their 4th annual school-wide food drive on December 3rd and 4th. One-hundred sixty-seven pounds of nonperishable food was donated to the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry. Thank you to all Crescent students and families who helped make the food drive a success!

Young Actors Shine in Nicolet's "A Christmas Carol"

Young Actors
Pictured left to right are Casey Venezia, Sofia Wojnowski, Julia Gerdes, Ashley Schmidt, and Marcus O'Malley. Also pictured are Jerry Shidell and Justin Tucker.

Sofia Wojnowski of Central Intermediate School, Julia Gerdes of Crescent Elementary School, and Ashley Schmidt and Alex Kniewel of Nativity School are cast members of the Nicolet Players production of A Christmas Carol.

Sofia plays the role of Belinda Cratchit, Julia plays Gillian Cratchit, Ashley plays Miranda Cratchit, and Alex plays Tiny Tim. Some of the young actors also have secondary roles in the production. The children auditioned in October and have been hard at work with rehearsals ever since.

The play opened on Dec. 3 and will continue Dec. 10 - 13. It is currently sold out. For more information, please visit nicoletlive.com or call 715-365-4646.

RHS Musicians Perform at State Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony

Tree Lighting
Pictured: Several people gathered around the State Christmas Tree for the annual lighting ceremony. Music students from Rhinelander High School performed at the State Capitol for the event.

On Friday, Dec. 4th, the RHS Wind Ensemble and Show Choir traveled to Madison for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at our State Capitol building. Each ensemble performed a variety of holiday favorites concluding with a combined performance of several popular carols. This trip was partially funded by the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association and the RHS Band Parent Organization. A special thank you goes out to the Kowieski family for providing this year's Christmas tree.

Become a Mentor at Central School


Central Intermediate School is looking for mentors from local businesses and the community to work one-on-one with students. They are looking for volunteers to help for a half-hour to 45 minutes once a week during the school day and/or in the after school program.

Mentors will have the opportunity to connect with 4th and 5th grade students and teach life skills, share with students their areas of expertise and interests, work on crafts and hobbies, play games, or just sit and talk. This is a great opportunity to connect with the children of our community and to be a positive role model in their lives. No special skills or experiences are needed to be a mentor - only a willingness to listen, encourage, and show children that they matter and are important.

Studies show that children who have relationships with adults who encourage and value them have higher graduation and college enrollment rates, increased self-esteem and regard for others, and are less likely to use drugs and alcohol, among numerous other benefits. If you are interested in hearing more and/or becoming involved, please contact Aaron Homp, school counselor at Central, at 365-9600 ex. 2413.

Pelican Elementary Honors Veterans

Pelican Veterans
Pictured (left to right): Kim Koth (teacher) and Joe Story (District 11 Representative for Camp American Legion).

During the Jump Start program on Tuesday, November 10th, Pelican Elementary School held a special tribute to our veterans. The program consisted of talking about what Veterans Day is about, students sharing information on the various branches of the armed services, staff reading the poem "The Best On Earth, A Veterans Day Tribute", and making a special donation to help our Wisconsin veterans.

The donation went to Camp American Legion, which is located on Big Carr Lake near Lake Tomahawk. The camp is a place where Wisconsin veterans can go for rest and relaxation at no cost to them. Families of the veterans are also welcome to stay at the camp with them. The camp offers many activities, such as boating, exercising, billiards, arts and crafts, and more.

Accepting a check for $205.00 was Joe Story, District 11 Representative for Camp American Legion. Mr. Story, a retired Army veteran who served for 27 years, thanked everyone for the donation and said that the money will be earmarked to help with children's programming at the camp. The money was raised from the sales during a recent Popcorn Friday.

Pelican Elementary is proud and honored to help out the Wisconsin veterans! Thank you for your service!

Local Author Visits Pelican Elementary School


For the November PBIS monthly incentive at Pelican Elementary School, author and illustrator Thomas Barnett visited classrooms to share his book, "I Brought a Hodag to School." Tom read his book to all the students and answered questions ranging from "Why do Hodags have horns?" to "When did you start drawing?" Students were engaged and delighted by the visit and were given first hand information about what an author and illustrator has to go through to publish a book.

Students had questions about how hard it was to write the book and how long it took him to write it. Tom shared that the book took him six months to write after inspiration struck when he painted a mural on the wall at Northwoods Community Elementary School.

After answering student questions, Tom guided all students through the basics of line drawing and helped them all draw Bob the Hodag. Students left with their own drawings of the main character in the book and with a better understanding of the process of publishing a book.

Community Readers Share with Students During American Education Week

Community Readers

In honor of American Education Week, WJFW Channel 12's Kaitlyn Howe recently read folktales & a Thanksgiving story to Crescent Elementary School multiage students. Ms. Howe also took the time to answer students' questions and tell them about the ways she uses reading, writing, and speaking skills in her job as a reporter. Many heartfelt thanks go out to the Channel 12 team!

A Tradition of "Family" Continues at Pelican School

Pelican Family Night
Pictured: This year over 350 family members joined over 30 professional and support staff members for a fun filled night of food, activities and getting to know you conversations.

On Thursday, November 5th, Pelican Elementary School continued a tradition which started over 15 years ago. At that time Becky Wilson, retired school guidance counselor, expressed a need for families to come together with school staff and celebrate all the wonderful things happening within the walls of Pelican School. The event "FAMILY NIGHT" was born. Family Night would also give the staff and families the opportunity to interact in a fun filled activity based event outside the traditional school day.  

What started out as one family night has grown to three per year. Each "Family Night" offers a free meal to the families as well as many activities the parents, grandparents and children can participate in together.

The Family Nights at Pelican School have been successful accomplishing their goal of bringing families and staff together to share in a night of positive interaction. In a time where families are scheduled in all directions and time together is often short, it is nice to see a school staff going the extra mile to make all who enter feel welcome.

The future is looking very bright for the continuation of this "TRADITION" as the staff is already planning the next "FAMILY NIGHT" in February.

The following are quotes from parents, teachers, and students:

"We really enjoy the families nights at Pelican School. It is a great way to spend time with our kids doing art projects, crafts and reading /math activities. Also, our kids love showing us projects that they created throughout the building." -- Stephanie Pudlowski, Pelican Parent

"The best thing about family nights is the opportunity for staff to foster relationships with our families." -- JoEllen Lieck, 1st Grade Teacher

"My dad works a lot so it gives him a chance to come to school and see all the things I do.  That makes me feel good." -- Tripp (student)

"There are so many fun things to do and I get to show my parents my school and how wonderful it is." -- Myah (student)

Crescent Students Write Letters to Veterans

Veteran's Day
Pictured: Some of the letters and art work students sent to veterans.

Last week, in recognition of Veteran's Day, the Crescent Elementary School multiage teachers asked families to send a veteran's name and address to school. Students learned about Veteran's Day and they wrote heartfelt "Thank You" letters to these heroes. Students and staff were privileged to have a veteran with them last week. "Papa" Howland, one of Crescent's premier volunteers, served in the army. Thank you to all veterans. You are truly heroes.

Special Olympics Bowling Team Has Success in Weston

Special Olympics

After two months of hard work and practice, the School District of Rhinelander's Special Olympics team showed off their bowling skills competing in a Special Olympics bowling meet at Dale's Weston Lanes on October 25th. All of the athletes participated in singles bowling events.

Medals were awarded to 1st through 3rd places, and ribbons were given to 4th through 8th places. Spencer Smith received a 1st place gold medal in his division while Miguel Gonzalez, Emma Knapp, Krystal Kriesel and Keegan Marko took home 3rd place bronze medals in their respective divisions. Ribbon winners for their divisions were Maria Dornfeld, Hannah Karstedt, Devon Stanley and Sarec Trudeau placing 4th; Cassie Gleesing earning 5th; Gabe White receiving 6th place; and Paige Appling finishing in 7th place.

All of the coaches were extremely proud of the performance and sportsmanship that the athletes displayed as the School District of Rhinelander Special Olympics team. The next season is Track and Field in the spring. Go Hodags!

Perfect Attendance at Pelican

Perfect Attendance
Pictured (left to right): Eva O'Melia, Kali Skubal, Vivian Lamers, and June Chiamulera.

Recently, students at Pelican Elementary School were recognized for having perfect attendance for the month of October. Rhinelander High School senior, Eva O'Melia, and community member Jess Gaedtke, were the guest readers. Both guests emphasized the importance of being at school or work, being on time, and doing their best. The students received a certificate for their achievement. Eva stayed after the celebration to read with some of the students.

GNC Honors Band and Choir Festival

GNC Honors Band and Choir

The students pictured on the left were selected to participate in the GNC (Great Northern Conference) Honors Band and Choir Festival this past Saturday at Medford High School. Members were selected from each of the 7 schools to form a band and a choir. Students rehearsed all day in preparation for the evening performance. Guest conductors were Dr. Peter Haberman, band and Dr. Axel Theimer, choir.

Pictured (left to right):
Front Row: Alyssa Burg, Katie Harder, Rachel Uhlarik, Kayla McFadden, Brianna Perry, Bethany Stelbrink, Faith Bartelt.
Back Row: Jane Kubisiak, Mitchel Modic, Anthony Klabunde, Elliot Fehlen, Jordan Keso, Andrew Padgett, Seth Bowen, Bailey Nebgen, Heather Riesbeck, Katie Olkowski, Thomas Melancon.

RHS/NCSS Drama Department to perform Mary Poppins - November 19th-22nd

Mary Poppins

You'll have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time at the RHS/NCSS Drama Department's production of 'Mary Poppins', November 19th through the 22nd! This Broadway edition of 'Mary Poppins' includes all the classic songs you can sing along with, plus new tunes you'll surely love! So make plans to fly on into the Rhinelander High School Auditorium for 'Mary Poppins'! Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 19th through 21st at 7:00 pm, with a Sunday Matinee on November 22nd at 1:00 pm. General admission tickets are only seven dollars, and will be available at the door.

Pelican Homecoming Activities Mix High School and Elementary Students

Pelican Homecoming
Pictured: An RHS football player reads with a group of enthusiastic students from Pelican Elementary School.

Last month, Pelican Elementary School wrapped up Homecoming Week in style! The Hodag Mascot, the high school dance team, and a few football players helped celebrate the spirit of homecoming. Following a pep rally, the football players and dancers stayed to read and interact with the students. It was a great opportunity for the younger students to show off their reading skills, as well as a chance for the high school students to share their enthusiasm for learning. The events of the morning were best summed up by a student who was asked what she thought about having the chance to read with one of the dancers. She said, "This was the best day of my life!"

Crescent First Graders Visit Helene's Hilltop Orchard

Pictured: Adaline Juedes, Neo Martin, Daniel Zimmerman, and Dalton McCarty picked the perfect pumpkin to take home.

The first graders from Crescent Elementary School visited Helene's Hilltop Orchard in Merrill on Friday, October 23. Helene Pagoria, owner of the orchard, informed the students about the life cycle of a pumpkin. She also showed them a dried out vine and explained that the roots of a pumpkin are shallow. Therefore, when it is dry, the pumpkin plant needs to be watered often.  

The first graders also learned about the importance of honeybees at the orchard. Helene hires a beekeeper to bring in many honeybees each year. In turn, the honeybees' fuzzy body helps to move the pollen from plant to plant.

After the students learned about how a pumpkin grows, they went on a wagon ride through the orchard. They noticed a lot of apple trees, rows of corn and many pumpkin patches.  

The students also used their navigational skills to make their way through the corn maze. There were so many trails through the corn field, but there was only one way to get out!

Finally, the first graders went into the pumpkin patch to find their perfect pumpkin to take home. A big thanks to Helene for teaching the first graders about how pumpkins grow and sharing her orchard.

RHS Junior Faith Bartelt participates in the WSMA Honors Choir in Madison

Pictured: RHS Junior Faith Bartelt recently took part in the WSMA Honors Choir on Thursday, October 29.

Some of Wisconsin's finest young recently met up for what could be the most rewarding musical experience of their lifetime - Wisconsin School Music Association's (WSMA) 2015 High School State Honors Music Project. One of these talented music students is Faith Bartelt, currently a junior at Rhinelander High School.

Auditions were held in seven sites across the state this past February. Of the more than 1,600 auditions, 427 students in grades 9, 10 and 11 were invited to be part of the WSMA High School State Honors Music Project ensembles. The last time a music student from Rhinelander High School was selected to participate in these honors events was eight years ago in 2007. Faith auditioned against students from all division schools, big and small across the state and was selected based on her vocal and musical ability as well as sight singing. On Thursday, October 29, Faith Bartelt joined many of the best young musicians in Wisconsin for a concert with the WSMA Honors Treble Choir at the Madison Overture Center.

Students that are selected to participate in the WSMA High School State Honors Music Project met for the first time this summer at an intensive four-day camp at UW-Green Bay. This WSMA Camp is a unique and essential component to the High School Honors Project experience, as it is the first opportunity they have to see their music, meet their conductor and rehearse as a newly formed ensemble.  All Honors students reconvene in Madison in late October to perform at the annual Wisconsin State Music Conference. The Honors concerts celebrate the remarkable achievements of Wisconsin's finest young musicians and commemorate music teachers throughout Wisconsin, many of whom attended the event in conjunction with the annual Wisconsin State Music Conference.

The High School State Honors Music Project is designed to provide musically talented students with the opportunity to rehearse and perform with the nation's finest conductors in a professional and highly disciplined setting. Students are challenged to perform at their musical best throughout the rehearsal period, which culminates with an inspired performance, celebrating the reach of music education statewide.

"The difference between the WSMA High School State Honors Music Project and other programs like it is this: Students come to camp having not seen the music. They learn it with the help of section coaches and the guidance of a conductor. After camp is over, the students then return home and continue to put the finishing touches on the music working from the foundation of camp. As a result, the concert is more than talented students playing together in an ensemble -- it's a musical experience that can never be recreated in any other way," said Tim Wurgler, WSMA program director. "It is this synergy of effort that is the purpose and experience of the WSMA High School State Honors Project," he said.

The WSMA Honors Concerts were open to the public and Wisconsin Public Television will be broadcasting the concert sometime in late November. Please go to wpt.org to watch clips from past and present concerts. For more information about the WSMA State Honors Music Project and other programs, visit www.wsmamusic.org.

RHS Diversity Club hosts Mix-it-Up Lunch at JWMS

Diversity Club

On Friday, October 23rd, students from Rhinelander High School (RHS) Diversity Club visited James Williams Middle School (JWMS) to coordinate an event with students. They participated in a Mix-it-Up Lunch where they had to do things differently than what they normally do at lunch. When they entered the cafeteria they had to pick a color and sit at that corresponding table. The hope is that students will start to understand what it feels like to be out of their comfort zone and what other students might feel like when they don't have a sense of belonging at school. It will also help students connect to each other in ways they haven't before and start new friendships. The Diversity Club students then led discussions with the students about their thoughts and feelings about bullying and acceptance. JWMS is promoting kindness this year in several different ways and this was just one activity to help students become more accepting and understanding of each other.

Crescent Elementary Students Learn About Fire Safety

Fire Safety
Pictured: Mrs. Deitz's first graders toured a fire truck on October 16th.

Students at Crescent Elementary learned about fire safety with the help of the Crescent Volunteer Fire Department on October 16. The students had the opportunity to go into a large fire truck. They were surprised at all of the controls that the fire fighters needed to operate when driving the fire truck.

Then the students went into the Oneida County Fire Safety House. While visiting the fire safety house, the students had to find items that were misplaced. The students found a gasoline can and a rug next to the fire place. In the kitchen, the students also spotted a chair placed close to the stove and paper towels placed directly over a toaster. In turn, firefighters Josh and Tony lead a discussion to why those misplaced items were unsafe in homes.

The students also learned that working smoke detectors save lives. They were reminded to check their smoke detectors for working batteries twice a year.  Students learned that once they are out of a burning building, they should meet their family members at a designated meeting place. Last, students learned that once they are out of a burning building, they should never go back. Thank you to the Crescent Volunteer Fire Fighters for teaching Crescent Elementary students about fire safety.

Hanson's Garden Village Partners With FBLA/DECA To Host Fall Fest

Fall Fest

When looking for help at the 3rd Annual Fall Fest, Hanson's Garden Village asked Rhinelander's local Future Business Leaders Of America (FBLA) /DECA. The chapter thought that Hanson's would be a beneficial partner for community service because students could work with both a local business and the community.
Fall Fest was a great way for families with children to celebrate the beautiful fall season.  Hanson's had a Corn Maze, Petting Zoo, Indoor Straw Bale Maze, Pumpkin Patch, a Dog Agility Course, and several 4-H demonstrations.  Concessions such as hot apple cider were a must to stay warm on a chilly autumn day.
FBLA/DECA had over 20 people come to help with the event as community service.  Vice President of Community Service, Faith Bartelt, coordinated with Beth Hanson to make the day successful. Bartelt said, "It was our first time working with Hanson's, but we're excited to continue the partnership, and I know almost all of the members that participated this year asked if they'd be able to help again next year."
Future Business Leaders of America and DECA are both national organizations that Rhinelander High School has combined into one chapter.  The difference between the two organizations is that FBLA's focus is business as a whole, while DECA has more of a marketing slant. For more information about either of the two groups, look at their web pages: http://www.fbla-pbl.org/ and http://www.deca.org/.

Fourth Graders Visit CAVOC

4th Grade CAVOC

On Thursday, October 8th the fourth graders from Central Intermediate School visited the Cedric A. Vig Outdoor Classroom (CAVOC). Students participated in eight different rotations about various outdoor education topics. These included: Tree identification, Aquatic Invasive Species, Terrestrial Invasive Species, nature hike, wolves, team building games, healthy snack, and the Department of Natural Resources. Central staff is extremely grateful for all our community and parent volunteers who helped make the day successful.

Crescent CHAMPS Afterschool Program Celebrates Engineering

Top photo - Brett McKinney talks to students about design and the challenges of engineering. Bottom photo - Keith White discusses the process and meaning of engineering.

As a conclusion to the first two STEM units that the CHAMPS students completed, there were two engineers who came and shared with the students. Mr. Keith White, of AirPro, came and discussed the process and meaning of engineering. Mr. Brett McKinney, of Plane Parts and Flight Talk, talked about design and the challenges of engineering. The entire night held the students attention and lead to some terrific discussion. Next up are lessons taken from NASA!

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Performs at RHS

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

On Wednesday, October 7th, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performed in front of packed house of Rhinelander students. The night before, they performed for the general public. The annual concerts took place in the Rhinelander High School auditorium.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is sponsored by the Northwoods Concert Association. The concert is made possible largely in part by a grant from the Jean Simmons estate. This, in addition to other fundraising efforts, make it possible for the student concert to be free and the community concert to be offered at a reduced rate.

Those involved are looking forward to hosting the event again next year.

Crescent Multi-age Students Explore Rhinelander and Take Part in Living Timeline Project

Crescent Living Timeline
Crescent students pose for a picture in front of Rhinelander City Hall.

On September 29, Mrs. Vannatter's 1/2 and Mrs. Bishop's 2/3 Multi-Age Classes from Crescent Elementary explored downtown Rhinelander. The students visited the Pioneer Park Logging Museum, the Oneida County Court House, and they also spoke with Mayor Johns at the Rhinelander City Hall. Students came prepared to ask questions and to hear all about Rhinelander's past to help them with their fall project, "A Living Timeline: Celebrating Rhinelander's History."
The Living Timeline performance was held on October 8th. Many parents and grandparents were present to see the play. The Crescent Multi-Age Classes want to thank Mayor Dick Johns, Mr. Leighton, and all the Pioneer Park volunteers. Some of the characters included Anson Vaughn, Anderson Brown,  John Curran, 1880s school teacher and students, Frederic Rhinelander, and even the Hodag!

Middle School Students Learn About Sign Language

Sign Language

Bobbi Jo Aschebrook recently shared some of her sign language talents with Susan Stefonek's 7th-8th grade elective class Foreign Language in Perspectives at James Williams Middle School. Bobbi Jo, who works in Rhinelander as a sign language interpreter part-time, introduced the 7th and 8th graders to signing the alphabet, basic commands, and some Halloween vocabulary. Bobbi Jo came to class with an interpreter who explained what Bobbi Jo would be showing the class because she is not able to communicate using her voice. Bobbi Jo was born with a hearing impairment and communicates using sign language. The visit was facilitated by Rhinelander Partners in Education and Headwaters, Inc. Day Services.

Baladino Performs for Rhinelander Area Students

Baladino performs as part of their workshops presented to Rhinelander area 4th - 12th graders.

Recently, Rhinelander area 4th - 12th graders took a musical journey through the Mediterranean. The Israeli ensemble Baladino spent a week in the Rhinelander area presenting workshops and culminated the week with a concert at Nicolet College.

"Ladino music is an immigrant music," said Yonnie Dror, one of the group's founding members. "Its story is one of Jewish people who were expelled from Spain and spread throughout the Mediterranean. With them they carried their language, which is basically medieval Spanish. As Ladino Jews moved and founded new communities from North Africa to Greece and Turkey, their songs took on local color."

In addition to sharing the music's history and featuring many different instruments, the ensemble also showcased how music can bridge generations by bringing a fresh and innovative take on this traditional style of music, incorporating a Gypsy groove while embracing rock and electronic influences.

Baladino is one of four international ensembles that will visit the Northwoods under Nicolet College's two-year partnership with Arts Midwest. In January, the progressive French folk group Le Vent du Nord will be in the area for a similar number of performances and workshops.

Arts Midwest World Fest is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and 3M Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Indiana Arts Commission, Iowa Arts Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Minnesota State Arts Board, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, South Dakota Arts Council, and Wisconsin Arts Board.

First Graders Visit CAVOC

CAVOC First Graders
Pictured: First graders Cody Hall and Adaline Juedes are finding nature items at the forest during a scavenger hunt.

The first graders at Crescent Elementary visited the Cedric A. Vig Outdoor Classroom (CAVOC) on September 30. The first grade teachers lead the students in a variety of activities at CAVOC.

Mrs. Denis' class participated in a scavenger hunt. They searched for gray rocks, sand, a spider web and many other items. The students also collected a variety of items to create critters. Some students made butterflies and cats. The students also played a lifecycle game in which students role played different animals.

Mrs. MacIntyre and Mrs. Houg lead the students in searching for items containing specific colors. Once they found the items, the students graphed the results. After finding a variety of leaves, the students participated in leaf art. The students created many animals. The first graders also learned about gravity by creating an apple volcano and participating in apple stacking.

Ms. Pekoc's students collected many acorns to use in addition story problems. They also read The Giving Tree and learned about the parts of a tree. Before the students went back to school, they wrote about their favorite activity in which they participated at the school forest.

Mrs. Deitz lead the students in a leaf hunt. After each student found ten leaves, they grouped them according to size, color and shape. They used the veins of the leaves and crayons to make leaf rubbings. The first graders also played Bug Bingo.

The first graders enjoyed the beautiful day and awesome facilities at CAVOC by hiking on the groomed trails. They learned how our environment changes in the fall. The students are wondering what the same environment will look like in the winter.

September Super Stars at Central

Central Super Stars

On Wednesday, September 30th, Central Intermediate School held their monthly PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) celebration to recognize excellence with students who are doing great in following the "4 Be's" (Be Here, Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful).

The 5th Grade Super Stars and the teacher/classroom they were recognized by are pictured in the top photo (left to right) -- Front Row: Logan Preul (Mr. Young), Brennon Whitburn (Mr. Raleigh). Back Row: MacKenzie Scholz (Ms. Ledgerwood), Gabby Maas (Mr. Bolkema), and Keerstin Lindbom (Ms. Jackson). Not present is Connor Kratwell (Ms. Bodensteiner).

The 4th Grade Super Stars and the teacher/classroom they were recognized by are pictured in the bottom photo (left to right) -- Front Row: Josh Cogar (Ms. Kohlhepp) and Lizzy Snyder (Mr. Walker). Back Row: Will Gretzinger (Mrs. Wendland), Payton Hall (Mrs. Hunter), Mya Krouze (Ms. Shepard) and Sofia Wojnowski (Mr. Marko).

Help Mary Fly!

Mary Poppins
Students from the RHS/NCSS Drama Department practice for the upcoming Mary Poppins performance.

"Anything Can Happen if You Let it." That's a lyric from the upcoming RHS/NCSS Drama Department production of Mary Poppins that the students are enthusiastically learning and rehearsing. The group is very excited to be able to have the rights to produce this musical and they have 28 actors and actresses, about 10 tech kids, a 15 person pit band, and eight adults working tirelessly to make it the best show they've ever done.  
Students are singing, dancing, learning lines, building, painting, organizing costumes, sewing, and laughing a lot.  The play is similar to the Disney movie, but with some interesting differences. One of the most exciting pieces of this production is the opportunity to see some characters fly. This may be a once in a lifetime moment for students in the cast, and maybe audience members too. In order to accomplish this feat, the group must hire a company to train them to operate rental equipment, set up, and oversee throughout the rehearsals and performances.  
The cost of the apparatus is high -- way outside the realm of the annual drama department budget. Because of the high cost, the student group is asking for assistance from the community in the form of a "Help Mary Fly" campaign. If you would like to lend your generosity to these amazingly talented students, there are three methods of doing so:
1) Make a donation in any amount to be applied to the total rental fee and you will be mentioned in the program as a donor.
2) Make a donation in any amount and keep your name anonymous.
3) If you make a large donation and would like to receive recognition/thanks in any other public way, the group is more than happy to accommodate that!
If you would like to make a donation, click here for a donation form, or contact Kristin Higgins by email at higgikri@rhinelander.k12.wi.us or by phone at 715-365-9500. Thank you, in advance, for your generosity and support and helping us "Let Anything Happen!"  The RHS/NCSS Drama Department looks forward to performing Mary Poppins on Thursday through Saturday, November 19-21 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, November 22 at 1:00 pm at Rhinelander High School.

Celebrate Bike and Walk to School Day on October 7th

Bike and Walk to School Day

Mark your calendars - October 7, 2015 is Bike and Walk to School Day. It's a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries biking or walking to school on the same day! This year, Northwoods LEAN (Linking Education, Activity and Nutrition) is taking action right here in Oneida and Vilas Counties.  Northwoods LEAN has partnered with area schools to help celebrate the day by offering schools a chance to win $500 by participating in the 100 Mile Challenge.

On the morning of October 7, students are encouraged to bike or walk to school and earn their school 1 mile towards their 100 Mile Challenge. Additional miles will be earned by completing 20 minutes of walking or running throughout the school day. Schools that accumulate 100 miles or more will be entered into a drawing to win one of two $500 incentives for their school.

Biking or walking to school has many benefits for students - it's a great form of exercise, improves joint health, reduces the risk of diabetes, and allows for better academic performance - all of which contribute to the developmental health of children! Biking or walking to school is also better for the environment, and it helps kids learn about safety in the street and how to navigate traffic.  

So spread the word! Gather your friends, family, and classmates and be sure to start the day right by putting your best foot forward and walking or biking to school on October 7, 2015. For more information on Bike and Walk to School Day or the 100 Mile Challenge, please contact Kyla Waksmonski at 715-369-6114.

Grandparents Day at Northwoods Community Elementary School

NCES Grandparents Day

Northwoods Community Elementary School (NCES) students shared a very special day with some very special people on Friday, September 18th. Grandparents and Grand "friends" were invited to participate in classroom activities, take part in a school visit and to enjoy a special treat with other school families. PAC (Parent Advisory Council) provided cookies, coffee and water for all to enjoy. Families also got to spend some quality time together on the playground. Thank you to all who participated and to those who helped make this event successful.

Antigo Marching Showcase - October 3rd

Marching Band

The Antigo Marching Showcase Will take place on Saturday, October 3rd starting at 6:30 pm at Schofield Stadium in Antigo. The rain location will be the Sheldon Fieldhouse on the campus of Antigo High School. This is a WSMA (Wisconsin School Music Association) sanctioned event- Festival Class - with a panel of four judges used for critique purposes only. The event will showcase Marching Bands from Antigo Middle School, Lakeland High School, Rhinelander High School, Marathon High School, Merrill High School and Antigo High School.

RHS Gears Up For Homecoming: Activities Announced for 2015

Homecoming 2015

It's that wonderful time of year again! This year's theme for Homecoming is "Come Sea the Beauty of Homecoming 2015." Rhinelander High School (RHS) has one busy schedule for the week of Sunday, October 4th - Saturday, October 10th.

Sunday, October 4th @ 6:30 pm in the RHS Auditorium is the Talent Show hosted by the National Honor Society.

Monday, October 5th @ 7:00 pm is the Boy's Spike Volleyball game in the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium

Wednesday, October 7th @ 7:00 pm is Girl's Powder-puff game at Mike Webster Stadium

Friday, October 9th @ 2:30 pm - PEP RALLY, 4:00 pm - PARADE, and at 7:00 pm is the Homecoming Game against Antigo at Mike Webster Stadium (Seniors Night as well).

Saturday, October 10th - Homecoming Dance @ 7:00 pm in the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium
As for RHS Spirit Week, the days go as follows...
Monday: Lazy Day
Tuesday: Beach Day
Wednesday: Twin Day
Thursday: Athletes vs Mathletes
Friday: Green and White Day
Any questions, please contact RHS Teacher Allie Johnson at johnsall@rhinelander.k12.wi.us or 715-365-9500.

Central Intermediate School Celebrates Grandparents Day

Central Grandparents

It was a day of reminiscing and discovery as Central School grandparents spent time with their grandchildren during "Grandparents Day", held at Central School on Friday, September 11. The day was a huge success with over 240 visitors enjoying classroom activities, school tours, and the lunch/recess period with their fourth or fifth grade students. The Central School PAC donated sub sandwiches for grandparents to enjoy as they shared lunch time with their grandchildren. Students from the Central Afterschool Program (CAP) were responsible for decorating the gym, helping with set up, and acting as greeters and guides. A special thank you goes out to MEEMIC Insurance/Stainbrook Agency and WalMart for their generous donations for the day's event.

Crescent School Places Second in Contest - Wins $1,200 for PBIS

Crescent Contest

Crescent Elementary School recently took second place in Trig's Box Tops for Education Facebook Photo Contest. They won $1,200 to be used for their Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program.

Weston Elementary School took first place and won $1,500. Northland Pines placed third and won $1,000. Congratulations to Crescent and to the other winning schools!

Rhinelander High School FBLA/DECA 2015-16

FBLA/DECA Officer Team (left to right): Faith Bartelt, Max Holperin, Taylor Trachte, Markus Johnson, Alison Kubeny, Haley Sisel, Gunnar Millot, and Nicki Metropulos.

One of the many student activities at Rhinelander High School is FBLA/DECA. This club prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra to Perform on October 6th for Community, October 7th for Students

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, sponsored by the Northwoods Concert Association, will be performing again this year for students in grades 4 - 6. Older students with an interest in music are also invited. The date is set for Wednesday, October 7th  at 9:30 am in the Rhinelander High School (RHS) Auditorium. There is no charge for the concert for students.

The concert for the community is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6th (the night before the student concert) with doors opening at 7:00 pm and the concert starting at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event for a reduced rate of $25 (adults) and $10 (students K-12) at the following locations: Latitude's, Northern Coffee Haus, Rhinelander District Library, Trig's, the Chamber office, and Stoxen Pharmacy. Tickets can be purchased at the door for a price of $30 (adults) and $15 (students K-12).

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra tours the state before their regular concert series that starts in late fall. "They have been performing in Rhinelander for the past 30-40 years," says Northwoods Concert Association board member Mike Wiernasz. The concert is made possible largely in part by a grant from the Jean Simmons estate. This, in addition to other fundraising efforts, make it possible for the student concert to be free and the community concert to be offered at a reduced rate.  

We hope you all enjoy it when the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra comes to town on Tuesday, October 6th!

Open Swim is FREE for the Community

Open Swim

Every Sunday the School District of Rhinelander offers Open Swim in the Heck Family Community Pool (located in Rhinelander High School) FREE to the public!

Enjoy lap swim and/or family time in the Heck Family Community Pool (located in Rhinelander High School) every Sunday from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. Whether you're training for swim competitions or you just want to splash around, this time is for YOU! Basketball hoops, rings, noodles, flippers, and other equipment is available. Lap swim is also available.  

Sign in is required. Children ages 10 years and older may swim without a parent (they may be dropped off) if the child is a capable swimmer and follows all pool rules. Anyone under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

The pool will be closed: November 29 - Thanksgiving, December 27 - Christmas,  March 27 - Easter,  May 29 - Memorial Day weekend.

Questions about open swim can be directed to Community Education Coordinator Mike Cheslock at 715-365-9745.

Digital Citizenship Tip: One-to-One with Chromebooks


The School District of Rhinelander has implemented a One-to-One learning environment in several of our schools. The district is supplying students in a variety of grade levels with a Chromebook device that is the property of SDR. The supplied instructional device's function will provide each student access to required educational materials needed for each student to be successful. The Chromebook allows student access to Infinite Campus, Google Classroom, Moodle, Google Apps for Education, educational web-based tools, as well as many other useful sites. The supplied device is an educational tool not intended for gaming, social networking or high end computing.

The School District of Rhinelander is dedicated to the goal of putting tools into the hands of students to help support and enhance education. We are excited to offer both opportunities to our students and we have developed guidelines to ensure learning remains the key focus. For additional information and guidelines for our One-to-One Chromebook program please visit the following website.

One-to-One Chromebook -

Check out this video to learn more about Chromebooks. Chromebooks for Education - https://goo.gl/xaafiF

Donors Recognized for Football Field Renovations

Football Donors

There are many improvements happening at Mike Webster Stadium! A new scoreboard has been installed, the field has been expanded to allow for soccer games, the track is being resurfaced to allow for outdoor track practices and meets, new lights have been installed, and the press box has been renamed the "Todd McEldowney Press Center."

These improvements were made possible by the generous contributions of several corporate and private donors. A special thank you goes out to: Hodag Schools Foundation (HSF), the Todd McEldowney family, Musson Brothers Inc., Oettinger Excavating, Aspirus, Rhinelander Toyota, The Athletic Booster Club, The Hodag Grid Iron Club, and the Betty and Jerry White Family. 

A ceremony was held before the RHS Varsity football game on August 28th to recognize the generous donors. The Hodags went on to defeat Wittenberg-Birnamwood 36-0 in the home opener.

Green Bay Packers Autographed Football to be Raffled at the Crescent Elementary School Craft Fair on November 7

Packers Football

On November 7, 2015 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, the Crescent Elementary School PAC (Parent Advisory Council) has teamed up with Shopko to bring you the 3rd annual craft/home business fair for the holidays to help raise funds for the school.

The craft fair provides an excellent opportunity to (keep it local) by allowing our city to shop with local vendors. After many letters and emails the PAC was able to procure an autographed Green Bay Packers Football from the Green Bay Packers. This football will be raffled off at the craft fair, tickets are $1 each or six tickets for $5. Please come out and support our school.

The event is open to the public. All money raised from raffle ticket sales, bake sale, and vendor registration payments will be used to help the school promote a safe and enriching learning environment. For more information contact Crescent PAC at 715-401-9599 or by email at crescentpac@yahoo.com or visit the website at www.crescentpac.com.

Local Clinics Donate $15,000 Each to Support Athletic Trainer Position at Rhinelander High School

Athletic Trainer

The School District of Rhinelander once again received $15,000 from Ministry Medical Group and $15,000 from Aspirus Clinic to fund the Athletic Trainer position for the upcoming school year. Eric Prom, the Athletic Trainer at Rhinelander High School, tends to all RHS athletes, making sure they are all cared for properly in the event of an injury or concussion. A huge thank you goes out to Aspirus and Ministry for helping to keep our students safe.

Central School Flower Garden

Central Garden

Jajuan Hoskins is pictured with the Central School flower garden. Jajuan was in charge of the flower garden for the last two summers. He did a fabulous job keeping it watered and weeded.

This is the twentieth year for the garden. The garden was started twenty years ago when Beth Hanson from Hanson's Garden Village was in 5th grade at Central School. The Hanson family has continued to help each year with the planning, the delivery of the flowers, and the caretaking of the garden.

Each year, students are asked to come up with a theme for the garden. It usually ends up being some combination of student ideas, the input of staff, and the garden expertise of the Hanson's.

RHS Band Preparing for Homecoming Game

Marching Camp

The Rhinelander High School (RHS) band has been working hard over the past several days learning their show for Homecoming. They will be performing it during half-time at the RHS Varsity football game on October 9th. We hope to see you in attendance at the Homecoming game!

YMCA of the Northwoods and RASTA to Host 2nd Annual Nutty Trail Run on October 3 at CAVOC

Nutty Run

The trails of CAVOC (Cedric A Vig Outdoor Classroom) will come alive with running shoes on Saturday, October 3 as the YMCA of the Northwoods and RASTA (Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association) host the 2nd Annual Nutty Trail Run. The race will begin at 10:00 am at the trail head of CAVOC and will conclude at the same location. Spectators are encouraged to cheer on the participants throughout the course. The course will be a single lap 5K utilizing the beautiful CAVOC trails and have and have the peak scenery of autumn in the Northwoods.

All pre-registered participants by September 15 will receive an official Nutty Trail Run dri-wick shirt. Awards will be given out at the awards ceremony at 11:00AM to the top three male and female finishers in each age bracket. The 5K race is open to all ages.

Registration is $30 before September 15 and $35 after that date. Like to run in a group? Group rate is available. A group of 10 or more is only $25 per entry; group registrations must be submitted together to receive this rate. For more information or to register, call the YMCA of the Northwoods at 715-362-9622 or visit www.ymcaofthenorthwoods.org. or register at active.com (additional fee).

Rhinelander Special Olympics

Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a global organization that provides persons with disabilities year-round sports training and competition. The School District of Rhinelander is getting ready to gear up for the upcoming Special Olympic season.

Individuals who are interested in joining need to be between 8 and 21 years old (enrolled in High School) and identified as having a cognitive delay, or a developmental disability, that is, functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills. The School District of Rhinelander team provides its athletes with training and athletic competitions year round.  Athletes who participate in this organization gain opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience success, and participate in friendships with other Special Olympians through competitions and social events. The team will begin its bowling season September 22 at Hodag Lanes. Athletes must have required Special Olympics paperwork up to date such as a current physical form and release forms in order to practice.

If you are interested in participating or have further questions, please feel free to contact Amy Johnson at johnsamy@rhinelander.k12.wi.us or call 715-365-9120. You can also like us on Facebook at School District of Rhinelander Special Olympics Team. 

  • School District of Rhinelander
  • 665 Coolidge Ave. Suite B
  • Rhinelander, WI 54501
  • Phone: 715-365-9700
  • School District of Rhinelander
  • 665 Coolidge Ave. Suite B
  • Rhinelander, WI 54501
  • Phone: 715-365-9700