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News & Notes: Feb. 15

Feb. 15, 2012

Gess withdraws from School Board race

Shorewood - David Gess will not run for Shorewood School Board. In an email, Gess said he has realized since filing his papers that he is "unable to commit the time needed to do justice to the position."

His withdrawal leaves one candidate, David Cobb, running for the position now held by Paul Zovic. Zovic announced in December that he would not seek re-election.

School aides receive 2-percent pay increase

Shorewood - The School Board on Tuesday approved a 2-percent pay increase for health, instructional and special education aides, retroactive from July 2011.

With the pay increase in the mix, Superintendent Blane McCann and Business Manager Mark Boehlke said school aides will receive an overall 1.77 percent package decrease because of increased contributions into the Wisconsin Retirement System and health insurance premiums.

Preschool to open at Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church

Glendale - Mary Coulter will open a preschool/day care for children ages 3 to 12 at Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church, 7701 N. Green Bay Road.

The programs will occupy four classrooms in the lower level of the church. Coulter told the Plan Commission last week that she will emphasize a K-3 and K-4 curriculum and provide before and after school care for children through age 12.

She anticipates 40 children will attend. The hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with between seven and 10 employees. The commission approved the plan.

Homestead robotics team advances to world competition

Mequon - The Homestead High School robotics team has qualified to participate in the FTC FIRST World Championship April 25-28 in St. Louis, Mo. The announcement comes after the team successfully competed in the 2011-12 Wisconsin FIRST Tech Challenge Championship on Feb. 3-4 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Twenty-four teams from Wisconsin and Illinois competed in the event.

Homestead's robotics team is in its second year. The parent organization, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) was founded in 1989 and is designed to provide programs designed to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders.

Lumen Christi earns first place at academic challenge

Mequon - Each year, Lumen Christi Catholic School selects seventh- and eighth-grade students as representatives to the Dominican Academic Challenge, an academic competition in eight subject areas hosted by Dominican High School for area grade schools. Lumen Christi's eighth-grade team placed first and the seventh-grade team placed second out of 16 schools at the recent competition Feb. 10.

The eighth-grade team included: Sarah Mai*, art; Allison Rowe**, English; Matt Gresham, math; Virginia Lee*, religious studies; Thomas DeGuire**, science; Lauren Bartlett**, social studies; Katie Writz, Spanish; and, Nikki Albrecht, performing arts.

Members of the seventh-grade team were: Kaylyn Goddard, art; Ellie Sileno*, English; Ben Starsky, math; Brady Björk, religious studies; Emma Patch, science; Jacob Pelz*, social studies; Vinnie Stoll, Spanish; and, Brigid West*, performing arts.

(Note: *Individually placed first in respective subject; **individually placed second in respective subject)

School Board approves three retirement requests

Shorewood - The Shorewood School Board on Tuesday approved three retirement requests, all from nonteaching staff members.

Retirees include Sue Kaminsky, Shorewood Intermediate School secretary, effective May 15; Al Thien, foreman, effective July 9; and Rick Wilke, operations department, effective Aug. 6.

Glendale-River Hills board sets 2012 salaries

Glendale - The Glendale-River Hills School Board on Monday voted to maintain the same salaries for the upcoming year.

The board president will receive $600 for the year; all other members will earn $540 for the year.

The compensation structure, reviewed annually, has been in place for a number of years.

School Board authorizes preliminary layoff notice

Glendale - The Glendale-River Hills School District will issue a preliminary layoff notice to Andrew Jacobson, a part-time music teacher at Parkway Elementary School, following action by the School Board on Monday.

District Administrator Larry Smalley said the decision is staffing related and involves a veteran music teacher moving back up to full-time status. Jacobson is in his first year of teaching with the district.

Smalley said he does not anticipate issuing any further preliminary layoff notices.

Stipend for working foreman position increases $2,400

Shorewood - The stipend offered for the working foreman position in the Shorewood School Board will increase by $2,400, following action by the School Board on Tuesday. The position is currently held by Al Thien, who is about to retire. Thien has been receiving $24,200 for the position; compensation is being bumped up to $26,600, retroactive to July 2011.

The working foreman position was created in 2000 in lieu of a facilities director position. Responsibilities include managing work orders, staffing assignments and managing the budget of district operations.

Parkway students earn dance party by staying in shape

Glendale - Parkway Elementary School was one of 20 Wisconsin schools that won a dance party hosted by national broadcaster Radio Disney. The recognition comes after Parkway students successfully competed in a challenge held from Oct. 3 to Nov. 26 to spend time in fitness-related activities. Parkway and the other 19 schools named to the list had the highest percentage of participation, statewide, in a program known as Get Active, Get Fit.

More than 30,000 children at more than 130 Wisconsin schools took part in Get Active, Get Fit in 2011, the event's second year in Wisconsin. Nationwide, nearly 500,000 students signed up to participate in Get Active, Get Fit in 2011 in states including Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Ohio, upstate New York, Virginia and Wisconsin.

GL-RH renews memberships with two organizations

Glendale - The Glendale-River Hills School Board on Monday voted to renew its membership with two outside organizations at a cost of $6,162.

The board will continue to be a part of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards at a cost of $3,162 and the Southeastern Wisconsin School Alliance at a cost of $3,000.

WASB offers a number of services, including legal information and publications relating to school leadership and effective education. The SWSA focuses on legislative advocacy issues.

"It's well worth it," board member Jean Pereles-Strouse said of spending money on the memberships. "We've saved money on legal and HR (human resources) fees."

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