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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo Schools Recognize Sanders, Heritsch Retirements

Issue Date: May 18, 2022

The Peshtigo School Board meeting on Wednesday, May 11 began with congratulations and recognizing of District Retirees, Marty Sanders as Middle/ High School Reading Teacher and English 8 and Lynn Heritsch as High School English Teacher.

Superintendent Patrick Rau congratulated the two retirees, presenting them with years of service certificates, followed by words from Middle High School Principal, Chad Sodini, saying, "I could talk about these ladies all day long, they are absolutely fantastic educators. Martie has been in our district with her position transitioning, beginning with an at risk teacher, to a reading specialist and then worked her way into helping students with Middle School English. She is like the Mother of Peshtigo Middle/ High School students, she has been there through the thick and thin and has always worked summer school. One of the things I am going to miss about her is she takes almost every book out of the library and reads it first before the students, she is an avid reader. Martie can make a connection with over 90% of her students that she has had through the years and it works really well, when the students say I'm going to tell my mom", and Sanders responds, "I already know your mom"! Martie has been fantastic for us", Sodini added.

Sodini then spoke of retiree Heritsch saying, "Lynn has been fantastic for close to 20 years. She has taught English in our High School and is most currently teaching AP Literature for the Seniors along with other Senior English. She has an excellent track record of close to 70% of the students passing the AP Literature exam. She hides between the radars and always has been involved in the Summer School program as part of the dynamic duo with Martie at the Middle School and Lynn in the High School. Between the two they have over 30 years of Forensics experience that will be leaving our district. Most recently Lynn brought at least a dozen students down to State, winning six gold medals, five silver and one bronze. They were always going down to Madison and the kids truly enjoyed that. This is what you look for in new hires, you want teachers not only to be involved in the classroom, but outside of the classroom as well in any type of atmosphere and these two ladies have done that their entire career. We will definitely miss them, so congratulations on your time off. Thank you so much for your honor and we are honored to be a part of your careers in Peshtigo and I know our families and community will miss you".

The meeting then transitioned into the Reorganization portion of the meeting with nominating Steve Coble as Temporary Chairperson, followed by Gary Larsen nominated for Board President; Steve Coble as Vice President; Rebecca DeMarce as Secretary/ Clerk, Adam Buyarski as Treasurer and Jenni Schwittay as Deputy Clerk. Larsen then presided over the meeting as the newly elected Board President. Larsen stated he will appoint Board Committees before the next board meeting and advise of the appointments.

The meeting then convened back into the regular open session board meeting. One more retirement was announced of Cindy Birch as National Honor Society Advisor.

Donations included: $500 for Post Prom from David Doll and $500 for the Volunteer Club from Mr. Bobs Under the Bridge. There was also two donation amounts from the Eagle Express Spirit pump in the amounts of $438.86 and $419.88 for the Student Engagement and Senior Banner accounts.

Five start College Now applications were received for Math 203, Welding, Calc II and EMT. Also approved were the second readings of policies 0100 through 8450.

Summer school said the Elementary is back to their June session which is great news. Rebecca Gensler, Elementary Intervention Specialist, is very pleased with the support of the program with the amount of families that signed up. There will also be an elementary session in August as well. At high school, we will have our speed courses and Art is also coming back.

A motion was made to approve the appointment of Gary Larsen as the WASB Delegate with Rebecca DeMarce as the alternate. Larsen was also appointed as the CESA 8 Delegate/ CESA 8 Agency Convention and Board of Controls representative.

Buildings and Grounds Committee Chairman Josh Seefeldt in his report, said, "We finished up our last project and that will be it until this summer. We also finished the sprinkler system on the football field from last fall".

In his Administrators Report, Rau stated, "We are into the final sprint and finalizing the last aspects of graduation. We still have a few vacancies for High School English, School Psych and Kindergarten positions and we will be interviewing for these positions soon. Hopefully by the June 8 meeting we will have people in place".

Rau also mentioned,"The Board has had a goal about improving communication and in looking at the 2017 goal, and from there to where we are now is tremendous growth. I think the board making that a priority year after year with the efforts of Sam Zuehl writing an article every week. Also along with office staff and social media, overall it has been a great team effort in communication both listening and providing information. There is some good information as far as the growth

Rob Demeuse from School Perceptions joined the meeting virtually to walk the Board through the data from the survey that was sent out in Spring. Demeuse gave an overview of the data. There are two options to address the middle/high school challenges. The first option, which is the preferred option, is building a new middle/high school building. Option two is a remodel of the existing building. If the community does not support a new school, there will need to make a significant investment in the existing building very soon.

If a remodel, how do we remodel the spaces we have? We have to make best use of space. We can't spend per say $11 million on athletics but we can spend some. We need to maximize our options.

There will be a special board meeting at 5 p.m. on May 25 to give the board two weeks to digest the information, discuss the survey, think about it and get to work at the meeting.

Rau addressed the board stating to email him with any questions they may have about the survey data .

Items identified for the June meeting include student handbooks for both buildings, Miss Willett's AGR report, health insurance renewal, approve wage and salaries for next school year and possibly contracts,

As a last note before the meeting ended, Schwittay addressed Rau, "I know you mentioned about clear communication about your visit to Johnson Creek, I would like to hear about that and the communications you had and for you and also the students to share that information". Larsen added, "I think that is an excellent idea so that the other people in the community would be able to hear this also". Rau agreed to discuss this at the Wednesday special board meeting on Wednesday, May 25 starting at 5 p.m.

Johnson Creek High School and Middle School is a campus of five Monolithic Domes in Johnson Creek, Wi. The school houses 500 students from grades five to 12. It replaced the aging school with a total project cost for the district of $8.9 million.








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