All posts by dlinehan

Sauk Prairie, Reedsburg, River Valley students with disabilities graduate from health care internship

Project SEARCH is a business led collaboration that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration.

Sauk Prairie-area young adults with disabilities graduated recently from a program intended to help them gain and maintain employment, Channel 3000 reported.

Project SEARCH, which helps young adults with physical and developmental disabilities enter the workforce, partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Sauk Prairie Health Center. Students from the Sauk Prairie, Reedsburg and River Valley school districts participated.

“(The program) consists of three 10-week unpaid internships within the businesses, and the students learn job skills and they learn to develop all kinds of things (so) that they can become really good, productive workers in an integrated setting within their communities,” Liz Kennedy, who oversees the program, told the TV station.

Josh LaHaie, a graduate of Sauk Prairie High School, tells the Department of Workforce Development that Project SEARCH was a “safe place to work and if I made a mistake, my co-workers helped me through it and I learned from it.”

To learn about more about Project SEARCH, visit their website:

To read the full story, visit the Channel 3000 website.

Racine student earns license to pilot drones

A student at Horlick High School, in the Racine school district, is the first in the school’s aviation program to become a certified drone pilot, Milwaukee-based CBS 58 reports.

“I wasn’t really nervous,” Jacob Thillemann, a senior, told the station. “Since the beginning of the year we’ve been just going through the drone pilot handbook.”

The school’s aviation program, which launched five years ago, is led by former Air Force crew chief James Bucholtz.

“We’re really cross-curricular,” Bucholtz says. “You’ve got history. You’ve got physics, a lot of math. And simply government regulations, how to navigate those. That’s a minefield in and of itself.”

“There’s a huge shortage [of workers] within aviation right now,” Bucholtz says. “We’re hoping with just our small part, we can fill some of those needs.

Thillemann told the TV station he’s having a blast.

“[Flying a drone] is like a video game just in real life. It is fun just controlling it,” he says.

Read the full story at CBS 58’s website.

Trailblazing Stoughton senior trains to be steamfitter

A Stoughton senior is among a small number of girls training to be a welder as part of the Youth Apprenticeship program managed by the Dane County Schools Consortium, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

Jordan Bittrick, 17, a senior at Stoughton High School, is working at Stoughton Trailers. She is the only girl in her advanced auto class and one of two in an advanced welding class.

Bittrick, who hopes to become a steamfitter, says her fellow employees don’t treat her differently because of her gender.

“It’s not like, ‘Oh you are a woman, you can’t do this.’ So this is what is really nice about that environment, they all support me,” she told the newspaper

Her interest in welding comes from her family. Her great-grandfather, Ken Spink, of McFarland, was a welder and her father, David Bittrick, works in construction.

“At a young age, I always hung out with him,” she said of her father. “I worked on cars and helped him fix things.”

Read the full story at the newspaper’s website.

Peshtigo Students Add Recipes to Community Cookbook

Peshtigo School District students are contributing recipes to a cookbook created by the local chamber of commerce and food pantry, the Eagle Herald newspaper reports.

“The hope is that this will be a kids and family cookbook, and families can come together to contribute family recipes,” Town of Peshtigo Supervisor Kristen Edgar told the newspaper.

Students will also compete to design the cover of the cookbook, and businesses can sponsor a student’s recipe for $50.

Learn more at the newspaper’s website.

Milwaukee high schooler earns practical nursing diploma before graduation

The Journal Sentinel tells the story of a Milwaukee Public Schools 17-year-old who earned her practical nursing diploma while still in high school.

Imunique Triplett has become the first Milwaukee student to complete the M³ (“M-cubed”) program, which allows MPS students to enroll in classes held by UW—Milwaukee and Milwaukee Area Technical College.

The program began in 2019 and is free for students.

Triplett told the newspaper she had feared she would be repelled by nursing because of the “blood and body fluid,” but that’s not what happened.

“If I had let myself continue to tell myself I couldn’t do something, I wouldn’t have known and missed out on a huge opportunity,” she said.

Read more about the program and Imunique at the newspaper’s website.

Oconomowoc high schoolers deliver gifts, cheer to elementary schoolers

Hadfield Elementary School students open presents from the Adopt a School event organized by the Oconomowoc School District.

Oconomowoc high schoolers joined parents and staff to spread presents and cheer to a group of Waukesha elementary students last week, the Waukesha Freeman reported.

Every child in Hadfield Elementary School received a present with donated school supplies, books, hats and other items from their wish list.

The gift-giving is part of a 15-year tradition called “Adopt a School” started and maintained by DECA students.

Seventeen-year-old Paige Westerman told the newspaper they make sure each student’s wish list is filled and the presents get wrapped.

“The most rewarding part is seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces. It’s the best feeling — nothing can beat it.”

Read the full story at the Waukesha Freeman.

Holmen Students Open Store, Help Local Family

Holmen High School students opened a model store whose proceeds will benefit a local family, WXOW reports.

The Christmas novelty store, “Bundled Up,” sells food, Christmas decorations and clothing. It’s part of a long history of entrepreneurship students opening model stores.

The store raises money to help the a family whose father died unexpectedly of a heart attack in August.

“I’m glad we’re opening up the Bundled Up store because it shows the Holmen community has their back to get through this hard time,” Store Co-Manager Chloe Lichucki said.

The store is open through December 16. 

Read the full story and watch the video at WXOW’s website.

Chippewa Falls Siblings Featured in Good Morning America

Susan Bergeman pushes her brother Jeffrey Bergeman at an August race.

Two siblings from Chippewa Falls has received national recognition for competing together, The Chippewa Herald reports.

Susan and Jeffrey Bergeman, who attend Chippewa Falls Senior High, have been featured in Runner’s World magazine, Good Morning America and elsewhere.

Susan pushes her brother, Jeffrey, who has cerebral palsy. The Bergeman family has been running with Jeffrey for years, said mother Jess.

“I think all families like to have activities that they can do together and running has become something that we have found that regardless of ability level that we’ve been able to do together and it’s something Jeffrey really enjoys,” Jess told the newspaper.

Read more about the siblings in this August profile in the newspaper.

Prep Cross Country: Chi-Hi's Bergeman siblings run together for a cause

Eleva-Strum students create ‘sensory safe space’ bus for young children

Eleva-Strum students work to turn a bus into a “sensory safe space.” The goal is to help children, many of whom have disabilities, to take a break before returning to the classroom.

Eleva-Strum High School students are working with a tiny home builder to convert a shuttle bus into a safe space for 4k students to decompress, WEAU-TV reports.

“We get to do a lot of things many high schoolers don’t get to do and it’s a real-world experience here,” student Garrett Zimpel told the station. The students are working with the Eau Claire-based tiny home company No Boundaries Tiny Homes.

An occupation therapist working with the DC Everest, Alison Vlietstra, tells the TV station that many of the children in the 4k program have some level of disability.

“Some of them have sensory processing regulation disabilities and some of them have autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, some just have developmental delays,” Vlietstra said. The bus is intended to give space to children when they need it, with the goal of returning them to the classroom.

Read the story and watch a video at the TV station’s website.

Racine students learn to protect Lake Michigan shoreline

Racine students study the Lake Michigan shoreline.

(RACINE) — Students visited the Lake Michigan shoreline recently to learn about native plants, invasive species and other elements of coastal health, the Journal Times reports.

The goal: teach the next generation how to protect the fragile coast of Lake Michigan.

The program was the creation of Wisconsin Sea Grant Senior Special Librarian and Education Coordinator Ann Moser and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and others.

“These students are asking all these amazing questions about their place and just watching their imagination get sparked — it’s been a long time (since) I have been able to work with students, so being with students in this age group, it’s just fun,” Moser told the newspaper.

Read more about the program at the newspaper’s website.