Lovable Saint Bernard serves as elementary school ‘counselor’ for 6 years

The logo for Lake Superior Elementary School, part of the Superior School District

(ASHLAND) — For six years, a lovable Saint Bernard has roamed the hallways of Lake Superior Elementary School, helping to calm anxious nerves as a shaggy counselor, the Ashland Daily Press reports.

Belle has made “a lot of friends” at the school, part of the Superior School District, special education teacher Mike Weaver told the newspaper.

Belle belongs to Jenny Richardson, a Lake Superior Elementary employee.

“She came to school one day, and she hasn’t left,” Weaver said.

“Sometimes students are struggling with behaviors and they just need someone who is not an adult to help them process. So Belle will come out and instantly, they just kind of melt and their demeanor changes. They get set and regulated and they are able to go back into class,” Weaver told the newspaper.

Read the full story to learn more about Belle. Find the story in the Ashland Daily Press here (paywall).

Madison East cook historic gumbo dish, host district leadership

Students at Madison East High School cook up a historic gumbo dish and shared it with district leaders.

(MADISON) — Madison East High School students cooked up a historic gumbo dish and shared it with district leaders recently, WMTV reports.

The class has been learning about the civil rights leader behind the dish, Leah Chase, and her restaurant, Dooky Chase.

Emily Sonnemann, the culinary teacher at East, told the TV station Chase “built a legacy at that restaurant of building bridges and having positive conversations for change over a bowl of gumbo.”

Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins said sharing a meal was a good way to start difficult conversations.

“Let’s put on a table some of the recent issues that we’ve been talking about,” said Jenkins. “But then also talk about how we can make it better as a community and co-create a space where everyone knows that teaching and learning is at our forefront along with safety.”

Read more about the event and watch the video at the TV station’s website.

Program to Engage Milwaukee, Green Bay Students at Intersection of Sports, Data

Michelle Morris-Carter, principal of Golda Meir School, says “Providing this program for our students will serve as a catalyst for ensuring that our students are poised and ready to embark upon careers in the data science field.”

A new sports analytics program is coming to Green Bay and Milwaukee school district, CBS 58 reports.

The Sports Analytics Club Program is modeled to engage high school students of color and steer them towards careers in fields like engineering and data science.

“I’m super excited. It involves science, math, a lot of inside work for sports,” Solimar Sanchez, a junior at Golda Meir School, told the TV station.

Sanchez was selected to work with about 20 other students after school, learning how data science plays into sports. They will work alongside teams like the Bucks and Brewers.

Golda Meir is one of two schools in Wisconsin offering the program. The second club will be founded in Green Bay in partnership with UW Green Bay and Green Bay Area Public School District.

Learn more about the program at the station’s website.

Oostburg Students Build Underwater Robot, Compete for World Robotics Championship

The Oostburg High School Robotics Team.

After their remotely operated underwater robot won a regional competition in Milwaukee, the Oostburg High School robotics team headed to an international competition in Tennessee last week, the Sheboygan Press reported.

Thirty teams from around the world met to create robots to solve problems related to marine plastic pollution. The competition also includes a business component; teams are scored on a business plan and a technical report on how their robot works.

“Everyone has a different job, and everyone can find a place in the team to contribute,” said Chloe Breunig, a first-year team member who has worked on the engineering, business and cameras teams.

Watch videos of the competition in Tennessee on the team’s Facebook page and learn more about the 35-person team at the newspaper’s article.

Rice Lake Celebrates Hometown Runner’s Olympic Silver

Kenny Bednarek, a Rice Lake graduate, won a silver medal Wednesday in the 200 meter dash.

Rice Lake is celebrating after one of its own won the silver medal in the 200-meter dash this week, as WQOW and Spectrum New 1 reported this week.

Kenny Bednarek’s former high school coach, Jared Sasada, told News 1 he saw something special in the runner from a young age.

“We heard about him [in middle school] coming up through the ranks,” Sasada, now a science teacher in the Tomah Area School District, told Spectrum News 1. “We had him come out and run the 400-meter against some of our best 400-meter kids, and at about the 250-meter mark we found out he was not ‘middle school fast’— he was ready to go because he was getting ready to smoke some of the best runners that we already had on our team.”

Watch the coach being interview at Spectrum News 1’s story.

Sparta Holds ‘STEMKAMP’ to Help Military Kids Learn Science

The Sparta Area School District has partnered with the Department of Defense to host a STEM camp for students in military-connected schools, WLAX-TV reports.

Sparta is the only school district in the state taking part in the STEMKAMP program, which is funded by the military and offered to 10 schools across the country.

“Military kids move every two to three years, and so there’s a lot of gaps in their education, Superintendent Dr. Amy Van Deuren told the TV station. “Sometimes they miss out on some of the fun because they’re moving.”

Learn more about the event and watch a video at the TV station’s website.

Kenosha theater teacher recognized

Longtime Kenosha teacher Holly Stanfield has received the 2021 Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year Award.

A veteran theater teacher at Bradford High School, part of the Kenosha Unified School District, has been recognized with a national theater award, according to the Kenosha News.

The 2021 Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year Award, which “honors exceptional high- and middle-school musical theater teachers,” includes a $5,000 cash prize.

“It’s an award for the whole department,” she told the newspaper. “That’s the beauty of musical theater: We have to do this together or it doesn’t happen.”

Read the full story to learn more about Stanfield, the theater department and how they’re adapting to COVID.

Prentice students design, build house from scratch

Prentice School Districts students erect a three-bedroom home as part of a classroom project. Districts students have built 13 homes in the community.

High schoolers in Prentice have again designed and built a home from scratch, the district’s 13th, WAOW-TV reports.

Tech Ed teacher Don Anderson told the station these projects teach students skills they can carry with them their whole lives, even if they don’t join a trade.

“Being here and being here on time, getting along with other students,” he said. “Then the other part also are the physical skills of hanging drywall, swinging a hammer, and putting in wood screws.”

At least one of the students, Kayden Mundt, is learning a trade.

“I work construction now, I’ve been doing a lot of drywall work,” he said. “It just so happened that I was put on a job where I learned to do my job from here.”

Read the story and watch the video at WAOW.com.

Neenah students sculpt mural: ‘Open hearts, open minds’

This side of the mural includes the “Sources of Strength “logo, while the other side features a Fibonacci spiral. This series of numbers — in which each one is the sum of the two preceding ones — is seen throughout nature and mathematics.

More than 1,000 art students at Neenah High School built and painted a three-dimensional mural, according to Green-Bay based NBC26.

Art students planned the project and were assisted by artist-in-residence Connie Greany of Legacy Murals, according to the TV station. One side features the logo of “Sources of Strength,” a youth mental health program.

Principal Brian Wunderlich said, “I think it will be a good reminder to our kids of all of the work that they did to overcome and the things that they either relied on friends or relied on teachers or relied on their parents, and that there is hope that they can kind of overcome anything if they use the resources around them to do so.”

Read the full story at the TV station’s website.

Oconto 2nd Graders Recognized for Collaborating on Book, “Sprinkling Kindness”

This class of Oconto 2nd graders wrote a book called “Sprinkling Kindness.”

A second-grade class at Oconto Elementary School wrote and illustrated a book about spreading kindness that has been recognized by a publishing company, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports.

Caroline Laurin-Young’s class researched, wrote and illustrated their book, “Sprinkling Kindness,” which was one of 50 finalists in the 2020-21 National Book Challenge hosted by Studentreasures Publishing.

“This book project was just one of the many activities our class did when celebrating Kindness Week in the Fall,” Laurin-Young told the newspaper. “That week had such an impact on the class, that we continued doing Acts of Kindness throughout the year.”  

Read the full story at the Press-Gazette.