Tag Archives: Region 9

Sheboygan Falls teacher named finalist for Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Teaching Prize

A Sheboygan Falls High School construction and technology education teacher was named today one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, which will award more than $500,000 to outstanding skilled trades teachers and programs in American public high schools. As a finalist, the school and teacher will receive at least $30,000 and up to $100,000 if they win the top prize.

Drawn from across the country and representing skilled trades like construction, automotive, architecture, woodworking, manufacturing and marine systems technology, the 10 finalists are in the running for three first-place prizes of $100,000, with $70,000 going to the high school skilled trades program and $30,000 to the individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team behind the winning program. The seven second-place winners will each be awarded $30,000, with $20,000 going to the high school program and $10,000 to the teacher/team. The winners will be announced on Oct. 26.

The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was designed to recognize outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools that inspires students to learn a trade that prepares them for a career after high school.

“We created this prize out of huge respect for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands to create, build and repair,” said Eric Smidt, founder of the prize and founder, owner and CEO of the national retailer Harbor Freight Tools. “We’re proud to honor the important leadership of these skilled trades teachers, who are working so hard to equip their students with the know-how and skill to land good jobs, pursue bright futures, and become part of a workforce our country needs.”

Sheboygan Falls High School’s Ed Hughes was recognized for his work teaching construction, computer-aided design, STEM and other trades. He guides his students through trades pathways, a robust internship program and robotics competitions. Hughes helped spearhead the creation of his school’s Innovation Design Center, a modern learning space dedicated to the trades and technology.

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Multi-district alternative program thrives under Mineral Point’s wing


Madison.com: When financial concerns threatened to derail an alternative school that draws students from several school districts in southwest Wisconsin, the Mineral Point School District took the program under its own wing.

It was a leap of faith that some viewed as a risky move, said Joelle Doye, spokeswoman for the district. But the program is now run by the school district, which receives fees from other school districts that send students there. The Mineral Point Alternative Program, formerly called the Renaissance School, was run for 10 years by Cooperative Educational Service Agency District 3, which received the fees. The program was and continues to be housed at the old Mineral Point high school building.

“From all accounts, the new endeavor is booming, and we are even outgrowing our current facility from the positive word spreading to districts about the great opportunities being offered for students not fitting into a traditional school setting,” Doye said.

The program is designed for students who are not finding optimal success in a traditional classroom, partly through greater flexibility to meet student needs. Students can earn credits in a variety of ways, including community-based learning and work experience.

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De Soto High School offers flight ground school

WXOW.com: Students at De Soto High School are getting a unique opportunity, one that will give them a head start in a career in aviation.

De Soto School District said it is first district in Wisconsin to offer flight ground school as an elective course.

Currently two seniors, Jakob Hensley and Ben King are enrolled in the course.

“It’s a dream of a lot of people to fly and to have the opportunity to do that is a really cool thing,” Hensley said.

The program is a partnership with the Experimental Aircraft Association, allowing students to complete aviation ground school right at their high school.

“Before they graduate high school, they could have a private pilot license,” Duwayne Groenning,Technology Director for the De Soto School District said. Groenning has his private pilot’s license and is helping the students through the course.

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Adaptive sports league lets students experience athletics, teamwork

The adaptive sports league started in 2012 when Onalaska coach Jim Cappuccio started a team at his school. Holmen coach Nick Slusser came on board shortly after that, followed by teams at Logan High School and Central High School in La Crosse.

This year the Holmen team is at capacity with 15 students, Slusser said, with make and female athletes from grades nine through 12. The league competes throughout the school year, with indoor soccer in the fall, floor hockey in the winter and indoor baseball in the spring.

As coach, Slusser said he treats the students the same as he would any athlete in a varsity sport. Participants have after-school practices where the do warm-ups, drills and scrimmage. The coaching model is slightly different, he said, with an emphasis on learning and building skills that help students be successful.

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