‘I Never Had a Non-White Teacher’: New Group Seeks Change at the West Bend School District

By Elena Chamberlain, Current Staff

Former West Bend students have started a group that advocates for racial justice in both the community and school district. Continue reading

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Mandate the Masks

VIEWPOINT

By Elise Marlett, Editor in Chief

I do not envy those in power in this school district whose choices have the potential to drastically alter the lives of my friends, family and teachers.  Continue reading

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Former Students Ask District to Act Against Racial Injustice

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To leaders and members of the West Bend community:

This is a list of initiatives we would like to see implemented in the West Bend School District.

Right now, the whole world is finally listening to the call for action against racial injustice. We want meaningful change to create a community that works for ALL people. We know that the West Bend School District did not adequately prepare us for an increasingly diverse and inclusive society. We also know that the demographics of West Bend are changing. If we are truly preparing all students for excellence, we must also educate students to become culturally competent and aware of their roles and platforms to dismantle white supremacy in our national culture. Continue reading

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The Marvelous Mr. Mindel

East social studies instructor named Rolfs Teacher of the Year

By Darick Fait, Current Staff

For the third time this year, Scott Mindel has proven to his fellow staff and students that he is a top-level educator, this time through a districtwide award. Continue reading

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Award-Winning Reporters Say Goodbye

Three seniors reflect on their time writing for the West Bend Current

Samantha Dietel

For how long have you been a member of the Current and what prompted you to join?
I joined the Current about halfway through my sophomore year. I was looking to get more involved at school, so it seemed fitting to step outside of my comfort zone while also utilizing my love for writing! It certainly helped that Mr. Beltmann, the Current’s adviser, was my teacher that year for Honors English II. Joining the Current was easily the best decision that I have ever made. By now, it feels like it has become a part of my identity. Continue reading

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Welcome, Editor!

Elise Marlett, East junior, will serve as the West Bend Current’s Editor in Chief for the 2020-21 school year. She replaces graduating senior Samantha Dietel. Congrats, Elise!

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Tooting Our Own Horn: NEWSPA Awards 2020

Local student journalists earn 24 awards

Ten West Bend students have been recognized in a statewide contest for high school journalists. Continue reading

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The Music You Speak

VIEWPOINT

The music you speak with every breath
Every gasp of air a dying wish
Words you think but rhymes you say
Every letter used for a phrase Continue reading

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A Beautiful Deed in the Neighborhood

By Elise Marlett, Current Staff

As of Tuesday, Diane Malicki has sewn an estimated 75 face masks for her neighbors in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Continue reading

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Banovich Joins Elite State Honors Band

By Caitlin Marsch, Current Staff

After a safer-at-home audition, West Bend West High School junior Brionna Banovich has been selected as one of the top eight student bassoonists in the state of Wisconsin. Continue reading

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Decision 2020: Board Candidates on Another Referendum

What are your thoughts about asking voters to consider another referendum?

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Tonnie Schmidt (incumbent)

The West Bend School District is very conservative. It is one of the reasons I choose to live here. I appreciate the need to be responsible with our spending and ensuring that responsibility is one of the reasons I sought to run for school board three years ago and it is still a reason why I chose to run for another term. Continue reading

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Decision 2020: Board Candidates on Why They Want to Serve

What is your motivation for wanting to serve on the school board?

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Tonnie Schmidt (incumbent)

The gratitude I feel for the education I received as a child and young adult as well as the ability to serve the community that has welcomed the success of my business, Delta Defense, is what motivates me to serve on the school board. Continue reading

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Decision 2020: Board Candidates on How to Improve the District

What areas of the district do you seek to change or improve?

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Tonnie Schmidt (incumbent)

In the immediate future, I would like to be directly responsible for hiring a new superintendent to replace resigning Don Kirkegaard.

I also would like to ensure that our facilities are in good shape going forward while not disregarding the declining birthrate and its effect on enrollment in the future. I have a commitment to neighborhood schools as is feasible, including incorporating central administration into existing vacant space in them as an alternative to closing multiple elementary schools. I believe in the priceless power of families to support one another in neighborhood elementary schools over a large centralized structure where children can feel lost and overwhelmed. Continue reading

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Decision 2020: Board Candidates on Their Experience with the District

What has been your experience with the West Bend School District?

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Tonnie Schmidt (incumbent)

As a school board, we removed an inexperienced and toxic superintendent and conducted a thorough search for a new superintendent, which included input from the community, resulting in hiring a nationally recognized superintendent who has brought stability to our district. Continue reading

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New York’s Coronavirus Outbreak ‘Feels Like a Nightmare’

West Bend graduate is a public health scientist in New York City

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

The City That Never Sleeps now resembles a ghost town.

That’s what Kacie Seil, a former West Bender now living in New York City, says about how the COVID-19 outbreak has affected her current home.

Seil, an epidemiologist who attended Yale University after graduating from West Bend East High School in 2006, serves as a research scientist for data integrity at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. As a resident and analyst, Seil has seen the impact of the coronavirus pandemic up close. Continue reading

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West Bend Teachers Miss Their Students

VIDEO

Teachers at Decorah Elementary School organized a car parade today to connect with their students. Students haven’t seen their teachers since schools were closed March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade started on Vine Street and traveled through several neighborhoods. Staff members from Silverbrook Intermediate School will parade Monday starting at 5 p.m. Distance learning starts Tuesday.

 

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Former Exchange Student Reports from Italy

Andrea Sargentoni says he “underestimated” the virus at first

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

Italian student Andrea Sargentoni, like many people around the world, underestimated the severity and swift spread of the coronavirus.

Sargentoni was working through his fifth and final year of high school in Ancona, Italy, when his country’s first cases of COVID-19 were reported in late January and early February. The number of coronavirus cases and deaths rapidly escalated to the point that Sargentoni, who spent last year studying at West Bend West High School, now lives under a national lockdown. Continue reading

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‘Everyone Was Freaking Out’: Sisters with Local Ties Return from Europe

Twins were in Spain when President Trump announced new travel restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

Last week, two West Bend graduates were uncertain that they would be able to return home to the United States. Continue reading

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Time-Honored Senior Traditions Are Now In Quarantine

VIEWPOINT

By Caitlin Marsch, Current Staff

I never thought that my senior year at the West Bend High Schools would be abruptly altered by a deadly virus. Continue reading

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Italy Trip Postponed Until Next Year

Students understand, but still feel disappointed 

By Elise Marlett, Current Staff

Global illness concern has forced the West Bend High Schools band to reconsider their own safety.

Even before today’s announcement that the West Bend School District will close for the next four weeks due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the WBHS band had postponed their spring break tour of Italy. Since the trip will now take place during the spring break of 2021, current seniors will not be able to attend and are being issued full refunds. Continue reading

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Meet West Point Cadet James Miller

West senior heads to U.S. military academy in June

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

James Miller’s childhood dream of attending West Point is at long last becoming a reality. Continue reading

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Take My Temperature, Baby, One More Time

Lead actor in musical was sick during performance week

By Elena Chamberlain, Current Staff

For his first lead role in a high school musical, West Bend West ninth grader Keegan Kainz sacrificed seven pounds.  Continue reading

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Two Helping Hands and a Microphone

By Annika Olson, Current Staff

The West Bend Student Council has asked DJay Mando to put a new spin on Charity Week. Continue reading

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Innovative Dance Company Headlines Black History Month Event

Celebrate with food and entertainment

By Megan Landvatter, Current Staff

For the third annual Black History Month Celebration, the West Bend High Schools are welcoming the Water Street Dancers. Continue reading

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The Current View: Standards-Based Grading

What are your thoughts about standards-based grading, the alternative to traditional letter grades that has been used this year in some high school classrooms?

“I like it because it’s in favor of the students.”
Mara Perkins, West senior
Continue reading

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Navigating a New Path

For students of the closed Pathways Charter School, the transition to WBHS has been an adjustment

By Megan Landvatter, Current Staff

In Jack Elliot’s first week transitioning to West Bend East High School, he had to drop two classes—his first time ever doing so. Continue reading

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Introducing the All-District Strings Festival

By Elise Marlett, Current Staff

The orchestra program is putting on their largest performance in history.  Continue reading

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Movie Review: I Lost My Body

By Brandon Labecki, Current Staff

Among this year’s Oscar nominees is a gripping animated film from France that depicts the extreme aspects of the trials of life.  Continue reading

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A Little Friendly Competition

Drum major Larscheidt challenges Tillman for first chair

By Megan Landvatter, Current Staff

Leah Duckert-Kroll, in her 17 years working with the West Bend High Schools Band program, cannot remember having two drum majors who play the same instrument. Continue reading

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Mindel Named Wisconsin’s Teacher of the Year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars

School board will recognize East teacher who won a state award for his many activities on behalf of local veterans

By Darick Fait, Current Staff

Honoring veterans is one of the things that Scott Mindel has chosen to spend much of his time doing. It was just a matter of time before he received the recognition he deserves. Continue reading

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Students Aren’t Mellow About Xello

Rollout of new career planning vehicle hasn’t been smooth

By Rachel Gergetz, Current Staff

The very tool meant to help students is causing them confusion. Continue reading

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It’s Garbage Time

Students can help custodians by properly using the trash and recycling bins

By Elise Marlett and Noelle Mentch, Current Staff

Custodians at the West Bend High Schools may be working harder to protect the environment than students realize. Continue reading

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Missing Pathways: One Student Reflects on Closed School and Moving to WBHS

VIEWPOINT

By Stephanie Snyder, Current Staff

Fitting in at a new school can be frightening.

Pathways Charter School was closed by the West Bend School District in June, which means this fall Pathways students like me moved to East and West High Schools fulltime. The transition hasn’t always been easy. Continue reading

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Playing for Laughs

By Annika Olson, Current Staff

Leah Duckert-Kroll has put together an unusual twist for the upcoming West Bend High Schools band concert next week. Continue reading

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