Category Archives: Community

NAMI Recognizes Longtime Volunteer

By Nicole Walters, Current Staff

Even though she retired from the West Bend School District in 2007, Sheryl Smith never stopped teaching at an award-worthy level. 

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Dance the Night Away

By Rhys Chesick, Current Staff

After being postponed, the West Bend High Schools charity week and dance are back on.

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‘Keep Getting Up’: Area Trainer Sets World Record to Raise Mental Health Awareness

By Cassidy Scherzer, Current Staff

There was a personal reason why Jackie Vazquez wanted to set a new world record in weightlifting.

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West Bend Graduate Honored at Film Festival

Amber DeRuyter stars in the independent film ‘Lonesome’

By Hasti Ghasemi Vaghar, Current Staff

After decades performing on area stages, Amber DeRuyter has now been recognized for a performance on the silver screen.

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West Senior Hired to Promote Historic Theatre

By Cassidy Scherzer, Current Staff

One area student has gained behind-the-scenes experience at the Bend, West Bend’s historic theater that survived the Great Depression and now a global pandemic.

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An Oldie But a Goodie

WBHS senior helps revive old baseball tune with local ties

By Megan Landvatter, Current Staff

As the baseball season starts up again, a lost piece of Brewers history has been found and restored.

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Mystery Couple Identified

By Caroline Peplinski, Current Staff

When an old picture of unknown high school sweethearts was shared online last week, West Benders wondered who they were.

As it turns out, today marks their 40th wedding anniversary.

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Be Kind, Rewind: Farewell to the Video Store and a Way of Life

Area teachers and former video store clerks ponder what Family Video’s closing means for the culture of film viewing

By Elise Marlett, Editor in Chief

It’s the end of an era.

As of February 28, all Family Video locations across the country are permanently closed, including the location in West Bend. With Family Video being the only remaining video rental store in West Bend prior to closure, local movie lovers must accept a transition from discs to streaming. For many, the transition prompts deep feelings of nostalgia as the culture of film viewing has changed so drastically in the past decades. 

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Decision 2021: Meet Board Candidate Kurt Rebholz

By Noelle Mentch, Current Staff

Kurt Rebholz believes that his financial background and openness to different ideas are some of his strengths that make him a great member of the school board.

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Decision 2021: Meet Board Candidate Chris Zwygart

By Megan Landvatter, Current Staff

After serving on the school board for the past three years, Chris Zwygart believes that he is ready for a second term.

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Decision 2021: Meet Board Candidate Jody Geenen

By Megan Landvatter, Current Staff

After watching her three daughters graduate from West Bend West High School, Jody Geenen hopes to give back to her community once more.

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Masks On, Sleeves Up

By Elise Marlett, Editor in Chief

The COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t cancel this decades-old tradition. Continue reading

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‘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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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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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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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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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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‘It Felt Like I Wasn’t Doing Enough’: Interview with Climate Activist Ally Bubb

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

Ally Bubb had her children in mind when she began volunteering with the Climate Reality Project. Continue reading

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Veterans Day Assembly 2019

PHOTO ESSAY

Friday’s Veterans Day assembly at the West Bend High Schools featured many area veterans and a rare visit by the U.S. Army Drill Team from Fort Meyer in Arlington, Virginia. Photos by Olivia Langdon, Current Staff.

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US Army Drill Team Coming to West Bend

Veterans Day assembly will feature internationally recognized drill team

By Darick Fait, Current Staff

While sitting in his tree stand last November, Scott Mindel decided that in 2019, Veterans Day at the West Bend High Schools would be bigger and better than ever. Continue reading

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One Thousand Pairs of Shoes

Soles4Souls will send donated shoes to those who need them

By Caitlin Marsch, Current Staff

This year, the Spanish program’s usual Day of the Dead celebration at the West Bend High Schools will have a global impact. Continue reading

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East Grad Worked Behind the Scenes at the Milwaukee Film Festival

Twenty short film collections are included in this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

Moviegoers may have a West Bend graduate to thank for the forthcoming Milwaukee Film Festival’s setlist of short films. Continue reading

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Local Students Demand Government Action on Climate Change

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

With cars racing past them on Main Street, a group of local students raised homemade signs to call for change. Continue reading

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Rise Together to Prevent Addiction

Students give standing ovation to 13-year-old speaker

By Elise Marlett, Current Staff

Walking into the auditorium, students were expecting a drug and alcohol presentation like any other, but were pleasantly surprised. Continue reading

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Remembering Local Heroes Lost to War

As a Memorial Day tribute, this video honors the 29 graduates from the West Bend High Schools who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The video, which was produced by East social studies teacher Scott Mindel, was shown Friday to all WBHS students in their resource period.

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Jackson Elementary Feels Like Home

New job for area mom leads to a surprising reunion

By Kael Beltmann, Current Staff

Karen Carlson is back on the playground at Jackson Elementary School, this time with a whistle. Continue reading

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Schools Must Encourage the Youth Vote

VIEWPOINT

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

I will likely be one of the few local teens participating in our American democracy on Tuesday. Continue reading

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