Category Archives: Community

‘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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Decision 2019: Meet the Three Candidates for School Board

SchoolBoardElection_LogoThe West Bend School Board will soon have two new faces.

With no incumbents on the April 2 ballot, voters will choose among newcomers Paul Fischer, Christopher Bach and Erin Dove to fill two open seats. Leaving the board are Tiffany Larson and Ken Schmidt. Both chose not to seek re-election.

The West Bend Current asked the candidates about their background. That interview material is presented below in the order that the candidates will appear on the ballot. Continue reading

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Decision 2019: Board Candidates on the Referendum

What are your thoughts about the referendum?

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Paul Fischer

I am in support of the referendum. I, like most people, don’t enjoy paying more taxes, but at the same time, I recognize that it costs money to operate and maintain buildings. We are a large school district, and there’s a lot to manage here, a lot to maintain. You take a look at the age of the high school specifically—a lot of the mechanicals are at the end of life, they needed to be replaced at some point in the past, most likely. But because of the conservative nature of this community, we’ve done what we can to maintain investments in the classroom, potentially sometimes at the expense on the maintenance things, above the ceiling, below the floor, and so forth that you don’t always see. But the time has come where we need to address those things. Continue reading

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Decision 2019: Board Candidates on Their Vision for the District

What are the unique goals you would seek to achieve while on the school board?

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Paul Fischer

My goal is to see the stability of the school district that they’ve attained in the last 12 months, to see that continue for the next 36 months. Beyond that, I really don’t have goals, per se, because I’m not bringing an agenda to the table. I think that’s maybe happened in the past, and that’s been part of our challenges as a community. We all want the same thing: to have well-rounded students coming out that are well-prepared for their post high school experience, whether that’s the workforce or secondary education. And our job is to support that, in the best way possible. Continue reading

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Decision 2019: Board Candidates on the Importance of Education

Why is education important to you and what is your current experience with education?

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Paul Fischer

From a priority perspective, education is the foundation that’s going to set our students up for everything else that happens in life, whether it’s formal classroom education, hands-on job experience, whatever the case may be. It’s giving students that opportunity, and then the onus is on the student to make the best of those situations that they possibly can. Continue reading

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That’s the Ticket

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

Two former West Bend students have partnered in a run for office. Continue reading

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Band of Neighbors

West Bend’s Charity Week will help fund a 9/11 memorial in nearby Kewaskum

By Grace Peplinski, Current Staff

The rumors were floating around school: Was West Bend really inviting Kewaskum to its charity dance? And was it because of low turnout in the past? Continue reading

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The Voice of West Bend Snow Days

By Kael Beltmann, Current Staff

Everyone knows his voice, but few know his name. Continue reading

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Breaking the News: Why the Shakeup at the Local Paper Matters

VIEWPOINT

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

After what happened at the Daily News, I am concerned for the future of local journalism in West Bend. Continue reading

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‘Did You Hear Anything?’: Shutdown Keeps Area Family in Limbo

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

The ongoing U.S. government shutdown has led a woman with local ties to worry about her husband’s travel visa application. Continue reading

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A Path for Political Discussions in the Classroom at West Bend

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

According to definitions in “The Political Classroom,” West Bend is a politically diverse community [1] (Hess, Mcavoy, 2014). What that means is there are different points of view of sufficient magnitude from the community and parents to detect political bias in schools and the political power to stop it. As you can imagine, “Like minded schools” had no trouble implementing politics in the classroom as only one point of view was allowed, and parents who do see bias do not have the political power to allow different points of view. So, the nice thing with being in a politically diverse community is multiple points of view are available, the challenging part is dealing with political bias. Continue reading

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Welcome to the Dollhouse

WBHS graduate designed the artwork for this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival

By Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief

For Melissa Johnson, working with the Milwaukee Film Festival meant designing a dollhouse. Continue reading

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Sweatin’ to the Oldies

Proposed renovations will help control WBHS temperatures

By Jessica Steger, Editor in Chief

As summer draws nearer students seem to be sweating to get out of school, literally.

The West Bend High Schools air conditioning system needed repair during the week of April 30. Officials advised teachers to bring fans from home. The air conditioning was turned on May 23, but many students report that some classrooms remain too warm.

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West Bend School Board Has New President

Larson happy to pass the gavel to Ongert

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

After serving only one year in the position, Tiffany Larson will not continue as president of the West Bend School Board.

Tiffany Larson

Members of the school board changed roles Monday in an annual process that occurs after new members are sworn in. Because Chris Zwygart and Kurt Rebholz secured their seats on the board during the April 3 spring election, it was time for the board to reorganize. Larson was replaced by Joel Ongert as president and was not re-elected into an officer position.

That turn of events led a local blogger to interpret the shift as an effort to expel Larson from board leadership. Continue reading

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‘Our Thoughts Are Our Own’: Walkout Organizers Respond to School Board Candidate’s Criticisms

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

On Wednesday, March 14th, hundreds of students poured onto the West Bend High School’s football field to honor the seventeen lives that were taken on the Valentine’s Day Parkland shooting. In light of the recent discussion on school safety, we would like to respond to Mary Weigand’s blog post directed at “the protesting students and supportive administration” regarding the walkout. Mrs. Weigand is currently running for school board. We would also like to clarify and enlighten our community members on the events of the day. The following response does not reflect the views of the high school administration. Continue reading

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Decision 2018: Meet the Four Candidates for School Board

SchoolBoardElection_LogoTwo seats on the West Bend School Board will be up for grabs in an at-large election on April 3.

Joining incumbent Monte Schmiege on the ballot are three challengers, Chris Zwygart, Kurt Rebholz and Mary Weigand. Leaving the board is Tim Stellmacher, who was appointed to the board mid-term and did not file for re-election.

The West Bend Current asked the candidates about their background. That interview material is presented below in the order that the candidates will appear on the ballot. Continue reading

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Decision 2018: Board Candidates on Why They Chose to Run

Why are you running for school board?

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Monte Schmiege

Well, I have three years of experience in the district. I think it is important to have some experience on the board rather than new members every single year because it does take some time to get acclimated to the business of the school board and what it’s all like, what the responsibilities are, what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t be doing. So it takes quite a bit of time to get acquainted to all of that. Continue reading

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Decision 2018: Board Candidates on Spending Money

What are your budgeting priorities for the school district?

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Monte Schmiege

Seventy-five percent of the money goes towards staffing so that is a big component of that and then you’ve got a component which would be for construction materials and all of that. The district is putting 1.4 million dollars into retaining the school grounds. Those are the primary ones and we also have debt that we have to pay for. Continue reading

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Decision 2018: Board Candidates on District Curriculum

What is the board’s role when it comes to curriculum changes?

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Monte Schmiege

That’s an interesting question because I have a different opinion on that. Some people will say that we need to leave that to the experts and I don’t necessarily believe that. If we had policies or some way to describe what curriculum should look like that would be one thing, but we really don’t. And things change so much that it is difficult to do that. I think the board’s role is oversight. But I worked with administration to update our policy to allow the board to approve standards and curriculum and this is modeled after what Green Bay does, as a matter of fact. And the board is also responsible by law and action in August to authorize a list of board-approved standards so there is a precedent of the board approving standards.   Continue reading

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Come for No Nonsense, Stay for Coffee

Student band will perform at the Hub’s ribbon cutting ceremony

By Jessica Steger, Editor in Chief

No Nonsense is making its big break into the community.

The band will help kick off the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Hub Thursday at noon. The Hub is a coffee shop opened by the Washington County Volunteer Center on Water Street in West Bend. There have been several soft openings, and a weekend-long Grand Opening will begin May 17. The ribbon cutting marks the beginning of regular business hours. Continue reading

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There’s Always Time for Charity

Playoff basketball might interfere with Saturday’s Charity Ball

By Jessica Steger, Editor in Chief

Scheduling Charity Week proved much more difficult this year as compared to the past. Continue reading

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High School Program Prepares Students for the Job Olympics

By Lauren Oppermann, Current Staff

Right now, one can enjoy the thrilling Winter Olympics on TV. However, in the middle of May, students from the West Bend High Schools will be participating in their own Olympics.

Students with special needs have the chance to participate in the Job Olympics. Though it is comparable to the Special Olympics, the event focuses on career-related competitions rather than sports. Ten different local schools participate in this event. Continue reading

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It’s in Their Blood

When the Blood Center of Wisconsin asked for help, WBHS anatomy students answered the call

By Priyanka Trivedi, Current Staff

As southeastern Wisconsin is running low on blood, the West Bend High Schools’ anatomy classes are coming to the rescue.

After Slinger High School dropped out of their annual blood drive due to construction at their school, West Bend science teachers David Clark and Kara Petzold decided to create a blood drive revolving around the anatomy classes they teach. Each student in anatomy class is responsible for bringing at least one person to donate blood, taking over Slinger High School’s obligation of donating at least 100 pints of blood to the Blood Center of Wisconsin. Continue reading

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‘They Have Been Through the Worst’: Two WBHS Seniors Help Refugees

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

Not long ago, local student Olivia McClain was reading picture books with Syrian refugees. Continue reading

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West Staff Gives Back to the Community

Book-giving event is just one of many planned service projects

By Jessica Steger, Editor in Chief

For the West Bend West High School staff, the ‘giving season’ began before a single Christmas ornament was prematurely sold.

On Tuesday the West staff hosted a book-giving event in the West Library. Prior to the event the school ran a book drive lasting from October to November. During this time over 2,000 books were collected, which were then offered at the book-giving event. Local organizations Family Promise, Boys and Girls Club, Friends Incorporated, Youth Treatment Center, and the Youth and Family Project attended the event, with an open invitation to their clients. Continue reading

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The Bench Player

By Caitlin Marsch, Current Staff

When there wasn’t enough space for the community to sit, a local student decided to take a stand.

Evan Beekman, a junior at West Bend West High School, built two circular benches in Jackson Park for his Eagle Scout project. Although the project was completed in the fall of 2016, he was recognized for his achievement in October of this year. Continue reading

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