Category Archives: School News and Features

The World Needs Responsible Journalists

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Dear Readers,

When I joined the West Bend Current’s staff of student reporters in December, I was not fully aware of how significant my choice had been. I had thought only of utilizing my passion for writing to see what doors journalism might open for me.

However, I soon realized that I was learning much more than just the structure and mechanics of reporting. I became truly conscious of bias and began to understand why it is so important that I strive to keep my writing as balanced as possible—since, unfortunately, the world is swamped with partiality. Continue reading

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West Bend Students and Staff Honor Fallen Classmate

By Jessica Steger, Editor in Chief

The memory of Christopher Dietel will be forever etched into the Silver Lining Arts Center.

The teachers and classmates of Christopher Dietel, a West Bend West High School sophomore who died by suicide last August, have raised funds to purchase a memorial seat in the auditorium. The plaque on seat L118 will read, “In Loving Memory of Christopher R. Dietel,” and will be installed Thursday. Continue reading

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Virtual Reality Helps Students Learn

Three class sets of VR goggles are available to teachers

By Grace Peplinski, Current Staff

Some students at West Bend High Schools have gotten a taste of reality, virtual reality that is.

The West Bend School District has been trying out different virtual reality, or VR, programs that will assist with students’ learning and understanding on a variety of different topics. Continue reading

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Video Announcements 6/1/18

(Video created by students in West Bend High Schools’ advanced video production class, under the supervision of Michael Bentdahl, East High technology teacher.)

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Engineering? Try Men-gineering

By Rachel Gergetz, Current Staff

When Mattie Zautner enrolled in engineering, she decided to prove she belonged.

The significant ratio of girls to boys in technology fields is an issue that is present all over the country, and this evidently does not exclude the West Bend High Schools. There is a significantly smaller number of females than males enrolled in WBHS technology classes, with the exceptions of digital media and graphic communications. One notably divided class is engineering. 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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Video Announcements 5/25/18

(Video created by students in West Bend High Schools’ advanced video production class, under the supervision of Michael Bentdahl, East High technology teacher.)

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Dietel Selected

Samantha Dietel, West sophomore, will serve as the West Bend Current’s Editor in Chief for the 2018-19 school year.  She replaces graduating senior Jessica Steger. Congrats, Samantha!

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Video Announcements 5/18/18

(Video created by students in West Bend High Schools’ advanced video production class, under the supervision of Michael Bentdahl, East High technology teacher.)

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The Polka Natural

By Jessica Steger, Editor in Chief

Few people can say they have discovered their true passion in life at the ripe age of six, yet Joe Heger can.

Heger, a West Bend East High School senior, has been a musician since he was a six-year-old. He began by experimenting with the piano, but then found a new companion with the accordion. From there, his passion for music took off. Today he can play the piano, accordion, trumpet, bass guitar, drums, and, most recently, the concertina. All of this started when Heger became infatuated by none other than polka music. Continue reading

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Video Announcements 5/11/18

(Video created by students in West Bend High Schools’ advanced video production class, under the supervision of Michael Bentdahl, East High technology teacher.)

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Lewandowski Wins Rolfs Award

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

The surprise was nearly spoiled for Michael Lewandowski. Continue reading

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Video Announcements 5/4/18

(Video created by students in West Bend High Schools’ advanced video production class, under the supervision of Michael Bentdahl, East High technology teacher.)

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Tooting Our Own Horn: NEWSPA Awards 2018

Student reporters earn 19 total awards

Five West Bend students earned blue ribbon honors in a statewide contest for high school journalists. Continue reading

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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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Head Start on College and Careers

Programs give high school students access to local college courses and business internships

By Justin Scherzer, Current Staff

Senior Peyton Janto can often be seen wearing business clothing at school because after four class periods at West Bend West High School he rushes to his internship at West Bend Mutual Insurance.

Janto is among the numerous WBHS students whose daily schedules differ from the traditional school day. Upperclassmen have the option to enroll in programs called Youth Options, Course Options and Co-op Youth Apprenticeships. These allow students to accept internships with local businesses or register for classes and programs not offered at the high school by traveling to locations such as the University of Wisconsin-Washington County and Moraine Park Technical College. Continue reading

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City of Hurried and Sparkling Waters! City of Spires and Masts!

West Bend poet invited to Carnegie Hall to receive award

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

A talent for poetry has earned one local student national recognition and a plane ticket to New York. Continue reading

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Dolphins Make Waves at School Board Meeting

Synchronized swimming team successfully petitions the district to overturn lighting directive

By Mattie Zautner, Current Staff

Over 60 dolphins swam into the last school board meeting.

Members of the Dolphins, the West Bend High Schools’ synchronized swim team, crashed the April 9 school board meeting to persuade district officials to allow the natatorium lights to be turned off during their show scheduled to open just three days later. Traditionally the show depends upon a darkened room for effect, but this school year the team had been notified that the lights could not be turned off for safety reasons. Continue reading

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Video Made the Wrestling Star

By Auburn Larson, Current Staff

After placing fifth at the state wrestling tournament, Cayden Henschel grabbed his video camera.

Henschel, a sophomore at West Bend East High School, is known for being one of the top wrestlers in the state, but he is becoming more popular due to his YouTube vlogs which highlight his daily life.  He started posting videos last November. Continue reading

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State Champ? That’s Hilarious

Kolb takes first in Solo Acting Humorous forensics category

By Caitlin Marsch, Current Staff

The West Bend High Schools are home to three of the funniest students in the state of Wisconsin.

East junior Emily Kolb took first place in the category Solo Acting Humorous at the state forensics tournament held April 7 at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater. Kolb was joined at the podium by West senior Anna Pitz and East junior Ian O’Day, who were also among the six finalists in the category. Continue reading

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Video Announcements 4/20/18

(Video created by students in West Bend High Schools’ advanced video production class, under the supervision of Michael Bentdahl, East High technology teacher.)

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Orchestra Department Has New Mascot

By Lily Mottet, Current Staff

Even before he knew what was happening, West Bend High Schools orchestra teacher Seth Matuszak knew something was up. The giggling gave it away. Continue reading

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Student Artists Raise Holocaust Awareness

Art show’s theme was inspired by 1937 Munich exhibit

By Jessica Steger, Editor in Chief

This year’s art show, Forbidden Art of the Nazi Era, is celebrating what German Nazis had once deemed degenerate.

The art show is 4-7 p.m. Wednesday in the Silver Lining Performing Arts Center atrium. Art and written work from local students will be on display. Students of West Bend High Schools will be able to tour the gallery during the day with their classes. Continue reading

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Safety Plans Go Right Out the Window

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

During an intruder situation, some students at the West Bend High Schools would be instructed to climb out a classroom window. Continue reading

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Video Announcements 4/6/18

(Video created by students in West Bend High Schools’ advanced video production class, under the supervision of Michael Bentdahl, East High technology teacher.)

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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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Video Announcements 3/23/18

(Video created by students in West Bend High Schools’ advanced video production class, under the supervision of Michael Bentdahl, East High technology teacher.)

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‘We’re Unprepared’: Students and Staff Have Safety Concerns

West assistant principal Patrick O’Connor monitors the West cafeteria during the first lunch period on Tuesday. Photo by Samantha Dietel, Current Staff.

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

Not everyone is satisfied with the safety of the West Bend High Schools.

After the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., both students and staff at WBHS have expressed their own concerns about the building’s safety. Some even believe that the school would be unprepared for an attack similar to what occurred in Parkland. 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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Video Announcements 3/16/18

(Video created by students in West Bend High Schools’ advanced video production class, under the supervision of Michael Bentdahl, East High technology teacher.)

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‘I Couldn’t Just Sit Back’: Protest Organizers Call for Change

WBHS students are divided about how to address school violence

By Elise Marlett and Lauren Oppermann, Current Staff

Four West Bend teenagers have taken the lead after the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

East junior Lindsay Kramer, West senior Olivia McClain, East senior Alina Prahl and West sophomore Jada Williams organized the West Bend High Schools’ participation in a nationwide moment of silence. The demonstration took place 10 a.m. Wednesday on the football field. Continue reading

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How Have the High Schools Addressed Safety Since Parkland?

Community Q&A planned for March 22

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

“If you see or hear something, say something” is a phrase that has lately been given a great emphasis at the West Bend High Schools.

In light of the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., students, parents and other West Bend community members have wondered how the district is planning to respond to the calls for better safety in schools. Several steps to improve the safety of WBHS have already been taken since the attack, including plans for a community discussion about safety that will be held by the school board March 22. Continue reading

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