‘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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Local Students Protest School Violence

PHOTO ESSAY

Today students at the West Bend High Schools participated in a national school walkout. According to organizers, the event was intended to honor the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. and to encourage legislators to pass stricter gun control laws. These snapshots, taken by Current staff reporters, capture how the event unfolded on the WBHS campus.

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The Current View: National Walkout

Why did you participate in today’s national school walkout?

“I went just to support the kids that were killed in any school shooting. And I went to have that moment of silence for the people who died in the Florida shooting.
Nick Matsunaga, West senior

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East Teacher Will Study the Holocaust Overseas

By Bailey Schultz, Current Staff

West Bend East High School social studies teacher Scott Lone is taking a trip to the birthplace of Hitler for spring break. Continue reading

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‘Our Students Are Very Safe’: WBHS Officials Discuss Campus Security

Recent changes were implemented prior to Parkland shooting

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

For students shifting from class to class at the West Bend High Schools, it’s easy to miss the numerous cameras that monitor each of the hallways.

In recent years, the West Bend School District has placed an increased focus on the security of its high schools to ensure the safety of the students and staff within the building. But after a gunman took the lives of 17 students and faculty last month at a high school in Parkland, Fla., there has been a heightened number of inquiries regarding the safety at WBHS. Continue reading

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Guns in the Classroom?

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

A typical classroom inventory contains plenty of paper, pens and dry erase markers, but now, some believe a gun should also be included.

Students and staff members of the West Bend High Schools have been left with many thoughts, questions and even some concerns due to recent proposals to allow teachers to possess a gun in the classroom. Such proposals began to circulate through the nation in the wake of the tragic shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Even Wis. Rep. Jesse Kremer proposed the arming of private school teachers in February. Continue reading

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The Current View: Teachers and Guns

What do you think about arming teachers as a safety measure?

“I think that arming teachers is unnecessary. If teachers want to have a gun, I think that they can. I don’t necessarily agree with it but they are their own person, they are independent. However I don’t think it should be a mandatory thing.
Alex Schloemer, East senior

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Video Announcements 3/8/18

(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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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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Teaching History Through Music

Music scholar visited WBHS to talk about Jewish traditions

By Caitlin Marsch, Current Staff

One way to study the Holocaust is by using your ears.

Amanda Ruppenthal Stein, a doctoral candidate in musicology at Northwestern University, visited band students at the West Bend High Schools Feb. 26 to deliver a presentation about Jewish music. Her presentation was part of the ongoing WBHS project to integrate the art, music, culinary and social studies departments for a Holocaust memorial taking place in April. All three band classes are playing pieces either by a Jewish composer or regarding the Holocaust. Continue reading

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The Secret Rock Life of a Guidance Counselor

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

This Friday, Kara Phillips will be stepping away from the typical lifestyle of a high school guidance counselor to pick up a microphone.

Phillips, a counselor at West Bend East High School, is the lead singer of the local rock band Love Handle. She and her band will be performing at 8 p.m. Friday inside Pillars Pub, which will be the group’s first gig since December. Continue reading

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Pencil, Ink and Digital Paint: East Grad Has Ties to Oscar Nominees

Rory Kurtz is an award-winning illustrator

By Jessica Steger, Editor in Chief

West Bend East High School alumnus Rory Kurtz has a personal reason for hoping “Baby Driver” wins an Oscar on Sunday.

Kurtz, an illustrator who graduated from East in 1997, created the official movie poster for “Baby Driver.” He also produced the alternative key art for “I, Tonya,” another Oscar nominee. Kurtz creates art for many clients, including Mondo-Alamo Drafthouse and well-known publications such as the New Yorker and Rolling Stone. Continue reading

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East Swimmer Wins State Title

Fitzgerald takes first in 200 individual medley

By Elise Marlett, Current Staff

West Bend East High School has a state champion swimmer for the first time since 2013.

Bryan Fitzgerald, a senior and member of the West Bend Boys Co-op Swim and Dive team, placed first in his claim-to-fame race, the 200 individual medley, at the WIAA Boys Division 1 state meet on Saturday. His time of 1 minute, 50.15 seconds is the eighth-fastest time in the history of Division 1 boys swimming for this event. He also participated in two relays, placing 14th and 22nd, and received second place in the 500 freestyle. The team placed 14th as a whole. Continue reading

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Video Announcements 2/23/18

(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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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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‘It Was Very Inspiring’: Brookfield Violinist Brings His Gift to WBHS

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

It’s not every day the West Bend High Schools host a teenage musical prodigy. Continue reading

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Video Announcements 2/16/18

(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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The Current View: Tuesday Schedule

Last week the West Bend High Schools announced that the schedule on Tuesdays will be adjusted to ensure students receive the proper number of instructional minutes. The new schedule starts March 6.

How do you feel about the elimination of early release on Tuesdays?

Personally I don’t think it makes that big of a difference, it’s only 20 minutes. But I’d like to know how this was overseen, because it’s kind of a big thing, how many minutes you go to school. So how did we not realize this earlier?”
Libby Willkomm, West junior

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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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Science at the South Pole

By Grace Peplinski, Current Staff

The recent cold snap won’t bother Elizabeth Widen. After all, she spends much of her time in Antarctica.

Widen, a research scientist, gave a presentation to students in Paul DeLain’s Advanced Placement Environmental classes Jan. 30 in the Silver Lining Arts Center. Students learned about the research going on at the bottom of the planet. Continue reading

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Video Announcements 2/9/18

(Video produced by the West Bend High Schools media team, under the supervision of Michael Bentdahl, East High technology teacher.)

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International Musicians Visit Orchestra Students

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

It has been a tradition for West Bend High Schools orchestra students to travel to Scotland, but this time, Scotland came to them. Continue reading

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Senior Wants WBHS Volunteers Recognized at Graduation

By Caitlin Marsch, Current Staff

For Serenity Krueger, trying to make a change went beyond volunteering.

Last week the West Bend West High School senior created an online petition directed at the WBHS administration asking that students who have 100 or more documented volunteer hours be honored with cords of recognition at graduation. So far, the petition has garnered over 800 signatures and the online response has been overwhelmingly positive. 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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‘Keep the Crowd Rocking’: West Bend Bands Bring the Rock and Jazz

By Rachel Gergetz, Current Staff

The No Nonsense Brass Band thinks its new song will wow the crowd Wednesday at the third annual Rock & Jazz Fest. Continue reading

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Wellness Wednesdays

Students can sign up for sessions about reducing stress

By Justin Scherzer, Current Staff

For a short time, students can put aside the stresses of a traditional school day and prioritize their personal wellness.

Several teachers at the West Bend High Schools are leading a new Wellness Wednesday program that allows students to sign up for sessions focused on relaxation, fun and the betterment of their mental health. Through the use of the online tool FlexiSched, students can opt to participate during their normal Wednesday resource time. Over the last two months, eight courses have been offered by teachers from both East and West High. Continue reading

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The Hallway Brigade

Testing center closed to allow for more hallway supervision

By Lily Mottet and Lauren Chamberlain, Current Staff

Tiffany Gitter, a West English teacher, is optimistic about the closing of West Bend High Schools’ testing center.  

On Dec. 7, WBHS administration officially closed the testing center to all students. Instead, the teachers who monitored the center now patrol the hallways in an attempt to quell the number of students wandering the halls. Gitter, for example, used to supervise the testing center during sixth period but now spends that time in the hallways. Continue reading

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Classroom Showers

English classroom at WBHS was flooded last week

By Jessica Steger, Editor in Chief

The weather has been quite ambitious this winter, what with the cold snaps and heat flashes, not to mention the indoor rain.

West Bend West High School English teacher Tiffany Gitter encountered a surprise Jan. 22 when she walked into her classroom and found a pool of water, due to a leak in the middle of the ceiling. She experienced a similar leak during her first year of teaching, but the leak had remained dormant since 2014. Continue reading

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WBHS Will Celebrate Black History

February is Black History Month

By Kaitlyn Von Behren, Current Staff

Black History Month will be celebrated at the West Bend High Schools for the first time this year.

About 20 WBHS students will perform Feb. 8 in a Black History Month Celebration in the Silver Lining Arts Center. Continue reading

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West Bend Prepares to Host State Debaters

WBHS will host state debate tourney for fourth consecutive year

By Caitlin Marsch, Current Staff

Days before the state debate tournament, coach Doris Sexton was deliberating with custodians rather than her speakers.

Starting Saturday, the West Bend High Schools will host the Wisconsin State Debate Tournament. Around 300 high school students from all over Wisconsin will come to West Bend for two days of competition. For those who host the tournament, it’s a lot more than just a weekend competition. Much work and preparation goes into hosting this tournament, and everybody, from coaches to custodians, gets involved. Continue reading

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No Return for Exam Exemptions

By Jessica Steger, Editor in Chief

Exam exemptions will not be back this school year.

With the removal of Galileo testing, an opportunity arose to restore an old West Bend High Schools policy regarding semester exams. Continue reading

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Big Week for East vs. West Basketball

“Keep It Riehl Night” gives spectators a chance to win airfare tickets

By Auburn Larson, Current Staff

The traditional rivalry between West Bend East and West High Schools has just become more intense.

Games between East and West, which share a campus, have always meant athletes compete against their biggest rivals: Their classmates and friends. For the current basketball season, scheduling changes mean that these big games are going to happen on back-to-back nights with an exciting varsity doubleheader on Friday. Continue reading

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A Musical Mural

By Samantha Dietel, Current Staff

Two orchestra students are leaving their mark—an enormous, colorful mark. Continue reading

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