Three seniors reflect on their time writing for the West Bend Current
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 →
On Thursdays in the hidden J hallway, there is a group that makes catapults to shoot cotton balls!
This year, an organization called Citizen Advocates has come to the West Bend High Schools. Citizen Advocates is a non-profit organization that supports students with disabilities by doing activities and forming friendships with other students in the building. Continue reading →
The 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 →
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 →
What are the unique goals you would seek to achieve while on the school board?
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 →
Why is education important to you and what is your current experience with education?
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 →
The face of visiting orchestra director Walter Muelling can be found in a beloved WBHS mural
By Lily Mottet, Current Staff
West Bend High Schools orchestra students never imagined the man painted in their classroom was based on a previous student. Or that the student would return to West Bend 13 years later.Continue reading →
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.
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 →
The crew builds the set for “House of the Seven Gables.” The set was designed to give audiences a unique experience close to the action. Photo by Justin Scherzer, Current Staff.
By Justin Scherzer, Current Staff
The West Bend High Schools’ fall theatrical production will be a significant deviation from their usual shows as the audience will be seated directly on stage for a tale of greed, love and murder.
Director Tonya Fordham and her theatrical cast and crew will put on Vin Morreale Jr.’s play “House of the Seven Gables” Nov. 16-18 at the Silver Lining Arts Center. However, contrary to the majority of productions they put on, this play will be in black box style, meaning the audience will be seated on stage with the performers. Continue reading →
The West Bend Public Schools Foundation Gala and Auction will feature a painting by Haley Ehn
By Lily Mottet, Current Staff
It was a shock for West Bend West senior Haley Ehn to learn she was selected as a featured artist for an art gala.
The West Bend Public Schools Foundation Gala and Auction will be held at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 4 at the West Bend Mutual Prairie Center. Ehn is the second WBHS student to be chosen as the featured artist since WBPSF instituted the Imagine Student Artwork Series last year. Ehn’s artwork is showcased on the WBPSF Gala and Auction invitation and will be auctioned off during the event. Continue reading →
Two cakes were made for this year’s Rolfs award ceremony at the West Bend High Schools.
Staff members Mark Drake and Donna Goetz were each honored by the Rolfs Educational Foundation in a surprise event after school May 1 in the West High media center. Drake, who won Teacher of the Year, teaches US Government and Politics and World Affairs. Goetz, who won Support Staff of the Year, is the fulltime school psychologist at the high school. Continue reading →
The West Bend School Board will have a new look after the election on April 4.
Three seats are on the ballot and only one incumbent, Ryan Gieryn, is running for re-election, which means the board will have at least two new faces. Leaving the board are president Rick Parks and vice-president Bart Williams.
Gieryn will be joined by Richard Cammack, Nancy Justman, Bob Miller, Joel Ongert, and Tonnie Schmidt on the ballot. The West Bend Current asked each candidate about their background. That interview material is presented below in the order that the candidates will appear on the ballot. Continue reading →
What is your motivation for running for school board and what are your intentions if elected to the board?
The West Bend School District was once among the best in Southeast Wisconsin. “Excellence for All” was something the entire community, parents, students, teachers, alumni and business owners believed in. West Bend was the district where every parent wanted to send their child… A Destination! What happened? Unfortunately, the standard of excellence has changed over the years. This is why I am running for school board, and where my campaign slogan was born. “Restoring Excellence!” We CAN get back to “Excellence for All.” We know what it looks like and our district can achieve that again. Continue reading →
How do you think Galileo testing should be used in the West Bend School District?
Galileo testing should be eliminated immediately! Our students are being tested too much and this expensive platform provides no value for students, teachers or parents. Teachers should not be held accountable to tests that do not align with what is being taught in the curriculum, and neither should our students. These tests do not help the teachers individualize learning plans or improve outcomes. The time used for testing would be much better spent on teaching. The money saved by not having to pay for these tests could be allocated to positions where a need has clearly been demonstrated, such as social workers, librarians and classroom aides. Continue reading →
How do you think Common Core should be used in the West Bend School District?
That is a complicated question because the Common Core discussion has been so politicized. I believe in high standards and Common Core is a set of standards. The confusion starts when people misunderstand standards for curriculum. Common Core is not curriculum. I believe that teachers are subject matter experts and should create curriculums. Administrators, the federal government, the school board do not have the knowledge base to build or approve curriculums. We should trust that we hire the best instructors and get out of their way to let them do their jobs! Ultimately, the race to meet Common Core has resulted in more testing and teaching to the test as well as haphazard curriculum changes here in West Bend. As a school board member, I will work diligently to stop that cycle. That doesn’t mean we lower standards, it means that we focus on putting authentic learning first again. Continue reading →
West ninth grader ranks among the state’s leading rebounders
By Lily Mottet, Current Staff
Maddison Baker never considered that before her first season of high school basketball had finished, she would be ranked as one of the best players in the state.
Baker is a West Bend West High School ninth grader who has become a valuable center for the girls varsity basketball team. Wisconsin Sports Network reports that Baker is the third best rebounder in the state. Continue reading →
Math courses are trying a new student-led curriculum
By Abby Gawrych and Lily Mottet, Current Staff
East ninth grader Jordan Jentsch never expected to act as the teacher in her math class.
The WBHS curriculum for algebra and geometry was altered this year, moving to a group-based learning style. Some of the high school teachers believed that a group approach would be beneficial to the students. They started their research a year ago but the plan was first implemented after observing the teaching style in person at a high school in Oshkosh. Continue reading →