New faces in prominent places in SASD

Photo by Derek Spellman. Julia Olson, Stoughton High School senior and Link Crew leader, calls incoming freshmen Aug. 25 to introduce herself and remind them about freshmen orientation on Friday. Link Crew leaders like Olson help students transition from middle school to their first year of high school.

Well, that went by quickly. 

The calendar says there’s still nearly a month left of summer, but for children all around the Stoughton area, it’s time to get back to school. 

And this year, there will be a few changes around the district, including new leaders at Stoughton High School’s renowned ag department and award-winning Norse Star newspaper, new boys’ football and basketball coaches, more opportunities at the “Fab Lab” and some traffic patterns changes around River Bluff Middle School. 

New advisers

Two venerated programs will be under new leadership at Stoughton High School next year, the Future Farmers of America and the Norse Star newspaper.


Teachers, parents agitated over SASB compensation plan, resignations

There wasn’t much on the Stoughton Area School District Board of Education agenda Monday night, and for some teachers, parents and even school board members, that was the problem. 

Several dozen educators were on hand to listen and lend support as teachers and parents and even a board member spoke up during the public comment section of the meeting. 

Those who spoke expressed concerns about the district’s rating system for teachers in its new compensation plan, about how many teachers have recently resigned and that none of this was put on Monday night’s meeting agenda, despite requests by two board members. One of those two, Wanda Grasse was given a standing ovation after she snubbed board protocol to address the issue herself during the public comment period.


School’s in for summer: EXCEL session had 21 new courses

Photos by Derek Spellman. A.J. Knickmeier and Colton Toso browse through some books during the last week of the Stoughton Area School District’s EXCEL summer school classes. Students who signed up for summer reading classes got to take home a free book.

Legos, biking, Minecraft and football. 

Clearly, this is not your mother and father’s summer school.

The Stoughton Area School District’s summer “EXCEL” program wrapped up last week, and although there were plenty of fun courses for the 821 students and 49 teachers who participated, the extra class time can prove to be very beneficial when the new school year begins in September. 


‘Gifted’ program reaches many students

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction mandates that public schools districts identify the exceptional needs of advanced learners with a formal K-12 process. At the Stoughton Area School District, however, the idea is to try to include as many students in that process as possible.

“A well-grounded TAG (Talented and Gifted) program supports many types of learners,” said SASD director of curriculum and TAG program coordinator Judy Singletary. “The key is knowing that ‘one size does not fit all.’”

Singletary said while labels such as “gifted” or “talented” can evoke a feeling of “exclusiveness or elitism,” the district’s TAG program is about meeting a wide range of academic and social-emotional needs for a wide variety of learners.


Stoughton students earn UW-Extension scholarships

Ben Veum and Jessica Wendt of Stoughton were two of several students selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the John T. Lyle Memorial Trust Fund for the 2015-2016 school year. The scholarships are awarded annually to Dane County students who have a career goal in agriculture or a related field, exhibit a strong sense of community volunteerism and service, maintain high grades, and participate in 4-H or FFA.

 Veum will continue his studies at Iowa State University for a degree in animal science. Wendt is attending the College of Agriculture at UW-Madison, in preparation for a career in improving efficiencies in food production and distribution.


State aid to district drops

The news that the Stoughton Stoughton Area School District was among the majority of public school districts in the state with funding decreases for the next year wasn’t surprising. 

But it didn’t make the reality any more pleasant. 

According to a news release last week by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, SASD will get $310,083 less for the 2015-16 school year that it did this past year. District director of business services Erica Pickett said decreasing state aid is an “ongoing trend” for the district that school officials have to deal with.

“Given our declining enrollment and the fact that the estimate is using the ‘14-15 aid allocation for the state (no increase), the decrease for SASD doesn't surprise us,” she wrote in an email to the Courier Hub on Monday. 


SASD grants got kids moving, learning this year

Photos by Derek Spellman. Hannah Thompson and Payton Schellin use fidgets while completing their homework.

Innovation is important in the Stoughton Area School District, and after the success of four “Innovation Grants” awarded last year, that program is likely to continue. 

Last year, the district announced funding for pilot programs to be developed this school year by teachers looking for better ways to reach students – from new technology to using movement in classrooms. Looking back, both teachers and administrators are happy with the first-year results.


SHS student to attend state ‘Business World’

Mary Manci of Stoughton High School is one of more than 250 Wisconsin students who will participate in this year's Business World program at Edgewood College in Madison from June 28 through July 1. 

According to a press release from Wisconsin Business World, the sessions provide hands-on business experience for students and teach them about the challenges facing business. The program has educated nearly 14,000 high school students from across the state.


SHS Graduation 2015

Sunday’s graduation ceremonies were held at Stoughton High School Collins Field.  


Stoughton High School seniors ready to graduate

On Sunday afternoon, 265 students will graduate from Stoughton Area High School, closing one exciting chapter of their lives and beginning another, including a possible comic book artist, pediatric nurse and journalist. 

Here are profiles of three of those graduates, selected by SHS guidance counselors.

Alexus Crockett is an aspiring comic book artist who might consider becoming an entertainment lawyer. Reghan Anderson is a certified nursing assistant who wants to become a pediatric oncologist. And Nick McGlynn plans to major in journalism and figure out what he wants to do along the way.

Here are the questions we asked of each of them:


What are some of the activities and groups you’ve been involved in?


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