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?


State voucher change alarms district officials

After hand-delivering a message to local state legislators in March, Stoughton School Board vice-president Donna Tarpinian is concerned that the voices of parents, educators and administrators are being ignored in the debate over how the state funds public education. 

The school board drafted a letter outlining its concerns over funding of public schools and a number of other issues, but after the state Joint Finance Committee (JFC) unveiled its changes to Gov. Walker’s proposed biennial budget a few weeks ago, most of those went unheeded by legislators. 

Tarpinian said the recent move by the JFC to restore $150 per pupil funding to public schools that Walker had removed isn’t revealing the true picture. 


Beloved Stoughton educator to retire

Photo by Scott De Laruelle. Jerry Wendt, left, holds a snake for teacher Eric Benedict to kiss during homecoming.

After more than three decades of teaching, including 23 years in Stoughton, agriculture educator Jerry Wendt has made a difference in the lives of countless young people. Next month, he will retire from Stoughton High School, wrapping up a remarkable career that has coincided with a noted improvement in the school’s agriculture and FFA programs

Agriculture has been a part of Wendt’s life from the start. Raised on a dairy and crop farm in Waukesha, he attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls before working for the National FFA organization in Washington, D.C. He taught for nine years in Kiel, then came to Stoughton in 1992 so his family could be closer to his wife’s parents in Minnesota. It proved to be a fortuitous move for many Stoughton students. 


SHS teacher, senior win awards

Photos by Derek Spellman. SHS chemistry teacher Eric Benedict with a student.

Stoughton High School has both an educator and scholar who were among the best in Wisconsin this school year.

SHS chemistry teacher Eric Benedict and senior Jessica Wendt were among those honored when 2015 Herb Kohl Foundation awards for students and teachers were awarded last month. The foundation provided $3,000 to 101 teachers and their schools in the form of fellowships, and to 163 graduating high school students as “excellence scholarships.” Award recipients are selected by a statewide committee composed of civil leaders, representatives of education-related associations and the program’s co-sponsors.

 “Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation,” Kohl said in the news release. “I am very proud of the accomplishments of these students and teachers, and look forward to the great contributions they will make in the future.”


Board approves plan for teacher compensation

The Stoughton School Board approved an alternative compensation system for educators Monday night that will allow the district to recognize professional growth while living within its financial means. The alternative compensation system, passed by a 7-2 vote, will be implemented beginning in the 2015-16 school year and is a product of a year-and-a-half of work by a committee of educators, administrators and school board members.

When implemented, no educator will make less than they now receive through contracted pay, although their future raises will be based on district-approved professional learning that strengthens classroom instructional practices. By the 2016-17 school year, each educator will be placed in one of four levels, depending on characteristics they have already demonstrated as an educator. 


Stoughton HS performs "Digital Escape"

The Stoughton High School band brought concert-goers through a dragon-fighting experience at its 47th variety show Saturday, May 2. The "Digital Escape" show had a video-game theme, including songs and skits from video games like "Halo" and "Super Mario Brothers."

SASD doubling up on innovation grants

Innovation is a key part of education, and in the Stoughton Area School District, teachers are being rewarded for trying new ways to reach and teach students. 

A year after awarding four “innovation grants” during the inaugural year of the program, district superintendent Tim Onsager announced last week eight grants for a total of $31,700 for the 2015-16 school year to teachers representing each school in the district. He said there were “a lot of applicants” this year. 

“I told them even if what they are proposing to try doesn’t work, sometimes failing ... is a bigger learning experience as success right away,” Onsager said. “We want to encourage our staff to take risks.”


SHS band ‘digital’ variety show set for May 2

The Stoughton High School bands will present their 47th annual Band Variety Show “Digital Escape: Fighting Dragons in my Cardigan” at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 2, in the SHS Performing Arts Center.  

The show will feature music of favorite video games, as well as entertaining skits and stories.

The show follows a young boy who turns to video games to escape from daily life and finds himself pulled right into the action. With skits featuring Pokemon trainers, warriors, dragons and music from World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy and Halo, the show will cover a large spectrum of video game history, all while supplying humor and a story to follow.


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