Information for the New Berlin community on school district news, events, and celebrations of success.
Congratulations to these recent awards and honors to School District of New Berlin students and staff! They were recognized at the March 25 and April 8 Board of Education meetings. Click the links below to jump to each honor:
- WIAA Division 2 State Girls Basketball Championship
- DECA State Competition
- Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Championships
- President's Volunteer Service Award
- Boys Swim & Dive Championships
- Tournament of Roses Parade / Honor Band
- Herb Kohl Scholars (students)
- Herb Kohl Fellows (teachers)
- Bandworld Legion of Honor Laureate
- New Berlin Civic Person of the Year
The Eisenhower Girls Basketball team won the silver trophy, finishing second in the state's Division 2 after making it to the finals for the second consecutive year.
But at the Board of Education meeting, it was the girls' character that took center stage, not their athletic ability. IKE Athletics and Activities Director Courtney Frey said she had received numerous emails and phone calls from people praising the student athletes behavior on - and off the court - during the tournament in Green Bay.
"We couldn’t be more proud of these individuals and how well they represented New Berlin Eisenhower," Frey said.
Coach Gary Schmidt explained how the girls performed acts of charity in Green Bay, deciding to donate $150 within two hours to those who needed help. Divided in three vans, they directed each van driver where they wanted to go, including an animal shelter and Target to buy blankets to donate to Children's Hospital. They asked a woman they saw outside Target if they could buy her a cup of coffee and had to persuade her there was no catch and she could trust them. "We just want to make your day a little better," Schmidt said they told her. She finally accepted their $5.
"I couldn’t ask for more from a quality group of kids," said Schmidt, who also praised his fellow coaches for the successful season.
The team members are Chelsea Brackmann, Erin Ganzke, Karlee Gates, Elani Geinopolos, Emalie Hahn, Jessa Hahn, Kristin Hesselbach, Anthie Katris, Sammy Kozlowski, Katie Lang, Rachel Rush, Katie Schlegel and Jenny Weiland.
New Berlin Eisenhower's DECA team had 10 students qualify for the state competition and five students won medals at state: Abby Kesler, Jenna York, Nitish Katta, Eric Deutsch and Matt Kizaric.
Two seniors qualified for the international competition to be held April 24-27 in Anaheim, CA. The team is advised by Matt Kern,an Eisenhower alumnus in his first year teaching and advising.
The team members are Lauren Davis, Eric Deutsch, Mia Jennaro, Nitish Katta, Abby Kesler, Matt Kizaric, Alex Lunde, Alec Stuckart, Mike Tkachuk and Jenna York.
The New Berlin chess team competed in the "SuperNationals" competition April 5-7 in Nashville, TN, and performed well. The event occurs just once every four years and New Berlin was one of just 20 teams from Wisconsin to compete.
The team members are Pranav Adavi, Justin Choy, Vilas Gaddameedi, Pranav Kalicheti, Sarfaraz Mohammed, Robert Snyder, Pranay Vadapally, Manisha Vootkur, Srikar Vootkur and Saketh Yarigadda.
This national award, which includes a letter from the President, was presented to two New Berlin West students – junior Jenna Hensel and eighth grader Zach Harmon.
Jenna leads activities at the Special Needs Accessible Playground, a camp for children with special needs; tutors a young woman with Down Syndrome at the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin; and provides one-on-one companionship to seniors at the New Berlin Senior Center. She also is active with the New Berlin Youth Advisory Board.
“Volunteering has always been really important to me,” Hensel told the School Board Monday night, adding her focus has been on helping those with disabilities. “I guess I just do this because I feel good doing it and it makes me feel good knowing that I’m helping others and giving them support,” she said.
Zach said he was inspired to start volunteering in 2007 after watching “Idol Gives Back,” a charitable campaign by talent show American Idol. Harmon saw a newspaper ad saying the New Berlin Food Pantry needed donations and “Z Drive” was born.
Z Drive is a food collection effort now in its 7th year now. The first year Harmon helped collect about 200 items. This year, he said, “we’re hoping to collect 14,000 items. It just keeps growing.”
Sodexo Corp. awarded Harmon a $5,000 scholarship for his efforts, plus a matching $5,000 donation to the New Berlin Food Pantry.
New Berlin West Athletic Director Julie Kader recognized Interim Boys Swim Coach Jeremy Walden and five swimmers who competed at state. The team is a co-op one, comprised of swimmers from both West and Eisenhower.
The five students, their state qualifying races and other honors are:
- Matthew Olenchek (West senior) - 200 Medley Relay, 400 Free Relay, 200 Freestyle, 100 Backstroke. Named Woodland Conference swimmer of the year. Swam every race except the 50 freestyle and won all of them throughout the regular season. 2nd team All-Conference, four-year letterman, team captain and team MVP
- Zachary Solie (West junior) - 200 Medley Relay, 400 Free Relay, 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle. Only member named to All-State Boys Swim (Honorable Mention for 50- and 100-freestyle). 1st and 2nd Team All-Conferences. Scored team’s highest point totals. Team award: “King of the Pool”
- Samuel Nigbur (West junior) - 200 Medley Relay. 2nd Team All-Conference, voted one of the team’s hardest workers
- Taylor Petrauski (Eisenhower junior) - 200 Medley Relay, 400 Free Relay. 2nd Team All-Conference, Academic All-Conference, team’s hardest worker. Broke a 17-yearold Ike school record with time of 54.81 seconds in the 100 backstroke at State.
- Jackson Wannamaker (West junior) - 400 Free Relay. 2nd Team All-Conference and Academic All-Conference, team leadership award.
Elena Hausmann, a freshman at New Berlin West, was the only Wisconsin student to be selected to perform in the Bands of America National Honor Band in the Pasadena Rose Parade on Jan. 1. Elena was a dancer in the parade (see video here) but she also plays trumpet.
The Honors Band performs in the Rose Bowl parade only once every four years, and in 2009 Elena’s older sister Katie Hausmann was in the band.
“We’re very, very proud of her,” Band Director Grauer said of Elena.
Two SDNB students also were chosen for honors as 2013 Kohl Foundation Excellence Scholars: Stephanie Seymour and Jacob Zimmerman, both seniors at Eisenhower.
Excellence Scholarship recipients have demonstrated excellence in the academic arena and high motivation to achieve; have displayed a broad range of activity and leadership outside the academic setting; and have shown strong promise for succeeding in college and beyond.
Eisenhower Principal Michael Fesenmaier said Seymour has been an outstanding leader in academics, athletics, activities, arts and service. He also praised Zimmerman, who was unable to attend the Board of Education recognition.
New Berlin Eisenhower math teacher Kasi Stiedaman and New Berlin West English teacher Erin Schwane were among about 100 teachers across Wisconsin chosen as 2013 Kohl Fellows. The Herb Kohl Foundation awards $1,000 to each teacher and a matching $1,000 to the teacher’s school.
Nominators said Stiedaman consistently goes above and beyond to ensure all of her students – those struggling and those academically gifted – learn and succeed.
“She’s somebody who I would want to teach my children,” Eisenhower Principal Michael Fesenmaier said. “She’s also a strong contributor to the math department and professional learning and just a true value to our staff.”
New Berlin West Principal John Budish said Schwane stands out for her “exceptional educational practices and a really strong commitment to the success of her students.”
Nominators said Schwane, who has held key positions on major statewide English language arts initiatives, is skilled at using educational technology and passing on her knowledge to students and fellow teachers.
New Berlin West Band Director Mark Grauer was one of just eight band directors nationwide selected for this Bandworld honor.
The award recognizes band directors who have “maintained school concert band programs of excellent musical quality” for at least 20 years and have held leadership positions in band, according to the foundation website.
West Principal John Budish praised Grauer, whose has written original published music, for the award and for helping legions of student musicians over his career.
Eisenhower guidance counselor Mary Jane Whitty was honored by the New Berlin Chamber of Commerce as its Civic Person of the Year for her 42 years of service to youth and service to the school district and greater community.
In addition to her success helping students, Whitty was instrumental in a veterans group that has raised more than $15,000 toward a New Berlin veterans memorial, said Eisenshower Principal Michael Fesenmaier.
“Congratulations and thank you for all that you have done,” Fesenmaier said.