Local history exhibits placed in school

For several years, DeForest Area Historical Society vice president Amie Mink has taken historical artifacts out to DeForest area schools to share with the children. “The students love seeing what I bring and ask for more,” says Mink.  “History is so very important that the De Forest Area Historical Society would like to offer it to the entire school and as many schools as possible.”

So Mink is now engaged in an exciting new initiative, setting up display cases to showcase artifacts in the schools. Unlike a one-time presentation, these displays will remain in place for students and others to see again and again.


Pictured (L-R): Harrison Rohde, Christopher Turba, Sophie Gryske, Max Loeck

This fall Mink has arranged for the first display cases of artifacts to be placed in the two libraries at DeForest Area Middle School.  “Every case will show a different exhibit, i.e. toys, kitchenware, football memorabilia, etc., to tell a story,” Amie says. She plans to rotate the exhibits every two months.

Currently at the middle school there is an exhibit about kitchen life for a 10 or 11 year old and another about school days.  Additional exhibit display cases will be placed at other schools in the district in the near future.

For telling the stories about the local history, Mink will be including artifacts, manuscripts, books, and photographs from the Hansen-Newell-Bennett House, Lyster House, DeForest Railroad Depot, and Archival Center at the DeForest Area Library.  The Hansen-Newell-Bennett House, located at 119 East Elm Street in DeForest, includes several permanent displays, including historical information on the early schools, churches, and businesses in the area.

According to Historical Society Archivist-Curator John Engelsby, Mink got the idea for the project at a Local History and Historic Preservation Conference she attended. A student of one of the speakers had the idea of taking history to people at the mall. She thought this could work in the schools.

Costs for the exhibits will be paid for in part from a bequest made to the historical society by long-time resident and DAHS Board Member Judy Ewald. “I think she would have appreciated this,” Mink says.

For more information about the DeForest Area Historical Society, visit their website at  www.deforesthistory.org.  The historical society hosts an open house at the Hansen-Newell-Bennett House the second Sunday of the month from June through October.

Book the DAHS A Cappella Group for your next event

Looking for musical entertainment for an upcoming event?  Consider the DAHS A Cappella Group.  The group is a 13-student advanced vocal ensemble that performs without the aid of instruments. Music is performed in a contemporary/jazz style using only their voices.

For their winter season, they prepare a variety of winter and holiday songs, ranging from traditional carols to modern hits. Their shows can be customized to any event or party, providing 30 minute, 45 minute, or hour-long performances.

The group can accommodate nearly any setting. For large areas/rooms, they have a portable sound system that can be set up. For small areas/rooms, they can go strictly vocal with no additional amplification.

For booking information, contact DAHS Vocal Music Director Maggie Condon at mcondon@deforestschools.org or 608-842-6821.

Middle school band students attend camp

Over 130 students at DeForest Area Middle School had an opportunity to learn how to play and care for new instruments at Beginning Band Camp, August 11-21.

Another 20 students in 7th and 8th grade enrolling in Jazz this fall for the first time also participated in a five-day camp to learn the basics of playing Jazz.

The camps were taught by middle school director James Skaleski and high school director Brandon Bautz.

Pictured are students playing during the beginning band and jazz concerts, held on Friday, August 22.  After the concerts, both directors took the ice bucket challenge.


camp - 1camp 6

High school invites residents to join a Community Choir

High school choral director Maggie Condon is forming a DeForest Area Community Choir.  This choir is a chance for singers from the DeForest area of all ages and backgrounds to join together with students from the DAHS Choral Department and make some truly beautiful music. This year, they will be performing Randall Thompson’s Choose Something Like a Star, from FROSTIANA: Seven Country Songs. The performance will finish out the high school’s Winter Choir Concert on Thursday, December 11th.

More information, including the rehearsal schedule and a recording of the piece, is available HERE.  Or contact DAHS Vocal Music Director Maggie Condon at mcondon@deforestschools.org or 608-842-6821.

Marching band to perform “Disney” for homecoming

Pictured:  1st row L to R: Lauren Weikert, Nick Castrogiovanni, Sidney Bergeron, Nicole Grams, Nathan Hill 2nd row L to R: Steven Weikert, Anthony Pitel, Andrew Stouffer-Lerch, Allsion Durst, Anthony Haag, Erika Perkins, Ryan Ramminger.

Pictured: 1st row L to R: Lauren Weikert, Nick Castrogiovanni, Sidney Bergeron, Nicole Grams, Nathan Hill
2nd row L to R: Steven Weikert, Anthony Pitel, Andrew Stouffer-Lerch, Allsion Durst, Anthony Haag, Erika Perkins, Ryan Ramminger.













The second annual Marching Band Camp was held on Monday, August 25 from 10 am-noon at DeForest Area High School. This was an optional camp for students, followed by a pizza party.

The purpose was to gear up and prepare for their upcoming Disney half-time show at Homecoming on Friday, October 3.  Students and staff chose Disney for the theme for the half-time show because the band will be traveling for the first time to Orlando, FL to perform at Downtown Disney!

Teachers go to camp!

Last week DeForest Area School District hosted the 2nd annual Norski Camp for staff.

NorskiCamp14 was a four-day professional learning camp held August 4-7 at the middle school for instructional and support staff.  This tech-infused camp was organized by Instructional Technology Coach Christine Rybak, Learning Information Systems Coordinator Kim Bannigan, and DASD’s Technology Integration Leadership Team.  According to Rybak, “Sessions focused on developing digital age learning experiences and assessments, modeling digital age work and learning, and engaging in professional growth.”  Over 100 staff members participated throughout the four days.

“Feedback from staff was very positive,” said Rybak.  Comments on evaluation forms included  “I have found these four days to be energizing and more helpful than I could imagine.”  “I feel empowered, encouraged, inspired, and equipped!” and “I loved it and will be taking it every year that it is offered!” #norskichat

NC14 demographic    Norski-Camp-14-2 Norski-Camp-14 Norski-Camp-14-4 Norski-Camp-14-5 Norski-Camp-14-7 Norski-Camp-14-18 Norski-Camp-14-17 Norski-Camp-14-16 Norski-Camp-14-15

Summer theatre camp closes with performances July 23 and 24

Students in the 2014 DASD Summer Theatre Camp will perform plays July 23 and 24 at 6 pm in the Performing Arts Center. Sixty-seven students in grades one through nine and 20 camp counselors were involved in the camp this summer.

According to Anna Barton, one of the high school camp counselors, the theatre camp is open to 1st through incoming 9th graders, and they met 3-4 days a week for four weeks from 9 am to 12 noon.  Students learned about lighting, makeup, building sets, and acting.   They also worked on performances that they will showcase at the end of the camp to their family and friends.  The performances, which are open to the public, will be held on July 23rd and 24th at 6:00 pm.

The 1st through 5th graders will be performing Stories Under the Big Top on the 23rd, along with the 6th and 7th grades performance of Shakespeare’s Inferno. On the 24th, 8th graders will show off their dancing skills in Drama Geeks VS Zombie Cheerleaders; while the 9th graders will perform Highschooler’s Guide to the Galaxy


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