High school seniors get dose of financial reality

IMG_3766High school seniors in DeForest learned a little more about the realities of life after high school or college on Wednesday, May 18 at the school’s 10th annual “Reality Day”.  Over 70 volunteers from local businesses, the community, and school district helped students during a simulation where they manage their personal financial resources to pay for one month of life’s necessities while making choices about what additional products and services to purchase.

The event is sponsored by DeForest Area High School and the DeForest Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, and hosted by the North Star Conference Center.  Several businesses and volunteers donated raffle prizes and materials for the event.

Local businesses provided real life product and service cost information, as well as staffed “stations” (housing, groceries, checking/savings accounts, etc.) to help students learn how to survive on a given life scenario and salary.

According to Debbie Brewster, one of the coordinators of the event, “We ask every student participant to evaluate the morning’s activity, and their comments were very positive and helpful.”  According to one student, the most challenging part of the day was “not having enough money, and having debt.”  Another student felt they were challenged by “balancing out needs and wants while trying to avoid bad situations.”

One student felt the most rewarding part of the day was “seeing what life could be like in the future and being able to live off the monthly budget.”  For another, it was “getting a taste of the real world.”  Other comments included:  “I didn’t realize there were so many expenses. It was hard to find money for it all.” “I enjoyed learning how important and necessary every little thing is.”

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DAMS students learn at Arlington Research Center

Fifth grade students at DeForest Area Middle School visited the Arlington Research Center on Tuesday, May 17 to learn about forest management, outdoor safety, invasive species, plant and tree identification, fire fighting/safety, and forestry equipment. Below are highlights from their outdoor learning adventure.

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DAHS STEM project celebrated with beam signing

On Tuesday, May 17, several staff, students, project staff, and community members celebrated the DeForest Area High School’s STEM construction project by signing a gold painted steel beam that will be used in the building addition.   The beam will be available for signing from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm on Wednesday, May 18.  Stop by to leave your mark, and take a commemorative photo!

After school board Vice President Steve Tenpas and DASD Superintendent Dr. Sue Borden welcomed guests, others shared their appreciation to the community and school district for their support of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum and facility at the high school.  Speakers included Dale Evans, President of EVCO Plastics; Dan Kvalheim, Agriculture/Technology Education Teacher; high school students Kevin Hatch, Isabel Overman, and Natalie Peterson; Findorff President Mike Dillis; President of Bray Architects, Matt Wolfert; and DAHS Principal Machell Schwarz.

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Commissioned piece premiered at May 12th concert


Award winners, L-R: Rachel Williams, Quincy Jones Musicianship Award; Cameron Soat,  John Philip Sousa Band Award; Andrew Stouffer-Lerch, Semper Fidelis Award; Kyle Cass, Louis Armstrong Jazz Award; Naaman Morales, Richard Fellenz Band Award; Rosie Hess, Patrick Gilmore Band Award.

The piece “Echoes of Wind & Wilderness” was premiered on Thursday, May 12, 2016 by the DeForest Area High School Symphonic Band as part of the annual Elmer McLaughlin Commission Concert. The composer, Dr. Charles Young, was in attendance. The piece was written in memory of Daniel Haswell, graduate of DAHS in 1975. Mark Sieger, friend of David Haswell, spoke about Daniel’s accomplishments as an educator, instrument repair technician, and employee of the Monette Trumpet Company. To hear the Commission piece, go to: https://youtu.be/oyjMdfVxoX0.

The Concert Band performed Nordic Sketches, Garden of the Gods, and Guardians of the Galaxy. The Symphonic Band performed Variations on a Korean Folk Song, Concertino for Marimba and Winds, featuring soloist Cameron Soat; Echoes of Wind & Wilderness, the commission piece; and The Trombone King. The seniors performed an impromptu piece “My Heart will Go On” on recorders as a parting song.

2015-16 Instrumental Band honors were also awarded during the evening.


Summer Scholarship/Clinic Awards, L-R: Rosie Hess, Olive Foster, Cameron Soat, Erika Perkins, and Amber Taugher.

Volunteers help at Eagle Point library

On Friday, May 13, several volunteers from Door Creek Church helped out in the Eagle Point Elementary School library coding books by reading levels.   “This is a big task and we appreciate the number of volunteers to came to our school to help.  It frees up valuable time for our teachers and other staff who usually do this,” said Principal Ann Schoenberger.

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YES students learn at Big Hill Environmental Center

Scenes from Yahara Elementary School’s annual environmental science lessons at the Big Hill Environmental Learning Center.

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2016 Americanism Essay Contest Winner announced

American Legion Contest Winner

Congratulations to the 2016 Americanism Essay Contest winner, Savannah Hines.  Savannah, an 8th grade student in Julie Bernards’ Language Arts class and Jodi Toepfer’s reading class, took first place in the middle school division, writing an essay to the title of “How do we keep Lincoln’s promise to our veterans and their families?”

The American Legion Auxiliary Olson-Grinde Unit 348 sponsors the contest each year for students in grades 3-12. Local wnners receive a $15 prize.

Savannah’s essay will now be sent to the American Legion Auxiliary Department Headquarters for entry into the district competition. Winners at the district level are then submitted to the national level.  National winners will be posted at www.ALAforVeterans.org at the start of September.


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