DeForest FFA packages 20,000 meals for local programs

FFA-meal-packaging-eventby Natalie Peterson, senior at DeForest Area High School

On Tuesday, March 21st, the DeForest FFA chapter hosted a meal packaging event with Food For Kidz to feed the food insecure both within the school and Haiti.

Upon returning to Wisconsin after a leadership conference in Washington D.C., two DeForest FFA members were excited to use their newly learned skills to make a difference in their community.  After participating in a meal packaging event at the Washington Leadership Conference (WLC), they were inspired to continue contributing to the cause with the rest of their members.

Immediately, a committee of determined students began planning and fundraising for their own spring event by hosting ice cream and rose sales within the school, and scheduling calls and meetings with over seventy local businesses and organizations.  Exceeding their initial goal of 10,000 meals, the committee was able to raise a total of $5,000 to package a whopping 20,000 meals of oatmeal. The meals will be distributed to the community’s Blessings-in-a-Backpack program, local food pantries, and Haiti.

ffaOn March 21st, over 180 volunteers from within the school and community came together to make a difference in the lives of those in need, packaging meals at DeForest Area High School from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. The chapter hopes to continue this event in the years to come, with even more successful outcomes.  Click here to see photos of the event.

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Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Scholarship

The selection committee for the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Scholarship, Fellowship, and Leadership Program has announced recipients of the 2017 Herb Kohl Foundation awards for students, teachers, and principals.

Congratulations to two teachers at DeForest Area High School who were selected as 2017 Kohl Fellows – Colleen Kollasch, History Teacher, National Honor Society Co-Advisor, Leo Club Co-Advisor, and Educator Effectiveness Mentor; and Margi Wachowiak, Librarian and Advisory Teacher.
Fellowship recipients are educators who have been chosen for their superior ability to inspire a love of learning in their students, their ability to motivate others, and their leadership and service within and outside the classroom.
The Herb Kohl Foundation awards $3,000 to 100 teachers, 16 principals, and their schools, and $5,000 scholarships are given to 207 graduating high school seniors.
Excellence Scholarship, Fellowship and Leadership Award recipients are selected by a statewide committee composed of civic leaders, representatives of education-related associations, and the program’s co-sponsors: the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools (WCRIS), regional Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESA), and the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators.

The Kohl Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program was established by Herb Kohl, philanthropist and businessman, in 1990. To date the foundation has awarded $11.5 million to Wisconsin educators, principals, students, and schools. “Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation. I am very proud of the accomplishments of these students, teachers, and principals and look forward to the great contributions they will make in the future,” Kohl said.

Colleen and Margi will be honored with other teachers, principals and students in the CESA 2 region at a recognition luncheon on Saturday, April 29 at Middleton High School. Herb Kohl will attend the luncheon and present awards to recipients.

More about the announcement.

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Three published in Yahara River Writers anthology

YRW.JPGThree DeForest Area Middle School students will be published in this year’s Dane County Yahara River Writers anthology. They are (left to right):

  • Martina Zulkoski (Ruby Team) placed in the top ten for 5th grade poetry.
  • Luna Thao (Purple Team) placed in the the top ten for 8th grade editorials.
  • Liliana Kenyon (Purple Team) placed first in 8th grade poetry.
All three students will be honored at a celebration and writing seminar in May held at UW-Madison. During this event, each student will receive a copy of the anthology and participate in a writer’s workshop in their category.
The Yahara River Writers Anthology Project is a writing and cartooning contest for students in grades 5-8, sponsored by the Greater Dane County Advanced Learners Network.  Students from several schools across Dane County submitted entries in the categories of short stories, poetry, editorials and cartooning.  Students may only enter one piece in any one of these categories. The top ten entries in each grade are published in an anthology.


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Several students move on to DECA’s International Career Development Conference


On March 6, members of DeForest DECA traveled to their annual State Career Development Conference. At this conference students competed in several business and marketing events, presented a variety of projects, and participated in educational sessions.

Many DAHS competitors performed well enough in their competitive events to qualify for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Anaheim, California this April. At ICDC students will compete and network with other business and marketing students from around the world.

International qualifiers include: Kylie Rogers, Emily Chermak, Joseph Schauf, Emily Cone, Kaylee Sadeghpour-Hess, Nate Hill, Brenna Bernards, Clayton Gotzion, Sydney Shortreed, Ben Armstrong, Abby Williams, Eric Fabian, Jordan Wilson, Rachel Anderson, Audrey Williams, and Abi Gardiner.  Other series event winners include: Jacob Chambers, Anna Langdon, Evelyn Lundy, Abigail Marks, & Alexis Staples.

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Students compete in statewide Battle of the Books

In February, several students throughout the district participated in a reading incentive program, called Battle of the Books. Teams of four students in 4th thru 12th grade read 20 books and then demonstrated their knowledge of the books they read in school and statewide competitions.

The following teams won their school competitions, which then earned them a spot in the statewide contest in their respective division.

Four high school students, Battle of the Books winners

Senior (High School) Division: Audrey Williams, Anna Pilecky, Julia Hodkiewicz, and Kylie Rogers.The team came in 8th in the state competition.  They also achieved Honors Club status for being in the top 20% and having a score of over 300.



Three middle school student division winnersMiddle School Division, grades 7 & 8
The Rising Readers team of Jenna Voegeli, Amarii Muhammad, Maria Olvera Fonseca. Voegeli and Olvera Fonseca were part of the team that was ranked second in the Elementary Division last year. Returning again as The Rising Readers, but with a new teammate this year, they didn’t make it into the top three. However, they still achieved Honors Club status by being one of only eighteen out of 142 teams to earn 300 points or more.

Four students, The Nerd HerdElementary school division, grades 5 & 6:
“The Nerd Herd,” comprised of sixth grade students Natalie Hensen, Karley King, Meta Fischer, and Grace O’Brion.  Although they didn’t place in the top three, The Nerd Herd was recognized as Honors Club members based on their score and ranking. More than two hundred teams participated statewide in the Elementary Division.


Elementary school division, K-4:

Yahara Elementary School:  The “Swag Unicorn Readers” of Anya Carrillo, Olivia Griepentrog, Daelyn Midlikowski, and Addi Ostmoe.

Four students posting

Eagle Point Elementary School:  Sixteen fourth graders from Eagle Point participated in Battle of the Books. Three of the four teams scored higher than the previous school record! Congratulations to the winning team: Kayla Camarato, Carley O’Connor, Madison Rhodes, and Alexandra Larson.


Windsor Elementary School:  

Team Norksi Readers included Miles Kuluvar, Maya Peeders, and Caleb Brandl, They were also given special recognition as part of the Honors Club for scoring  at least 300 points, and they also placed 6th out of 217 schools!


The statewide Battle of the Books program is designed to promote a love of reading among students. It encourages students to read a variety of books and remember information about the plots, characters, and settings of the books. Every question asked in a battle is answered by the title and author of the book and takes the form of: Name the book in which a horse and a boy are stranded on an island. It is a fun, academic-based competition that has been very successful in school districts throughout the state in encouraging students to read.

WEMTA sponsors three divisions. The elementary division is fourth through sixth gradeThe sixth through eighth grade division is the middle level, and a senior high division exists for grades 8 and upThe elementary division reads the nominated Golden Archer winners for the primary and intermediate levels plus a variety of other award winning titles. The middle level participants read the nominated titles for theintermediate and junior high level plus ten other titles which are determined by media specialists throughout the state. The senior division reading list aims to expose students to current award winning literature. The list incorporates awards such as: Golden Archer, Newbery, Printz, Siebert and others.

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DASD now accepting nominations for 2017 Alumni Hall of Fame

Deadline is April 17, 2017

The DeForest Area School District is soliciting nominations of distinguished graduates for consideration to the DeForest Area School District’s 2017 Alumni Hall of Fame. In its third year, this program recognizes and honors former DeForest Area School District graduates Alumni-Hall-of-Fame-displayfor achieving a significant degree of success in their pursuits of higher education and/or in their professional careers. According to Debbie Brewster, School/Community Relations Coordinator, “In the first two years, we have honored five graduates — Laura Green, Chris Dorsey, Andrea Anders, Sean Anders, and Patrick Rothfuss.  The Alumni Hall of Fame recognition provides outstanding role models for current students, and it celebrates the outstanding achievements of our graduates.”

To be considered for this honor, each individual must have a completed Application of Nomination containing the following criteria:

  • Graduate of DeForest Area High School.
  • Attended the DeForest Area Schools for more than two years.
  • Graduated from high school a minimum of 10 years before being nominated.
  • Up to three recommendation letters supporting the individual’s nomination.
  • Application signed by the person making the nomination.
  • Documentation (i.e., resume) demonstrating the work history and professional/academic successes of the nominee.

Each year the Hall of Fame committee will induct up to five members to the Hall.  Applications for this honor can be made by self-nomination.

A nomination form can be downloaded from the district’s website — > Community > Alumni Hall of Fame.  Completed nominations are due Monday, April 17, 2017.

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Local author visits Eagle Point Family Literacy Night

EPES Literacy NightOn Monday, March 6th, Eagle Point, in conjunction with the Madison Reading Project, hosted Family Literacy Night. Local author, Pat Zietlow Miller was the guest speaker. Students listened to her read her first picture book, Sophie’s Squash, and then listened to Mrs. Miller discuss all the ins and outs of being an author.


Pat Zietlow Miller discusses her first picture book and being an author“Students were surprised and excited to hear all of the connections between what she does as an author and what they do every day in writing workshop!” said Eagle Point Reading Specialist, Sharon Ganster.

According to Ganster, students also made their own bookmarks. At the end of the evening, students were able to take home books that were donated by The Madison Reading Project. Door Creek Church served as volunteers to assist students with the activities and to help with cleanup.  Ganster thanked everyone who made the night a success!

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