By Dr. John Sample, MAPS Superintendent
It’s hard to believe that we are approaching the halfway point of the school year! It seems like just yesterday that we were welcoming the graduating class of 2029. While we still have so much yet to do this school year, I am impressed by the ways our students and staff rise to the challenges before them. The following students and staff are just a few of those who have been recognized this year:
•PRMS teacher Pete McConnell for his efforts this summer with the middle school technology lab update.
•Lynn Kurth, Nathan Grams and Nancy Hrebik, who shared their Science Student Learning Objective (SLO) to a staff member at CESA 8, who then shared it with DPI. DPI then decided to use their SLO on the DPI website as an example of a quality SLO.
•Dale Bergman for being selected at the 2016-2017 Rural Support Staff Person of the Year by the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance.
•Tammy Ament for using her knowledge of technology to broaden communication with families and communities through our MAPS website and Maple Grove’s Facebook page.
•Misty Vogel, parent and president of the Maple Grove Governance Board, for getting everyone the tools they need to process the new charter school application process and, for spearheading a very successful chili supper fundraiser which brought in a record number of people.
•Timothy Osborne and the partners involved in the Bluejay Build Team Project. This partnership between Merrill High School and the Merrill Area Housing Authority brings the school’s Architectural CAD and Building Construction classes together with the City of Merrill to provide meaningful, real-world learning experiences for students while providing affordable housing for the residents of Merrill.
•The Girls Volleyball Team and Coaches Kristi Krug, Deb Brunett and Janet Wardall; and, Assistant Coaches Marty Heyne, Don Pyka and Casey Steffen for making it to the State Tournament.
•Melanie Hagemeister for spending significant time and effort planning the Veteran’s Day program at Kate Goodrich; as well as, recruiting community members to be involved.
•Jon Gruetzmacher, who made First Team All-State offensive lineman in football.
•Katie Zelinski, who was selected to the WIAA State Tournament Volleyball Team and was chosen as Honorable Mention All-State in volleyball.
•Keshia Mashak for securing a $11,864.00 TEACH grant for technology integration professional development.
•Beyond Crayons Grant was awarded to multiple recipients district-wide. We thank and celebrate all of the staff that took the time to apply for this grant for the betterment of our students.
•Lynn Kurth and Prairie River Middle School, who were chosen as one of the recipients of the Innovative Educator Grant offered through Wisconsin Public Service Foundation. PRMS was selected as one of the recipients for Engineering with Remotely Operational Vehicles and received $1,000.
•Elli Wilk and the High School Band, for their excellent performance and showmanship at the 2016 Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) State Marching Band Championship in October.
•Ryan Martinovici, Carrie Pierschalla and Trina Knospe for presenting at the 2016 DPI Academic and Career Planning Leadership Conference (ACP).
•Joseph Ladewig for placing 1st in the 2016-2017 Student Art Exhibit and Awards at the State Education Convention. Others that placed in the contest were Ananda Van Wie, 3rd; and, Makyah Goetsch, 7th. The Board would also recognized their instructor, Linda DeBroux.
•Laurie Smith and her culinary art students, Laura Krause-Zastrow and Taher Food Service for bringing international culture to our high school
•Youth Optimists of the Month have thus far recognized Nathan Koch, Sarah Gessler, Faith Wheat and Trevor Stadler.
•The 2016-2017 VFW Post 1638 & Auxiliary Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competition yielded 15 students from Merrill that were advanced to the 7th District Judging, resulting in 2 District winners from MAPS! Second Place went to PRMS student, Lydia McIntyre and Third Place to PRMS student, Sawyer Schmitz.
This recognition is not possible without our community partnerships. Thank you for your continued support of our district!
In other news, here are some interesting facts regarding our very own Bridges Virtual Academy:
Bridges Virtual Academy (BVA) is in it’s 5th year as a virtual charter school serving students throughout the entire State of Wisconsin. When BVA started, there were 13 virtual charter schools. Today there are 33 virtual charter schools.
2012-13 enrollment for BVA was 499 students in Grades K4-12.
2016-17 enrollment for BVA is over 670 students in Grades K4-12.
As of 2016, there have been 57 graduates of BVA.
BVA has had a waiting list for students every year since 2012.
BVA ranked in the top four of comparable sized virtual schools in every comparison (schools with enrollment greater than 200 students) according to the 2016 School Report Card.