Turtle Creek first graders taught about healthy teeth

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From Turtle Creek Elementary School First Grade Teacher Madie Jacobson: 

February was National Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month.

The children and I did a week-long study on our teeth and how important it is to keep them healthy as we grow up. We talked about how many times a day we should brush, what foods are good for our teeth or harmful to our teeth, and how it is important to visit the dentist two times a year.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research states that: “despite the fact that it’s almost entirely preventable, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children. More than 40 percent of children ages 2 to 11 have had a cavity in their primary (baby) teeth, and more than two-thirds of 16- to 19-year-olds have had a cavity in their permanent teeth.”

My students were given a home log to record that they brushed their teeth for the entire month of March, two times a day. After my students returned from spring break, two special guests from Whitewater Family Dentistry, Dr. Casey Sidders and Ms. Sam Lewin, offered their time to come talk to our class about our teeth.

They did some fabulous activities with my students. It was an opportunity for my students to learn some new things and gave them the chance to tell Dr. Sidders and Ms. Lewin everything they had learned.

They also received a wonderful gift, a “tooth care” bag, courtesy of Dr. Casey Sidders, Dr. Bart Kraus, and Dr. Robert Dillman of Whitewater Family Dentistry.

Also, congratulations Ms. Lewin on being accepted to Marquette Dental School! Our class is very excited for you.

-Miss. Jacobson and her First Grade Class

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Scot Forge staff speak with DDHS Students

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Just as Delavan-Darien High School is looking to renew its Youth Apprenticeship Program, two staffers from Scot Forge came to speak with engineering and technical education students.


Forge supervisor Brian Conley and Apprentice and Intern Coordinator Zachary Ford spoke to several dozen students about the career opportunities at the metal forming and forging business.

Scot Forge has a plant in Clinton, Wisconsin, and an apprenticeship partnership with Clinton High School.

Students were able to ask questions about the company, what they do there, and see a video showing some of the many industrial metal products made by the company for a variety of clients from throughout the world.


Through the Youth Apprenticeship Program and developing community partnerships, the district is working to provide students with more hands-on and real-life experiences with local businesses and employers. Students also been able to visit and tour several area manufacturers earlier this school year.

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Delavan-Darien Schools offering free parenting workshop on child behavior


DELAVAN — In an effort to improve the school-to-home relationship that exists between students, educators and parents, the Delavan-Darien School District and CESA 2 are offering a free “Understanding Child and Adolescent Behavior” parenting session on Thursday, May 1, at Phoenix Middle School, 414 Beloit St., Delavan.

The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and includes a keynote speaker, three breakout sessions, a pizza and salad dinner and free childcare. The event is open to any parent wanting to learn more about improving their relationship with their child or children.


To start the event, Licensed Behavior Analyst Mahin Para-Cremer (M.E.D., LBA, BCBA) will present a keynote address on the “Power of Attention.”

Visitors can also choose to attend one of three breakout sessions:

  • Parenting the Elementary Child, with Delavan-Darien elementary school psychologist Kori Pehkonen;
  • Parenting the Child with Challenging Behaviors, with Vikee Loudon, PhD., retired Delavan-Darien school psychologist;
  • The Power of Attention – Part 2, with Mahin Para-Cremer, Behavior Analyst, M.E.D., LBA, BCBA.

“This event will be useful to any parent who wants more ideas on how to work with their child or children,” said Delavan-Darien Pupil Services Director Sara Halberg, Ed.D. “Parents will be offered tips and strategies for helping them with behavior for children, from toddlers through adolescents.”

Free childcare will be provided during the event so children are welcome to come, too. Spanish interpreters will also be available.

Registration is not required, but is preferred. Forms are available at: www.ddschools.org/childbehaviorworkshop.

To register or ask further questions, please contact Latrice Harris at 262-728-2642 ext. 4347 or Kori Pehkonen at 262-728-2642 ext. 4127. 

Posted in Darien Elementary School, Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Wileman Elementary School | Leave a comment

2013-14 Academic Top 10 Seniors Announced

The Academic Top 10 Seniors from DDHS included, front row from left: Alexandra Lewis, Brody Brown, Scott Ekman, John Damrow, Mikayla Severson, Victoria Huebner; back row: Superintendent Robert Crist, Rose Wang, Graciela Jaramillo, Kylee Lubis, Principal Mark Schmitt; not pictured: Kelly Miller.

Kelly Miller

Kelly Miller

The 25th Annual Southern Lakes Conference Academic Top 10 Banquet was held on April 13, in Waterford at the Cotton Exchange II.

Honored there were the top 10 academically-ranked seniors from each of the eight member schools of the Southern Lakes Conference (Delavan-Darien, Badger, Burlington, Waterford, Elkhorn, Westosha Central, Union Grove and Wilmot Union).

The top 10 seniors from Delavan-Darien High School included, in alphabetical order:

  • Brody Brown
  • John Damrow
  • Scott Ekman
  • Victoria Huebner
  • Graciela Jaramillo
  • Alexandra Lewis
  • Kylee Lubis
  • Kelly Miller
  • Mikayla Severson
  • Rose Wang

Each of the seniors received a commemorative plaque for their achievements. Delavan-Darien School District Superintendent Robert Crist, Ed.D., and DDHS Principal Mark Schmitt, Ed.D., accompanied the seniors at the banquet.

Congratulations on all of your academic success, seniors, and good luck with all of your future endeavors, wherever they may take you.

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DDHS Orchestra takes in NOLA music scene

The DDHS Orchestra plays a concert on the riverside docks near the New Orleans French Quarter. Click pic for many more images in our gallery.

Thirty-six members of the Delavan-Darien High School Orchestra participated in a performance, culture and history tour of New Orleans, Louisiana.

The April 9-13 trip to one of America’s most musical cities was packed chock full of activities.

After their arrival, the students cruised the Mississippi River on a steam-powered paddlewheel boat while listening to the “Dukes of Dixieland.

On April 10, students participated in a music workshop at Loyola University with noted conductor and educator Jean Montès, Ph.D. Montes is the director of orchestral studies and coordinator of strings at Loyola University – New Orleans. There, he conducts orchestral ensembles and teaches conducting and string pedagogy courses for music education majors.

An accomplished conductor, educator, clinician, lecturer, and performer, he is passionate about challenging and stimulating audiences and musicians alike. In addition to his responsibilities at Loyola University, Montès is the Artistic Director of The Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras (GNOYO) where he conducts the Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Montès is very connected to his place of birth, Haiti, but was also thrilled to work with students from Wisconsin. He lived and taught in the Appleton area for a number of years. That is also where he met his wife.

After the workshop, the students ate lunch a local favorite seafood restaurant for catfish, jambalaya and bread pudding. They then toured the beautiful Oak Alley Plantation and performed concert there for the many visitors and tourists.

“It was exciting to perform “Ashokan Farewell”, a piece written for a miniseries about the Civil War set at a Southern Plantation,” said DDHS Orchestra Director Jennifer Bayerl.

DDHS violin player Aaron Wojciechowski performed a solo with the orchestra during that work.

Following the concert and a swamp tour, where students got to hold a baby alligator, the day ended with a big dinner of more Southern favorites at Mulate’s Live Cajun Music Restaurant.

On Friday, the DDHS Orchestra put on a jazz concert at the Natchez Dock on the Mississippi River in the French Quarter as a festival was about to begin.

The students then toured the French Quarter of New Orleans, a city known as the birthplace of jazz, and watched and listened to many of the street music performers.

The tour was during the midst of the French Quarter Festival, which is truly a celebration of New Orleans music.

After dinner the orchestra headed out to attend a concert of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, which played a variety of works, from a piece composed by one of the orchestra’s members, to a movement from Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” to a Mexican “Mambo” composed by Carlos Miguel Prieto, the conductor of the Mexican National Symphony.

On the last full day of the trip, students visited the World War II Museum and watched the 4D film by Tom Hanks “Beyond All Boundaries.” They also toured the Audubon Aquarium and returned for the French Quarter Festival for more music, shopping and dining.

About the trips: Each year, students involved in music at DDHS take trips to national music scenes to study the craft of making music. Trips rotate each year between the DDHS Orchestra, DDHS Band and DDHS Choirs. Students and families do fundraising for the trips, which have taken them across the country, from the jazz scenes of New Orleans to the world-renowned classical music venue Carnegie Hall in the heart of New York City.

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Phoenix Celebrates Students of the Month

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In an effort to bring more positive energy and a splash of color to Phoenix Middle School, teachers and administrators decided to bring back Students of the Month awards.

Except this year, the prize comes with a pretty solid catch. Student winners will have their hand prints become a part of school history.

Phoenix Art Teacher Hugh Petersen suggested painting drop-ceiling tiles and having students add their own paint hand print to them with a signature. The tiles will be put up in the school to recognize and honor those students who have demonstrated living by The Comet Code — by being safe, responsible, respectful and by being a learner.

Students are nominated for the awards by their teachers. There are winners for each grade level and two winners from the allied arts team of teachers. Those students can be from any grade.

The unveiling of the first painted tiles was done at a special celebration Wednesday, April 16, in the school auditorium.

Principal Mark Weerts told the crowd, which consisted of staff, students and students’ family and friends, about the honor it is to have students recognized for the award.

Winning Student of the Month thus far through the 2013-14 school year are:

October: sixth grade: Carlos Bernal and Heather Ream; seventh grade: Lindsey VanDeBogert and Rigoberto Nova;  eighth grade: Claudia Zuniga and Drinton Ademi; allied arts: Astrid Perez, Daisy Echeverria.

November: sixth grade: Ian Karcher and Gaby Montelongo; seventh grade: Arianna Mendolia and Sean Seitz; eighth grade: Suleimy Perez and Hugo Valadez; allied arts: Maria Perez and Oliver Hetzel.

December: sixth grade: Freddy Karblean and Katilin Kraayeveld; seventh grade: sydney Anderson and Knick Ostrander; eighth grade: Erin Sorg and Guillermo DeLaCruz; allied arts: Taylor Ritchey and Xander Rosencranz.

January: sixth grade: Haley Fuss-Mueller and Ben Butke; seventh grade: Maddie Andreoni and Ben Acheson; eighth grade: Racheal Bradley and Drinton Ademi; allied arts: Caleb Reshkus and Alisandr Sanchez.

February: sixth grade: Jordane Torres-Raby and Yadira Rizo; seventh grade: Elizabeth Sirkman and Leroy Gloria; eighth grade: Israel Jaimes and Erika Colorado; allied arts: Frederick Krablean and Isaac Castillo Cano.

March: sixth grade: Wayne Minkler and Karina Torres; seventh grade: Jorja Moore and Will Holmes; eighth grade: Lizbeth Huerta and Hector Padilla; allied arts: Alexa Plomares and Kevin Aguilar.

April (to date): sixth grade: Ivan Aranda and Michelle Huerta; eighth grade: Abi Perez; allied arts: Katlynn Anditon.

Congratulations to the Phoenix Middle School Students of the Month Winners!

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Youth Apprenticeship Program coming back to DDHS

YALogoDELAVAN — The Delavan-Darien School District is working to revive a challenging and rewarding learning option for its high school students looking to explore career interests or get a jump on entering the workforce — the Youth Apprenticeship Program.

The high school will be working with area technical colleges and businesses this coming school year to give junior and senior students options to receive school credit for paid on-the-job work experience.

“We’re tremendously excited to bring this program back to DDHS,” said Cindy Yager, coordinator of careers and occupations for the district. “This program fits perfectly within our district’s strategic plan, which focuses greatly on student transitions to college and careers. It will also help our schools build and strengthen partnerships with area employers and post-secondary institutions, which will result in further benefits for our students and community.”

Students in the Youth Apprenticeship program will have to take courses related to the work they’re doing, and meet minimum hourly on-the-job requirements to receive credit. They can have these at-work, hands-on-learning opportunities during approved portions of school days (including before, during and after school), on weekends and over summer.

Students can take classes at DDHS or, in some cases, through technical colleges, where college credit can often be earned before high school graduation.

The youth apprenticeship positions are also paid and students can use the experience to receive certifications in some of the career pathways, such as in automotive, welding, food service and other industries.

Students can participate in Youth Apprenticeship in the following career pathways: agricultural science, food science, natural resources, architecture and construction, arts, audio/video technology, communications, finance, health science, hospitality/tourism, information technology, manufacturing, engineering, transportation and logistics.

The program is expected to start this fall. There will be two levels of the program. The one-year program requires a minimum 450 hours of work-based learning and two semesters of related classroom instruction. A two-year program requires four semesters of related classroom instruction and a minimum 900 hours of work-based learning.

Students can start the program in June following their sophomore or junior year.


Business Partners Sought

To make the Youth Apprenticeship program even more viable for DDHS students by offering more career options, Walworth County and Rock County business and corporate partners are currently being sought to partner with the school. Business partners can “grow their own” employees and create their own sustainable pipeline of skilled and trained employees. This can be an excellent opportunity and partnership for businesses, the community and Delavan-Darien Schools.

For further information about the program and becoming a Youth Apprenticeship partner with the Delavan-Darien School District, contact Cindy Yager at (262) 728-2642 ext. 4420, or via email at cyager@ddschools.org.


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Congressman Paul Ryan visits DDHS

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From P90X workouts to federal deficits, Delavan-Darien High School students had a range of questions for their First District Congressman Paul Ryan, a former vice presidential candidate.

Ryan was invited to visit the school earlier this year when students in the Advanced Placement Government and Politics class was discussing the federal deficit. Ryan’s schedule allowed for a visit this Monday, April 14.

About 100 students from various social studies classes at DDHS stopped into the auditorium to ask questions and hear answers in a town hall-style meeting.

Ryan spoke about the country’s federal deficit, a bipartisan budget bill he helped author, his run for the VP seat in 2012, how he became a congressman and more, including his love for the P90X workout series (chest and back is his favorite workout).

The Janesville Gazette has a recap here (subscription required). 

Ryan did say he’s still up in the air on a question a lot of U.S. residents are wondering — is he considering a run at the presidency in 2016? 

“I don’t know. I’ve still got time to figure it out,” he said, noting that his family will play a huge role in his decision.

Ryan, who was visiting DDHS for the first time since 2006, also said the most gratifying part of the job is when he gets to help people. He spoke of an example where is office helped a resident cut through bureaucratic “red tape” to get a life-saving pacemaker that wasn’t yet approved for use in the United States.

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REMINDER: 4K, Kindergarten Registration Day is Wednesday


DELAVAN — Parents and young students wishing to be a part of something amazing should keep their calendars open on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

That’s when the Delavan-Darien School District is holding is preschool and kindergarten registration. Child Development Day is also occurring April 16 (see details below).

Parents in the district can register their children — who are not already Delavan-Darien students — between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., or between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at Phoenix Middle School (414 Beloit St., Delavan). During this time, parents will complete paperwork and children present will participate in a kindergarten readiness screening.

“A new school year brings the excitement of learning, growth and change to children, and adults alike,” said Pupil Services Director Sara Halberg. “Teachers, principals and all of us who support learning are committed to do all that we can to make the upcoming school year a successful one for your child.”

Delavan-Darien schools have been experiencing much change and success over the last several years. The district now has new reading and math curricula for all three elementary schools and Phoenix Middle School, a one-to-one technology program for all students (the only such district-wide program in the county) and a new dual-language immersion program starting in the 2014-15 school year (also the only school district in the county with such a program). The district was also just recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants as one of the best in the country for music education.

All parents with children who will be age 4 or 5 by Sept. 1, 2014, and who are not currently enrolled in Delavan-Darien schools, should plan to attend the enrollment day event if possible.

Parents and guardians should bring:

  •       Students’ Birth Certificate or Passport
  •       Proof of Residency (i.e. utility or cable bill, lease agreement, mortgage payment)
  •       Parent/Guardian Photo Identification
  •       Child’s Immunization Record (if available)
  •       Completed Enrollment Form (available at: www.ddschools.org/programs/kindergarten_enrollment)

The district’s kindergarten program meets full school days, Monday through Friday. The new English/Spanish dual-language immersion program option will also available for kindergarteners (space permitting).

Preschool students have several options, including:

  •       A morning, 5-day Dual-Language Immersion program at Turtle Creek (space permitting);
  •       An afternoon 5-day program at Turtle Creek;
  •       Two full days a week (Mondays and Thursdays or Tuesdays and Fridays) and one Wednesday per month at the child’s neighborhood school.

Enrollment appointments are preferred, but not required. To schedule an appointment call:

  •       262-728-2642 extension 4805 for English
  •       262-728-2642 extension 4592 for Spanish


Child Development Day

Delavan-Darien area parents of young children, age birth to 4, will have an opportunity to learn more about child development – what’s typical and what’s not – during Delavan Community’s Child Development Day.

The event will run concurrently with preschool and kindergarten registration: between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, at Phoenix Middle School (414 Beloit St., Delavan).

The Delavan Darien School District, in conjunction with the Preschool Community Collaboration Council, is sponsoring this free child development screening day.

Child Development Day will provide families with the opportunity to learn more about the level of their child’s development, the services available for families of young children, and normal child growth and development from birth to age five. The screening will focus on children from birth to 4-years-old. All parents of children in that age group are urged to attend.

To schedule an appointment please call:

  •       262-728-2642 extension 4805 for English
  •       262-728-2642 extension 4592 for Spanish


Posted in Darien Elementary School, Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Wileman Elementary School | Leave a comment

Phoenix students take learning to D.C.

Phoenix students outside our nation’s Capitol building. Click pic for more images in our gallery.

Eleven Phoenix Middle School seventh and eighth graders, along with teachers Jess Rima and Shaina Sepulveda, took headed to Washington D.C. recently to learn about our nation’s history.  

The students and teachers also had the opportunity to visit Williamsburg and Jamestown to see where British colonization began in the Americas.

The group visited the U.S. Capitol, the White House, Ford’s Theatre, Arlington Cemetery, as well as several memorials, monuments, and museums, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where they met a survivor of the Holocaust.

Students held a variety of fundraisers prior to the trip east to help pay for it.

What a great learning adventure for all who went!

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