Delavan-Darien schools offering Spanish classes for English speakers

Latin American FlagsDELAVAN — The Delavan-Darien School District is offering free beginning Spanish classes for adults in the Delavan-Darien community.

The courses will be Monday and Wednesday evenings, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 9, and running through December. Classes are held from 5:30-8 p.m. in the Phoenix Middle School library, 414 Beloit St., Delavan.

The bilingual Katie Lindskog, a former teacher and school counselor, will lead the classes. The course is for any Delavan-Darien School District community member who has limited or no Spanish-speaking skills.

The classes will teach grammar, conversational skills, and some writing skills. No credit will be offered.

To sign up, call Lindskog at 262-902-0692, or email her at Space is limited to the first 25 students.


As the Latino population grows not only in the Delavan-Darien area but also throughout the entire country, teaching Spanish for adults becomes evermore important, said Ron Sandoval, Delavan-Darien’s director of language acquisition and community education.

“We hope parents and community members at large, whether they speak only English or Spanish, see the benefits of such general language acquisition programs and use them so they can learn more about their neighbors,” said Sandoval, who noted the district’s partnership with Gateway Technical College to teach English to Spanish-speaking community members. “Hopefully, people in the course will go on to more advanced language courses, such as those offered for credit at area colleges and universities.”

The benefits of being bilingual are many, Sandoval said, particularly for those seeking careers or looking to advance in their career. Companies often put higher value on applicants who speak multiple languages because of the benefits it can give to the company.

Seeing that need, the district, which is made up of nearly 50 percent Latino students, this year started the county’s first Dual Language Education Program for students. The choice program is currently available for students in pre-school (4-year-old kindergarten) through first grade, and will be introduced to second graders in the 2015-16 school year.

The Dual Language Education Program teaches core content to both native English and native Spanish speakers in both languages so students become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural, Sandoval said. The program will continue to grow incrementally and add grades in the coming years.

Students in the program are expected to become fluent in English and Spanish, with the ability to speak, write and have conversations in both languages. They will also have a thorough understanding of both English and Spanish cultures, Sandoval said.

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

Special End Times for June 11, Last Day of School


Thursday, June 11, is the last day of school for all students. It is an early-release day with special ending times:

  • Phoenix and DDHS will run its day from 7:30 a.m. until 11 a.m.
  • All Elementary Schools will run from 8:20 until noon.

Lunch will be served at Phoenix and our elementary schools only.

The last day at DDHS is for exam makeup only. No lunch will be served at DDHS on June 11.

Please contact your school’s main office for any questions: 262-728-2642.

Thank you.

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

IN HER WORDS: Living Like Lilly now has journal entries

Live Like Lilly Awards

Click for the weekly award winners.

Our “Living Like Lilly” web page, which remembers the late Lilly Perry, who passed away earlier this school year, has a new feature.

Now, in addition to highlighting students who have gone above-and-beyond to help others, the site has posted journal entries from Lilly’s own school journal.

One of the thing she talks about in her own words is the need to tell people more often when they do an “Awesome Job.”

That’s exactly what the site, and the Living Like Lilly awards aim to do, and we have the memory and spirit of Lilly Perry to thank for the inspiration.

Awesome Job, Lilly! #DDCometProud.

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

Comets have All Star in Ramos


Isiah Ramos

Isiah Ramos

BIG PROPS TO DDHS senior baseball player Isiah Ramos, who has been selected to play in the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Classic tournament in Oshkosh June 26th and 27th. It is an honor for these players to be selected, said Comets Coach Paul Yanko. The Classic features the top senior baseball players in the state. Ramos will be representing the East team.

Ramos has been a four-year starter at shortstop for the Comets. He also has been the teams lead off hitter for the past four seasons. This year, he is batting a Ted Williams-like .405 with four doubles and a home run. He is also 4-0 as a pitcher.

Posted in DDHS Sports, Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District | Leave a comment

REMINDER: Mercy offering summer sports physicals

Sports Physicals


Mercy Health Systems is offering sports physicals for student athletes for the 2015-16 school year.

The dates are:

  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, July 21, 2015, @ Mercy Elkhorn Medical Center, 839 N. Wisconsin St. (map)
  • 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, July 29, 2015, @ Mercy Delavan Medical Center, 1038 E. Geneva St. (map)

The cost is $35.00

Call 1-888-39-MERCY to make appointment.

Student athletes should wear glasses their or contacts if needed. They should also stop in the DDHS Athletics Office or Main Office for a physical form that the doctor will need to complete.

Posted in DDHS Sports, Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School | Leave a comment

Delavan-Darien hires new, experienced administrators

DELAVAN — Two new, experienced administrators will join the Delavan-Darien School District leadership team over summer.

Deborah K. Erdmann, principal at Marshall Elementary School in Marshall, Wis., will become the new Director of Curriculum and Instruction. She replaces Cora Rund, who announced her retirement this spring after more than 40 years working in education. Rund started with the district in 2012.

Dr. Guy R. Otte, athletics director at Mosinee School District in north-central Wisconsin, will hold the title of Dean of Students and Athletics/Activities Director. He replaces Craig Lodahl, who left the district mid-year for a similar position in the Edgerton School District. Hank Johnson was the interim athletic/activities director and will return to teaching physical education at DDHS. Johnson will also remain the head softball coach, varsity girl’s basketball coach and an assistant football coach.

The school board unanimously approved the new hires at a special meeting the morning of Friday, May 22.

Robert Crist, Ed.D.

Superintendent Robert Crist, Ed.D.

“I have the utmost confidence in these two individuals to continue the great progress we’ve made in improving our schools,” Superintendent Robert Crist said. “Both came to us very highly recommended. They have demonstrated great accomplishments in their prior workplaces, have great leadership skills and the right ideas and attitudes to help us continue moving forward. I look forward to them both starting with us very soon.”

Erdmann and Otte will both officially start July 1, but will periodically come in prior to that to become more acclimated with the district, Crist said.

The search for both positions was competitive, Crist said. More than two-dozen applied for the curriculum and instruction position. Forty applicants sought out the athletics/activities director position.

Deborah Erdmann

Deborah Erdmann

Deborah Erdmann

Erdmann was hired as Marshall Elementary principal in the summer of 2013. Prior to that she was the Response to Intervention coordinator at the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, where she was also the special education coordinator and a lead teacher. She also has experience as a fifth-grade teacher in Milwaukee and as a special education teacher for middle schools in the Oak Creek and Mequon-Thiensville school districts.

Erdmann has also worked outside of schools, teaching special education at the Racine Youthful Offender Correctional Facility.

Erdmann graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a degree in Education. She was an Outstanding Senior award-winner at the school and was listed as a “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.” She has both Director of Pupil Services and Director of Instruction/Principal licenses through Cardinal Stritch University.

While RtI Coordinator at West Allis-West Milwaukee, the district received the Wisconsin Department of Education’s prestigious RtI Example School award.

Dr. Guy Otte

Dr. Guy Otte

Dr. Guy Otte

Otte was the Athletics/Activities Coordinator for grades 6-12 in the Mosinee School District from 1995-2014, taking the last year off to work toward his administrative school licensure certification.

He has a Doctorate in Kinesiology-Sport Administration from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. He earned his Master’s in Sports Science from Bemidji State University in Minnesota, and his Bachelor’s in Physical Education from UW-Stevens Point. He is a certified K-12 physical education teacher.

Otte plans to complete his Educational Leadership masters later this year through Marian University in Fond du Lac.

At Mosinee, Otte handled all WIAA sports management duties as well as facilities management for the district. He oversaw 50 community education classes in Mosinee each semester and was the local YMCA Liaison in the area. He was also a guest lecturer at UW-Stevens Point and was the district’s United Way coordinator and Relay For Life coordinator.

Prior to joining Mosinee, Otte was the head baseball coach at UW-Stevens Point for five years. He was also an assistant football coach for the Pointers and the university’s intramural director. Otte was on the steering committee for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars professional football team and was a site coordinator for the team’s summer training camp.

Otte taught physical education at Newman Catholic High School in Wausau after graduating from Bemidji State.

Otte likes to be active in the community and is involved with his area community athletic association, chamber of commerce, youth athletics, the Greater Wausau Area Sports Authority Advisory Committee and various professional organizations.

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

Senior earns state BBB scholarship

Max Grover BBB Scholarship

DDHS Senior Max Grover (center) with his parents, Lori and Mike Grover, and his Better Business Bureau $2,500 Student of Integrity scholarship award.

Milwaukee, Wis. – The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin Foundation announced the winners of its 2015 “Student of Integrity” scholarship, and a Delavan-Darien High School senior is among the recipients.

Max Grover was recognizied for the character, leadership and ethical values he has shown at DDHS over his four years there.

The Student of Integrity Scholarship is sponsored by the BBB Wisconsin Foundation and Wisconsin BBB Accredited Business companies and individual supporters of the Foundation.

The other winners are (in alphabetical order): Kevin Cekanor of Marquette University High School; Hadyn Hebert of Chippewa Falls Senior High School; Katherine Kennedy of DeForest Area High School; Rachel Ley of Stevens Point Area Senior High School; Alyssa Marquis of DePere High School; Melaina Rapisarda of Notre Dame Academy; Daniel Spaude of Antigo High School; Nicholas Steenwyk of Sheboygan County Christian High School; and Candice Zehner of New London High School.

Each student will receive a $2,500 scholarship to attend an accredited college of their choice.

The students were chosen out of more than 540 applicants throughout Wisconsin. To earn the scholarship, students must be a high school senior with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 – among other requirements. They’re requested to write a short essay describing how they build character in themselves and in others, and how they will build character in the future. The essay is critical and must emphasize overcoming obstacles and demonstrating ethical leadership at a young age. Community involvement, volunteer activities, awards and honors, are all considered by a panel of 10 judges.


“We had an extraordinary group of applicants, making the task of narrowing it down to just ten deserving students extremely difficult,” said Ran Hoth, BBB Serving Wisconsin CEO and President. “These young men and women are exemplary representatives of integrity and give us a great sense of hope for our future. We are humbly impressed and proud of these future ethical leaders.”

The 2015 scholarships are sponsored by matching grants from BBB of Wisconsin Foundation, Baird, Briggs & Stratton, Dave Jones, Inc., Jericho Resources, Inc., We Energies Foundation, Roger and Shirley Schroeder, with additional contributions from William D. Goodman and Randall L. Hoth.

The BBB of Wisconsin Foundation has given scholarship gifts to students totaling $80,000 since 2010.

The BBB congratulates our 2015 Student of Integrity Scholarship winners!

For more information or further inquiries, and to contribute to our 2016 scholarship, call 414-847-6000.

Posted in Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases | Leave a comment

Alumni ‘tuning’ talents into instrumental artistry

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Delavan-Darien High School Alumni Kevin Lee has been ‘tuning’ his talents into instrumental artistry.

The class of 2012 graduate visited the orchestra room on Friday to explain what he’s been up to post-high school, and it’s pretty impressive.

He showed a PowerPoint of his work building his first viola while studying at the Violin Guild of America in St. Paul, Minnesota.

He answered plenty of student questions about his studies, his life after high school, how his viola was made. He brought the nearly-complete hand-made instrument for the class to see and study.


When the viola is finished, Lee assumes will sell for around $9000-$10,000.  Pretty awesome! Nice work, Kevin. #DDCometProud

Posted in Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Photo Galleries | Leave a comment

Lending a helping hand gets noticed

Brayan Anduaga

Brayan Anduaga

Phoenix Middle School eighth grader Brayan Anduaga was caught red-handed doing a great deed at the Southern Lakes Conference Middle School track meet Monday afternoon (May 18).

Darien Elementary School READS Coordinator Betty Blanke said while working the ticket booth at the meet she noticed an elderly lady struggling to carry her chair and other items into the meet.

“She was having a very hard time,” she said. “A young gentleman came along and helped her with everything. He was not asked to do it. He just saw a need and took care of it.”

That’s showing several of the pillars of the Comet Code — being responsible and being respectful. The Comet Code is the behavioral expectations we teach all of our students, and we’re glad to see it in action!

Blanke didn’t know the young man’s name, but Phoenix Athletics Director Adam Nielsen knew who it was and let the staff know via email.

“I am so proud of him. It brought tears to my eyes,” Blanke said. “This is just one of the reasons I am proud to say I work for the Delavan-Darien School District.”

We’re proud of Brayan, too. And, way to go in placing second in the 1,600 meter run! Double #DDCometProud!

The young man’s name is Brayan Anduaga. He is an 8th grader at Phoenix Middle School and also just took 2nd place in the 1600m last night at the Southern Lakes Conference Track Meet!


Posted in Delavan-Darien School District, Phoenix Middle School | Leave a comment

DDHS Alumni Jeffrey wins research excellence award

Dr. Christ Jeffrey, Chemistry Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a DDHS Class of '98 grad.

Dr. Christ Jeffrey, Chemistry Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a DDHS Class of ’98 grad.

Congratulations are in order for University of Nevada, Reno Chemistry Professor Christopher Jeffrey, a Delavan-Darien High School Class of 1998 gradate, for winning the Mousel-Feltner Excellence in Research Award.

This award is given in recognition of outstanding research performance by a faculty member in the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno in a particular year or for a particular accomplishment. This award honors well-known and respected medical community members, Dr. Donald Mousel and Dr. William Feltner, who lent time, energy and provided gifts to various community and university causes.

Jeffrey heads a highly active lab group that conducts fundamental research on the role of natural products in the origin and maintenance of biodiversity, as well as traditional research in target-directed organic synthesis. His work has been published in numerous scholarly papers and journals.

Check out Dr. Jeffrey’s activities in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology Research including Chemical Ecology, Plant-Animal Interactions, Physiological Ecology, and Global Change.

Jeffrey graduated from Carroll College in 2002 with a bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry. He earned a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 2004 and had a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Princeton before moving on to the University of Nevada, Reno.

Much of his work is done in the tropics, looking for new ways to develop more efficient synthesis for the preparation and manufacture of pharmaceutical drugs. His other area of interests deals with the chemical diversity of the tropics. He considers his work a hybrid of chemistry and ecology.

“At a very fundamental level… we look at molecular evolution and answer questions about nurture vs. nature,” Jeffrey said. “No one else in world really does that, except the team at Reno. We’re pretty much only ones working on it.”

For example, Jeffrey said the relationships between plants and caterpillars, which is one thing he studies, can yield exciting breakthroughs for medicine. Plants are a food source for caterpillars, so they evolve to develop natural defenses so they won’t be eaten. As the plants evolve, the caterpillars have to evolve, too. It must adapt to desire the changed food source to preserve the species.

It’s those types of changes at the molecular level that can be transferred into breakthroughs medical labs to make medicines that ward off attacking diseases.

Jeffrey credits the personal one-on-one attention he got from DDHS staff, and the teamwork he often performed with his classmates, to of the reasons he’s a successful scientist today.

“The strong sense of community at DDHS is one of the things that helped me grow,” he said. “It’s definitely something I learned and use now throughout my career.

“The small-school environment at DDHS and the special attention I got there was inspiring. It was amazing how many talented people I had in my graduating class who have gone on to do wonderful things. There are a lot of examples of that. You don’t have to go to the best prep school in the world to be successful.”

Jeffrey’s success is just one of the many we’re glad to say started at DDHS. Congratulations on your award, Dr. Jeffrey!

Posted in Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, Media Coverage, News Releases | Leave a comment