Local skier, Nicole Tomomitsu, performs with Tommy Bartlett water ski show in Wisconsin Dells

Nicole, 18, a senior at Whitewater high school will be “living the dream” which is the Tommy Bartlett motto for the rest of her summer. Nicole, who is an accomplished water skier on the Whitewater Minneiska water ski team has been skiing for 12 years. She is excited to be a part of the popular Wisconsin Dell’s attraction which is in its 65th season.

The show is made up of an amazing group of talented champion skiers from around the world. Nicole is looking forward to entertaining the crowds and perfecting her water ski skills among these new mentors. The Tommy Bartlett show performs everyday rain or shine at 4:30 and 8:30 pm through Labor Day. Nicole performs Thursday – Sunday.

Studio 84’s Artist of the Month: Laurie Narad

Laurie Narad says, “When I was a little girl I always wanted to be an artist, yet I did not think it was possible until coming to Studio 84.”

Laurie thinks back to four years ago when she started coming to Studio 84, she was afraid to mix colors, and now she does it all the time with confidence. Coming to the art studio twice a week has its health benefits, too. Laurie has Cerebral Palsy and experiences a sense of relaxation when she is painting. It has also helped with the dexterity in her left hand. Laurie says art has taught her there is no one way to create something.

Laurie is currently beginning in Studio 84’s Vocational Training Programming that will assist her in developing her art as a career. She’s sold many of her notecards and coffee mugs with her art on them at local venues such as the Whitewater City Market and an art fair in Jefferson.

With the help of staff, Laurie works from a custom designed easel that makes her canvas and paints easily accessible. There is a special support board that gives her good arm a place to rest and stay steady.  She says that some days are easier than others and some days she needs someone to hold her arm still enough to be able to paint due to her Cerebral Palsy. She will let staff know if she needs a stencil or an area taped off to help guide her and prevent paint from getting where she doesn’t want it.

Laurie states that staff Ben Kelly and Intern Stacy Whetlow are very good at inventing and developing ways for students to be successful and she is very grateful to have them on board.

You can see some of her work at Studio 84’s store located at 121 W. Center St. in Whitewater, WI

Studio 84 in Whitewater is a non-profit art studio that provides experiences in the arts for the community. They specialize in the creative and vocational development of people with disabilities, including those with Autism, physical disabilities, cognitive limitations, and mental illness. The studio is open to all ages and all abilities.

To learn more visit studio84inc.org  or check us out on Facebook.

Lifelong Whitewater resident, Karolyn Alexander will be the featured artist in a solo show at the Beloit Art Center for the month of August.


Her exhibit titled “Abstract Journey” will include over 70 of her favorite abstract paintings from the past few years. Karolyn is an active member of the Whitewater Arts Alliance and the Janesville Art League.

There will be an opening reception on Friday, August 3 from 5 pm – 8 pm.

Beloit Art Center is located at 520 E Grand Ave in Beloit, WI. Hours are Monday, 10 am-2, pm, Tuesday through Friday, 10 am – 5:30 pm and Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm.


Please visit the following websites for more information:
Beloit Art Center
Karolyn’s website

Nicholas Huang Receives Fulbright Award

Nicholas Huang, a recent graduate of Butler University with a double major in Finance and Marketing, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Macau for an English Teaching Assistantship for the 2018-2019 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Huang will teach English and US Culture at Macau Polytechnic Institute. Nicholas is the grandson of Whitewater residents Tom and Karen Christofferson, and former residents I-Ning and Joyce Huang. Son of WHS graduates (’83), Kuang-Yu and Susan Huang.

Nicholas is one of over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will conduct research, teach English, and provide expertise abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

“I am ecstatic to be able to share my American perspective with learners of English and gain insight into their learning experience”, reports Huang.

“Nick is the ideal individual to serve as cultural ambassador,” said Dacia Charlesworth, Butler University’s Fulbright Program Adviser. “He embodies the spirit of the Fulbright mission and I am certain the students and community members in Macau are going to enjoy learning about the U.S. through his interactions.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 380,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, professionals, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all areas while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

Pease named next WUSD athletic director

From district administrator Mark Elworthy:

Last week, Jim Pease was approved as the District’s next athletic director. He has successfully coached our boys’ baseball team for the past four years and the football team since 2017. He has strong leadership skills and is respected by his athletes. The 2018 football season will be his last at the helm and 2020 will be his last season leading the baseball team as he transitions to the athletic director position. Jim will be teaching physical education classes in the District as well.

Currently, Jim owns and operates his family-owned insurance business. Jim is not new to education as he taught and coached in the Sussex-Hamilton School District for 10 years. Jim and his wife, Amy, have three school-aged children. Jim is a UW-Whitewater graduate and played baseball for the Warhawks.

Fort Community Credit Union hires UW-Whitewater Grad

Fort Community Credit Union (FCCU) announced today that Jeffery Anderson has joined their team as the Marketing and Digital Media Specialist. In this role, Anderson will perform a range of marketing support duties related to the development and execution of FCCU’s brand, including production and execution of video and digital media marketing campaigns, community outreach, and website optimization. He will also be responsible for ensuring FCCU’s brand integrity across multiple advertising channels. Anderson earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration in International Business with a Certificate in Digital Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. Anderson is a native of the Madison area and has held an internship with FCCU for the past year. He is excited to continue to grow with FCCU and engage with financial literacy in the schools. Marissa Weidenfeller, Director of Marketing said, “We’re thrilled to keep Jeffery on the FCCU team after graduation. He has demonstrated a thorough understanding of who we are as FCCU, and what we need to do in order to help our member-owners be in a better financial position. We are excited to watch Jeffery grow within the organization and our communities.”

Former Whitewater Resident Recognized for Excellence as an Early Career Educator

Erin Steuerwald, a former Whitewater resident, was honored at the fifth annual Recognition of Outstanding Early Career Educators and Pre-Service Educator Mentors award ceremony sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Meemic Foundation. The ceremony was held at the Monona Terrace Community and Conference Center in Madison on Sunday, April 8.

Miss Steuerwald, a Watertown Unified School District elementary physical education teacher, was recognized for her excellence as an early career educator. She is in her third year of teaching physical education at two elementary schools in the district. She distinguishes herself in the district as a competent, driven and reputable educator. In the classroom, Steuerwald creates unique learning environments for the students as noted by Emily Lessner, principal at Douglas Elementary School. “Erin is dedicated to providing students with a well-rounded, purposeful experience in physical education. She focuses on teaching students skills and applying these skills in an engaging way. Within one physical education class, Erin’s students learn and practice a variety of skills. Erin reflects on student learning, modeling and providing feedback to students to promote growth. We are thrilled to have Erin on the physical education team in the Watertown Unified School District.”

Steuerwald has also been involved as a coach of extracurricular activities including seventh-grade volleyball coach at Riverside Middle School, varsity volleyball coach at Dodgeland High School, varsity assistant volleyball coach at Watertown High School, freshman team basketball coach at Watertown High School, varsity assistant basketball coach at Watertown High School, assistant track and field coach at Riverside Middle School and mentor for Girls on the Run in Watertown.

The extent of her outreach has allowed her to form unique relationships with many students which has opened doors for her to share her philosophy about building a life of character.

This is the fifth year that the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education has sponsored the Early Career and Pre-Service Educator Awards. The awards ceremony continues to grow each year, with over 200 people attending last year. This year 59 teachers from 30 different institutions of higher education across the state were honored for their professional excellence. The keynote speaker this year was Matthew W. Miller Sr., the 2018 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year. The Meemic Foundation sponsors the awards ceremony as well as the keynote speaker.

WACTE is a professional organization composed of the Wisconsin institutions that prepare students for initial teacher licensure. The educator preparation programs offer diversity in size, focus and delivery but are all designed to prepare quality teachers for Wisconsin’s schools. WACTE is an affiliate of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.