WHS alum earns PhD in Political Science

Adam Howat, son of Linda Long of Whitewater and John Howat of Madison, successfully defended his dissertation, “What ‘We’ Value:  The Politics of Social Identities and Group Values” — a study of people’s beliefs about the core values held by different social and political groups, and how those beliefs impact political conflict and cooperation.  He will be awarded a PhD in political science from Northwestern University in September, 2019. 

Howat is a 2002 graduate of Whitewater High School and received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in political science from UW-Whitewater.  He has accepted a teaching/research position at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio for the 2019-20 academic year.

Lincoln Elementary Hosts Successful Leadership Day

Lincoln School hosted Leadership Day on Friday, May 3rd.  This included a parent session with information about Leader in Me, an all school assembly, classroom visitations, school tours and a student/teacher panel.  Students were responsible for planning and presenting the assembly and related activities. The day was centered on the theme “Kids Helping Kids.” Classrooms did a variety of activities under this theme and the entire school participated in the first Kids Helping Kids craft fair.  Students made and donated items to sell. Almost $600 was raised. The student body voted and decided to donate the proceeds to the following causes: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Therapy Dog Program, The Community Space and Whitewater Unites Lives “Mind the Gap” summer food program.

UW-W Spring Commencement Set for May 18 and May 21

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will celebrate the achievements of its graduates on Saturday, May 18, and Tuesday, May 21, as proud families and friends gather for the 2019 spring commencement ceremonies. At the university’s Whitewater campus, a total of 1,643 graduates will cross the stage on May 18 to receive their degrees. The morning ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m., recognizes 759 undergraduate and 88 graduate students from the colleges of Arts and Communication, and Business and Economics. The afternoon ceremony begins at 3 p.m. and recognizes 696 undergraduate and 100 graduate students from the colleges of Education and Professional Studies, and Letters and Sciences. The ceremonies, which last approximately two hours each, will be held in Kachel Fieldhouse.

The commencement speaker for both ceremonies is Damani Short, who earned a BBA in management computer systems in 1994. The Waukesha native has had a wide-ranging career in information technology in organizations as diverse as GE Healthcare, Sharpie, the U.S. Olympic Committee, Johnson Controls and Shutterfly. Short now leads Lexico, a transformation services consultancy, together with his wife and business partner, Cindi.

Thomas Kind, a general management major from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, will be the student speaker for the morning ceremony. As president of Whitewater Student Government, Kind has presided over the student body during an historic time at UW-Whitewater, including the university’s 150th anniversary and the combining of the Whitewater and Rock County campuses. He continues as a UW-Whitewater student, pursuing an MBA.

Zhishu Wang, who is receiving his Bachelor of Science in Education in English, will be the student speaker for the afternoon ceremony. A native of Qingdao, China, Wang always dreamed of attending a university abroad. At UW-Whitewater, he found enthusiastic faculty members ready to engage him in undergraduate research projects in his field of choice, teaching. A student-teacher at Waterford Union High School, in the fall he will begin a master’s degree program at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

The graduating class of the Whitewater campus includes 82 students who are veterans, 31 international students and 231 nontraditional undergraduate students, defined as undergraduate students who are 25 years of age or older. In addition, 111 self-identified students with disabilities will receive degrees.

The commencement ceremonies on the Whitewater campus will be broadcast live online by UWW-TV, the university television station.

The graduation ceremony for UW-Whitewater at Rock County will be held on Tuesday, May 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the gymnasium of the Wells Cultural Center. This ceremony marks the college’s first commencement as part of UW-Whitewater. About 85 graduates are expected to receive their Associate of Arts.

The commencement speaker is State Senator Janis Ringhand, who represents Senate District 15. Ringhand, a lifelong resident of Rock County, has worked as a bookkeeper and has helped to run her family’s business, Ringhand Meats and Beverages, in addition to serving on the Evansville City Council, as mayor of Evansville, as a representative to the Wisconsin State Assembly, and most recently as a state senator.

The student speaker is Kaitlyn Dempsey, a native of Edgerton. An English major, Dempsey has served as president of Phi Theta Kappa, the honors society for two-year colleges, and a member of the English honors society Sigma Kappa Delta. After receiving her associate degree, Dempsey will continue her education this fall at UW-La Crosse where she will major in English.

For more information about the UW-Whitewater main campus commencement: https://www.uww.edu/commencement

WMS Students participate in Jefferson County Courthouse Job Shadow


Participants L-R: Keith Cameron, Monica Juette, Halee Peters, Aubrey Shepard, Ashlynn Prah

Five selected 8th-graders (with an interest in pursuing a legal career) participated in a job shadow event at the Jefferson County Courthouse on Friday, April 26.

Students from area middle schools were invited to participate in the special day.  Each group of students was assigned to a courthouse staff member whom they followed through their workday asking questions and receiving answers to those questions. Whitewater students were assigned to a lawyer and were given tours of both the courthouse and the lawyer’s office in addition to being able to sit in on several courtroom cases. They had a question & answer lunch with a Judge and in the afternoon participated in two mock trial scenarios where they role-played different participants in the mock trials.

Participating students were then required to write an essay about the experience which will be on display at the Jefferson Co. Courthouse as Law Day is celebrated. 

WHS Students compete at the 2019 Wisconsin National History Day held on the campus of UW-Madison.


NHD Regional Qualifiers Group Shot (Left to Right) Emily Scherer, Broderick Frye, Bailee Korf, Mr. Greg Stewart

NHD State Finalists (Left to Right) Savannah Hill, Mr Chris Wiegman, Nikita Hartzheim

National History Day is an exciting academic enrichment program that helps students learn about historical issues, ideas, people, and events. This yearlong academic adventure fosters students’ enthusiasm for learning and their love for history.

The program’s three central elements develop participants’ abilities to:

  1. Complete extensive research;
  2. Critically analyze and develop historical conclusions about information they have discovered in a variety of sources; and
  3. Present and defend their interpretations in a critical, yet creative forum.

Working individually or collaboratively in groups of two to five, students produce historical documentaries, exhibits, historic websites, dramatic performances and research papers based on an annual theme. The 2019 theme is “Triumph and Tragedy in American History”.

Six WHS students advanced to this State Competition on Saturday April 13th and five students were selected to advance to the final round at the State level.

The WHS teaching staff who worked with these students and accompanied them to UW-Madison were: Mr. Chris Wiegman, Mr. Scott Phillips, and Mr. Greg Stewart. These teachers would like to thank the parents, local judges as well as all who helped in the preparation and logistics needed to support the program.

2019 National History Day – WHS Finalists advancing to State Competition

Senior Group Documentary

Broderick Frye, Bailee Korf and Emily Scherer – “The Triumph and Tragedy of the Janesville GM Plant” 2019 NHD State Qualifier 4th Place State Competition

Senior Individual Performance

Gio Anello – “Alvin York: Conscientious Objector to Decorated Veteran”  2019 NHD State Qualifier

Senior Group Performance

Nikita Hartzheim and Savannah Hill  – “The Rosenbergs” 2019 NHD State Qualifier 4th Place State Competition

Senior Individual Performance

Madison Strickler – “Dr. John Galt”

Ferradermis Wins Wisconsin Regional for Second Straight Year

Another year, another victory for Whitewater High School’s Ferradermis (FIRST Robotics team 6574). The team competed March 27th through the 30th at the Wisconsin Regional in Milwaukee, picking up a second consecutive victory on top of their 2018 success. This year Ferradermis had their best showing, ending the initial round of qualification matches at the #3 position in a pool of 54 competing teams from around the country (as well as a victor from another competition coming all the way from Auckland, New Zealand!). When it came down to picking the final teams to compete through the elimination rounds, the #1 and #2 teams joined together; forming a seemingly unbeatable alliance. This led to Ferradermis filling in the spot as the second ranked alliance captains, giving them the ability to choose other teams to join them. The team chose Paradigm Shift (team 1259 out of Pewaukee, Wisconsin) as their first pick to join them. The history between these two teams goes back to before Ferradermis’ creation, as a handful of Ferradermis’ core mentors were formerly members of Paradigm Shift. During the 2018 Wisconsin Regional, Paradigm Shift was the first rank alliance captain and picked Ferradermis as their own partner; this year Ferradermis had the opportunity to do the same in return. Teams 6574 and 1259 picked Oriole Assault (team 1091 out of Hartford, Wisconsin) to complete their alliance, and so began the elimination matches.

The alliance was undefeated through quarterfinals and semifinals, winning each 2-0. The whole event was shocked when the first ranked alliance was knocked out by the fourth seed (including 7498 of New Zealand); the alliance that Ferradermis, Paradigm Shift, and Oriole Assault would now need to defeat to secure a victory in finals. After an initial loss in finals, the prospects were uncertain for Ferradermis, but it became clear that a victory could be within reach. The team’s hopes were stoked after the second finals match was won, and the event was decided by a tiebreak match which ended as a decisive victory for Ferradermis’ second seed alliance. By winning the regional, just as in 2018, Ferradermis qualified for the FIRST Robotics Competition world championship in Detroit, Michigan from April 24th through April 27th. There they will go head-to-head with other winning robots created by teams from across the continent and the world. To be regional champions two out of their first three years of existence is an outstanding feat, and Ferradermis has demonstrated consistent growth ever since its creation. It has continued to bring together and strengthen its group of student members and adult mentors, and has its sights as high as ever for the future.

The team would like to thank their sponsors, parents, and fellow students for their ongoing support. There was an electric atmosphere in the stands in Milwaukee, energizing the team. You can watch any match from the event and get a feel for the intensity of the competition at https://www.thebluealliance.com/event/2019wimi. Thank you also to the Whitewater Fire Department for the amazing ride through the city upon our return on Saturday evening!

Ferradermis members are currently fundraising for their trip to Detroit with a goal of raising $20,000 in the next two weeks. Please consider supporting the team in one or more of the following ways:

  • Rocky Rococo’s Pizza will be donating 20% of their sales to the team on Wednesday, April 10, from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm.
  • Jessica’s Family Restaurant will be donating 10% of their sales to the team on Tuesday, April 16, from 6:00 am until 3:00 pm.
  • Individuals may contribute through our fundraising page at http://www.ferradermis.org/support.php or by mailing a check to WHS in care of Ferradermis.

WHS Documentary Filmmakers Interview Former Governor Jim Doyle for National History Day

Whitewater High School students that have qualified for state are getting ready for the National History Day state competition on April 13, 2019. Bailee Korf, Broderick Frye, and Emily Scherer had the pleasure of interviewing former Governor of Wisconsin Jim Doyle this week. The students are working on their documentary on the General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin.

National History Day teaches the skills individuals need in the 21st Century. The program’s three central elements develop participants’ abilities to complete extensive research, critically analyze and develop historical conclusions about the information they have discovered in a variety of sources, and present and defend their interpretations in a critical, yet creative forum. Working individually or collaboratively in groups of two to five, students produce historical documentaries, exhibits, historical websites, dramatic performances, and research papers based on an annual theme.

The 2019 theme is “Triumph and Tragedy in American History.” 2019 National History Day – WHS Finalists advancing to State Competition include: Senior Group Documentary: Broderick Frye, Bailee Korf, and Emily Scherer – “The Triumph and Tragedy of the Janesville GM Plant”; Senior Individual Performance: Gio Anello – “Alvin York: Conscientious Objector to Decorated Veteran”; Senior Individual Performance: Madison Strickler – “Dr. John Galt”; Senior Group Performance: Nikita Hartzheim and Savannah Hill – “The Rosenbergs”; and Senior Group Performance: Anna Ejnik and Brandon Damhorst – “Kent State Shooting.”

WHS earns 2nd place in State Math Meet


Pictured left to right are: Zach Brantmeier, Mina Truesdale, Nicole Sedmak, Colin Chenoweth, Nick Kuzoff, Hunter Martin, Broderick Frye, and Shawn Chan.

Whitewater High School’s varsity math team won 2nd place in Class B for the State Math Meet. 

Several individual team members were recognized for how many points they scored and will receive medals.

Earning Class B First Team All State were Nick Kuzoff (2nd in State), Zach Brantmeier (3rd in State), Mina Truesdale (4th in State), and Hunter Martin (7th in State).

Earning Class B Second Team All State were Colin Chenoweth (8th in State) and Shawn Chan (11th in State). 

Also helping this team with their high achieving result was Nicole Sedmak and Broderick Frye. 

This is the fifth time since 2007 that the team has earned 2nd place and they have earned first place 3 times during that period. 

Whitewater Middle School students earn second place in Academic Bowl


Front L-R: Henry Gehrenbeck, Alex Clarksen, Andrew O’Toole, Quinn McCarthy, Cosette Wildermuth-Breitzman, Emma Clarksen; Middle L-R: Marina Linos, Jared Apgar, Silas Baker Emerson Ellenwood, Emma Weigel, Zoe Olson; Back L-R: Keith CAmeron, Henry Mortimer, Peter Portwine

Congratulations to the fifteen 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students that represented Whitewater Middle School at the Southern Lakes Advanced Learners Network Academic Bowl on March 18 in Fort Atkinson. Five school districts participated.

Whitewater Middle School did very well earning 2nd place overall with 678 points and only 6 points behind Fort Atkinson, the 1st place winner.  Waterloo took 3rd place followed by Jefferson and Johnson Creek.

The following Whitewater students earned special recognition:

In Language Arts –

  • Henry Gehrenbeck – 1st place, 6th grade
  • Keith Cameron – 3rd place, 8th grade

In Science –

  • Peter Portwine – 1st place, 8th grade
  • Marina Linos – 2nd place, 7th grade
  • Alex Clarksen – 2nd place, 6th grade

In Social Studies –

  • Quinn McCarthy – 1st place, 6th grade
  • Emerson Ellenwood – 2nd place, 7th grade
  • Henry Mortimer – 2nd place, 8th grade

In Math –

  • Emma Clarksen – 1st place, 8th grade
  • Jared Apgar – 2nd place , 7th grade
  • Andrew O’Toole – 3rd place, 6th grade

Whitewater Team 1 (Silas Baker, Henry Gehrenbeck,  Henry Mortimer, Andrew O’Toole, Emma Weigel,) placed first in the Current Events portion of the competition.

Other Whitewater team members included: Zoe Olson and Cosette Wildermuth-Breitzman

Congratulations to all of the participants for their contributions to the team’s overall success and a special thank you for doing a great job representing Whitewater and Whitewater Middle School.  Well done!