Whitewater Middle and High School Students to Hear Presentation and Hold Discussions about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Principles of Nonviolence

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 15, 2018, students in the Whitewater High School and Whitewater Middle School will hear a presentation by Marc Perry, Director of Community Programs at Community Action, Inc. to inspire and challenge them about the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After the presentation, the students will go back to their homerooms at their respective schools, and they will be divided into smaller groups to discuss Dr. King’s six principles of nonviolence, while addressing various scenarios. Whitewater Unified School District (WUSD) staff and volunteers from the community will help facilitate the groups.

Each January, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the United States honoring King’s achievements. Marc Perry, of Community Action, Inc., will open the morning with a presentation about Dr. King and how his principles can and should be utilized to make a difference. More about Community Action, Inc. CLICK HERE

Marc Perry

Mark Elworthy, District Administrator of WUSD, said, “We are very excited to be working on a project with our community so that students can get a more in-depth view of the work of Dr. King and talk first-hand about his principles. We are thankful to all of the volunteers who are making this possible.”

PRINCIPLE ONE: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is being emotionally mature and secure in one’s personhood to see another way.
PRINCIPLE TWO: Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of a diverse and strong community.
PRINCIPLE THREE: Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people. The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil, not people.
PRINCIPLE FOUR: Nonviolence holds that struggle can educate and transform. Nonviolence accepts struggle without physical retaliation.
PRINCIPLE FIVE: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. Nonviolence resists emotional violence as well as physical.
PRINCIPLE SIX: Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice. The nonviolent resister holds an overall belief that justice will eventually win because good is stronger than hatred.

Nearly 50 parents, university staff and students will be working with the WUSD staff to lead small group discussions around a variety of scenarios. Dr. Ozalle Toms and Dr. Lauren Smith, both from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, are helping to train the volunteers who will be leading the small groups.

Dr. Toms said, “As both a parent of a student in the district and an educator at the university, I am so pleased to help plan and facilitate this program. Not only will the students benefit, but all of the community members will have an opportunity to work with these terrific students.”

Dr. Smith concurs, “This community partnership with the school district is a meaningful way to celebrate the life of Dr. King. I am so thankful to the leadership at our school district for making this possible, and to all of the school staff who are helping to facilitate this program.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that,” said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These words exemplify the life and work of Dr. King, the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement to end racial segregation.

Mike Lovenberg, Principal at Whitewater High School, said, “The objectives for students are to learn and implement the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and why they are necessary for creating peace, and to listen and problem-solve as a group by objectively exploring scenarios that address injustice.”

Tanya Wojciechowicz, Principal at Whitewater Middle School, said, “We hope that our students share this event and continue the dialogue at home with their families, as well as apply these principles within their daily lives – at school, home, and in the community.”

As Dr. King said, “The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage they did not know they had.”

December is a wonderfully busy month for many and no exception for the UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club. Dec. 1 had the Frosty Float in the Whitewater Chamber of Commerce Parade promoting their Breakfast with Santa the next morning.

Dec. 2 saw 760 happy folks join Santa for Breakfast for the 25th year! Held in the UW-W’s Esker Dining Hall for the 10th year, each child had the opportunity to sit with Santa, tell him what they would like for Christmas and receive a small gift bag from him and his elves. Each family could choose a printed photo or to download digital photos of their child/children with Santa.

Nearly 50 members of the UW-W/Community Optimist Club with help from the Student Optimists and WH.S. Octagon Club made the season bright for the 25TH Annual Breakfast with Santa!

The Mitten Tree Project, which has been conducted since 1991, was a huge success due to the generous community-wide donations of hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, socks and underwear to be distributed through the three Elementary Schools in the Whitewater Unified School District. With space given every year in their lobbies, they are grateful to Associated Bank, First Citizens State Bank, Fort Community Credit Union and Premier Bank for supporting the Mitten Tree project each year.

Kim Adams, Lanora Heim, Shirley Cutshall, Co- Presidents Dave Halbach and Janay Alston and Mary Geraghty with warmth collected for the elementary students in the Whitewater Unified School District.

On Wednesday December 13th, Mary Geraghty, WUSD Social Worker, Shirley Cutshall, Lincoln School Counselor and Lanora Heim, Director of Pupil Services for the School District, accepted the multitude of mittens, etc. on behalf of the WUSD from Club Co-Presidents Dave Halbach and Janay Alston and Past President Kim Adams. A special thank you to three local knitters: Dottie Koenitzer, who, for several years, has made and donated beautiful mittens, 80 pairs this year alone, Doreen Marquardt of the Needles ‘n Pins Yarn Shoppe who donated dozens of handmade mittens and an anonymous donor who read our story last year and because of her own personal experiences as a child donated 38 pairs of handmade items to help the area children. This year also included 600 items collected by the UW-W University Center Staff and students.

Members of the UWW/Community Optimist, WHS National Honor Society and WHS Octagon Club helping sort through toys for children served by the Whitewater Food Pantry.

A total of 308 children had a special toy or game under the Christmas tree, through the cooperation of the UW-W/Community Optimist Club and Whitewater Food Pantry for the past 34 years. They would again, like to thank the community of Whitewater for another successful Toys for Kids program. On Dec. 18th, help from the Optimists, Octagon Club and WHS National Honor Society members sorted and wrapped those gifts at the downtown City Armory. This project is only possible through the generous support of the following groups: First Congregational United Church of Christ, First English Lutheran Church, First United Methodist Church, St Patrick Catholic Church, the Whitewater Police Department, Provisur Technologies Inc., UW-W Student Optimist Club members, Whitewater High School Octagon Club, and Golden Key National Honor Society.

Lastly, the club, through its major fund raising projects: the annual Optimist Trivia Night, the 4th of July Festival Gyros Stand and the District Football CRAZER Raffle, was able to present a check for $1,000 to the WUSD Family Emergency Fund. That is a program completely funded by donations, using no tax money, to assist families in times of need within Whitewater Unified School District.

The UW-W/Community Optimist club is always looking for new members to help them realize their goal to be “Friend of Youth.” Interested persons can contact them through their blog at CLICK HERE

They invite you to join them in “making a difference in the life of a child.” They thank you and Happy New Year!

Spring 2018 Elections

Compensation per office has been added.

Notice of City of Whitewater Spring Election on April 3, 2018. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that at an election is to be held in the City of Whitewater on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. The following offices are to be elected to succeed the present incumbents listed. The term for Councilmember begins on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The term for all other offices begins on May 1, 2018. All terms are for two years unless otherwise indicated. Following offices and the incumbents are: Councilmember AD 2, James Schulgit; Councilmember AD 4, Lynn Binnie; Councilmember at Large, James D. Allen.

NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that the first day to circulate nomination papers was December 1, 2017 and the final day for filing nomination papers is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 in the office of the City Clerk.

NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that if a primary is necessary, the primary will be held on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

For more general information on elections, dates and voting CLICK HERE

Compensation – $300 per month

School Board: 2018 Spring Election – Residents interested in running for a position on the School Board must have paperwork filed no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Paperwork is available at the District Office. The Board candidates are not required to gather signatures from residents. For this election there will be three positions: two three-year terms and one two-year term. The candidate receiving the third highest vote total will serve the remainder of the currently vacant two-year term. Incumbents: Kelly Davis, Tom Ganser and Dan McCrea. Dan McCrea has submitted his notice that he will not be seeking reelection.

School District area – City of Whitewater in Walworth and Jefferson Counties; the towns of Whitewater, LaGrange, Richmond and Sugar Creek in Walworth County; the towns of Cold Spring and Koshkonong in Jefferson County; and the towns of Johnstown and Lima in Rock County.

Board members shall be elected for terms of three years, except when filling an unexpired term. Two members of the seven-member Board shall be elected each year, with the exception of every third year, when three Board members shall be elected. Elected members shall take office on the fourth Monday in April following the election to the Board. Before taking office, elected Board members shall take and sign an oath of office.

Any person who is a United States citizen and a qualified elector of the Whitewater Unified School District is legally qualified to become a member of the School Board. In addition, it would be desirable that members of the Board have a genuine interest in and devotion to public education, a willingness to give time and effort to the position, a capacity to understand people, and the ability to work cooperatively with others.

Compensation: $15.00 for participating at each meeting of the Board and/or meetings of committees on which Board members have been appointed to serve. CLICK HERE

Note on County Supervisor position:
Walworth County – Video Informational Workshop for County Board Supervisor Candidates CLICK HERE

Incumbent Paul Yvarra has announced that he will not be seeking re-election. Jerry Grant has filed nomination papers with the Walworth County Clerk for Walworth County Board Supervisor District 4. Jerry served on the County Board from 1998 to 2012, serving on various committees and many times as committee chair. Jerry has the desire to return to the County Board and continue to serve the constituents of District 4, which is most of the City of Whitewater.

Compensation – $600 monthly and health benefit contributions. CLICK HERE

Jefferson County – For information on elections CLICK HERE. District 24 (Part of City of Whitewater) Incumbent, Alyssa Spaanem

Compensation: $55 for attendance at official business meetings. CLICK HERE

Whitewater Police Department’s First Annual Shop with a Cop a Success

Josmar Ortiz with Officers Mike Zens (left) and Saul Valadez (right).

The Whitewater Police Department held their first successful Shop with a Cop event on December 15th.

Washington Elementary student, Josmar Ortiz, was selected by Principal Tom Grosinske and his staff to shop with local police officers for the upcoming holiday season. Josmar was presented with a certificate and $100 from the Whitewater Crime Prevention Fund.

Officers Mike Zens and Saul Valadez helped pick out gifts with Josmar at the local Walmart. Josmar then enjoyed a ride in the officer’s squad car back to the Whitewater Police Department, where officers, along with dispatchers Maria Tlougan and Heidi Gempler helped wrap the presents. Josmar then took a tour of the police department and met on-duty officers before returning home with his wrapped gifts.

“Our support Services Manager, Kathy Boyd, recently had a friend experience this program and spoke so highly about it we felt it would be a great program to implement at the Whitewater Police Department,” said Chief Lisa Otterbacher. “Officer Jake Hintz was also involved in this program in Dane County and enjoyed some wonderful experiences. We just knew it would be a great event for our team.”

With the help from Boyd, Hintz and Captain Dan Meyer, the department was able to pull the event together in a short time and with great success. The department is already excited and planning for next year’s event.

“This community event served as a wonderful opportunity for the Whitewater Police Department personnel to positively connect with one of our community’s families,” said Otterbacher, “Something that is important to us all year long, but feels even more meaningful this time of year.”

The Whitewater High School Key Club was active this year, with raising $450 for UNICEF, selling Poinsettias for the holiday season, volunteering at the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, organizing and making food for a Thanksgiving meal for the community, volunteering for Salvation Army Bell Ringing, and preparing for their big Leukemia and Lymphoma: Pennies for Patients fundraiser in February.

Ms. Lauren Wiemer, Key Club Advisor at Whitewater High School, said, “Our KEY Club has grown exponentially over the past few years. Each member brings something unique to the table. I am very proud of all the KEY club members who have dedicated their time and efforts towards bettering our community. Their leadership skills and work ethic is what makes our club successful. I look forward to what the rest of this year has in store for us!”

The Whitewater High School Key Club is a part of the Kiwanis family, which includes the University’s Circle K, Whitewater Kiwanis Foundation, and the Kiwanis Whitewater Breakfast Club. Students are all volunteers who choose to make a difference in the community through service to others.

Whitewater Girls Basketball Team 52 Big Foot 54

Abby Grosinske

Kacie Carollo

Pictures by Peter Mischka courtesy of Bob Mischka – for extensive picture gallery CLICK HERE

(Coach Judy Harms) “Big Foot hits 2 free throws with 1.8 seconds remaining to pull out a win at Whitewater tonight. The Chiefs hit 18 of 23 free throws overall, 16 of the 18 were in the second half, including the winning shots from Courtney Schoenbeck. Whippets were trying to juggle positions with both Miranda Reynolds and Jaden Henneman on the bench after fouling out. In the end that really hurt our execution during crunch time, along with a poor night rebounding. Whippets had three scorers in double figures, Abby Grosinske 13, Kacie Carollo 11, and Miranda Reynolds 10.”

Whitewater score by Halves: 25-27=52
Big Foot by Halves: 20-34=54

JV1 – BF won JV2 – WW won