The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District has released the following message regarding "Jesus Lunches," a controversial series of gathering that have sparked a debate about evangelism in public schools:
We wanted to share the following message that was sent to Middleton High School staff and families earlier today. We believe there is interest from our wider District community, plus we also wanted to provide information in case you see something in the media in the next few days.
We are writing to share with you some background on a topic your student may have come home and shared with you. There is a small group of parents who have been organizing free lunches at Middleton High School over the past year.
George W. Bush was still president of the United States. Jim Doyle was the governor of Wisconsin. A little social networking service called “Twitter” had just been launched. Donald Trump was merely a reality TV star.
And here in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, a man named Don Johnson was starting his new job as superintendent.
Now, after a wild ride that included a litany of ups and downs, that soft spoken but unflappable man has announced that after nine years as the top administrator, he plans to retire this summer.
More than 1,200 Wisconsin high school students - from areas as diverse as Middleton, Bonduel, Janesville, and the Milwaukee Public School system - are in the process of reading a book that many Americans have never heard of: the classic novel of sixteenth-century China, Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West.
Locally, students at Clark Street Community School, the Middleon-Cross Plains Area School District’s groundbreaking charter school, are taking part in the program. They even went on their own journey (to the east, to China Town in Chicago) as part of their studies.
Thanks to a major grant awarded by the Wisconsin Humanities Council to UW-Madison’s Center for the Humanities, UW-Madison faculty, graduate students and staff will join students in their classrooms to engage in the collaborative study of world literature over the course of the coming year.
Colin Higgins, a University of Wisconsin-Madison student and Middleton native, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in November and will go on to Oxford University in the fall to continue his studies.
Despite an outstanding collegiate career, triple majoring with comprehensive honors in environmental studies, geography and history and pursuing a Master of Public Affairs degree at the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, Higgins says he wasn’t the greatest student or even very interested in school until a few key teachers and courses at Middleton High School (MHS) changed his perspective.
Higgins says it wasn’t until the end of his sophomore year at MHS that “things sort of flipped.” He recalls his tenth grade English class with Ryan Haugen reading classics such as 1984, Brave New World, and Catcher in the Rye sparking an interest in literature.
From his fourth generation family farm, American Provenance founder Kyle LaFond ambitiously formulates his unique line of all-natural men’s personal care products.
His inspiration is his grandfather, who was a hardworking traditional Wisconsin dairy farmer. His grandfather loved being on the farm and had a deep appreciation for nature. LaFond describes him as a person who always looked and smelled wonderful.
“He was one of those guys who I remember had a jar of pomade and I think it lasted his entire life,” LaFond, a Middleton High School graduate, said with a smile. “It was just always there.”
Third- and fourth-graders at Elm Lawn had a special visitor last month. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stopped by and talked to approximately 200 students about state government for more than 45 minutes. Local elementary schools complete a unit on local and state government each year in the spring, and Elm Lawn has always tried to find someone to visit and address students when the unit is completed. Among those who attended were Superintendent Don Johnson and Board of Education members Bob Green and Anne Bauer.
“The governor did a great job,” said Perry Hibner, the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District’s media relations specialist. “He even said afterwards how impressed he was with the level of knowledge our students had about local and state government.’’
Middleton’s boys tennis team has been the class of the Madison area for quite some time now.
This year, the Cardinals would like to challenge the Milwaukee-area schools for state supremacy.
But as Middleton found out last weekend, that won’t be easy.
The Cardinals performed admirably at the Madison Memorial Invite, but settled for second place. Middleton fell in the title match, 4-3, to Mequon Homestead.
“We played pretty well, but we are still make tweaks and adjustments to our lineup to find the combination that gives us the best chance to win,” Middleton coach Deke Bradley said. “We were fairly happy with the results, but we were really hoping to beat Homestead.”
Middleton freshman Jake Van Emburgh notched a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles over Homestead’s Will Kamnerait. Cardinals senior Ben Luskin also earned a 7-5, 6-4 win at No. 2 singles.
Middleton seniors Evan Stone and Joey Niesen also posted a 6-4, 7-6 (7) win at No. 1 doubles.
Submitted by MTT News Desk on Wed, 02/05/2014 - 13:47
Because of weather cancellations on Monday and Tuesday of last week, teacher Andrew Harris did not actually start his new job teaching science at Kromrey Middle School until Wednesday morning. That didn’t stop a series of events surrounding his controversial return to the classroom from unfolding, however.
Four years ago Harris was fired for having opened e-mails containing adult images on his school computer. The ensuing investigation revealed other staffers had viewed adult images on school computers as well, but they received suspensions, and were not fired. At no time were any students exposed to any of the e-mails in question, school officials determined.
The local teachers’ union took Harris’ case to arbitration and won. Subsequent court appeals upheld the arbitrator’s decision, and last week, Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District officials finally agreed to abide by the ruling. Harris has been rehired.
Submitted by MTT News Desk on Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:13
Last week, as he prepared to re-enter a seventh grade classroom after a tumultuous four-year absence from teaching, science teacher Andrew Harris said he understands the concerns many parents have about his return.
“If I were a parent in this situation, I would want to know what’s going on,” said Harris, who will take part in a teacher work day at Kromrey Middle School on Friday and then begin teaching students there on Monday. “I made a mistake, and I’m sorry for the mistake I made. I’d like to rebuild the trust, show people that I’m a good teacher.”
Submitted by MTT News Desk on Thu, 01/02/2014 - 17:00
The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District re-administered a math test and plans to delve into some of its policies and procedures following allegations that students cheated on recent exams.
In a message sent to parents and guardians late last week, Middleton High School principal Denise Herrmann said the district recently discovered a calculus exam was “compromised.”
That exam, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, was re-administered after the district learned of the allegations.
“In response, we launched an investigation that included interviews with staff and students as well as a review of video footage,” wrote Herrmann. “We also received several letters from students and parents which provided additional information to the scope and severity of cheating on tests in courses across the curriculum.”