Thursday, May 31, 2012

Graduation 2012

Kelli Schmitz and Megan Flock

On May 26th the 115th class of seniors graduated from Cashton High School. This year's ceremony was filled with energy. The graduates started to arrive about an hour early. They met as a group in the cafeteria. As they helped each other get ready stories were told, jokes were made, and laughter filled the room. Ties were tied, the caps and gowns were fitted, and tassels were placed properly on the left side. As the senior class made their final preparations the gym began to fill with friends and families. I have learned the best place to stand prior to the ceremony is near the front entrance of the gym. It is a great opportunity to shake hands with former graduates, community members, grandparents, and proud parents. 

For some parents this graduation ceremony will mark the end of a busy phase in their own lives. A phase that started with PTO meetings and volunteering for field trips. A period that included practicing locker combinations; tutoring for math finals; music lessons; running up to the school to sign a permission slip; parent-teacher conferences; and countless trips throughout the Coulee region to watch athletic and extra-curricular competitions. A chapter that is likely concluding with intense discussions about future goals, reviewing job applications, attending financial aid seminars, and visits to local post-secondary institutions.

At 7:55 the graduates filed out of the cafeteria and into position to start the processional. A few final reminders were provided by class advisers and then at eight o'clock sharp the ceremony began with a loud drum roll. As the 42 graduates took their place on stage in the front of the gym, cameras, phones, and IPADS captured the moment. Almost immediately, these images were being uploaded and shared with friends and family that could not make the trip to Cashton for the ceremony.

Dillon Flock
It was noted throughout the ceremony that this is an impressive group of young adults. 26 honor graduates, 76 scholarships totaling over $175,000, regional and sectional championships, state and national appearances in extra curricular activities, and state recognition for academic performance.

Sarah Gronemus

A highlight of the ceremony was the student speeches. Sarah Gronemus, senior class president, reminded her classmates to savor the moments that high school provided. Dillon Flock, valedictorian, urged the class of 2012 to look to the future and not dwell to long on the successes or failures in high school. Sonja Cummings, salutatorian, referenced her favorite song as she congratulated the group for making their mark. Finally, Amelia Korn, senior class vice president, thanked parents, teachers, and her fellow classmates for their dedication, support, and patience.

Amelia Korn

The ceremony concluded with the distribution of the diplomas and a spirited recessional.  Families and friends lingered making sure to get pictures with various combinations of friends and families.  About an hour after the ceremony concluded the final family made their way to home.

Faculty Speaker, Mr. Fencl

Congratulations to the Class of 2012!  On behalf of the faculty, I applaud your efforts over the last four years.  Excellence in academics and extra-curricular activities is a tradition at Cashton Public Schools, and I praise your efforts in upholding and advancing this standard.  During the transition from your high school years to your adult lives, you will always remember and value your time at Cashton Public Schools.  I am proud to have been a part of it.  Best wished and best of luck in the future!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Results from Middle School Parent Survey

Earlier this spring we asked parents of middle students to complete a survey.  The information provided will allow us to better implement our vision of an engaging and challenging learning environment for middle level students.  Below is a snapshot of the short answer results.  Thank you to those parents that participated.

Middle School Survey Results 1

Middle School Survey Results 2

Middle School Survey Results 3

Middle School Survey Results 4

Middle School Survey Results 5

Middle School Survey Results 6

Middle School Survey Results 7

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cashton Students Test Educational Games for UW-Madison's Discovery Institutes

On Thursday, May 3rd middle and high school science students participated in some educational gaming research for UW-Madison researchers.  Meaghan Rothschild and Michael Beall of the Morgridge Institute for Research had students play the educational game Progenitor X.  Progenitor X is a game developed to teach players about the relationships between cells, tissues, and organs, including the basic scientific principles of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell research.   While the researches have spent many hours developing the game; they need middle and high school students to test these games.  The goal for their visit was to collect very specific data.  Prior to playing the game, students took a short pretest to determine their background knowledge on the subject.  While students played the game, analytics software monitored each move that students made to better understand the choices students make while playing the game.  Following the game, students took a post test and were able to give feedback directly to the researchers.  The research collected will  help developers create a game that enhances the learning experience.  Our students were able to learn about stem cells, participate in applied science research, and discuss the elements of game design with professional game designers.  We are excited for the opportunity to participate in other play-testing projects in all content areas.

Thank you to Monte Fernholz (middle school science), Julie Lundeen (high school science), and Krissa Byom (high school science/special education) for coordinating the experience.

Pictures courtesy of Kim Fanning
If you are interest in learning more about the Educational  Research taking place at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery a few resources are available below: