Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

0911, 06 Feb 16

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

High praise for Mother Cabrini Award winner Judy Stallman

As part of Catholic Schools Week, St. Frances Cabrini presents its annual Mother Cabrini Award and this year’s winner is Judy Stallman.  “She’s one of the best religion teachers I’ve ever had,” said fifth grader Daniel Tejeda.

The Mother Cabrini Award has been presented to a staff member at Saint Frances Cabrini since 1989 making this the 26th year for the award. Nominations are made by staff members with criteria based on Mother Cabrini’s life.

Qualities considered include perseverance: The spirit and will to proceed on, despite difficulties or obstacles, Missionary Zeal: A great desire to reach out to others, Simplicity: A desire to live an unencumbered life, looking more to values and Educational Mission: An attitude that demonstrates love for children.

“She’s very caring and compassionate and treats everyone with respect,” said K4 teacher Pat Kraemer. “She has a strong religious background and children respect her; she’s just an all around great person.”

Stallman has been teaching at Cabrini for 30+ years. “I just love my job,” she said.

Shocked to receive the award, Stallman said it’s usually given to “someone new every year.” Stallman recalled, she received the award about 20 years ago.  “Yes, it was a surprise,” she said.

Stallman credits prayer for growing her connection with students. After the announcement Friday afternoon there was a parade of girls and boys who stopped Stallman in the hallway to offer a congratulatory hug and a note of thanks.

A release from the school included comments from other teachers on who praised Stallman for her faith and commitment to teaching.

John McGivern preview show on West Bend this week

There will be a free preview of PBS television show Around the Corner – West Bend on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. There will be two shows at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. This Sunday McGivern will have a brief write up about West Bend on the front page of the Home and Realtor’s section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. There will be 7 photos, of people you’ll likely recognize and a story by McGivern that will paint West Bend as “beautiful and fun.”

Claire Rolfs receives Distinguished Graduate Award

Claire Rolfs of West Bend is the recipient of this year’s National Catholic Educational Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award. Holy Angels Principal Mike Sternig presented Rolfs with the award.

“As president of the Thomas J. Rolfs Family Foundation, Claire Rolfs has been instrumental in providing support for many varied endeavors,” Sternig said. “These include support for the Nature Conservancy, American Prairie Preserve, and other recycling and ecology programs. The Foundation has supported the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs ‘Mission: Welcome Home’ program.

“There is ample evidence of the support of the Foundation on campus of the University of Notre Dame. At Marquette University, solutions to education concerns in the community are being sought with the assistance and urging of this year’s distinguished graduate.”

In the West Bend area, Claire Rolfs has been active in supporting the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA). Medical services are more readily available in the community at the Albrecht Free Clinic through the Foundation’s support. West Bend High School graduates have been recipients of an annual major scholarship provided by the Rolfs Foundation.

The Stehling Project at Holy Angels School was established because of the interest expressed by Claire Rolfs to support a school which continues to be “unique, premier and enduring.”

On a personal level, Sternig noted, “I have thoroughly enjoyed every opportunity to meet with Claire because of her wit and charm, her desire to make a difference, and her willingness to step up to any challenge which can improve the community.”

Gov. Walker in Jackson for listening session

Governor Scott Walker will be at Jackson Village Hall on Thursday afternoon for a listening session. The event is part of the Working for Wisconsin: 2020 Vision Project. Business leaders from the community will discuss concerns to ensure the priorities of Washington County businesses are considered in the shaping of the governor’s strategies.

AC Photography opens in Barton

There’s a new business on the block in Barton as AC Photography has opened in the former Wash-Line Laundromat, 1708 Barton Ave.

“I like the wide openness and the natural light,” said owner Andrea Cluka. “There’s a lot more space than what I had when I worked out of my home.”

Neighbors who did their laundry in Barton will do a double take when they step through the doorway. Gone is the parade of washers, dryers and folding tables as Cluka has transformed the space into an open-concept studio.

Individual themed areas are laid out in sections including a bedroom setting, shaggy rug and wood floor. All have photo-friendly backdrops that can easily be switched up with the addition of a bright pillow, fun sash or comfortable blanket.

During a recent photo shoot Cluka was down on the floor, at eye level with her client. “Ah boogah boogah boogah,” she said grabbing the little girl’s toe and then snapping off a series of quick shots.

“I’m very personable,” said Cluka. “I treat my clients like they’re good friends. They’re still my clients but I want them to know I respect them and they’re more than just another person.”

The former Laundromat has been built special for Cluka. There are side closets for her props, clothing selections, toys and backdrops.

“I’ve invested a lot in the props,” she said. “In the photography business we like to say we never have enough.”

At 33 years old, Cluka has more than 10 years experience behind the camera. On her website, she describes herself as “baby photographer extraordinaire.”

“What I love is families that grow with me,” she said. “I’ve had families where I do their engagement, their wedding, their maternity, their newborn, their second child and I love that people trust me with their children and still enjoy my style and most of all enjoy me.”

Cluka is bubbly and has an easy laugh. She leads her client to a side wall and runs through a clothesline full of dresses for little girls. “This one is so sparkly and this is colorful and spring like,” she said.

A mom of two boys, Cluka said she is “inspired” by children. When Cluka isn’t busy with her family or her photos she volunteers her time, taking pictures for families that have received difficult news about a birth.

“I’m a photographer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” said Cluka. “It’s an organization you have to be accepted to as photographers donate their time to parents who have lost a child in utero or at birth.”

Born in Richfield and a graduate of Hartford High School, Cluka now makes her home in West Bend. She said the space in Barton was a natural fit. “I liked Barton because I have a friend who opened her salon down the road,” she said. “This is on the main drag. Maricio’s is a great place and a lot of people know where that is; I live right down the road and it couldn’t get any better.”

AC photography is open by appointment only. Reach Cluka at 262- 224-1982 or

Packer legend Paul Hornung coming to West Bend

Green Bay Packer legend Paul Hornung is coming to West Bend next month. Hornung will be part of a collector card show and autograph session Saturday, March 12 at the West Bend Moose Lodge. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Moose Lodge. The show will run from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and the ‘Golden Boy,’ will be on site for autographs around 10:30 a.m. There will be a $1 admission to the show and a small fee for autographs.

New study at Spaulding Clinical

Spaulding Clinical is conducting a study where volunteers can earn up to $7,000. The Minion study is looking for healthy male and female volunteers between the ages of 18 and 45, who weigh at least 110 pounds and no more than 220 pounds and have a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28. The study consists of 2 or 3 periods of in-house stay, each lasting 14 days/13 nights at our state-of-the-art facility in West Bend, as well as up to 6 outpatient visits. More information at 800.597.4507 or

Updates & tidbits

Joel Lawien is the new owner for the former Call of the Wild restaurant in St. Michaels. Lawien, formerly with Olde Mill Inn in Richfield, has taken over the business, 8906 Forest View Road and will rename it the Great Outdoors Supper Club. Opening is in March 2016.

-Maricio’s in Barton is prepping for two major events as the Super Bowl is Sunday and Valentine’s Day. “We do a heart-shaped pizza for Valentine’s and we have special appetizers as well,” said owner Mary Waters. Maricio’s is celebrating its 11th year in business.

-Forward Dental plans to open Monday, Feb. 8 at 1006 S. Main St.  The new signs went up Friday at the location formerly home to The Coachman House and Club Ten 06.

-Regal Nails Salon & Spa has closed. The store was inside the Wal-Mart, 1515 W. Paradise Drive in West Bend.

-In-person absentee voting runs through this Friday, Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. Area clerks say turnout has been rather light and everyone, so far, has been prepared to show ID to vote. The Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary is April 5, 2016.

-Local Girl Scouts are hitting the streets and offices with their colorful grid of cookie sales including thin mints, shortbread, Thanks-A-Lot and Lemonades. Scouts will be taking orders through the end of February.

-On Monday the West Bend School Board will recognize the STEM program, science, technology, engineering and math. STEM is part of the Robotics team and helps get kids interested in engineering – especially females. Local robotics teams are sponsored by John Deere, Delta Defense, Salberg Law, and Al Jung.

-Watch for a new sign for Blue Luna, 525 Hickory St. in West Bend. The yoga and wellness studio is owned by Felicita Nieves.

– Midwest Dental and Dr. Luke Beehner, D.D.S. in West Bend saw 27 children as part of Give Kids a Smile Day. Midwest Dental and its staff offered kids 3-12 years free cleaning, exams, X-rays, fillings, and sealants. The children also left the office, 1713 Vogt Drive, with a goody bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, plastic all-star sunglasses.

-The 30th Annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake Fundraiser benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County is Feb. 19, 20, 26, and 27 at King Pin Bowl & Ale House in West Bend and Dave’s Lanes in Hartford. More info at (262) 334-7896 or

-The Albrecht Free Clinic is planning an open house for donors and the public on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. The Albrecht Free Clinic is now located at 908 West Washington St. in West Bend. Next month the clinic will also offer dental services.

Thursday Night Fishing Club is having an Ice Jamboree Feb. 20. All money raised goes to restocking Big Cedar Lake with walleyes and putting structure such as fish cribs to make are local lake a better fishery. Our club has been doing this since the year 2000.

Remembering the old tower fire escape

Today’s 1919 photo, courtesy Steve Kissinger, is posted as a tribute to Catholic Schools Week.

According to the archives in the Research Center at the WCHS, ‘The public grade school was located at the head of Elm Street where it intersects with Eighth Avenue. The view looks northwest and was taken from Eighth Avenue. Notable with this view is the addition of the tower fire escape.  The building was later sold to Holy Angels Catholic Church, which used it as an elementary school. The building no longer exists.’

Dick Klumb of West Bend wrote a book in 2001 about the ‘History of Holy Angels.’ “The Public School was constructed in approximately 1888,” said Klumb.

“In 1939 after McLane School was built Holy Angels purchased this school from the West Bend School District and it became Holy Angels grade school. An addition to the south side of the school was added in 1950 and in 1963 the original Public School was torn down and the current building was completed.”

Roger Strack of Kewaskum was in second grade when he moved to McLane School. He said he didn’t recognize the Public School as much as he did the big merry go round on the north side of the playground and the fire escape. “I remember we’d open the steel door and climb up the slide,” Strack said.

Washington County Judge Andrew Gonring said his father, Mike, went to school when it was Holy Angels. “He used to say, a lot of famous fannies slid down that fire escape,” said Gonring. “At the annual Valentine’s Day party at school you could slide down it for two cents.”

Corey (Kohl) Wuebben said he “spent some of the happiest years of my life in that building.”  Wuebben said the “old part of the building where the fire escape is pictured was demolished” and is now the site of the food stand and band tent during the annual parish festival.

Mary Ann Goeden Hupfer of West Bend went to school at the original Holy Angels in the mid 1940s when Sister Agatha was principal and Rev. Stehling would “teach religious ed and hand out jellybeans.”

“I remember the really long cloak room in the sixth grade,” Hupfer said. “It had hooks and we’d all hang our coats and caps in there because we had no lockers.”   Hupfer also remembered marching with music. “When we’d go outside for recess there was an old Victrola in the lobby and we’d march in procession and you wouldn’t talk until you were down the street,” she said.

Hupfer also remembered an incident in first grade when she was in Sister Robert’s class. “My friend Marcella broke her crayon in half and we got caught giggling in the back of class. I had to stay after school until 4 o’clock with my finger on my mouth,” laughed Hupfer.

Kay Baker Michels was a 1963 graduate of Holy Angels School. “Both my husband, Terry Michels, and I attended this school and I taught at Holy Angels for 26 years as a second grade teacher and librarian.” Michels said the connection with the photo was that it tied into celebrating Catholic Schools Week. “I also remember the old fire escape,” said Michels. “Everyone wanted to be in Sister Hildebrand’s class as you got to take a ride in it each time there was a fire drill.”

James Fellenz went to Holy Angels back in the 1950s. “I’ll never forget the fire escape,” Fellenz said. “The janitor took our shoes and we had to walk home bare footed. It was in March; talk about having cold feet.”

Doug Jaeger also recalled how “some of us kids used to climb up that outdoor emergency escape chute and slide back down.”

Maureen Dick of West Bend was a student at Holy Angels until in 1963. “I was in the eighth grade and that was the first year for the new addition on the north side of the building,” she said. “If I remember correctly the old building wasn’t taken down until the new one was completed.”

Dick recalled that was also the beginning of the Holy Angels picnic. “At the first picnic we were allowed go inside and pay to swing a sledge hammer at a wall,” she said referencing the demolition.

Some of the teachers connected to Holy Angels included Sister Mary Marks; she ran the candy store in the basement at lunch time. Sister Mary Agatha, Sister Mary Lisetta, Sister Mary Ventura, Sister Mary Hildebrand, Sister Cyril, Ms. Brown, Sister Lillian, Mrs. Rice, Sister Marinella, Sister Mary Floria, and Sister Mary Amabilis.

On a side note: One of the notable talking points was the fire escape. Jim Dricken wrote, “When they took the building down in the mid 1960s, my dad Len Dricken, saved the fire escape to be used as a fun item for kids. The fire escape, named ‘The Tower,’ is still in use at Lake Lenwood Beach and Campground.

WB Public School Fire Escape


0911, 06 February 2016


Pin It on Pinterest