‘Protest art’ at Mayville Middle School Art Fair (warning – adult content)
A piece of “protest art” by an 11th grader in the Mayville School District drew some harsh comments about what sort of education is being taught in the public schools in the small community of just over 4,900 in Dodge County.
Parents and taxpayers questioned the graphic nature of the piece that was part of a K-12 Art Fair held this past May at Mayville Middle School.
Lifelong Mayville resident Tom Jacquot was first to address the school board.
“I was told a student presented a picture of President Trump with words containing “PUSSY,” “PIECE OF ASS,” and “TREAT ‘EM LIKE SHIT” “PRETTY picture YOU DROPPING TO YOUR KNEES” written in big red letters on the piece. Donald Trump’s picture had a big red clown nose on it. So apparently it’s okay to use that kind of language now in the school district … that is … if it fits their narrative I guess!
I need to ask what the answers were to the younger students when they asked what the words really meant?
I’d like to know who in their right mind would think this was a fitting thing to do by presenting it! Schools are for teaching children and learning to be good citizens while respecting boundaries and acceptable behavior and norms. Tell me what is good about this?
School Board member Joe Hohmann passed out copies of the ‘protest art’ drawing prior to speaking to the board. He mentioned how the student had First Amendment rights but was the Middle School Art Fair an appropriate venue for the piece.
After the art fair in May calls were placed to School Board President John Westphal and District Superintendent Scott Sabol. Neither returned calls or offered a comment.
On Wednesday night, Westphal responded to parent concerns saying “we will make sure there will be some consequences for this.”
Westphal said he “did not see the art.”
Board member Norber Dornfeldt said kids see this sort of stuff on television. Dornfeldt acknowledged the piece was in the Middle School but said he didn’t see it.
When two children from the Mayville Middle School came home and asked their parent about some of the words in the picture the parent said she tried to get a hold of teachers and administrators. Below is an email response from Mayville High School art teacher Sarah Heideman sent to a parent on May 23, 2018.
The school district’s Ted Hazelberg, also sent an email response to the parent on May 21, 2018.
From: Sarah Heideman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, May 23, 2018, 7:36 AM
Subject: Re: protest art – Invitation to view
Cc:, Scott Sabol <email@example.com>, Bob Clark <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Ted Hazelberg <email@example.com >, John Schlender <firstname.lastname@example.org >, Jessica Stortz <email@example.com>
My student’s assignment was to create a talking conversation through a piece of artwork about something that they felt strongly about. The fact that a discussion is happening is a positive outcome, as well as, a learning opportunity. In the process, I apologise for not thinking about the placement and content for a younger viewer, since the show is over, I cannot fix it this year, but can promise in the future that these things will be addressed and learned from.
Thank you for raising the questions,
From: Ted Hazelberg [mailto:thazelberg@mayville. k12.wi.us]
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2018 8:00 PM
Cc: Scott Sabol; Sarah Heideman; Bob Clark; John Schlender; Jessica Stortz
Subject: Fwd: protest art – Invitation to view
I copied your message that you sent to me through ClassDojo down below. I included others in this response as well.
I understand your concern about a certain piece of art that was displayed at the Middle School Art Show this past weekend. I have no control over what pieces of art are being displayed. I do know that there was a sign near this piece of art that talked about protesting. Please see slides 8 and 9 in Mrs. Heideman’s slide presentation in Google Slides.
If you feel the need to talk with someone who was in charge of the show, please contact Sarah Heideman, High School Art teacher. I have already talked to Sarah about your concern. She can answer any of your questions/concerns regarding this situation. Respectfully, Ted Hazelberg
Board member Joe Hohmann said he thinks this is a big part of the First Amendment but it was inappropriate for the art show because Mayville is a family-oriented school district. “Every parent should be questioning what are we teaching our students but they should know that hopefully from this point going forward no conduct like this will end up happening in the future,” he said.
On June 14, 2018 the principal from Mayville Middle School, John Schlender sent a letter to parents in the Mayville School District. A parent forwarded that letter, which she received on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. The final entry notes Schlender is leaving for a new position as Educational Consultant with CESA 6 in Oshkosh. Board president Westphal said Schlender did not leave because of the ‘protest art’ incident but because he was offered another job.
Below are the full comments from life-long Mayville resident Tom Jacquot.
I was told a student presented a picture of President Trump with words containing “PUSSY”, “PIECE OF ASS”, and “TREAT ‘EM LIKE SHIT” “PRETTY picture YOU DROPPING TO YOUR KNEES” written in big red letters on the piece. Donald Trump’s picture had a big red clown nose on it. So apparently it’s okay to use that kind of language now in the school district … that is … if it fits their narrative I guess!
I need to ask what the answers were to the younger students when they asked what the words really meant?
I’d like to know who in their right mind would think this was a fitting thing to do by presenting it! Schools are for teaching children and learning to be good citizens while respecting boundaries and acceptable behavior and norms. Tell me what is good about this? And we wonder why children think nothing of harming one another if this is what is being taught or promoted! And the artwork was not just promoted or taught…it was held up as the crowning jewel… It won! I wish I really knew how and who voted to make it the winning entry. And then it was sent on to the Art Contest at UW-WC as representative of what is the best Mayville School District can offer??? Really?
The picture won so why isn’t it prominently shown here at the Administration District office along with all of the others? It was on the School District Facebook page last week but suddenly it was removed yesterday. Could you tell me why?
A caveat. If the student was trying to show that Sexual and other types of harassment are wrong, they certainly succeeded but was there any notation to that effect on the picture by the student. None that I could tell from what I could see after having the picture forwarded to me.
Would the art teacher have felt it okay if it was a picture of herself, a fellow student, the Principal, the Administrator?
Some of the Mayville School District following policies that I will list discuss Sexual and Other forms of Harassment and each one was blatantly disregarded and willfully broken by the student and then condoned by the Art? Teacher when the student’s artwork? If you can even call it that; was presented here at Mayville and at UW – WC.
5720, 5517, 5516, 5600, 0145
IMHO The teacher has proven to be untrustworthy and shown to be incapable of following the rules and policies of the school district! By condoning this picture.
I want to know why no other teachers or member of the Administration (look directly at Scott Sabel) didn’t have enough guts to pull this picture knowing it violated multiple school district policies which I have previously listed. I can’t believe not one of the teachers pulled it out!!! Are they ALL that morally inept? In my mind they are just as complicit as the Art??? Teacher in condoning this. Or was it because this is not really original artwork.
I hope that because the Art??? Teacher willfully broke not one but several District policies by condoning this disgusting piece that she will be immediately dismissed for just cause and not simply given a slap on the wrist and told oh, you should have known better.
I’d like to finish with this thought.
“Do you honestly believe it is ok to degrade women by making these types of comments, so then “why is it ok to have that picture presented as part of the artwork representing Mayville School District at its best.”
West Bend Baseball Association makes a pitch for funding to West Bend School Board
Members of the West Bend Baseball Association spoke before the West Bend School Board on Monday and asked the board for support in helping match a $500,000 grant from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to make improvements to Carl Kuss Field at Regner Park.
This past May the West Bend Common Council signed off on a Memorandum of Understanding in which matching funds would come from the City, WBBA, private donations and the West Bend School District.
That plan, however was quickly set aside after the school district announced it hadn’t agreed to the deal.
During Monday’s meeting the WBBA’s John Rozak brought forth a message to the board from West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.
“To date the city of West Bend council has agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding with $100,000 in cash to Carl Kuss Field and a minimum of $75,000 in-kind labor and equipment for the project
How many know that Regner Park was home of the baseball summer league championship for over 20 years. Now summer baseball is gone and there needs to be a place to play spring baseball and through this project we’ll have a facility to give opportunity to play baseball in the spring in West Bend.
Right now the ability to play at either Regner or the high school diamond would be very limited.
The city is willing to do something and additionally both City Administrator Jay Shambeau and the Mayor are willing to entertain a $100,000 5-year amortized loan to the district to be paid back to the city. This would still need council approval.
We’re looking for a great partnership with the Baseball Association, the school district and the community.
This is a great opportunity with money from the Cal Ripken Foundation, the Baseball Association and the City and hope the school district will also participate.
It’s a facility that can be used for a lot of things. It would be a great addition to the City.”
West Bend Baseball Association President Willie Mueller also spoke briefly to the board. “Looking to help Regner Park and with the City of West Bend and hopefully the help school board to make a park the community would enjoy going to. We did this at Concordia and it thrived. You guys have an opportunity to do something like that and all I can do is ask,” said Mueller.
Howard Henrich also spoke to the board as a parent to secure a multi-use facility for the community. Henrich said there are “milestones and hurdles to overcome” and “this is a high priority for the greater community.”
Henrich mentioned how the multi-use facility could be used for a variety of sports and different leagues. “I currently umpire at high school baseball field and I feel it is in suspect condition,” he said.
Craig Larsen then spoke on behalf of the WBBA. “This is an opportunity to do something in the community and give back to the school district,” he said. “The facility at Regner Park is beyond repair.”
The board is expected to take up discussion in July surrounding the $500,000 matching grant and its potential participation in the project.
Pillars Pub sold
A big weekend on tap at Pillars Pub, 225 S. Fifth Avenue, West Bend. After nine years Pat Kent is selling the establishment and moving on but he plans to WOOP it up big over the next three days and exit with a shebang. Kent said the biggest thing he will miss about the business is the friendships he made.
Pillars has been sold to Tom and Ashley Mitchell and they open July 5. The new establishment will be called Blondie Pop. Entertainment this weekend at Pillars Pub: Sat. June 23 – Illusion 8:30 p.m. and Sun. June 24 – 5 Card Stud 2 p.m.
Memorial dedication in Kewaskum for Larry Ammel | By Roger Strack
There was a nice dedication memorial for Larry Ammel at River Hill Park in Kewaskum on Tuesday night. The event included a dedication of the recently refurbished band stand along with a memorial stone in honor of Larry Ammel, who passed away April 16, 2017 at the age of 73.
Ammel moved to Kewaskum in 1973. He served as the high school band director and adviser to a large number of student groups in Kewaskum until his retirement in 1999.
He was an active member of the Kewaskum community serving on the village board, Kiwanis Club, American Red Cross, Big Band, Kettle Moraine Symphony and the Kewaskum Area Arts Council.
He served as Choir Director at Peace United Church of Christ for over 30 years, where he directed the chancel choir, women’s choir and men’s choir. He was instrumental in the formation of the local group, the “Ecumen”, a men’s choir consisting of men from multiple communities and denominations.
The ceremony was presented by the Kewaskum Kiwanis Club. The ceremony was followed by a concert by the Goodtime Dutchmen at Music in the Park.
Colin DeYoung was recognized for painting the bandstand as part of his Eagle Scout project.
In the days since his passing his family has been contacted by many of his former students, expressing not only their condolences for his passing, but sharing how he touched their lives in meaningful and irrevocable ways. They described his role as their teacher and mentor citing how “Mr. Ammel” was the one that listened, encouraged, and believed in them when they needed it most.
West Bend School Board debates location of Pathways Charter School
The West Bend School Board held a lengthy discussion Monday night about the future of Pathways Charter School. The issue was the location of the school and whether a new site could be found within the next two months.
The item on the table was a 1-year extension of the contract for the Charter school, open to grades 7 – 12 at 1430 S. Main Street. There are generally about 60 students enrolled each year.
Board President Joel Ongert took issue with the location of the school which is house in the Mutual Mall on Main Street in West Bend. “My sticking point is the safety. My understanding is it’s a shared facility. Doors aren’t secured. Close to Main Street. That being said – I want to amend the motion through June 30 of 2019 and add at location other than current location,” said Ongert.
Board member Ken Schmidt aske if it was reasonable to consider that. “We don’t have a lot of time. Unless someone in this body has a place. I share the same concerns but I look at reasonable compromises. We need to have a facility available for those who are enrolled in Pathways Charter School. If we can’t find one then there’s no Pathways. No other facility – no Pathways – I could not support that and I don’t think it’s reasonable.”
Some other talking points included:
– We would have capacity at the high school but we would need to determine the optimal location. Pathways reviewed a location at the HS and had some suggestions and there were drawbacks.
– Laura Jackson said, “We could look further within our own buildings. Look further anywhere. Not up to date on available space within the community.”
– Board member Nancy Justman, “I have same concerns. I’m not willing to say ‘No Pathways’ and that’s not fair to students. I charge this board and the governance council. I won’t support it either – I don’t want Pathways in jeopardy.”
– Ongert said, “I don’t want Pathways to end either. My only holdup is the location.”
– Ken Schmidt said, “Are all our facilities totally safe. We can’t prevent every safety problem. If we can’t come up with an alternate location that would be safer than the one we have then it would be my thought and go ahead some improvements to the safety of the building so it would – but if we can’t secure something in the next few weeks we need to move forward with improving the facility we have.”
-Board member Tonnie Schmidt – “I don’t have any hard evidence. If there’s room at the high school and even less than ideal – I’d like to see more information on that.”
-Board member Chris Zweigart – “We’re so close to the deadline. I wish we had more time and we don’t. This is the year we need to take a very hard look at this. Because of the tight timeline I agree with Mr. Schmidt.”
Vote taken on Ongert motion to approve and at any location other than current location. Motion fails 6-1 with only Ongert in favor.
Approve one year extension through June 30.
Ongert – “My hope is to find a location so they are not in that building. Not a blade of grass, parking 2-feet from classrooms, on the main drag, and cosmetically it’s not WB’s finest. My plea to the governance council and lead teachers at Pathways – let’s try to work with district and find something soon.”
Board member Kurt Rebholz – “There were concerns when this agreement was signed five years ago. It doesn’t take long to set up a committee to evaluate other sites. We do want a safe school environment and let’s start evaluating.”
Ken Schmidt – “It’s not fair to lay this responsibility at the feet of the governance board.”
Tonnie Schmidt – “They never had the chance to explore an environment that’s best for them. I don’t want the governance council to feel responsible and alone I’d like to empower them and we should consider their opinions.”
Vote 7-0 to approve a 1-year extension of Pathways Charter School at its current location, 1430 S. Main Street.
Cobblestone Hotel & Suites and Wissota Chop House restaurant open in Hartford
It was September 2017 when ground was first broken for Cobblestone Hotel & Suites and Wissota Chop House restaurant on Highway 60/ 110 E. Sumner Street in Hartford. Fast forward nine months and the new restaurant and hotel are now open.
A quick look inside the four-story hotel shows a head nod to Hartford history along with upper-midscale accommodations that mix “convenience, comfort and extraordinary customer care.”
Jeremy Griesbach, a 1992 graduate of Hartford Union High School, is the president of development with BriMark Builders, LLC a division of Cobblestone Builders. He felt there’s always been a missing piece to the hotel puzzle in Hartford.
“For the past 20 years of so I’ve always thought we were missing that business hotel in town and that quality lodging,” Griesbach said. “We were always losing those people to the surrounding communities and anytime somebody doesn’t stay here they’re not eating here or buying gas here and now we’re finally getting something done.”
For Hartford it’s a “shot in the arm for the community” according to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Scott Henke.
Historic photos at the hotel are courtesy retired Hartford Police officer and Hartford Historical Preservation Foundation Board Member Troy Fassbender and the Hartford Historical Society. There are a number of historic sepia photos in every room and a framed picture of Hartford’s Peace Celebration in every bathroom.
Aside from the restaurant and ease of access to downtown Main Street the hotel also offers a pool, fitness room, and a complimentary breakfast.
Contract released for new West Bend Superintendent
On May 29 the West Bend School District announced it hired Don Kirkegaard as the new Superintendent. Kirkegaard is scheduled to start in the district July 9. His contract is public record and highlights include an annual salary of $175,000, moving expenses up to $15,000 and the “District shall annually contribute 6% of the Superintendent’s salary ($10,500) to a 403 (b) retirement account. The salary for the last superintendent in West Bend was $155,000.
Blue Lotus Retreat Center receives Grant
Bader Philanthropies, Inc., one of southeastern Wisconsin’s top 10 foundations, announced its board of directors has approved a $20,000 grant to Blue Lotus Farm and Retreat Center, which provides recreational and therapeutic outdoor opportunities for older adults living with life challenges, as well as children and adults.
The funding, distributed across two years, will allow Blue Lotus to continue providing opportunities and day retreats for older adults, most of whom visit from urban areas in Milwaukee and have little exposure to natural settings. Blue Lotus, is located at 5501 County Highway M in West Bend, operates from May through October and served more than 4,000 individuals in 2017.
The grant from Bader Philanthropies will help Blue Lotus with programming, supplies, snacks, and other needs for the older adults that visit the retreat each year.
9th annual West Bend Community Foundation Donor Recognition | By Joan Rudnitzki
The Board of Directors for the West Bend Community Foundation hosted its ninth annual Donor Recognition event at Old Settlers Park on June 20. The event celebrates the accomplishments of the Foundation and the area nonprofits the Foundation supports.
As part of the evening’s program, the Foundation selected the Boys and Girls Clubs of Washington County as the winner of its Founders’ Service Award. This award recognizes an organization that used a West Bend Community Foundation grant for a special project/program that significantly benefitted the West Bend community.
Peter Ziegler, President of the West Bend Community Foundation and the son of Doug Ziegler one of the founders of the West Bend Community Foundation, offered some comments and impressive numbers about the work the Foundation has done over the past 20 years.
Updates & tidbits
– The Barbershop, a hair salon for men, is now open in West Bend, 2028 S. Main Street. Take a tour and then stop in for a cut, shampoo, trim and signature shoulder massage and hot towel. It’s the 50th location for owner Todd Degner and his wife Shannon. “We are a male-centric salon designed specifically for men. It’s something that straddles between a traditional barbershop and a salon,” Degner said. “We have a comfortable, timeless look and feel that’s the same for men and boys and grandpas and students and millionaires.”
– Rally Time Sports Bar and Grill in West Bend is looking for a part-time line cook position. Rally Time has a family-friendly team atmosphere. The position is primarily day shift and coverage as needed. Call Dan at 262-389-1142 or Cindy at 262-389-0839 or stop at the bar for an application.
-Relay for Life of West Bend will host its annual fundraiser Saturday, July 21 at Regner Park.
-Full time and part-time bartenders wanted at the V.F.W. Post 1393, 260 Sand Drive, West Bend. Call Jerry Faber for details 262-388-7006.
Unveiling the new Gehl Foods Performing Arts Pavilion in Germantown | By Andrew Davis
Smiling faces filled the grounds at Fireman’s Park in Germantown on Wednesday for the official unveiling of the Gehl Foods Performing Arts Pavilion.
The Pavilion was introduced in 2009 as a concept for a small band shell structure in the middle of the park. The Germantown community loved the idea, and many individuals and businesses generously donated to the project.
Several of these donors were present Wednesday afternoon including representatives from Fibreform Containers Incorporated, and Keller Incorporated, as well as three members of the Marine Corp League Kettle Moraine Detachment.
Several members of the Gehl family were also at the event. Gehl Foods, a leading manufacturer of dairy-based products, has been based in Germantown for over a century.
The Gehl family created a wave of enthusiasm for the project with an upfront $100,000 donation and later an additional $25,000 donation.
The Germantown Kiwanis also played a huge role in the development of the Pavilion. John Krause, a member of the Kiwanis, led a campaign that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and kept the interest high.
The plan for a small band shell gave way to a beautiful pavilion that will become the focus of many Germantown activities. The Village President of Germantown, Dean Wolter, emphasized that, “This pavilion will act not only as grounds for celebrations such as 4th of July, but also as a prominent performance arts center in Germantown.”
Wolter continued by accentuating the support the community has had for the project.
When referring to the foundation of the stage, which is constructed of bricks with the engraved names of some of the more prominent donors on them, Wolter commented, “Each one of these bricks represents a person or a family who believed in this project, and expressed that support through a rather large donation. Behind those, are the bricks that were purchased when people donated $25, $10, or $5. No matter the donation size, everyone in the community was part of this process, and we will all be able to enjoy this fantastic new addition to this park.”
The official program concluded with the cutting of a ceremonial ribbon, but the festivities were far from over. Afterward popcorn, soda, and snacks were provided for those in attendance.
At this point, the Germantown Community Band filed onto the Pavilion. This band, directed by Jim Barnes, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the band’s many diverse members were thrilled to be playing on the newly-opened stage.
As the first notes of the Star Spangled Banner erupted from the brass and wind instruments, it became evident the Gehl Foods Performing Arts Pavilion was well worth all the time, effort, and dedication.