Casey Blochowiak was named the new associate principal at Menomonee Falls High School, pending School Board approval tonight.
Blochowiak is taking the Falls position after working as a reading specialist and social studies teacher at Mukwonago High School. There, she served as the reading department chair and RISE program coordinator. She has worked as the Teaching and Learning Committee chair, secondary chair of the Reading Content Area Team, and has served as a member of the School Improvement Steering Committee, Universal Team and the Common Core Standards Committee, according to a press release issued from the Menomonee Falls School District.
Blochowiak holds a master's degree in education from Concordia University and an administration degree. She has spent seven years in education, the last six at Mukwonago. She won the district's 7-12 Specialty Educator of the Year Award in 2010-11.
The Menomonee Falls School District's hiring team highlighted Blochowiak's depth of understanding and experience in many of the initiatives Menomonee Falls is focusing on as a district, and her passion and commitment to serving and supporting students, according to the press release.
Germantown — If you see someone who appears to be scoping out your property in the next couple of weeks, don't be alarmed. They are most likely from the village of Germantown, there to assess the value of your home or business as part of the entire revaluation of the village.
The revaluation was mandated by the state, after it was determined that the assessed value of an average property in the village is about 11 percent higher than it should be. The result will likely be reduced assessed values for the majority of home and business owners in Germantown.
With the exception of a relatively small margin of homes and businesses, representatives from the village assessor's office will primarily be doing drive-by assessments to determine the new assessed values.
What that means for a taxpayer in Germantown will be mostly unknown until the village approves the new village tax rate later this year.
Of Germantown's five taxing entities, the village rate is the second largest component of the tax bill, following the school district. But school district Business Manager Ric Ericksen told the board on August 25 he doesn't believe the change will have an impact one way or another on the district's finances.
Only when forward Joey Borris headed in midfielder Sean Garwood's perfect diagonal crossing pass into the far left corner of the net at the 79:45 mark of the second half against Germantown Tuesday night did Whitefish Bay boys soccer coach Jeff Worzella take a deep breath.
The goal gave the Blue Dukes a more comfortable 2-0 lead which was extended to 3-0 eight minutes later when the two teammates traded places, this time with Garwood scoring off of Borris' corner kick.
And so with the 3-0 victory, the defending North Shore Conference Blue Dukes opened up defense of their 2013 league championship on a positive note.
"Oh yeah," said Worzella of the importance of the second goal. "In a 1-0 game, amnything can happen, one mistake, one slip, and you're tied, especially against Germantown, which is a great team and which gave us a real battle. It was a physical game, but we were able to survive."
The victory improved the Blue Dukes to 3-0-1 on the season while the Warhawks fell to 1-2.» Read Full Article
A plan to develop over 300 higher-end apartments in Menomonee Falls is proceeding, with a revised proposal going before village officials.
Milwaukee-based Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc. wants to build seven three-story buildings, totaling 318 units, on 10.8 acres north of Roosevelt Drive and south of an extension of Falls Parkway, according to a village Department of Community Development report.
The $45 million project, known as Whitestone Village, would be developed over two years. Construction could begin this fall, said Craig Raddatz, Fiduciary's development director.
Four of the seven proposed buildings would each contain 48 units, and the other three buildings would each have 42 units.
The apartments would be a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, with monthly rents ranging from around $900 to $1,600, Raddatz said.» Read Full Article
Germantown — A personalized learning approach will be integrated into the Germantown School District's development of its own standards if Personalized Learning Coordinator Scott Oftedahl has anything to say about it.
In a passionate presentation to the school board on August 25, Oftedahl shared his experiences teaching a summer school class in which he encouraged students to creatively problem solve using what he calls a learn, create, share method of teaching.
Included in his presentation was a video highlighting his beliefs regarding personalized learning, which he sees as an integral component of learning as it continues to evolve alongside technology.
Oftedal said his experiences teaching a variety of courses, from music to design and engineering, has taught him to encourage students to try things, accept they will fail on occasion and learn from their mistakes.
Much of what Oftedahl passionately presented to the board was prompted by the district's decision late last year to divert from the Common Core Standards, which were adopted by the state in 2010. In doing so, the board became the first in the state to unanimously agree to formally choose to create its own version of standards, to be known as the Germantown Model of Standards for Academic Achievement.
Germantown — Personal experience is helping shape some changes to the paid time-off policy in the Germantown School District.
The board on August 25 considered changes to its employee handbook, including alterations to how district staff takes time off when a loved one passes away, before or after holidays and in-service days, and around maternity and medical leave.
At the policy committee, discussion centered around a policy change that allows all district staff, regardless of rank of employment, to take up to three days of time off after the loss of a loved one, including one day of bereavement leave and up to two days of sick or personal time. Currently, there is differentiation between administrators and teachers, limited-term and support staff.
In addition to bereavement leave, there could be changes to how the district handles donation of time off from one employee to another in the case of a catastrophic illness, such as a terminal cancer diagnosis. Changes would allow a district employee to donate only personal days, which refresh each year, to fellow employees, as opposed to sick days that accumulate year over year.
How staff uses unpaid time off could also be changing, as employees who use unpaid time will be required to exhaust all other paid time off before using an unpaid day off. Unpaid days off, most frequently used in cases of maternity or medical leave, would no longer be used to supplement an in-service day or holiday.» Read Full Article
Germantown — It happens to everyone from time to time. Whether the giver or the receiver, in the age of Smartphones, pocket dial phone calls are becoming a reality of life. But for the Germantown Police Department, the way of the technological future is taking away from how they do their jobs in the present.
Mistaken 911 calls to the department are at an all-time high in the village, according to Police Chief Peter Hoell.
A rustling around in the background, non-responsiveness from the caller, and general fuzzy sound to the call usually alerts dispatch officer Carrie Ross to the occurrence of one of these calls, but she said none of that affects her response to the matter. Even if the call is ended by the caller, Ross said dispatchers make every effort to reach the person to ensure their safety, including a follow-up after the fact.
While the department receives an average of as many as seven pocket dial 911 calls in an average day, Hoell said the department received more than double that many on Friday, August 22. From the time of initial call to a police response to the original location of origin, it can take as long as a half-hour for the department to appropriately rule out potential suspicious activity associated with each call. The process for Ross is the same regardless of the origin of the call.
Though it only accounts for about five percent of what could be perceived as misdialed emergency calls, Hoell said there are instances when police respond to potential accidental call that turns out to be of legitimate concern. Of the 15 pocket dial calls received on August 22, there was one that alerted police to a domestic violence incident, which Hoell said is the most common silver lining in the technological advancement of cellphone emergency calls to the department.» Read Full Article
Germantown police are seeking a man who claimed he was a lieutenant in Ozaukee County after they found he was not an employee there.
According to the Germantown police report:
A resident in the N109 W16800 block of Hawthorne Drive called police to report a man claiming he was a lieutenant in Ozaukee County repeatedly called her and told her she needs to make payments on unpaid traffic violation tickets Aug. 12.
An officer contacted the caller, who said he worked for the warrant division in Ozaukee County. The officer then called Ozaukee County and confirmed the suspect was not an employee.
Police are following up. No other information was released.
Perhaps first-year Greenfield coach Joe Koch had the best perspective on the disparity between Germantown and the Hustlin' Hawks on Friday, Aug. 22, in the season opener for both teams.
"We're like an amateur boxer who stepped up to try and fight Mike Tyson in his prime," said Koch, who is embarking in his fourth reclamation project, having previously turned around programs at Whitefish Bay Dominican, Oak Creek and Pius XI.
The way Germantown rolled to the 56-7 victory in Datka Stadium was very familiar to Koch; he's seen it from his teams in the past.
The Warhawks turned a 7-0 first-quarter lead into a 42-0 halftime cushion that invoked the WIAA's running clock mercy rule throughout the second half. Germantown needed just eight plays in the second quarter to put up those 35 points.
"You want to see guys not let down and play down a level," Germantown coach Jake Davis said. "Great teams will continue to play great no matter who they face. That's what I was looking for out of these guys."» Read Full Article
For 2 1/2 quarters on Friday, the Menomonee Falls football team, despite giving up hundreds of pounds of line weight and years of experience to visiting Oak Creek, had the Knights on the ropes to the tune of a 10-0 deficit in opening-night action.
But then the Knights forgot all their lofty, preseason rankings and just started playing football.
They scored two quick touchdowns in the third quarter and then held on to overwhelm the game Indians by a 20-10 to count.
"This should serve as a lesson to us," said Oak Creek coach Mike Bartholomew to the team afterwards on the muggy, foggy evening. "We are not the hunter this year; we are the hunted. We've got to practice like we're in second place all week long and then play like we're in first place all game long."
One key player who did do that this evening was senior defensive back/receiver Doran Turchin. Turchin, the NOW Newspapers Baseball Player of the Year for the Knights, did not play football last season in order to concentrate on baseball, but he made his presence felt in his return to the gridiron.» Read Full Article
As August ends, the Wisconsin preps football season begins.
Games started Thursday and continued through Saturday as programs faced off against Week 1 opponents.
Now Newspapers and Lake Country Publications compiled the best photos shared on social media featuring teams from our coverage area, predominantly in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.
Here's the best sights and sounds from Week 1.
Germantown — A man accused of peeping through a bathroom door vent at a Germantown bar is being held at the Washington County Jail after police caught him in the act.
Two undercover police officers, who were monitoring the situation after an initial report on Aug. 15, caught the 40-year-old Germantown man in the act at 12:22 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21, at Gamroth's Khurburg Junction, W140 N10385 Fond du Lac Ave.
When a woman went into the bathroom, the officers caught the man looking through the bathroom door vent for a second time, according to Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell. The first incident occurred at about 1 a.m. on Aug. 14, when the man followed a woman using the bathroom and "knelt down near the bathroom door," according to the report, "attempting to look in the vent which is located near the bottom of the bathroom door" for about 20 seconds.
The woman could see the man through the vent, and said she believed he was watching her undo her pants and pull down her underwear, according to the report.
The incident prompted police to send two undercover officers to the establishment, resulting in the arrest. The man, who according to the report claimed to be "tying his shoe," was arrested on two counts of invasion of privacy and disorderly conduct, after police observed him attempt to peep on the same woman again.» Read Full Article
Germantown — A man accused of peeping through a bathroom door vent at a Germantown bar has been taken into custody.
Two undercover police officers who were monitoring the situation after an initial report on August 15 caught the 40-year-old West Bend man in the act at 12:22 a.m. August 21 at Gamroth's Khurburg Junction, W140 N10385 Fond du Lac Avenue.
When a woman went into the bathroom, the officers caught the man looking through the bathroom door vent for a second time, according to Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell.
The man was arrested on two counts of invasion of privacy and disorderly conduct, and is currently being held at the Washington County Jail.
Reports will be completed and forwarded to the Washington County District Attorney's Office for charging purposes.
Menomonee Falls — Advanced Waste is out, and a new tax-incremental financing district could be in. The village's recent settlement with the Milwaukee-based industrial waste treatment business was part of a much larger long-term plan for the area as village officials consider a new industrial TIF district along the east and west sides of Lilly Road, north of Silver Spring Drive in the Manhardt Drive area.
About three weeks after the village board approved a $2.8 million settlement agreement with AWS authorizing the purchase of 21.6 acres of land, an initial meeting of the Joint Review Board was held this morning to review proposed plan for TIF No. 12.
Including what would have been the new home of a ChemWorks industrial waste processing business, the proposed TIF 107.5 acres of land that Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said could become the home to up to seven new light industrial businesses.
The majority of the land within the proposed district is currently zoned for heavy industrial development, so Fitzgerald said something of a smaller scale will be a better fit in the area. The plan includes vacant land in addition to the AWS site, which will be completely redeveloped as part of the estimated $3 million in improvements to the area.
TIF is a mechanism that allows municipalities to borrow money to fund infrastructure improvements for an area that otherwise would be difficult to develop or redevelop. The increased property tax revenue from the improved land is then diverted from the tax roll to pay off the loan.» Read Full Article
Menomonee Falls — The much-needed facelift to Menomonee Avenue has been revealed, and while village officials know its not as good as new, it is certainly an improvement.
At an estimated cost of about $200,000, the repaving project removed rough spots and resurfaced the stretch of road between Appleton Avenue and Town Hall Road. Originally slated for late-May, the project was delayed until August due to the high demand of contractors during the summer months.
It was the first time the village attempted this kind of repaving project, which essentially recycles existing roadway and reuses the asphalt. Taking just about a week to complete, Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said the village will likely use the method again elsewhere in the village.
In the meantime, village officials plan to continue seeking state assistance to fund a complete $3 million overhaul of the road, hopefully by 2018.
Menomonee Falls — If you plan on running for office in Menomonee Falls any time soon, take head. Village officials are cracking down on the location and placement of campaign signs throughout the community.
The Village Board on August 18 approved a new campaign sign policy that trustee Steve Raymonds said provides more clear definitions of where signs can and cannot be located, as well as how police enforce the policy. Under the new policy, campaign signs must be located on private property and only with permission from the property owner can be placed 12 feet from the back of the curb in urban areas with curb and gutter or 18 feet from the edge of the street in rural areas with roadside drainage ditches.
Signs may not be placed between the curb and gutter and sidewalk, between the edge of the street pavement and walking paths or roadside drainage ditches, in the grass area adjacent to the street pavement, on boulevard medians or on power and telephone poles.
"The new policy is more expedient, that when (police) see signs placed incorrectly, they will not need to call the people, they'll just take the signs down to let them know they have them," Raymonds explained. "(This is) a much more simplified and also expedient proposal."
The more proactive approach to enforcement was sanctioned by the police department, according to Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald who said this will become a part of regular patrol activity.» Read Full Article