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History: Local: School Index

Woodside Elementary School

Woodside Elementary celebrates 10th anniversary

School's focus remains the same

Hamilton School District — Woodside Elementary School celebrated its 10-year anniversary last week and though a decade has passed and the school has seen changes - Woodside's focus stays the same.

When the newly constructed Woodside Elementary School opened its doors in August of 1999, staff and administration didn't just want to give students a top-notch educational experience. They strove to educate the entire child. Ten years and hundreds of students later, Woodside's education philosophy remains unchanged.

"We take a lot of pride in trying to educate the whole student," said Principal James Edmond.

Woodside, located at W236 N7465 Woodside Road, celebrated its anniversary Sept. 17 with a ceremony and tree dedication with current and former students, parents, district staff and community members.

From dream to development

Woodside was the first building built in the Hamilton School District since 1969 in response to the district's growth.

Woodside's first principal, Diane Loppnow, was integral in the development of the new school.

"It was momentous in the life of the district as well as my own life," said Loppnow, who had been principal at Willow Springs before Woodside. "It was very exciting, very demanding and very rewarding."

While Woodside Elementary School was still under construction, Loppnow remembers taking small groups of students on tours around the site to talk about the school and better acquaint the children with their new building. District staff would also go on-site to discuss the physical and curricular plans for the years ahead.

About 475 students attended the 82,000-square-foot building in that first school year. Students occupied classrooms that were built in clusters with computer technology and library resources in central locations. Now up to nearly 700 students today, Woodside also uses portable classrooms to house a number of fifth-grade sections.

Jacob Anderson, currently a sophomore at Hamilton High School, was a kindergartener at Woodside that first school year and was chosen to cut the ribbon during the school's dedication ceremony.

"Being that little, I thought the library was so big because the ceiling was so big," said Anderson.

The school's structure was ready in that first year, but the landscaping still left something to be desired. The building was surrounded by mud and dirt until eventually grass took root, Loppnow said.

Loppnow remembers that first year as a balancing act as they secured educational needs and the building's needs.

"It was a constant juggling of people needs and physical needs (of the school)," said Loppnow, who recalls frequently meeting trucks in the school's parking lot for deliveries. "The miracle of that…is that the essential pieces were in place."

Loppnow retired at the end of that school year but throughout the years has continued her involvement with education and the Hamilton School District.

"It's hard to shake chalk dust off your hands when you've been in a classroom and an educator," said Loppnow. "(Woodside) was really a great place to serve as an educator. They put children first."

While Woodside has 697 students, the school has the feeling of a small community, said Edmond, who has been principal for the past two years.

Woodside has a number of ongoing initiatives to educate the whole child including healthy snack days, wellness programs, morning meetings about treating others kindly, family fitness nights and fun runs scheduled throughout the school year

"We really try to get to know the whole child inside and out and do what's in their best interest," Edmond said. "We have a real family feel."

Woodside Home & School is selling personalized engraved bricks for $50 an individual brick, or $250 for a family or group brick to raise funds that will promote and preserve the school's educational excellence. Those interested in purchasing a gift brick, should contact Woodside Home & School Vice-President Angie Kolesari at (262) 372-4445.


Elementary school principals to retire; New Marcy, Woodside principals needed

After Woodside Elementary School Principal Linda Jorgenson's recent retirement announcement, the Hamilton School District will have to start looking for two new elementary school principals.

After Woodside Elementary School Principal Linda Jorgenson's recent retirement announcement, the Hamilton School District will have to start looking for two new elementary school principals.

That's because Marcy Elementary School Principal Donald Behrens also plans to retire at the end of the current school year.

The 59-year-old Jorgenson has been principal of Woodside since 2000, when she came to the district after serving three years as Glen Hills Middle School principal in Glendale. Before that, she had been principal of Edgewood Elementary School in Greenfield from 1993 to 1997.

Before her career upgrade to principal, she had taught at Stormonth Elementary School in Fox Point.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to serve Woodside Elementary School," Jorgensen said in a district press release, "because it is a positive, vibrant learning community focused on helping students achieve their maximum potential."

"Student achievement at Woodside has improved since Mrs. Jorgensen's tenure as principal," Hamilton Superintendent Kathleen Cooke added. "Her focus has been to hire and develop talented staff to promote high levels of success for all students. She has been passionate about helping all children to grow and succeed."

The Hamilton School Board hopes to replace the two principals this spring. The district pays elementary school principals about $100,000 a year.


School District hires two new principals

The School Board approved the appointment of two new elementary school principals Monday: James Edmond Jr. to Woodside and Michele Trawicki to Marcy.

The School Board approved the appointment of two new elementary school principals Monday: James Edmond Jr. to Woodside and Michele Trawicki to Marcy.

Edmond and Trawicki will replace principals who will retire at the end of the school year: Linda Jorgensen from Woodside and Don Behrens from Marcy.

The new principals will begin July 1 with a yearly salary of $102,000.

"We sought experienced educators with outstanding instructional leadership and exemplary interpersonal skills," said Superintendent Kathleen Cooke.

Edmond, 35, is the current principal of J.E. Jones Elementary School in Cudahy. The Cudahy School District hired him as a special-programs coordinator in 2001 and promoted him to principal in 2004.

Before that, he had taught eighth-grade language arts and social studies at Shorewood Intermediate School from 1995 to 2001.

Trawicki, 41, has been principal of Tonawonda Elementary School in the Elmbrook School District since 2005. She had been a second-grade teacher and instructional-resource teacher before her promotion to principal, and had taught first grade in the Wausau and Whitefish Bay school districts before that.

"We looked for individuals who had proven track records of success as collaborative leaders who placed achievement of all children at the highest priority," Cooke said. "We are confident that James Edmond and Michele Trawicki will support the tradition of excellence that has been paved at Woodside and Marcy elementary schools."

 

 

 

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