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Free copy ♥ 7 Rivers Region


“KNOCK! KNOCK!... “WHO’S THERE?”… “Roses”! “Roses WHO?” “Roses are red. Violets are blue. iECHO is COOL and so are YOU!!! IMAGINATION! EVERY CHILD HAS ONE!!!”


ere we are again! January is gone and February 2013 is here!! “What is in your noodle?” My staff and I laugh at some of the random things I tell them I’m thinking. For instance, in a recent meeting with my staff … instead of focusing on what one of our staff was saying … my noodle of a brain was thinking, “Why do we spell the word “boys”… b-o-y-s”? Why don’t we drop the “y” and add i-e-s?” The plural of “carry” drops the “y” etc. so why not “boies”?? What a random thought!! Do YOU ever have random thoughts? Does your imagination wander about here and there? I know I do, all the time! Recently, I lost a special pet. Paris, she was a beautiful Arabian horse. We were BFF’s for four years. Paris had a disease that caused her to go blind. Eventually, we had to put her to sleep. I miss her a lot and there are times when a random thought about her will come in to my head and … there I go again … off on another “rabbit trail” (or “horse trail”). You know what I would like from You reader? Tell iECHO about your pet or pets?? Send us your pet pictures, your favorite pet stories of happy and/or sad times with your pets!! We just might publish your story in an upcoming issue of “iECHO”! You can “snail mail” your story to us along with your pictures or you can submit online at: We would love to read your stories and if you are published YOU become a STAR and receive a cool t-shirt!! In this February issue of iECHO, take some time to read about the stories we present to you for your reading pleasure! Learn about students right here in the Coulee Region sharing their talents and achievements with you our readers, sharing with YOU a little of themselves… Read about two awesome Hockey players … who challenge themselves daily, to work hard toward their GOAL of being the best at the sport they LOVE!!

Meet a new friend to iECHO, his name is David Vannucchi!! This young man is 11 years old and a National Rubik’s Cube competitor! So COOL! David came in to our studio with his mom (super nice lady) and his sister. We saw, with our own eyes, David’s skill come to life when he showed us within seconds how fast he can solve a Rubik’s Cube. You will have to read about David for yourselves… As school has started up again after the Holiday Break, we need to remember to continue our “Random Acts of Kindness”. There is an article in this issue I hope you as our readers enjoy and appreciate … we cannot deny that bullying still goes on in our schools, homes, and in our neighborhoods… You and I and everyone need to take a strong stand against bullying. Bullying leads to deep scaring in some people’s lives that they may never forget… One young man from Bangor, Nathan Holm, created a song to draw awareness and attention to bullying in his school … read about his success with his song and how his whole school has supported him… Another “page turner” is all over this month’s issue of “iECHO”. You are going to see artwork from West Salem Middle School! It’ll have you climbing the walls! You just have to see it… Also, in this month of “iECHO”, we are introducing “Foreign Language Stories” from the classrooms in the Coulee Region! We think this is a challenging and fun way to read articles! Check out how well you did at interpreting the article; maybe pick up a word here and there in a different language! De nada!! You can find the English version on our website We want to hear your stories…What makes you tick? What things are going on in your noodles? Fiction, Nonfiction, Art, the Sciences…and what books are you and your English class reading these days? Who is your Favorite President? February has several Event Days on the Calendar. Can you name some? “Happy Birthday” Abe Lincoln and George Washington! The anticipating Groundhog Day (I hope he sees his shadow. Or is it, I hope he doesn’t see his shadow? Oh I don’t know!!) February holds Ash Wednesday, the Chinese New Year and more!! Just in case You think I forgot… Happy Valentine’s Day to All!!!

Love! h t i W Pam


Pamela Fisher


Carol Sateren


Andy Palmer Barbara Oehninger

iECHO is a magazine that is published monthly and copies are distributed at no cost to the 7 Rivers Region. For a list of locations to get your copy, please contact us directly at 608.498.4147. All content submissions become the property of iECHO Magazine for use in iECHO magazine. All submissions are published at the discretion of the iECHO editor. iECHO Magazine does not necessarily endorse the claims or contents of the advertising or editorial content in the magazine. Copyright 2013 by iECHO Magazine. All rights reserved. All material, including artwork, advertisements, and editorial, may not be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Please contact Pamela Fisher for any permission requests at


by Mariah Nichols & Jake Kauppila

Tactile Talent

David writes about his unique talent

iECHO Magazine 2613 George Street La Crosse, WI 54603 608.498.4147

10 14


adventures with mentor Justin A mentor's experience 20 A LASTING IMPRESSION

West Salem students get creative


Help Stop bullying Nathan makes a difference


SCHOOL spotlight All about Spanish


Community spotlight William Chase shares advice


Jaida's column The importance of setting goals



c o n t en t s



BITS & PIECES iECHO Monthly Challenge


Movie Review 12 Activities 15 iECHO Desk Calendar 16 Find the Differences 24


iECHO Art Submissions 24

LIKE us on Facebook at For more information visit


iECHO Monthly Challenge March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day! This month we ask you to do some research on how St. Patrick’s Day got started. Do your research from reliable and trustworthy sources and send us your findings!

Step 1

Do your own research on this topic. Ask family members as well as friends and compare their answers to what you find in your research. A great place to do this project would be at your local library!

t are very importan Well child exams g in be alth and wellfor the overall he ey include: of your child. Th

Keeping Kids Healthy Is it time for your child’s checkup? Mayo Clinic Health System pediatricians provide care in La Crosse, Onalaska and Holmen. They are specially trained in the care of children from birth to college age.

Step 2

Write your answer down on paper or on the computer. Add your full name, age, school, grade and contact information to your article. If you have any questions, call 608.498.4147 or contact


St. Patrick’s Day

Step 3


Please choose one of the following options to submit: 8 or - iECHO Magazine, 2613 George Street, La Crosse, WI 54603

Submission date: February 18, 2013. iECHO Monthly Challenge submissions from January’s issue!

The Deer Family


written by Emily Jessesski {age 10}, Grade 5 at Evergreen Elementary School, Holmen WI


history ✔ Child and Family ✔ Review of any current problems ✔ Review of child’s ss developmental progre ✔ Physical exam ✔ Immunizations guidance ✔ Age-appropriate sty for a healthy life le

The door popped open! The deer family raced inside, touching all the clothes with their moist noses. One of the young deer, Flutterutnoggen, touched a t-shirt, but it was secretly a passage to a whole new world! The deer family raced out right before they got sucked into the whole new world. All of the deer family knew what to do. All of a sudden, the deer raced everywhere, telling animals what they have just learned! They went this way and that way and that way and this way. Soon, every animal knew about this planet. Only two people knew about this place. There was one boy and one girl and they knew how to talk to animals. The animals and the humans decided to go to go on this date called Earth Day. One by one, the animals walked into the store. Flutterutnoggen touched the t-shirt and there it was. The Passage. Animals and humans got sucked into The Passage. And that, my fellow students, is how we got to this lovely planet called Earth. The teacher said. Legends says that when you go into a clothes store, watch out! And don’t bump into any t-shirts!


Animal Fiction written by Breezy Hofmeister {age 9} West Salem, WI There were two little penguins wondering what to do? When one of the penguins said, ”My friend went to Florida. Should we go?" ”TOTALLY!”, said the other penguin. When walking to the ocean they see a research station. They look down and see a fish. They both say, ”HELLO HELLO HELLO.” They both thought it died, when the fish yelled, ”Don’t eat me I’m just a fish!”

To make an appointment, call 800-362-5454.

Franciscan Healthcare


Parents, Teachers, Homeschool Parents, Principals...

How to SUBMIT your WORK TO iECHO We are always looking for never before published articles to use in iECHO. Whether you have written for us before or are a new author looking to see your work in the magazine, we welcome you to submit your writing to iECHO. We do have monthly themes for each issue that can certainly be used to shape your articles but not all of the articles in each issue will be about that theme so feel free to submit the best work you have!

To submit your articles, visit Submit your artwork to For questions, call 608.498.4147


ebruary!! A response to a Call…we at our offices here at iECHO have asked from the onset of this publication to all of You to use us as a venue to share with our readers what great things are going on in your classrooms in the Coulee Region…first slowly, now picking up momentum we are regularly receiving articles, comics, photographs, and invitations to come to classrooms and have a peek inside!! This is so cool and we hope you are enjoying the stories, features, artwork that we are being allowed to showcase!! iECHO couldn’t do it without you! Have you ever heard the nursery rhyme “Good, better, best… never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best.” Well, to us at iECHO this means there is always room for more. So now we are chanting to you…”WE WANT MORE, WE WANT MORE!!” We want more Art from your students, more Foreign Language stories, more spotlights, more More MORE! Why? We receive emails and phone calls in our office all the time! Readers from all

over the Coulee Region want to hear how Great Students and Teachers are doing… ”Shine the Spotlight on them” We hear!! So we ask each of YOU, give us a Call don’t be shy, let your light shine, shine on you and your Students!! March Art month is quickly approaching, we want you to trust in us to be your venue to showcase your students, your “Picaso’s” artwork. How about your classroom doing a team-building exercise, where your students work together, to write a story or series of sonnets in a different language and submit them to us for publishing. You motivate us, we motivate you, and we all motivate each other! In the five months iECHO has existed, you have proven to us that you want to know more about these outstanding people and events because they represent you….And YOU are outstanding! Happy Valentine’s Day to each of YOU from all of us at iECHO!

How to lose a job

written + illustrated by Jackson Christenson (age 9) and Aiden Harcey (8) Ü They both attend 3rd grade at North Woods Elementary in La Crosse, WI.


CH E i r u t yo



! y a d o arel t


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"It was an enjoyably, thrilling year and something I will never forget."


y name is Jake Kauppila. By the time iECHO prints this article, I will have just turned 18 years of age. I am a Senior at Holmen High School, but, Holmen isn’t “home” for me. My entire family is in Calumet, Michigan. I left them and came to the La Crosse area for one reason … to play hockey. I was accepted by the Coulee Region CHILL Hockey team to play for them this year, so I left home for the opportunity to play at a much higher level.

Ever since I started playing hockey at age five I fell in love with the game. It was just something that I could rely on to make my day better. I was really driven by how competitive it was and that love of competition helped form the kind of person I am today. I train every day for hockey, and whether it be on the ice or in the weight room, I am always putting forth my best effort. Even in the summer, I train every day, missing friends and vacations to get better at the sport I love. Another discipline I make part of my life is to eat a healthy diet. For me, this includes a lot of protein, carbs, fruits and vegetables. This is very important because playing hockey requires so much physical energy so the body needs to be well in order to perform at a high level. Nutrition and rest are very important.

written by

I have been offered a scholarship to play for Michigan Technological University’s Huskies Hockey Team. I received this based on my hard work on the ice and in the classroom. Playing for the CHILL now is helping me prepare to play for the Huskies at Michigan Tech next year and that is what I am most excited about down the road. My involvement in the sport of hockey has taught me a set of values that I use in everyday life such as responsibility, respect, and hard work (which has also paid off in that I made the Maroon Renaissance List at Holmen High School for academic achievement). I believe I would not be the person I am today without the disciplines playing hockey has taught me.

Jake Kauppila {age 18}


Senior at Holmen High School, Holmen WI



One thing that is different in our team is that we are four different schools in one team, West Salem, Onalaska, Aquinas and Holmen. Being from different schools only makes our bond stronger. Playing with a team as close as ours has been so amazing. Even on the ice you can tell who has chemistry and who goes together. Our coach likes to switch things up once in awhile and somehow we all make it work. We are hard working, and a strong team. This year we are working harder than ever to make our dreams come true; to win the State Tournament in Madison.

Later, in eighth grade, I played both basketball and hockey, which was both draining and exciting. When it came to my freshman year I planned to play basketball because there was no way I was going to play hockey with guys three times the size of me. But, I found out two days before basketball tryouts that West Salem’s hockey team was joining the Onalaska co-op! This was amazing as far as I was concerned. I went to a practice and met a bunch of girls who grew to be my “family”... my new team! The team was so accepting of me and fun. We were the smallest team with the biggest hearts. Last year, we had about 16 skaters, and got second place at State. It was an enjoyably, thrilling year and something I will never forget. This year, we are just as good if not better. We are not only a team, but a family, which is rare because everyone knows how a bunch of high school girls can be (sometimes not very nice to each other). I feel so fortunate to play with this team, and I wouldn’t change any one of them for the world. We are a support group for each other and can talk to each other about anything. written by

Mariah Nichols { age 17 }

Junior at West Salem High School, West Salem WI

Being away from home and family, hours and hours of practice and training, and denying myself certain ‘junk’ (but tasty) foods can be hard at times. But, I know

sacrifices must be made to ensure my future as a hockey player.

he highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day—that I never “dog it”. I have been skating for the last 13 years. Starting something at the age of four can stick with you for quite awhile, especially when it’s something that you love. Also, being the only girl on the hockey team can be tough. It was for me, for awhile, until a few years ago when Jamie Weilandt joined the same team as me. We played together for a year or two, when I then decided to try basketball. But Jamie and I have remained friends.


Have you seen...?

Wreck-it Ralph

PG; running time of 1hr 48min

Reviewed by Brennan Schmeling {age 9} Grade 3 at Prairie View Elementary, Holmen, WI

Review upcoming...


I am a third grade boy who was recently at Wreck-it Ralph. I enjoyed the movie. It was great and I learned a lesson; Don’t judge a book by its cover. This is a lesson I think Ralph was helped by.

Brennan gives "Wreck-it Ralph" 5 out of 5 stars

Time for you to be introduced to Ralph and Felix from the movie. Ralph is in a video game called Wreck-it Ralph and he is the “bad guy” and wrecks things. Felix, on the other hand, is a good guy and fixes the things Ralph wrecked. Ralph has nobody to pat him on the back for doing his job. As for Felix, everybody in their game is always patting him on the back. Well that about wraps it up!

I’m bad and that’s good. I’m not good and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be but me.

The Dining Room March 8 –24, 2013

La Crosse Community Theatre

Click, Clack, Moo March 15, 2013

& your choice

Are you reading a new book? iECHO suggests a book on Rosa Parks!

Escape from Planet Earth Release date: February 14, 2013 At your local movie theatre

Illustration by

Brennan Schmeling

books? movies? Plays?

Call 608.498.4147 to learn how you can become a partner of iECHO Magazine!

We want to know what you are reading or watching! Your review should include a short summary, what you liked, what you didn't like and how many stars out of 5 your reviewed book, movie or play should get.


Suggested word count: 350


Submission Information


Submission Date: February 18, 2013


For questions, please call: 608.498.4147



For more information, visit

te ar

Last Christmas, my family and I visited some friends in Elkhorn, WI. My friend, Justin, had a Rubik’s Cube. He was able to solve it. I wanted to figure it out too. Several months later, I got my own Rubik’s Cube. I read the directions in the box and solved it in about an hour. I was hooked!


The first competition I entered was World Cube Association in Fishers, Indiana, on November 3, 2012. There were over 100 participants from all over the world ranging in age from 9 years to 50 years of age. I competed in 4 of 15 events. I came in 31st out of 91 with the Rubik’s Cube; 26th out of 45 in the 4 X 4; 18th out of 71 in the 2 X 2 Cube, and in the One Handed Event, I was 24th out of 45!! Way to go David!!

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I have spent the last nine months studying different methods for solving many different kinds of puzzles. The key to solving any puzzle is memorizing algorithms and practice, practice, practice. It is rare for me to be empty handed at home. I usually have at least 3 or 4 puzzles within arm’s reach at all times. I am totally drawn to the challenge of solving a cube and beating my personal best records.



I am eleven years old and I am in the 6th grade at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Onalaska, WI.


My name is David Vannucchi.





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1. What did David say is the key to solving any puzzle?



2. You can submit your articles through iECHO’s w___________? 3. "Libro" means _____ in English.

Watch David showcase his talent!

5. In which grade do the West Salem students get to paint on the walls?

C r osswo r d P uzz le

7. Never be a bully, just be nice. If you’re a bully think _______.

The clues for the crossword puzzle are pulled from articles in this issue. See if you can figure it all out!

8. February 11 is Make A _____ Day.

I think I did pretty well for my first competition. It was awesome! I also made several new friends that day. I race all the time with the Cube over Skype with my new friend, Phillip, in Ohio! It’s pretty cool.

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iECHO asked David, “What do you see when you start to solve a Rubik’s Cube?” David easily replied, “I picture the entire cube. I mainly focus on the first four green edges. After that, in my head, I calculate the moves that will solve the first four pieces to make a green cross. While I am doing that I am looking ahead to two pieces that I have to match up to insert into one of the four slots that solve the first two layers. After that, there are three more slots to fill in and then I use algorithms to solve the last layer.” (Hmm... easy for him to say!!) David’s goal for this year was to solve a 3 X 3 Cube in less than 10 seconds. His best time so far is 9.06 seconds. He also wants to solve a Cube blindfolded. He would love to start a Cubing Club. The World Cube Association World Championship is July 2013 in Las Vegas. David wants to be there!



4. What did Gee Gee, Bob, and Jo throw to get fired?

9. What is the deer’s name in “The Deer Family”?

6. What planet did the deer family find (page 6) ?

10. Which sport does Mariah play?

11. What language does the first 8. At what age did Jake start grade immersion class speak? playing hockey?

We at iECHO went on to find out. The website took us to this explanation: Algorithm is a set of well defined instructions used in mathematics for automated reasoning, data processing and other calculations. A famous math’s algorithm is the Euclid’s algorithm. This algorithm was formulated by Euclid, a Greek mathematician, and is in computation of the Greatest Common Division (GCD).

David Vannucchi age11, attends 6th grade at

St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Onalaska, WI.

Do you know what algorithms are?


Kicking Bear has many mentors. Each month it is our pleasure to introduce you to another fine example of one who gives of himself to young men and ladies because they care deeply for them. Justin Briski has been married for 11 years to a really fun and equally compassionate woman, Nancy. They have three wonderful children, Isaac (5), Elijah (3) and Eden (1). Justin has been involved with Kicking Bear for about 6 years. He says he “immediately grew a passion for this ministry and has become more involved every year.”

iECHO Why do you care so much about mentoring? Two factors have been a huge influence on my passion to mentor. First, growing up, there were times I felt like an outcast and I knew that others felt that way too. Second, my mother was a teacher and I believe some of her passion rubbed off on me because I love to teach too. Given these two factors, I am driven to encourage and include others in any way possible. The beauty of mentorship is you don’t need a long story or extensive list of skills (I sure don’t). But, I do have an unselfish desire to expose kids to the outdoors. That first outing the kids go on could change their whole outlook on life, forever. Seeing the kids’ expression and enjoyment makes all the effort worthwhile. Everyone is welcome to help with Kicking Bear. We need help from every skill set and experience is not necessary.

iECHO What does mentoring look like to you? Mentoring is not meant to be anything complicated or something you need training on. My friend Joe described mentoring to me as “merely taking a child along with you, doing the things you already have planned to do”. You don’t need to plan the big hunt, although you certainly can. If you are going squirrel hunting or fishing or camping … bring an extra kid or two along! There is always a good chance they don’t have this opportunity to hunt within their own home. Kids remember those outings for a lifetime! I sure do and I treasure them. So again, mentorship is taking kids along on your currently planned outings and then ‘showing them the ropes’ to enjoy the opportunity.


iECHO Recently, you mentored a young man taking him on a hunting trip. Tell us about your mentee and your experience.


Brandon Ceresa is a 14-year-old freshman at Holmen High School. He’s a great kid, friendly, and a lot of fun to be around. Brandon and I got to know each other about 6 years ago. His mother said he always talks about hunting & fishing. He loves to attend the Kicking Bear events. One year he begged his mom to bring him back from a family camping weekend at Fort McCoy just for the Kicking Bear Camp Out in West Salem. When the opportunity to hunt White-tail Deer in Missouri came up, I thought of Brandon! I called his mother and she was immediately excited. Then, she told me his grades could use some help and just prior to my call she was thinking about how to motivate him. Getting permission to go on this hunting trip with me may be the key to Brandon applying himself and getting his grades up. Well, before long he was all signed up to go! We met before the trip and made our list of what to pack.

“It’s like studying for a test. If you never read the chapters in your textbook or did the homework, it is doubtful you would pass the test. It is also important to bring everything you need. Imagine the impact it would make on a hunting trip if you forgot items like warm clothes. Forgetting can make the trip miserable. We left the Friday before New Year’s Eve, arrived late that night and purchased his license. The first morning we got up at 4 AM and left about 4:30 AM to setup in the blind. No deer showed up that first morning. (We watched a few turkeys move about the field.) That evening was a different story! We saw over sixty deer that night! Brandon harvested two deer, both at distances over 100 yards away! We were both very excited! On the trip nine kids went along with four of them harvesting their first deer! What a great trip!

iECHO What about your childhood has caused you to be the outdoorsman you are today? I grew up hunting with my father, brother, uncle and cousins near Greenwood, WI. There, we hunted a variety of game, from deer to turkey and the occasional squirrel. That area is still “home” to me as far as hunting is concerned. Even though I grew up three hours away in Algoma, WI. It’s where I harvested my first deer and learned hunting values. I was lucky to have my dad and my uncle teach me skills about hunting. Those same skills I am enjoying passing on to my kids and others.

iECHO What do you want your legacy to be? I want to share the outdoor blessings God provides with others. My desire is to give others opportunities to hunt and fish that they otherwise wouldn’t have.

by Courtney Koepp {age 13}, Grade 8 at West Salem Middle School, West Salem WI

Every year, each member of the seventh grade class at West Salem Middle School gets to leave a lasting impression on their school in an unusual way; they paint on the walls. It’s a tradition, and it’s one that has been going on for over two decades. It has changed slightly over time, but the main idea has remained the same; each seventh grade student is allotted one brick on the wall to paint whatever he/she wants on it.

Nathan with his dad, Jeff Holm

Help Stop Bullying !

This project, producing a three-cement block-high strip of paintings, runs through the hallways of the main floor! Hundreds of bricks and no two are the same! The content of each student’s painting varies widely, from tributes to sports to thought-invoking portraits to funny slogans. The idea behind the project is to offer students a way for them to express what they love to do: leave his or her mark on their school.

Help stop bullying. It’s easy to do. You can do it every day, it’s true. Never be a bully, just be nice. If you’re a bully, think twice!

The process of the wall block project begins in art class discussing public art, and what would be allowed or appropriate or just work with the setting. Next, it’s all about copyright— what it is, how it works, and how to avoid copyright problems. Then, the real project starts and the students make a businesslike proposal of what they’re going to put on the wall. Finally, it’s time for the fun part! Painting!



came up with the idea to write a song for our “Make a Difference” project. Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Lichucki gave us options for a project, and I asked if I could write a song. I did not want to read in front of a big crowd, but I was comfortable making up a song and singing it in front of a crowd.

The idea came to me to write a song for antibullying week. Two big helps were Mr. Witz, one of our substitute teachers for music class, and Mrs. Bersagel, our Elementary Music Teacher. Mr. Witz helped me write a melody for my song. I needed a little help with the lyrics, but not much. I wrote and rehearsed

attends 4th grade at Bangor Elementary School Bangor, WI.

Mrs. Besagel (Music teacher) and Nathan

“Help Stop Bullying” in one week’s time. Singing before a big crowd was a cool experience! I was really nervous! It was cool when Mrs. Bersagel played the guitar and the whole school sang my song. This was a great experience for everybody.


“It’s definitely one of the students’ favorite projects, and the possibilities are endless.” Ms. Dunnum, the art teacher, says. She hopes to see more change in the future, and maybe spread the project to the other floors of the building as well. One thing is for sure! No matter what the picture, each and every wall block gives its creator ownership and a lasting mark on the school. That’s something to be proud of!

Nathan Holm {9}



Hola Amigos! written by Sarah Kratt’s First Grade Spanish Immersion class at North Woods International Elementary School, La Crosse, WI.


omos una clase de inmersión de español. Estamos en grado uno. Tenemos las clases de matemáticas y ciencias completamente en español. Nuestra maestra habla en español por mucho del día. Nos gusta bailar y cantar. En las matemáticas, estamos estudiando como sumar y restar. Cada día, hacemos el calendario. Decimos los días de la semana y los meses del año. Nosotros contamos de uno hasta cien.


Hacemos Los Cinco con estaciones de lectura. Las estaciones son escritura, leer con amigos, leer solo, trabajar con palabras, y escuchar a libros. Nos gusta leer libros. Nuestros libros favoritos son de Chester, Arthur, Elefante y Cerdito, La Paloma y Pete el Gato.


En la clase de ciencas, aprendemos del tiempo. Usamos los termómetros y habla-

mos del tiempo. Cada día, escribimos una palabra del día en espanol, y cuando decimos adios a la maestra, tenemos que decir la palabra del día. Tenemos clases de EF, arte, y música. Vamos afuera para el recreo después del almuerzo. Cuando regresamos, hacemos Yoga en la aula. Tenemos tiempo libre los viernes. Jugamos juegos, el Ipad, arte, Legos, y escuela. Somos una clase de la paz. Somos respetuosos, responsables, y seguros. Tratamos de ser chicos de la paz. Gracias por escuchar, estamos felices a compartir con ustedes. ¡Adiós amigos! *To read the English version of this article, please visit

community Spotlight


teen drivers:


First by William Chase

Coulee Region Driving School



first became interested in becoming a Drivers’ Education Instructor after taking a friend out to practice her driving skills in hopes of getting her drivers license. She had stated that she became frustrated over time that her friends and relatives had no patience when it came to teaching her how to drive. Her driving skills were not that bad, but she just lacked confidence and that is just what I gave her! I was by no means a qualified teacher and had no such prior experience in this field. My only experience was that of my own driving experiences. She was originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and had just graduated from UWL La Crosse. She needed to get her drivers license in order to travel to Yuma, Arizona, where she would soon become a Spanish Elementary Teacher.


After several weekends of ‘behindthe-wheel’ training, she scheduled her road test and passed on her very first attempt. I was really happy for her and by that fall of 1992, I enrolled at MATC in Milwaukee to become a Certified Driving Instructor. After several months and endless paper work, I became licensed to instruct students in classroom and ‘behind-the-wheel’ training. My first student was my niece and since that first lesson, I've instructed

people from all over the world. A lot of adults call for drivers training too, and it is those adults that became the brunt of my business. Early on, (the first five years), I did not instruct the classroom phase of Drivers Education. Even though I was licensed for both classroom and behind-thewheel training, I was only interested in the ‘behind-the-wheel’ phase. Many of my students expressed their thanks after getting their license and stated that no one else had as much confidence and patience as I had. It was the students, themselves, that gave me the confidence by passing their driving tests. Their successes gave me a reason to stay in business. Name recognition—referrals—is how we get the majority of our business. Being the new Driving School on the block, I did not get a lot of business that first couple of years.

both classroom and ‘behind-thewheel’ training. In the first year, I had a goal of instructing 100 students. I've almost reached 150 and am hoping to double that number in 2013.

After five years of working as a driving instructor and holding a full time job in construction, I decided to go out of business. After the construction business slowed down, I had taken several jobs at minimum wage and could not make ends meet so I decided I either had to go back to school or try to get re-certified as a driving instructor. It took a year and (again) lots of paper work, but I'm back in business and am now instructing students in

• Never speed

I learned just as much from my students as they have learned from me. Driving is not a perfected science as it is mostly common sense and no matter how well you drive, you cannot take your driving skills for granted. There is always room for improvement.

The best advice I can give to drivers, young and old … • Always look twice at every intersection • Never text and drive • Be patient and yield the right of way even if you're going to be late!

Above all:

• "Arrive alive, don't drink and drive!"

J aida' s n m u l o C

A wise man once told me, “Having a goal is important for starting any successful journey. But having the focus to complete that goal is what really makes it happen.” Even if you have a goal, if you don’t have the focus to obtain it, you’re still floating in space. You might as well just sit on the couch and eat potato chips all day. People do have desires and do have goals. The only thing that’s making them go astray is lack of focus. Focusing takes practice.


If you really focus, you can do anything. Think of Michael Jordan, he was constantly put down and told “you can’t play basketball”! He was told he could never make it to the big leagues … but look at him now. He has set several NBA records and was the first person to slam dunk from the free throw line. Even though he was put down so much, he had two things that kept his head held high. Those two things were a goal and focus. He wanted to become an NBA basketball player, so he stayed focused and practiced day and night. Staying focused resulted in him seeing his goal as if it were going to happen the next day.


For me, setting a goal and focusing on that particular goal has helped me with several things. One of those things is martial arts. My goal was to get the gold medal at the WKCE World Karate Tournament in Canada. I was so focused on that goal that I would go to the karate


Jaida Kenana (age 13) attends 8th grade at La Crosse Design Institute Longfellow Middle School, La Crosse, WI.

studio, at almost any free hour to train. I would run and rerun my form over and over again. Sometimes I would train to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning … literally! On the day of the tournament I was pumped! This was the day where all my training was going to pay off … the day that I could smile knowing I was about to achieve a goal that’s been in my mind for months. When I entered the ring and performed my form, I gave it all I had. The best I have ever done. My focus was “on” and my goal was set. I ended up getting bronze. But, I have gained great experience and opportunity. Yeah, I was a little disappointed, but, I know I am even more motivated to beat the girl who got gold and take that title. Focus not only helps you achieve your goals, it also motivates you to desire your goal even more. You can do anything as long as you can focus yourself to a goal. There will be many distractions like “put downs”, worries and your surroundings that will try to call you away from your goal. Focus!

iECHO February 2013  
iECHO February 2013  

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