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Wisconsin Times

Editorial Staff Consultant: Alex H. Slappey Coeditors: Bill Wilson and Rebecca Epple Reporters: Brian Lievens, Michael Coates, and Jennifer VanDerMolen Sports Editor: Chris Woodfill Photographer: Rebecca Epple Volunteer Copy Editor: Eleanor Wilson Cover Design: Bill Wilson Circulation Manager: Therese Pohl-Markowitz

Wisconsin School for the Deaf The school is part of the Department of Public Instruction, Division for Learning Services: Equity and Advocacy. As such, its goals are the same as those set forth by the department for all youth in the state. The school serves as a first-line alternative placement option for parents and school systems seeking appropriate programming for children and youth that are deaf or hard of hearing. The students are provided a comprehensive academic, vocational, and social education learning environment, uniquely programmed for a personalized education in both a day school and residential setting. As a part of the free public school system of the state, no charge is made for room, board, tuition, and concomitant activities. Admission criteria are established by law (s. 115.52, WI Stats.) and require local district referral. Such local district referrals are then evaluated by the school for appropriateness, leading to acceptance or alternative recommendations. In recognition of individual integrity, the mission of the Wisconsin School for the Deaf is to provide an American Sign Language environment to promote excellence in the development of deaf and hard of hearing children in all areas of life through the use of ASL and English. The mission is accomplished with the belief that, for most deaf children, ASL is the accessible, dominant language used for communication and thinking, while English, a spoken and written language, is learned as a second language. For some deaf and hard of hearing students who have previously acquired English, ASL is learned as a second language. The Wisconsin School for the Deaf strives to foster competencies in these two languages as well as to develop cross-cultural sensitivity among the entire student body. Preschool programs are offered for local children under the age of six on a day-school basis. Regular academics provide normal and unique curricula from grades one through 12. An extensive pre- and vocational training program is provided as part of the total grade 7-12 curriculum. The social education program for residential students is a continuous informal and formal program developing self-management and social living skills through child care counselors, facilities and numerous school related organizations and activities. For further information, write to: Director, Wisconsin School for the Deaf, 309 W. Walworth Avenue, Delavan, WI 53115.

Tinkerbell (Ashley Wagner), Peter (Travis Waala), and the lost boys listen intently to a bedtime story told by their adopted mother Wendy (Taylor Banta).

Wisconsin School for the Deaf’s Drama Club presented the play Peter Pan on Thursday and Friday, April 29th and 30th. Peter Pan was written by J. M. Barrie. The play was codirected by Kari Wicinski and Debra Drymalski. Karen Copeland and Theresa PohlMarkowitz crafted the beautiful costumes, while Linda Myrick built the props and the scenes for the lively event. The characters were portrayed excellently by the high school students. For some of the students, Peter Pan was their first theatrical production, and they performed with confidence, energy, and enthusiasm according to Ms. Wicinski. A good number of veteran actors and actresses took the rookies under their wings. The main characters, Wendy and Peter Pan, were portrayed by Taylor Banta and Travis Waala, respectively. (More photos can be found on the cover.)

The State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Evers, State Superintendent Michael Thompson, Deputy State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor, Assistant State Superintendent Division of Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy Dr. Stephanie Petska, Director, Special Education

Wisconsin School for the Deaf Alex Slappey, Director

 - The Wisconsin Times

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and WSD are equal opportunity employers functioning under an Affirmative Action Plan.

Elementary School News by Jennifer Vander Molen

First 100 Days

Lower elementary students from preschool through third grade celebrated the 100th day of school on February 10, 2010. Elementary teacher Dianne Armato arranged the 100th day activities for the students. Students viewed a story that was signed to them by Kathryn Harbison about the 100th day of school. Following the storytelling, each student presented his or her own 100 items that they had counted and brought to school.

The students were split up into various stations where they measured out snack items using a scale, counted 100 Fruit Loops to make a necklace, and colored 100th day pictures to put on their headbands. The students proudly wore the beautiful headbands all day. Two fun games were played to reinforce math skills.

Excitedly the children tossed a penny 100 times to see if they got more heads or tails. A dice was rolled 100 times to see which number appeared the most times. Before lunch the students exercised doing 10 different exercises 10 times each. The day was full of fun and laughter. Everyone is already anticipating next year’s activities.

Read Across America The elementary students at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf celebrated Read Across America Week, March 1–5. Daily in the morning the students viewed stories that various deaf individuals had signed and videotaped. Each of the stories was a favorite Dr. Seuss story. On Monday the students voted for which stories they wanted to watch by picking their five favorites. The stories that were chosen were If I Ran the Zoo, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and I Am Not Going to Get Up Today! After the video each day, teachers were encouraged to do follow up activities in their classrooms if they so chose. Students did puzzles, word games, wrote stories, and other activities. After reading the story, The Cat in the Hat, the second grade students were transformed into cats in hats and got into all sorts of mischief. On Friday, the second graders arrived in their pajamas and had a read-in all day. Different staff members and parents were invited to come and read their favorite books with the girls. They also cooked green eggs and ham, which they all tried but no one really liked. Midway through the day, Thing 1 and Thing 2 came storming into the elementary classrooms, leaving a mess in each room they visited. Thing 1 and Thing 2’s visit was definitely the highlight of the week!

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publishing an image. The Carina Nebula is a massive cloud of gas and dust, where tens of thousands of stars are cycling through the stages of stellar life. The Carina Nebula is visible from the southern hemisphere and is located 7,500 light years away from the planet Earth. In conjunction with Yerkes Observatory scientists, professionals from the Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and others, have made the image accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals through a tactile representation of the image. Max Mutchler and Yerkes Observatory wanted to make sure the image was accessible to Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals as well. Wisconsin School for the Deaf’s Students Training in Astrophysics Research Club, the S.T.A.R. Club, has been working alongside scientist Max Mutchler. Max is a longtime friend of Yerkes Observatory and a newer partner of WSD’s S.T.A.R. Club. Max works in Baltimore, Maryland, as an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute. He works with the Hubble Space

The S.T.A.R. Club students have been in conversation with Max to learn about the Carina Nebula and all of its parts. They made a model of the Nebula using various candies to portray the different parts, including the stars, gas bubbles, the Eta Carinae, the globules, dust pillars, and various other parts. The students learned about each object that was inside the nebula, why it is there, and what it does. After creating the model of the Carina Nebula, the students posed questions that will be sent to Max to help guide the project, making sure the information is not only made accessible to Deaf and hard-ofhearing individuals but also to young children. For more information on the Carina Nebula and to view the image as well as a tour of the tactile image please go to:

Telescope and the images that are acquired by the telescope. He was the first person to identify Pluto’s second and third satellites, by using images that were produced with the Hubble Space telescope. Max helps to gather images from the Hubble telescope and clean them up to make them ready for publication. In the past few years, he has involved WSD students in his work with the images collected by the Hubble Space telescope. Recently scientists were able to capture images of a small part of the Carina Nebula and have been in the process of

 - The Wisconsin Times

Book Week On Monday, Lisa Perry Burckhardt joined us to share the story, Whopper Cake, with the students. In this book by Karma Wilson and Will Hillenbrand, the husband wants to surprise his wife for her birthday. He makes her a gigantic cake. Students’ learning was extended in nutrition class by using the recipe from the book to make their own whopper cake. The humongous cake was then shared with all participants on the last day to celebrate their hard work.

Daily, after the story was read and a group photo was taken with the storyteller, students were divided into groups to participate in different learning center activities. The purpose of the learning centers was to extend the children’s learning in the areas of English and ASL literacy. The focus of the centers this year was predictions, ASL classifiers, changing the ending of a story through writing, and answering comprehension questions in ASL. Prior to reading the story, the children were asked to make predictions about what would happen based on the title, pictures, prior knowledge, and other pre-reading skills. Their predictions were videotaped. After the story each morning, the students gathered in the prediction center to watch their predictions again. After viewing their predictions, they determined if they were accurate or not and followed up with corrections to them. In another activity, students were asked to change the ending of that day’s story. Their ideas and writing were creative and fun to read. They were asked the question, “If you were the author, how would you have changed the story?” Each student came up with different ways they would have chosen to alter the story. We definitely have some future authors in our midst.

Tuesday, Scott Kendziorski read the book, Grumpy Bird, by Jeremy Tankard. In this story the bird wakes up in a bad mood. He decides to go for a walk, where he encounters different animals. The animals proceed to follow the bird’s every move, eventually changing its disposition to a happier one.

The classifier center focused on just that, the use of ASL classifiers to describe and portray many different aspects of each story. The students worked with staff to identify and use classifiers to show different concepts from the story, including description, movement, and location. The students did a great job in their descriptions and enjoyed learning about the different classifiers.

The pigeon, from the book, Pigeon Wants a Puppy, by Mo Willems, was a familiar character to most of the children. Denise Johnson came on Wednesday to share the story with us. The pigeon tries to convince us to get him a puppy. When the puppy arrives, the pigeon changes his mind. Many of the children were able to relate to the pigeon because of their own efforts to convince their parents to get them a pet. Tom Harbison shared the story, Chester’s Back, by Melanie Watt, with us on Thursday. This is a book about a pesky cat who takes over the book by making his own edits on the page. Again, Chester is a familiar character to many of the students, who first met him last year during Children’s Book Week 2009. Melanie, the author, uses humor throughout to get back at Chester and teach him a lesson about the importance of working with others. The students were eager to make their own changes to the story. In their own writing, students scolded Chester about his rude behavior. On Friday Jenny Buechner came to WSD to read Scaredy Squirrel at Night, by Mealine Watt. Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of everything. This particular story is about Scaredy Squirrel’s fear of falling asleep, because of the bad dreams he may have. He creates ridiculous lists and makes absurd plans for staying awake all night to fend off bad dreams, and backup plans for keeping the bad dreams away in case he does fall asleep. The kids laughed at his obsessive compulsiveness and his silly plans.

In addition to these centers, the students also participated in a center where they watched a video of a teacher signing a comprehension question from the story. They were expected to answer the specific question and stay on topic. This activity encouraged the students to continue to develop their ability to answer questions clearly and concisely in ASL. At the conclusion of the week the students were asked to vote for their favorite story. After all the votes were tallied, it was a close call, with students voting for Chester’s Back as the winner. Whopper Cake took a close second. The votes were sent on to the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association, and they will be included in the final count to determine the winner of the Golden Archer Award for 2009/2010. Spring 2010 - 

Nobody’s Perfect The second grade through fifth grade students made the trek to Lacrosse, Wisconsin, to attend the play, Nobody’s Perfect. Prior to going to the play, the group met up with a deaf and hard of hearing class from Carrie Lee Elementary School in Decorah, Iowa, for lunch at McDonalds. The class’s teacher, Anna Crenshaw, was a student teacher at WSD last year in Lori Lindau’s third grade classroom. The students enjoyed seeing Anna again, as well as meeting new friends and learning about their school.

Once lunch was completed, everyone headed to Viterbo University, where we would watch the play. The students excitedly entered the theater, ready for the play to begin. The play was adapted from Marlee Matlin and Doug Cooney’s book,

which were all made accessible to them through American Sign Language. The boys all enjoyed the scene where the hamster escapes and becomes life-sized and the girls have to go on a hilarious hamster hunt. The girls especially liked the perfectly purple party festivities. When the play ended, the students met the actress who played Megan, who herself is deaf. They briefly chatted with her about their favorite parts of the play, school life, and where they were from. They were excited to learn that she was from Washington, D.C. which several of the students have visited.

Valentine’s Day Dance

Valentine’s Day was full of excitement in the elementary department. Students designed boxes and passed out Valentine’s Day cards to the other elementary students. They eagerly made their way to the Round Room to open their cards and candy from their friends. Nobody’s Perfect. It was performed in American Sign Language and English and was captioned to make sure the communication was accessible to all who came to view the performance. The main character in the play is Megan, a deaf nine-year-old girl who goes to a mainstream school. She is excitedly planning her 10th birthday party, which will be a perfectly purple party. A new student named Alexis joins the class. Megan tries to befriend her, but Alexis is hesitant around Megan and thwarts all of Megan’s attempts to become friends. Despite Megan’s attempts to befriend Alexis, Alexis does not accept the invitation to Megan’s party. When the two girls are forced to work together on a science fair project, their problems escalate. Inadvertently, while doing the science fair project on hamsters, Megan learns that Alexis’s brother, Justin, is autistic. Through the process, Megan teaches Justin the sign for hamster. The excitement that ensues after Justin signs his first word changes Alexis’s opinion of Megan. She eventually accepts the invitation to Megan’s perfectly purple party and even shows up knowing a few signs. Throughout the show, Megan learns that Alexis is not perfect, even though she appears to be. She is able to see that no one else is perfect either. Everyone has their strengths and their challenges that they have to live with and conquer. The students enjoyed the animated action and silly songs,  - The Wisconsin Times

In the afternoon the children got all decked up in dresses and ties and attended the annual Valentine’s Day dance, arranged by elementary teacher Peg Stachowiak. Leading up to the big dance, the students had learned the various dances and dance moves in gym class. They did their best and really

performed well. Everyone danced the Hokey Pokey, the Macarena, the Twist, the Hand Jive, and many more. Each student took turns asking their friends to dance and all enjoyed the afternoon. The day ended with ice cream sundaes and lots of laughter.

Middle/High School News by Brian Lievens and Michael Coates

The Annual Mock Wedding Ceremony After the ceremony there was a celebration in the Firebird Center with refreshments and wedding cake made by the kitchen staff. Members of the Sign Song Dancers handled the music for the affair by leading students in various dance

The annual Mock Wedding was held on Wednesday, February 17, at 1:45, followed by a reception in the Firebird Center. This activity was open to all high school students and all interested staff.

styles. The rest of the semester in the marriage and family class, both male and female students will be involved in a fake pregnancy, study of pregnancy and birth, child development, parental care of physical needs, guidance, and child care using “Think It Over” simulated babies that cry at a set time.

The Mock Wedding was the culmination of first semester’s work on building relationships in the marriage and family class. The students were taught about long-term successful relationships, which involve friendship, passion, and commitment to each other. During the Mock Wedding the partners say their vows that they promise to respect each other’s opinions, solve problems, and follow through in situations without quitting. The mock ceremony was led by two teachers, Chris Woodfill and Julie Holma, who guided the participants with their vows. There were performances by Casey Muth, Myra Flynn, Alvin Horton, and Tiffany Besaw-Benz of the Sign Song Dancers.

This year’s partners were: Ian Breaker and Myra Flynn, Casey Muth and Sara Xiong, and Alvin Horton and Shaniquia Felton. Because the class has more male students than female students, the following students chose partners to work outside of the class: Chas Moritz and Leneta Meyers, and Chris Sweeney and Ruth James. Donavin Sweeney was an usher for the Mock Wedding.

Spring 2010 - 

Middle School Keeps Up with the Olympics The Winter Olympics was held in February in Vancouver, Canada. The middle school teachers discussed the Olympics with the students, so that the students would be more aware of and interested in the Winter Olympics. The teachers taught lessons related to the Winter Olympics in reading, writing, social studies, and science classes, so that the students had the chance to read and to write about the Olympics. Also, the students had the opportunity to keep up with the Olympics through the media of Internet and television.

The middle school students learned geography about the countries that sent their Olympians to Vancouver. Also, they learned about the history of the Olympics, which began in Olympia, Greece in 770 b.c.e. The Olympics was a time for warring Greek city-states to stop fighting and to compete against each other in peace. The Olympics continued until the fourth century c.e., when a Roman emperor stopped the games. The students also learned that the modern Olympics began in the late nineteenth century.

The students tracked the total of medals won. All were proud that our country, the United States of America, won the most medals of all the participating countries, even though Canada, the host country, won the most gold medals. The students studied the famous landmark, the Inukshuk, and its importance in Canada.

 - The Wisconsin Times

They discovered that the medals themselves were made of various metals such as gold, silver, copper, tin, zinc, and base metals. Also, they weigh 500 to 565 grams! The students examined the physical aspects of the Olympics games, such as ski jumping, and they wrote pieces about specific events, such as

Video Relay Service Facts and Fraud Geraldine Francini came to Wisconsin School for the Deaf to present on the Video Relay Service (VRS) on March 18. She is the Central Region representative of Video Relay Service Consumer Association (VRSCA). VRSCA is funded by Sorenson Communications, Inc. Geraldine was traveling in Wisconsin giving presentations in Madison and Milwaukee before stopping by WSD to present to the faculty and students. VRSCA is an informational forum for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing persons who use Video Relay Service (VRS). Geraldine presented on issues related to VRS, such as recent VRS fraud, Federal Communication Commission’s responsibilities related to VRS, the fund that pays the VRS companies that provide services, consumer protections against scams, and functional equivalency in telephone communications. Students were given opportunities to ask questions about VRS and to complain about various VRS services. Geraldine informed the students that they can always inform FCC if they have any complaints about their Video Relay Services and providers. When she asked the students if they have video phones at home, most of the students affirmed that they do. For more information on VRS and how to contact the FCC, go to http://

Midnight in Paris

Prom 2010

Spring 2010 - 

The following poems were written by high school students during the English composition classes taught by Kari Wicinski and Karen DeFalco.

Winter is very beautiful white. Breezes against my face feel good. Watching snow fall is very enjoyable. Winter is my perfect dream. By Tristan Boling I love winter, because it’s cold and fun. Snow is beautiful look. I play snowball fight. Beautiful sky and sparkling snow so white on the ground. By Nessa Guza

The trees and grass become GREEN It means… It’s summer! A beautiful sunshine Children play outside “Play ball!” “Play ball!” The grass is growing longer. By Taylor Koss Winter So cold-windy Freeze and snow all the time That was where we got our fun! By Tiffany Besaw-Benz Bright sunshine appears frequently in the morning Love the green and fresh air in the morning Children look happy at the beach Warm weather is almost perfect for everyone. By Patrick Jennison

In the morning, I hear birds chirp happily In the afternoon, I feel the sun, as it stands out, with no competition The garden leaves a sweet smelling scent in the air as I walk by Winter going faded away soon. At sunset, sitting with the one you care The sun raised in morning, about, thinking of the future. Animals woke from long sleep By Brady Bostwick during winter time. The birds chirping very happily, Spring is come! Winter day departs Trees start growing the leaves as Flowers emerge from the ground plants start to blossom. The sun escapes the cloud Spring lets you feel breeze windy Tis the beginning of a new season and warmth. By Brandon Edquist You will love spring! By Mai Yang 10 - The Wisconsin Times

The Beautiful Storm

Teen Literacy Week

She blossoms like rose With a thorn I never know She started to fade.

The week of February 15 was Teen Literacy Week for the middle school students at Wisconsin School for the Deaf. Kathleen Sterwerf-Jackson, reading specialist, and Karla Gunn, bilingual specialist, coordinated this event. Two books, which were storysigned to the students, were in the top five books the middle school students in Wisconsin selected for the Golden Archer award, which was sponsored by Wisconsin Education Media Technology Association. Those two books were No Talking by Andrew Clements and The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French.

On a fiery night, I pray with all my might That she would come back. Now I know what’s wrong I’m not gonna sing a song Because she is gone. By: Casey Muth

Strong Mother I have watched you be my strong mother. You have battled through your struggle with breast cancer. You have shown so many positive ways about yourself. You don’t want to have any pity. You are just happy to be giving only positive things to our family. I have watched you be my strong mother. You love to give yourself to the family. You take care of the house perfectly. You care and love me. You won’t give up on me even with all of the problems that have faced me. You’ve always wanted me to be good.

Scott Kendziorski, psychology service assistant, was asked to story-sign The Robe of Skulls on Wednesday, February 17. The students were mesmerized by Scott’s translation of the work into ASL. Scott signed the story along with some pictures from the book. Scott mentioned that he chose this work because he had always story-signed books that have a male as the main character. This time, he decided he would like to story-sign a story with a female main character.

I have watched you be my strong mother. I have watched you love to serve other people. You have helped so many, many people. You always show patience with people. I have watched you be my strong mother. I want to model my life the same as you. I will always look up to you, mother, for wisdom. I honor you as my amazing mother. By Maydee Vande Hey

The ASL specialist, Kathryn Harbison, had the opportunity to story-sign No Talking on Thursday, February 18. Kathryn translated the work into ASL, emphasizing the story’s main points: the girls and boys in a certain school decided not to speak more than three words at any point. The story showed how the students changed their behavior and improved their attention during their classes. When the story ended, Kathryn challenged the students not to talk too much as a way to help them become better students. Spring 2010 - 11

Boys Lock-In The 12th annual boys lock-in was held at Comfort Suites in Lake Geneva, WI. A lock-in is an intensive retreat intended to build social and emotional ties using interaction, lectures, and teambuilding exercises. This year, our theme was “How to Have a Healthy Lifestyle with Peers.” The two workshops that our lock-in revolved around this year were “Dating Relationships” and “Dangers of Alcohol and Drugs.” It was our intention to confront the boys before their dreams get derailed due to poor choices. Some messages shared were: Each problem has a solution. All experiences are opportunities to learn and grow. We believe in the power of the human mind. Our first goal was how to better prepare young Deaf male students for dealing with age-appropriate relationships. From this concern, we were able to identify and present critical components in relationships, including exploring emotions, noticing aggression (especially working with managing stress), being responsible, asserting oneself, and preparing to recognize as well as develop the ability to deal with conflict resolution. There was discussion on the impact of gender role stereotypes. During this workshop, the concept of “sexting” was formally introduced and shared. We informed the boys on how the state of Wisconsin and the judicial system respond to incidents of sexting. Drug abuse is and always will be a curiosity and topic of discussion among teens. We provided informed decisions regarding drug and alcohol abuse and how it impacts everyday lives, especially focusing on the curiosity stage, as one is introduced to drugs during group settings, especially on weekends and because of peer pressure. Visible markers that may identify drug and/or alcohol use were shared among the group. Some of those markers are poor motivation, bad grades, and changes in behavior. Discussion ensued about identifying various triggers that occur during the teenage years that can lead to drug use, such as a constant exposure to our chemical society, the need for experimentation, low self-esteem, and using drugs as a way to feel like one is excelling, if one is not good in activities such as athletics. The effects of substance abuse were pointed out, including how it impacts young minds. Our goal is to empower the high school boys to make the right decisions. These two workshops were intertwined with hands-on activities to keep the boys occupied. There were races to see who could put on neckties the quickest. Question and answer sheets were assigned to respective grade levels, and the boys were split off into subgroups to discuss the questions and provide their answers regarding current topics of interest. There were two scheduled pool breaks when the boys could unwind and let loose their energies in the water. Mini Disc Golf was set up for the boys to test the plastic with their finger flinging ability. The grade levels each created their own Firebird dance, illustrating in their dances the four PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Support) skills, including safety, caring, responsibility, and respectfulness. The boys were able to come out of this lock-in with the knowledge to prepare them for a healthy lifestyle. Accountability was 12 - The Wisconsin Times

stressed. They are aware that they must take ownership of their decisions. The procedures for communicating with peers and staff were clarified. The process of intervention and the assignment of roles in relationships were reinforced. They are aware of the consequences for their choices. It is our hope that they will apply the knowledge learned at the lock-in to increase their problemsolving and decision-making skills when it comes to potential conflicts involving relationships and/or substance abuse.

Library Mural One of Susan Dupor’s art classes has been very busy making the library at WSD look beautiful, while at the same time motivating students to read. The question that comes to mind is: how can an art class motivate students to read? Four creative students in the high school art class provide us with a beautiful answer. Myra Flynn, Tony Davis, Ashley Wagner, and Sara Xiong started a mural project while Susan Dupor was on maternity leave during the first semester. Kim O Reilly was subbing and was asked by Patricia Kostechka for help in decorating a window in the library. Kim asked the four students to come up with an idea for the window. Each student did such an outstanding job that a portion from each of their sketches was chosen to be put on the window.

After the four students’ ideas were selected and combined, they began the long process of drawing the picture on the window, before Thanksgiving. It was decided that since Susan would be back from maternity leave after Christmas she would be responsible to have the students paint the mural. After Christmas break the students started the careful process of painting their mural. They worked very hard together, with determination and the goal of making WSD proud. One of the students commented after completing the mural, “Seeing this picture makes me want to read more!” Everyone is invited to visit the WSD library to view this lovely mural and ponder the pride these students have in their school.

IN MEMORY OF JOSHUA JORDAN Joshua Jordan started school at WSD in the fall of 2007 as a freshman. He passed away on December 10, 2009. After Joshua passed away, a Wisconsin Times writer learned that Joshua loved to write letters, especially to his mom. In his memory, the Wisconsin Times writer thought it would be appropriate to share a letter written by Rene Ambrose, who was Joshua’s teacher, to give to his family on the day of his funeral. Dear Joshua, I know you know this but today is pay day. I have your paycheck with me and I will give it to your mom. You worked hard shredding paper, collecting, recycling, and sorting pop cans and I know your mom is proud of you for working so hard. I am also thinking that now you have all the money you want or you don’t need money where you are. So you can stop working and enjoy. The red car, I think, may be outside and full of gas. If not it is probably parked outside your house waiting for your mom, dad, and your brothers and sister to come home. I’ll never forget how excited you were when your family got the red car. It was hard to believe you turned 18 in the fall. What an exciting time for you. With 18 came some frustrations about rules, expectations, and boundaries, but you were working on it and trying your best. Most of the time you made wonderful choices and some of the time you made choices that you learned from. Believe me, it is not easy and there are many older, wiser people who don’t always make good choices. You were working hard to do your best all the time and again I know your mom is very proud of you. You could barely get through a day without talking about cell phones. Your mom and dad bought you many and you found it fascinating to take them apart. They did not last long. I think your mom saved a lot of money, because if you had actually used your cell phone you would have had a huge bill. The unlimited plan would not have been enough for you. Lastly Joshua, I want to say that your letters always contained kind words for your family and friends. You rarely ended a letter with anything less than Love, Joshua JJ Jordan. I am hoping that people who were lucky enough to get one of your letters still have it. I also want you to know that I gave your mom the letters you wrote last week and she will read them when she is ready. Your friends from school also wrote letters for your family and they will read them when they are feeling better and when they want to smile about all the good things your friends have to say. This letter could go on forever, but it is time to finish up and tell you that we all miss your wonderful smile and deep laugh, big bright eyes, dancing in the halls, basketball moves, pats on the back, and of course your big thumbs up when you entered a room or left. You left us too soon and we may never know why, but you taught us many life lessons. Hopefully, we will all remember to write a letter now and then just for you. Spring 2010 - 13

FIREBIRD SPORTS by Chris Woodfill

Boys Basketball WSD vs. Grace Christian Academy 65–66 WSD lost a very hotly contested game by 1 point against Grace Christian. Grace Christian led by 35–33 by the half-time. WSD stayed right there All the way but lost in the end. Patrick Jennison led the team with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Jose Castillo and Tony Davis scored 16 points each.

Patrick Jennison led the team with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists. Jose Castillo was right behind with 12 points and 8 assists. Tony Davis poured in 9 points and captured 9 rebounds.

WSD vs. Union Grove Christian 43–49 WSD lost another close one! This time it was to Union Grove Christian. The boys fought so hard to lead 20–17 by the halftime. However, the opponent outscored WSD by 32–23 to edge past WSD for the victory.

14 - The Wisconsin Times

WSD vs. Missouri Deaf 74–28 In the opening game of the GPSD (Great Plains Schools for the Deaf) tournament, WSD flattened Missouri Deaf. WSD far outscored Missouri Deaf in all four quarters of the game. Three players were in double-digits for the night. Patrick Jennison led the team with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 steals. Travis Waala pumped in 13 points. Cody Gannon was the third double-digit contributor with 11 points and 4 rebounds.

Jennison poured in 12 points and ripped down 16 rebounds. Travis Waala rounded out the double digits performance with 10 points, 2 assists, and 2 steals.

WSD vs. Rock County Christian 49–58

WSD vs. New Mexico 52–31

After such an exciting GPSD tournament, WSD lost another close conference game against Rock County Christian. At halftime WSD was ahead 22–18. However, WSD’s defense went to sleep and allowed Rock County Christian to walk all over them during the second half, with a 27–40 performance. Jose Castillo led the team with 17 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. Patrick Jennison was close behind with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals.

In the second game of the GPSD tournament, WSD easily dispatched the New Mexico Deaf School. By half-time, WSD led 21–1. The dominance continued and extended into the second half with a 31–18 performance. Again, three players poured in double digits. Cody Gannon led the team with 13 points and 6 rebounds. Tony Davis was right behind with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Jose Castillo rounded out the players with double digits by contributing 10 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals.

WSD vs. Trinity Academy 65–68

WSD vs. Iowa Deaf 53–35 WSD finished in first place at the GPSD tournament with another easy victory over Iowa Deaf School. WSD and Iowa were close at the half-time, 24–20. However, WSD pulled away decisively in the second half with 29–15 run. For the third straight game, WSD had 3 players in double digits. Jose Castillo was the star of the game with 18 points, 9 assists, 2 steals, and 1 rebound. Patrick

WSD had been losing in close matches against local schools during the season, and this game was no exception. Unfortunately, the final outcome does not always show the great effort and skills the players exhibit. By the end of the third quarter, the score was 37–54. WSD woke up and roared right back during the 4th quarter with 28–14 run, but once again, it just was not enough. Patrick Jennison led the team with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 1 steal. Tony Davis was Patrick’s right-hand man, with 16 points and 4 rebounds. Jose Castillo and Travis Waala contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively. Spring 2010 - 15

WSD vs. Union Grove Christian 45–56 WSD lost another one against Union Grove Christian. WSD never outscored the opponent throughout the game. Patrick Jennison was the only one who scored more than 10 points, with 18 along with 7 rebounds. Travis Waala came close with 9 points.

WSD vs. Grace Christian Academy 51–56 WSD closed out the season with yet another close loss. WSD led 28–19 at half-time but somehow faltered, and the opponent took advantage. Patrick Jennison ended the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Jose Castillo chipped in with 12 points, 9 assists, and 3 steals. Tony Davis had 10 points and 6 rebounds.

Girls Basketball WSD vs. Grace 60–29 WSD overwhelmed the opponent, outscoring them by 29–16 at the half-time. After the half-time, WSD continued its absolute dominance, with a 31–13 second half run. Senior Ashley Wagner was the undisputed star, with a near school record performance with 28 points, 8 steals, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Maydee Vande Hey was Ashley’s right-hand woman, with 17 points, 24 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Rookie freshman Lori Eldred is not to be forgotten with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

WSD vs. Union Grove Christian 30–42 WSD was shocked in a big loss to Union Grove. WSD never got near the opponent throughout the game, being outscored in all four quarters. Lori Eldred led the team with 11 points. Maydee Vande Hey was right behind with 10 points and 9 rebounds.

WSD vs. New Mexico Deaf 17–33 WSD lost big to New Mexico Deaf in the opener of the GPSD tournament. WSD just could not find its groove at any point during this game. Lori Eldred led the team with 9 points and 2 rebounds. Maydee Vande Hey helped out with 6 points and 7 rebounds.

WSD vs. Arkansas Deaf 37–15 During the second game of the GPSD tournament, WSD roared back to win against Arkansas Deaf. WSD outscored Arkansas throughout the game, giving the opponent no shot of coming back. Ashley Wagner was the star, with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Lori Eldred was the only other player on the team to earn any points, with 16, along with 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals.

16 - The Wisconsin Times

WSD vs. Mountain Top 36–59 WSD suffered a major loss against Mountain Top, never coming close at any point during the game. In this match, Lori Eldred was the only player with more than 10 points; she contributed 12. Ashley Wagner chipped in 8.

WSD vs. Trinity 25–46 WSD suffered another difficult loss against Trinity. Their dominance was established absolutely by the end of the first half, with the score of 11–27. WSD never had a chance to try and make up the difference. Lori Eldred dominated WSD’s team performance with 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. No one else came close.

WSD vs. Union Grove Christian 33–32 WSD won a thriller of a game against Union Grove. After being behind 19–24 at the end of the 3rd quarter, WSD came roaring back during the 4th quarter to outscore the opponent 14–8, edging past for a victory. Maydee Vande Hey led the team with 10 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 assist. Lori Eldred shadowed her performance with 9 points and 2 rebounds. Ashley Wagner contributed 8 points, 5 assists, and 2 rebounds.

WSD vs. Kansas Deaf 42–37 WSD claimed the consolation championship with a closely contested victory over Kansas Deaf. WSD was behind by 1 point at half-time but edged past Kansas, outscoring them by 6 points during the second half. Ashley Wagner and Lori Eldred co-led the team with 12 points each. Maydee Vande Hey was close behind with 11 points.

WSD vs. Grace 40–43 In the season closing game, WSD lost a heartbreaker against Grace. The lead changed hands throughout the game. Ashley ended her senior season with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. Freshman Lori Eldred checked out with 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Spring 2010 - 17

18 - The Wisconsin Times

WSD Brings Home the Gold at 2010 State Special Olympics

ready with some team plays and beat them, 30–22, leading the whole game. Chas Moritz was the high scorer with 20 points, followed by Nick Johnson with 8 and Wyatt Keller with 2. Senior point guard Donavin Sweeney made 10 assists. All of the WSD Special Olympic players brought home medals from the 2010 State Tournament in Oshkosh on April 10 and 11. Charly Fleege competed in Division 11 in the individual skills competition and won a third place medal for shooting and dribbling. The WSD Shooting Stars team won the gold in Division XIV against three other teams.

On Sunday, playing for the championship against the VPI Thunder, it was senior Nick Johnson’s birthday, thus giving him extra energy but a rocky start with some wild plays. Through all the excitement, Nick managed to score12 points and 2 for the other team. Donavin continued with assists to both Chas and Nick, as well as scoring 6 points. Chas was the leading scorer with 22 points. Anthony Boles played wing and Wyatt Keller helped with some steals. The team was commended by the referees and coaches for their teamwork, good sportsmanship, and positive attitude. Coaches were Karen DeFalco and Sheryl Aleksinski.

In their first game, the WSD Shooting Stars team battled against their nemesis the Windy Knights from ODTC (Oconomowoc Developmental Training Center), who had beaten them twice this season. However, the Shooting Stars, after some intense shooting practice, were Spring 2010 - 19

WI Times Spring 2010 Vol. CXXXI No. 3  
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