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News & Notes: Feb. 25

Feb. 25, 2014

Germantown continues review of teacher compensation

Germantown — Officials in the Germantown School District continue to review a so-called alternative compensation model for its teaching staff as Gov. Scott Walker's Act 10 legislation continues to take hold.

School Board member Sarah Larson is one of several district officials who has been involved in reviewing possible compensation models. More recently, officials have been meeting with representatives from Verisight, a company specializing in wage and benefit models.

"We've had very vigorous discussions," Larson said at a board meeting Monday. "We're looking to start honing in on what would make the most sense for Germantown, and what we could eventually implement."

Germantown school security infrastructure under review

Germantown — Changes could soon come to some or all of Germantown's six schools as security enhancements are eyed in the years ahead.

The School Board's Building Committee has been reviewing security in recent months. Board member Bruce Warnimont, who chairs the committee, provided a brief update Monday.

Based on outside consultation, the district could potentially implement $2.6 million of improvements in the years ahead. Big ticket items include new entrances at Amy Belle Elementary and Germantown High schools.

Two Rockfield teachers to leave district at end of school year

Germantown — Two Rockfield Elementary School first-grade teachers are leaving the Germantown School District.

Pamela Kohlenberg, who has been with the district 16 years, is retiring at the close of the school year. Denise Burger, a 13-year employee of the district, is resigning in June.

The School Board approved both resignations Monday.

School district renews rental agreement with farmer

Germantown — Resident Richard Stephan will continue to use a 21.6-acre plot of land owned by the Germantown School District, following a favorable motion Monday by the School Board.

In prior years, Stephan has rented the tillable property — located south of Holy Hill Road, between Highway 145 and Goldendale Road — to plant crops.

The 2014 agreement states Stephan can use the property if he pays $2,000 — the same amount he paid last year.

Germantown board accepts concealed-carry agreements with agencies

Germantown — The Germantown School Board on Monday approved memorandums of understanding with three law enforcement agencies as part of a provision in the state's concealed carry law.

The memos state officers with the Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls police departments and the Wisconsin State Patrol can carry concealed weapons on school grounds.

Last month, the district entered into agreements with the Germantown Police Department and sheriff's departments in Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties.

Board President Bob Soderberg said the memos are not a direct response to security concerns.

"This is meant fill a gap in the law and plug some holes," he said.

Citing efficiency, Germantown to upgrade its GIS software

Germantown — The Germantown Public Works Department has been given the go-ahead to switch service providers for its global information system application.

The Village Board last week voted to leave Map Guide and go to Arc GIS. In a memo, Dan Ludwig, public works director, said the switch to Arc GIS' application will be "faster and more efficient since it was created to facilitate data development and retrieval."

Ludwig said GIS software is used for a variety of functions, including work with prospective commercial and residential developers, as well as a tool for generating reports that are sent to such agencies as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Germantown's road seal coating plans in place for 2014

Germantown — The Village Board last week approved a list of subdivisions and streets in Germantown that will receive seal coat treatments when warm weather returns.

The village plans to use a black boiler slag seal on streets in a number of subdivisions, including Mountbrook, Sunberry and Windsong. Sections of Division Road and Squire Drive also are slated to receive the treatment.

Several village employees to receive upgraded phones

Germantown — Members of Germantown's engineering department will be supplied with smartphones, following approval last week by the Village Board.

Village Engineer Brionne Bischke requested the upgrade so smartphone technology can be used for greater efficiency during field work, as well as readily calling up data.

The engineering department anticipates a one-time expense for the new phones, but plans call for the phones to remain on the state's phone plan.

Trustee David Baum inquired if tablets would be a wiser upgrade because of larger screens. But Bischke said the phones allow for easier storage while out in the field.

Organization allowed to use village facilities at no charge

Germantown — The Kiwanis Club of Germantown will be allowed to use village-owned property at no charge when the organization sponsors Fourth of July festivities this year.

The Village Board last week approved the club's public grant program request to hold the Fourth of July parade along portions of Pilgrim Road, Main Street and Park Avenue. The organization also will use Firemen's Park, N11862 Park Ave., for a daylong celebration and fireworks show.

School Board accepts two gifts, benefiting Amy Belle

Germantown — The Germantown School Board on Monday approved two gifts, each benefiting Amy Belle Elementary School.

The school's PTA has donated $7,293 to the school for technology improvements. The Stoffel family has donated an additional $250 to the school for the same cause.

District policy states all gift requests must be presented to the board for consideration and action.

Germantown Chamber announces award winners

Germantown — The Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce announced its 2013 Community Awards winners:

· Business of the Year: First Bank Financial Centre

· Citizen of the Year: Kevin Nash

· Service Organization of the Year: Life Church

The award recipients will be honored at the Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting being held March 25 at Nardo's Passport Inn, N11498 Goldendale Road.

First Bank Financial Centre was nominated for its many community contributions, donations and sponsorships such as their "Growing Our Communities" Campaign, "Random Acts of Kindness," and the recent premier sponsorship of the Germantown Community Scholarship Fund Dinner Auction to name a few. Cheri Schadeberg, Germantown Branch Manager, proudly shares that 80 percent of staff and 100 percent of local management volunteer in Germantown.

Kevin Nash was nominated by individuals citing very similar qualifications. Kevin has participated in, served on or chaired many organizations in Germantown since moving here and starting his real estate career 20 years ago. He has often been heard claiming that although he wasn't born here, "This is my children's hometown, so let's make this a great place to live!" He encourages everyone he encounters to get involved and make a difference in the community.

Being named Service Organization of the Year highlights Life Church's impact on the community beyond their congregation. They recently completed construction of their church building in Germantown and open their doors to community events as well as support staff involvement in Leadership Germantown, organizing the Fourth of July parade lineup, and the Kiwanis Club, as examples.

Business department receives two grants

Menomonee Falls — Financial literacy for Menomonee Falls High School students took two steps up this week as the Business Department won two grants totaling more than $20,000.

The grants will be used to fulfill the mission of the department to improve the "financial literacy for all Menomonee Falls students," said business teacher Lisa Kiefer in a news release.

A Discover Pathway to Financial Success grant was approved for $19,855 and will cover the cost of 44 iPads with Wi-Fi, two Jambox wireless speakers and one storage charger.

The Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants awarded business teachers Kiefer and Sara Burling a grant for $1,212. The grant will be used to take two teams from the high school to the forensic accounting competition at Lakeland College in March and for a field trip for managerial accounting students to see a presentation from the Stein Gardens and Gifts chief financial officer and take a tour of the company.

Kiefer and Burling will also take students to the Kohler Co. to see several facets of the business and to Lakeland College in April.

Tax refunds can be donated to help Wisconsin Special Olympians

Germantown — Thirty-seven year old Anthony Porter, a Wisconsin athlete and front end associate at Sendik's in Germantown, is just one of thousands of people who can be helped this year by donating to Special Olympics Wisconsin through the state income tax form.

Donations help the organization to continue to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in 17 Olympic-type sports. It also helps offer athletes leadership training to build confidence and become more independent, improving their employability skills.

Porter said he was shy before he joined SOWI's Athlete Leadership Program 14 years ago. Today, Porter works at Sendik's, a position he thanks Special Olympics for helping him secure.

"Special Olympics showed me I can not only do sports like other kids, it showed me I am capable of doing anything they can do," Porter said. "(Special Olympics) showed me that people with disabilities can work. Special Olympics showed me that I can do it."

Donations can be made using 2014 taxes. Find the section called "Donations," and select "Special Olympics" in the listing of nonprofit organizations. Then, indicate the donation amount.

For more information on how to make a donation on the state income tax form, visit SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.org/taxcheckoff.

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