Grant would update PHS tech center to ‘Fab Lab’

by Dave Cary Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH — With the attention drawn by the new Food Science and Agriculture Center, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Plymouth High School has a top-drawer Tech Ed program as well — which the school board sought to improve Tuesday night when it approved applying for a state grant offered to help create a Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab).

These are defined as a “mediumscale high-technology workshop equipped with computer-controlled additive and subtractive manufacturing components including 3-dimensional printers, laser engravers, computer numerical control (CNC) routers or plasma cutters.”

The grant program was recently established by the state and is administered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. According to PHS Principal Jennifer Rauscher, who presented the application, the only piece of equipment PHS needs to have a fullyequipped Fab Lab is a CNC router, which is the subject of the $25,000 grant application.

Rauscher said the $25,000 is subject to a proviso that the school match 25 percent of the grant. The total, she said — some $31,500 — is very close to the price of the router model the staff is interested in. The school, she said, already has equipment made by the same manufacturer, and it seems wise to have other equipment utilizing similar software.

In reply to a question from board member Bob Travis, Rauscher said she had been assured by tech ed staff members that the model sought met or exceeded spacifications called for the the grant application. The board approved the application without dissent.

• • •

Board President Tim St. Clair outlined the steps any district resident or group of residents would have to take if they wished to petition the WIAA to update its bylaws.

St. Clair said there had been a buzz of interest about doing this since the WIAA recently suggested several types of cheers kids were doing seemed to be unsportsmanlike because they were veiled or not-soveiled taunts. The WIAA suggested these cheers not be allowed.

The interest came about when a student “tweeted” about a freespeech violation using vulgar language, and the national media picked the story up and ran with it. The WIAA, however lacks authority to give orders to schools concerning matters like this, hence the term ‘suggestion.’

Anyone feeling the WIAA needs an update, St. Clair said, should know that to change bylaws, a state WIAA convention is required, and such a convention must be be requested by at least 51 percent of the 525 member school districts — which means 525 school board presidents would need to be contacted.

The WIAA was formed in the 1920s, he added, when the num- ber of member schools was very small. And the bylaws have not really been changed since.

• • •

In personnel matters, the board approved a 50 percent contract for Denise Roth to teach third grade at Parkview for the remainder of the school year.

Roth received her bachelors degree from UW-Stevens Point and her masters degree from Cardinal Stritch University. She has 17 years experience as a reading teacher in the Kohler School District.

Sanora Stout has resigned as a special education aide at Riverview; she has served the district since the fall of 2015.

Bonnie Belsha has been hired as a special education aide at Plymouth High School.

Lisa Lampone has been hired as a server/cook at Plymouth High School.

Jen Vander Sande has been hired as a special education aide at Plymouth High School.

• • •

The board accepted the following gifts and donations:

• A donation of $2,367.92 from the Parkview PTK for student transportation and school supplies.

• A donation of $535.94 from the Fairview PTO for student transportation.

• A donation of $170.79 from the Horizon PATH for student transportation.

• A donation of $300 from Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Mueller for PHS Art Club supplies.

• A donation of $200 from Barbara Hembel for the PHS fall play and the choral music department.

• A donation of $300 from the Vollrath Company for the transportation costs of students in culinary competitions or observing them.

• A donation of $2,500 from the the Kohler Foundation Inc. for Riverview’s STEAM program to purchase a 3D printer.

• A donation of $150 from Wally Taylor for the PHS Animal Learning Center.

• A donation of $1021.35 from a match program with Sargento Foods Inc. and their employees for Parkview Elementary School.

• A donation of a 1995 Dodge Ram 4X4 Club Cab pickup. The vehicle will be used by the automotive technology classes at PHS. As of the meeting it was uncertain whether or not the donor wished to remain anonymous; if not, full mention will be given at next month’s board meeting.

• A donation of 10 acres of rent free land use for the 2016 calendar year by Stacey Miller for the Plymouth FFA program.

• • •

In other matters Tony Bachaus was formally sworn in as a board member appointed to fill the vacancy left by John Klemme, who moved out of the district.

The board approved an outof state travel request from PHS World Language Teacher Laura Koebel and WE Act, a servicebased student club, to take students to Chicago next April 29 to attend WE Day, a related program.

The event celebrates student volunteers, and PHS students can earn an invitation/ticket by performing global and local service.

Koebel said several students attended last year and found it “rewarding.” Sone 50-75 are expected this year.


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