Students share apprenticeship tales with board

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE — At its Monday night meeting (postponed from Jan. 16 when schools closed early due to icy conditions), the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School Board heard more success stories from students active in the district’s Youth Apprenticeship program.

Instructor Beth Roehl introduced five students: Jade Henschel (working at the Osthoff); Mitchel Jensen (Falcon Transportation); Jeffery Fredricks (RCS Empowers); Chelsea Winscher (Anthrop East Wind Dairy); and Allison Satori (Johnsonville Foods).

Each student shared experiences in the program, in response to questions from Roehl:

“Where are you employed, how many hours do you work per week, and what are your daily tasks?

“How many hours did you work this summer? Did you perform different tasks this summer than you do during the school year?

“Why did you decide to pursue a youth apprenticeship, and what do you hope to learn from it?

“How has the program benefitted you so far?

“What are your plans after high school? What type of career would you like to pursue in your future?

“What class are you taking as part of the Youth Apprenticeship program? How has this class helped you in your youth appren- ticeship position?

“Are you glad you participated in the program?”

Henschel said she’s worked at the front desk of the Osthoff and earned enough trust from her supervisor to work there alone at times. In doing so, she’s learned to maintain her self-control when people are less than easy to interact with.

Jensen said his job has given him much self-confidence and gave as one example the task of talking with people he does not know over the phone.

Winscher said she’s learned how to care for cattle, including giving cows IVs and vaccinations. She enjoys the fact that she is trusted to work independently.

Fredricks said his experiences have given him a better basis to plan his career.

Satori said the program has helped her make a more informed decision as to what direction she will take her life. She discovered that the work she’s now doing “is something that I love, and I want to do this in my future now. It’s fun, and I love going to work every day.”

All students emphasized that having work experience prior to high school graduation has helped them.

Participants were asked if they thought most students their age would benefit from participating in this program. Several replied with confidence that it would be beneficial.

Roehl said Youth Apprenticeship is available to all students, and that the number participating is growing. Efforts are being made to reach out to, and inform, parents and students of the program.

Even the process of applying for the program, Roehl said, benefits students, as it results in the experience of an actual job interview. “That’s a huge growing opportunity right there,” she said.

The board heard first-hand of further achievements from two students, introduced by High School Principal Ryan Faris: sisters Lauren and Meredith Boos, who had participated in swimming at the state competition in Madison.

“It was a really great experience,” said Lauren. She thanked the board for the sports co-op program that allows EL-G and Kiel to work together in swimming.

Of the competition in Madison, Meredith said, “It’s almost like you’re performing. It’s a great experience.”

Donations made to the school district in the past month: $250 from Sargento, in thanks for using the parking lot; $2,000 from Phillip and Charla Beukema, the third of 10 installments planned over a 5-year period, intended for the Enhancing Teaching and Learning Award Program; $12,000 from the Kohl Family Foundation, for maintenance to the Kohl Technology Center; and $40 from Patti Zuelke, who returned her stipend for the fall play supervision as a donation to the district. The board unanimously expressed gratitude for the donations.

Buechel Haack summarized the results of an audit of the district, which found two significant deficiencies: Insufficient segregation of duties and preparation of financial statements. It is difficult (or impossible) for small districts to meet these standards, as there are not enough staff to spread certain duties among. Buechel Haack said the result is that most small districts are identified as having those deficiencies.

“But overall, it was a clean audit, and [the auditor] continues to be impressed with the budgeting,” she said.

Buechel Haack gave the board an update on Fund 80 accounting procedures, which relate to funding for day care.

Student Council representative Aryka Klemme told of volunteer opportunities during Christmas week and planning for the Winter Formal.

Elementary Principal Deb Hammann was not present to present grade K-8 highlights, but a written summary she submitted told of a History Bee for fifth through eighth grades; the coming Middle School winter concert; the annual National Scripps Spelling Bee; a recent teacher in-service day which included academic career planning; semester-end report cards going home with students on Friday, Jan. 27; Drama Club starting the end of January; and parent-teacher conferences on Monday, Feb. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 5 to 8 p.m.

Faris’ report on high school activities in the past month including final exams being rescheduled from the previous week because of the weather; participation of the band in the Big East Band and Choir Honors Concert in Manitowoc; the Coaches vs. Cancer event; and scheduling for next year to start soon.


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