EL-G board hears about student’s Youth Apprenticeship experiences

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE — The School Board met Monday night despite a day-long snowfall continuing into the evening.

High School Principal Ryan Faris introduced Jonathan Roll, a student who has spoken to the board before. Faris and others asked questions about Roll’s participation in the Youth Apprenticeship (YA) program, such as:

• Where are you employed, and how many hours per week do you work? “I’m still with Americorp, though my position has changed,” replied Roll. He said during wrestling season, in which he participates, he works about six hours per week; otherwise, it’s 12 hours.

• How many hours did you work this summer? “It was more than 210 hours.”

• Were your tasks different in the summer than they are now? They were similar.

• This is your second year in the YA program. Why did you decide to continue with it? “I think it’s a very good experience having a foot in the adult world, before I get thrown into it.”

Board members laughed good-naturedly at that, and District Superintendent Dr. Ann Buechel Haack, referring to his wrestling performance, assured him, “No one’s going to throw you anywhere, Jonathan.”

• What classes are you taking in conjunction with your YA program? Blueprint Reading I and II. (These night classes are at Lakeshore Technical College.)

• Are you glad you participated in the program? “Yes, I am. I think it’s a very good program.” His participation got him interested in manufacturing, and will help him make career choices. “I’m thinking of going into mechanical engineering.”

• Looking at when you first started, and now, did your relationship with the adults you work with change? Did their perceptions of you change, over time? Or your perceptions of them? “I don’t think they were very different, but— They will have new employees, who have no experience at all. So I’m thinking, they thought of me as a new guy that just came here and needed supervision.” He received that supervision, learned the procedures, and became more independent. “I thought that was pretty good, and pretty soon, they thought I was good.” He’s gotten to know the adults, and had enjoyable conversations with them.

Faris told the board that, as with other YA students, Roll has chosen to coordinate a formidable number of tasks: class work, his job, and his participation in wrestling.

“A lot of the kudos go to you, Jon, for all that you have done,” Faris said.

Buechel Haack expressed appreciation for an editorial in the Dec. 27 edition of The Review, titled, “Report cards bring good news for local schools.” Board members received copies of the editorial.

Buechel Haack said half of the piece told of favorable Department of Public Instruction report cards received by Sheboygan County schools in general; the second half focused specifically on the achievements of the EL-G district, which earned an overall “Exceeds Expectations” rating.

Faris and Brian Feldmann gave an enthusiastic introduction to the new Ice Fishing Club. Six students participated in this first season.

Buechel Haack solicited ideas from the board on what topics should be on a planned survey, and who should receive the survey.

Student Council representative Aryka Klemme reported several student activities that took place during ChristmasWeek.

The board unanimously approved:

• Acceptance of several donations in the past month. The board expressed appreciation to all donors.

• A Girls’ fall tennis co-op agreement with Howards Grove.

• Eliminating a limit on students accepted through open enrollment.

Elementary Principal Deb Hammann’s JK-8 highlights included students learning about the Mitten Tree; the middle school winter concert; awards in a writing contest; a geography bee for upper grades; a spelling bee for grades 4-8; winter math testing for grades K-8; the start of a drama club; parent-teacher conferences on Monday, Feb. 5, from 2-4 p.m., and 5-8 p.m.

High school highlights from Principal Ryan Faris included final exams later this week; band and choir participation in the Big East Band and Honors Concert in Manitowoc; three athletic events related to the Knock Out Cancer drive, where the school teamed up with Pink Heals of Sheboygan; ACT practice; working with seniors who intend to enter the workforce after high school graduation.

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