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From the Elementary Principal

From the Elementary Principal From the Elementary Principal

by Elementary Principal Jill Schulz

Welcome back, everyone!

We are happy to have our students back in the building with us; they were greatly missed by our staff! Our teachers worked diligently during the virtual learning days to stay connected to our students and continued to provide rich learning opportunities for all of our students; thank you to all of our school staff for all they did during this time for our students. Another HUGE thank you needs to be sent to our students, their parents and caregivers, and our community for stepping up during our virtual learning days to become our partners in the education of our students. Education always has been a collaborative effort between home and school and last spring this collaboration was taken to a whole new level; thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Our staff and students have been rock stars to start this year! This school year has twists that I do not think any of us ever anticipated but our Spencer Rockets are still doing great things. We could focus on everything that is different, but I would like to start with what has not changed:

• An education based on our essential standards and best practices

• Relationship-building with students

• An education that focuses on the whole child

• Community building within each cohort

• Teachers collaborating with their peers to provide the best education for our students

• Valuable physical education, music, and art lessons

• Time to choose books that excite our young learners in the library

• Baseline assessments to help our educators meet the individual needs of our students (DIBELS reading assessments completed the week of Sept. 7 with our kindergarten-2nd graders and MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessment in reading language, and math are happening this week and next with our 1st-5th grade students) Although much has stayed the same in our elementary school, we are doing all we can to reduce risk to our staff, students, and ultimately our community. Our elementary students remain with their cohort/classroom group of students throughout the entire day, even at lunch and recess. We are taking temperatures daily as students arrive but also ask that our families are doing temperature checks before their children leave for school each morning. Our students have done an excellent job wearing their face masks. Hard surfaces are cleaned throughout the day and thorough cleaning is done by our custodial staff each evening with a deep clean happening on Wednesdays. We continue to follow the DHS and CDC guideline and communicate regularly with the Marathon County Dept. of Health as we make decisions that affect our school community. Going to school during a pandemic has its challenges and our staff and students have risen to this challenge gracefully.

I’d like to introduce new staff members in the elementary school: -- Mrs. Katie Bauer: Mrs. Bauer has joined our staff as a teacher in our multicategorical resource room. Mrs. Bauer thought you’d like to know this about her, “My husband, son, and I love spending time outdoors swimming, biking, and running. I have no self-control when it comes to Weber’s Farm soft serve ice cream. We are SC Football fans!”

-- Mrs. Anna Behselich: Mrs. Behselich is a paraprofessional (teacher’s aide) at Spencer Elementary School. Here is a little information to help you get to know Mrs. Behselich, “We are new to the Spencer area, having just moved here this spring. My husband and I have 4 kids: McKayla 21, Sarah 19, Landon 14 (freshman), and Audrey 5(K). I worked in healthcare for 14 years before coming to work at the school. In our free time we like to travel, but since COVID struck that has been limited mostly to our local parks and outdoor activities. We have enjoyed getting to know our new community. I also love cooking, baking, attending sporting events, spending time with family, and gardening.”

-- Mr. Gavin Baade: Mr. Baade joins us as an elementary and adaptive physical education teacher. Mr. Baade shared this with us, “I grew up in southern Wisconsin. While in school I participated in football, wrestling, and track and look forward to helping coach those sports. I graduated from UW-Whitewater. I live with my wife, Savannah, and my dog, Sherry, in Stevens Point. I enjoy spending time with family and friends and doing anything outdoors, hunting, fishing, etc.”

-- Mr. Jake Schmitt: Mr. Jake Schmitt joins our Rocket Team as a second-grade teacher. When asked about himself, Mr. Schmitt had this to say, “Hi everyone! My name is Jake Schmitt and I am the new second-grade teacher here at Spencer Elementary School! In December I graduated from University of Wisconsin- Stout with a degree in Early Childhood Education. In my free time I like hunting, fishing, and cheering for the Vikings! I am super excited to be here and can’t wait for a great year!”

-- Miss Kylee Becker: Miss Becker has a new role as a teacher in our multicategorical resource room. Miss Becker is not completely new to our staff; she has worked with us for the past two years as a teacher’s aide in the resource room. We are excited to have Miss Becker in this new role! Miss Becker shared this with us, “My favorite pastime is spending time out at my boyfriend’s farm with a good book and kittens snuggled up on my lap. This summer I began teaching myself how to quilt and spent a lot of time outdoors at tractor pulls. I most definitely would never turn down a good taco!”

We are excited to welcome these new staff members to Spencer Elementary School!

As we move forward through fall and winter, we are excited for the opportunities for our students. Regardless of what school looks like this year, I know that we have the staff, students, programs, and community support to help all our students find success.

All of us at Spencer Elementary School are looking forward to a great year of learning and growth for all who are part of our Rocket family!