Art takes spotlight at Wrightstown school board meeting

Brian Roebke photo
Art teacher Jill Bailey (right) attended the Wrightstown Community School District board meeting last week with Lauren Van Noie, Drew Skaletski, and Amelie Twaroski. They were among five WHS students who had art on display at the State Education Convention in Milwaukee.

By Brian Roebke
Five students from Wrightstown High School had art on display at the State Education Convention in Milwaukee and three of them, Drew Skaletski, Amelie Twaroski, and Lauren Van Noie, were guests at the Wrightstown Community School District board meeting last week with their art teacher, Jill Bailey.
The State Education Convention is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials and Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators in Milwaukee.
The art contest is an annual partnership between the Wisconsin Art Education Association and WASB.
The students spoke about their art and what inspired them to do what they created.
Superintendent Andy Space said the highlight of the convention for him was seeing all the artwork from Wrightstown students.
“I’ve gone there many times at my former school and I always wished we had artists and low and behold, the Lord got me here to Wrightstown and I’m able say, ‘my school district’s students are up on that board,’” he said. “It was really cool.”
He said that’s why he’s in education, seeing students succeed.
Two artists, Elise Anderson and Julia Martinez, were not in attendance because they were being honored at the Optimist Club banquet. They both placed in the top 10 for their artworks and received a monetary award from the convention.
Space said Act 20 reading legislation, to be implemented for the 2024-25 school year, has most school districts in the state on edge.
“We’re learning more every day it seems like about the expectations and the DPI hasn’t been real clear and forthcoming,” he said.
He thinks the hesitation is they are learning from the law that was passed in July stating all Wisconsin schools are required to provide science-based early literacy instruction in both universal and intervention settings.
Gov. Evers said in July, “This bill, modeled after initiatives that have been successful in other states and fine-tuned with significant changes throughout the legislative process, is a step in the right direction.”
The author of Assembly Bill 321, State Rep Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) said it is the same way most of us learned to read in the first place.
“It’s going to take some time and it’s not going to be really fast,” Space said.
Elementary School Principal Sarah Nelson told the board she’s been working with CESA 7 on training for compliance with the act.
Mike Mollen spoke during the open forum portion of the meeting, saying that retired Superintendent Carla Buboltz has been in the schools quite a bit more than just events.
He said more than one person has asked him if he knew if she was hired as a consultant, and he was looking for confirmation.
Space said Buboltz had a 10-day contract to offer services to him throughout the year.
When asked who approved that contract, board member Maggie Boland said Buboltz had 10 days to give the district as part of her contract should something come up.
Mollen lauded Buboltz for her service to the district, noting he was a student of hers, but he was wondering where funds came from and what she was entailed to do.
Space said her contract was signed before he arrived in July and he was told about it when he started working in the district.
“I’ve utilized her and those 10 days are done,” he said.
The board approved unpaid maternity leave requests for Jessica Pennenberg from May 9 to the end of the school year and Elle Wendorf from April 9 to the end of the school year.
Also, the board approved an early graduation request but no other information was given.
The board established space availability for open enrollment. That includes 10 seats in 4K with around 20 seats at the high school level open.
There aren’t any seats open in grades K-8.
“Anybody that moves into the district and is a resident of the district, we would take them,” Space said. “These are just students who don’t reside in our district.”
Business Manager Dan Storch told the board the Consumer Price Index has been set at 4.12 percent as determined by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The board can talk about that at their next workshop to get ideas for future budgeting.
He also reported the district is converting to ACH payments for many of their vendors to attempt to be more secure and reduce paper and time in the business office.
He credited bookkeeper Tanya Oswald for leading that effort.
Space and board members shared their experiences from the state education convention.
The next board meeting is held Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Wrightstown High School instead of the elementary school because of conferences.
Personnel report
Pamela Koback, middle school library instructional aide
Matthew Winrich, network specialist