This blog represents my opinions and my opinions alone, and certainly doesn't represent the collective thoughts of any of the Boards or organizations that I serve on. Unfortunately I make all sorts of miistakes, I'm a picky eater, I can't sing and I just recently found out I have been spelling certain words in my vocabulary wrong my entire life. That being said, I still continue to muddle ever onward. Welcome.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Whole Bunch Of Information.

In Monona Park and Recreation News:

This Tuesday evening the Monona Park and Rec. Board conditionally approved a two year probationary agreement with the Monona Warriors semi-pro adult tackle football team to use Ahuska Park as their home field. You can learn more about the league at The Warriors' information should be available on-line soon. Park and Rec. Director Jake Anderson hopes to develop a joint partnership with the team and MG Youth Football to act as stewards of the field and to work on and fund site projects, such as bleachers, sound and storage systems and a press box. Speaking of the MG Youth Football program, the Board also heard their first formal request to name the Ahuska Park football/soccer field Haukried Field after longtime founder and director Morrie Haukried. There will be thirty days of public input before any recommendation will be made to the Council by the Park and Rec. Board.

From the Snowshoe Department:

From the Monona PTO:

 Kelly Bethke, Maywood PE teacher, needs some help this week! She sent out this request: "I am looking for parent volunteers to help the Maywood students put on and take off snowshoes during our snowshoe unit in PE. We have adult sizes, so the volunteers could join us. We will be going out Thursday and Friday morning between 8:30-11 am. Classes start at the beginning of each half hour." Please reply to Ms. Bethke if you are able to help for any portion of those times. Her email address is

In the "Local Boy Does Good" category:

From an email from Jeff Otto, tech and engineering at MGHS, regarding Board member Jill List's son, Connor Stevens:

Connor Stevens recently produced a video that he has entered into Fox 47's MSG 2 Teens contest. He is currently one of the five finalists. The video is well done, and he has a chance of winning a laptop computer along with a $2500 grant for the school. The school with the most votes will be the winner, and their video will be aired on Fox47. If Connor wins, he will choose where the grant money will be directed. Voting is very quick and easy. You can vote by CLICKING HERE!

There will be an email link on the district's website shortly.
Here is the direct URL for voting:

Good luck Connor!

In the "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" category:

This morning I attended what is likely to be the last Maywood Elementary Holiday Concert. Always one of my favorites, the concert was lovely and bittersweet. Music teacher Paul Backstrom does an amazing job with our little ones and it is so wonderful to watch them perform. I sat in front of second grade teacher Barb Trapp's parents, who have been attending the Maywood Holiday program for the past twenty-four years. Barb's class always does a presentation of A Flea on Santa's Tree and her father gave us a run-down of her room's successes over the years.

In the "Gee, Things Could Be A Lot Worse" category:


Investigators search for motive in Florida school board shooting

A lot of people still talking about a frightening shooting caught on camera in Panama City, Florida.
No one was hurt in the shooting, but the gunman later shot and killed himself.
All of the moments were caught on tape (warning- it's pretty disturbing), as school board members in Florida were staring down the barrel of a gun as the shooter, 56-year-old Clay Duke, opened fire on them before killing himself.
Investigators believe Duke may have been planning the incident for quite some time. They say they found a calendar in his home with the date of the shooting circled.
The suspect first spray-painted a "V" in a circle on the wall, and then told the women in the room to leave, including a board member who returned and tried to knock the gun out of the suspect's hand with her pocketbook.
School board members said they were fortunate to be alive after seeing the bullet holes in the room where the shooting took place.

And finally, in the "Who's Crazy Enough To Run Now" category:

After that video, who knows? Susan Fox is the only (that I know of) candidate running for the Board of Education this year. Jill List didn't have plans to run for re-election this last time I spoke with her. With two open seats this period, this election season could turn out to be rather boring, maybe not such a bad thing...


  1. I know what you mean by the bittersweet feelings of the Maywood concert! Too bad you will close the best school in our district!

  2. I am so tired of listening to all you Monona parents whine about your little school. Face the facts, it should have been closed long ago. Come to Cottage Grove and see our kids packed in like sardines. Then you would have something to whine about.

  3. Posts like that just really make the divide between our towns greater. If you want sympathy from people, that is not how to get it.

  4. I'm from Monona, and agree a little with the person from Cottage Grove, even though I think it was rude.

    Both teachers from Maywood will still be in Winequah next year. There's no reason why they can't do a Christmas concert there too. It's the teachers that make the experinece so good for our kids.

  5. The concert may or may not happen. As we saw last year, teachers in the specials were shifted. Gym teachers and music teachers were changed. With that, curriculum changed...not necessarily good or bad but changed. For instance, they are learning snowshoeing in kindergarten this year (see Jessica's entry) but did not in the past. They could shuffle them again with a difference in configuration of school. For instance, at Winnequah, they used to have a play when Jill Jenson was there more full they won't. Different teachers place emphasis on different areas and we may not have a program next year. So, I see no reason to not let Jessica be able to "sniffle" on her blog if she so chooses.

    Also, for the record...I am OK with the schools combining. I see the positives in the move. (there are negatives but I think the positive outweighs the negative)

  6. 1. I am from Monona.
    2. Given the budget situation, I favor closing Maywood.
    3. IMO, too much time has been wasted on #2. It should have been closed last year. The situation is yet one more example over recent decades where a group of people bullied the board away from making a tough decision the board members knew needed to be made.
    4. I am sad about Maywood. Anyone who says I should not feel that way can bite me.
    5. Anyone from CG who is worried their elementary schools are too crowded can thank the people who lived in CG several years ago who insisted that a middle school must be built in CG. You could have had another elementary school instead - and some of the people who opposed that middle school tried to point that out. There was not enough money for both. You got what you wanted.
    6. I voted for the middle school in CG. But like most people in Monona, I would have been happy with a remodeled Winnequah as the district middle school. I just figured it was time for the community who had most of the kids to have an important piece of district facilities since that's what they wanted. High School in Monona, Middle School in CG. It makes sense, right?
    7. Monona and CG need each other. So knock it the heck off.

  7. Thought Sharon Hennes was runnin?

  8. The problem is we should of built Glacial Drumlin to fit more kids. It should of been built not only with room to expand but with the idea that if needed it could of fit 1200-1500 kids.

  9. If it could hold 1200-1500 kids, assuming you mean 5-8, that means our high school would need to accommodate the same number of kids, which it cannot. If we ever get to that number in four grades we have a big problem that will include a high school that is too small.

  10. We built a school that fits 750 kids for 750 kids....whats wrong with that picture...we have no room for expansion whatsoever. If it was bigger we could of done some grade configuration and maybe moved elementary kids as needed to ease the over crowding at the CG elementary's.

  11. Yes, we should have built Glacial Drumlin to hold more than 750 kids. And while we were at it, we should have built GDS with a bigger cafeteria, and a bigger gym. Oh, and a soccer complex as well (complete with lights and stands). And we should have put an addition on to Cottage Grove Elementary School. And we should have included money for a new track at the high school, and artificial turf for the football field. And a bigger gym at Winnequah. And new tennis courts at the high school.

    I seem to recall an everything-AND-the-kitche-sink referendum like that. Cost $40 million (well, $39.9 million). It lost -- badly.

    (Every single item listed above was actually suggested during the debate about what to put in the GDS referendum.)

  12. Actually a school that holds more kids than we have was a good idea, as was a cafeteria that would actually fit the kids. A slightly bigger gym that would be more practical is not a bad idea either. I believe we could of done those things at a much less cost than $40 million.

  13. The referendum cost $28.7 million. It passed. The one that failed -- badly, with 37 percent of the voters favoring it -- cost $39.9 million. I think it's easy to Monday-morning quarterback the referendum (four years later...) and say it should've included this or that.

    In some people's view, the referendum spent way too much, given the alternative of simply renovating Winnequah. In other people's view, the referendum spent too little, given on-going complaints about the lack of this or that (I'm sure some of our more devoted soccer families don't think the GDS gym is too small).

    Like most political compromises, the referendum that succeeded tried to accomplish the greatest good for the most people, knowing that some would be unsatisfied with the end result.

    In the end, the district ended up with a solid middle school -- much improved from the previous one -- and a renovated middle school/now elementary school. If parents are still upset over the size of the gym or cafeteria, well, find another middle school with the kinds of science labs or music facilities that GDS has. Good luck.

  14. Funny how many people have developed amnesia about the debates during the GD referendum. If that school had been one square foot larger, it would not be there at all.

    I think this discussion really explains why nobody wants to run for the board. This stuff never goes away.

  15. As a Maywood parent I'll tell you I'm tired of hearing about the Maywood parents and their whining about closing the school. I'm now resigned to the fact it will happen but I will never regret advoacting for the best education for my kids and to those in CG... I hope you never have to deal with closing your kids school. I lived through my HS closing its doors and I will use that experience to help my kids deal with Maywood's closure. CG- please be thankful you're not dealing with this.

  16. You have to help your kids "deal with this?" Deal with what? That they and their teachers will be going to a lovely school across the street? A school that, by the way, they were going to anyway after second grade? They are so little, how could they know this was anything but normal except someone told them it was sad? What is truly sad is how some adults dragged very young kids into this situation. I had a little girl come to my door last year asking me to sign a petition to "save my school."

    It's nothing like a community losing its high school, not even close.