MHS 1/18/19 Staff Update

The MHS Science Olympiad Team won the Medford Invitational over the weekend outpacing several state-level competitors including Marquette University High School.  Menomonie actually placed three teams in the top 10!  The Dance Team performed Friday Night at the Basketball Game won by the Boys v. New Richmond.  The Gymnastics team competed in their 3rd competition of the season Saturday with big goals on the horizon.  Congratulations to Jake Karkula for being awarded an Anne Marie Grant in excess of $3,000 for a digital piano! The MHS DECA performed at a high-level at Districts held at UW-Stout with multiple place winners.  Madison Rood, Alex Slaback, and Grant Koleski had some of the top test scores for Menomonie! The two highest test scores go to Maisah Wilson and Chloe Oehler! MHS DECA has already been recognized by National DECA for Thrive Level Achievement (the highest level) for our Community Service Campaign, and Promotional Campaigns! The Girls Basketball Team Won a big game on Thursday night while several staff including the Principal were honored to be recognized by students at the Girls Hockey Game.


Superintendent Search Update: 

Thank you all for your understanding in this process.  I assure everyone that when things are fully resolved that I will give a full accounting of all things that have occurred.  The nature of these sorts of searches is that confidentiality at the outset is required for many reasons only to result in public announcement toward the end.  This makes things feel less than upfront for which I apologize as that isn’t the intent but the only way the processes work.  Thank you again for you support and understanding as we explore these family opportunities.  I know regardless of what occurs that there is greatness at Menomonie High School and it’s you and because of all of you.  Anything that I talk about in interviews or publicly will be heavily laced with ‘I am blessed with a great team’ and ‘my MHS team made things easier because they’re great.’


David Muñoz, Principal

Menomonie High School


MHS Staff Update 1/14/19

Menomonie High School was filled with activity this week highlighted by our Cocoa and Cram Link Crew event for 9th grade students.  This event breaks down the final exam process at MHS for 9th graders to help them complete their transition to the high school environment with the end of semester next week.  Grant Ruegnitz continues to go above and beyond with all of his extra efforts in the Art Department at school and in the community.  Many outside of MHS groups regular work with Mr. Ruegnitz on projects including but not limited to the empty bowls event with Stepping Stones.  The Boys Swim Team continued to win events including in both LaCrosse and Rice Lake this week.  The Girls Basketball team won a game earlier this week against Regis and Wrestling lost last night but posted many individual top performances including from Senior Jake Boyette.  Former Agriculture Secretary Sheila Harsdorf visited this week with several community members joining the FFA for a presentation.  


Personal Principal Reflections from the week:

The popularity of my laundromat exploits led me to this reflective moment.  I’ve noticed the power of the occasional piece of paper in ones life.  I’m actually a paper-free advocate and still am but from time to time the occasional piece of paper like this mini-calendar can make small things easier.  I messed up some birthday this week and I thought it was because I was sick.  In actuality I just needed my little mini-calendar to keep certain aspects of my life moving.  Don’t stop using computers on my account, go paperless but the occasional piece of paper is ok:)


Manuel Scott – You’re a Great Teacher Inspiration 1 

Manuel Scott – You’re a Great Teacher Inspiration 2

January 4, 2019 MHS Staff Update

Happy New Year 2019!  The January 2019 MHS Newsletter arrived for families, students, and staff on January 1st highlighting the final exam schedule, cabin fever fun week, and the start of the second semester to mention a few things.  Everyone was in great spirits especially Mrs. Schmidt’s students at the Mabel, Mr. McMahon’s students who welcomed the MHS Trout, and Senior DJ Walker giving back to the community through his internship at the Menomonie Police Department.  All events were scheduled away for the week to help ease us all back into school activities but many teams remained active over break and during this week.  Boys and Girls Basketball won their share of games and the Wrestling team continued their ascension in the standings with a great showing at the Merrill holiday tournament.  The Boys Hockey team gained a few needed wins and the Girls Hockey team continued their winning ways with Gymnastics and Boys Swimming both competing in Eau Claire on Thursday.  The musical with a very large cast remains committed to a rigorous practice schedule while Science Olympiad continues to show why they’re the best.  Our equally great Forensics Team continues to practice as the bulk of their season occurs in January and February.

Tricia Dresel has given me permission to share that she has resigned effective the end of the first semester.  Tricia has been a valued team member for many years and I fully support and respect this decision.  Thank you Tricia!!!  You will be missed.


[The below if fully meant to be funny but it did happen this way and I thought I would add some comedy to everyone’s lives with my troubles :)]


Confessions from your High School Principal in a laundromat for the first time in decades

I must confess that I don’t recall laundromat trips being such an event in my life during the college years and time before marriage to Deanna.  [Our Washer and Dryer died on new years after 9 years of service.  Not bad but I still checked the warranty.]   That being said thank you in advance to Mr. Wamboldt [Amy’s Husband] and his local Sears store for assisting us in resolving our dilemma of the failing washer and dryer  by this Friday afternoon.  The events below occurred during a 2 hour period of time on Wednesday January 2nd 2019 in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

‘I thought I’d try the closest laundromat to start which is right next to Leipnitz Dental.    This was a rookie mistake because I should have known that one guy, that’s right one guy would have taken up ALL the available washers with his pile of clothes.  I didn’t say anything that was on my mind like ‘come on man, really’ or ‘do you think you own the place’ or some other comments that I dare not even put down here although they never left the privacy of my own head.  I had other things to do anyway because my wife had said since you’re out could you do this and that.  I don’t mind and it got my thoughts off of the first laundromat being full and packed by a guy with a lot of clothes to clean at 7 pm on a Wednesday night.   I started driving downtown toward the laundromat next to St. Joes where I also do my Dry Cleaning.  This was another rookie mistake because apparently staffed stores have January 2nd off because it’s a holiday and we had school?  Who new?  I was not deterred because I recall a few other places on the north side next to great clips and also across the street between a parts dealer and a bar.  I don’t know why I tried the laundromat between the parts store and the bar.  Maybe out of curiosity or perhaps because I thought no one would go there so I could get this done and be on my way.  Regardless, this place between a parts store and a bar was packed with a line.  I smiled and waved at everyone most of whom I knew as parents, students or former students.  I’m quite certain this part of my adventure may live on in story from the several people who saw me come in and go out.  In any case, I needed to get this done so I crossed the street to the laundromat next to Great Clips which was open and empty!  I quickly moved in and started everything taking as many washers as I wanted with attitude.  It was at this time that I thought it odd that the smaller place across the street was packed and this place wasn’t.  I really started to think about this and perhaps overthink but seriously this was a decent place considering the establishments that I’d been in the last half hour and no one was there my entire time in the place which made it a bit odd.  Given this obscure feeling and my uneasiness I decided Marketplace would be a great place to use a bathroom instead of the laundromat and finish the extra tasks that I was given.  [Don’t judge, you would have done the same.]  I returned about a half hour later and the wash was done with no one in sight but instead of using the open dryers available I took a risk and went back to the first laundromat with wet clothes in order to dry them closer to where I live.  I thought there is no way that this guy would have filled ALL of the dryers like he’d filled all of the washers a short while ago.  This was another rookie mistake.  I had dryers and I should have used them next to Great Clips because the guy was now gone and his friend was there using all of the dryers save one.  I mean really!  Who does this!!! Is this the way laundromat’s work.  You come in, make yourself at home and do whatever you want to do regardless of how it messes with someone’s night?!  I was undeterred though.  I decided to stand my ground.  I said to myself I’m going full high school principal on this guy.  I was convinced that proximity awareness and my presence to shame the guy into you know not being so darn rude by taking all of the dryers would work.  Apparently the skills that I’ve developed and honed as a Principal are virtually useless in a laundromat because the guy just sat there and kept adding quarters while I put everything I had in the one remaining dryer and hoped for the best.  The truly great part of this adventure before I gave up and brought the cleaned but damp clothes home for the kids to hang up around the house was the advice from this guy which was:  ‘you know if you put less in one dryer and spread it out it’ll dry more quickly.’  The audacity of this guy was beyond me!!!  He was the reason I had to use only one dryer!!!!!!  I couldn’t utter anything other than thanks for the hint as I walked out the door with my wet but clean clothes enlightened about how one person should use an entire laundromat.’

ASCD Express


“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead,” novelist Graham Greene wrote. We choose this moment to look back on some of our most thought-provoking articles of the past year (in no particular order) and imagine how these ideas might shape teaching, learning, and leading in the year ahead.

We look forward to another year of learning alongside you, dear reader.

Happy New Year,
The Editors

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Meaningful measures provide ongoing, learner-specific feedback that excites and engages students toward continued growth. Learning games put the power of formative assessment into a fun format that develops academic and intrapersonal skills.
When students act out, it may be their only way of speaking out about disenfranchisement and trauma. Instead of using punitive measures, this New York City principal and her teachers look for ways to de-escalate, relate, and ultimately engage student voice and agency. Read more.
How likely are teens, especially teens of color, to see themselves portrayed positively in the media? A journalism class confronts the systemic silencing of student voices by creating their own catalogue of stories to populate mainstream news outlets. Read more.
If you want students to be better readers, writers, and thinkers in every content area, then writing every day in every class is key. Be sure to make that informal and spontaneous writing short, frequent, and shared. Read more.
Homework practices in the K–12 sphere have continued to evolve in the last decade. In this webinar, Cathy Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs (2nd Edition), examines how concerns about equity and academic stress have led to increased parent activism around policies. Learn what high-quality homework looks like, how standards-based learning and technology are changing homework’s role, and trends in grading continue to affect the field.
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By enabling students to investigate and articulate how writers use language to communicate ideas, language dives boost ELLs up the ladder of text complexity so that they can meet grade-level standards for both language and content, in any subject. Read more.
By pausing to reflect on the chaos in her classroom, a teacher gets to its root problems and works with students to refine routines to target persistent issues. Read more.
Before sentence stems and discussion protocols, applying these four axioms is essential to creating an environment where students feel comfortable sharing thinking, having mathematical arguments, and questioning ideas. Read more.
Explore three instruction strategies for teaching students how to manage their attention and become self-regulated learners. Read more.
If students have the skills to engage in productive dialogue with others, communicate their ideas, and listen to others with differing opinions, they will be well positioned to serve as a new generation of leaders and thinkers. Read more.
Educators can only give their best to students if they first take care of themselves. To minimize stress and cultivate important habits of mind, implement personal wellness practices that fit with a busy schedule. Read more.
Recommended Reading
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Merry Christmas 2018 and Happy New Year 2019 MHS Staff Update

The MHS Gymnastics team started their season this past weekend with a strong performance while the Girls Basketball Team continued their winning ways on Tuesday with some great holiday cheer to boot.  The Boys Swim team made it two wins in a row against Medford Tuesday.  The MHS Staff celebrated the season with some cool ugly sweaters while rubbing off on the students with this awesome Yoda holiday shirt.  Several student groups served the needy in the community during a season of giving including MHS National Honor Society and the Breakfast Club group who collected items for the needy and created tie-blankets respectively.  The MHS Choirs performed their annual winter concert to a nearly packed house with an outstanding light show to end the year.  Get out to support the Mustangs over the break starting Friday with Home Basketball and Home Hockey followed next week with Boys Hockey and Girls Basketball having Holiday home tournaments 12/27 and 12/28.  Thanks to the many staff members at MHS that helped ease the students and staff into the new year especially Mr. Karkula with the Jazz Band this morning and Mr. Tim Miller with his therapy dog today.  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to a staff that I’m blessed to work with on a daily basis! 

MHS 12/14/18 Staff Update

9th Grader Kevin Leach broke a school record in the 100 Breaststroke that’s stood since 2005 helping the Boys Swim Team defeat Superior on Thursday night.  The MHS Bands performedmany great tunes on Monday for their Winter Concert including a light show arrangement by the 9th Grade Band and show tunes by the Wind Symphony.  The entire student body worked through our third Academic Career Planning initiative this week while our MHS pupil services staff worked in health classrooms on suicide prevention/awareness along with several other important topics.  There are many opportunities to support the Mustangs this weekend with Girls Basketball home on Friday with the Pep Band.  Saturday Boys Hockey plays home with a community dance competition filling the building as well. 

MHS Team Leader 12/12/18 Notes – Information about Universal SEL discussion and New Sub Teacher Pilot that we’re considering

Articles Related to Cellphones and why it’s educationally important to keep them at a distance – some great reads here all provided by several different MHS staff members [Thank You]:

Here is a link that ties to a lot of different scholarly articles on the topic of cellphones in school.
I’m looking for an article I found in August or September that had a graph in it that showed a tremendous spike in diagnosed cases of depression and suicide attempts the year that smartphones became mainstream (and has continued on an upward trend since then).
The key factors seem to be:
cyber bullying
The feeling of inadequacy some people feel when they see other’s posts i.e. a person with low SES that sees their friend post about a vacation etc.
The lack of physical social interaction
Other interesting articles on the topic:

MHS 12/7/18 Staff Update

The Holiday Dance Classic filled the school last weekend with teams from many parts of the state.  Thank you to all staff who assisted with this.  I missed it this year due to two of kids having activities out of city that day.  Science Olympiad has started to tune themselves up posting a second place finish by only a few points to national power Mounds View at the Boyceville Invitational.  We recognized several students for academic awards on Thursday with over 20 level 1 awards being given to sophomores meaning they all have perfect 4.0’s so far in high school.  For those on Twitter, Jon Gordon is a great follow. [Energy Bus – ‘Many try to reverse engineer someone’s success by studying their routines.  But it’s not the routine that makes someone successful. It’s the passion, spirit, love, purpose, and intention that drives the routine.’]  Boys and Girls Basketball both won big games on Tuesday with the Wrestling team earning 3 wins on Friday night with several wrestlers going undefeated.  Family Consumer Science Internship students explored trauma situations with local community partners while Science students had fun while developing lab numbers.  Art students continue to create wonderful pieces during class while working on the Empty Bowls donations after hours.  

It was great to see so many staff at Hockey and I’m sure there are many at Basketball tonight as I head their now myself a bit late. [sorry Matt – got behind with my communication loop.]




Skyward and Google Classroom communication 

MHS 11/30/18 Staff Update

The Middle School 6th Grade Band visited MHS Thursday to play with the high school band.  Sam Sleichert won the DECA sponsored Mr. Menomonie contest as he raised $2,000 for the American Diabetes Association.  Both Girls and Boys Basketball teams won away games and Girls Hockey won at home.  The boys swim team lost their duel with Hudson but many swimmers posted personal bests with the Wrestling Team winning a home dual on Thursday night v. Memorial.  The Academic Decathlon team is headed to regional competition with Forensics in full practice mode before the start of the season after the Holidays.  Congratulations to Corinne O’Dell for being named Optimist youth of the month and to the Art Department for the many works of art created this week.  The Girls Hockey Game is tonight at 6 pm and the annual Holiday Dance Classic is Saturday which will fill the building most of the day and evening.        

Thank you for the feedback about Parent Teacher conferences for the 19/20 School Year.  I am so very glad that I reached out to staff about this because my initial impressions turned out to be totally different than the staff input.  There was clearly no majority favoring the 2 options but also many individual suggestions about possible changes to the structure.  There seemed to be a clear thought about moving away from Mondays which will be part of my recommendation.  I will be forwarding the many great ideas for larger scale changes to conferences to the MHS QIC representatives.  My recommendations to ASC for the 19/20 schedule will be as follows:  

After getting feedback from staff about the proposed 19/20 calendar, I’m going to propose the following:

proposed dates for 19/20 MHS conferences – fall – 11/7 and 11/14
[was 11/7 and 11/11] – this moves off the Monday  
proposed dates for 19/20 MHS conferences – spring – 4/2 and 4/7
[was 4/2 and 4/6] – this moves off the Monday
graduation on 5/31 instead of 5/30 so there are no conflicts with state track and science Olympiad – this change would be consistent with what we’re doing this year