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Germantown appoints new director of teaching and learning

Oct. 10, 2012 11:48 a.m. | The Germantown School Board on Monday appointed Amy Belle Elementary School Principal Mary Kucharski as the director of teaching and learning.

It was a difficult search to replace Jennifer Ganske, who resigned in August, said Superintendent Susan Borden. The right candidate needed to have expert knowledge in K5 literacy, which is an area that Kucharski has experience in, Borden said.

The Germantown School District is adopting a new K5 reading and writing program. The reading and writing adoption is at the forefront for the 2012-13 school year as the district works to align curriculum with state standards.

"We didn't find that in the candidate pool," Borden said. "Maria is giving us the gift of time with her services as director."

Kucharski will serve as director for the next year before returning to her position as principal at Amy Belle. By then, Borden said they are anticipating a more diverse candidate pool to select from in order to fill the position.

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Cozzini Bros. to move into Falls Commerce Center

April 29, 2016 2:59 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — The largest commercial knife rental and sharpening services company in the country will soon call Menomonee Falls home.

Cozzini Bros. is now leasing a 5,204-square-foot space inside Falls Commerce Center. They are a full-service provider of sharpening and other blade exchange programs for restaurants, grocery stores, commercial kitchens, cafeterias, hospitals and schools.

For over one hundred years Cozzini has provided their services, growing to 45 locations across the United States.

Germantown Community Scholarship Fund provides unique experience for students, to host Mud Splash

April 29, 2016 2:50 p.m. | Germantown — Earth Day has taken on new meaning for the students at MacArthur Elementary School.

In honor of Earth Day, students at the school were able to view a unique traveling art exhibit that featured the work of Robert Wyland. Consisting of four colorful, large-scale panels featuring Wyland's work of marine wildlife, the opportunity allowed each class to tour the exhibit, discuss it and do a hands-on project.

None of it would have been possible without funding from a grant from the Germantown Community Scholarship Fund, which afforded art teacher Tracy Miller the grant earlier this year.

"We simply do not have the budget to be able to bring exhibits like this one to our schools," said Miller, who was one of seven recipients of the teacher grants, "but the excitement and reaction from the students was priceless."

The larger-than-life exhibit featured three, 6.5'H x 4'W panels, as well as one larger, 5.5'Hx12.5'W panel, depicting the artist's colorful, large-scale oil on canvas artwork. Actual art pieces range in size from 7' x 4' up to half a mile long with many of his murals spanning the sides of buildings and skyscrapers.

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DSHA softball team slugs its way past Menomonee Falls, 8-5

April 29, 2016 12:11 a.m. | Everyone who came up to the scorers' table in Menomonee Falls after the DSHA softball team's 8-5 victory over the Indians in a Greater Metro Conference showdown Thursday afternoon was stunned by the final score.

Not by the fact that the 12-0 Dashers won, but by the fact that the game was so high-scoring in a match-up of two traditionally pitching-heavy programs.

"I thought that it would have been 1-0," was the common refrain.

And with DSHA's senior all-state hurler Rose Dentice toeing the rubber, one would have thought that, but the misty, miserable winter-like 39-degree conditions surprisingly gave advantage to the hitters, as the Dashers cracked 11 hits and the Indians eight.

Those three extra hits and two critical errors proved to be the difference, however, as the Dashers moved into sole possession of first place in the GMC at 6-0 while the rebuilding Indians fell to 5-1 in league play and 10-3 overall.

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Getting to know Menomonee Falls Little League President Donald Patten

April 27, 2016 6:10 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — They've been busy perfecting their swing and rounding the bases since early April, but the time is now for little leaguers to dust off their cleats and head back on the field for the 26th season of Menomonee Falls Little League.

Opening day for the league is April 30, and League President Donald Patten said he couldn't be more excited for the season to start.

The charge of overseeing the group of more than 900 players that make up one of Wisconsin's largest leagues is a time-consuming, but rewarding job.

"Once the baseball season starts practicing in early April through the tournaments and fall ball, I leave work every night and head for a baseball field, either to volunteer at the MFLL complex or to umpire at different fields throughout the area," said Patten, who took over for Mark McLean this year.

A member of the Menomonee Falls Little League board since 2013, the umpire in chief was also the all-star player agent, uniform and equipment coordinator and umpire scheduler in 2015. All of that is in addition to working full-time as the master scheduler for NCL Graphic Specialties.

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Sports Shorts: April 28, 2016

April 26, 2016 12:54 p.m. |

MENOMONEE FALLS GIRLS TRACK

WIAA state 400-meter dash place winner Khady Diarrassoubaflashed some of her 2015 when she turned in a a state honor-roll winning effort of 59.08 seconds in claiming her event at the West Bend West Spartan Invitational on April 22.

Diarrassouba edged out an Oconomowoc runner (59.29) for the win in the race.

The Indians also got a winning effort from the 4x200 relay team of Amber Kivisto, Rachel Aumueller, Sam Krukand Caleigh Chisholm in a season best of 1:49.58 and a victory from Chisholm in the 100 high hurdles (16.86).

Those efforts led the Indians to an eighth-place showing in the 12-school event with 551/2 points as host West won with 106.

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Menomonee Falls boys track team getting faster and faster

April 26, 2016 11:01 a.m. | Short-handed or not, due to injuries and a myriad of situations, the Menomonee Falls boys track team is still going far and going fast, based on the Indians' pair of second-place finishes last week.

They posted a runner-up showing to a powerful New Berlin Eisenhower squad in the Sussex Hamilton Charger Invite on April 19. Falls turned in several excellent times in that meet, but most of them are unofficial because of a glitch in the timing system that occurred early on, forcing many events to be hand-timed and then adjusted for accuracy.

The Indians went even faster on Friday, April 22, when they took second to Fond du Lac at the West Bend West Spartan Invite. There the 4x100-meter relay team of Amari Hackett, Mason Jansen, Patrick Doyle and Vincent Zimmermann turned in what is believed to be the state's best time so far this season at 42.97.

"We turned in some good open times in some really good meets," said coach Bobby Regent-Smith.

The Indians will get a chance to prove themselves even further when they take part in the Marquette Invite at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 30, at Quad Park in Milwaukee. They will then head over to West Allis Hale for the Greater Metro Conference Relays on Wednesday, May 4.

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Young Menomonee Falls softball team ready for challenges ahead

April 26, 2016 10:43 a.m. | Contenders or pretenders?

The official verdict is still out for the reloading Menomonee Falls girls softball team, but based on an impressive 8-2 start, including a 4-0 mark last week, contenders they would appear to be.

"Not so fast," chuckled Indian coach Lou Sanicola. "We're fortunate to have kids playing well. They're getting exposure to different conditions, different positions. It helps them get ready for the higher-level competition we will be seeing soon."

Very soon.

The Indians (4-0 in GMC play) took on border nonconference rival and power Germantown on April 25 and then will have two critical Greater Metro Conference contests. They hosted Brookfield Central on Tuesday, April 26, and then will host DSHA at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 28. Another GMC tilt at 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, will close out the week.

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WIAA realignment plan a headache, but athletic directors will live with it

April 25, 2016 1:30 p.m. | Germantown Athletic Director Jack Klebesadel put it best:

"When you have a bad process, do you expect a good result?"

The WIAA realignment appeal meeting held this past week for southeastern Wisconsin tore apart old rivalries (West Allis Central and Hale), put other schools put at an extreme competitive disadvantage (Tosa East and West, challenged by the Greater Metro), and left schools in the North Shore like Whitefish Bay and Nicolet driving past former rivals to go all the way to West Bend and Hartford.

It also, as one other area AD witnessed, had people exchanging harsh words in the parking lot of the WIAA offices in Stevens Point, where the meetings were held.

In short, it may have created more problems than it solved, and in the end, may require the WIAA and its membership to rethink the way it handles the realignment process. Because, according to Klebesadel, a former WIAA Board of Control member from 2010-13, Wisconsin is virtually the only state in the country where the governing body of state prep athletics handles the realignment process in a top-down manner.

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Youthful Menomonee Falls golf team sets new school record

April 25, 2016 1:06 p.m. | The Menomonee Falls boys golf team might as well be based in Philadelphia for all the youthful brotherly love it's showing.

Not to mention the incredibly heartening potential the Indians are showing veteran coach Tony Pritchard.

The youthful Indians turned in a school record nine-hole score of 152 to finish third in the Greater Metro Conference at Bluemound Country Club on April 18.

"Monday was a thrill," Pritchard said. "What a great way to start with off the year ... even then, we trailed Marquette by 10 shots. Competing in this conference will only make us better. Our veterans played well and were steady emotionally. Really proud of the freshmen who put in lots of work last summer and were very eager to compete."

The Indians followed that up with an 18-hole score of 359 on April 20 at the far more challenging 24-team Sheboygan North Invite held at The Irish Course at Whistling Straits, good for 18th and then competed well at the 36-hole Waukesha County Invite on April 22 and 23.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: Previewing NFL Draft with Rob Reischel and Nathan Tanguay

April 25, 2016 7:51 a.m. | JR and JP dive into a crazy situation at Marquette surrounding the departure of Wally Ellenson from the basketball team and discuss the twice-rejected "success-based factor" plan in the WIAA (12:45). Packers Plus beat writer Rob Reischel chats with JR about the pros and cons of Packers general manager Ted Thompson and what to expect in Thursday's draft (26:15), and Mukwonago alumnus Nate Tanguay talks about playing for an FCS powerhouse in North Dakota State and teammate Carson Wentz, who could go first overall in the draft (55:00).  Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area prep athletics.

Initial Reaction Podcast: Realignment in area conferences and the status of girls/women's basketball in Wisconsin

April 21, 2016 10:17 a.m. | JP and JR chat about the impact of realignment in southeastern Wisconsin high-school conferences following the controversial vote April 19. Plus, the guys talk about their least favorite rules in sports (we're looking at you, baseball rainouts) and Norbert Durst of Wissports.net stops by to talk about the state of girls basketball in Wisconsin and women's basketball at UW-Madison. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area prep athletics.

Homestead girls soccer team hangs on to beat Germantown, 3-2

April 19, 2016 11:15 p.m. | The Homestead girls soccer team is experienced, deep, talented and has many great expectations of itself.

Meanwhile, the Germantown girls soccer team is very young, talented and is not afraid of anyone.

Those two sets of qualities met in an entertaining North Shore Conference tilt in Mequon Tuesday night that left the heavy favorite Highlanders breathing a huge sigh of relief after escaping with a 3-2 victory.

"They kept the pressure on exceptionally well in the first half," said Homestead coach Rich Dorn. "They're skilled and smart and work hard, but an important thing that we're able to take going forward is that we were able to create opportunities. We were able to counter when needed."

The win left the Highlanders at 5-0 overall and 1-0 in North Shore play. Their originally slated league opener with Grafton last week had to be rescheduled due to field conditions in Grafton.

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My Fair Lady takes to the stage in Falls Patio Players production

April 19, 2016 2:40 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — It's been a good run, but the 50th season of Falls Patio Players is coming to a memorable end.

The last performances of the troupe's historic season will come together next week in a tribute to the group's 25th anniversary of the last time they performed "My Fair Lady."

The show features some of the talents of those who were in the show 25 years ago and have returned, or those who have been with the Players throughout the years, said Laura Ciletti.

One couple, Tim and Amy Sanner, met dancing together in this show in 1991 and are reprising their dancing roles.

They also are now married for many years with three kids, all whom have been on the stage at some point with their parents.

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Menomonee Falls' A Better Me wellness spa takes unique approach to relaxation

April 19, 2016 1:50 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — In a word, it is peaceful. The air smells faintly like the mixture of lemongrass and tea tree essential oils that welcome visitors as they enter. There is a calming hum of ambient spa music throughout. Lights are dimmed just enough.

In many ways, A Better Me is like most other spas in the metro Milwaukee area. But what sets it apart runs much deeper.

Located in the Woodlands Market development near Appleton Avenue and Good Hope Road, the recently opened wellness spa takes a different approach to relaxation, focusing on nonmedicinal ways to treat common issues such as chronic back pain, muscle aches and migraine headaches.

It is the only business in Wisconsin to offer a unique combination of services including floatation therapy rooms, which each contain 10 inches of water and 1,000 pounds of Epson salt that create a solution so buoyant it allows patrons to float effortlessly, providing a feeling of weightlessness that is hard to achieve in any other way.

"Our mission is to help people feel better without medicine," said owner June Zahn. "We are doing just that and having rewarding experiences daily just by seeing people walk in with one face and walk out with a much happier one, and by helping people, I am becoming a better me."

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Young Menomonee Falls softball team gets crash-course in experience

April 19, 2016 12:38 p.m. | The best way for young players in any sport to get rid of the "inexperienced" tag is to play.

And play a lot.

The Menomonee Falls girls softball team started that process in earnest last week, turning in a 4-2 record in its first full week of action. Included in that was an opening pair of victories as they opened defense of their Greater Metro Conference title.

"We're young; we're going to make young mistakes," said Indian coach Lou Sanicola, "but this gives us something to work on. We're young but very talented, and this gives us a chance to work out all the little mistakes."

Falls, which had had a pair of playing opportunities rained out the previous week, took advantage of last week's good weather in a big way. They downed Brookfield East, 13-1, on April 12 and Wauwatosa East, 12-2, on April 14, in a pair of GMC tilts.

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