Schools

Thu
20
Jun
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District Breaks Ground on New Elementary

MIDDLETON – Ground was broken last week for this first new elementary school in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) in 23 years.

Located adjacent to the 102-acre Pope Farm Conservancy on Old Sauk Rd., the new Pope Farm Elementary is scheduled to open to grades K-4 in September 2020.

The school building will be located near the crest of a glacial moraine putting students in the middle of the natural laboratory while preserving views from the conservancy of the State Capitol and Lake Mendota to the east.

The town of Middleton purchased the Pope family farm in 1999, reserving the right to later sell 40 acres to the school district to help defray the cost of the purchase. Placing a school next to the conservancy enhances both parties, said Mel Pope, family spokesman

“The family was very much behind this because…we’d rather see kids use the conservancy instead of having a housing development here,” Pope said.

Fri
14
Jun
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Superintendent George Mavroulis Reflects on 27 Years in District

After completing grad school at UW Madison in 1991 while working as a teacher McFarlane George Mavroulis says there was only one job listing that he cared to apply to.

“One came across for Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, even then the reputation of this district was off the charts,” Mavroulis says. “I figured I’d just send a resume to that one and then three interviews later I ended up getting hired.”

Mavroulis was hired as the principal of Elm Lawn Elementary in the summer of 1992 and worked there for 10 years which he considers the highlight of his life and his career. 

“It was fabulous, it was from 1992 to 2002,” he says. “That’s where my relationships began with students and family and staff.”

Fri
07
Jun
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7 O’clock Jazz Band Members Receive Awards at Essentially Ellington

NEW YORK, NY–The 7 O’clock Jazz Band was honored to be one of only 15 high school jazz bands in the country who earned a spot at this year’s Essentially Ellington competition in New York City. During their time there, the band performed for and learned from Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra members. 

Of this year’s competition, Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, said, “We’re fortunate to play Duke Ellington’s music, and we realize that the Duke Ellington legacy is about creativity–we heard and saw that in our young people. You lifted our spirits and it’s been our honor.”

Thu
30
May
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CSCS Recognized as School of Opportunity

BOULDER, CO–Clark Street Community School (CSCS) has hit the gold standard in receiving the national recognition as one of seven schools in the country to become a School of Opportunity (SOO) in 2019. The designation honors schools that foster learning environments for students and provide research-based learning opportunities for all students. The initiative, started by the University of Colorado Boulder’s National Education Policy Center, includes only 45 schools around the country, which receive either gold or silver recognition. CSCS achieved gold.

Thu
30
May
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Former Teacher Files Discrimination Suit

MADISON–A former Middleton High School employee alleged in a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against the Middleton Cross Plains Area School District that she was told she had “no chance” for a vacant position because “we need some big, black men working here.”

According to suit filed May 21 in federal court:

Ruth M. Herbin had worked as an assistant to a high school Dean for most of the 10 years she was employed by the school district. However, when the district was hiring to fill other similar positions, Herbin was told she wouldn’t be considered because the district needed more diversity. And, after filing a discrimination complaint Herbin, a Caucasian, was fired for alleged insubordination.

In August 2017, the district was restructuring Herbin’s and another assistant’s positions due to lack of clerical work for them at the high school. Instead, the student support positions were being enlarged to include three counselors and social worker.

Wed
13
Apr
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Parents Holding "Jesus Lunches" Clash With School Officials

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District has released the following message regarding "Jesus Lunches," a controversial series of gathering that have sparked a debate about evangelism in public schools:

Dear families,

We wanted to share the following message that was sent to Middleton High School staff and families earlier today. We believe there is interest from our wider District community, plus we also wanted to provide information in case you see something in the media in the next few days.

We are writing to share with you some background on a topic your student may have come home and shared with you. There is a small group of parents who have been organizing free lunches at Middleton High School over the past year.

Mon
28
Mar
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Don Johnson to Retire

The world was a very different place in 2007.

George W. Bush was still president of the United States. Jim Doyle was the governor of Wisconsin. A little social networking service called “Twitter” had just been launched. Donald Trump was merely a reality TV star.

And here in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, a man named Don Johnson was starting his new job as superintendent.

Now, after a wild ride that included a litany of ups and downs, that soft spoken but unflappable man has announced that after nine years as the top administrator, he plans to retire this summer.

Thu
10
Mar
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Clark Street students read Great World Texts

More than 1,200 Wisconsin high school students - from areas as diverse as Middleton, Bonduel, Janesville, and the Milwaukee Public School system - are in the process of reading a book that many Americans have never heard of: the classic novel of sixteenth-century China, Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West.

Locally, students at Clark Street Community School, the Middleon-Cross Plains Area School District’s groundbreaking charter school, are taking part in the program. They even went on their own journey (to the east, to China Town in Chicago) as part of their studies.

Thanks to a major grant awarded by the Wisconsin Humanities Council to UW-Madison’s Center for the Humanities, UW-Madison faculty, graduate students and staff will join students in their classrooms to engage in the collaborative study of world literature over the course of the coming year.

Thu
10
Mar
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'What Lights Up Sparks': Conversation With a Rhodes Scholar

Colin Higgins, a University of Wisconsin-Madison student and Middleton native, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in November and will go on to Oxford University in the fall to continue his studies. 

Despite an outstanding collegiate career, triple majoring with comprehensive honors in environmental studies, geography and history and pursuing a Master of Public Affairs degree at the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, Higgins says he wasn’t the greatest student or even very interested in school until a few key teachers and courses at Middleton High School (MHS) changed his perspective.  

Higgins says it wasn’t until the end of his sophomore year at MHS that “things sort of flipped.”  He recalls his tenth grade English class with Ryan Haugen reading classics such as 1984, Brave New World, and Catcher in the Rye sparking an interest in literature. 

Tue
22
Sep
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The Natural: MHS Grad Launches Natural Care Products Line To Honor Grandfather

From his fourth generation family farm, American Provenance founder Kyle LaFond ambitiously formulates his unique line of all-natural men’s personal care products.

His inspiration is his grandfather, who was a hardworking traditional Wisconsin dairy farmer. His grandfather loved being on the farm and had a deep appreciation for nature. LaFond describes him as a person who always looked and smelled wonderful.

“He was one of those guys who I remember had a jar of pomade and I think it lasted his entire life,” LaFond, a Middleton High School graduate, said with a smile. “It was just always there.”

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