Saturday, December 20, 2014

WHS Carolers

The very talented WHS Carolers visited the middle and elementary schools on Friday, December 19. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Douglas Elementary Holds Geography Bee

Douglas Elementary held their Annual Geography Bee on Wednesday, December 17, 2014. Pictured are the winner and 3 finalists along with Mrs. Emily Lessner, Principal. Congratulations!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Schurz Holds Annual Geography Bee

Schurz Elementary held their annual Geography Bee on Monday, December 15, 2014.
Dr. Dave Vitale and Ms. Rosy Richter with the 2 finalists.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Read the attached brochure to learn about a conference for high school students and their teachers, held at the Marshfield Clinic this coming February.

The Fritz Wenzel Science Conference is designed “to inspire high school students to pursue a career in the science field,” as well as to “encourage high school science teachers to enhance their classroom environment by incorporating the most relevant aspects of healthcare science and technology.”

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

PARENTS-Madison SENG Group Offering series of meetings

Here is an opportunity to connect with other parents.... SENG stands for "Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted." This would be a great group to be a part of if you have questions relating to advocating for your child or even general questions.

I am a local SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator in the Madison area.  For those who are looking for a discussion group for parents and advocates of gifted children I will be starting a new group on Tuesday, January 27, at 10:30 am.  Details for this ten-week series will be forthcoming shortly.   Meantime, for those who wish to learn more about joining us please feel free to connect via e-mail or phone.  

These groups are described as “lifesavers” by many parents who struggle with the complexities of gifted children, and / or advocates who wish to support young learners with a greater understanding.   By the way, if there is enough interest I will also organize another group specifically in the evening for those who are not available in the daytime.  Please feel free to share this information with parents and advocates who are seeking support, positive conversation, resources and much more.

Katherine Peterson
SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator
847-508-0984 (cell)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

UW-Madison Enrichment Opportunities for Students in Grades 5-10

Register Now! 

Jan. 24 and 31, Feb. 7 and 14, 2015
Snow Date: February 21, 2015
$295 (lunch included), limited scholarships available
Located on the UW-Madison Campus

Saturday Enrichment Middle School Program for students in grades 5-7
Saturday Enrichment High School Program for students in grades 8-10
Students dissecting a cow heart
Interested in animals and science? Think dissections are cool? Veterinary Medicine is the class for you! (They are dissecting a cow heart!)
Student sewing a new piece of clothing
Are you the next Coco Chanel? Michael Kors? If you enjoy designing and creating your own style of clothing, think about taking our Fashion Forward class!
The director telling his production team where to shoot from.
Do you have the creative eye and want to tell a story through the digital design? Check out our Interactive Digital Art or Digital Media classes!

Visit our website for program and registration information on SEP and our other programs throughout the year!

For more information on the Saturday Enrichment Program, please contact Nancy Blake at or call our office at 608-262-4650

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NOVEMBER 22- Girls Who Code Club @ Marquette University

Hello Future Female Scientists and Engineers!

Marquette College of Engineering Outreach is proud to announce we have been selected to be a host site for the
Girls Who Code Club”

Please join us on November 22, from 10am-11am. This informational meeting will not cost you a penny but it certainly may get your daughters, sisters, and granddaughters excited to learn more about computer engineering and computer science.  To learn more about this program see our website and don’t forget to register on line at the link below:

To learn more about Girls Who Code please visit their website at:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

"How was school Today?"....... "Fine"..... Sound Familiar?

I came across this article and thought I would share. Enjoy!

25 Ways To Ask Your Kids “So how was school today?” Without Asking them “So how was school today?”

This year Simon is in 4th grade and Grace is in 1st grade and I find myself asking them every day after school, “So how was school today?”.
And everyday I get an answer like “fine” or “good” which doesn’t tell me a whole lot.
Or at get at least a full sentence.  So the other night I sat down and made a list of more engaging questions to ask about school.  They aren’t perfect…but I do get at least complete sentences…and some have lead to interesting conversations…and hilarious answers…and a few insights into how my kids think and feel about their time at school.

#1.  What was the best thing that happened at school today?  (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)
#2.  Tell me something that made you laugh today.
#3.  If you could choose who would you like to sit by in class?  (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class?  Why?)
#4.  Where is the coolest place at the school?
#5.  Tell me a weird word that you heard today.  (Or something weird that someone said.)
#6.  If I called your teacher tonight what would she tell me about you?
#7.  How did you help somebody today?
#8.  How did somebody help you today?
#9.  Tell me one thing that you learned today.
#10.  When were you the happiest today?
#11.  When were you bored today?
#12.  If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed up someone who would you want them to take?
#13.  Who would you like to play with at recess that you’ve never played with before?
#14.  Tell me something good that happened today.
#15.  What word did your teacher say most today?
#16.  What do you think you should do/learn more of at school?
#17.  What do you think you should do/learn less of at school?
#18.  Who in your class do you think you could be nicer to?
#19.  Where do you play the most at recess?
#20.  Who is the funniest person in your class?  Why is he/she so funny?
#21.  What was your favorite part of lunch?
#22.  If you got to be the teacher tomorrow what would you do?
#23.  Is there anyone in your class that needs a time out?
#24.  If you could switch seats with anyone in the class who would you trade with?  Why?
#25.  Tell me about three different times you used your pencil today at school.
So far…my favorite answers have come from questions #12. #15, and #21.
I actually love questions like the “alien” one (#12).  They give kids a non-threatening way to say who they would rather not have in their class, and open the door for you to have a discussion to ask why, potentially uncovering issues you didn’t know about before.
And the answers we get are sometimes really surprising. When I asked question #3, I discovered that one of my children didn’t want to sit by a best friend in class anymore — not out of a desire to be mean or bully, but in the hope they’d get the chance to work with other people. 
Sometimes we just need to figure out the right kinds of questions to ask our children….some questions may work better for some kids than others.  That’s how it is with my own children.  But I want to know what is going on in their lives and how I can help them.  So….I will continue to ask…and ask…and ask…
And, as my kids get older I know that I am going to have to work harder and harder to stay engaged with them…but I know its going to be worth the work…

Monday, November 3, 2014

4th & 5th Grade Students Joining the Madison Symphony Orchestra!

Watertown is very excited to announce that 4th & 5th grade students from Schurz, Lebanon and Webster Elementary Schools are participating in the "Link Up" program this year!

This highly interactive education program created by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute will unite our classrooms with the concert hall! Students will explore music through activities with this yearlong, in-school curriculum. They will learn to play the recorder in their classroom and perform with a professional orchestra at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison!

We are very excited to bring this opportunity to our young, talented musicians!

A HUGE thank you to Mrs. Beine and Mrs. Houchin for coordinating this amazing experience!

Monday, October 20, 2014



Discover the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at the at STEM
Expo! Activities are geared for ages 6-18 and include college representatives and
volunteers from area college programs as well as STEM professionals. Bring your
questions and be prepared to get a little messy!

October 25, 2014, 11AM TO 3PM
Milwaukee School of Engineering - Kern Center
1245 North Broadway Avenue, Milwaukee

Exploration Stations include: Concrete Floats, Bridge Building, Toy Chemistry, Traffic
Trivia, Lego Tower Building and much, much more. Check our website for an updated
list of events.
• The first 100 kids to attend will receive a goodie bag of prizes from the sponsors
• Food Trucks will be on site during lunch
• There will also be a raffle at 2:00

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Elementary Update


My name is Kathy Kennon and I am the new Talent Development Resource Teacher. I am very excited to be part of the Watertown Unified School District! My job is to provide resources, materials, and ideas for the teachers and staff. I will also monitor the support that is needed for students in the talent development program. I am here to advocate for the needs of students.

As we look at the newly adopted Talent Development Plan, the committee has chosen to recognize the need for specific instruction to meet the needs of all learners within a regular classroom. Specifically, "the needs of students with unique gifts and talents must be addressed for optimal development." With that being said, the WUSD plan calls for a support system that is more inclusive and flexible than traditional gifted education programs in the past. We remain committed to providing individualized learning experiences for your child.

I encourage you to go to the WUSD web page to review the Talent Development Plan in more detail. Some of the items to look at would be “Talent Development Supports” on page 15-17. These pages explain in detail the idea of differentiation within the classroom. Even with effective differentiation, the teacher may find that some students will require greater challenge. A teacher will then call a meeting to review data and identify resources and support options to meet the students’ demonstrated needs.

You may be wondering how does SOAR fit into this plan? While this may look slightly different than the SOAR Program that was used in the past, we feel confident that all students will have their needs met and our expert teaching staff will be able to provide high quality instruction and interventions matched to all student needs. Our number one goal is to identify the needs of our students and then determine how we will meet those needs.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. I look forward to working with you and your children.

Kathy Kennon- WUSD Talent Development Resource Teacher

920.262.1480 ext 5224

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Study Abroad Opportunities for High School Students

The U.S. Department of State Announces
Scholarships for American High School
Students to Study Abroad

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) offers merit-based scholarships to study one of seven critical foreign languages:  Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian and Turkish.  The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the cultural life of the host country, provide formal and informal language practice, and spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures.   The application deadline for summer 2015 and academic year 2015-2016 programs is October 30, 2014. Visit for more information. 
The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program offers  merit-based scholarships to spend an academic year in countries that may include Bosnia & Herzegovina, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Oman, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, and Turkey. This program increases understanding between people in the United States and people in countries with significant Muslim populations.  Students live with host families, attend local high schools, do community service, and complete a capstone project. Applications for academic year 2015-16 programs are due January 7, 2015.  Visit for more information.
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) offers merit-based scholarships to spend an academic year in Germany.  The program was established in 1983 to celebrate German-American friendship based on common values of democracy.  Students live with host families, attend local schools, and participate in community life in Germany.  For more information and application deadlines, visit the organization in charge of recruitment for your state at
For more information on exchanges sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit or watch this video about U.S. high school student exchanges.   To receive printed brochures and/or posters about our study abroad opportunities, send an email with your request to

For information on having an international experience without leaving home, consider hosting a Department of State- sponsored exchange student.  Learn more at

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Milwaukee Maker Faire THIS WEEKEND- Family FUN!

Maker Faire Milwaukee is a free family-friendly celebration that will feature:
  • More than 150 makers who will demonstrate 3D printing, lasers, indie crafts, robotics, microcomputers, blacksmithing, alternative energy, textile crafts, electric vehicles, CNC machines, woodworking, pottery and more
  • Power Racing Series on the Milwaukee Mile, featuring teams racing their modified electric kids’ cars
  • The Life Size Mousetrap – a giant Rube Goldberg-style machine and performance based on the classic board game
  • The Design & Build Challenge Saturday at noon – a “MacGyver”-style team challenge. Sign up to participate here.
  • A Nerdy Derby area – build and race your own toy car
  • A pumpkin trebuchet – launch your pumpkin and see how far it goes!
  • Hands-on activity areas for all ages
  • A daily schedule of workshops and presenters
  • And so much more!
Please visit the web site for detailed information!

Living History Opportunity- THIS WEEKEND

Marsh Haven Nature Center
Fall Living History Weekend
Friday, September 26 - Sunday, September 28
You are invited to take a stroll through history this weekend during the Fall Living History Festival at Marsh Haven Nature Center.
Learn more about Native Americans, Voyageurs, the War of 1812, Colonial America, soap making, candle making, trapping, blacksmithing, fiber arts, rug weaving, porcelain painting and so much more!

Friday is Education Day and schools, homeschool families and educators of all styles are invited to visit during the times of 8:30 am and 2:30 pm. On Saturday there will be a special program at 1 pm on Cooking with Milkweed. On Sunday, Herman Bender will present a special 1 pm program on "Traversing the Divide: The Milwaukee River/Horicon Marsh Trails." 

Interested in Music?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scholarship Opportunity

Please visit this web site for more information on applying for the 2015 Scholarships!

2015 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
The Davidson Institute offers $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 scholarships to students whose projects have the potential to benefit society, and are equivalent to college graduate level with a depth of knowledge in a particular area of study. Category requirements for the 2015 Davidson Fellows scholarships are now available.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


This is a fantastic opportunity for your family to learn about various aspects of Milwaukee’s history, architecture, and the preservation of the built environment through education and advocacy; from churches to office buildings, theaters to work sites, museums to hotels, clubs to universities; all sites of historic, architectural, cultural, or commercial interest. 

Please see the web site listed below for additional information including a detailed events page. 

"Doors Open Milwaukee is a free annual event and will feature over 125 buildings and over 40 guided tours."

Those interested in architecture, history, local ethic/cultural centers, environment/water studies, photography, or tasting a Globaco, can plan to explore and experience something new among the places listed on the Doors Open Milwaukee Events Page.

There are separate information pages for buildings, in-depth tours, public tours, free presentations, and more.  

Please see the web site for more information:

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 19 Presentation

This Friday is an opportunity for you to gather with fellow parents and make connections in the world of Talent Development. Please RSVP If this is something you are interested in attending.
(Note- Kids ARE welcome-see below!)

Game Night!!! Friday, September 19, 2014…..It’s going to be exciting!
Hello, Everyone!!
Hope your school year is starting out peacefully and the
kids are excited to be back!!
We are happy to start out the school year with two
presenters. Barb Lemke, RN, will be discussing Essential
Oils and how they can help with anxiety, fighting colds, etc.
She will be at Books and Company from 6:30-7p.m. Her
talk is informational and will provide more tools for helping
our gifted children maneuver through the year….us, as
Then, Jerry Hoefs, teacher extraordinaire, will be our Mad
Scientist (actually, he is far from Mad….but it sounds quite
good to say Mad!). His interactive presentation is titled:
Got Gas? A Study of Carbon Dioxide. How much do you
know about carbon dioxide? Hmmmm….we shall see!
Here is a bit of information about Mr. Hoefs:!
“I've been a teacher since 1973 and have taught all
subjects in grades 4-8 . My philosophy is that learning
should be novel, challenging and hands-on. In 2003, I was
honored to be chosen as Wisconsin's teacher of the Year.
Since 2003 I've run an after school business called Brain
Brigade and have taught fifth grade, started a maker's lab
and taught middle school science at Friess Lake School.
During our presentation we will discover and enjoy some of
the properties of carbon dioxide. “
Here are the details, one more time:
*Game Night, Friday, September 19, 2014
*Books and Company, Whitman Park Shopping Center,
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
*Gifted kids ages 8 and up along with their parents from
Oconomowoc and surrounding areas are welcome to
*PLEASE RSVP to Janet Foust if you are able to come:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

UW- Madison Science Outreach opportunities 2014-15 Grades 5-10.

Saturday Enrichment  Program provides a student-centered environment to explore a wide range of interests and academic areas. This program empowers students to learn about academic options, career choices, and personal interests in an active learning environment. Courses focus on S.T.E.A.M.: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics utilizing state-of-the-art campus resources while students interact with UW- Madison faculty, staff, and community professionals.

If you are interested, please visit:

Registration opens November 14, 2014!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chess Club at SGA

Chess has been played for over 2000 years. It is a game that develops
mental capabilities such as concentration, critical thinking, abstract
reasoning, problem solving, pattern recognition, strategic planning,
creativity, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. These intellectual
capacities are important throughout a persons lifetime. Chess also
teaches problem solving and abstract reasoning.

Chess at Scholaris Gifted Academy is led by John Veech who holds the
title of National Chess Master from the United States Chess Federation.

All are welcome to join Scholaris Chess Club.
Cost is $60 for the nine week session which runs September 16th
through November 18th. All classes meet on Tuesdays at 3:30 at
Scholaris Gifted Academy, 217 N Dunwood Road Room 113,
Fox Point, WI 53217
Player’s Name: ____________________________ Player’s Age: _______
Street Address: ________________________________________
City: ________________________________ State:______ Zip:_________
Phone Number: ____________________________________________
Email Address: ____________________________________________
Please remit $60 payment to Scholaris Gifted Academy

WEBINAR for High School Seniors

There is still time to register to attend our informational webinar about the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship Program.
If you are a student or parent considering the program or an educator who would like encourage your students to apply, please join us on September 9 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Our webinar will explain in detail the College Scholarship Program’s eligibility requirements, key dates, and deadlines. We will also answer any questions you may have about the process or the program.
Please go to to register.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Welcome To the Watertown Talent Development Blog!

Hello All-

Whether you are a parent advocate or an interested party, I'd like to thank you for stopping by this blog. I hope to give useful information regarding opportunities and information relating to the talent development of elementary, middle, and high school students.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kathy Kennon. I have recently been hired by the Watertown Unified School District as a Talent Development Resource Teacher. My previous experience has been in middle and elementary school in Milwaukee, Oconomowoc, Neosho, and Lake Mills.

More to come in the next few days!