Our mission is to engage all of our students in rigorous and relevant learning to maximize their unique talents and abilities, and to prepare them for the challenges of the future.

November 2019
Three Lincoln students holding mini pumpkins
#WatertownWay Lincoln STEM students had a pumpkin decorating reward as part of their PBIS incentive!
Dear Parents, Families and Students, Friends and Neighbors,

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is right around the corner - even with the snow and cold! We have a lot to celebrate over the past few months. We had another spirited Homecoming Week featuring our 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Dr. Anne Liners Brett. We have many great events coming up for the holiday season, and our fall musical Thoroughly Modern Millie promises to be another outstanding show in a long tradition of memorable performances. We hope to see you at one of our many holiday concerts, events and performances.

At our October Board meeting, the Board passed the 2019-2020 budget. Last year in November the voters in the Watertown Unified School District supported the WUSD’s 5-year operational referendum. The successful passage of the referendum has helped the WUSD to offset our budget deficit created by fewer school-age children living in our community, and the WUSD has followed through on the promise to our taxpayers to keep the tax mill rate flat at an average of $8.98. 

While the referendum dollars have helped the WUSD to offset our funding gap, the WUSD is still facing financial challenges, and the Board and administration have been working to address these challenges strategically by balancing responsible reductions with a focus on attracting and retaining students and families in the WUSD. In addition to making fiscally responsible decisions about the WUSD’s budget, the Board has made a commitment to focusing on growth measures to increase enrollment and awareness in Watertown and surrounding communities about the great schools, great programs and great opportunities here in the WUSD. Some of the growth strategies that are currently being pursued include a virtual K-12 charter school to expand our current eCampus programming to serve more students and families, and we are exploring a full-day 4-year-old kindergarten option for our incoming students.

Please watch for more information this month regarding upcoming Board discussions in November. There will be a Special Board Meeting on November 21 at 5:30 p.m. to engage in a preliminary discussion about elementary grade configuration. You are welcomed and encouraged to join us at this meeting to learn more about this topic. Additionally at our November Board Meeting there will be a follow up discussion about next steps for Lebanon School. The November Board Meeting will be on November 25 at 6:00 p.m.

Also in November, we celebrate American Education Week. This week focuses attention on the importance of providing every child in America with an excellent educational experience. In Watertown, we are fortunate to have a community that supports education for our children, a dedicated and talented team of teachers and support staff, and outstanding students. I want to again extend my gratitude to the community and parents in Watertown who support our work for students. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our educators during this week to thank and support them for their work with our students and families.

We are excited about the great work that continues to happen in the WUSD, and we hope you will enjoy reading about some of the additional highlights in our Fall Newsletter. The WUSD is committed to our vision of Excellence for All. We believe we can lead the state in our efforts to reach the learning needs of every child, develop people and partnerships, and lead through innovative practices and leadership. We believe the WUSD is a destination district in the state of Wisconsin, and we plan to build on our reputation as an innovator in education and a great place to live, work and go to school.

It’s the #WatertownWay!

Cassandra Schug, PhD
Superintendent of Schools
Enjoy Our Fall Musical Nov. 8-10
Thoroughly Modern Mille
Calling all  #WatertownWay families! Join us for the WHS Fall Musical – Throroughly Modern Millie.

November 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m.
November 10 at 3:00 p.m

Adults - $13
Students/Seniors - $10
Other Upcoming Events
blue calendar icon
  • Nov. 6 ~ Schurz 4-5 Multiage Parent/Teacher Conferences - 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 8 ~ Webster Pottery Night
  • Nov. 8-10 ~ WHS Fall Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • Nov. 13 & 20 ~ Douglas 2nd and 3rd Grade Seal-a-Smile
  • Nov. 14 ~ Webster Fundraiser Pick Up
  • Nov. 15 ~ RMS 1st Quarter Recognition Breakfast
  • Nov. 21 ~ RMS Orchestra Concert - 6:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 23 ~ Lebanon Craft/Vendor Fair
  • Nov. 25 ~ Board of Education Meeting - 6:00 p.m.
  • Nov. 26 ~ End of Trimester 1 - WHS Dismissal at 11:30 a.m.
  • Nov. 26 ~ Schurz Talent Show - 2:00 p.m.
  • Nov. 27, 28 & 29 ~ No School
  • Dec. 4 ~ RMS Fundraiser Delivery
  • Dec. 9 & 10 ~ Webster Holiday Programs
  • Dec. 9 & 10 ~ Schurz Holiday Programs
  • Dec. 13 ~ Lebanon Holiday Store
  • Dec. 13 ~ Schurz Student Council Holiday Shop
  • Dec. 16 ~ Board of Education Meeting - 6:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 17 ~ Douglas Winter Music Program
  • Dec. 19 ~ RMS Band Concert
  • Dec. 23 - January 1 ~ No School
  • Jan. 2 ~ Classes Resume
  • Jan. 10 ~ Schurz 4-5 Multiage Mide Year Celebration - 3:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
  • Jan. 13 ~ Freshman Preview Night for 2020-21 Incoming Freshman - 7:00 p.m.
  • Jan. 17 ~ Douglas PTO Family Fun Event
  • Jan. 17 ~ Lincoln STEM Family Night - 3:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 20 ~ No School - Staff Development Day
  • Jan. 20 ~ WHS Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Jan. 24 ~ Webster Movie Night - 5:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 24 ~ RMS 2nd Quarter Recognition Breakfast
  • Jan. 27 ~ Board of Education Meeting - 6:00 p.m.
  • Jan. 30 ~ Douglas Mid-Year Parent/Teacher Conferences - 4:00 p.m. to 7:35 p.m.

See WUSD calendars  to find concerts, school events and 2019-20 district annual calendar
Enhancing Teaching and Learning for Every Child - Every Day
Continue to Strive for Less than 5!
Strive for less than five days absent!
Being at school each day has a huge impact on a student’s academic success, starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Attendance is also an important life skill that helps set children up with good habits for when they have a job. The Watertown Unified School District continues to focus on attendance with the Strive for Less than Five campaign, aimed at having all students miss less than 5 days of school each year. Throughout our schools you will see messages and activities that reinforce this effort. 

With the holidays breaks approaching, we are asking families to avoid taking extra days off to extend the Thanksgiving and Winter breaks. Just a few missed days here and there, even if they are excused absences, can add up to too much lost learning time and leave your child behind in school. 

If your student is having difficulty making it to school for any reason, we are here to help. Please contact your child’s teacher or the school office for assistance. Thank you for making daily attendance a priority to support your child’s learning!
DPI to Visit Lincoln Elementary and RMS STEM Programs
Lincoln Elementary STEM
On Thursday, Nov. 21 members of the state Department of Public Instruction’s Teaching and Learning Team will visit Lincoln Elementary STEM and the Riverside STEM Academy to learn about emerging and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Project-Based Learning, student-led conferences, learner continuums, integrated subjects and the strategic use of technology – demonstrated by students, of course - will be among the highlights our special visitors will see.
Riverside STEM Academy
DPI is visiting districts around the state that exhibit different ideas and structures that impact the student experience in both big and small ways and that serve as a source of information for what’s possible in education. We’re excited to be a destination district!   
Developing People and Partnerships
Building Bridges: City, Schools, Businesses Collaborate for Workforce
Building Bridges - Event 1: Workforce
We are excited to announce a collaborative effort among the Watertown Unified School District (WUSD), the City of Watertown and the business community aimed at addressing workforce preparedness and availability of workforce in the greater Watertown area. This collaborative effort is preparing two events. The first event is Thursday, November 14; the second will be in February 2020. 

Business representatives are invited to a presentation and tour at Watertown High School with the goal of sharing important information with our community business owners and managers on how Watertown High School is preparing students for life after high school.

This event will create an avenue for an ongoing and sustainable conversation about workforce opportunities and career path entry in the greater Watertown area. It will also equip the business community with information about the efforts of Watertown High School and demonstrate opportunities for the business community to further engage in workforce preparedness efforts.

Choose your tour path
We have 8 custom tours to help you pick what area you want to focus on and see. Each of these tours is guided by one of our student leaders who has a passion in that same area. Each tour has multiple stops where you will hear from various teachers in that career pathway. You will be entering classrooms and labs on your tours. Unfortunately - with all the amazing stuff to see and the little time we have - you do need to select just one career pathway tour.

Check out the website, BuildingBridgesWatertown.com, to find the best pathway that fits your business and then sign up via the button below:
Due to the event being held at the high school background checks will be completed for all attendees.
Thursday, November 14, 2019

7:15am - Doors Open
7:45am - 8:00am - Registration
8:10am - 8:40am - General Welcome in Auditorium
8:45am - 9:55am - Tours of WHS (Career Pathways)
10:00am - 10:15am - Wrap-up in Auditorium

Bonnie Hertel
Executive Director 
Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce
Cassandra Schug, PhD
Superintendent of Schools
Watertown Unified School District
Emily McFarland
City of Watertown
Certified Staff Spotlight on Deb Fischer
Deb Fischer
Spanish Teacher at Watertown High School

This is my 32 nd year teaching for Watertown High School. I have taught all levels of Spanish but mostly sophomores and juniors. I am the team leader of the World Languages Department (which happens to be the best department at Watertown High School). I also serve as the Scholarship Chairperson for Watertown High School. Serving as Scholarship Chair has afforded me the opportunity to meet and work with many generous, caring and committed community members who believe in paying it forward to students of WHS.

I love Watertown. As a child of a military family, I moved to different states every three to five years. Calling Watertown home and being active in the community has been very fulfilling. I met my husband, Todd, in Watertown during my first year of teaching and we have been married for 28 years. Together we have 2 children - Callahan who is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota - Duluth, and Molly who is a junior at UW-Madison. It is fun going to our alma mater for games and festivities and meeting up with our daughter.

In my free time, I like to be with my friends. My husband and I are blessed with great friends, many of whom are teachers. We like to travel, go to concerts, ski (more my husband than me), play cards and socialize. I hope to get back into running and working out this year.

What do you love most about your work at the Watertown Unified School District? 
What I love best about teaching is seeing former students and hearing their stories. It is especially rewarding to hear about their travels and experiences using Spanish outside of the classroom. This year many of my students are children of former students. It’s wild! I don’t feel that old!

Share a surprising fact about yourself.
Fun facts: I was born in Ireland, my maiden name was Fisher and my married name is Fischer. I went to UW-Madison with a football scholarship and I can beat you in Euchre.

When your students and colleagues talk about you, what do you hope they would say?
If and when students and colleagues talk about me, I hope that they would say that I am a fair, conscientious and an enthusiastic teacher. 

Any words of wisdom or advice?
Connect with students. Forming and building relationships is what makes teaching worthwhile. Support each other as teachers and don’t forget to have fun. Enjoy your summers and time away because as educators we work hard all year.
Support Staff Spotlight on Nancy Kopplin
Nancy Kopplin
Kitchen Production Manager at Watertown High School

My husband and I are graduates of Watertown High School, and so are our three grown children. Our oldest son Kevin has a Political Science degree from UW-Madison. Our youngest child, Molly, has a degree in History and Political Science from UW-Oshkosh, her Masters in PoliSci from the University of Florida, and is currently teaching Middle School math in El Dorado, Arkansas while getting her Masters in Education. Our son Corey is out in San Diego living the dream.   

What do you love most about your work at the Watertown Unified School District? 
When students are asked what was the best part of their day and the answer is “Lunch,” it brings me great joy. To know that I am a part of that each and every day makes me want to never leave here. I love the energy the students give off, it’s contagious!

Share a surprising fact about yourself. 
WUSD secretaries Cory Dittman and Ruth Stadler and I were classmates in grade school in the small town of Darlington, 100 miles from here. What are the odds of that???

When your students and colleagues talk about you, what do you hope they would say? 
I hope they say I put my heart and soul in whatever I did. More than anything, I hope they say I made them laugh!

Any words of wisdom or advice?
I feel it was more luck than wisdom that got me through 34 years with the WUSD. No one achieves any level of success without the help of others. I have had amazing co-workers along the way and am very grateful for making my “work” at WUSD more like a paid vacation! 
Alumni Spotlight on Nicole Loppnow
Nicole Loppnow
Alumnus, Class of 2004, and Spanish Teacher at Watertown High

I live in Watertown with my husband and two kids, Griffin (3) and Lydia (6 months). Outside of school, I love spending time with my family and friends, traveling, watching football and eating delicious food.

What is, or would be, your classroom motto? 
Work hard and be kind

Who was your favorite WUSD teacher when you attended as a student and why?
Mrs. Suski was my favorite teacher at WHS. When I had her as a senior, she was a down-to-earth straight shooter, but was so caring and supportive at the same time. I want to be Mrs. Suski when I grow up.

What sports, clubs or organizations did you participate in when you were a student? 
None - I was too busy working to make money so I could travel! I went on several trips through school - the Marine Ecology trip to the Florida Keys with Mr. Neiman, Boundary Waters canoe trip with Mr. Mommaerts (and Mr. Woodard was another student on the trip!), and the Europe trip to England, France and Spain with Mr. Jacobson.

If you could give your students three pieces of advice to prepare them for the future, what would they be? 
Take risks and take advantage of opportunities that you have. Do what you can with what you have. Don’t miss out on things because you’re too cool, too busy, or waiting for the “right time.” The right time is now.
Watertown Unified School District | 920-262-1460 |  www.watertown.k12.wi.us