By Travis Anderson
N-O-W School District Superintendent
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a great holiday season, and I hope 2023 is a year of great health and happiness!
Throughout the second quarter, students and staff at Brookwood did an excellent job navigating all of the day-to-day challenges, adventures, and opportunities presented to them. Our students and staff are truly top-notch, and I think we all can be very proud of them and our school.
One thing that is amazing to witness is how truly kind and respectful our students are at Brookwood. Being the superintendent at Brookwood, I have the opportunity to see their acts of kindness on a daily basis and see what great representatives our students are of their parents, school, and community. One recent example of how kind and respectful our students are took place at a high school girls basketball game that was played at New Lisbon High School. On this particular night, a 95-year-old World War II AND Korean War veteran from Tomah came to watch them play. He had been reading about the team in local newspapers and he enjoys attending high school athletic contests, so he had a friend drive him to the game in New Lisbon.
The Falcons were victorious in the game that night, but the most important part of the game took place when the game was over. After the game, every member of the Brookwood girls basketball team immediately jogged over to this veteran, shook his hand, and thanked him for coming to the game. The 95-year-old man was smiling from ear-to-ear and was so thankful for this kind gesture by our student-athletes. Come to find out, it was his 95th birthday that day as well, so they helped make his birthday extra special! This simple act of kindness and respect by our students is something that our school and community can be proud of. These are the types of things Brookwood students just do on a regular basis, and it was an amazing sight to see!
Acts of kindness and respect are what identifies the Brookwood students and staff, and from my perspective, the entire N-O-W community. Our school strives very hard to teach these characteristics at every learning level, and even though acts of kindness and respect sometimes are not seen, they happen daily.
A few other examples of Brookwood students going above and beyond to show respect and kindness during the second quarter are when our sixth grade Falcon Readers Program recorded and created videos of themselves reading books, and then the videos were shared electronically to local elderly facilities so the residents can hear and see students reading stories.
The residents of these facilities love watching these videos at their facilities and look forward to receiving the videos from our students!
Our third through sixth grade art department also made surprise holiday gifts for staff members just to put a smile on their faces, the Brookwood High School Tech. Ed. Department built wooden rocking horses to give to local families as holiday gifts, and it’s also amazing how hear so many students simply just say “thank you” to their bus drivers when they get off of the bus after school or after co-curricular trips.
These are just a few examples I wanted to share because not everyone gets to see the acts of kindness Brookwood students exhibit on a daily. Our staff at Brookwood does an amazing job teaching students to be respectful and kind, and it’s evident that their lessons are paying off! The lessons taught extend far beyond the classroom walls. Kindness and mutual respect shown by our students and staff is just one thing that makes Brookwood such a special place to be!
Academically, the second quarter of the 2022–2023 school year has concluded, and there is so much academic success to share that it is impossible to list it all. Our students continue to succeed and learn valuable lessons in every class and co-curricular activity they are a part of.
The classroom learning experience is not the stereotypical sit in a desk and listen to what the teacher tells you to learn. In classes, students are creating projects, making connections to their learning, discovering, questioning, and simply getting a very high-quality education at Brookwood.
Education has changed so much with different learning models, technology, etc. over the years, but still maintains the same root principles and concepts we were all taught years ago. It’s exciting to see the different learning models used to meet the needs of our students because our entire staff cares about ALL of our Brookwood students, not just the students in their particular classes. The staff at Brookwood do an amazing job incorporating learning activities outside the classroom while also individually working with students to ensure they are learning.
Throughout the second quarter of the 2022–2023 school year, we had students participate in honors choir events, become artists and athletes of the month, students of the month, attend fieldtrips to make school/career learning connections, participate in theatrical performances and athletic events, work with the Salvation Army bell-ringing campaign during the holiday season, raise funds to adopt a heifer that will provide a water buffalo in Southeast Asian communities, and we even had a fifth grade student who scored “With Honors” on National Math contest who was participating at the sixth grade level, just to name a few of our success stories!
Our district’s state report card even shows we are doing well, and our school scores are above the state average in many statistical categories thanks to the hard work of our students and staff.
We will strive to grow even more as the 2022-2023 school year! I want to personally thank our students, staff, parents, and community for supporting the school, helping our students learn, and for making the second quarter of the 2022–2023 school year a success!
The second quarter has also been filled with inclement weather challenges as well. Just a reminder that due to the fact we have had five snow days already by Jan. 20, all students and staff will be in school as normal on Friday, Feb. 10, and Thursday, March 2. Even though winter weather can pose many challenges, I want to thank our outstanding bus drivers for getting students to school safely. We can’t control the weather, but our drivers do a great job navigating the winter roads in Wisconsin! As we near spring, hopefully there won’t be more weather issues.
We have a lot of great things happening on a daily basis, and I personally invite you all to every event that takes place at Brookwood. There are amazing opportunities here for students, parents, and community members. We look forward to seeing you at the school and thank you to our entire community for the support you show us. Brookwood is a great place to be, and I wish you all the best in the new year! Go, Falcons!!!