Awards, Honors and More at the AASD Welcome Back Celebration
Posted on 08/29/2016
Welcome Back

The Appleton Area School District's annual Welcome Back celebration was chock full of awards and honors, inspiring moments and messages of gratitude. The theme of the day was "Diversity is Our Strength" and that was apparent through the performances and keynote speaker.

The morning started off with messages of thanks from our School Board President Sharon Fenlon. She thanked our educators for all they do and welcomed our over 90 new educators. 

Rachel Bednarowski, an Appleton East student, performed a soaring rendition of the National Anthem.

Next was an amusing and touching performance involving backlit dancers and students reading from some of their favorite books celebrating diversity. Claire Willamson, dance instructor at Renaissance School for the Arts and her students impressed with interpretive dance, ballet and break dancing.

Bee Yang, Executive Director of the Hmong-American Partnership was the guest speaker. He is an Appleton West alum who immigrated to the US from Laos as a young boy. He discussed the importance of a culturally-responsive environment.


Mielke Elementary Winner:
Tiffany Wesoloski, 
Reading Interventionist and ELA Coach
Jefferson Elementary School
Principal:  Lori Leschisin
Nominated by:  Lori Leschisin

Mielke Secondary Winner:
Heather Stinson
Family and Consumer Science and Art Teacher
7 - 8 James Madison Middle School
Principal:  Dave Torrey
Nominated by:  Rita O’Brien, Dean of Career Based Learning, AASD

The Helen and Ade Dillon Award:
Krista Dejarlais
French Teacher
7 - 8 James Madison Middle School
Principal:  Dave Torrey
Nominated by:  Denise Lawrence-Steiner, Teacher at James Madison Middle School

The Appleton Area School District Association of School Administrators' honored the Appleton Noon Lions Club with its Friend of Education Award. The club's collaboration with the district on vision screenings has allowed the district to quickly and reliably screen children for vision problems. They have also donated more than 9,000 dictionaries to elementary school students that the children can keep.

Tracey Rigstad was named the Appleton Education Association Friend of Education Award for her dedication to the district's fine arts programs.

30 Year Staff

Congrats to the 20 staff members who received their 30-year pins.

• Peter Appleton, Educator
• Diane Barnett, Educator
• Rene Braun, Educator
• Brenda Christman, Educator
• Susan Eagan, Educator
• Rebecca Frank, Educator
• Kristin Gosz, Educator
• Chris Heller, Educator
• Laura Heller, Educator
• Lisa Lamers, ASU (Admn. Support Unit)
• Kelly McCoy, Secretary
• Darrell Neumann, Educator
• Kris Neumann, Educator
• Jacquelyn Nussbaum, Educator
• Nancy Ottman, Secretary
• Kathy Reinking Hermsen, Educator
• Kimm Smith, ASU (Admn. Support Unit)
• Suzette Stewart, Educator
• Judith Sucharski, Educator
• John Wuebben, Educator

Check out the below video that features AASD 2016 graduates. The graduates discuss the impact of their AASD teachers and send a message of thanks.

Thank you to our generous sponsors of the Welcome Back celebration!

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