Thursday, January 28, 2016

Values and Catholic social teaching in action

As Edgewood prepares to celebrate Catholic Schools Week, February 1-6, a post on service and putting the values of compassion, community and partnership into practice seems appropriate.

On the first Monday and fourth Tuesday of the month when school is in session, Edgewood High School is committed to serving the hungry in the Madison community. Since the late 1990s, students, faculty, parents and alumni arrive at the Catholic Multicultural Center on Beld Street and spend a couple hours providing the warmth of both a meal and smiles to those in need of both.

According to science teacher Bob Shannon, “I believe that serving at the CMC or any other venue teaches us about humanity, humility, tolerance and acceptance. This is the core of what Jesus teaches us. In serving others we are serving Jesus. In a small way, students and all volunteers are living the values of the Sinsinawa Dominicans. When we encounter those in need, we not only learn about society, we learn about ourselves. Poverty, hunger, and mental illness are issues that involve all of us—not just the people on the other side of the serving line. We cannot separate ourselves from the human condition, or we risk becoming less human. I think we should come away from this experience with an appreciation and better understanding of the human condition—good and bad—and that one person can make a difference.”

The food is already prepared by others and the Edgewood volunteers set up and serve between about 3:45 and 5:15 pm. Participation by more Madison area alumni would be welcome. If you are interested, contact Dennis McKinley ’63 at

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Teachers and students appreciate benefits of personal computers and shared learning tools

Edgewood’s 1:1 Chromebook initiative was featured in a story in the Wisconsin State Journal that discussed just a couple of the ways faculty are implementing computer-assisted learning in their curricula. Chromebooks are fast, secure, simple to use, offer long battery life, integrate seamlessly with student Google email and Apps for Education, and provide access to a number of tools and apps through the Chrome Web Store.

While uses in math and science classes may be more obvious, all departments are embracing the added tool that allows them to reach and teach students in new ways. For example, English II students created “maps” using Google Draw to illustrate Esperanza’s journey in The House on Mango Street. They also participated in online discussions about books they read during the summer.
Students in AP English used Google Docs and Google Slides to collaborate on group projects for The Kite Runner and Merry Wives of Windsor. In addition, they are preparing for the AP Exam by taking online practice AP English exams that have been created in Google Forms.

In Modern Drama, Google Docs provided collaborative space for students to brainstorm and share notes. After students conducted research on Tennessee Williams and his play, A Streetcar Named Desire, they came to class and logged onto a class Google Doc to share their favorite tidbits while the document was projected on the board. An interactive discussion followed; during this discussion, students added pictures, color, and fonts for emphasis. This shared document will be used as a resource for future classwork.

In freshman Biology, students work collaboratively on creating reports as they contribute individual research, then compare their research in small groups, amend the information as a group and then complete a single report.

In an example of the “flipped classroom” concept, some teachers provide students with videos of themselves reviewing homework or lecture concepts, which students can view at home on their Chromebooks for curriculum reinforcement. Google Classroom offers a discussion forum option, which allows students to have online discussions where they are able to develop their own perspective on classroom topics. Discussions are then referenced by teachers to ensure student comprehension and encourage in-class discussion.

Less paper! Teachers and staff have transitioned to posting syllabi, assignments, essay drafts and announcements, greatly reducing our use of paper.

Edgewood looks forward to increasingly being a model environment for expanding the possibilities that computer-assisted learning offers in allowing teachers to implement instructional diversity that keeps students engaged and prepares them for the world after school.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

“Highest Award” goes to 2015 Wayfarer!

Edgewood High School was recently notified that the 2015 edition of The Wayfarer, Edgewood's student literary and art magazine, received a “Highest Award” from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The NCTE annually reviews student literary magazines for quality, variety, editing and proofreading, and design/artistic aspects.

The Wayfarer is the only Wisconsin high school literary magazine and one of just 24 nationally to receive this highest honor! 

In the magazine’s 30-year history, this is the fourth time The Wayfarer has earned the top award, above the “Superior” ranking the NCTE gave it earlier in the review process.

The letter of recognition to English Department Chairperson, Diane Mertens, states:  “It is a very special honor for your school’s literary magazine to be cited. The National Council of Teachers
of English congratulates you and the students who produced this exemplary literary magazine.” The mission of the NCTE Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines is to encourage all schools to develop magazines which print excellent student writing and which show evidence of school-wide participation in the production of the magazine.

The 2014-2015 staff of The Wayfarer included: Zachary Palmer, editor; Evelyn Stein, managing
editor; Cameron Craig, creative director; Nicole Cook, Hannah Ferry, Julianna Kuecker, Molly Lazar, Sophia Pandelidis, Tia Parisi, Meghan Phau, Paula Prolla, Gwendolyn Pyeatt, Michelle Ring, Chloe Schomaker, Lauren Tatus, and Grace Wall, reviewers and editorial/design staff; Cheryl Zhang, cover artist; and Chaselyn Kenney, artwork photographer.

The following students (some are now alumni!) had their literary works published in the 2015 edition: Aaron Grode, Ryan Thom, Andrea Wright, Milo Lingard, Livianna Myklebust, Paula Prolla, Ruby Ladd, Kaitlyn Goss, Zachary Palmer, Natalie Guse, Mitchell Lacey, Menatu Maaneb de Macedo, Sophia Janus, Thomas Tenzin, Sophia Pandelidis, Harrison Rayment, Evelyn Stein, and John

Artwork created by the following students/alumni was incorporated into the design of this award-winning magazine: Grace Drummond, Casandra Jacobsen, Shea Kalscheur, Alexis Kennedy, Julia LaBonte, Alison Lourigan, Maya Mendoza, Regina Moran, Ran Ran, Michelle Ring, Skyler Ta, Kathryn Thompson, Lee Witz, Andrea Wright, and Diana Xu.

Ms. Diane Mertens and Ms. Teresa West-Lentz are the faculty advisors and Mr. Mark Thering and Mr. Jim Ottney serve as consultants for the magazine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Please answer when these folks call!

How can you say “no” to nice ladies like these?

J. Milito is calling for our Phonathon, starting tonight, January 19

Edgewood High School’s yearly phonathon to alumni, parents of alumni, and current parents is being conducted by our partners in fundraising, J. Milito & Associates ( with whom we’ve been working for 16 years. Just a few of them are pictured above. Please give the callers the courtesy of answering and make a pledge toward the Annual Fund. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar by a $60,000 challenge from an anonymous donor! 

Funds raised help keep an Edgewood education more affordable by covering an $1,800 subsidy this year for every student and provides additional need-based tuition assistance for those least able to pay. Most importantly, we need to increase our participation percentage. Funding agencies want to see the commitment by those closest to us, so please give a gift of whatever size you can in order to help us raise the number of contributions Edgewood receives from current parents.

Thanks go to the hundreds of alumni, parents of alumni, current parents and other donors who have already given to this year’s Annual Fund, many in honor or memory of special people in their lives.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Caryl B celebrates 90!

Longtime volunteer and alumni records manager Caryl Bremer still spends nearly every day of the work week—and some weekend days!—tracking down contact information and following up on address changes, death notices and other shared information about our database of more than 10,000 alumni, including her own children. Today, during our Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, which included a prayer service, service projects and in-service updates, Edgewood High School faculty and staff also joined in singing Happy Birthday and presenting Caryl with cake and flowers at lunch in recognition of her birthday that took place over the Christmas holiday.
A true exemplar of the value of service, Caryl has volunteered her time at Edgewood High School for five decades!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Kitty Geier ’59 serves patients as hospital volunteer

Photo by David Wahlberg, Wisconsin State Journal
Katherine T. “Kitty” Sprague Geier “retired” after 50 years of working as a nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. As a December 3, 2015, Wisconsin State Journal “Know Your Madisonian” profile by David Wahlberg made clear, however, she didn’t leave her patient behind. Kitty continues to share her compassionate care with people as a volunteer who greets and escorts people to their treatments. In addition, she participates in a range of other services, sometimes sitting with dying patients as part of the hospital’s No One Dies Alone program, a welcome presence, especially when family members are not immediately available.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Freshmen create scarves for elderly residents

As part of Edgewood’s FIT program for freshmen that integrates subjects and activities across disciplines, the students participated in a group guidance service activity, producing knotted fleece and flannel scarves that were delivered to senior citizens.
The residents at Girlie’s Manor, assisted living homes in the Madison area, showed off their gifts that arrived just in time for a wave of temperatures hovering near zero. They sent a photo and note expressing thanks for the scarves and for the Christmas cards they also received.

Do you have a favorite service activity memory? Post a comment here or send it to the EHS Alumni Office.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

1972 Basketball players make E Club memorial gift as Crusaders clash with Cardinals

See an interview with Doug Raftery and Joel Maturi and a slide show of the halftime induction event.

On Saturday, January 9, the Crusader Boys Basketball Team (8-1) will host the Middleton Cardinals (10-0) at 5:00 pm in the Wilke Gym. It should be an exciting match-up, made even more special by some of the people in attendance.

Prior to tip-off and the National Anthem (so arrive about 4:15-4:30 at the latest!), representatives from the members of the 1971-1972 Edgewood Basketball Team will be recognized for making the donation of a lifetime E Club membership ($10,000) in honor of two of their deceased teammates: John Green ’72 and Mark Stern ’72. The Green and Stern families will be receiving plaques in honor of the occasion.
Back Row: Kim Voss ’73, D. Geier ’72, David White ’73, D. Geier ’72, Douglas Raftery ’72, Richard Pertzborn ’72, John Green ’72, Greg Verhelst ’73, Kevin McGivern ’72.     Middle: Dan Nichols ’73, Bob Sweeney ’73, Thomas Ryan ’72, Mark Sweeney ’72, Jeff Woolen ’73, James Van Gemert ’72.     Front: John Kornell ’73, Jonathan Morgan ’72. 

In addition, Joel Maturi will be attending the game and presentation. The 1972 Crusaders team was Maturi’s first as head coach while at Edgewood. He later held posts as an administrator in the UW-Madison athletic program under athletic director Pat Richter and then as athletic director in his own right at the University of Denver (1996–1998), Miami University (1998–2002), and the University of Minnesota (2002–2012).

Monday, January 4, 2016

Resolve to share this site with friends!

We hope you and your family and friends had enjoyable Christmas and New Year’s celebrations and are looking forward to some exciting changes in the coming year. An easy resolution you can fulfill right now is simply to share this blog site with at least one other Edgewood graduate. We also welcome your news and images -- just send a "comment" -- that you would like to share with others.

For a start, do you make New Year's resolutions? Why or why not? If you do, what's one of your resolutions for the coming year?