Talon Talk

Cultivating Relationships and Student Voice...

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Making a Difference!

Written by: Angie Jackson


It started with Kid President. Rachel Burgan, 8th grade Math teacher at HMS, decided to take a few minutes out of class one week to show a Kid President Pep Talk. She had such a positive response, she decided to make it a weekly event. The time she “lost” in instructional minutes actually ended up being a gain as kids were more settled and focused for the remaining class time actually making it more productive...and then it became so much more! One week’s message was “Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome” (https://youtu.be/9Jcl-5wlzn4) and Ms. Burgan decided to take it a step further and had students write on post-it notes ways they could be awesome. She was pleasantly surprised when her students not only came up with tons of truly Awesome ideas but wanted to take it a step further and put them into action! From there Ms. Burgan and her students chose to visit the Virginia Health and Rehab Center and bring some holiday cheer to the residents. On Friday, after school hours, over 40 students walked with Ms. Burgan and other staff to the Nursing Home from HMS bringing gifts that they had purchased themselves or gathered donations for, hundreds of handmade cards from students who attended, as well as those who could not, and supplies to make enough ornaments to decorate the entire facility! Students teamed up with residents and spent an hour and a half making the ornaments, singing songs, having conversations and enjoying hot cocoa. It was hard to tell at times who was enjoying it more, the residents or the students! It was truly an AWESOME experience for everyone involved!

Cultivating Student Voice throughout the Learning Process

Our Student Voice Blog - http://hmsstudentvoice.blogspot.com

"Building student voice throughout the learning process" is HMS' long-term goal. If you are interested in sharing or connecting with other HMS teachers about how they encourage, teach, and strengthen student voices, here is one way to do that: http://hmsstudentvoice.blogspot.com/. This can also be a place where you comment and/or make classroom connections to the two video below.

Developing Student-Driven Inquiry

Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions

Student-Led Conferences in Action

Student-Led Conferences: Empowerment and Ownership

PBIS Leadership PACK

By: Brad Kuntz and Angie Jackson

Over the past four years we have had a group of 18 students in our building (six 6th graders, six 7th graders, and six 8th graders) identified by teachers as showing leadership potential. Our goal in working with these students is to help develop that leadership potential as well as make positive influence on the school.

Specifically this year, we have been meeting with these students two times per month. One time focusing on how to better improve our school and the climate amongst students by getting their feedback on PBIS related topics. The other meeting each month has been focused on building the students up as leaders. We are using the book The “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” and going through one chapter per month to help build the students leadership skills and awareness.

This past Monday we had the opportunity to take this group to the Bradley Center for The Milwaukee Bucks Student Leadership Day presented by the Wisconsin Association of School Councils (WASC). This year’s theme was “Brand Yourself.” It was an amazing day of team building and learning for our students! They had the opportunity to participate in the following activities….

  • Go on the court and shoot free throws

  • Learn from three different leadership speakers including Bucks Director of Broadcasting Jim Paschke, VP of Marketing for the Bucks Dustin Godsey, and leadership speaker Adam Rampolla.

  • Watch the Milwaukee Bucks Rim Rockers fly off trampolines and do some amazing stunts, even use our students as volunteers!

It is our goal to expand this program along with this group in the future. Our hope is that we can help our students learn how to be positive leaders and make a difference in our school. For a prize, be one of the first three people to talk to Mr. Wegner, in person, about one great thing that has happened in your class during your teaching career.


Pictures below showcase our day at

The Milwaukee Bucks Student Leadership Day presented by the Wisconsin Association of School Councils (WASC).

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D.R.E.A.M.S. Club

By: Melanie Hernandez: D.R.E.A.M.S.' advisor

Below is a picture collage from our second trip to Banting. Our goal is to read with kindergarten bilingual students once a month so that we can build relationships, encourage reading, and provide mentoring opportunities for our students.

D.R.E.A.M.S.
(Developing Rockin' Esteem and Motivation in Students)

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Waukesha RSVP Community Connection - Sharing Senior Citizen Sensitivity Training with Cindy Graff's students

The Waukesha RSVP group was one of HMS' Amazing Race stops in October. Cindy Graff took that opportunity to network and on Friday, December 11, her students were able to experience senior citizen sensitivity training. Powerful discussions and experience!
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