Alumni Invited to Homecoming Activities

   

There's nothing quite like homecoming in Chippewa Falls. The week—and all the activities, events and celebrations that take place—has become a true point of pride in our community.

If you attended Chi-Hi, you may recall taking part in homecoming festivities yourself. Like always, the Student Council is planning some fun, creative events for the entirety of Spirit Week. This year, the festivities run September 24-29.

Throughout the week, students will take part in a wide range of activities to show their school spirit. While the Student Council is at work picking a theme and planning activities, a few events will look very familiar to our alumni and community members.

As always, Friday is Spirit Day. The afternoon will feature a pep rally to cheer on the Mighty Cardinals football team before the big game.  

Then, on Friday at 7 p.m., the Chi-Hi Mighty Cardinals football team will take on the River Falls Wildcats at Dorais Field. Immediately following the game, there will be the annual bonfire and pig roast that has become such an important part of homecoming over the years. That event starts at 9 p.m.

The homecoming dance is Saturday night, with students taking part in one of the most memorable events of their high school years.

Homecoming is such a terrific event for the entire Chippewa Falls community, including our students, families, community members and, perhaps most of all, our wonderful alumni. We hope you can come out to the football game and enjoy the pig roast and bonfire afterward.

Go Mighty Cardinals!


How Can You Continue to Support Chippewa Falls Schools?

Although you may be a few or many years removed from your days at Chippewa Falls High School, there’s a part of you that will always be a Mighty Cardinal. Whether you were a member of the marching band, part of the art club and/or on the football team, your time in high school shaped who you are today. And, there’s a good chance it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the alumni who came before you.

Today, you’re in a position to help current students have the same experiences you did in your formative years. There are numerous ways you can support your alma mater and those who are now working their way toward the next stage in their lives.

Volunteer your time

The very best thing you can give to your old high school is your time. There are always jobs to be done that rely heavily on the generosity of volunteers—from staffing school events to organizing local functions. Take a look at some of the best ways you can put your time to use:

  • Mentor: Many students are looking for someone to help them beyond the classroom. They want to learn applicable skills and moral reasoning, and develop a bond with someone they can admire. As an alumnus, you could be this person. All it takes is a little one-on-one time with a student.
  • Volunteer: We're always looking for dedicated volunteers. Whether it’s manning the concessions stand at a football game or working as a chaperone for the band field trip, your contributions will be highly appreciated.
  • Coach: Youth sports teams often have a need for volunteer coaches, especially at the elementary or middle school level. Being a coach means being a leader and lending your time means keeping players engaged and out of trouble after school.

Serve as a school ambassador

One of the simplest things you can do to give back to your alma mater is to support it as part of your everyday life. Share school news on your social media accounts, wear school apparel on the weekends or even attend a home game for a school sport. Your support will go a long way in helping Chi-Hi continue to serve an important role in our community.

Donate to support programs and services

Of course, monetary donations are always welcome. School budgets often come up short of what’s needed to give students the best educational experiences possible. Whether it’s donating to the theater program, chipping in a few bucks at a club fundraiser or making a private donation to the CFAUSD Foundation, every dollar generously donated by alumni improves the experience of our current students.

No matter how you choose to support Chippewa Falls schools, your efforts will have a meaningful impact on the lives of our students, staff and administration. We hope you consider the many ways you can give back.


Summertime Brings Great News for Chippewa Falls Schools

It may be the middle of summer, but we still have some big news to share in the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District! As we edge closer to the 2018-19 school year, we would like to share some recent news and highlights with you.

Principal Becky Davis Retires from Chi-Hi

After 20 years in the district, Chippewa Falls High School Principal Becky Davis announced her retirement at the end of the school year.

Ms. Davis, who became principal of Chi-Hi in 2012, was the assistant principal for the 14 years before that. Earlier in her career, she taught in the Eau Claire Area School District and was an assistant principal in Menomonie.

A Chippewa Falls native herself, Ms. Davis graduated from Chi-Hi in 1973 and went on to receive a bachelor's degree from UW-Eau Claire. She then got a master's degree in educational leadership from Winona State University.

We would like to thank Ms. Davis for her hard work and dedication to the students and families of Chippewa Falls over the years. We wish you a happy retirement!

 

Chippewa Falls Alum Qualifies for Boston Marathon—Pushing His 11-Year-Old Son

Chi-Hi alumnus Jordan Bergeman has qualified for the Boston Marathon after finishing 12th in the recent Eau Claire Marathon in May. As always, he will compete while pushing his 11-year-old son, Jeffrey, in a custom racing stroller.

The father-son duo has been hard at work training over the past two years. Jeffrey, who suffered irreversible brain damage after suffering cardiac arrest as a toddler, has been with his dad throughout. Jordan says his son inspires him to keep pushing himself.

While qualifying for the Boston Marathon does not necessarily mean Jordan and Jeffrey will actually be admitted to the race, they remain hopeful.

“This is about Jeffrey," Jordan told the Leader-Telegram in a recent article. “Dad is just along for the ride.”

 

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Girls' Softball Makes a Great Showing Again This Year

The Chippewa Falls girls' softball team made it to the state tournament again this year, falling just short in a quarterfinal game against Burlington. This year marked the 12th trip to state for the Mighty Cardinals, who won a state championship in 2012. The team was led by first-year coach Kate Fjelstad.

Congratulations to the Mighty Cardinals for another great season!

 

Chi-Hi Catcher Named Big River Conference Player of the Year

Chippewa Falls Catcher Dave Weiland was named the Big River Conference Player of the Year for the 2018 spring baseball season. Also earning All-Conference honors were Outfielders Tristan Hable and Lucas Steinmetz and Pitcher Nelson Crumbaker. We're proud of our Mighty Cardinals!


Why You Should Respond "Yes" to Your HS Reunion Invite

During the summer months, some class reunion committees are planning events to take place in the next few weeks or months. This can be an exciting time, while also creating a little hesitation for many.  

High school can be a great time in our lives, but also a challenging one. Thus, it's common for some people to want to leave it all in the past.

In reality, class reunions are great opportunities to reconnect with old friends, classmates and even teachers. You can catch up on what everyone has been doing over the past few years or decades. All told, there are far more reasons to attend your class reunion than to skip it.

Don't let anxiety keep you away

One of the most common reasons alumni cite for not attending their class reunions is anxiety. They may get wrapped up in the details of what they think a reunion is all about — instead of what it actually is. These are social events. You are there to see people with whom you haven’t been able to keep in touch. It's not about comparing salaries, cars, house sizes or job titles.

You can quell your anxiety by remembering the good things about a class reunion. You’ll get to see old friends, share new laughs, expand your personal and professional networks and have a good time while you’re there.

A great time to reconnect

A class reunion is also an open door to future possibilities. You might end up sharing coffee a week later with a friend you haven't seen in years. Or, you could find yourself with a job prospect after networking with someone in the same field as yours. A reunion allows for ongoing interactions — even if it’s just friending someone on Facebook or adding a classmate to your LinkedIn network.

One of the very best things about attending your reunion is listening to all the great stories. There will be people there you knew years ago and who have had their own life experiences. They may be completely different or exactly the same as you remembered.

For once, when someone says, “Hey, what’s new?” you’ll have endless stories to share with them! And, you’re bound to hear some pretty neat things in return.

If you’ve been curious about what happened to that classmate from social studies or wonder what careers other graduates have gone into, we encourage you to attend your next class reunion. When that invitation comes in the mail or hits your inbox, take a moment to reflect on all of the positive reasons to RSVP “yes.”


Why Alumni Should Get Involved with Our Schools

 

For many of us, the world doesn't change all that much when we're in school. After graduation, however, we tend to go our separate ways, eventually losing track of many of our old friends and classmates. Some of us go to college or trade school, while others enter the armed forces or the workforce. It’s the start of adult life.

Just because high school is the end of your time as a K-12 student doesn’t mean it's something you have to leave behind forever. More than any yearbook, class ring or Facebook group, staying in touch and involved with your alma mater is a great way to keep close ties and make a difference for your former school's current students.

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Approved Referendum Addresses Key Facilities Needs in Chippewa Falls Schools

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Watch thank you message from Supt. Heidi Eliopoulos


On Tuesday, April 3, voters in the Chippewa Falls community 
approved a referendum that will enable the district to fund much-needed facilities upgrades and address deferred maintenance.

The vote came after a more than year-long process to engage the community in a conversation about the district's facilities needs, including a survey in late 2017. In that survey, respondents said that they would likely support a future referendum and that they placed updates to Stillson Elementary School as the top priority.

The Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District will use the funds generated through the referendum to move forward on its Master Facilities Plan, developed in 2014. The plan calls for the following:

  • Analyzing building enrollment capacity in light of a demographic study to be conducted by the district
  • Projecting major capital improvement needs in each building
  • Assessing aggregate as well as disaggregated maintenance costs for the District
  • Determining the useful life of each district building
  • Developing a comprehensive 25 year facility repair and/or replacement timeline

Now, the Board of Education will determine next steps, working with the district's architect, ATS&R. Among the priorities will be plans for a new Stillson Elementary and the purchase of land in Lafayette for a potential new school site. There will also be an addition, repairs and improvements at the middle school, along with a STEAM lab addition, repairs and betterment at the high school.

We would like to thank everyone—including our community members, alumni, staff and families—for your input, guidance and support as we've worked together to find solutions to the facilities needs of our Chippewa Falls schools. It has served as yet another example of what makes our community such a special place.


Enjoy These Spring Events

Are you an alumni, supporter or community member of the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District? If so, you're invited to attend some of the great events we have scheduled for this spring!

On the docket is a referendum-related listening session, musical performances and, of course, high school graduation. Click read more below to see some of the fun things happening.

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5 Big Ways Students Benefit from Alumni Mentors

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Mentors provide an incredible amount of value to young people. They provide the knowledge, advice and wisdom they need as they make important decisions about their future and stay on the right track toward graduation. They can help students with their homework, listen to their concerns and help them navigate the many challenges of growing up.

There are also benefits to the mentor. More than the good feeling you get from teaching and encouraging a student, you can gain access to a wealth of understanding and experience. Mentees often go on to do big things, thanks in part to the person who took time to be their mentor. They may even go on to become a mentor themselves—resulting in a legacy of giving back.

Below are five ways that students benefit from alumni mentors:

  1. Students gain practical, applicable advice that might not be taught in the classroom, which can be applied throughout their personal and future professional lives. They will enter college or the work force a leg up on pure classroom learners.
  2. It creates a bond that may benefit everything from professional networking to personal growth—especially at a pivotal time in a student’s life. A mentor is a guide for students facing uncertainty in their future and someone on whom they can rely.
  3. Mentees get one-on-one attention that helps them to better understand and retain information, connecting that knowledge to classroom lessons. They’ll benefit from more focused learning and a stronger grasp on content.
  4. Students get a better understanding of real-world expectations and applications, direct from someone who has experienced them firsthand. This necessary dose of reality will shape their understanding of the world outside the classroom.
  5. Mentorship costs nothing. It affords students access to a crucial resource for development that’s not hidden behind a financial barrier. For students unable to afford tutoring or those disadvantaged by a lack of available programs, mentoring is an incredibly valuable experience.

How to become a mentor

Are you interested in serving as a mentor to a current Chippewa Falls student? We invite you to sign up as a volunteer to start the process. We're proud of the fact that so many of our alumni continue to serve our schools and students in such meaningful ways. Please also visit our mentors website for much more information.


Alumni Provide Feedback in Survey

Back in September, the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District, in partnership with Alumni Nations, asked alumni and supporters to provide their input through a community interest survey. The feedback we received through the survey was incredibly helpful — and it also reflected what makes our community such a special place.

One question, for example, asked respondents to provide three words that came to mind when thinking about our school district. Among the most prevalent were the words "pride," "community," "family," "education" and "excellence." "Strong," "opportunity," "safe" and "success" were other popular responses.

When asked about what gives them the most pride to be an alumnus of Chi-Hi, survey participants said that their time at the school prepared them for success in college and in their careers. They also said they had positive memories of their time in our schools and that, in general, students tend to succeed in Chippewa Falls.

"My experience in the CFASD really had an impact on the person I have become at 'almost' 50 years old," said one respondent. "My 7th grade best friends are still my best friends today. I have fond memories of growing up through [CFAUSD], so I have a sense of pride to be back home and happy to see my kids do the same."

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How to Get Involved

December is often one of the most active months of the year when it comes to making charitable contributions. This happens for a number of reasons, including the spirit of giving  and the desire to make difference during the holiday season. Of course, donations to your favorite nonprofit organization or cause can also help reduce your tax obligations when filing your 2017 taxes.

What many people don't realize is that, in addition to 501(c)3 organizations, they can also make tax-deductible donations to schools, school districts and educational foundations. If you're interested in giving to Chippewa Falls schools, for example, you can donate directly to the CFAUSD Foundation.

Contributions to support the foundation's mission can come in a variety of forms, including cash, securities or other items of value. Also common are memorials, wills and bequests. The foundation uses these funds to provide scholarships and various other educational opportunities to Chippewa Falls students.

Giving comes in many forms

Making a monetary donation is just one of many ways you can support Chippewa Falls students and schools. Our schools are always in need of volunteers, and many alumni continue to serve as important mentors to current students who are working their way to graduation and the opportunities that await them after.

As you know, Chippewa Falls is a truly special place. The success of our schools rests primarily on the exceptional backing we're fortunate to receive from our community. We thank you for your support as we provide the educational opportunities our students need to thrive in an ever-changing economy and world.

If you have any questions about how you can make a contribution this holiday season, we invite you to get in touch.