Author Archives: melissawest

Meeting Agenda Monday, September 12, 2011

  • Welcome back & introductions
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • PAC President nominations & vote
  • Committee descriptions (see back page) & pass sign-up sheet
  • Teacher requests/funding for classroom supplies
  • Recap Back-to-School Open House event
  • Retirement gift for Ms. Hannon
  • Fall Paper Drive dates
  • Fall Student Appreciation Day (reminder: FES is nut-free now)
  • Parent/Teacher conferences (PAC provides meals for staff)
  • Establish major goals & donations for the year   Ideas anyone?  Requests on table include Nature Center Boardwalk
  • Robin Braunschweig:  Nature Center Boardwalk presentation
  • Avon Fundraiser (kicks off in Oct. this year)
  • Market Day
  • October Staff meeting (former Staff Open House) PAC will serve ice cream to the staff and explain PAC & how to make requests
  • Assign Helping Hands list coordinator
  • Assign Flag Football Bake Sale coordinator
  • New Business

Free child care will be provided by Freedom High School National Honor Society students during the meeting.  Next meeting date: Tuesday, October 4, 6:30-8:00 p.m. in Room 22.

Check out or join Freedom Elementary PAC on Facebook to stay informed and involved all school year!

In brief:  Freedom Elementary PAC is our school’s PTA/PTO.  Its goal is to support our school, students and teachers.

Officers:  President plans & distributes meeting agendas & minutes, runs meetings, oversees PAC committees and events, communicates with principal, prepares 1st school newsletter article

Vice President takes notes at meetings, types up meeting minutes, prepares monthly newsletter articles, runs PAC meetings if President cannot attend

Treasurer writes out checks, balances checkbook & bank records, furnishes monthly report at PAC meetings, supplies cash boxes for events


PAC Committee Descriptions:

Greeting Committee (all year)—write thank you notes to workers at PAC events and to staff

Sock Hop (evening event in February)—hire DJ, schedule event, schedule chaperones, purchase & coordinate refreshments, organize any other activity for that night, publicize event

Family Fun Night (evening event in late winter/spring)—recommend what to do; make all arrangements for event, including chaperones, refreshments, publicity

5th Grade Celebration—organizes party for 5th graders in cafeteria the last day of school.  This involves planning for snacks and a video

Brain Bowl (PreK, Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd Grade fund raiser in Feb.  This is an in-school event where students collect pledges and answer grade level questions to “earn” pledge money)—formalize questions, prepare question & pledge sheet packets, schedule workers, collect pledges, run photocopies

Nature Center (all year)—organize special events, coordinate biannual clean up

Staff Appreciation (3-4 times/ year)—arrange for meals during teacher conferences, coordinate teacher appreciation week treats, honor staff at last day of school

Student Appreciation (2 times/ year)—coordinate purchase & distribution of snacks

Technology Committee (all year)—educate and advocate for better use of technology in our school

AVON Fundraiser (fall)—assist with processing orders, collecting money, delivering & organizing products for pick-up

Market Day (1 hour/month)—help unload & set out orders in school cafeteria

Flag Football Bake Sale—coordinate bake sale during flag football games on fall Saturday mornings at school

Back-To-School Kits (spring)—coordinate publicity, ordering & delivery of kits

Artist-in-Residence (fall/winter)—work with Mrs. Rudolph and other teachers to coordinate program by organizing schedules, providing hospitality & publicity

Help Wanted

August 23 is PreK/Kindergarten orientation–PAC needs a few parents to introduce the PAC to new families from 6-6:15.  Four classroom teachers still need a PAC representative to invite parents to the first PAC meeting and learn more about the organization.

August 28 is the Open House (former “Find Your Classroom) from 4-7.  PAC needs a few innovative people to create a presence at this event.

If you can help with either/both of these events, please contact Melissa Westemeier or Connie Wheeler .

Easy Back-To-School Shopping Brought to You by the PAC

PAC is glad to partner with School-Pak Inc.  to provide parents with one stop back-to-school shopping for the 2011-12 school year.  CLICK HERE to order now!  If you place your order by Tuesday, June 14 your supplies will be shipped directly to Freedom Elementary School for FREE!  Check it out–convenient and reasonably priced school supplies at your fingertips!

Later orders will be shipped to your home address and shipping will be charged.

***THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our first paper drive–we filled the first dumpster to overflowing and had to get a second dumpster for paper recycling!***

Meeting Minutes for May 2011

Treasurer’s Report:  We currently have $10,886.00 in our account.

 Nature Center:  The YMCA classes went well but had to be rescheduled a few times due to the wet weather.  A committee will work on the ‘Boardwalk’ project for the Nature Center area this summer.  The project will be called ‘Get on Board with the Boardwalk’ and introduced during the Open House in August.

 Staff Appreciation Week:  The teachers said the week was great with all the food brought in.  Thank you to all who donated items for our wonderful teachers.

 Market Day:  Our profit for April was $123.58.  May will be the last order for this school year.  Stock up for those summer grill outs and graduation parties. Market Day will resume in September.  We are discussing if we would like to change the pick up time to be earlier and will send out a questionnaire via email or letter to see what customers prefer.  If you have any testimonials to share, please contact Amy Lahay or Connie Wheeler.

Student Appreciation Day:  The students enjoyed popsicles after their walk in the warm weather.  Thank you to our wonderful students.  Next year we can order popsicles through Greg Weis to make it easier.

 Administrative Assistant Day:  On April 27 the office staff received a bouquet of flowers from PAC.  Thank you for all your hard work you do for our school.

Last Day of School Recognition:  PAC will recognize the 6 playground staff members and Nikki Zabel the librarian for all their time and passion they give to the students.  We all appreciate you!  PAC will also recognize the staff members retiring this school year:  1st grade teacher, Mrs. Elrick, 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Callaway, and the Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Meller.  We wish them Good Luck with a gift certificate from PAC.  Thank you for being teachers that everyone will remember always. PAC will thank the Freedom High School National Honor Society students for providing babysitting during our meetings with gift certificates.

Fifth Grade Celebration:  This will be held June 2.  The cake has been ordered and Andrea Schwaller and committee will plan accordingly for this event.  There will be no formal invitations but parents are welcome to come.  Please check in at the office.  A DVD of the slide show is available to purchase for $5.00.

Fall Meeting Dates and Events:  Mark your calendars for Monday, September 12; Tuesday, October 4; Wednesday, November 2 at 6:30 in Room 22.  We discussed a few of the fall events that PAC sponsors.  Flag Football concessions may change.  For the Open House in August we will have a display board showing what PAC did this past year and where the money was allocated.  We are looking into handing out magnets with PAC logo and information for parents and suckers for the kids.  PAC approved the Avon fundraiser for fall.

Committee Sign-up Sheet:  The packet was passed around at the meeting, but if you are interested in any of the events, please contact Melissa Westemeier.

 Back to School Kits:  Melanie Thiel is looking into getting these ordered for the next school year.

Teacher/Classroom Request:  All the receipts were handed in to Michelle Graf.  PAC voted and approved to give each teacher next school year a $100.00 voucher instead of a check.  When they purchase items for their classroom they will be reimbursed after turning in receipts.  This will make balancing the checkbook easier.

 Artist in Residence for 2012:  We are investigating an artist who works with Paper Mache.  This will take place again in March or April.  If there are any other suggestions, please contact Melissa Westemeier.

 Event for Gidget Menting:  PAC will donate $200 to the benefit for Mr. Menting’s spouse on May 21 at the Darboy Club from 4:00 pm-9:00 pm.

Paper Recycling Fundraiser:  During the week of June 6 – 9 there will be a dumpster donated by Van’s Waste brought to the elementary school for anyone that wants to bring their paper for recycling (paper, cardboard, newspapers, junk mail or any paper item).  The school will receive the money from US Paper Mill of Menasha.  Money received for the recycled paper will be allocated to the Boardwalk in the Nature Center.  What a great way to help the environment and the Nature Center.  There will be future dates set for September and January.  Please keep this in mind before you throw away those old magazines.  Information will be sent home with students this next week.

PAC Officers for 2011-2012:  PAC voted and approved to have 2 year terms for the officer positions.  At the end of their 2 year term they can either stay on or step down.  Melanie Thiel has volunteered to be the President and Wendy Cropsy volunteered to be the Treasurer, both for a 2 year term.  Connie Wheeler is staying on as Vice President.  PAC would like to give a HUGE Thank You to Melissa Westemeier and Michelle Graf for their outstanding work as officers of the PAC.

T-Shirts:  Anyone with a student going into 1st grade and doesn’t need their Kindergarten Field Trip t-shirt, please bring it to school for other students to use.

Facebook:  Look us up and join:  Freedom Elementary P.A.C. (Parents Activity Committee).

 PAC website:  Please go to and enter your email address in the subscribe field and you will receive anything that is posted on the website including the meeting agendas and notes.

Our first meeting for fall 2011 will be held Monday, September 12 in Room 22 (Art Room) 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.  Free Babysitting provided by the Freedom High School National Honor Society.  Please come join us!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Melissa Westemeier.

Connie Wheeler, PAC Vice President

Meeting Agenda for Thursday, May 5

6:30-8:00 Room 22, Post-meeting at Buzz’s Bowl.  Babysitting provided during the meeting.

*  Treasurer’s Report

* Nature Center News

* Staff Appreciation Report–thank you for pulling this together, Michelle Wagner!

* Market Day Report (Connie Wheeler & Amy LaHay)

*Student Appreciation Report

*Administrative Assistant Day

* Last day of school recognition–finalize plans

*Fifth grade celebration status report

* set fall meeting dates, tentative event dates

* Committee sign-up sheets for 2011-2012

*Back to School Kits (Melanie Thiel)

*Teacher/Classroom funding (continued discussion & vote)

* Artist in Residence for 2012

*Event for Gidget Menting

*New Business

Meeting Notes April 4, 2011

Treasurer’s Report:  We currently have $14049.00 in our account.

Nature Center: A committee will work on the ‘Boardwalk’ project for the Nature Center area this summer.  The project will be called ‘Get on Board with the Boardwalk.’  More details to come in the fall.

Market Day: Our March profit was $166.23.  April is Pie Bonus Days!  If we sell 100 pies, our school earns 30% of the pie sales.  The pies will be here before Easter.  If you’d like to share testimonials, please contact Amy Lahay or Connie Wheeler.

Artist in Residence: Sharon Kilroy was here for two weeks and the kids loved it.  The Post Crescent ran a great article about her on April 1.  Apple Magazine will print an article in an upcoming issue.  Sharon asked the students ‘What do you want Freedom to represent for the future students?’  The items on the murals are things you would find anywhere in Freedom.  The cafeteria looks so different with the 3 murals painted by the 4th and 5th grade students.  The halls in the school were decorated with the doll figures and the library had the sculptures on display.  We allocated $5,000 for this project and spent around $4,000.  We are looking into having another Artist in Residence to come next year.  If you have suggestions, contact Melissa Westemeier.

Family Fun Night: About 134 people attended the Improv Comedy Night.  Some of the kids and adults participated in many of the skits.  We spent $500 for this event and deposited approximately $400.  Thank you to Melanie Thiel for all your time in organizing this fun event.

Staff Appreciation Week: This is celebrated the first week of May.  The PAC will host Muffin Monday, Dippin’ Days for Thursday and desserts for Friday.  If you want to donate a food item for one of these days, contact Michelle Wagner.  Mrs. Czech will serve a chicken dinner for Wednesday and the Student Council will take care of Tuesday.

Student Appreciation Day: We will hand out popsicles on May 4 after the walk outside for “Shape up WI.”

Fifth Grade Celebration: The fifth grade class was asked if they’d like their parents to attend, 22 said yes and 79 said no.  Andrea Scwhaller will plan accordingly.

Secretary’s Day: This is celebrated on April 27.  Melissa will take care of the order.

Teacher/Classroom Request: Mrs. Tietz requested a new classroom carpet.  The carpet she has is about 12 years old and has many stains.  The approximate cost is $469.00 and Market Day money will be used.  Melissa will track down this week the teachers’ missing receipts.  A suggestion was made to give the staff members a voucher for up to $100 instead of a check for classroom items.  Staff would have to turn in their receipts to PAC to get money back.  We will vote on this at the May meeting.  If the teachers have additional requests beyond $100, they can fill out a form that PAC has designed and present it to the PAC.

PAC Officers for 2011-2012: The President and Treasurer positions are open for next school year.  If you are interested or know of someone who is, nominations and voting will take place at the May meeting.

Book Buddy Pictures: If you have any pictures of your children reading with someone special, including a pet or a stuffed animal, please send them in to be posted in the stairway in the elementary school.

T-Shirts: Special Olympics is sponsoring T-Shirts that say ‘Spread the Word to End the Word’ (the ‘word’ is ‘retarded’).  The message is that we are all different in our own way.  Our school was given t-shirts and wrist bands to be given away to help reinforce what the kids are learning about name-calling.

Back to School Kits: Melanie Thiel will look into getting these ordered for the next school year.

Facebook:  Look us up and join:  Freedom Elementary P.A.C. (Parents Activity Committee). If you are on Facebook, please “Like” us on Facebook!  PAC has 33 “friends,” so if all of those plus new folks will “Like” us, any updates will occur in their News Feeds.  PAC will have so much more exposure and ability to convey information to Facebook users once they “Like” us.

PAC website: Enter your email address in the subscribe field to receive anything posted on the website, including the meeting agendas and notes.

Our next meeting is Thursday, May 5 in Room 22 (Art Room) 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm with Post-Meeting Wrap-up at Buzz’s Bowl.  Free Babysitting Available during the meeting.  Please come join us!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Melissa Westemeier.

Connie Wheeler, PAC Vice President


Conscious Discipline–another chance to take the course!

Do you feel your children just don’t listen or hear you when you talk to them?

Do you give time-outs or send your child to their room for punishment and get no results?

Do you feel that your children make you yell?  Do you feel guilty when you yell and wish you handled discipline differently?

Do you say the word “don’t” (“Don’t touch the TV” “Don’t run in the house”) to your children and watch them turn around and disobey you anyway?

Conscious Discipline is a program teaching new skills.  It is for parents who know inside them there is a better way.  It is for parents who feel punishing children will not create change-just a need for more punishment.

Conscious Discipline empowers parents with the Seven Powers for Self Control.  These powers allow parents to draw from within themselves to become proactive instead of reactive in conflict moments.

Come join our group for Conscious Discipline from Jane Wisneski, MA of Healthy Connections in Appleton. Classes will start Wednesday, April 6 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Freedom Elementary School Library.  The class will take place for 5 weeks, April 6, 13, 20, 27 and May 4.  There will be FREE babysitting provided by the Freedom High School National Honor Society.  The cost for a 5 week course is $100.00 for one caregiver or $125.00 for a team of two caregivers.

We are finishing our first group this week and these parents are excited to start making changes.  We’ve heard many positive comments each week about how things are working for them.  My household is getting better and better each day as I use these skills and incorporate them into my new family lifestyle.

Let me ask you this…Can you put a price on making your family whole again and having a better relationship with your children or spouse?

The flyer sent home on March 17 included a registration form on the bottom.  You can still register by providing your name, phone number and whether you  need babysitting, and if so, the ages of the children to the Freedom Elementary School Office or email me at by April 5, 2011.

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Connie Wheeler

Read All About Us in the Post-Crescent!

Click here to read the article.

Meeting Agenda for Monday, April 4, 2011 6:30-8:00 p.m. Room 22

  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Nature Center News
  • Market Day update (Amy LaHay, Connie Wheeler)
  • Family Fun Night report (Melanie Thiel)
  • Artist in Residence Report (Amy LaHay, Michelle Gloudemans)
  • Spring Student Appreciation Day (Shannon Haase, Carol Hennes)
  • Staff Appreciation Week—May 3-7 (Dawn VanWychen, Michelle Wagner,)  pass around sign-up sheets to help
  • Secretary/Administrative Assistant Day April 27
  • Teacher/Classroom Requests
  • Last day of school recognition?  Retirees?
  • 5th Grade Celebration (Brenda Vosters, Patsy Dennis, Lori Garrett, Andrea Schwaller)
  • 2011-2012 PAC Officers
  • New Business

Stay updated on the latest PAC news at or by joining us on Facebook.

Our final meeting of the school year will be Thursday, May 5th, 6:30-8:00 with Post-Meeting Wrap-up at Buzz’s Bowl.  Don’t miss it!

Babysitting provided by Freedom High School National Honor Society during the meeting.  Questions? Comments? Please contact Melissa Westemeier.

Family FUN Night!

Don’t forget to pre-order your tickets for a night of Improv Comedy brought to Freedom Elementary School by Comedy City!

Friday, March 25 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Comedy City will involve the audience for a night of laughter and fun.

Advance tickets are $10 per family, $15 at the door–cheaper and more interactive than a night at the movies.  Advance tickets are available through the school office or in the lobby after school through next Wednesday.