Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch Visits Eisenhower

Grace Blessington, Editor

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Attendees of Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch’s speech on Thursday, March 9th were satisfied with the Wisconsin politician’s enthusiastic speech regarding employment and education. In the spirit of making connections in education and in the workplace, the first hour of the visit was dedicated to simply networking and mingling amongst the students, staff, board members, and government officials. Soon after, the room came to an excited and anticipating silence as the Governor entered.

“New Berlin, Wis. – Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch visited the School District of New Berlin on Thursday to learn about the district’s college and career readiness initiative and how it supports the state’s interest in talent development, attraction, and retention.”

After an engaging presentation by Superintendent Joe Garza and School Board Member Paul Farrow, who highlighted the power of “fostering a collaborative work environment and developing relationships in the community”, a panel discussion began between the students of the district who represented the different immersive programs that are offered. For instance, Eisenhower student Emily Denbraven, a prospective nursing student, had the opportunity of acquiring skills through WCTC courses taught at Linden Grove. Devin Pertle, interested in the military, spoke of his quick path to success in the district’s college level credit courses. Nick Brown, a student at New Berlin West, related to the audience of adults when he explained that “there isn’t always enough time in the day for extra education. When the district integrates this into our school day, it helps us prepare better for a college lifestyle without completely overwhelming us.”

Once the panel had come to a close, the audience eagerly awaited Lt. Governor Kleefisch’s address. Nearly speechless due to how “impressed” she was by the district, Kleefisch explained that she “wants to make sure that people go into college careers with their eyes wide open.” According to Kleefisch, the district is complexly prepared and in fact going above and beyond to achieve that goal, thanks to the extensive programs and opportunities for students. 

As a mother, Kleefisch made it clear that she is “all in on saving money.” Her son is a freshman in high school, and even as an affluent politician, she worries about affording college for her children. If the programs offered in our district, such as Youth Options and Co-Op, were offered state-wide, college may not be such a huge financial blunder. Lexi Haines, an Eisenhower student, took free classes at Alverno College through Youth Options at Eisenhower, and was recently awarded a $50,000 scholarship to Alverno.

Simply yet eloquently put, Kleefisch explained that the district “understands that we need to be collaborators with industry and higher educations…You should be very very proud. Congratulations.”

After an extensive tour of Eisenhower’s facilities accompanied by students and staff, the Lt. Governor headed off to her next event, leaving us with a parting thought: “Here at New Berlin you guys get it. Let’s spread this knowledge across Wisconsin!” 

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