Toolin' It! gives teens hands-on experience in manufacturing technology

by admin13. February 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College’s Toolin’ It!, a five-day manufacturing experience for young women and men ages 13-16, is being offered in two forms this June.


Toolin’ It! provides hands-on experience in using technology to design and produce a product from start to finish. From 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day, participants will explore 3D design, computer numerical control (CNC) programming, welding, machining and more, while emphasizing problem solving and team building. On the last day, visits to area manufacturers will provide an up-close and personal look at products being made.


The program is being held in conjunction with YMCA Camp Matawa’s week-long residential experience. For those who choose both the Toolin’ It! and Camp Matawa experience, which runs June 22-27, each morning camp attendees will travel to Moraine Park’s Applied Manufacturing Technology Center in West Bend. Later, they return to Camp Matawa for activities that include canoeing, archery, hiking, climbing, campfires and storytelling. The fee for this combined camping experience is $650; scholarships and financial assistance are available. YMCA Camp Matawa boasts an outdoor climbing wall, swimming pool and 50-foot waterslide, as well as cabins with bathrooms, showers and a common area. The camp is located 45 minutes north of Milwaukee, adjacent to Kettle Moraine State Forest.


For those interested in participating in the daily Toolin’ It! component only, June 23-27, the fee is $125, which includes all materials and daily lunch. To register or for more information, contact Marcia Arndt, dean of manufacturing technology, at 262-335-5725 or


For more information about the combined Toolin’ It!/Camp Matawa experience, contact Marcia Arndt. To register, visit or contact Camp Matawa at 262-626-2149.


Three seats open for Moraine Park District Board; applications due Feb. 29

by admin12. February 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College is accepting applications through Feb. 29, 2008, for three positions on the Moraine Park District Board. Openings exist for the following positions: Additional Member (two openings) and Elected Official Member; each is a three-year term of office that expires June 30, 2011.


One of the Additional Member positions must be appointed from those counties of the District located west of the west shore of Lake Winnebago and the area west of the east boundary of the towns of Fond du Lac and Waupun in Fond du Lac County and west of the east boundary of the towns of Chester, Burnett, Oak Grove and Lowell in Dodge County. 


The other Additional Member position must be appointed from those counties of the District located east of the west shore of Lake Winnebago and the area east of the east boundary of the towns of Fond du Lac and Waupun in Fond du Lac County and east of the east boundary of the towns of Chester, Burnett, Oak Grove and Lowell in Dodge County. 


The Elected Official Member position may be appointed from anywhere within the District. 


Applicants must submit a completed application, including at least two written references supporting their nomination to the District Board, and must attend the public hearing of the District Board Appointment Committee tentatively scheduled for 4 p.m. on Monday, March 31, at Moraine Park. A legal notice announcing the exact date, time, and location of this meeting will be published sometime during the week of March 3 or 10. 


Application materials may be obtained from the County Board Chairperson of any of the following counties: Calumet, Columbia, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Sheboygan, Washington, Waushara and Winnebago, or by contacting Valerie Krueger, Moraine Park Technical College, 235 N. National Ave., P. O. Box 1940, Fond du Lac, WI 54936-1940; telephone 920-929-2127. Completed applications will be accepted through 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 29. All completed applications should be addressed to Ms. Shirley Kitchen, Secretary, Moraine Park Technical College District Board, at the same address.   


Moraine Park staff honored by Career and Technical Education Association

by admin11. February 2008 19:00

The Moraine Park Association for Career and Technical Education (MPACTE) honored eight people for their dedication and professional excellence at Moraine Park Technical College during the annual awards banquet held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Fond du Lac on Feb. 4.

 The winners of the 2008 MPACTE Excellence Award are shown with Moraine Park president Gayle Hytrek and MPACTE president Josh Bullock.

Five Moraine Park staff were the recipients of the 2008 MPACTE Professional Excellence Award. Pat Olson, dean of business, received the Administrator Award. Julie Lotto, student learning specialist, was presented with the Specialty Services Award while Brenda Nickel, instructional aide – office technologies, received the Associate Member Award. The Full-Time Teacher Award went to Mary Schneider, student success and high school alternative instructor, and the New Instructor Award went to Julie Dilling, accounting instructor.


Lotto also received the Rodney Pasch Leadership Award. This award, open to all Moraine Park employees, recognizes “an individual who personifies the principles of character, commitment and ethics in the daily performance of their work.” 


Apache Stainless Equipment Corp. and its division, Mepaco, were awarded the C.L. Greiber Award of Merit in the Business category. Also receiving this award in the Individual category was Jon August of Grande Cheese. The C.L. Greiber Award acknowledges companies and individuals outside of the Wisconsin Technical College System that help promote and improve career and technical education in Wisconsin.


Kathleen VanDemark received the George P. Hambrecht Award, given to individuals who have been employed in career and technical education for more than 25 years and who are members of the Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education (WACTE).


Moraine Park and MPACTE are observing national Career and Technical Education Month in February. This year’s theme is Superstars of Education: Lighting the Way to Your Future. “It is wonderful to have a venue such as National Career and Technical Education month for recognizing and promoting the important role that technical college education plays in our communities,” said Josh Bullock, president of MPACTE and Moraine Park institutional research and quality improvement partner.


A variety of events have been planned throughout the month including Discover Moraine Park, a free event on Feb. 12, 13 and 14 at the West Bend, Fond du Lac and Beaver Dam campuses, respectively. MPACTE held an awards banquet Feb. 4 to recognize individuals and business for their dedication and excellence. Also planned were a MPACTE membership drive and chili/soup cook-off for Moraine Park staff, and hosting the Feb. 19 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Business Connection at the Fond du Lac campus.


Moraine Park recognizes its Advisory Committees, whose members volunteer their time and expertise to the College. Their efforts help support the growth of the College’s educational programs, ensuring they meet the employment needs of business and industry in the Moraine Park community and Wisconsin.


MPACTE comprises 96 members, bringing together educational support professionals, faculty and administration. It is the local chapter of WACTE, which unites individuals involved in career and technical education, provides professional development, encourages leadership in the professional arena and promotes innovative change to enhance lifelong learning. 


According to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), career and technical education prepares both youth and adults for a wide range of careers, from registered nurse to computer technician, which require various levels of education from high school to postsecondary certificates to two- and four-year college degrees. A recently released report from the Washington D.C. based Workforce Alliance, estimated that jobs requiring vocational and technical education will account for roughly 45 percent of all job openings between 2004 and 2014.


For more information about Moraine Park, visit or call 1-800-472-4554.


Moraine Park carpentry apprentices sweep Skill Competition

by admin3. February 2008 19:00

Three Moraine Park Technical College carpentry apprentices swept the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Skill Competition’s carpentry contest, taking first through third place in the state event that was held at Park Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Oshkosh on Jan. 18.

 ABC Skill Competition carpentry winner Nate Potratz is shown with Moraine Park instructor Jerry Schwengels and carpentry apprentice Nick Gassner, who came in second.

Nathan Potratz of Fond du Lac, a fourth-year apprentice employed at J.J. Geffers Construction, Inc. in Oshkosh, placed first in the carpentry competition and will head to the ABC National Craft Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 5-9, where he will represent ABC of Wisconsin in the national carpentry event. At the nationals, young men and women compete in one of 14 competitions, representing 13 trades.


Potratz came in third place in the state competition in 2007. “Competing in last year’s competition definitely helped me this year,” he said. “I’m looking forward to going to the national competition to see how other carpenters throughout the country perform.”


“Nate is a very strong competitor, an excellent test writer and a very skilled craftsman,” said Jerry Schwengels, Moraine Park carpentry instructor. “We’ve continued our string of MPTC carpenters going to nationals; this year is the ninth year in a row.”

 Moraine Park carpentry instructor Jerry Schwengels and apprentice Scott Poklasny, who took third place at the ABC Skill Competition.

Taking second place was Nick Gassner of Campbellsport, also a fourth-year carpentry apprentice, who is employed by Northcentral Construction Corp. in Fond du Lac. Third place went to Scott Poklasny of Hartford, a third-year apprentice who works for Ollman Construction Corp. in Jackson.


Potratz, Gassner and Poklasny are in the ABC Carpentry Apprenticeship program at Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus.


Thirty-five apprentices from throughout the state participated in the ABC Skill Competition to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and sheet metal, undergoing a two-hour written exam and a four-hour practical, hands-on project. Moraine Park plumbing apprentice Paul Laudolff of Appleton placed third in the plumbing competition. He is employed by J.D. Ogden Plumbing & Heating, Inc. of Neenah.


Other Moraine Park apprentices who competed at state this year were Michael Frier of Waldo, Richard Gehrke of Omro and Allen Snyder of Fond du Lac, carpentry; and Anthony Kaufmann of Cleveland and Ryan Will of Fond du Lac, electrical.


For more information about Moraine Park’s apprenticeship programs, visit


Spanish 2 offered at Moraine Park

by admin31. January 2008 19:00

If you’ve had basic Spanish instruction and would like to learn more, Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac will offer a Spanish 2 class starting Tuesday, Feb. 26. 


The class will explore Spanish communication skills through listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students will build on previously learned Spanish vocabulary and grammar usage. The class emphasizes novice to mid-novice level of conversation, listening exercises, grammar usage, vocabulary development, and reading for acquisition of cultural information. Hands-on activities are presented in Spanish so that students become confident in their use of the language. 


Spanish 2 (course number 802-465-001) runs Tuesday evenings for seven weeks starting Feb. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. in Room O-203. The prerequisite is Spanish 1. The course is $54.63 and the book is $122.95 plus tax. 


To register, call Moraine Park at 1-800-472-4554.


Moraine Park lands nearly $1 million federal grant; dollars to bring Upward Bound program to Fond du Lac, Ripon and Beaver Dam high schools

by admin29. January 2008 19:00

Students entering the ninth or tenth grades at Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and Ripon area high schools and who are from a low-income family where no parent has earned a four-year college degree can apply for academic support through a four-year, nearly $1 million Upward Bound grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to Moraine Park Technical College.


The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from postsecondary educational institutions.

 Moraine Park president Gayle Hytrek and school superintendents Greg Maass of Fond du Lac and Richard Zimman of Ripon hold an oversized check representing the Upward Bound grant award.

“Every parent dreams of a successful future for their children,” said U.S. Senator Herb Kohl. “This federal Upward Bound grant will provide much-needed academic support for students at area high schools partnering with Moraine Park Technical College to become first-generation college graduates with the preparation necessary for a better future in the 21st century.”


The grant spans March 31, 2008, to March 31, 2012, and will serve 60 students.


“Moraine Park is very excited to be the only technical college in Wisconsin to receive funding for Upward Bound,” said Dr. Gayle Hytrek, Moraine Park president. “This project will assist Moraine Park in our efforts to increase the number of students entering college. We are also pleased that we will be collaborating with the Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and Ripon school districts in this effort.”


According to a 2001 U.S. Department of Education Profile Report, from 1999 to 2001 74 percent of Upward Bound participants enrolled in college after graduating from high school. Ninety percent of those students attended full-time.


“We are excited to be expanding our longstanding partnership with Moraine Park through collaboration on the Upward Bound program,” said Dr. Richard Zimman, superintendent of the Ripon Area School District. “Every child in our community, regardless of their parents’ background or income level, deserves an opportunity to be prepared to enter college and graduate with the skills for success in our society. This grant will help make the dreams of many children and parents come true. Through the Upward Bound program Moraine Park is demonstrating its continued commitment to work with local communities for the economic and personal development necessary for global competition in the 21st century.”


Dr. Don Childs, superintendent of the Beaver Dam Unified School District, also expressed his school community’s excitement over the grant. “Education is one of the strongest correlates of lifetime earning potential,” he said. “The grant will make the dream of a middle-class lifestyle a reality for participating students raised in poverty. That is good both for the students and the larger society – a true ‘win-win’ accomplishment. We look forward to partnering with Moraine Park in this initiative.”


Stan Kocos, chief professional officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Fond du Lac and the Fond du Lac School District CLC program administrator, said that many of the club members are from low-income families, high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. “Boys & Girls Clubs have a common bond with Upward Bound programs, providing services that enhance pre-college performance that ultimately leads to higher education pursuits,” said Kocos. “The Upward Bound grant awarded to Moraine Park will help us provide fundamental support to Boys & Girls Club members in their preparation for postsecondary education.”


Upward Bound projects include academic instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature and foreign languages. The program has two major components, according to Jackie Jarvis, Moraine Park grants associate. “There is an academic-year program with tutoring, advising, college and career preparation, and cultural- enrichment activities,” she said. “It also incorporates a six-week summer program with classes, tutoring and advising to prepare students for the following school year as well as for college.”


Laurice Freeman is a wonderful example of Upward Bound changing lives right in our communities. She went through the Upward Bound program, and her education led her to her current role of supervisor of community education services for the Fond du Lac School District.


“Upward Bound provides students with the essential tools they need in order to be successful in postsecondary education,” said Freeman. “I was the first in my family to go to college and I had no idea about the information I was missing because college wasn't talked about at home. Upward Bound not only made it possible for me to get to college, but I also developed the skills I needed in order to be an effective leader on campus and in the community. I continue to be a leader today.”


“There's an old saying that when opportunity knocks, one should take advantage of it,” said Dr. Greg Maass, superintendent of the Fond du Lac School District. “The Upward Bound program is a wonderful opportunity for our young adults in the community. It will open doors for them to continue their education beyond high school and become contributing citizens in our communities.”


This is the second U.S. Dept. of Education grant Moraine Park has received in the past 18 months. In October 2006, Moraine Park received a $1.9 million Title III grant, the largest in Moraine Park Technical College history. The grant is being used to assist the College in increasing retention rates and helping ensure students successfully achieve their educational goals.


For more information about Upward Bound at Moraine Park, call Beth Raffaelli, Moraine Park vice president of enrollment management, at 920-924-6431.


Free concerts offered at Moraine Park in February

by admin27. January 2008 19:00

Get out and enjoy some free live music at Moraine Park Technical College’s three campuses. Julie Moffitt,
Sean McConnell and Emilia Dahlin will perform their unique blends in February.


Beaver Dam campus: Acoustic singer/songwriter Julie Moffitt returns to Moraine Park to perform her blend of jazz, blues, soul, folk and pop in the commons on Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Moffitt has two albums, four Summerfest appearances, a national tour and radio play on hundreds of stations to her credit. The public
may purchase lunch for $6 per meal. For more information, contact Lisa Manuell, Moraine Park Student Life, at


Fond du Lac campus: Acoustic guitarist Sean McConnell, who appeared at the West Bend campus in January, will play in the Cyber Center cafeteria from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during a Valentine Lunch on Thursday, Feb. 14. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at a cost of $5 for the general public. For more information, contact Adam Ninmann, Moraine Park Student Life, at 920-924-3101.   


West Bend campus: Another artist returning to Moraine Park, singer/songwriter Emilia Dahlin will perform on Tuesday, Feb. 26, during a Coffeehouse Concert from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch will be available at cost to the general public. For more information, contact Bradley Mitchell, Moraine Park Student Life, at 262-335-5743 or


To learn more about Moraine Park, and to view our new program videos, visit


Financial Aid Night planned at Moraine Park Feb. 20

by admin27. January 2008 19:00

Individuals who would like to learn more about the college financial aid process should plan to attend Moraine Park Technical College’s Financial Aid Night on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.


The event takes place in the Cyber Center cafeteria on the Fond du Lac campus. Students, parents and other interested parties will be able to ask financial aid questions, get details about the process and learn more about financial assistance resources. 


To register, call 920-924-6334 or stop by the Financial Aid office at Moraine Park’s Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend campuses or e-mail Registration is requested by Wednesday, Feb. 13.


For directions to the Fond du Lac campus at 235 N. National Ave., go to and click on About Moraine Park then Campus Information.


John Mason resigns from Moraine Park board; honored for 7 years of service

by admin24. January 2008 19:00

John C. Mason has said good-bye to his fellow board members and resigned his seat on the Moraine Park Technical College District Board after serving since July 2000. The board recognized his service with a Resolution of Appreciation and a plaque at its Jan. 16 meeting.

 The Moraine Park president and the board chairperson present a Resolution of Appreciation plaque to outgoing board member John Mason.

Mason served terms as board chairperson and vice chairperson during his seven-year tenure. He is currently the administrator of the Herman School District in Dodge County. 


Mason thanked the members of the board, Dr. Hytrek and Moraine Park staff for making his board experience a great one. “I have enjoyed my time on the board and appreciate having had the opportunity to be an integral part of such a strong educational institution,” he said. “I wish the College continued success as you move forward with meeting the needs and expectations of the Moraine Park District.”


“Moraine Park will miss John’s dedication to the College and his strong leadership,” said Dr. Gayle Hytrek, Moraine Park president. “John was chairperson of the board when I assumed the presidency of Moraine Park, and his leadership allowed the College to make great gains in meeting the skilled workforce needs of our district. I will greatly miss having John on our board.”


A Lomira resident, Mason was appointed as the school district administrator member to the Moraine Park District Board on July 10, 2000, while serving as the former superintendent of the Lomira School District. When joining the board, Mason expressed a desire to help members continue to build on and improve the good working relationship the College had developed with the area high schools, and to become more familiar with Moraine Park’s role in meeting the needs of area high school graduates and adults who wish to further their education.


During his tenure, he was an advocate for increased partnerships with the district high schools and watched Tech Prep agreements grow from 154 transcripted credit agreements to 214 agreements. In addition, Moraine Park expanded health care programming and increased offerings through a health care addition to the Fond du Lac campus. Learning environments were enhanced with new state-of-the-art facilities for manufacturing in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend’s Applied Manufacturing Technology Center. The Barber/Cosmetologist and Culinary Arts programs also benefited from renovations during Mason’s tenure.


Mason holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. Mary’s University and Winona State University. He has been a teacher, a principal and superintendent of the Lomira School District. In addition, Mason has been involved in many professional, civic and educational organizations.


Spanish for Automobile Sales & Service offered

by admin22. January 2008 19:00

If you work in automobile sales and/or service and don’t know Spanish but your job requires you to interact with Spanish-speaking customers, sign up for Spanish for Automobile Sales & Service at Moraine Park Technical College. 


You will learn to greet customers and clients; express and receive dollar amounts; acquire basic sales and financial information from a customer; assist customers with the purchase of an automobile, parts and services; help the customer with basic information regarding automobile insurance, tax, title and licensing; provide payment information; and conduct routine tasks.


A manual with two CDs will be part of the instructional material. Modeling, role-playing, simulations and situation cards will also be used in this enjoyable way to learn a second language.


Spanish for Automobile Sales & Service (course number 140-467-001) will run for six weeks starting Wednesday, March 5, and ending Wednesday, April 16, from 6 to 8:45 p.m. in Room O-214 on Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus, 235 N. National Ave. The class is $40.82 and the manual, which can be purchased at the campus bookstore, is $42.95 plus tax.


To register, call Moraine Park at 1-800-472-4554.