It’s that time of the year where you receive multiple forms to file your taxes, and as they pile up you begin to wonder where to find the tax forms to file and how to figure out what information you really need? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get someone to help you through this cumbersome process? The good news is you can, and it’s free!
Here’s the information sent out by the IRS.
IRS Free File: Ideal for young and first-time filers
What is this?
Most Free File users are under the age of 30 with modest incomes. The Free File adjusted gross income limit for 2020 is $69,000. For those who want to do their own taxes, Free File means free tax preparation, free electronic filing and free direct deposit, which is the fastest way to get a refund.
How does it work?
- Go to IRS.gov/freefile to see all Free File options.
- Browse each of the 10 offers or use a “look up” tool to help you find the right product. Each Free File partner sets its own eligibility standards generally based on income, age, and state residency, but if your adjusted gross income was $69,000 or less, you will find at least one free product to use. Two products are in Spanish.
- Select a provider and follow the links to their web page to begin your tax return.
- Complete and e-file your tax return only if you have all the income and deduction records you need. The fastest way to get a refund is by filing electronically and selecting direct deposit. If you owe, use direct pay or electronic options.
For more information on free file, visit irs.gov/freefile.
Moraine Park Technical College has earned the eleventh spot on the “Military Times Best: Colleges 2020” rankings. This honor recognizes career and technical colleges for their commitment to educating and providing opportunities to America’s veterans.
Moraine Park has made this list for the last five years and serves as the only technical college in Wisconsin to earn a place on this list. The Military Times surveys colleges and universities on an annual basis requesting documentation on services, special rules, accommodations, financial incentives, and student services that are offered to veterans and their families. There were nearly 500 survey entries for the Military Times Best College’s ranking, and less than half earned a spot on this list.
“The College is committed to making sure every veteran who steps onto our campuses are provided everything they need to be successful,” Steve Pepper, student veteran specialist said. “I truly believe having someone our veteran students can turn to who can speak their language or understand some of their frustrations is important to their college experience and overall success.”
Moraine Park offers many programs that qualify under Veteran Administration (VA) benefits, with flexible scheduling options. The College is continuously working to maintain a culture that supports the challenges that veterans may encounter.
“This recognition validates the proactive work that Moraine Park has been doing,” Lt. Col. Scott Lieburn, U.S. Air Force, and dean of students at Moraine Park said. “As a veteran myself, I am proud of Moraine Park for making it a priority to educate and provide opportunities to our local veterans, service members, and their families.”
The “Military Times Best” ranking is published in the Military Times magazine and is available to subscribers, as well as online at MilitaryTimes.com and other affiliated websites. For more information about Moraine Park’s Veterans Services, visit morainepark.edu/veterans.
Moraine Park Technical College students have selected their 2019-2020 student government leadership representatives to serve the Student Senate, District Student Government (DSG), and Wisconsin Student Government (WSG).
Student Senate is a local campus group that is open to the entire student population. This group provides individualized attention to campus issues and activities. Each year, members have the opportunity to vote for their peers to represent the College in the leadership opportunities within the Student Senate, as well as the DSG and WSG.
The DSG provides a forum to share opinions on college issues and offers opportunities to get involved in college life. Students work with each other, plan student development opportunities, act as liaisons amongst the student body, and interact with faculty and the administration in the promotion of student rights. The WSG consists of student representatives from all 16 Wisconsin Technical Colleges. Their mission is to represent, promote, advocate and protect the interests of the technical colleges and their students establish positive relationships with state legislators in support of the needs and interests of WTCS students and colleges, communicate relevant information to legislators at the state level, and garner support for the WTCS.
The individuals selected to represent the Moraine Park student government leadership roles for Student Senate are Abby Muenchow of Horicon, Beaver Dam president; Koy Straks of North Fond du Lac, Beaver Dam vice president; Caitlin Pieper of Burnett, Beaver Dam secretary; Izzy Clark of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac president; Mollea Greylord of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac vice president; Maurice Artiles of Campbellsport, Fond du Lac secretary; Cortland Henning, Fond du Lac community manager; Anthony Fiore of Waupun, West Bend president; Lauryn Slade of Hartford, West Bend vice president; and Brisa Vasquez of Allenton, West Bend secretary.
The students selected to represent leadership roles for DSG are District Student Government, and Wisconsin Student Government for 2019-20 are Koy Straks of North Fond du Lac, President; Tom Martin of Fond du Lac, Vice President; Trina Anderson of Fox Lake, Parliamentary; Nicole Nowicki of Burnett, Secretary.
Representing student leadership roles for WSG are Queenie Weesen of Mequon, WSG governor; Barbara Turner of Beaver Dam, WSG lt. governor.
For more information on Moraine Park’s student government offerings and opportunities, visit morainepark.edu.
Moraine Park Technical College students and staff will host a Christmas in a Shoebox drive, collecting items for our local troops who are serving our country overseas and away from family during the holiday season.
Donations will be accepted until Friday, Nov. 8, and can be dropped off at room K-323 on the Beaver Dam campus, or with the Student Veteran Specialist in room C-003.3 at the Fond du Lac campus Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Moraine Park’s goal is to collect enough items to fill 200 postal service large flat rate boxes and have them in the hands of our troops stationed overseas by the holidays.
The packages will be assembled on Nov. 13 on the Beaver Dam campus, and students and staff will also have the opportunity to fill out note cards to send a personal message of encouragement, or holiday wishes.
Donations should be new and no larger than shoebox-sized. Some suggested items are personal hygiene products like deodorant, eye drops, Q-tips, and baby wipes, or snacks such as beef jerky, sunflowers seeds, nuts, granola bars, and flavored drink mixes. Additionally, miscellaneous items like current magazines, batteries, paperback books, and small travel games are great ways to let the service members know they’re remembered and help to bring some joy to their holiday season.
For questions on Christmas in a Shoebox, contact Steve Pepper, student veterans specialist, at email@example.com or 920-924-3489.
The hard work and academic achievement of Moraine Park Technical College students was recognized during the College’s annual Student Awards Banquet held at The Golf Club at Camelot in Lomira on May 10.
Moraine Park presented the 2019 Student of the Year Award to Ashley Martin of Fond du Lac. The Student of the Year Award is designed to recognize a student who excelled in and outside of the classroom and has taken full advantage of the opportunities that Moraine Park has made available for them.
The 2019-20 District Student Ambassador Award was presented to Barbara Turner of Beaver Dam. The Moraine Park District Student Ambassador Award identifies outstanding students in the technical college system, with nominations solicited from faculty and staff in the spring semester of each year.
Technical Achievement Awards were presented to 33 students. To receive this award, recipients must be enrolled in a technical diploma program and have maintained a 3.25 GPA. They are judged on classroom participation and other contributions and characteristics that exemplify an outstanding student. The 2019 recipients were August Baumgartner of West Bend, Alex Canfield of Jackson, Calin Eigner of Iron Ridge, Zach Fahrenkrug of Campbellsport, Zach Franck of Prairie du Sac, Ben Henriksen of Beaver Dam, Aaron Hess of Richfield, Genevieve Hicks of Beaver Dam, Keisha Krezman of Fond du Lac, Mitch Lochen of West Bend, Nicholas Martinez of Fond du Lac, Nic Nielsen of West Bend, Nicole Nowicki of Beaver Dam, Hunter Scannell of West Bend, Isaac Schrage of West Bend, Zachary Wilson of Adell, Pete Cruckson of Fond du Lac, Brady Detert of Beaver Dam, Troy Essmann of Oconomowoc, Thomas Freiberg of Campbellsport, Nick Giudice of Waupun, Alexander Hoepfner of Fond du Lac, Zac Hoogeveen of Randolph, Joe Jasinski of Adell, Michael Moon of Beaver Dam, Derek Mueller of Port Washington, Melanie Pitr of Slinger, Mitchell Regan of Hartford, Andrew Robinson of Cedarburg, Michael Schaefer of Juneau, Alex Sippel of Saint Cloud, Daniel Sowin of Sheboygan Falls, and Anastasia Szczesny of Iron Ridge.
The Campus Impact Award recognizes students who have served the College by participating in a college focus group, a college-related function, or a club/student government activity or project. Other considerations include GPA, reliability and follow-through. In total, 18 awards were presented, recipients were Trina Anderson of Fox Lake, Alizabeth Barnes of Waupun, Noah Bille of Brandon, Isabel Clark of Chilton, Kevin Fritsch of Fond du Lac, Christine Gil of Randolph, Thomas Holman of Hartford, Joe Jasinski of Adell, Sheri Laidler of Campbellsport, Bekah McCardell of West Bend, Ashton Mislivecek of Hillsboro, Abby Muenchow of Horicon, Peggy Rider of West Bend, Isaac Schrage of West Bend, Jerod Splan of Iron Ridge, Anastasia Szczesny of Iron Ridge, Queenie Weesen of Mequon, and Janine Williams of Fond du Lac.
The Meritorious Service Award is granted to students who have served the College through their leadership and participation in co-curricular activities such as student clubs, student government or other volunteer opportunities. This year’s 45 recipients include Alyssa Ahlstrom of Van Dyne, Austin Barber of Fond du Lac, Danielle Barron of Berlin, Maurice Beck of Campbellsport, Jacob Berger of North Fond du Lac, Taylor Branski of West Bend, Kerwana Clayborn of Fond du Lac, Deborah Davis of Oshkosh, Derek DeChant of Randolph, Brady Detert of Beaver Dam, Calin Eigner of Iron Ridge, Tamara Freeman of Beaver Dam, Nick Giudice of Waupun, Eileen Grammas of Beaver Dam, Connor Gray of Cottage Grove, Mollea Greylord of Fond du Lac, Derek Jackson of Rubicon, Mitch Jacobs of Slinger, Shayenne A. Jaffke of Hartford, Ty Kaage of Oshkosh, Corina Kanwischer of Hartford, Brittany Kjell of Rubicon, Kelsey Kliefoth of Menasha, Jay Kroncke of West Bend, Kaleb Krueger of Mayville, Jessica Leibham of West Bend, Heidi Lucas of West Bend, Jesse Mack of Beaver Dam, Christian McCreary of West Bend, Jodie Meyer of Oshkosh, Rebecca Moreno of West Bend, Kellie Murray of West Bend, Nicole Peterson of Eldorado, Zack Petit of Watertown, Melanie Pitrof of Slinger, Zack Rabideau of Jackson, Gretchen Rauls of Fond du Lac, Susan Rodencal of Fond du Lac, Patrick Rupprecht of Randolph, Lauryn Slade of Hartford, Amy Spiekerman of West Bend, Alex Tischedndorf of Kewaskum, Nicole Toombs of Ripon, Alyssa Wescott of Theresa, and Christina Whitehouse of Waupun.
The Leadership & Service Award is reserved for members of Moraine Park’s Student Government. A student’s comprehensive level of commitment to the College and their representation of the student body through their attendance and engagement in Student Government and its related opportunities are taken into consideration during award selection. The 12 award recipients include Alden Broome of Beaver Dam, Dominic DeLaura of Slinger, Zach Fahrenkrug of Campbellsport, Thomas Freiberg of Campbellsport, Brad Hetzel of Lowell, Ashley Martin of North Fond du Lac, Michael Moon of Beaver Dam, Leah Pietrangelo of West Bend, Joshua Strnad of Rio, Jonathan Szczesny of Iron Ridge, Sam Turner of Baraboo, and Elizabeth Wustrack of Fond du Lac.
Student government leadership recognition included Jonathan Szczesny of Iron Ridge, Beaver Dam Student Senate president; Elizabeth Wustrack of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Student Senate president; Leah Pietrangelo of West Bend, West Bend Student Senate president; Kevin Fritsch of Fond du Lac, District Student Government president; Queenie Weesen of Mequon, Wisconsin Student Government lt. governor; Joshua Strnad of Rio, Wisconsin Student Government governor.
For more information about Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.
Jerod Splan of Iron Ridge is a student unlike any other. He was born completely deaf, but it is clear that he has the determination to face any challenge on this path. As a student in the automotive program, Jerod has spent the past 2-years perfecting his life-long passion.
“I’ve been around cars all my life,” Jerod said. “My Dad and Grandfather both enjoy working on cars as a hobby. I knew from a young age that this was my life calling.”
Jerod is a 2008 graduate from Lomira High School, and after graduation, he enrolled at Moraine Park in the CNC/Tool & Die program at Moraine Park. He enjoyed the program, and learned a lot, but couldn’t deny that his mind always drifted to back to automotive. So, Jerod enrolled at Moraine Park again in 2016. He came into the program already familiar with cars and the automotive industry but was looking to build upon those skills.
“The program gives a good introduction to the industry,” he said. “I’ve learned the right way to do things and how to perform my job safely. My instructors Jim, Frank, Craig, and Tim are great. I’ve learned a lot.”
In fact, for the automotive instructors, Jerod was their first deaf student, offering learning opportunities all around, such as introducing deaf culture, visual aids, and supplying a videophone to call customers.
“Moraine Park has worked hard to accommodate my learning,” Jerod said. “I’ve had my interpreter, Tammy, by my side daily, and the learning is very visual. English is not my first language, American Sign Language (ASL) is, but I’ve found the transition to learning here to be very easy.”
There’s no denying that Moraine Park is working to fill employment gaps in the industry, but there is also an overall goal to make sure learning is possible for all who aspire to earn it. Of course, Jerod didn’t stop with just utilizing the classroom, he also involved himself in student life.
“Jerod has brought such a fun dynamic to the student life department,” Sam Saeger, student involvement specialist said. “He has made the most of his college experience by joining student senate, attending conferences, and being a part of the Automotive Club. ”
Jerod can be found around Fond du Lac’s campus, participating in activities or simply enjoying the company of his friends at the College.
“I’ve enjoyed meeting new people,” he said. “I’ve made some great friendships, and have been given opportunities to grow.”
Jerod will be graduating on May 18 with his automotive technician associate degree.
“I’m proud that I have faced the challenges,” Jerod said. “I could have been afraid or have hidden, but instead I embraced it. I have been given many opportunities and am happy with my experience at Moraine Park.”
Live, learn, and embrace fresh starts. That was the exact mindset that Josh Strnad, of Rio, had when he came to Moraine Park. As a first-generation college student, with a lifetime of real-world experiences and circumstances under his belt, he knew that the opportunity of obtaining a degree was his ultimate goal.
“I’ve lived a rough life,” Josh said. “I’ve made choices that haven’t always had a positive result, but when I came to Moraine Park, I immediately felt welcomed, regardless of my past.”
Josh found the College through the Department of Vocational Rehab, as he was transitioning from his life in prison back to civilian life. He was able to meet with the Career Center staff at Moraine Park and take a career assessment. Through that, he discovered that the civil engineering path would be a good fit for him.
When he began classes that fall, it didn’t take long for him to find a second home at the Fond du Lac campus. He joined the Student Senate and the District Student Government, where he served as Lt. Governor and then Governor. It was through these groups that he developed a strong support system.
“We are like a family,” Josh said. “Moraine Park and my peers have helped to give me a new life direction.”
Josh will graduate this May with his associate degree in Civil Engineering.
“I’m proud of myself,” he said. “Everything I’ve done up until this point, I’ve never finished. I now can eliminate that negativity and say that I’m a college graduate!”
Josh’s college journey wasn’t always easy. He utilized many resources, from the student success center to student life, to help make graduation possible.
“I’ve learned so much more than I ever thought,” Josh said. “Overall, I’ve learned how to be a team player, a good communicator, and how to adapt in different work atmospheres.”
Anyone who knows Josh understands that his life transformation didn’t happen by chance. He was given opportunities and took advantage of them all, from college courses in prison to opportunities to give back today.
“I believe that everyone deserves a second chance,” he said. “According to most statistics, I shouldn’t be where I am today. Now, I’ve learned not only how to be successful, but that I deserve to be.”
At the College, Josh is known to many as a father figure, giving endless advice, guidance, and a shoulder to lean on if necessary.
“Surround yourself with good people,” Josh said. “Ask for help, never give up, and focus on what motivates you. One of my main motivations is my daughter, Emma. I hope one day that she will see what I’ve done and be motivated to do well her life, too.”
Josh has aspirations to continue his education, with an overall goal to work as a plumbing design engineer.
“You never know the best you, until you’ve seen the worst you,” Josh said. “I’m proud to say, that today I’m the best version of me.”
Change is scary, and those who are working to pursue their educational goals know this all too well. Ashley Martin of Fond du Lac recognized that fear when she found herself at the front steps of Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus in 2017.
As a mother of four, she had been working two jobs to make ends meet, but she had aspirations of finding her dream career.
“I wanted to better my life,” Martin said. “When I walked through the front doors of the College I was so scared. I didn’t know if I could go back to school after all this time.”
Like many returning students, she was looking for a career that would work well for her life and fulfill her goals. Moraine Park’s Student Success Center helped her with a career assessment. Through that, she discovered the Substance Abuse Counseling program. She enrolled immediately and began her college career in fall 2017.
“I instantly felt welcomed,” Martin said. “I have found great friends and supporters who are more like family, and they always give me a reason to keep coming back.”
One of those connections was with Sam Saeger, a student life specialist at Moraine Park.
“Ashley is one of a kind,” Sam said. “She is driven and focused. Not only is she an exceptional student in and out of the classroom, but her commitment and enthusiasm towards the College are unmatched.”
Since enrolling at Moraine Park, Martin has served on the Student Senate as secretary and vice president, and the Diversity Club as the vice president. She founded the Substance Abuse Counseling Club, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and has served the College on cross-functional collaboration teams as a student representative. She is also a part of a work-study with Sam and can be found all around the Fond du Lac campus and in the community, helping with student life events and advocating for the College.
“It’s incredible to know that as students, our voices are valued and heard,” Martin said. “Moraine Park is my college, and it will always be my college. I find such value in the fact that my opinion matters.”
Martin has also maintained a 4.0 and been on the Dean’s List her entire college career. It is because of her drive, determination, and all-around positive spirit that Martin has been named as Moraine Park’s 2019 Student of the Year.
“I’m still in shock,” she said. “I never thought this was possible for me. I have worked hard, and I am proud of myself.”
Criteria for Student of the Year nominations include demonstrating excellence in and out of the classroom while modeling Moraine Park’s core abilities to communicate clearly, act responsibly, work productively, think critically and creatively, adapt to change, demonstrate integrity, and work cooperatively. There were ten candidates this year, all of whom excel both academically and in their service learning. There are very few student honors that exceed this award at Moraine Park, and to even be nominated is a tremendous accomplishment. Martin will receive her award at the Student Awards Banquet on May 10.
“We all celebrate with Ashley on her success at Moraine Park,” Sam said. “However, it is her heart and generosity that stand out the most. She is very deserving of the Student of the Year award, and I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Martin will graduate on May 18, and it will be her first time walking a commencement stage.
“Moraine Park has given me unlimited opportunities,” Martin said. “I’m proud of my school, and I look forward to serving as an alumnus.”
She has goals to continue her education, with an overall goal to be a mental health counselor.
The finalist include Dominic DeLaura of Slinger, Troy Essmann of Oconomowoc, Justin Kraus of Fond du Lac, Alex McCleary of Fond du Lac, Christian McCreary of West Bend, Michael Moon of Beaver Dam, Jonathan Szczesny of Iron Ridge, Sam Turner Baraboo, Elizabeth Wustrack Fond du Lac.
For more information on Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.