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October 2018

Congratulations to First Immanuel’s 7th/8th Grade Girls' RED team on winning the State Tournament the weekend of October 26th- 28th! The girls cruised through pool play with a perfect 6-0 record on Friday night. Friday night's highlight was a 21-0 win, with Madeline Fox serving out the entire set! From there, they started bracket play against St. James Shawano. They were able to win 25-11 and 25-16. Straight set victories against Trinity Racine and Star of Bethlehem from New Berlin followed. That set them up in a rematch of last year's state championship match against St. Paul's Muskego. The girls dropped a tough 22-25 opening set. They continued to battle and were able to take the remaining two sets - 25-20 and 15-8. The win marked the school's 5th State championship in the past six years! Members of the championship squad are: Ruby Broehm, Jae Fitting, Madeline Fox, Izzy Gitzlaff, Shea Haggerty, Chloe Kelm, Katelyn Michels, Zoe Mueller, Natalie Newth, Reagan Pahl, and Sarah Prom. The girls were coached by Kevin Hedinger and Anna Pahl.


March 2017

First Immanuel Lutheran School held its triennial Science Fair the weekend of March 17th – 19th. Middle School Students in 6th – 8th grade participated in the areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The fair included projects from 99 middle school students and 12 of those students earned Best of Group and 28 additional students were recognized for their work. The top award, Best of Fair, was presented to 8th grader Brady Edgren and 6th grader Jacob Helm. Edgren’s project called “The Issue with Ions" involved investigating the electrical conductivity of different liquids and mixtures, as well as the effects of temperature and pH. For his project Helm investigated, the link of tooth decay to sugary drinks in his project called “Think About Your Drink”.

Fellow 6th grader Chloe Kelm earned a Runner-up Medal for her investigation into how temperature affects popcorn. When asked about her experience she gave some good advice stating, “This project was fun and while not overwhelming, I would say it’s a good idea to get it done early so that you don’t need to worry about finishing things at the last minute. That’s stressful!” The results of her investigation will have her family refrigerating popcorn since those kernels popped the best.

Additionally, 7th grader Alison Schleicher says of her experience “The hardest part was the presentation part. Putting the whole board together and making it interesting to look at was key.” Schleicher also earned a Runner-up Medal for her biology project.

The triennial Science Fair was managed by Middle School Science Teacher Mr. Wayne Nelson. The students began working on their projects in mid-Fall and had specific instructions on how to use the scientific method in their collection and presentation of data.

First Immanuel Lutheran School is located in the heart of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, directly across from Cedarburg High School. Our goal is to provide area students with the best possible 21st century Christian education providing each child with academic excellence, a well-rounded extracurricular experience, and Christian character-building.

Our campus serves over 360 students in its three schools: an Early Childhood Education Program serving students starting at age 2 through age 5, an Elementary School serving children starting with their Kindergarten experience through 5th grade, and a fully departmentalized Middle School serving grades 6-8. Our nationally accredited schools exceed State of Wisconsin educational guidelines and have the best educational technology in the area.

Volleyball Program Earns Tournament Wins

November 2016

First Immanuel Lutheran School has recently concluded its girl’s Volleyball season. The school was able to field four grade-level specific interscholastic teams this season. According to Admissions Director, Teresa Hajdu, the volleyball program is open to all girls in 5th – 8th grades. “Participation is encouraged at every level of ability and that along with the focus on nurturing teamwork really helps keep the interest in playing going strong. This season we were blessed to have 60% of our girls in 5th – 8th grade participate in the program.”

The school’s 5th grade team, which played its matches primarily against other school’s 6th grade teams, finished their season with a record of 17-18. Their coach Teri Jackson, says this of her players’ experience this year: “The girls played with heart and continually built up their skills at practice and during matches. They were an awesome group to coach!”

The 6th grade team took the top spot in both tournaments they participated in this season. Both tournaments were played in September. The first was held at St. Paul’s Grafton and the second was on their home court during the Wildcats Invitational Tournament. The team finished the season with a record of 11-5-1. When asked how her team performed this season Coach Alison Pipkorn commented "The 6th grade girls had a great season! I am proud of how much their skills developed over the season and how well they worked together as a team, supporting and encouraging each other as Christian athletes."

With 19 girls from the 7th and 8th grades participating, the program was able to field two teams. The 7/8 grade White team finished their season with a record of 11-11-2. The team finished 2nd to the school’s 6th Grade team in the Wildcats Invitational Tournament but in the Sheboygan Lutheran High School Tournament they placed 3rd. The team’s coach Meghan Groppe says of her players “I am very proud of how well they played together as a team and how they either won humbly or lost gracefully together.”

The 7/8 grade Red Team finished their regular season with a record of 16-3-2 and earned the opportunity to complete in the state tournament at the end of October where they tied for 11th place. During the regular season, the team participated in 3 tournaments, St. John’s Glendale, Hales Corners Lutheran, and their own Wildcats Invitational Tournament, taking first place in their division at each. "The girls embraced the team concept and worked hard to continually improve both as individuals and as a team” commented Coach Kevin Hedinger “The team’s record was 18-5-4 overall and I am proud of their performance as athletes, but I am proudest of the respect and sportsmanship they showed on and off the court."

Katy Shields Named Educator Of The Year

February 2016

First Immanuel teacher Miss Katy Shields was chosen as this year's recipient of the South Wisconsin District Elementary Educator of the Year.

The award was presented by the South Wisconsin District on January 24th. The Educator of the Year program recognizes outstanding teachers in South Wisconsin District preschools, elementary and high schools. Nominations may be made by administrators, teachers, parents, pastors, congregation members, and students (past and present).

Miss Shields is a native of Pontiac Michigan and a 2014 graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin with degrees in both Education and History. A typical day in Miss Shields’ class includes daily geography exercises and trivia related to the topic the students are studying at the time. She likes to mix technology with cooperative learning as well as including more traditional educational strategies to provide students with a well- rounded experience and prepare them for life outside of First Immanuel. She also uses a variety of projects and guest speakers to give students ownership and new perspectives of Social Studies.

In addition to teaching Social Studies at First Immanuel, Miss Shields is an 8th Grade Homeroom Teacher and coordinates the seventh and eighth grade trip to Washington D.C. “I am a huge proponent of experiential learning and travel. I am thrilled to direct my students to the marvel of how God works in the course of the story of humanity, and our own personal stories.” Shields said.

Lutheran Schools Week

January 2016

First Immanuel Lutheran School celebrated Lutheran Schools Week January 25th – 29th with a variety of activities, talent show and an outreach service project assembling 100 Guatemala Mission Care Packages.

Veteran's Day Assembly

November 2015

First Immanuel Lutheran School (FILS) hosted its annual Veteran’s Day Service, Tuesday, November 3rd, at First Immanuel Lutheran Church. The event featured special music performed by the Wildcat Music Ensemble, the FILS Band and the school choir of 4th - 8th grade students. Beloved and well-known patriotic numbers included, “Star Spangled Banner”, “America, The Beautiful,” and “God Bless America,” and were dedicated to all Veterans and especially those in attendance from the American Legion Post 288 of Cedarburg.

In addition to being guests of honor, the Legionnaires performed a flag-folding demonstration, which explained the significance of each of the 13 folds to the students, faculty, parents, and members of the public who were in attendance.

The keynote address was given by SSG David Shields RET of the National Guard, who is also the father of one of the event organizers, FILS history teacher, Ms. Shields. The event was co-organized by Mrs. Grabenhofer, FILS music director. SSG Shields showed photos and talked about some of his experiences during his tour in Iraq.

FILS middle schoolers created a special Poppy Installation that was on display during the service. Poppies were also the topic of historic readings, given by a number of FILS students, which traced the flower back to being the only plant that grew in the barren battlefields after WWI. Since then, the students explained, the poppy has become one of the most common symbols to commemorate fallen American soldiers.

The service concluded with a receiving line where students could shake hands with and thank all the Veterans in attendance. After the service, many of the Legionnaires and other veterans stayed and volunteered their time to visit with fourth through eighth grade classes and answer any questions about serving in the military.

The First Immanuel Lutheran School Veteran’s Day Service is free annual event and is open to the public.

Girls Basketball Team Finish Season Strong

March 2015

Our 7 & 8th grade girls' basketball team finished their season strong!

The weekend of March 6-8, they participated in the Lutheran Sports Association of Wisconsin state basketball tournament, which pits the best 16 Lutheran grade school teams in the state against each other. They won their first two games over Mt. Calvary Waukesha 35-25 and St. Paul's West Allis 37-32. In the semifinals, they lost to Wisconsin Lutheran-Racine 46-47 in an incredibly exciting game. They rebounded from that loss with a 27-21 win over St. Paul Grafton to earn 3rd place honors at the state tournament.

On the strength of that 3rd place finish, they were chosen as one of 32 Lutheran grade school teams to participate in the Lutheran Basketball Association of America National Tournament. Their first three games at the National Tournament - held March 20-22 at Valparaiso University in Indiana - were victories over St. John's Lutheran from Seymour, Indiana 28-22, Trinity Lutheran from Waconia, Minnesota 31-24, and Immanuel Lutheran from St. Charles, Missouri 39-16. In the national semifinals, they lost 17-27 to the eventual national champions - Emanuel Lutheran from Hamburg, Minnesota. They bounced back to defeat Holy Cross Lutheran from Fort Wayne, Indiana 48-44 and bring home 3rd place honors. For her efforts throughout the weekend, 8th grader Keri Walker was chosen to the all-tournament team.

The team is coached by Rory Kadubeck and Shauna Binsfeld. Team members are Taylor Mesenbrink, Abby Twietmeyer, Lily Kadubeck, Keri Walker, Tori Lepold, Ellery Grover, Elsa Copes, Erin Plopper, Carolyn Broehm, Kiara Reinhardt, Sadie Leonhardt, and Megan Gerner.

Pom/Dance Team - Take 2nd Place & Earn Sportsmandship Award

February 2015

First Immanuel Lutheran School's Pom/Dance teams made a great showing on February 22 at the 2015 Badgerette Junior Spirit Invitational at West Allis Central High School. Both FILS teams represented First Immanuel not only in their performances, but also with their Sportsmanship.

The First Immanuel Varsity Pom/Dance team members brought home a 2nd Place trophy in the Kick Division, an Honorable Mention in the Pom Division, and the "Spirit of Heart" award for outstanding sportsmanship.

The First Immanuel JV Pom/Dance team members brought home an Honorable Mention for their outstanding performance in the Pom Division, as well as the "Spirit of the Heart" award for Sportsmanship.

Mr. Schaubs Earns Master Educator Award

December 2014

First Immanuel is honored to announce Mr. Craig Schaubs was chosen as this year's recipient of the Lawrence Sohn Master Educator Award. The award was presented by Concordia University Wisconsin on December 13th at their Commencement ceremony. This award recognizes a teacher in Elementary Education who has displayed excellence, dedication and distinction in service to their school and students as well as has imparted a love for teaching while inspiring students toward on their journey to higher education.

Mr. Schaubs is esteemed by fellow teachers, current and former students. His classroom is famous for having great science lessons and there are always a variety of “creatures of nature” to share with his students. One of his current 4th grade students puts what is special about being in Mr. Schaubs class very simply “He’s awesome!”.

FIL Girls Volleyball Win State Tournament

October 2014

For the second year in a row a First Immanuel Lutheran School’s girls’ volleyball team won the Lutheran School Association (LSA) State Volleyball tournament. They began the tournament with one loss on the season and had it as their goal to bring home the championship for the school again. Their road to the Championship game started on Friday night at Star of Bethlehem Lutheran School in New Berlin to play in the round of pool play games. Their faithful and enthusiastic fans cheered them on to a record of 6 – 0, making them the number one seed in their pool. In bracket play on Saturday morning, First Immanuel had to play Trinity Mequon – the only team they had lost to during the regular season. In a best-of- three format, First Immanuel was able to win a very close first game of the match 31-29. In the second game, First Immanuel was able to secure the match with a 25-18 victory. Winning that match seemed to give them a lot of confidence that carried through the rest of the tournament. St. James Shawano was next up and then in the semifinals, they were also able to defeat St. Paul’s West Allis. In the championship game on Sunday afternoon, First Immanuel was pitted against Divine Redeemer from Hartland. With their fans along to calm their nerves, First Immanuel came out with a hard fought win and achieved their goal. For the second year in a row, The First Immanuel Lutheran Wildcats are the Wisconsin State Champions.

-Submitted by Keri Walker, FIL 8th Grader

Wildcats Win Invitational Tournament

September 2014

The last two weekends of September saw some terrific volleyball action as First Immanuel Lutheran School in Cedarburg hosted its 9th annual Wildcats Invitational Tournament. The weekend of September 18th-20th saw 5th and 6th grade teams from area schools battle it out for volleyball supremacy, with St. Joseph's of Grafton taking both the 5th and 6th grade titles. The next weekend, September 25th-27th brought 16 teams of 7th and 8th grade girls for more heated competition. The team from Washington County Home School Association (WCHSA) took top honors in the 7th grade division, while the home team, the Wildcats from First Immanuel won the 8th grade division. The Wildcats road to the championship took them through Immanuel Brookfield, St. Gabriel's, and St. Joseph's.

8th grade team member Keri Walker had this to say about the weekend. This was a win for Wildcats history! We focused on working as a team supporting each other the whole time especially in our come back win in the championship game. We were all super motivated because there were so many fans cheering us on and we didn't want to let them down - we didn't stop until we were raising that trophy. The tournament was a lot of fun and a great show of sportsmanship but the championship was the best part!

Team member Maggie Fox added “We have a solid team and we work really hard. One of the reasons we have won so many games is that we are able to come back when we get behind. The key is to stay positive, pick our heads up and do our absolute best.”

Congratulations to the FILS Science Fair Winners!

March 2014

The First Immanuel Middle School 2014 Science Fair was held on March 21. More than 100 projects were submitted and scored by an outside panel of science educators and experts. Creators of projects with the highest scores received a plaque, runners up received medals, and other winners received ribbons. In total, 49 students received awards.

Eighth graders Madison Edgren and Lindsey Weiss were honored with “Best of Show” for their projects. Madison studied the corrosive properties of various metals, and Lindsey studied electrolytes in sports drinks versus orange juice.

All Best of Group plaque winners are listed below:

Biology/Botany/Earth Science: 8th grader Paul Schaefer, 7th grader Jake Knutsen, 6th grader Gianna Feld, and 6th grader Baden Locke

Chemistry: 8th grader Madison Edgren (best of show), 8th grader Lindsey Weiss (best of show)

Physics: 8th grader Eric Engman, 8th grader Noah Pecor, 7th grader Christian Grob, 6th grader Lewis Stroebel

Projects were judged based on their adherence to the scientific method. Judging criteria included the student’s hypothesis, experimental procedures, presentation of data, conclusion, display and report. The panel of volunteer judges included: Patti Brzezinski, Registered Nurse; Dr. Bob Johnson, Concordia University Physics Professor; Dr. Sara Krull, Living Word Lutheran High School Science Teacher; Dr. Tom Saleska, Concordia University Biology Professor; Brian Seibel, Principal Engineer at Rockwell Automation; Dr. Ernest Stremski, Concordia University Pharmacy Professor; Jim Ruppel, Project Engineer at Rockwell Automation; Ed Zimmermann, Former Cedarburg High School High School Chemistry Teacher.

FILS Gets Our Own March Madness!

March 2014

The First Immanuel 8th grade boys’ red team and 7th/8th grade girls’ team both made great showings at the Lutheran Schools Athletic Association Wisconsin State Tournament held on March 7-9. Their play, along with very successful seasons, have allowed both teams to earn invitations to the Lutheran Basketball Association of America’s National Tournament, which is held on the Division I basketball court at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, on March 27-30.

The 7th/8th grade girls’ team won the first three games of the tournament against Hales Corners Lutheran (36-29), Mount Calvary–Waukesha (33-25), and St. John's–Racine (17-10) to put themselves in the championship game. There they ran into a tough squad from St. Paul's–West Allis, losing 37-13 to finish in 2nd place.

The 8th grade boys’ team won their first two games against St. Paul's–Oconomowoc (54-23) and Hales Corners Lutheran (42-24), before losing two tough battles with St. John's–Burlington (38-46) and Sherman Park–Milwaukee (41-49) to end up in 4th place.

“I am very proud of both of our teams,” said Eric Everts, FILS Athletic Director and Coach of the 8th grade boys’ red team. “They have worked hard all season to get to this point and it's been awesome to see them achieve a goal they've had since they were in elementary school – the last time our teams went to Valpo.”

The Wisconsin State Basketball Tournament is an invite-only tournament, where 16 boys’ teams and 16 girls’ teams are selected based on conference standings, tournament victories, team records and strength of schedule. The National Lutheran Basketball Tournament is an invite-only tournament for 32 boys and 32 girls’ teams, with similar criteria, including strength of play at state-level tournaments.

First Immanuel has been invited to the National Tournament only a few other times since it began in 1990. The girls were invited in 2003 and 2004, and won the national title in 2004. The boys were invited in 2003, 2006 and 2010, winning the national title in 2006.

For more information about the Lutheran Sports Association of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin State Lutheran Basketball Tournament, go to For more information about the Lutheran Basketball Association of America’s National Lutheran Basketball Tournament, go to or

FILS Pom/Dance Team Places 6th at Spirit Invitational

February 2014

First Immanuel's Pom/Dance Teams made a great showing on February 23rd at the 2014 Badgerette Spirit Invitational at West Allis Central High School. Both FILS teams proudly represented First Immanuel not only in their performances, but also with their sportsmanship. For the first time, the FILS Varsity Pom/Dance team members brought home a 1st Place win in the Kick Routine category, and 6th Place Overall in the Junior Pom Division (14 schools competed in that division). The JV Pom/Dance team also received a trophy for their "Honorable Mention" performance (11 teams competed in their division). Congratulations to coaches Monika Kosloske, Elizabeth Podewils and Tammie Behling, as well as all the FILS performers!

Valentines for Veterans

February 2014

First Immanuel Lutheran School students spent time during their computer classes and recesses this week making Valentines for patients at Milwaukee's Poblocki Veterans Administration Hospital. All together, the school was able to deliver more than 300 Valentines for distribution to the VA hospital patients. The effort was led by FILS Computer Instructor Barb Meyer and Librarian Anna Marie Sekas.

FILS Celebrates Lutheran Schools Week

January 2014

This week, January 26 – February 1, the First Immanuel school community celebrates National Lutheran Schools Week, along with Lutheran schools throughout the U.S. This year’s theme is “Witness Always: Raising Up Faithful Disciples.”

At First Immanuel, Lutheran Schools Week is the most fun week of the school year. Many special activities and events take place, including dress up days like pajama day, mismatch/crazy hair day, safari day, and camouflage day. There is also a a talent show, movie day, a bowling outing, a trip to see the Power Team at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, and the annual “Rainbow Olympics” competition. There is also a special chapel service and student-led daily devotions.

For the first time this year, First Immanuel’s students are participating in a “virtual mission trip” to Kenya, through a program sponsored by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Students will get to experience what it is like to be on a short-term mission trip without leaving school. Every day this week, our students explore a different aspect of the Lutheran Church’s mission work in Kenya, including life in Kenya and ministry in action. On Friday the whole school will make care packages for Kenyan school children that include pencils and notebooks; shampoo, soap and toothpaste, and hard candy. The students are also competing in a coin crusade, to raise money to support the Lutheran Church’s Kenyan mission.

“It’s great to give our students a chance to experience another culture and to understand ministry needs in another part of the world,” FILS principal Dawn Walker said. “We are really looking forward to contributing in our small way to improving the lives of children in Kenya.”

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has the largest protestant school system in the nation, with nearly 2,300 Lutheran schools.

Four FILS students are local finalists in essay contest

January 2014

First Immanuel Lutheran School had four top 10 finishers in the Cedarburg-Grafton VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest. The First Immanuel top 10 finishers include 8th graders Gideon Cain and Annalise Hilgendorf, 7th grader Jimmy Juergensen, and 6th grader Erin Plopper. All essays were 300-400 words and based on the 2013-14 theme “What Patriotism Means to Me.” VFW Post 10171 representatives presented each of these students with their awards at a school chapel service on Friday, January 24. All 10 finalists received a $50 cash prize and are submitted to the District-level competition.

The VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest provides 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students the opportunity to express their opinion on a patriotic theme and improve their writing skills while they compete for worthwhile awards and prizes. Awards are given at the local, district, and state levels. More than 110,000 students from grades 6-8 enter to win savings bonds totaling $1.2 million. The national winner receives a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington DC.

FILS 8th Grade Volleyball Team Wins State

October 2013

For the first time, First Immanuel Lutheran School’s 8th grade girls’ volleyball team won the Lutheran School Association (LSA) State Volleyball tournament, which was held on October 25-27. To qualify for the tournament, each school’s team had to win a tournament or conference championship. (First Immanuel won its conference title.) Sixteen teams made up the state tournament field. On Friday, First Immanuel brought a spirit bus full of fans to support the team.

Going into pool play on Friday night, the FILS girls were ranked as the 6th seed in the tournament. After defeating St. Paul Bonduel, Bethlehem Menomonee Falls, and splitting with Hales Corners Lutheran, the FILS girls were the #1 seed coming out of their pool. On Saturday, the Wildcats defeated Our Redeemer Wauwatosa, Delavan Lutheran and St. John’s Racine to advance to the semi-final game on Saturday night.

The semi-final game was a rematch against Bethlehem Menomonee Falls. This was a hard-fought battle with two come-from-behind game victories. The FILS Wildcats came out on top 25-23, 23-25, 15-7. The Championship was a match-up against Christ the Lord of Brookfield. FILS won the championship handily in two games, 25-14, 25-18.

“The Wildcats put together their best team effort of the season and played exceptionally well during the championship game,” Head Coach Dawn Walker said. “There were few unforced errors and some amazing digs. And, most importantly, the team did not miss a serve the entire match.”

The championship team includes 8th graders Mia Mueller, Summer Cielak, Sophia Pahl, Madison Edgren, Mia Andrae and Emma Eisner; as well as 7th graders Rocky La Londe, Maggie Fox, Keri Walker and Lily Kadubeck. Coaches are Dawn Walker and Jade Bahr, with assistance from FILS graduate Elizabeth Eisner.

FILS Cross Country Teams Run Well at Nationals

October 2013

By winning the Wisconsin State Cross Country Meet, First Immanuel Lutheran School’s boys’ and girls’ cross country teams were given the chance to compete in the 4th Annual National Lutheran Cross Country Championships at Concordia University Wisconsin on October 26th. This event featured teams and individual runners from Midwestern states that had qualified through their prior State meets. Thirty-six schools were represented, with more than 250 runners. The FILS boys’ team took 3rd place. The girls’ team, handicapped without two of their top three runners (including state champion Lindsey Weiss), still managed to take 7th place.

For the boys, First Immanuel was led by eighth grader Sam Schleicher, who finished 10th overall. He was closely followed by eighth grader Lucas Gitzlaff, who ran a great race to finish in 12th place. Both Sam and Lucas earned spots on the 7th/8th grade Second "All-American" Team for their finishes. Also scoring for the boys were eighth grader Grant Fox, sixth grader Timmy Brey, and fifth grader Ty Mueller. Brey was awarded a medal as a First Team All-American in the 6th grade & under division. Mueller, along with sixth grader Nolan Burnside, earned medals as Second Team All-Americans in the 6th grade & under division. Rounding out the Wildcat boys team were eighth graders Joe Jurss and Ethan Graham.

The First Immanuel girls ran great races and each had their fastest 2-mile times of the season. The top Wildcat in the girl's race was eighth grader Jessie Juergensen, who placed 12th overall and received a medal as a 7th/8th grade Second Team All-American. Following Jessie, a quartet of young FIL runners rounded out the scoring team and received medals for their respective 6th grade & under All-American Team finishes. Also scoring were fifth grader Hope Rutkowski (First Team All-American), fourth grader Ellie Juergensen (Second Team All-American), and fifth graders Sophia Memmel and Emma Osborne (Third Team All-American). The FILS girl's national team was completed by seventh grader Katarina Hinck and fifth grader Abby Helm.

“This was a great finish to a great season,” FILS coach Dan Riederer said. “Many of our runners had their personal best times at Nationals, which is awesome.”

FILS Boys and Girls Teams Win State Cross Country Meet

October 2013

First Immanuel Lutheran School swept the Lutheran Sports Association (LSA) Wisconsin State Cross Country Meet on October 5th – taking 1st place in both the boys and girls divisions. Twenty-three schools were represented, with more than 200 runners between both races. In addition to winning top team honors, eighth grader Lindsey Weiss took home the 1st place medal in the girls’ race for the second time in her cross country career, having also won the State Meet as a sixth grader.

As a team, First Immanuel has been runner-up in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions in the past, but neither team has ever won it until now.

“Our runners worked very hard this year,” FILS coach Dan Riederer said. “We knew we had a great opportunity for success, so it was very exciting to see the hard work pay off with both championships in the same year.”

In addition Lindsey Weiss’ top honors, eighth grader Jessie Juergensen got First Team All-State Honors by finishing 6th, and seventh grader Keri Walker received Second Team All-State honors by finishing 9th. Fifth grader Hope Rutkowski earned Third Team All-State Honors with her 15th place finish. Fourth grader Ellie Juergensen was First Immanuel’s final scoring runner finishing in 22nd place.

In the boys’ race, eighth grader Sam Schleicher took 5th place and eighth grader Lucas Gitzlaff took 6th place, both earning First Team All-State Honors. Earning Second Team All-State Honors were eighth grader Grant Fox (8th place), and sixth grader Timmy Brey (11th place). The boys’ scoring team was rounded out by fifth grader Ty Mueller, who finished in 22nd place.

This year First Immanuel has fielded its largest cross country team ever, but only the top 9 girls and 8 boys were selected to run in the State Meet. Running at the State Meet for First Immanuel were boys Timmy Brey, Nolan Burnside, Grant Fox, Lucas Gitzlaff, Ethan Graham, Joe Jurss, Ty Mueller and Sam Schleicher; and girls Abby Helm, Katarina Hinck, Ellie Juergensen, Jessie Juergensen, Sophia Memmel, Emma Osborne, Hope Rutkowski Keri Walker and Lindsey Weiss.

Both teams will now advance to the 4th Annual National Lutheran Cross Country Championships, which will take place at Concordia University Wisconsin on October 26th.

First Immanuel Confirms 40

May 2013

40 young people from First Immanuel church and school confirmed their faith on May 19th: Brian Butt, Bradley Ebacher, Sydney Plopper, Calli Stremski, Sydney Maglio, Bailee Ramon, Taylor Hafemeister, Claire Crane, Abigail Weyde, William Krentz, Carson Brattebo, Emma Hinze, Nathan Burnside, Mikaela Leach, Jacob Liebenstein, Faith Leissring, Ari Manzeck, Kaitlyn Grissom, Ethan Wallock, Thomas Ehrmann, Anna Wilde, Benjamin Rutkowski, Mikayla Locke, Mason von Bargen, Sarah Colden, Zebediah Uden, Camryn Weigand, Charlie Grapatin, Travis Lex, Abigale Butt, Elizabeth Colden, Matthew Zbiegen, Mitchell Stroebel, Elizabeth Heer, Andrew Scheer, Selah Batiansila, Tyler Grissom, Hailey Carmichael, Sean Ipsarides, and Ryan Gerner.

FILS holds Feed My Starving Children event

March 2013

First Immanuel held a Feed My Starving Children food pack event on March 8-9. Feed My Starving Children is an international Christian non-profit organization that serves underfed children in more than 70 countries.

More than 550 volunteers packaged food in Mannapacks, which are sealed bags of dry rice formula with the basic vitamins and minerals needed to restore the health of undernourished children in impoverished countries around the world. Event volunteers included church members and friends, First Immanuel students in grades 5-8, and students from Trinity Lutheran School in Freistadt and St. John’s Lutheran School in Mayville. By the end of the 2-day event, volunteers had packaged 114,000 meals, which will feed more than 312 children for a year.

First Immanuel raised more than $22,000 to pay for all of the food that was packaged. FILS school children helped reach that goal out by filling mini M&M tubes with quarters, raising more than $1,100 in one week’s chapel offerings!

The FILS students’ effort was an all-school “Living Stones” service project. As part of the school’s Living Stones program, every First Immanuel student in grades 5-8 completes four different service projects over the course of the school year.

First Immanuel Team Wins Knowledge Bowl!

March 2013

First Immanuel's 5th and 6th Grade Team 1 won first place in the North Milwaukee Region Knowledge Bowl on March 14th at Living Word Lutheran High School. Congratulations to Alex Knepprath, Sam Harmer, Elsa Copes, Anna Pahl, Erin Plopper and Lewis Stroebel!

First Immanuel Celebrates Lutheran Schools Week

January 2013

On January 27 – February 2, the First Immanuel school community celebrated National Lutheran Schools Week, along with Lutheran schools throughout the U.S. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has the largest protestant school system in the nation, with more than 2,500 Lutheran schools.

At First Immanuel, Lutheran Schools Week is the most fun week of the school year. Many special activities and events take place, including movie day, a “teacher swap,” a talent show, and the annual “Rainbow Olympics” competition. There is also a special chapel service and student-led daily devotions.

First Immanuel also always tries to incorporate a service event into the Lutheran Schools Week fun. This year, students in grades 5-8 participated in a service activity for “Phil’s Friends,” a faith-based organization that provides care packages for people fighting cancer. The effort took place at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, and also included students from several other Lutheran schools in the Milwaukee area.

"It's really cool to see everyone work together and help people with cancer," FILS 7th grader Lucas Gitzlaff said.

Students helped make these care packages, which included personal items, blankets, and caring messages of hope. Those packages will ultimately be hand-delivered to bring hope to those who need it the most.

"I knew someone who lost their battle with cancer, and it's nice to help other people who are going through that," said FILS 7th grader Joe Jurss.

FILS and SFB Make Wild-Knights Challenge a Success

January 2013

As part of the festivities of both National Lutheran Schools Week and National Catholic Schools Week, First Immanuel Lutheran School and St. Francis Borgia Catholic School teamed up for their Fourth Annual “Wild-Knights Challenge.” The Wild-Knights Challenge matches up all of the basketball teams of the First Immanuel Wildcats and the St. Francis Borgia Knights in a 2-day 12-game basketball extravaganza held at Cedarburg High School. The final games of the event were held on Wednesday, January 30th. The two schools also use the event as an opportunity to raise money for a good cause, and this year raised $230 for Family Sharing.

First Immanuel took the Wild-Knights Traveling Trophy back for another year by winning 8 games to 4, but St. Francis got some bragging rights by winning both the 8th grade girls and boys games. Several of the games came down to the final seconds, providing two nights of fun and exciting competition.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the students and families of our two Christian schools in Cedarburg to come together in friendly competition and to work for a common cause in the community,” said St. Francis Borgia principal Kelly Swietlik.

“It’s great that National Lutheran Schools Week and National Catholic Schools Week fall on the same week ,” said First Immanuel principal Dawn Walker. “Doing the Wild-Knights Challenge this week gives FILS and SFB the chance to celebrate together what makes Christian education so special.”

Miller Named 2013 Elementary Educator of the Year

December 2012

First Immanuel 3rd grade teacher Casey Miller has been selected as the 2013 Elementary Educator of the Year by the South Wisconsin District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS). Miller was selected from among hundreds of the teachers in the 63 elementary schools of the South Wisconsin District of the LCMS, and this is the second year in a row that a First Immanuel teacher was selected for this honor. (4th/5th grade Language Arts Teacher Nicky Valdez won last year.) Miller was nominated by First Immanuel principal Dawn Walker because of the innovation she has shown in virtually every aspect of her classroom and profession.

Academically, Miller is committed to using innovative best practices to solidify concepts being taught. She has also successfully implemented language arts and math centers in her room to allow one-on-one time with each student, so she can assess their mastery of concepts and differentiate instruction for each student.

Miller also innovates to improve her classroom environment. This year she is piloting a new choice-based discipline program, based on Rick Morris’s New Management Handbook, which aims to stop students’ negative choices and reward positive choices. She is also committed to strengthening the home-school connection; her class’s language arts and math centers flow well because she has parent volunteers helping on a regular basis.

In terms of technology, Miller was instrumental in the success of First Immanuel’s iPad pilot program in the third grade classrooms last year. The program required extra training, time and effort as she sought to successfully and meaningfully integrate the technology in her classroom. Her success ultimately helped lead to the expansion of 1-to-1 technology in all First Immanuel classrooms.

Miller has a Master’s Degree in Reading, as well as a passion for best practices in reading instruction. When FILS reviewed its entire elementary reading curriculum last year, Miller used her knowledge and experience in balanced literacy programs to inform the process and help educate other staff members. Now that First Immanuel’s new reading curriculum is being implemented, she continues to help other teachers be successful in this new approach.

Finally, Miller was nominated because of the way she lives out her strong Christian faith. She is one of the leaders of the church’s middle school youth group, and she regularly attends worship services, daily morning devotions, and a bi-weekly bible study group. She also recently led her class in raising funds and clothing items for a boy in need. “Her love for the Lord is evident in all that she does,” said Walker.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award. Coming to work each day to spend my time with energetic and enthusiastic kids is a great privilege!” Miller said. “The award is truly is a reflection of our whole school; I have been blessed with a tremendously talented and caring staff to work alongside, a principal who leads with integrity, and families who are supportive and value an education rooted in Christ.”

First Immanuel Expands Early Childhood Program

November 2012

First Immanuel will be expanding its Early Childhood Education program for the 2013-14 school year, by adding a 5-day-per-week pre-Kindergarten (4K) session as well as a 3-day preschool (3K) session. The school already offers two 2-day-per-week preschool sessions and two 3-day-per-week pre-Kindergarten sessions.

This expansion will require an additional early childhood classroom and the hiring of another certified early childhood teacher and teaching assistant. The new 3-year-old 3-day class will accommodate 14 additional children, and the new 5-day 4-year-old class will accommodate 18 additional children.

When this year’s enrollment for First Immanuel’s early childhood program opened in January 2012, both 4K pre-Kindergarten sessions initially filled in less than 24 hours, and the morning session of 3K preschool reached capacity in less than 3 weeks. FILS Principal Dawn Walker hopes that by adding another afternoon 4K session and another morning 3K session, more children will have the opportunity to attend First Immanuel.

In addition to the expanded classroom offerings, First Immanuel will be implementing a new pre-Kindergarten curriculum in 2013-14, which will better align with the increased academic rigor of Wisconsin’s new Common Core Standards.

“First Immanuel’s early childhood program has always been known for preparing children well for Kindergarten within a caring, Christian environment,” Walker said. “We continue to grow and develop the program to stay at the forefront of ever-changing educational needs of our children, while never losing that Christian focus.”

FILS 8th Graders Bump, Set, Spike to Victory!

September 2012

First Immanuel's 8th grade volleyball team had an amazing season! They took home the championship trophy in both the Living Word High School and Sheboygan Lutheran High School 8th Grade Volleyball Tournaments, won their conference title, and took 3rd in the Lutheran Schools State Tournament. The team includes (from front left): Coach Dawn Walker, Anna Wilde, Abigail Eisner, Selah Batiansila, Coach Jade Bahr, Abi Weyde, Cami Weigand, Faith Leissring, Lizzy Colden, Mikayla Locke, Amanda Dahlman, Sarah Colden and Chloe Knutsen.

FILS Continues Impressive Growth

September 2012

First Immanuel opened the 2012-13 school year with 27% more students than it had two years ago, a pace made more impressive by a sluggish economy and the fact that the Cedarburg/Ozaukee County community only grew about 0.3% over the same time period. The school once again filled its preschool and pre-Kindergarten classes to capacity, and has added 66 new K-8 students since the start of the previous school year.

“Our school has been very blessed,” Principal Dawn Walker said. “We have a caring, Christian staff that loves to come to work every day. We have the ability to individualize curriculum, and we have incredible educational technology. Kids enjoy being here. As a parent, teacher and administrator, I see from many angles what a special place this is.”

According to Gail Burnside, Director of Admissions, new FILS students are coming from a variety of sources. Students have transferred in from a variety of public and private schools and school districts throughout the region, and several school families are new to the Cedarburg area. She credits the growth to the good things happening at the school. “The word is finally starting to get out,” she said. “I think our community is really starting to see what an exceptional school this is.”

FILS Adds Two New Faculty Members

August 2012

With the school's recent growth, First Immanuel Lutheran School has added two new faculty members. Robin Roeske joins the staff as a 5th grade homeroom teacher and a 4th/5th grade social studies teacher. Alison Brueggemann joins the staff as a 2nd grade teacher. Both teachers have advanced degrees and experience teaching in other parts of the country as well as locally.

Mrs. Roeske has a master’s of education degree in reading from Concordia University, and 12 years of teaching experience, including experience teaching at the college level. She was born and raised in Cedarburg and is herself a graduate of First Immanuel. She is an experienced coach and musical choreographer. She also leads Children’s Ministry at First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cedarburg and River of Life in Saukville.

“I’m so thrilled to be back at First Immanuel,” Roeske said. “The education that FILS offers is top notch, and we have the added joy of being able to bring God’s word into any subject or situation. For us, this is not a job – it’s a calling.”

Miss Brueggemann graduated from Valparaiso University, and also has a master’s of education degree in reading from Concordia University. She brings FILS 5 years of teaching experience. She was born and raised in Grafton.

“I am really impressed with First Immanuel,” Brueggemann said. “There is an energy here that you don’t see at other schools. That makes it easier to create an exciting learning environment that is hands-on and interactive.”

Principal Dawn Walker is thrilled about the new additions to the faculty “Mrs. Roeske and Miss Brueggemann come to us with great experience and credentials,” she said. “But more importantly, they have a passion for excellence in Christian education. It’s our staff’s personal devotion to the success of every child-- academically, socially, physically and spiritually-- that sets First Immanuel apart from schools without a Christian mission.”

FILS Stands Out in VFW Patriot's Pen Essay Contest

December 2011

First Immanuel made an excellent showing in the annual Cedarburg-Grafton VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest. Of the 156 essays submitted to Cedarburg-Grafton VFW Post, 6 of the top 10 essays were written by First Immanuel students, and 2 of those essayists went on to be 1st and 2nd in the District competition.

The First Immanuel top ten finishers include 8th graders T.D. Walker and Alex Bothe, 7th graders Ben Rutkowski, Abigail Eisner and Chloe Knutsen, and 6th grader Noah Burmester. Post Commander Jerry Smith presented each of these students with their awards at a school chapel service. All finalists received a $50 cash prize.

The local post submitted all 10 finalists’ essays to the District 6 contest, which includes 27 VFW posts in Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Washington, Fond du Lac, Winnebago and Calumet counties. In that competition, T.D. Walker’s essay was selected as the top essay, and Chloe Knutsen’s was selected as the runner up. T.D.’s essay has now been submitted to the State competition.

All essays were 300-400 words and based on the 2011-12 theme “Are You Proud of Your Country?" TD’s essay was influenced by his experience participating in an Arlington Cemetery wreath laying ceremony during the First Immanuel 7th and 8th grade trip to Washington DC, as well as by FILS Language Arts Teacher Pierson Pilferer’s earlier class project centered on the 10th Anniversary of 9-11.

“I am really proud of how well our students did on their essays,” Pflieger said. “I think their trip to Washington DC last year and our focus on the events of 9-11 this year really helped our students reflect on what makes them proud to be Americans.”

Nicky Valdez Named Teacher of the Year

March 2012

First Immanuel 5th grade teacher and language arts specialist Nicole Valdez has been selected as the 2012 Elementary Educator of the Year by the South Wisconsin District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS). Valdez was presented with her award at a recognition dinner on Sunday, March 4th.

Valdez was nominated due to her desire to serve her students with best practice teaching behaviors. Especially notable is her development of a digital storytelling unit for her language arts classes. She researched the topic independently and reached out to Concordia University (CUW) professors to help her create the program. She also utilized CUW professors, community members, and other First Immanuel teachers to help teach the important elements of digital storytelling that go beyond the story, like images, photography, music and narration.

In addition, Valdez was instrumental in implementing the Junior Achievement Biztown curriculum at First Immanuel, bringing that unique real-world experience to our fourth and fifth grade students. “It was awesome to see the students using their knowledge and applying it during their simulation day,” Valdez said. “What an amazing experience!” Valdez also volunteered to lead and expand First Immanuel’s student council into a true leadership development program.

First Immanuel Principal Dawn Walker noted something else that makes Valdez special. “Mrs. Valdez has been a true Christian role model,” said Walker. “Whether it is during class, meeting with a parent, or helping students solve a relationship problem – she always brings Christian values and solutions to the table.”

Valdez was selected from among hundreds of the teachers in the 63 elementary schools of the South Wisconsin District of the LCMS.

“Supportive people have been instrumental to my growth as an educator,” Valdez said. “I partner with phenomenal leadership, faculty, parents, and students every day at FIL. I am truly honored and blessed by God to receive this award!”

FILS Shines on the Basketball Court in 2011-12!

February 2012

First Immanuel's basketball teams had a stellar season this year! Many of our teams had 1st place finishes in tournaments and winning seasons. Season highlights include:

  • The 8th Grade Boys Basketball Team finished with a 20-6 record, including a 1st place at the First Immanuel Holiday Tournament, a 2nd place at the St. Paul Grafton Tournament, a 3rd place at the Janesville Tournament and a 5th place at the Sheboygan Lutheran HS Tournament. They also won the Big 5 Conference Championship and qualified for State Lutheran Tournament.
  • The 7th Grade Boys Basketball Team finished with a 13-11 record, including a 1st place finish at the Immanuel Wisconsin Rapids Tournament.
  • The 6th Grade Basketball Team: The Red Team finished with a 9-0 record and the White Team finished with a 7-2 record. When they played together they were 8-2. The combined team was champion of both the St. John's West Bend and the Trinity Freistadt Tournaments, also winning the sportsmanship award at the Trinity Freistadt Tournament. Individually, the Red Team won the David's Star Tournament and the White Team finished 2nd.
  • The 5th Grade Boys Basketball Team finished 9-6, including a 1st place finish in St. Paul Grafton’s Round Robin Tournament.
  • The 7th/8th Grade Girls Basketball Team finished the season with a 17-9 record. They were Consolation Champs at the St. Paul's - West Allis Tournament, 3rd place at the Grace - Menomonee Falls Tournament, and 3rd place at FIL Holiday Tournament. They also qualified for state tournament.
  • The 5th/6th Grade Girls Basketball Team did phenomenally this year, finishing with a 20-0 record and a 1st place Championship at the Elm Grove Tournament and another 1st place Championship at the Good Shepherd West Bend Tournament.
  • Head-to-Head Match-Ups: Collectively, the First Immanuel teams also won the “Clash of the Wildcats,” which is an annual head-to-head competition with Hales Corners Lutheran. The FILS teams won that match-up 3 games to 2. FILS also won the “Wild-Knights Challenge,” which is a head-to-head competition with St. Francis Borgia that is played at Cedarburg High School. First Immanuel won that match-up 6 games to 2.
  • Congratulations to all of the First Immanuel teams!

    FILS Christmas Elves Go Shopping for Kids2Kids

    December 2011

    Members of First Immanuel's Student Council went on a $450 shopping spree to buy toys for the Kids2Kids Christmas Toy Drive. The toys were bought with money raised during their annual candy cane sale. In addition, the First Immanuel student body donated toys and offerings to Kids2Kids during their chapel service last Friday. Student Council members pictured at left are: front row - Avery Thompson, Katarina Hinck, Taylor Mesenbrink, Marguerite Wyatt, Annaliese Hilgendorf; back row – Student Council Advisor Mrs. Nicky Valdez, Michael Button, Eric Engman, T.D. Walker, Keri Walker, Sydney Plopper, Abby Butt and little sis Erin Plopper.

    FILS Pilot Use of iPads in the Classroom

    August 2011

    In the 2011-12 school year, First Immanuel is piloting the daily use of iPads in the classroom. Every FILS 3rd grader has been given an iPad to be used at school. First Immanuel also has 16 additional iPads to be used in classroom activities in other grades.

    “There are endless educational possibilities for using iPads as classroom instructional devices, including a wide variety of educational software, books, and internet access … just to scratch the surface,” Principal Dawn Walker explains. “They are a particularly useful tool for providing differentiated learning opportunities to every child, to assure that each one is being challenged appropriately for their skill set and ability. Our staff has been formally trained on how to use iPads in a classroom setting, and they are eagerly opening a whole new world of learning possibilities to their students.”

    If the pilot project proves successful, the iPad program will be expanded in upcoming school years.

    In addition to the iPad pilot program, the school’s campuswide wireless access, SmartBoards in every classroom, and state-of-the-art computer lab, First Immanuel has also added:

  • 21 iMacs ifor use in differentiated learning in the classrooms.
  • 2 more Computers of Wheels labs (COWs), which can provide entire classrooms with laptops, routinely or for special projects (FILS now has a total of 4 COWs).
  • Special email addresses for all K-8 students, so students and teachers can easily communicate, share information, turn in or review assignments, and collaborate with each other online.

  • FIL Middle School Classes Venture to Nation's Capital

    April 2011

    First Immanuel Middle School’s seventh and eighth grader classes went on their first biannual trip to Washington DC on April 8th - April 12th. The students woke up bright and early on Friday to begin their journey, all the while not knowing if the Congress was going to pass a budget and avert a “government shutdown” that would deny them access to many of Washington’s top attractions. Fortunately, that crisis was averted, and the students had a very successful and fulfilling (and whirlwind!) tour of the nation’s Capitol.

    After a long day of bus travel, the students arrived in Washington DC. On the first day of their visit, the students toured the US Capitol Building, the Washington National Cathedral and the US Holocaust Museum. They also saw the WWII War Memorial and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial.

    On the second day, the students toured the White House and went to the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials, the Lincoln Memorial, the Pentagon Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial. One of the highlights of the trip was Day Two’s visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where four First Immanuel students had the chance to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Day Two ended with a nighttime “Illumination Tour” of Washington’s Monuments and Memorials, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Kennedy Center, for a rooftop view of the city.

    The final day of their tour included a tour of the Mount Vernon Estate, the National Archives, and several museums of the Smithsonian. After dinner, the students piled back in the buses for a long overnight ride back to Cedarburg.

    The trip was an amazing experience for these students,” said Dan Riederer, who is First Immanuel middle school’s social studies and US history teacher and the organizer of this biannual trip. “I think history and government came to life for them on this trip, and I don’t think they will forget the things they learned and experienced while they were there.”

    Science Teacher Mr. Schaubs' annual fourth Grade chicken embryology project is in full swing! The project began in March, when Mr. Schaubs set up two incubators and brought in 51 fertilized chicken eggs. On the week of April 4, the eggs were "candled" and graded for hatching potential by the students, and 48 were determined to be viable. The eggs were peeping over the weekend of April 9-10, and the fourth grade is now enjoying a very successful hatch. Click here to check it all out on the Chicken Cam!

    As part of this project, the fourth graders monitored the development of the chicks during the incubation period, and kept a close watch on the temperature and humidity of the incubator. As the eggs hatch, the chicks are kept in the classroom, and students have the opportunity to hold, feed, water, and care for them. When the chicks become too large and noisy for the classroom, Mr. Schaubs will disable the Chicken Cam and transport the chicks to his farm, where he will continue to care for them. Students and their families will be kept up-to-date through regular emails that include digital photographs and interesting and humorous updates on their chickens.

    Next fall, when these students are in fifth grade, Mr. Schaubs will butcher the roosters (with the students’ knowledge, but not their participation) and begin collecting eggs. As soon as their hens lay enough eggs, Mr. Schaubs will host the annual Fifth Grade Chicken Breakfast. For this event, Mr. Schaubs prepares rooster soup and scrambles their hens’ eggs. He then keeps the children’s hens and two lucky roosters at the farm over the winter to supply the next fourth grade class with eggs for their project.

    Through this experience, students develop an appreciation of the circle of life and an understanding of where our food comes from. It is one of the most popular and fondly remembered class projects at First Immanuel – for both students and parents.

    The best part of the project for Mr. Schaubs? "I love to see the wonderment on the faces of the students," he says. "They really see the wonder and miracle of life through this project."

    First Immanuel Family Math Night Goes “Swimmingly”

    March 2011

    On March 22, First Immanuel Elementary School held its annual Family Math Night, with the theme “Under the Sea.” First Immanuel’s Advanced Math Instructor Barb Meyer and her middle school MathCounts team collaborated with the Math Methods Class from Concordia University to put on this creative and fun math event. The future teachers from Concordia created games for the elementary school children in attendance. Each game taught a specific math concept and was designed to bring fun to the learning of math. Students, parents, college students, assistants, and teachers all dove right in for a night of math made fun.

    Cedarburg Author Lisa Moser Visits First Immanuel

    March 2011

    Students at First Immanuel Lutheran School recently had the opportunity to take part in an all-school presentation led by Cedarburg author, Lisa Moser. Moser is a children's book author who has published five books, including Squirrel's World and The Monster in the Backpack. During her presentation, she shared with students how her grandmother inspired and encouraged her be a writer. She also shared the process she goes through when she writes a book – from prayer to publishing. She encouraged each student to use the talents God has given them to help bring joy to others.

    After the all-school presentation, Mrs. Moser read one of her stories to the Kindergarteners. Then she conducted writers’ workshops for the first through sixth grade classes. The first grade group was able to develop a story using a story map. Mrs. Moser helped students in the older grades to develop 216 ideas for writing stories!

    The First Immanuel Student Council and an individual school family sponsored the event. For more information about Lisa Moser, go to

    FILS "Chapel Bells" play for Aurora Hospital Patients

    February 2011

    Fifteen members of First Immanuel's "Chapel Bells," an elementary school handbell choir, visited Aurora Hospital on Valentine's Day. They walked through the halls playing their chimes and warming the hearts of patients and staff with their lighthearted tunes. Karen Schaefer, Director of Volunteer Services for Aurora Health Care, wrote the following to Chapel Bells Director Kaethe Grabenhofer:

    "Thank you so much for the joy and happiness you brought our patients yesterday. Your creativity and hard work to bring together and prepare the children was truly remarkable and made such a difference for the patients and our caregivers! I cannot thank you enough for all you did to make that happen. Please thank all the students again for us because they really touched the hearts of our patients with their voices and smiles. What a gift to be able to the lift the spirits of people who are struggling with illness. Thank you!"

    The Chapel Bells will next be performing in the 7:30am church service on March 6th at First Immanuel.

    FILS "Mathletes" go to MathCounts Competition

    February 2011

    When was the last time you thought about the number of diagonals in a 7-sided polygon or the multiples of 3 less than 500 that are also multiples of 4? These were some of the problems presented to First Immanuel's student "mathletes" participating in the 2011 Greater Milwaukee MathCounts Competition on February 5th.

    Meeting after school or during lunch, First Immanuel MathCounts participants are exposed to topics outside the day-to-day curriculum, exploring formulas and patterns.

    The February 5th event involved more than 125 students, and was held at MSOE and sponsored by the Milwaukee Chapter of the Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers. Students competed in finding solutions, sometimes being allowed the use of calculators while other times only allowed paper and pencil.

    Elementary School Students Celebrate 100th Day

    February 2011

    An annual tradition, First Immanuel elementary school students celebrated the 100th Day of school on Februrary 1st. Classes in grades K-3 celebrated with parties, activities and crafts. For example, kindergarteners made t-shirts to celebrate, and each student brought in 100 items to see how big 100 is ... whether in roses, in M&Ms, or in pennies. 2nd graders made paper "100" eyeglasses. Everyone had 100% fun!

    FILS Science Fair Winners Announced

    January 2011

    First Immanuel Middle School held their 2011 Science Fair on January 21st. There were more than 80 projects submitted, and projects were scored by an outside panel of science educators and experts. Creators of projects with the highest scores received a plaque, runners up received medals, and other winners received ribbons.

    Eighth grader Stewart Stroebel and seventh grader Alex Bothe were honored with “Best of Show” for their projects. Alex studied the impact of temperature on tornadoes, and Stewart studied the best materials to use for concrete filler.

    Other plaque winners included:

    Biology/Botany/Earth Science

  • 8th grader Ali Bostrack
  • 7th grader Morgan Brotz
  • 8th grader Josh Mesenbrink
  • 8th grader Stewart Stroebel – BEST OF FAIR
  • Chemistry

  • 6th grader Selah Batiansila
  • 8th grader Peter Hoppe
  • Physics

    7th grader Alex Bothe – BEST OF FAIR

    8th grader Josh Lang

    8th grader Billy Scheffki

    7th grader TD Walker

    The panel of volunteer judges included Eric Bork, Dan Clapham, Jon Edgren, John Hinck, Ronald Jahn, Bruce Langreck, Dr. Tom Saleska, Kelli Staub, and Ed Zimmermann. Projects were judged based on their adherence to scientific method. Judging criteria included the student’s hypothesis, experimental procedures, presentation of data, conclusion, display and report.

    FILS 3rd Graders Rebuild Cedarburg History

    January 2011

    This fall, First Immanuel’s 3rd grade teacher and lifelong Cedarburg resident Jill Becker took her students on a walking tour of Cedarburg, taking pictures and telling them about the different buildings and businesses, when they were built, and what they used to be. When they came back to school, each of the children chose a picture of one of the buildings and made a 3-dimensional model of it. The models and the original picture of the buildings they represent are currently on display at First Immanuel.

    FILS Services Present Christmas' True Meaning

    December 2010

    First Immanuel’s sixth through eighth graders led a special Christmas service on November 30th. Called "The Hanging of the Greens," that service explained the meaning of many of elements of the church's decorations, and helped us all remember that the Advent season is an important preparation for Christmas.

    The preschool and pre-kindergarten each held their own services on the week of December 13th. The services both shared the true meaning of Christmas, with performances that were a delight to the parents, grandparents and other worshippers in attendance.

    Finally, First Immanuel's kindergarten and first through fifth grade classes presented their annual Christmas service on December 22. This service told the story of the road to Bethlehem, from the perspective of Joseph and Mary, the angels, shepherds and kings from the east. The well-attended and beautifully performed service helped everyone in attendance prepare their hearts for Christmas.

    FILS Fifth Graders Build Strong Bridges

    November 2010

    On November 14th, First Immanuel fifth graders Noah Pecor, Ben Parks and Michael Button participated in the Cedarburg High School Engineering Club’s Bridge Building Contest, which was open to teams of students from ages 5-14. Each team was given Popsicle sticks, glue and guidelines, with the goal of successfully build the bridge that holds the most weight.

    The First Immanuel team of Noah, Ben and Michael won first place! They beat out all grade levels, even besting 6th, 7th and 8th grade teams. Approximately 45 students from First Immanuel, Parkview, Thorson, Westlawn, Webster and St. Francis Borgia participated in the contest.

    “It once again reminds Ray and I why Noah goes to FIL,” said Noah’s mom, Sarah Pecor, in a letter thanking 4th/5th grade science teacher Craig Schaubs and Principal Dawn Walker. “We can’t thank you enough for the education that he has had and is receiving here.”

    Cross Country Team Shows True Team Spirit

    September 2010

    A parent of one of FILS' cross country runners recently shared this story that shows how our students live their Christian faith as they go about their daily lives:

    "Last week at my son's first Cross Country meet, I witnessed something that reminded me of what a special place First Immanuel is, with teachers and students who consistently reflect Christ's love. My son isn't exactly a fast runner, and in this race was at the back of the pack--a good minute or so behind the second-to-last runner. Halfway through the race, one of the other 7th/8th grade boys who had already finished the race ran over to my son and ran alongside him. Then another fell in, and then another. By the time my son neared the finish line, a good eight boys were running with him, encouraging him to finish strong. After he crossed the finish line, he must have gotten a dozen compliments and high-fives as well--you'd think he won the race! It brought tears to my eyes as a parent, and reminded me again of why we have entrusted our son to your care."

    "Thank you to Coach Riederer for encouraging that kind of fellowship, and thank you to the staff for fostering that kind of environment at First Immanuel. My son is learning and growing every day spiritually and intellectually, and this episode showed me that just maybe his being at FIL is helping others grow as well."

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