The purposes of this Association are to:

  • The purposes of this Association are to:
  • A. Promote and protect the interests, rights, and welfare of the retired educators of the Stevens Point area in conjunction with the Wisconsin Retired Educators’ Association (WREA).
  • B. Monitor and work to improve the benefits for retired educators and other members of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).
  • C. Encourage Association members to maintain membership in the Wisconsin Retired Educators’ Association (WREA).
  • D. Develop working relationships with local service organizations whose main emphasis is on aging groups and with organizations sharing goals similar to those of the Association.
  • E. Inform Association members about and advocate for educational and other relevant societal issues.
  • F. Inform members of activities in the area provided for senior citizens.
  • G. Encourage Association members to be active participants in community affairs on an individual basis.

2018 May: agenda, minutes, newsletter

STEVENS POINT AREA RETIRED TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION (SPARTA) MEETING Park Ridge Family Restaurant, 3425 Church Street, Stevens Point 
Monday, May 14, 2018 
President: Santha Bickford Co-Secretaries: Dave Blado, Lauren Isberner 
Co-Treasurers: Janet Langton, Arvalea Crawford Immediate Past President: Joyce Chekouras 
Socialization beginning at 11:15 with orders taken about 11:30. You are responsible for your own lunch and will also need to include a tip. Members may order either breakfast or lunch, only soup or salad, or whatever pleases you. 
BUSINESS MEETING: (Beginning as soon as all the orders are taken and continuing through lunch) 
Call to order: Pledge of Allegiance; Introduction of guests and new members; Reflection. 
Drawing for door prize 
Consent Agenda/ Officers’ Reports: Minutes of previous meeting as written on the following pages (automatically approved if there are no corrections.) 
Treasurer’s Report 
  1. 1. Regular Committee Updates: (Because members have expressed a desire to shorten the business meeting, we will only hear from those who have been active and wish to report.) a. Scholarship Committee 
  2. b. Book Committee 
  3. c. Grant Committee 
  4. d. Legislative Committee 
  5. e. Health Committee 
  6. f. By-Laws Committee (Please read the revised by-laws which are included with major changes highlighted.) 

  7. 2. Formal motion on next year’s dues 
  8. 3. Motion on formal naming of scholarships 
  9. 4. Discussion, motion on approval of amended and updated by-laws. 

1. Report from Menu Selection Committee 
2. Report from Nominating Committee 
3. Report from Spring District Meeting 
4. Other 


PROGRAM: Safari with Sue by Sue Jacobson, SPARTA member with one thing recently checked off her bucket list. 
On Monday March 12, 2018 SPARTA met at the Park Ridge Family Restaurant with 34 present including two guests: our speaker, Kathleen Nicholson and Ben Franklin Junior High School principal, Steve Prokop. 
The door prize was won by Charlene Laurent. There was a moment of reflection for those educators who have passed, especially Bob Linzmeir, Norm Heitman, and Jim Higgins. 
Steve Prokop shared information about the 50th anniversary celebration being held at Ben Franklin on May 30 after school. He asked members to think about anecdotes or experiences they recall from days at Ben Franklin Junior High. 
Book Committee: Posters were made available for members to distribute for the upcoming sale on April 25-28. If members have books for the sale, they may be dropped off on Monday, March 26th or Monday, April 9th between the hours of 10am and 3pm. On April 23 help is needed to set up the sale. Paper bags are also needed. 
Grant Committee: Janet Swiston reminded members that the criteria for selecting grantees can be found on forms on the SPARTA website and downloaded or obtained from the committee chair or the president. 
Scholarship Committee: It was reported that the generous donation from the Weisbrod family, along with the continuing success of our book sales, has enabled us to fund a second annual scholarship, pending approval from the membership. 
Social committee: Eileen Payne brought a proposal of two different trips to choose from. One would be to the Fireside in Fort Atkinson for a musical celebration of Broadway sometime between April 12 and 27. The other possibility is a trip to Memories Theater to see the musical “Assisted Living” sometime between July 10 and 19. Members were asked to indicate by a show of hands which they would be more interested in and there was a clear majority for the trip to Memories. Eileen will get details and cost for that trip and report back. 
Sunshine Committee: Mary Beth Anday has sent a sympathy card to Joanne Higgins whose husband, James, passed away on Feb. 6. Get well cards were sent to Joyce Wotruba’s husband Frances Polson and to Mary Moore who recently had surgery. 
The Treasurer’s Report was presented by Jan Langton. She reported the current balances as $18,682 in our Community Foundation account for scholarships and a checkbook balance of $23,459.53. We received a generous donation from Jim Higgins’ family. 
Chairman Elbert Rackow reported that members of the ad hoc committee to update the by-laws met five times for more than two hours. The meetings were very successful, and an email of the revised and up-dated bylaws has been sent to respective members for review. 

A motion was made by Janet Swiston to accept the Grant Committee’s 2nd semester recommendations. The motion was seconded by Nancy Kemmeter. The motion carried. 
Jan Langton moved that SPARTA donate $100 to the Community Foundation Scholarship Fund in honor of our deceased member Jim Higgins. The motion was seconded by Jerry Kasdorf. The motion passed. 
A motion was made by Jan Langton to fund a second scholarship in honor of Ramona Weisbrod as recommended by the Scholarship Committee. Judy Zimmerman seconded the motion which passed. Judy Zimmerman seconded the motion which passed. 
A motion was made by Nancy Kemmeter to name our original scholarship through the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin “The Stevens Point Area Retired Teachers’ Association the Elbert Rackow Education Scholarship” to honor Elbert’s many years of service as our president and as the originator of our book sales, our major funding source. Discussion ensued, and Jan Langton accepted a friendly amendment to obtain more input as to both scholarship’s official titles at a later date. 
A motion was made by Jan Langton to close the SPARTA account at BMO Harris Bank and open a new one at locally owned Pineries Bank. This was on the recommendation of the ad hoc committee to investigate the benefits of local institutions and make a choice. The owners of the Pineries have not only been very active in the community, but they are frequent donors and supporters of our book sales. Thanks was extended to this committee consisting of Jan Langton, Lauren Isberner, and Nancy Kemmeter. The motion was seconded by Nancy Kemmeter and passed. 
Sue Reinhardt and Judy Zimmerman agreed to serve on the nominating committee. (Note: Eileen Payne has since also volunteered her services.) 
Laurie Pascutti agreed to chair the ad hoc menu committee to arrange menus for the new year and Jerry Kasdorf and Laurel Hoeth also agreed to serve. (Note: Sherrilee Wallerman has since volunteered her services.) 
Mary Zinda announced there will be a celebration for the new additions to the Sculpture Park on May 7th from 9-10:30 am. Photos of children and their projects will be on display as well as Stuart Morris showing his new sculpture. 
District 3 Spring Conference will be held in on Wednesday, May 2 in Eau Claire. All members are invited to attend. Please check your Red Apple Express for details and call Santha Bickford to arrange carpool details. It would be great to have a good representation! 
Members were urged to consider volunteering at Heritage Park in the role of a 1911 teacher as county third (and some fourth) grade students visit in April and May. Call Mary Beth or Anton Anday if interested. 
FORMAL PROGRAM: Kathleen Nicholson, fourth grade teacher from the Amherst Schools, presented the garden program carried on by Amherst students. She shared how she coordinates all grade levels and community businesses, integrates the gardening experience with various subjects, and uses the produce in the school hot lunch program. 
NEXT MEETING: The next meeting will be on May 14th at the Parkridge Family Restaurant. Socializing begins at 11:30 with the meal served at 11:45. Our guest speaker will be Anne Rogalski from UWSP Continuing Education. She will present “Off to the Big Apple and More” focusing on the trips and tours arranged through her office. Please call or email Sherrilee Wallerman (; 715 344 0031.) A motion to adjourn was made by Nancy Kemmeter and seconded by Mary Zinda. The motion passed. 
Respectfully submitted by Lauren Isberner 

News and Notes 
Top Ten Reasons to Love Our Book Sales 
1. Fun and rewarding to work with former cohorts including many who aren’t able to regularly attend meetings. 
2. Ditto for getting to know members we have never worked with before, especially those who recently moved into the area and looked us up! (Yes, you, Lynn Keggelman!) 
3. Opportunity to see former students and parents and catch up with them. 
4. Great to hear folks’ comments about the books and learn of new authors. 
5. Opportunity to get wonderful reading materials for ourselves and our grandchildren. 
6. Rewarding to interact and provide materials to students just entering our profession. 
7. Wonderful opportunity to provide a real service to our community. 
8. Valuable physical exercise, especially on set-up and take-down days. 
9. Opportunity to develop skills in so many areas including marketing, customer relations, management, research, and more (so good for our brains, right, Jerry?) 
10. Make lots of $$$$ to support our organization and community! 

On April 20 Bob Bowen and Santha Bickford held an informational session at the ADRC (Lincoln Center) on the importance of completing a Power of Attorney for Health Care. They offered advice and instruction to eleven people who took the forms home to complete them. This is a valuable service and still another way SPARTA serves our community. If YOU have not completed a POA for Health Care and would like to learn about the process, trained volunteers Bob, Santha, Joan Gilles or Elbert Rackow would be glad to help. 
Since our last meeting, we have lost several friends from teaching days. Gladys Wentworth, secretary at Madison for many years, passed away on April 10. Tom Lisack and Al Magnuson, teachers at SPASH, died recently as did Theresa Grapsas, a speech and language clinician at Bannach. 
HOW ABOUT THAT MENU COMMITTEE? Laurie Pascutti was the chair and she arranged for Sherrilee Wallerman, Jerry Kasdorf, and Laurel Hoeth to meet with Heather at Parkridge Café. That’s where they came up with the idea to try ordering off the menu! The Executive Committee enthusiastically agreed to give it a try at our May meeting. As noted in the agenda, we plan to conduct the entire business meeting during the serving and eating of lunch. That way we will not have to wrap up details after the program. It’s quite a few changes for a group of retired folks, but I know in the course of our careers our group has weathered quite a few changes, and this one has the potential to be very I would particularly direct yur attention to rewarding. Two desserts, anyone? We’ll ask for your feedback, so be prepared! And pass the word-members who find themselves free on Monday the 14th can just pop in and join us. 
And How About Our New By-Laws? The By-Laws committee met for literally hours to update and customize our by-laws, and I am extremely pleased with the results. 
Articles I through IV are essentially unchanged except for a few words. 

However, Article V. (Officers and Their Duties) contains several updates and clarifications. We have added the office of Data Base Administrator to work in cooperation with the Membership Chair to maintain records and shall produce the Association Directory. Duties of all officers have been detailed and clarified. 
In Article VI standing committees have been updated and detailed. Email alerts have replaced the telephone trees of the past. 
Article VII contains major changes in the scheduling of regular meetings. To be more consistent, the committee proposes meeting in alternate months, January, March, May, July, September, and November. (The Executive Committee proposes using the July meeting to recruit new and recent retirees). If the amended by-laws are approved, they will take effect in September since our year runs essentially with the school year. 


Tooth-mounted sensors track your diet and health from inside your mouth 
Engineers at Tufts University have created tiny sensors that attach to teeth. It’s not a fashion statement, though it could very well someday become one. Instead, the wireless sensors are designed to monitor health and dietary habits, relaying data about sugar, salt, and alcohol intake to a wearer’s mobile device. It’s like a little nutritionist in your mouth that keeps tabs on every time you cheat on your diet. With their tooth-mounted biosensor, the Tufts team aims to take measurements from inside the mouth, recording what’s been eaten and how the body has responded. 
To do so, they sandwiched biosensors between layers of gold, which act like a little antenna, collecting and relaying physiological data. 
In a paper published last week in the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers discuss how the tooth-mounted wearable could be used for both medical and lifestyle purposes, helping both patients and people who just want to live healthier. 
“While we are aware about what we ingest, we may indulge or deal with overeating pathologies,” Omenetto said. “On the other hand, sampling and monitoring analytes in the oral cavity could help in a number of ways, from monitoring dental health to monitoring physiological states, such as fatigue, through saliva sampling. Obviously, the latter applications require device refinements in terms of sensitivity and specificity to the analytes of interest.” 
The device is less obtrusive than previous in-mouth wearables, but it’s still far from discreet, thanks to gold outer layers that give wearers the look of a cyberpunk pirate. Omenetto admits he and his team didn’t design it to be inconspicuous, but said you could always wear it on a molar. 
From Berkeley Newsletter, 03, 27, 2018 
Respectfully submitted 
Jerry Kasdorf, Health Committee Chair 

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