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.

2019 01 Newsletter, January meeting

Stevens Point Area Retired Teacher's Association           

January Newsletter

January 14, 2019
Park Ridge Restaurant
3425 Church 
Stevens Point, WI 54481

11:00 am.  Socializing
11:15 am. Order Lunch Entrée 
11:30 am. Business Meeting
12:30 pm. Program Speaker

Program Speaker for January is Donn Behnke. The title of his presentation is: Animal Keepers: The Story of a Great Team and an Unforgettable Year
Action Items: 
1. Automatic Door Openers – Children’s Museum
2. Scholarship Committee

President: Santha Bickford                                 Vice President: Vacant
Treasurer: Janet Langton                                 Co-Secretaries: Dave Blado, Lauren Isberner     
Data Manager: Sherrilee Wallermann                                                      Immediate Past President: Joyce Chekouras    

Committee Members 2019-2020   Program Committee: Eileen Payne, Mary Zinda, Santha Bickford    
Coordinators for Power of Attorney for Health Care Committee: Santha Bickford, Bob Bowen, Janet Langton
Data Committee: Sherrilee Wallerman, Janet Langton, Jack Allgaier    
Retirement Committee: Judy Zimmerman, Sandy Schroeder, Santha Bickford    
Membership Committee: Kathleen Nicholson, Lynne Kagelmann, Sally Dehlinger    
Legislative Committee: Joyce Chekouras, Christine Neidlein  
Social Committee: Eileen Payne, Mary Moore, Barb Clementi   
Health Committee: Mary Ann Krems, Jerry Kasdorf, Laurie Pascutti   
Historical Committee: Eileen Payne   
Book Committee: Nancy Kemmeter, Janeen Kwarciany, Nancy Mezyk, Janet Swiston, Mary Marks, Charlene    Laurent, Fran Vollrath, Elbert Rackow; Sally Dehlinger    
Scholarship Committee: Lauren Isberner, Nancy Kemmeter, Suzanne Fee, Charlotte Harvath, David Blado, Jim and Mary Ann   Krems   
Sunshine Committee: Mary Beth Anday (Jan-Mar), Suzanne Fee (April-Dec.) Arvy Crawford, Santha Bickford 
Grants Committee: Janet Swiston, Nancy Kemmeter, Janeen Kwarciany, Nancy Mezyk, Mary Marks, Charlene Laurent, Fran    Vollrath, Elbert Rackow, Eileen Payne  
50th Anniversary Committee: Sherrilee Wallerman, Barb Clementi, Sandy Schroeder
BUSINESS MEETING: (Beginning as soon as orders are taken and continuing through lunch) 
1. Call to order: 
2. Pledge of Allegiance; 
3. Introduction of guests and new members;  
4. Drawing for door prize 
5. Consent Agenda
6. Officers’ Reports: 
7. Minutes of previous meeting as written on the following pages (automatically approved if there are no corrections.) 
8. Treasurer’s Report 
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.) 
1. Book Committee. 
2. Grant Committee 
3. Legislative Committee 
4. Health Committee 
5. Data Committee 
6. Membership Committee

1. Participation in Panel at Mid-State 
2. President’s Update on Committees
a. Scholarship Committee
3. Automatic Door Openers – Children’s Museum
4. Preliminary Plans to celebrate our 50th next year 
5. Program Presentation  

Minutes November 12, 2018 

On Monday November 12, 2018, SPARTA met at the Park Ridge Family Restaurant with about 30 present, including guests, Marcella Langton (Jan Langton’s mother) and our featured speaker, Christy SeBlonka. Warmly welcomed were returning members Gretchen Kruzicki, Tina Sivek, Anne Cragg and Lois Cose. 

 In honor of Veterans’ Day, SPARTA’s three members with service in the military—Elbert Rackow, Jim Krems, and Jerry Kasdorf—received a free meal, compliments of an anonymous donor.     

The door prize was won by Gretchen Kruzicki, a result of having both parents serve in the Coast Guard.  

There was a moment to reflect on recent deaths: Nancy Kemmeter’s sister, Lauren Isberner’s father, Santha Bickford’s sister, and Joanne Stack’s husband.  

Members signed a card thanking the Superintendent of the Stevens Point School District, Craig Gerlach, for his hard work, devotion, and excellent leadership in getting referenda passed at the November election.  

Officers’ Reports: 

A motion to approve the minutes as corrected was made by Jan Langton and seconded by Mary Zinda.  The motion carried. 

Committee Reports: 

Book Committee: Treasurer Jan Langton stated that the October book sale grossed $6,573.35.  Janeen Kwarciany appealed for help in removing books for delivery to Goodwill.  

Grant Committee: Janet Swiston reported that the Committee has recommended grants totaling $6,000 to be distributed to 32 applicants. She explained that the money awarded this year actually was the result of our book sales in 2017, and our 2018 sales will fund grants awarded next year. Swiston’s motion to approve the grants recommended by the Grant Committee was seconded by Jack Allgaier and unanimously adopted. For her dedication, Swiston received a round of applause. 

Social Committee:  Eileen Payne garnered 17 signatures on a sign-up sheet for those interested in attending the Fireside Dinner Theater’s production of “Buddy Holly” in 2019. Suggestions for future excursions are welcome. “Birds in Art” at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum anyone? 

Health Committee:  Jerry Kasdorf distributed handouts of special interest to those with Power of Attorney for Health Care. The handout lists “25 Suggested Topics to Discuss With Your Health Care Agent.” 

Scholarship Committee: Santha Bickford and Mary Ann Krems from the Scholarship Committee represented SPARTA at the Community Foundation’s Annual Appreciation Event.  

On-Going Business: 

President Bickford pointed out the “good feedback” from September’s WREA State Convention. Especially notable were the “glowing reviews” for our local presenters, Bernie Patterson, Dan Dieterich, and Donn Behnke.  

American Education Week preparations are proceeding well. After the meeting, members picked up packets for new teachers, lots of candy and table tents. Letters-to-the-Editor are being dispatched to the Portage County Gazette and the Stevens Point Journal.  

Santha appealed for volunteers to make Power of Attorney for Health Care presentations at Lincoln Center. 

New Business: 

Santha Bickford read an updated list of members for each of the standing committees. Vacancies still exist; new people are invited to participate. 

In related action, Bickford proposed an expansion of Sunshine Committee duties to include outreach to those experiencing major life changes. 

An Ad Hoc Committee was formed to generate preliminary plans for SPARTA’s 50th Anniversary celebration. Volunteers include Sherrilee Wallerman, Barbara Clementi, and Sandra Schroeder. 

 Nancy Kemmeter, along with members of the Book Committee, presented a special award to Elbert and Hulda Rackow acknowledging their dedication and exceptional contributions. The plaque reads: 

“Gratefully presented to Elbert Rackow in recognition of his outstanding service to SPARTA and his initiation and coordination of the semi-annual book sales which have sustained our organization, allowed us to award annual scholarships, and support many worthwhile projects in the community; and to Hulda who shared time, attention, and space to support these endeavors!” 

“The SPARTA Scholarship given in honor of Elbert and Hulda Rackow” will be an annual reminder of their remarkable legacy.  


From her office in Nelson Hall, Director of the Portage County Literacy Council, Christy SeBlonka, pairs adult learners with volunteer tutors. In her presentation, “The Evolving Role of the Literacy Council,” SeBlonka pointed out that, as adults continue to learn and meet their goals, their sense of well-being increases, health outcomes improve, and income rises—a real win for the community and for society as a whole. 
Respectfully submitted, David Blado

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