After a hard-fought battle, Nicolet School District referendum supporters reacted with screams of joy, high fives and hugs after the measure was handily approved by voters on Tuesday.
The referendum, which will allow Nicolet to raise its state-imposed revenue cap by $2.15 million in each of the next five years, was approved by 54 percent of the voters.
Final unofficial results show the referendum received 5,684 "yes" votes and 4,906 "no" votes.
"I’m ecstatic that it passed," District Administrator Rick Monroe said during a festive party at the Four Points by Sheraton in Brown Deer. "I’m looking forward to going to work tomorrow."
"I’m grateful to the community for supporting the high school and for seeing the importance of providing a great education for our future generations," said School Board President Marilyn Franklin, who also was at the party.
Board member Kelly Herda echoed Franklin's praise for the community.
"I'm thrilled for Nicolet, thrilled for our students," she said. "I’m relieved. It’s more a relief knowing that we did everything we could for them (the students)."
As the results slowly trickled in Tuesday night, groups huddled around computers and TV screens watching the action.
Every few minutes someone would ask, "Any updates yet?" and as soon as there was one, a fork would ting a glass and everyone would hush to hear the latest update. As soon as the final results were in, everything broke loose.
Cheers erupted and Monroe even led the group in the Nicolet school cheer.
High fives and hugs - not handshakes - were shared by nearly everyone in the room.
David Quam, president of the teachers union, came to the party as well, even though it was his birthday. He gave a heartfelt speech that left him a bit misty-eyed.
"Somehow we got to be the bad guy and it’s been hard," Quam said. "I cannot thank you all enough for the message you have sent to us. You are all wonderful, you all get A’s in my book."
Two of the three School Board candidates also attended the party - Morton Grodksy and Joseph Kasle. The two, who backed the referendum, easily defeated Andrew Cegielski, who was against it.
"When we talk about schools and how good Nicolet is, it’s not the brick and mortar, it’s the children we send there and our teachers," Grodsky said.
"We’re re-energized now because we got this vote of confidence from the community," Monroe added.