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The Year in School News in Fox Point and Bayside

Rick Monroe's retirement from the Nicolet was the biggest news, but plenty more happened during 2012.

A rare perfect ACT score was among the school news highlights in 2012 for Fox Point and Bayside, which also saw one administrator retire and another retained over some parental objections.

Here is a summary of the top school stories of the year:

Nicolet High School District Administrator Rick Monroe announced his retirement in mid-December, effective at the end of the school year. He desires to spend more time on personal pursuits, such as volunteering and visiting his family.

Back in January, the Fox Point-Bayside School District gave a two-year contract extension to District Administrator Rachel Boechler. Some parents objected after a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report revealed the Boechler did not immediately reveal an affair between a student and a teacher while a counselor at Wauwatosa East in the 1990s. Some teachers also criticized her management style, but board members were strong in their support of Boechler.

The 2012 homecoming week at Nicolet was a newsmaker. First came controversy when a group of seniors decided to circumvent the planned dress-up day with their own theme of "LAX (Lacrosse) Bros and Preppy Hoes.” That was followed by vandalism, cancellation of the annual homecoming pep rally and the arrest of a former school board member for disorderly conduct at a gathering in the school parking lot following the football game.

In April, the school’s football coach, Brad Kozaczuk, resigned from teaching and coaching and called the school “unsafe.” Later, video surfaced of an altercation he had with a student. The video shows him arguing with the student, though it doesn’t appear he made physical contact.

Positive achievements in 2012

Nicolet High School junior Annie Jen learned that she was one of the few students in the country to earn a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college prep exam. Nationally, about 0.1 percent of students reach that score.

Almost two dozen Nicolet students had artwork on display in a special exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum in February, based on their awards in The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards National Program.

Maple Dale fourth-grader Casey O’Hare received a special visit from North Shore firefighters after she won honorable mention for the poster design she submitted to the Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety annual Fire Safety Poster Contest.

St. Eugene students produced a creative “movie trailer” to promote the introduction of iPads into the classroom.

After 27 years at Nicolet High School, science teacher Gary Stresman announced his retirement from the school, but not teaching. He and his wife Kathy, a former guidance counselor in the Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District, were planning to move to Thailand to teach.

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