Trees for Tomorrow staff


The year is 1944. While WWII rages abroad, manufacturers at home strain to keep up the supply of resources. Nine paper and utility companies in northern Wisconsin look at the felled forests around them and decide to form an organization to ensure that there will still be resources for the future.

John O'Brien

The Assembly Speaker's Rural Schools Task Force held its third hearing Tuesday in Madison. 


Legislators heard more than three hours of testimony from educational groups and administrators.   State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers spoke about the financial challenges facing rural schools.

"We need to do something about fixing our funding system for all the schools in the state.  We need to find ways to allocate resources that take into account the income levels of families, and not just the community's property value." 

Ken Krall / WXPR News

Eleven Assembly members from both parties came to Rhinelander Wednesday to learn more of the challenges facing rural schools. Ken Krall reports area school leaders had much to say.

The Speakers Task Force on Rural Schools first heard from Rhinelander Superintendent Kelli Jacobi who outlined Rhinelander's history, including cutting $11 million from the budget and closing five buildings, including 4 schools in the past ten years. She says a combination of factors are providing local schools with increasing problems, not the least of which is the drop in state aids...

Terry Rutlin-Nicolet College

WXPR's Ken Krall took a look at the future with some Northwoods 8th graders  at Nicolet College in Rhinelander. He took the "Heavy Metal Tour."

Not a rock band, but a job fair of sorts: the "Heavy Metal Tour" is sponsored by Nicolet College,  North Central Technical College, 27 manufacturing employers, and boards and alliances.

Rene Daniels from North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board says the goal is to give 8th graders a look at careers they might not have considered.

Lyn Lomasi

Several Northwoods schools are receiving state awards for student performance and improvement.  

Wisconsin School Superintendent Tony Evers will honor those schools at a statehouse ceremony Tuesday at noon.  North Lakeland Elementary and Crandon Elementary are both being recognized for high progress. 

Crandon Elementary principal Jamee Belland credits improvements in reading and math to the school’s use of classroom data.  She says it helps teachers tailor curriculum to students at different levels. 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Fourth graders from Central Intermediate School in Rhinelander had a chance to learn about invasive species Thursday, on an environmental education field trip. 

Michele Sadauskas is passing around Louis – a preserved sea lamprey to a group of kids sitting on the floor at CAVOC, the Cedric A. Vig Outdoor Classroom.   Sadauskas is the Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for Oneida County.  She’s here today to give kids a primer – what exactly is an AIS?

Basheer Tome

School report cards are in, and Northwoods school districts are on track or exceeding expectations. 

The statewide performance report ranks schools on measures like student achievement, attendance and college readiness. Schools get placed in one of five categories between "failing" and "significantly exceeding expectations."

Northland Pines schools in Eagle River was rated as "exceeding expectations". District Administrator Dr.  Mike Richie says the numbers are positive.

Don O'Brien

It's time for the first day of school.  

Rhinelander School District Superintendent Kelli Jacobi plans to visit all district schools in the first two weeks of classes.  She’s hoping school bus logistics will run more smoothly than last year. 

A Rhinelander Catholic school is hoping to take part in the state’s expanded school voucher program.  Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School is one of 48 schools statewide that registered for the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program.  It allows low-income students to attend private or religious schools using a state-funded voucher.  Nativity Catholic School Principal Shirley Heise says it’s an opportunity for some families to afford a faith-based education. 

Nicolet College is expecting a higher enrollment this fall.  President Libby Burmaster says that’s been the trend for the past few years. 

“Because having a college credential and the higher level of job skills that come along with higher education is one of the best ways to get ahead.  Especially right now as area employers in a wide variety of fields are looking for the skills and the knowledge that they’re going to need in the workplace.”