9 Years Done

Editor’s Note: A similar note was sent home to the families of Bethesda last week Friday in the weekly newsletter.  This note has been modified with my personal comments.


Bethesda BobcatsLast night was the 5th grade Completion Ceremony.  It was a great event and Luke is looking forward to heading to Central next year.  I am pretty sure he believes that this will lead to more trips to Taco Johns some how.

 I am stepping down from the position of co-PTO President.  I have been extremely lucky to have a wonderful executive board to work with on the many events and functions over the years.  A huge THANK YOU to my co-President the past two years, Jana Manning, the treasurer team of Paul Hetzel and Dan Demo, and the secretaries of Kim Hartzler and Sally Bomberg.

I remember the day I filled out the volunteer form, and Kim called me back and said you said you wanted to be PTO President?  Funny moment that I will never forget.

I also want to thank all our event chairs and volunteers who put in countless hours to make sure we had fun, diverse activities that have followed the Mission Statement of the PTO. This year, like every other year, was a busy one!  We had the New Family Picnic, Open House, Cheers and Tears, Book Fairs, Cookie Dough Sale, Scrapbook Day, Box Top Contests, Family Fun Night, and the Walk.  These were the ones off the top of my head.

With the introduction of the two big fundraisers, Cookie Dough in the fall and the Walk in the spring, we have been able to make some tremendous strides in supporting the Bobcats.  This year alone the PTO has spent over $60,000 on a wide number of things this school year that include:

  • New 5th grade furniture – a super addition in a spot that really needed it

  • Grade Level Teaching Supplies

  • Project Based Learning materials

  • A per student allocation per classroom that is larger than last years by almost 40%

  • Playground Games Organizer

  • Numerous Field Trips

These are just the larger items that we supported.  There is a great deal of smaller items that we supported that included purchasing the Home Folders, supporting all of the Musical Programs, Bethesda Hall of Fame, etc.  This list could go on and on.

That dollar amount is an increase of almost $20,000 over the past two years.  I wish I could list all the names of all the wonderful parents and community members who have stepped up this year, and the past three years.  Without all of your support for the school, Mr. Kunkel and Teaching Staff, and the PTO, this would not be possible.

On a personal note, my family has been part of Bethesda for the past 9 years.  It has been a great time and I know that what my family has experienced at this school with the great people has been something that we will always remember.  It is what makes Bethesda Elementary a strong piece of the community.  The short list of great things they encountered would include: solo songs at Musica;s, Town Hall, Behavior Hall of Fame, Optimist Swim Meet, Science Fair, Talent Show, Invent America, Safety Patrol, Chess Club, Yearbook, School Store….wow, that is a ton of stuff.

But we are on the way out!  This new groups will be excellent with a new principal in Melissa Yow, and new co-PTO Presidents in Kristin Yoder and Sally Bomberg, and Vice President Amy Kukla, and new secretary Carrie Ziebell.

I wish the Bethesda Family all the best heading forward!

History of the Ride

Black Beauty is no more. So I thought I would go back and relive the History of all of My Rides up to this point. And let me tell you, it was great thinking of all the awesome things I have done with these cars.

The vehicles below are the ones where I was the primary driver.  All have been automatic transmission.

Vehicle #1 – 1983 Silver Mazda 626

I was not able to find any good pictures to fully represent this machine. First car that I ever owned. My dad made me take it to a dealer to have it tested to make sure it was a good buy. And since I was still living at home at the time, I did as my Dad said.  Did not know much about cars….I know, hard to believe based off what I know now, which is zero.  But I did know that this was the key to having a job, because I did not want to drive this car forever.

1989 Beretta GT

Vehicle #2 – 1989 Black Chevy Beretta GT

Favorite part was the digital dashboard. It totally rocked. Reminded me a great deal of Knight Rider. The video below will show why.

Also, I had a monster size trunk that allowed, ready for this, to take three 15 inch CRT monitors still in the box with me for installs for the job I had at the time. Pretty sure that this car made a great deal of trips from Milwaukee to Madison.

1995 Pathfinder

Vehicle #3 – 1995 Blue Nissan Pathfinder SE

First vehicle with 4 wheel drive, and could be switched on the fly. This was a beast. We were sitting at a stop light one time, and got rear ended from someone, and it did not even put a dent into the trunk.  We used it for a ton of stuff. It carried all of the bricks for our flag pole retaining wall. It helped us move from the old house to the new house. It eventually had to be put down because it needed too much in repairs. If I remember correctly, we started this out on a lease for under $200 a month.  I had a Badger and a Notre Dame tire cover for the spare tire that was on the back of the truck.

1999 Altima

Vehicle #4 – 1999 Black Nissan Altima SE

After 171K, Black Beauty needed too much extra work to keep her going. Breaks were starting to fail, power antenna stopped working years ago, remote key lock was suspect for the past year, power window on driver’s side needed extra help to close all the way.  I think Michelle was glad to be rid of this car.  She did not enjoy it being such a low rider 🙂   It had just the right amount of cup holders as well.  Made it through a good deal of swim practice and meets and was good at waiting around for swimmers to be picked up.

2011 FIT

Vehicle #5 – 2011 Vortex Blue Pearl Honda FIT Sport

Since I am driving over 17 thousand miles a year with more than sixty percent being for work, I needed something that was getting better than the 22 mpg that I was getting with Black Beauty. Giving a little up in trunk space but am gaining it all back on comfort and smooth ride. In all the research done before the purchase, most magazines had it rated first or second in its class and it was a Best Buy in Consumer Reports.  After fice days, I am still jacked up for the history that can be made in this one.  And the quest for the perfect nickname for this one is now on.