Many of us can likely recall a teacher that went above and beyond. That one whose message and teaching style has stuck with us through the years.

Rhinelander Partners in Education wants to know who those teachers are right now.

“We know that 2020 had to lend itself to a lot of innovation and we’re really excited that our first year could capture a lot of the work teachers had to do in a year that is completely different from anything that they ever prepared for before,” said PIE board member Ryan Zietlow.

Rhinelander PIE is starting the Golden Apple Award.

Gov. Tony Evers says local decisions on whether to do online learning in the face of the pandemic have been “messy” but isn't offering any advice on what Wisconsin schools should do next semester.

Evers' administration has left it up to individual school districts to decide whether to hold virtual classes or open for in-person instruction in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Concerns about the long-term effects of isolation on children and the effectiveness of online learning have been growing as the pandemic lingers.

Wausau School District Prepares To Bring Back Students

Oct 14, 2020
WAOW Television

In a 5-4 vote, the Wausau School Board decided to give parents the option to send kids back to school in person starting November 2.

For Sherri Esslinger, who has five kids in the Wausau School District, the decision is a game changer. She said it's been hard to keep her kids focused on school while also having to focus on being a student herself.

"Maybe about a quarter of the time, they participate. I can't watch them all the time," she said.

Wausau Schools To Be Virtual To Start The Fall

Jul 28, 2020
WAOW Television

The Wausau School Board decided schools will start the fall semester virtually as concerns about COVID-19 linger.

"We decided to go with the more cautious option. You know we're always focused on the health and safety of students and staff," said Superintendent Keith Hilts about the decision.

The board said it will reexamine the way in which schools operate on a monthly basis. So, if the COVID-19 situation improves, students could end up back in the classroom later this year.

Northcentral Technical College To Increase Online Degree Offerings

Jun 11, 2020
WAOW Television

Students at Northcentral Technical College will now have multiple options for how they want to learn this fall.

NTC is offering new online degree programs through their Virtual College. Examples of degrees offered online are paralegal and human resources.

Vice President for Learning Darren Ackley said the school was able to bounce back quickly after briefly closing when COVID-19 hit.

"I think we were very well prepared just because of all of the experiences we have in our Virtual College," said Ackley.


Since Gov. Evers mandated the closure of schools on Mar. 13, educators have been scrambling to teach remotely. In the Northwoods, the level of instruction varies considerably based primarily on the availability of high-speed internet in the households of students.

Merrill High School Helps Students Get Graduation Gear

Apr 24, 2020
WAOW Television

Senior year of high school is usually a time full of celebrations and reflections as you prepare for the next phase of life.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, not only has the rest of the school year been canceled, but the much-anticipated high school graduations have also been postponed.

Usually around this time high school seniors are getting their cap and gowns as they prepare to walk across the stage in May. Since students aren't at school anymore, Merrill High School came up with a creative way to make sure their students are prepared for graduation.

Local League Mobilizes Voters

Feb 18, 2020
Stephanie Kuski

Today is the day to cast your vote for the District 7 Representative in Congress, Justice of the Supreme Court and a variety of other local elections.

While today might be the first and last time you ponder this election, the League of Women Voters of the Northwoods (LWVNOW) has been working tirelessly over the past several months to ensure local citizens were registered in preparation for today’s election.

Air Mobility Command

Rhinelander and Merrill students have picked up money to further science, technology, engineering and math learning from Wisconsin Public Service Foundation.

Nearly two dozen central and northern Wisconsin teachers will have new tools to enhance critical skills because of more than $20,000 provided by the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation through its Innovative Educator Grants. 23 projects are being funded.

WPS spokesperson Matt Cullen says among the recipients is one in Rhinelander...

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.

Local Schools Recognized for Achievement

Oct 7, 2013
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. 

Intro to Invasives, at CAVOC

Sep 19, 2013
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?