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Art, Innovation, and Design

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Finding Voice, Building Community

"There is nothing stronger than the human voice. There is nothing more important than the human voice." Jaclyn Tyler (2006 Slinger HS graduate and Multi-Media Storyteller)

"The innovation mindset pushes us to be more comfortable with being uncomfortable." Joe Poeschl (2004 Slinger HS graduate, The Commons co-founder)
"Mr. Graziano would have us try pastels so we would expand our horizon and we were not narrowing our medium to one narrow lane. You can learn more by trying something new even if you are not good at it at first. It can be good practice to try new things."  Anna Strong (2016 Slinger HS graduate)

"Try things. Don't be afraid to fail." Bescent Ebeid (2018 Slinger HS graduate, architecture major)

During the 2021-2022 school year, Slinger High School sociology, history, art, theater, and technical education students used interviews, observation, questionnaires, and site visits to help capture ways that some people in the Slinger Area find their voice and build community.  Significant emphasis was placed on current Slinger students as well as Slinger alumni. While Art, Innovation, Design, and Theater were key subthemes explored, there was also a strong desire to ask questions about sense of belonging and where people find that belonging.  Students were fortunate to be able to interact with several Washington County and Village of Slinger leaders to discuss how local citizens interact.  Washington County Social Capital coordinator, the Washington County Executive, the Washington County Community Development Director, the Washington County Transit Coordinator, Volunteer Center of Washington County leaders and member organizations, Slinger Village leadership, Slinger School District administrators, Slinger/Allenton Rotary, Museum of WI Art leaders, and more.  Of particular importance was talking to Slinger alumni.  While there are too many to list here, especially helpful as social capital connectors to career concepts, people, and places as well as active listening advisors were  2004 Alum Joe Poeschl (The Commons), 2006 Alum Jaclyn Tyler (Jaclyn Tyler LLC), 2013 Alum Kelly Wallschlaeger (Belook LLC),  1993 Alum Corey Foerster (Foerster Signs), 2018 Alum Bescent Ebeid (UW-Milwaukee), 2007 Alum Gina Crovetti (art therapy), 2010 Alum Ed Euclide (UX Design Research), 2010 Alum Rachel Hausmann Schall (Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum), 2002 Alum Hope Zvara (Wellness Expert), and 2017 Alum Cassie Schmidt (Washington County Social Capital Coordinator).  Special note to the students who worked so diligently on making sure that the late Nicole Kopfmann's art was included in this year's work as Nicole would have been a champion for a student empowerment project. The data below reveals evidence of human interaction and some layers of understanding about what many interviewees found important.  Sociology students heard stories from student artists about the school building being a valuable gathering place where social infrastructure is often, but not always, built.  Students spent quite a bit of time looking for ways social capital is built as well as barriers. History students conducted oral histories with veterans, family members, community members, and art/innovation/design alumni and added key historical photos some which were archived at the Edward H. Wolf Schleisingerville to Slinger Museum. Additional data will be added.  Please feel free to view the music, FFA, Student Council voices from the 2020-2021 project here.   Thank you to all the School District Staff and retired staff who work tirelessly to create opportunities for our students.  Thank you to Dean Leisgang for his expertise with video production.  It's been great to watch him work with our students.   Reach him at

Funded in part by a grant from Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Wisconsin Humanities strengthens the roots of community life through educational and cultural programs that inspire civic participation and individual imagination.


Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Finding Voice in Art

Finding Voice: The Pandemic

*Slinger HS Student, Colette Poree, discusses art in pandemic

*Pandemic music video short by choir, library and choir, and alum

Students, teachers, and alum discuss finding voice in art at Slinger HS

Art in Classrooms

*A Slinger teacher discusses the connections made with art in classrooms

*Click here and here and here for more

Student Art:

Steampunk 2021

Steampunk 2016

Slinger HS Steampunk videoshort from 2016 featuring student, Julia Gueller

Slinger HS Steampunk video short featuring Fall 2021 students

Slinger 2022 grad, Kaylee Goodman discusses chalk art

*See more about Kaylee's State Park Sticker design, mural, and backstory

Museum of WI Art

Student Paper
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Official website

Foerster Signs

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Foerster Signs Official webpage
Foerster signs student work

Student Community:
Fishing Team

Slinger High School Fishing Team members discuss building community

Regional Design:Owl Eyes

Slinger HS Art Teacher and his former student discuss collaborating on the Owl Eyes Design.  Don Thies angle here

Student Design:
Fishing Lures

Slinger High School Fishing team makes their own lures to use in competition and to sell at the State Fishing Expo

West Bend Friends of Sculpture

Friends of Sculpture Website
Friends of Sculpture Facebook Page

Regional Design:

Regional Design
Ice Age Trail

A collaborative project between Slinger HS Tech Ed students, the Village of Slinger, Slinger Allenton Rotary, and Weld Fab. 

*Edward H. Wolf Schleisingerville to Slinger Museum website

*Downtown walking tour help from SHS history students

*Usng Museum to help Addison Elementary and other student work

Regional Art: 
Juergen Foerster

Regional Art: 
Hand Painting

A video short explaining the hand painting subculture trends in 2021


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Slinger High School PAC
-musical focus (2020)
-Audio, Anastasia set design (2021)
Kettle Moraine Playhouse
-video and student paper from 2018
-official website
The Bend Theater
-student feedback, student paper
-official website
The Schauer Arts Center
-student paper excerpt
-official website

Student Innovation:
Skills USA

Regional Art: 
Juergen Foerster

Alumni Innovation:
Joe Poeschl 

2004 SHS graduate Joe Poeschl was interviewed by two Sociology students about finding voice, building community, and innovation philosophy

A National Skills USA qualifier discusses opportunities at school to innovate in this 2021-2022 video short

A local designer discusses his father's hand painting career.  Hand painter's granddaughter adds to story here

Regional Art: 
Juergen Foerster

 Regional Artist

Chris Graziano
*link to Mr. Graziano bio
*link to St. Peter's Church artwork
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Gordon Borchardt
*link to bio (2014
*link to PPT (2014)


Slinger Social Studies students learned about Slinger alumni innovation, art, design, and theatre experiences in 2021-2022 school year.  Here are some excerpts from artists, innovators, and designers studied. Teachers have saved some data for sharing with current and future students seeking more information about various careers or just trying to understand tips from graduates who once were studying concepts in a similar location just a few years earlier.  


Bescent Ebeid

2018 grad discusses finding her voice in architecture and design as well as some tips for 2021 design students, design work


Gina Crovetti

2006 grad discusses finding her voice in art and some art therapy techniques she uses with youth in her job


McKenna Fuder

2016 grad discusses finding her voice in art and some examples of art therapy she uses for youth in her job


Jaclyn Tyler

2006 grad discusses how she found her voice and other tips with 2022 students, official website here.  Collete Poree video

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Joe Poeschl

*2004 grad's key quotes, video message, The Commons website, 40 under 40 article, and Joerts website.


Rachel Hausmann Schall

2010 Grad shares key ideas with 2022 students about finding voice

*More on Hausmann-Schall  here


Anna Strong

2017 grad discusses finding her voice in art, design, and make-up with a 2022 student who was studying art and design

Ethan Schulteis

2021 grad shares The History of The Amagi, an innovative animation Youtube venture with over 1,000,000 subscribers.  In addition, here is another video he completed in high school.

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Kelly Wallschlaeger

2013 alum discusses graphic design, IntergenerationALL work, Belonging, Funky Fresh Spring rolls package design, and more.  Click here for website


Nicole Kopfmann

2010 art. theater, design alum passed away due to cancer but left her legacy

*video memories,  key quotes and photos

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Mary Ritger

1979 graduate discussed her school art mural and her art and design work after high school with 2021 history students. Her mural (above) was once by the old SHS office

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Hope Zvara

2002 grad and innovative wellness expert talked with Sociology students about innovating her business plan, listening, and talking with new people.  Hope's web info is here and here and PBS video is here


Andres Crovetti

2009 alum discusses innovation in Music in this video short produced by 2021 Alum Ethan Schulties,   Crovetti's website is here and other examples are here and here.


Matt Burow

1996 grad has helped the Sociology class numerous times understand the nature of design, construction, and working with communities on churches, schools, and more.  Click company website here. 


Abbey Gagne

2014 alum discusses art and designwith a sophomore history student including this painting (above) from her senior year in High School,  Instagram with art samples


Paul Spaeth

Innovation in Music (2001 grad)

Click here for Paul's Music website

Click here for Paul's Redemption website

Click here for Lullaby for the Mending Heart video​​​​


"I position myself in front of them so my attention is there's.  I give eye contact and give them my complete attention. They start telling the story and the important thing for me is to shut up.  I give eye contact and focus on what they are saying.   So many people are thinking of their responses rather than listening.  Or trying to add something that they do that is similar instead of listening to the interviewee. "  Jaclyn Tyler, 2006 Alum, Multi-Media Storyteller


"Ask the question with no other motive but the intent to listen.  Too many people ask the question with the sole idea that they want to give the follow-up response. Practice having conversations with only the intent to listen.  Practice active listening.  Yoga taught me that.  When I am having a conversation with someone, I’m present.  I’m not scrolling on my phone. I’m not thinking of the next conversation I want to have or response.  Notice where you are when you are listening. I have anxiety and what has helped me the most is learning to be present. "    Hope Zvara, 2002 Alum, Wellness expert


"Go out and have new experiences, do things that are scary, have meaningful conversations,  be present in them. One conversation changed my life and you never know what will happen to you." Hope Zvara

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"Belonging"       student research

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"Belonging" student research

Special Thanks to Slinger Community Library, The Balance Project, Kelly Wallschlaeger, Jaclyn Tyler, Ed Euclide, Arijit Sen, Paul Van Auken, and Hope Zvara for helping students understand the power of human connection, wellness, listening, and positive mindsets when doing our work this year. Kudos to Emma Supercynski for student project manager work and website design

"Belonging" student research


Student Art

See art from 2014 here


Quote from ELA teacher Mrs. Erdmann  about Student Painting above:


"Literature must be internally wrestled with to get an artistic reaction like this.  It must touch a truth deep in a person’s core. That’s why I get so emotional when I look at these works of art.  They are a visual expression of the fact that ideas spanning thousands of years speak to students and move them.  They move them to pick up pencils and brushes and cameras to express the truths of humanity and existence on this planet.  It is a testament to the brain’s ability to think in different media as we push ourselves toward self-actualization and higher intellectual complexities."




Thank you for all who helped students this year including Washington County Community Development team, the Washington County Transit team, the Washington County Executive, the Village of Slinger Administrator and Village President, The Slinger-Allenton Rotary, Slinger HS administration, the Slinger School Board, Slinger teachers, the Volunteer Center of Washington County, The Hub, Rides and Reins, Interfaith, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Washington County, Hometown Foundation, Samaritan Campus, Belook LLC, Museum of WI Art, Foerster Signs, Clicks and Mortar, The Bend Theater, The Friends of West Bend Sculpture, Casa Guadalupe, The Commons, UW-Oshkosh Sociology Dept, UW-Milwaukee Architecture and Urban Planning Department,  Edward H. Wolf Schleisingerville to Slinger Museum, Tower Heritage Center Research Dept, Jaclyn Tyler LLC, the WI Humanities Council, the WI Teachers of Local Culture, The Balance Project, the Kenosha Civil War Museum, Zunker-Held VFW Post, Fohl-Martin Legion Post, DOUBLECAMP, SignWorks Inc, Big Shot Robot, and more.

Veteran Web page from 2019-2020

Wisconsin Humanities Council home page

Tower Heritage Center (Home of Washington County Historical Society)

Introduction to Education students teach Addison Elementary Students about Slinger History/Culture

Looking forward to studying more innovation, design, and art in future including local innovations, alumni connections, and more!

Art/Design Website Page student help: Emma Supercynski (Class of 2023)

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