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Peshtigo conducts NHS induction ceremony

PESHTIGO—Many happy Peshtigo families gathered at Peshtigo High School for the induction ceremony of the 2020 and 2021 National Honor Society inductees. Students in good academic standing with a 3.25 grade point average who can prove a track record of scholarship, leadership, character and service are invited to join the group.

Thirty-six students were officially inducted into Peshtigo’s National Honor Society chapter last week.

“It has been a goal of mine since I entered high school to become a member. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my senior year being an official NHS member practicing the four pillars of the National Honor Society,” student Madeline Fifarek said.

“It was really nice to have a ceremony here, in our building,” Assistant Principal Bill Wickman stated, “It was nice to have all of our students and families here, face to face. The adviser, teacher Cindy Birch, did a really nice job.”

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, 2020 members were not officially inducted last year. This ceremony included the 16 inductees from 2020 along with the 20 inductees from 2021.

Junior Joseph Danielak said, “Mrs. Birch and Mr. Wickman did an amazing job leading the ceremony.”

Junior Achal Gowda said, “I want to thank all of the people who helped make this induction ceremony so special for us.”

Food was prepared by the school’s head chef, Justin Collins, along with Marie Hoff and Paul Schafer. The menu included black angus beef pot roast with mushroom au jus, herb roasted baby red potatoes, bourbon street chicken with fire-roasted peppers and onions, wild rice pilaf, vegetable medley and assorted baked dessert bars.

Junior Achal Gowda shared, “I was not expecting the food to be expensive restaurant-quality cuisine, my expectations were exceeded.”

Senior Landon Lemke wanted to “give a shoutout to Chef Justin! The food was amazing!”

Junior Avery Kehoe added, “We greatly enjoyed the food and hope to eat another great meal by Chef Justin soon.”

When asked which of the four pillars of the National Honor Society is most important, most students replied that “character” was the most significant.

“Having the values of honesty, being a genuine person, and having a good attitude are really important characteristics,” said junior Brooklyn Phillips.

When explaining further, the four pillars of character, leadership, scholarship, and service blend together.

“Your character is what makes you, you. It’s your personality and the way you contribute to others to make a difference,” said junior Cassidy Michalski.

Junior Faythe Rich said something similar, “Your character is what makes you, you. One’s character falls underneath every other trait.”

The pillars definitely blend together. Senior Samantha Kodric explains that “your character demonstrates your scholarship. Your character shows your leadership, and volunteering for fun also represents character, which also demonstrates service.”

Junior Lauren Halfmann agrees, saying, “your character plays a large role in how you act as a leader, how much you care about school, and how much you volunteer.”

Senior Madeline Fifarek states that “Leadership to me is not only encouraging others, but leading yourself. It takes hard work and dedication to succeed, and success is more achievable when you lead yourself and set achievable goals.”

One activity the Peshtigo High School NHS students have participated in is the Trunk or Treat fundraiser. The Park and Recreation Department sponsored the fundraiser in mid-October where money was raised decorating vehicle trunks to rejuvenate the playground equipment at Badger Park. Several NHS students joined in the fun, dressed in costumes, and handed out candy to trick or treaters.

Rich said, “The coolest part was how many people were there and the kids were so happy!”

“My friend Kylie and I both dressed up to hand out candy. Kids were so happy when they got their candy and when I told them I liked their costumes,” said Brooklyn Phillips, who also liked how “the kids were so polite.”

Landon Lemke added, “Being with the community and getting together to help out with the reconstruction of Badger Park while also having some fun was really incredible!”

Junior Sariah Frederiksen adds, “It was a really fun and exciting way to help make the community a better place.”

Members of the National Honor Society are grateful to have Peshtigo High School Spanish teacher Cindy Birch as their adviser.

“I’m so thankful for the work Mrs. Birch does for our school. She is one of the most hardworking and helpful teachers,” shared junior Cole Grabian.

“Senora Birch deserves many compliments,” adds junior Beverly Bloch. “Through the years as my teacher, she has pushed me and other students to do our best, sometimes even pushing me to heights I did not know I could complete and achieve at. I’m very thankful to have her as a teacher and mentor for the students in the NHS.”

Junior Cassidy Michalski agrees, “She has put her own work aside to help me at times, and is always willing to help anyone in need. It shows who she is and her character. She truly displays leadership by always being willing to help students!”

Inductees are also grateful for their supportive families. “My parents have supported and helped me as much as they can,” shared Halfmann. “I am so grateful for all that they have done. Without their help, I wouldn’t have achieved nearly as much.”

Danielak adds, “I would like to thank my parents for supporting me through the years as I have had to overcome many struggles with school.” Rich says, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my supportive parents, my two biggest role models!”

Michalski adds, “My aunt and grandma have been there to help with anything I need. I am beyond grateful to have the two of them in my life!”

Senior Muaz Salem shared, “My parents instilled the importance of helping others, even when it seems inconvenient. The most important illustration of who you are should be your service, and the positive impact that your time has on the community.”


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Some clinics seeing lower demand for kids' vaccines than expected
  • Updated

EagleHerald Staff Writer

MARINETTE—For some, the Food and Drug Administration’s approval late last month of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 promises to change life significantly.

Aurora Health Center triage nurse Julia Tomaszewski, whose three kids got their first dose of the COVID vaccine Thursday, said her kids have had to quarantine three times because of close contact incidents and have had more COVID tests this fall than all of last year. Just this past Monday, Tomaszewski got a phone call from her kids’ school, Crivitz Elementary, asking that one of her children study from home because of a close contact incident.

“It seems like it’s always one or the other of the kids that is being sent home,” she said.

Tomaszewski said she was “really excited” when the FDA approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for this age group late last month. Once her kids are fully vaccinated, she said, they will have more normalcy and ability to spend time with friends. Vaccinated students at Crivitz Elementary School, moreover, do not need to quarantine when they’ve had a close contact incident unless they show COVID symptoms. This policy is the same in the Marinette School District.

Lower demand than expected

The demand for these vaccines in Marinette, however, has been lower than what some clinics had originally expected. Both Bellin Health Marinette and the Marinette County Health Department reported lower demand than what had been anticipated.

Clinic hours that coincide with a normal work day may be contributing to lower demand. In an October poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on analyzing national health issues, 51% of parents who responded said they were concerned about missing work to get their child vaccinated.

Ostrenga said Bellin Health Marinette’s Saturday clinic was “very well attended” compared to the weekday clinic, possibly because parents and caregivers were more available to bring their kids to the clinic on the weekend.

In addition to occasional Saturday clinics, Bellin Health Marinette Clinic Team Leader Suzanne Ostrenga said Bellin Health is hoping to offer more evening clinic hours so parents and caregivers can make appointments after work. Saturday and evening clinics will be scheduled if Bellin Health Marinette sees demand or gets requests from patients. Bellin Health Marinette will likely open more Saturday and evening options in December. Dates for two December evening clinics, with vaccinations available from 5 to 7 p.m., will be determined by the end of the week. Bellin Health said it is continuing to learn what times work best for families with children in this age group.

Ostrenga said Bellin Health is also expanding avenues for getting the vaccine to increase convenience. She said, for example, that Bellin Health began offering as of Tuesday the option for kids to get vaccinated when they are visiting for other appointments.

Similarly, the Aurora Health Center in Marinette is also offering the vaccines for kids ages 5 to 11 when they come in for checkups, according to Dr. Donald Beno, a pediatrician with Aurora Children’s Health.

Concern about the vaccine itself could also be a factor that is causing lower demand.

In the Kaiser Family Foundation poll, about 27% of parents responded that they were eager to have their child vaccinated once a vaccine was approved for the 5 to 11 age group while another third said they would wait to see how the vaccine would work. About 30% had no interest in having their child vaccinated. The poll found that parents’ main concerns regarding the vaccine were about unknown long-term effects on their children’s health.

Dr. Beno said that, while some parents may be concerned about long term effects, “it’s important to remember that the research done on COVID vaccines is the same research done on any other kind of vaccine that kids have gotten in the past.”

He said he has daily conversations with parents about the safety of the vaccine for this age group and stressed that vaccination is the “safest way that we have to prevent this illness from spreading.”

Dr. Beno pointed to organizations and agencies such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as reliable resources for information about the vaccine for this age group.

Tomaszewski also said she fields many phone calls during her work from parents and caregivers asking if the vaccine is safe for their children.

She said she tells people that they need to talk with their provider to assess risks that may be particular to the individual but also emphasizes that, overall, vaccination helps protect kids and allows them to stay in school.

Tomaszewski added that, as a parent, she did extensive research before deciding to get her kids vaccinated. “After doing the research, I felt that the benefits really outweigh the risks,” she said.

The lower demand seems to be relatively local. Ostrenga said the Bellin Health vaccine clinic in Green Bay is experiencing robust demand. A Prevea Health spokesperson said these vaccines at Prevea Health’s clinics in Oconto Falls and Green Bay are also in high demand. The clinic in Oconto Falls only offers appointments one day a week from 2 to 6 p.m. The limited availability may contribute to the demand at that location.

Vaccine supply

As of now, it appears that the supply of COVID vaccines for this age group is stable.

Bellin Health Marinette had to reduce its clinic from five days to just one day last week because of concerns about supply. Ostrenga said, however, that she received Monday confirmation about the delivery of more doses, following which the clinic was able to open back up to five days a week. It seems that the supply for Bellin Health Marinette will be coming regularly for now.

According to Aurora Health Care, the network has not experienced any supply issues thus far. Prevea Health also currently has a good supply of the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 at this time and does not anticipate supply issues in the future, according to a Prevea Health spokesperson.

Locations offering the vaccine

Several locations are vaccinating kids of the 5 to 11 age group in the local area.

Bellin Health Marinette began vaccinating kids Nov. 5 and has, as of Tuesday, vaccinated over 100 kids ages 5 to 11 in Marinette so far.

Bellin Health Marinette is currently offering appointments Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. As mentioned previously, Bellin Health may open additional evening and Saturday clinic hours and will likely do so in December. Community members can call the clinic at 1-715-735-5225 or the Bellin Health COVID hotline at 1-920-445-7313 to make an appointment. Alternatively, individuals can schedule an appointment through their MyBellinHealth account.

The Aurora Health Center on Old Peshtigo Road is offering vaccines for this age group Monday through Friday. It is also currently offering evening and weekend appointments. Advocate Aurora Health has delivered over 2,000 vaccines to children in this age group across Wisconsin and Illinois, according to Dr. Beno.

Aurora Health Center vaccine appointments for this age group can be made in the LiveWell app or by calling 1-866-443-2584. Parents and caregivers who are scheduling an appointment for someone under 18 through the LiveWell app have to connect their account to their child’s via proxy access.

Marinette County Public Health will also be holding a COVID vaccine clinic for kids ages 5 to 11 Nov. 22 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the health department at 2500 Hall Avenue. Appointments for the clinic are required and can be made by calling 1-715-732-7670. Marinette County Public Health Officer Molly Bonjean said COVID vaccine appointments for all other age groups are available at Marinette County Public Health at various times and that community members can call the same number for further details.

Bonjean said Marinette County Public Health isn’t currently planning to set up vaccine clinics in schools. If schools request clinics, however, she said the health department will connect them with other community partners that have the capacity to deliver these vaccines.

Prevea Health began administering COVID vaccines for this age group Nov. 8 and has thus far delivered over 1,000 of the vaccines across Wisconsin, according to a spokesperson. Although the Prevea Health Center in Marinette is not currently administering the vaccine for this age group, Prevea Health is offering appointments on Wednesdays from 2 to 6 p.m. at its clinic at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls and Monday through Saturday, including some evening hours, at 1715 Dousman St. in Green Bay, the site of the former Prevea St. Mary’s Health Center. The Prevea Health spokesperson said Prevea Health doesn’t have immediate plans to offer the vaccine in Marinette.

The Walgreens at 2301 Hall Avenue in Marinette is also offering COVID vaccines for this age group. Community members can book appointments online, through the Walgreens app or by calling 1-715-732-4102.


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Former Circuit Court Judge Celello dies

MENOMINEE—Retired 41st Circuit Court Judge Richard Celello of Iron Mountain, who served the court for decades, died Saturday at age 73.

He was born Aug. 13, 1948, in Chicago to Dorothy (Roberts) and Joseph Celello, but lived for most of his life in Iron Mountain, where he served as an attorney and judge.

“Judge Celello was a gregarious gentleman, and a gentle man,” said Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Rogg.

“He appreciated the role of the lawyers who appeared before him as advocates, considered our respective arguments, and used his wisdom and experience to make an appropriate and just decision. He was even respected by the defendants whom he sentenced,” Rogg said.

At his passing, Celello was surrounded by daughters and his wife of 51 years, Kristi (Johnson) Celello. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1970 and from Marquette University Law School in 1974.

He joined the law firm of Brouillette and Brouillette and was appointed Iron Mountain City Attorney. Then he was elected Prosecuting Attorney. He was appointed Dickinson County’s first full-time Prosecuting Attorney and Friend of the Court. In 1978, Gov. William Milliken appointed him to the District Court bench, and he was elected to serve a six-year term.

He resigned from District Court in 1983 to start the law firm Mouw & Celello with John Mouw. For 17 years, he tried cases in the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin.

In 2000, Gov. John Engler appointed him to the Circuit Court bench, and he subsequently was elected to three six-year terms. He presided over criminal proceedings and civil cases, conducted jury and bench trials, and wrote opinions in hundreds of cases, including many heard and upheld by appellate and state supreme courts.

In an obituary Celello’s family provided to the funeral home, they wrote of how he “understood and took seriously that in every professional interaction he had, he was meeting someone on what was likely the worst day of their lives. He strove to see the basic humanity in every single person he met.” It wasn’t uncommon for him to receive Christmas cards from individuals in the county jail, the family said.

Former Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney William Merkel said, “He was a good family man and served his community well as a lawyer and judge. You know he was well respected within the legal community when Governor Engler appointed him to the bench even though he hadn’t applied for the vacancy and was an active democrat. He will be missed.”

Celello retired in 2017 from the 41{sup}st{/sup} Circuit Court bench. His family said he spent his time away from the Dickinson County Courthouse playing golf at Pine Grove Country Club in the summer and in Arizona in the winter. He also enjoyed traveling to De Pere and Madison to spend time with his daughters and their families, including his four grandchildren.

Merkel recalled Celello’s fondness for golf. “My favorite Judge Celello quote occurred during a PTC (pre-trial conference) when he decreed, ‘I respect the sanctity of the tee time’ after Jon Sbar and I informed him that his proposed hearing date and time conflicted with our tee time.”

Celello wasn’t known for spotless shirts or a disciplined diet, his family said. But they recalled “his infectious laugh, keen sense of fairness and thoughtful, curious probing of personal, political and global issues.”

Rogg said, “The judge was also a good-humored man with a jolly laugh, ready with a joke and able to find the bright side of our often difficult work. He was intellectually curious and could discuss the issues of the day and historical facts with great aplomb. I will miss knowing he is around, making the world a better place, which is his legacy.”


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