Each year, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards invites member districts to submit the names of up to five local businesses/organizations that have been helpful to our school district over the past year.
The Democrat Tribune/The Dodgeville Chronicle: The sister newspapers, both still locally owned by the Reilly Brothers, have been a vital communication partner of our district and students’ accomplishments for nearly as long as we’ve had a school. Mineral Point’s newspaper, The Democrat Tribune, began in 1849 and our first school started in 1829. Combing through pages of the archives, you can find a true, and invaluable, history of our district. In the modern day, we are still grateful for their coverage of academics, athletics, performing arts, agriculture and other accomplishments of our young people, as well as school board meetings and referenda. They help us build trust and transparency with our community, as well as tell our story and reach a wider demographic of our population, especially those who may not have internet access to read our news electronically.
Mineral Point Kiwanis: Mineral Point Kiwanis has been serving the children of Mineral Point since 1927. One of their most famous recognitions is the Student of the Month program, which has been an important celebration for approximately 50 years, now having honored multiple generations of Pointers. The Kiwanis is also the parent organization of our high school Key Club and the groups team up on fundraisers and other activities including a Halloween costume contest and Easter egg hunt. Our annual National Honor Society Banquet is sponsored by Kiwanis and the club selects a distinguished alumni speaker for the program. Another fun event is the Kiwanis Read-In Campaign where the club purchases books and reads them to elementary classrooms. In town, Kiwanis is famous for their homemade pies, holding several sales a year, including a Pi Day at school in March — the club donates proceeds to scholarships for graduating seniors.
Mineral Point Public Library: Along with schools, public libraries are the heart of many communities, and Mineral Point is no exception. With our public library within walking distance of our elementary school, visits are easily accessible. On Wednesdays, Mineral Point Schools dismiss at 2 p.m. for collaborative time between staff. The public library has hosted Wednesday afternoon programming over the years to help students stay productive during these hours; they also host a robust summer program and our summer school classes visit the library as well. The public library has been part of two grants our school has received called “Building Belonging with Books” from the American Library Association last school year. The grant focused on building empathy and increasing a sense of belonging in our community through reflective conversations centered around shared texts. Community members, including school staff, engaged in book studies and shared their thoughts in small group discussions.
Chambers Masonry: Chambers Masonry has donated its time to all of the stonework at the north entrance of the new Mineral Point Elementary School addition. There are four pillars covered with stone and a wainscoting at the same entrance. Chambers’ work gives visitors a great first impression of Mineral Point’s new learning spaces. Chambers Masonry is a Mineral Point business and Nathan Chambers is a former School Board president who currently has children in the district.
Mineral Point Excellence in Education Endowment Fund: The Mineral Point Excellence in Education Endowment Fund has distributed thousands of dollars in grant monies from donations to school staff members looking to enrich educational experiences, above and beyond what the traditional school budget allows. Last year, the EIE held a Pointer Praise campaign for staff members in appreciation for all they have done during the pandemic. Community members were asked to send notes of thanks, which were organized and distributed by the EIE. Over 500 submissions were received.
Pointer Pantry: Pointer Pantry is essential to the success of Mineral Point’s students and was a collaboration started by former school board members, Mo May-Grimm and Jeff Basting, to ensure students do not go hungry on weekends or during school breaks. The group works collaboratively and confidentially with school staff members to make sure gift certificates to Point Foods, the local grocery sure, make it into the hands of the families who are in need on a weekly basis. Donations and fundraisers help ensure children in #PointerNation are not trying to learn on empty stomachs.
Webbs at Work: Bill Webb of Webbs at Work in Mineral Point has saved the district thousands of dollars by hosting the school website locally for approximately the past decade. While school staff takes care of the regular content posted on the site, Bill is available, knowledgeable and responsive for the more technical and intricate items that need attention. He also makes sure the site is running properly and applies updates as needed. A father of three in the district, Bill is committed to making sure the Mineral Point School District’s digital footprint has a solid home.
Alliant Energy: Alliant has been a cornerstone in the Mineral Point community for decades. Their support of our students through scholarships for graduating seniors has been admirable. Additionally, Alliant was instrumental in installing our Class of 2020 banners downtown. Their crew made quick work of a large project that helped give much deserved recognition to our Seniors.
Ann Gorgen Photography: Ann Gorgen was instrumental in honoring our 2020 seniors by organizing, designing, and printing banners to hang on light poles downtown Mineral Point that provided another unique way to honor the Class of 2020.
Ivey Construction: Founded in 1946 and still family owned and operated, Ivey Construction’s roots run deep in Mineral Point. The company’s Pointer Pride shines in many ways, including generous donations to new scoreboards for various sports and multiple donations of time and materials for various construction projects.
Vortex Optics: Located in Barneveld, Vortex has been an impressive and valuable addition to our Iowa County community. They generously host our students’ facility tours, which always generate excitement surrounding the company.
Military Ridge Veterinary Service: Military Ridge Veterinary Service of Dodgeville provided discounted services for Mineral Point Elementary School’s first-ever therapy dog, Cooper. The district is excited to have Cooper on staff to provide emotional support for students.
Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts: Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point is a true center for the arts. Shake Rag Alley generously allows the use of its outdoor amphitheater for Mineral Point Elementary School’s 5th Grade Graduation ceremony each spring. Shake Rag Alley also partners with the Council for Wisconsin Writers, Wisconsin People & Ideas, and the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission through the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters to offer week-long residencies to their annual writing contest winners. These authors then visit Mineral Point Schools to speak to students about the writing process and their publications. Additionally, Mineral Point is home to many talented, professional artists and Shake Rag Alley has hosted free art workshops for elementary students.
Sleepy Valley Kennels: Sleepy Valley Kennels of Mineral Point was so generous as to donate Mineral Point Elementary School’s first-ever therapy dog, Cooper. The district is excited to have Cooper on staff to provide emotional support for students.
Badger Welding: Badger Welding of Mineral Point has been a great partner for the welding classes at MPHS. When the school installed a new laser cutter, employees helped set it up and provided training with students. They have been wonderful mentors and a great support system for students interested in welding.
Midwest Roofing: Midwest Roofing of Dodgeville is a Victory Club Donor for the Stadium Project, the second highest donation level available. Their support was key in helping the fundraising project come to fruition, with the first varsity football game being played on the field at the end of August 2018. Their services were also utilized for a summer roofing project this year at the middle/high school building.
Orthopedic Institute at Southwest Health: Mineral Point School District has a fabulous relationship with the Orthopedic Institute at Southwest Health in Platteville. Coaches and students find Athletic Trainer Brad Vamstad a valuable asset to the district, being knowledgeable, friendly, and diligent with his work. In addition, the Orthopedic Institute at Southwest Health is a Championship Club Donor for the Stadium Project, the highest donation level available. Their support was key in helping the fundraising project come to fruition, with the first varsity football game being played on the field at the end of August 2018. Southwest Health is also welcoming of our students interested in science and healthcare to tour their facilities to learn more about these career paths. Also new this past spring was a scholarship available for MPHS Seniors from Southwest Health.
SSM Health: SSM Health (formerly Dean) is a Championship Club Donor for the Stadium Project, the highest donation level available. Their support was key in helping the fundraising project come to fruition, with the first varsity football game being played on the field at the end of August 2018. In addition, the SSM Dean Clinic in Mineral Point is very generous in allowing one of their employees, Dr. Aaron Dunn, to serve as a voluntary sideline physician for football games.
Farmers Implement Store: Farmers Implement Store has been a vital part of the Mineral Point Community since coming on the scene in 1981. They are an End Zone Club donor for the current Stadium Project. They are also key supporters of the Future Farmers of America with countless donations of funds and equipment for things including: fruit sale, livestock auction, oak savanna, mechanical systems class, and the group’s annual banquet. The district’s maintenance director also reports likely thousands of dollars saved over the years through generous equipment loans and donations.
Gorgen Funeral Services: Gorgen Funeral Services has been part of the Mineral Point Community for four generations since 1916. Most recently, they became an End Zone Club donor for the current Stadium Project, as well as donating to the small gym scoreboards.
Mineral Point Opera House: The Mineral Point Opera House has been a beautiful part of Mineral Point since its opening in 1915. The latest manager of the Opera House, Parrish Johnston, has been fabulous in welcoming groups such as: student musicals, music awards night, choir concerts, senior scholarship night, and a documentary on the effects of screen time with teenagers. Parrish has also made a true effort to be actively involved with the school by attending school/community forums and school board candidate forums.
Farmers Savings Bank: It would be nearly impossible to measure the impact Farmers Savings Bank has had on the district since first forming as a bank 100 years ago in 1916. From speaking to classes about banking careers, providing generous scholarships, to selflessly donating to countless projects to benefit the school, including most recently a $24,000 stadium scoreboard, their impact has been long lasting and memorable. They also work diligently to make sure the district receives the best rates available when conducting banking business.
Kristin Mitchell Design: For approximately six years, Kristin Mitchell Design has helped the district brand itself with a consistent image and look. From designing newsletters, to school signage, to sports programs, their work has helped the district have a very professional look and feel. In addition, the company gives countless hours to help various district projects by doing marketing services for a stadium project and steering to completion an Excellence in Education Endowment Fund, just to name a few. The team also speaks to classes about career options available in graphic design and book publishing.
Mound City Bank: A relative newcomer to the Mineral Point Community, Mound City Bank’s impact to the district has been impressive. As a bank that is always willing to step up, Mound City recently contributed a monetary donation to the stadium project of $5,000 and continues to provide educational opportunities to our students through classroom visits teaching personal finance and granting annual scholarships.
Point Foods: Point Foods has been a grocery store staple in the community for decades, and has employed countless students. Point Foods provided approximately $40,000 worth of scholarships to graduating seniors over the past 29 years and owner Jeff Basting has been a school board member for a total of 15 years spanning the past three decades. Point Foods opens its doors for younger classes to tour their store and learn about grocery shopping and currency.
See-Mor Grain: The Pointer softball team claimed a WIAA state title in 2013, but the team’s playing facility didn’t really live up to that honor–until now. See-Mor Grain donated approximately $16,000 worth of facility improvements this year that included new bleachers, dugouts, and in-field materials. The facility looks amazing and has qualified the district to host a WIAA Sectional Semifinal game next spring. Coach Quinn Schultz is quick to point out that it is not just the high school team that benefits from the upgrades; it’s the entire community as the field is in use from March through August for youth programs as well.
Cummins Emission Solutions: In the Mineral Point Unified School District, Cummins has been essential in implementing and supporting the district’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program. Mineral Point Elementary School was one of only 24 schools in the nation selected to pilot a PLTW robotics program. The company helped support the pilot program with a large grant. “This would not have been possible without the support of Cummins,” said Superintendent Luke Francois. “Our students are benefiting from hands-on project based learning in STEM areas because of Cummins.” In addition to financial support, the company also has a presence in the district’s elementary and high schools. Employees visit classrooms and work with students to enrich their STEM curriculum. Additionally, Cummins, which is a global company with employees from across the world, helps teach global literacy. Employees teach elementary students about the history and customs of their home countries. “Students and staff continue to invite Cummins into the classroom to share in the learning experience,” Francois said.