Houlton Celebrates Art Bench Project

Close up of the art bench

Art bench trail poster

The Houlton Art Bench project began several years ago with a request from the Phipps Center for the Arts, asking Houlton Elementary to participate in the St. Croix River Art Bench Trail.  Hundreds of hours later, there is now a community “gathering place” in the St. Croix River Crossing Loop Trail Trailhead, located across the street from Houlton Elementary School.

The process began in 2017, with representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, St. Croix County, Phipps Center for the Arts, Township of St. Joe, St. Croix Valley Bike and Pedestrian Trails Coalition, and Houlton Elementary School brainstorming what this Art Bench could become. As part of the Trailhead, it was envisioned to be the keystone “bench” on the Art Bench Trail. The idea of an Art Bench expanded, and soon it became a gathering space that would hold 20-25 people on terraced stone seating, to redefine a local place for the redesigned Houlton community.

An artist, Hudson architect John Kalmon, was selected and began to meet with Houlton 4th and 5th grade students the fall of 2018.  Background knowledge had been built, aligned to grade level social studies standards, so students were aware of the cultural, historical and natural resources of the area.  This was an integral part of the project, as its purpose was to represent the area in some way. Kalmon brought over 60 students through the design process, with monthly meetings for brainstorming and refining their ideas.  Careful synthesizing of the students’ vision resulted in a semi-circle of stones with a stage-like area, where community groups could come together to meet. Student groups identified a symbol that represented their learning, and these images have been incorporated into the space by being etched into the stone seating.  In addition, our Hudson High School students made steel images that are set into cement pavers throughout the space. Houlton students created a scavenger hunt that included their images and what each represented.

Once the design was finalized, Willow River Landscape was hired to work with the students to build the 20-foot diameter space.  Pavers were made, trees, shrubs and plants planted, and mulch spread. The result, Houlton Hawks Landing, will be officially unveiled on the morning of September 21st.  It has truly been a labor of love, by the hands of the Houlton students and community.

Donations and support were gathered, sometimes by pure luck, and the project wove together the resources and services of many community members and businesses.  Grant funding was received from the Friends of Perch Lake, Hudson Daybreak Rotary, Hudson Education Foundations, Hudson Home and Garden Club, Houlton Elementary Parent Association, St. Croix Bike and Pedestrian Trails Coalition, St. Croix County, St. Croix Valley Foundation, Thrivent, the Town of St. Joseph, the William H. Phipps Foundation and the Wisconsin Arts Board.  In addition, there was strong community support from Rivard Stone, Hartman Homes, St. Croix County Historical Society, St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners, and the Hudson High School Tech Ed Department.

We invite the Hudson community to share our gathering space as you explore the St. Croix River Crossing Loop Trail.  The Houlton students think you will find it to be a beautiful place to land, if just for a moment!

Art bench from a distance Art bench close up


Annual Meeting Highlights

Dr. Ouellette and Board members seated on the stage for Annual Meeting.

Monday’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Education opened with Dr. Ouellette presenting highlights of the District’s achievements and the Board’s focus areas. Click here to view Dr. Ouellette’s presentation.

Presentations were also provided by Board Treasurer Heather Logelin and Tim Erickson, Chief Financial and Operations Officer. Together, they covered the 2019-2020 proposed budget and levy, budget challenges and assumptions, and the impact on property taxes.

Budget Challenges:

  • Address reduced state funding levels.
  • Address instructional needs for all learners including: staff professional development, curriculum adoption, resource materials, and services to meet student needs.
  • Maintain student to teacher ratios within class size guidelines.
  • Sustainable funding for long-term maintenance and capital improvement plan for all facilities.

Budget Assumptions:

  • State equalization aid is projected to be $836,000 less or 3.8% lower than last year and per pupil categorical aid has been increased by $88 per student under the first year of the biennial state budget or a $496,000 increase over last year.
  • The estimated mill rate of $10.35 is down 1.54% from last year’s $10.51. Overall property valuation is estimated to increase 10.09% compared to 3.7% last year. The state average is 6.0%
  • Total under levy stands at approximately $3,300,000, which is direct tax relief for property owners in the Hudson School District.
  • Salaries and benefits are budgeted to increase $1,830,000 or 4.0% over last and include new staffing, staffing reductions, Teacher Salary Structure, Support Staff Compensation System, Hudson Lead Salary Structure, and Board approved increase of 2.5%

Below is the Annual Meeting Booklet

Houlton Parent Association News

Houlton Parent Group Notice

2019-2020 Houlton Parent Association Meeting Schedule

Learn more about the Houlton Parent Association by clicking here.

September 9, 6:30 PMSummer recap, start of school events, and Fall Bazaar planning
October 14, 4:00 PMFall Bazaar preparation, Fall Conference meals, Book Fair
November 11, 6:30 PMFall Bazaar recap, December activities (skating and holiday activities)
December 9, 4:00 PMAll-School Skate and holiday activities planning
January 13, 6:30 PMFebruary Book Fair
February 10, 4:00 PMPrairie Fire Theater prep, Winter Conference meals, Book Fair
March 9, 6:30 PMPrairie Fire Theater prep, Staff Appreciation week planning.
April 13, 4:00 PMPrairie Fire Theater recap, HPA Officer nominations for upcoming year.
May 11, 6:30 PMEnd of the year activities, Officer elections

2019-2020 School Age Care Registration

A group of school age care kids gathered on the steps of the Como Zoo Conservatory.

It’s that time of the year already to start thinking about the start of the 2019-2020 School Year. Hudson School Age Care is excited to have your child join us for a year of fun and learning! 

Hudson School District families with children in grades 4K-5 needing supervision before or after school may choose to use the School District’s School Age Care. We provide care at all of our elementary schools.

The goal of the School Age Care program is to provide quality before and after-school care in a fun, safe, and caring environment. The program fosters self-esteem while promoting the interests and social skills of each child. Children choose from a wide variety of activities, which include: cooperative games, open-ended art activities, science discovery, dramatic play, large motor activities, homework helper, and socialization opportunities.

School Age Care is available from 6:05 AM to the start of school, and from the end of school until 6:00 PM on school days. Families with children in the Hudson School District 4K program at Willow River Elementary School  may choose to enroll their child in our program before school if their child is in the morning 4K program or after school if their child is in the afternoon 4K program. 

Nutrition Services provides breakfast each day at no additional cost to children enrolled in School Age Care. An after-school  snack is also served in the program. 

Families with children who have special needs should contact the School Age Care Coordinator to discuss how School Age Care may best meet your child’s needs and provide a successful experience.

Click on your child’s school below to start your School Age Care registration process:

If you do not have access to a computer for registration, our staff will be at each school Meet the Teacher Night to help you.

If you have questions, please contact Michelle Hagen at 715.377.3720 or email at hagenmm@hudsonraiders.org

Now Hiring – Great Jobs & Benefits

Blue chalk board with the words "We're Hiring"

The Hudson School District has job openings with great benefit packages. If you are looking for a job in the classroom as a paraprofessional, providing child care before or after school, assisting in Nutrition Services, custodial support and more – Hudson has something for everyone!

Click here to view the full list of job openings and details for applying.

Celebrating our Staff

A large group of Kindergarten students stand with their teacher outside giving a "thumbs up"

This week is Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week. Each our schools, with the support of our Parent Groups, have been celebrating the amazing contributions our staff make to student learning each day!


A group of students making heart shapes with their hands for their teacher.

Students at River Crest Elementary School are sharing their enthusiasm for their teachers!

North Hudson staff gathered at tables for Parent Group luncheon. North Hudson staff gathered at tables for Parent Group luncheon.

North Hudson staff were treated to a luncheon provided by their Parent Group.

Houlton custodian smiling for the camera. Teacher getting a hug from student. A group of students standing while playing their violins. Two staff members stand for a picture. Two staff smiling with their coffee.A group of students rehearsing their school concert. A group of students seated with their teacher with thumbs up.

Our Houlton Staff are full of smiles! What a great group of people serving our kids!

Staff Banquet – A Night to Say Thank You!

The School District held its Annual Staff Banquet to recognize retirees and years of service. It was an evening of fond stories and genuine thanks for the dedication and passion each honoree has brought to the Hudson learning community. We are Raider Proud! Thank you!

The group of retirees honored at the Staff Recognition banquet.

Retirees include: Diane Claycomb (30 years), Lucindy DePratter (6 years), Brenda Foust (25 years), Karen Halvorson (31 years), Amy Hamborg (15 years), David Hammond (19 years), Kathy Heth (26 years), Jonathan Hilding (28 years), Brian Huser (27 years), Deborah Larson (15 years), Wendy Langer (15 years), Sandra Long (7 years), Susan Randall (22 years), Rita Robey (22 years), Linda Schwertel (19 years), Patricia Steely (35 years), Michael Stoskopf (30 years), Therese Swinney (20 years), Mary Wicker (26 years)

Patricia Steely and Art Forester banquet honorees.

Thirty-five Years of Service: Patricia Steely – Forty-five Years of Service: Art Forester

Thirty years of service staff honorees

Thirty Years of Service: Diane Claycomb, Mary Glasbrenner, Elizabeth Hovland, Steven Sollom, Michael Stoskopf, Michael Yell

Twenty-five Years of Service: Brenda Foust, Stephanie Heerdt, Julie Johnson, Amy Petermeier, Brian Petermeier, Timothy Scharfenberg, William Schaub

Twenty years of service honorees.

Twenty Years of Service: Laurel Anfinson, Yvette Alesso, Heidi Aschenbrenner, Lisa Bartlein, Elizabeth Bevers, Cynthia Brinsko, Margaret Derrick, Jaime Fall, Kathleen Hanner, Jennifer Heier, Jamison Holum, Gail Jung, Mark Klanderman, Kevin Knoke, Terri Lammo, Linda Morning, Daniel Murray, Laurel Nelson-Lundell, Lisa Plackner, Mark Rivard, Maija Stubbendick, Therese Swinney, Sean Thompson, Kristen Ziebol

Fifteen year honorees

Fifteen Years of Service: Sonja Baumgartner, Kathleen Bartch, Nichole Benson, Barbara Cook, Jodi Dalluhn, Patrice Denning, Christina Dobberstein, Patricia Donahue, Kristie Faust, Michael Griffith, Joy Hage, Amy Hamborg, Kari Heisler, Ryan Jamieson, Brian Johnson, Laura Johnson, Lisa Kein, Alleyne Knudson, Wendy Langer, Deborah Larson, Kara Lindstrom, Timothy Olson

10 years of service honorees.

Ten Years of Service: Julie Andracek, Cory Eller, Lori Head, Melissa Hines, Annette Kelley, Paul Krasin, Maren Luedtke, Kristen Mathison, Kristin Runk, Deanne Swanson, Jennifer Toll, David Tostrud, Jodi Youngman.

Board of Education members handed out recognition awards to each of the honoree groups. Short speeches were given by the administrators who worked with each of the retirees.


Eat Your Vegetables

A group of elementary students putting on a play for class dressed as vegetables.

Hudson Hospital generously funded a Hudson Action Book Club Little Free Library for each elementary school. Hudson School District Destination Imagination leader, Liz Malanaphy, started a book club at each building to dig into a health issue of the club’s choice.  At Houlton Elementary School, the club of 5 chose to read about healthy eating choices, and as their end project, decided to create a play to share with younger students at the school.  After 5 weeks of reading, meeting after school, planning, and practicing, the group of 3rd and 4th graders shared their play called “Eat Your Vegetables” with 3 grade classes .  This club provided a great opportunity to bring together kids from different grades and different classrooms to work on a common project. This was a great way for students to learn about a health topic of their choice, and for them to take action and share their learning with others.

A group of elementary students presenting to their class.