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NEWS STORIES

A new year brings new leadership to Tomahawk schoolsSubmitted: 09/10/2013
Story By Lex Gray


TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk School District started the new school year with new leadership.

Sherry Baker took over the superintendent job in July, but now that students are back, she can get to the part of the job that she really likes.

"My stamp is to be out and about and in the classrooms and talking to the kids. Like when they're out there eating, I'm out there talking to them and talking to the teachers. I'm a teacher at heart," Baker says. "It's difficult for me to do the CEO work without being out there. I figure, there are evenings in my life, that's when I can do this paperwork."

Baker taught for more than 20 years in Rhinelander. She spent the last eight years as superintendent in Turtle Lake.

Baker doesn't plan on making major overhauls in the district, because the whole educational system is already undergoing big changes.

"My job here as the superintendent is to help the staff, to help the administration to make all of those changes doable, and yet do very well at them," she says.

One of Baker's first project is creating a new compensation plan for teachers.

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Maple syrup production rose 14 percent compared to last year.

The total production was 215,000 gallons.

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VILAS COUNTY - Earlier this month, legislators put a proposal into the state budget that would take away a county's ability to make its own shoreline zoning regulations. Here in the Northwoods, two counties have come out against that proposal.

If the state budget went through as it's written right now, individual counties and lake associations could lose their power to set zoning regulations. That's a big issue for many in the Northwoods. Vilas County alone has 1,300 lakes. The proposal has caused great concerns.

"The concern was that the proposal had the potential for doing great damage to the environment, had the potential for causing a severe problem as far as assessment procedures, and generally was opposed by the citizens-the residents-of this county," said Chuck Hayes, a Vilas County supervisor.

Vilas and Oneida counties both held board meetings last week. Both counties voted to ask for removal of zoning changes from the budget. They argue the issue of shoreline zoning was never given any time to be discussed.

"At the very least, I think the public should have had a chance to weigh in on this issue that affects the environment," said Hayes. "The counties, the municipalities and individual residents, their opinion wasn't sought on this. It was simply put in."

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