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Fort Atkinson teacher retires after 42 years
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jul. 14, 2016 -- 12:00 AM
pat bries retires
Pat Bries, fifth grade teacher at St. Joseph School in Fort Atkinson, hands out Turkish Delights to some of her students. Bries is retiring after 42 years at the school. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

FORT ATKINSON -- As Pat Bries completed her fourth, and final, decade teaching fifth graders -- bringing the total to more than 600 -- her classroom displayed her career, both the past and the present.

A Smartboard has long replaced the chalkboard, but signs with the cursive alphabet still adorned the classroom.

Bries said the handwriting style is still needed in the real world, “I don’t think it’s on the way out yet.”

Her desk displayed small school pictures of every student she taught since the school started having the photos taken more than 20 years ago, while her current students listened to her read to them from an eBook reader.

The book was Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck, a book she has read to all of her classes toward the end of the school year.

Bries reads it because one of the book’s main characters has a “strong sense of right and wrong” and her soon-to-be-departing fifth graders are “going into middle school now and they realize that life is not all black and white -- there are a lot of shades of gray.”

Despite the school year and a teaching career of 42 years coming to an end, it was just a normal day in Pat Bries’ classroom located at the end of the hallway at St. Joseph School in Fort Atkinson.

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Death of Msgr. Delbert Schmelzer marks end of era
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jul. 14, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

VERONA -- The death of Msgr. Delbert L. Schmelzer, P.A., V.G., marks in a sense the “end of an era,” said Bishop Robert C. Morlino in his homily at the Mass of Christian Burial held on July 8 at St. Christopher Parish (St. Andrew Church) in Verona.

A priest of the diocese for 60 years, “Monsignor Del remembered what happened in the diocese and communicated with so many,” said the bishop.

He thanked Monsignor Schmelzer’s family for their “wonderful gift to the diocese.”

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Surge in voter turnout needs to continue
Written by Kim Wadas, Wisconsin Catholic Conference   
Thursday, Jul. 14, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

On Independence Day, I saw many in the Badger State wearing red, white, and blue. Like some of you, I "liked" statements on social media asserting national pride and joined in singing patriotic songs at Mass.

These celebrations affirm our democracy and recognize those who have protected our founding freedoms.

Importance of elections

However after reviewing past election results, I was reminded that everyone enjoys the celebration, but many people don't like the planning. Elections are how we as citizens plan our government.

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