First Immanuel Students Make Great Showing in
VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest

First Immanuel Lutheran School made an excellent showing in the Cedarburg-Grafton VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest.


Of the top 10 essays recognized by the Cedarburg-Grafton VFW Post, five winners were FILS students. 6th grader: Kaitlyn Hauser, 7th Grader: Mary Stroebel and 8th graders: Reagan Pahl, Mark Schaefer, and Lydia Rutkowski.

All essays were based on the 2018-2019 theme "Why I Honor the American Flag".  Grace Bertram, the FILS middle school teacher who coordinates the student’s participation in the essays, said "I am so blessed to be able to work with such talented writers. This year, it was exciting to work on this topic because the students had been studying America and its importance in Social Studies, and then participated in a "What It Means to Be an American" Fair. I always try to provide the students with some inspiration for the topic, but other than that, all of the words are the students'."  Bertram further said, "At the end of April, the 7th and 8th graders will be traveling to Washington D.C. As a staff, we decided that the winners of our Patriot's Pen contest would be the students to be the layers of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. This is such an honor for the students, and I am glad to have been able to help them with their essays."


The VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest provides 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students the opportunity to express their opinion on a patriotic theme and improve their writing skills while they compete for worthwhile awards and prizes. Awards are given at the local, district, and state levels. Each year more than 100,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The first-place winner from each state competes to win one of 46 national awards and the opportunity to complete for first place nationally.

POM team attends 2019 badgerette spirit invitational

First Immanuel Lutheran School's Pom team participated in the annual Spirit Competition in February. The team represented well with two Trios and one Duet performance.  The 8th Grade Trio performance of Kassidy Goethel, Katelyn Michaels and Lydia Rutkowski earned them Junior Ensemble-Pom Champions.  Congratulations to all of the team members!   

girls basketball team earns trip to national tournament

First Immanuel Lutheran School’s 7 & 8th grade girls' basketball Team finished 3rd at the Lutheran Sports Association of Wisconsin National Tournament held in March in Valparaiso. They put in a tremendous amount of hard work this past season and it paid off!  The team finished 29-4 on the season.   

Students participate in literary competition – one takes first place for original PHOTOGRAPHY

Thirteen fifth graders from First Immanuel Lutheran School in Cedarburg, submitted fictional writing for 2019 Mary Jo Nettesheim Memorial Literary Competition. The Gamma-Sigma State Announced its 2019 Literary Awards on April 27, 2019. Out of the 1,350 entries Kaelyn Sohre took first place for her outstanding original photography. First Immanuel students were honored with a pizza lunch, certificates, and prizes.   

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First Immanuel teacher achieve’s national board certification

First Immanuel Lutheran School joins The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as they celebrate 3,907 new National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs).  First Immanuel teacher Kaethe Grabenhofer was among the group that achieved National Board Certified Teacher status. She joins a growing community of Board-certified teachers, now more than 122,000 strong across all 50 states of which around 1,350 are in Wisconsin.


In addition to her teaching, Mrs. Grabenhofer is an active member of the Greater Milwaukee Orff Dimmensions and Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble. She has also completed additional course work with The American Orff-Schulwerk Association, a professional organization of educators dedicated to the creative music and movement approach developed by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman and holds several additional certifications including Professional Educator Choral Music and General Music - Early Childhood to Adolescence.


Peggy Brookins, NBCT, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, stated, “I’m thrilled to celebrate our new National Board Certified Teachers. This is a great personal accomplishment, but it’s more than that – this accomplishment is reason to celebrate the impact Board-certified teachers have on millions of students nationwide and on the teaching profession at-large.”


Each of these accomplished educators earned the profession’s highest mark of achievement through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process, demonstrating their proven impact on student learning and achievement. “The First Immanuel family congratulates Mrs. Grabenhofer on becoming a National Board Certified Teacher.  It was a demanding task that required a lot of perseverance and hard work.  It is a well-deserved accomplishment that will positively impact our students,” stated Dawn Walker, First Immanuel School Principal.


“National Board Certification is about helping teachers become great, it is about elevating the teaching profession, and it is about helping children achieve at higher rates,” said Brookins. “The certification process impacts teaching and learning well beyond an individual teacher’s classroom.” 


To learn more about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards visit


October 2018   

Congratulations to First Immanuel’s 7th/8th Grade Girls' RED team on winning the State Tournament the weekend of October 26th- 28th! The girls cruised through pool play with a perfect 6-0 record on Friday night. Friday night's highlight was a 21-0 win, with Madeline Fox serving out the entire set! From there, they started bracket play against St. James Shawano. They were able to win 25-11 and 25-16. Straight set victories against Trinity Racine and Star of Bethlehem from New Berlin followed. That set them up in a rematch of last year's state championship match against St. Paul's Muskego. The girls dropped a tough 22-25 opening set. They continued to battle and were able to take the remaining two sets - 25-20 and 15-8. The win marked the school's 5th State championship in the past six years! Members of the championship squad are: Ruby Broehm, Jae Fitting, Madeline Fox, Izzy Gitzlaff, Shea Haggerty, Chloe Kelm, Katelyn Michels, Zoe Mueller, Natalie Newth, Reagan Pahl, and Sarah Prom. The girls were coached by Kevin Hedinger and Anna Pahl.