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3 Merit Finalists Photos

Seniors Adam Garsha, Siyu (Sarah) Li, and Ethan Wang have been named 2022 National Merit Scholarship Winners.

 Homestead High School is proud to announce that seniors Adam Garsha, Siyu (Sarah) Li, and Ethan Wang have been named 2022 National Merit Scholarship Winners. Li was the recipient of a corporate National Merit Rockwell Automation Scholarship. When the National Merit Semifinalists were announced in September, Homestead boasted the greatest number of semifinalists of Ozaukee County public high schools with eight total semifinalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. Recognition is based on a student’s performance on the Preliminary SAT exam. Among all students who entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program, only about 16,000 were named Semifinalists. They were designated on a state representational basis, in proportion to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors.

“We are proud of the achievements of these outstanding students,” said Homestead Principal Eric Ebert. “These three scholars have maintained the highest level of excellence throughout their time at Homestead and have shown an unwavering dedication to achieving their goals both in and out of the classroom. I am thrilled to see what the future holds for these exemplary Highlanders.”

In order to advance in the competition and be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, a Semifinalist had to become a Finalist by fulfilling several requirements that included submitting a detailed scholarship application and presenting a record of very high academic performance. All winners of about 7,500 National Merit Scholarships are being chosen from the group of approximately 15,000 distinguished Finalists.

More information about National Merit Scholarship Corporation at:

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HHS Seniors holding award check

A team of 4 HHS seniors are champions of the Mathworks Math Modeling Challenge.


Congratulations to Homestead seniors Adam Garsha, Jacob Schmidman, Eric Wan, and Ethan Wang, champions of the Mathworks Math Modeling Challenge. The team
previously placed in the top 6 of more than 600 participating teams across the U.S. and United Kingdom in a preliminary competition.

Mathematical modeling refers to the process of creating a mathematical representation of a real-world scenario to make a prediction or provide insight. The math modeling paper submitted by the Homestead team underwent rigorous and intense scrutiny in order to achieve the championship honor. The final paper, along with judge commentary, can be viewed here.

The Homestead team, led by parent coach Weizhong Wang, advanced to the final presentation, which was held on April 25 in New York City. Top prize was a $20,000 scholarship, which will be evenly distributed among the four team members. Homestead High school has a long history of participating in this challenge, winning three honorable mentions over the past five years.

“Some highly recognized STEM high schools are among the participating schools [in this competition],” said Coach Wang, “[The Homestead team] worked very hard to prepare for the competition and performed well in the final event presentation. Homestead High School and MTSD prepared our students well.”

To find out more about MathWorks, visit:

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photo of Ellie Springkman

Sprinkmann is one of 174 high school seniors across the state of Wisconsin who were selected to receive the award and $10,000 scholarship.

Homestead High School is proud to announce that senior Ellie Sprinkmann is a 2022 recipient of a Herb Kohl Education Foundation Scholarship. Sprinkmann is one of 174 high school seniors across the state of Wisconsin who were selected to receive the award and $10,000 scholarship.

Student Excellence recipients have demonstrated excellence in the academic arena and high motivation to achieve, have displayed a broad range of leadership outside the academic setting, and have shown a strong promise for succeeding in college and beyond.

"Ellie exemplifies what it means to be a mighty Highlander, with her incredible commitment to excellence in academics, outstanding involvement in co-curriculars, and inspiring passion to serve others in everything she does,” said Homestead Principal Eric Ebert. “We are so proud of Ellie's accomplishments and she is so deserving of such a prestigious honor."

In addition to maintaining outstanding academic achievement, Sprinkmann is an active leader in several co-curricular activities. She is an elite athlete and captain of Homestead’s varsity tennis and lacrosse teams. Ellie also has a dedicated commitment to service, working as a counselor at Camp Interlaken, where she has spent most summers since 2011. In addition, Ellie is an active member of Homestead’s National Honor Society where she also participates in community service projects in the Milwaukee area.

“I have been actively volunteering for the past six years at Friendship Circle, an organization designed to help disadvantaged children and adults foster long-lasting friendships,” said Sprinkmann. “I am currently serving as the Executive Chief Financial Officer; prior to this, I served as the Cafe and Art Studio Ambassador. I began my journey mentoring a disadvantaged eight-year-old girl; she is thirteen. It is organizations like Friendship Circle that have incentivized me to pursue a future in becoming a child psychologist; I want to help individuals reach their potential by overcoming life’s obstacles.”

Ellie has been elected for five board positions in the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization including the Regional Treasurer and is currently serving as the Regional Head of Recruitment for the Wisconsin Region. She is also a Milwaukee Jewish Teen Philanthropy Board Member, and a Wheelchair Tennis Volunteer. She plans to attend UW-Madison to study psychology.

The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation has been recognizing educational excellence since 1990 by annually awarding scholarships to nearly 200 graduating high school students throughout Wisconsin.

Currently, in its 32nd year, the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation, established by the well-known Wisconsin philanthropist and businessman, has awarded over $28.3 million to Wisconsin students, teachers, principals, and schools.

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photo nathan moldavsky

Nathan Moldavsky recently placed first in the Wisconsin School Music Association’s (WSMA) Statewide composition competition.

Homestead High School is proud to announce that junior Nathan Moldavsky recently placed first in the Wisconsin School Music Association’s (WSMA) Statewide
composition competition. Hundreds of student compositions were submitted from all across Wisconsin. Nathan's composition Delphis was selected in the High School instrumental division.

"Music has been a big part of my life ever since I was young, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the creative process involved in composing for string orchestra,” said Moldavsky. “In the future, I plan to experiment with different forms and styles of composition, and I hope to pursue music in college as well."

This is Moldavsky’s first year at Homestead High School after moving from Virginia last year. He plays viola in the Homestead Chamber Orchestra and also studies piano at a high level. According to Homestead Director of Orchestras John Emanuelson, Moldavsky has already made a significant impact on the program in his short time at MTSD, serving as Co-Principal viola and also participating in the orchestra for a recent musical production.

“I am very proud of Nathan’s recognition by the WSMA of his beautiful and evocative composition for string quartet, Delphis,” said Emanuelson. “He is also well-liked by his peers in the Chamber Orchestra, and is respected for his leadership and obvious love of making music. We are so glad to have Nathan in our orchestra community this year, and hope to perform his next composition at one of our concerts in 2023.”


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4 Homestead female students

The AiC awards honor women in grades 9-12 for their computing-related achievements and interests and encourages them to pursue their passions.

Four Homestead women have received recognition from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) as part of their Aspirations in Computing (AiC)
Awards. The AiC awards honor women in grades 9-12 for their computing-related achievements and interests and encourages them to pursue their passions. Sophomores Sheba Bentum-Mensah and Madeline Frank and juniors Abby Horwitz and Cecilia Wenzler all received recognition as part of the 2022 Wisconsin Affiliate.

Sheba discovered her interest in the media and technology during a Multimedia 1 class that she took at Homestead. In the future, Sheba hopes that she can spread positivity and awareness of world problems in order to help work towards a better world.

Madeline has been interested in computer science and engineering for as long as she can remember. Her passion for technology-based STEM principles truly began after entering sixth-grade where she was introduced to computer science and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) classes at Steffen Middle School. Since then, she has taken multiple computer science classes, including AP Computer Science and Engineering classes. She also participates in the programming club and is on the board for Homestead’s Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS) club. Madeline plans to continue this passion for technology in the future, including majoring in a technology or engineering field.

Abby is heavily involved in her community and spends most of her time advocating for climate-related reforms. Being a young female so fascinated by STEM, she feels a responsibility to spread her love to other younger girls who deserve the same opportunities she has received. In college, she hopes to study engineering with a focus on genetic engineering and the ethics surrounding it.

Cecilia has been taking computing classes for the past few years and has grown heavily interested in the computer science world. She is planning to go to college and graduate with a major in Computer Science, and go on to create programs that advance companies. She first became interested in the creation of computer science when she realized the potential it has for so many things. She idealizes the fact that, with computer programming, just about anything can be made to help and advance many companies and people around the world.

Award recipients are selected based on their aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, as demonstrated by their computing experience, computing-related activities,
leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and plans for post-secondary education.
To find out more about NCWIT and AiC, visit:

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Math Students

HHS Senior and Freshman excel in American Mathematics Contest.

Recently, senior Eric Wan and freshman Kevin Wan performed exceptionally well in the American Mathematics Contest (AMC) competitions hosted by the Math Department at
UW-Milwaukee. Both Eric and Kevin placed into the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) thanks to their outstanding performance. Kevin, in particular, further advanced into USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad (JMO), making him one of 305 students in the United States to qualify for JMO in 2022.

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Forensics team

HHS Forensic speakers headed to Washington D.C. to compete in national competition.

HHS Forensic speakers Blair Martin, Anne Brown, Mary Bridget Jones, Parn Chaiyasat, Helena Zhao, and Sanjana Vasireddy qualified for the national forensics competition in the areas of oratory, oratorical declamation, and duo interpretation. The group will head to Washington D.C. later this spring to compete.

Notably, Parn Chaiyasata is a current foreign exchange student from Thailand who has only been speaking English for less than a year. More information about their accomplishments can be found in the Highlander Online.

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4 Homestead Seniors

 A team of 4 seniors finish in the top 6 in this international math challenge.

Homestead High School is proud to announce that a team of four seniors finished in the top 6 out of 612 participating teams from across the United States and the United Kingdom in the MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge. The team was led by parent coach, Weizhong Wang. Adam Garsha, Jacob Schmidman, Eric Wan, and Ethan Wang are now invited to New York City for the final presentation to a panel on April 25th to compete for team scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. Additionally, Homestead High School will receive a $500 prize.

Mathematical modeling refers to the process of creating a mathematical representation of a real-world scenario to make a prediction or provide insight. The math modeling paper submitted by the Homestead team underwent rigorous and intense scrutiny in order to achieve the distinguished 6th place ranking among the other 612 teams.

"These young mathematicians have done much more in their short career than master high levels of math,” said Homestead math department chair Jennifer Zortman. “Their ability to persevere, problem-solve, and think critically is being rewarded as they move on to the finals in New York City. Our Homestead High School Math Department is very proud of their accomplishments!"

In addition to building upon their high-level mathematical and logistical skills during the competition, the team members also grew together as peers. “The M3 Challenge not only allowed me to become closer with my friends but also helped me discover the real-world applications and benefits of math,” said Jacob Schmidman.

To find out more about MathWorks, visit:

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HHS teachers holding banner

Homestead originally received the National Demonstration School designation in 2017

The Mequon-Thiensville School District is proud to announce that Homestead High School has received revalidation as a National Demonstration School by AVID
(Advancement Via Individual Determination), a nonprofit organization that provides K-12 educators with proven, research-based strategies to accelerate student performance through engaging, rigorous, and student-centered learning environments so that all students across the campus succeed in college, careers, and life. AVID is implemented in more than 7,000 schools in 47 states across the U.S., impacting more than 2 million students in grades K–12 and postsecondary institutions.

Homestead joins approximately 200 other AVID National Demonstration Schools including Steffen Middle School, which was designated as a National Demonstration School in 2021. National Demonstration School validation is currently underway at Lake Shore Middle School during the 2021-2022 school year.

AVID National Demonstration Schools are considered to be centers of exceptional teaching and learning that serve as a model of a highly-evolved AVID system for other schools interested in learning about the AVID College Readiness System. AVID National Demonstration Schools, such as Homestead, clearly demonstrate an ongoing pursuit of excellence through rigor and high expectations. After receiving the original designation, National Demonstration Schools maintain their status for three school years upon which they are eligible to renew their status.

“The faculty at Homestead deserve this recognition,” said Trina Hayden, AVID District Director. “They collectively share an unwavering commitment to high-quality instruction grounded in meeting the needs of each student. It is fundamental to who they are as educators and as a district, we are very proud that other schools across the country have the opportunity to continue to learn from Homestead.”

“It is a tremendous honor to be again selected as a National Demonstration School, and we are proud of our AVID program and our school as a whole,” said Eric Ebert, Homestead principal. “The use of AVID strategies schoolwide has positively impacted students and staff, and we continue to see a more engaged and college-ready student body.” 

MTSD began implementing AVID in 2011 at the high school level and since 2015, has implemented AVID throughout all its schools, making it the first district in
Wisconsin to be an AVID Districtwide system. To learn more about AVID, visit:

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HHS Senior Annie Brown

Annie Brown has been selected for this distinct honor by the Wisconsin Journalim Education Association.

Homestead High School is pleased to announce that senior Annie Brown has been selected as the 2022 Wisconsin Journalist of the Year by the Wisconsin Journalism Education Association (WJEA). This distinctive honor makes Annie eligible for the National Journalist of the Year competition, which will take place in early April. In recognition of this state achievement, Annie will receive a special certificate and a $1,000 scholarship to the college or university of her choice.

According to the Wisconsin Journalism Education Association, Brown’s work stands out for her passion, her power with words, ability to capture genuine emotion through photography, and top-notch storytelling and yearbook page design, which received particular praise from the judges. Special notice was also given to Brown’s reporting and writing in a story about female athletes, which showcased great clarity and depth. Matthew Smith, president of the WJEA, described Brown as, “...clearly a thoughtful and creative leader as editor-in-chief of [the] school’s yearbook.”

In addition to her outstanding academic skills, Brown is co-president of Student Council, co-editor-in-chief of Highlander Publications, co-founder and VP of the Homestead Film Club, and Homestead President and Global Youth Ambassador of She’s the First, a club that aims to reduce gender inequality through education in underdeveloped countries. Outside of school, Brown is a Teen Ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern Wisconsin.

“I am passionate about education, girls’ rights, maternal health, and storytelling most of all. I plan to major in English and/or journalism and hope to use my talents to tell untold stories around the world,” said Brown.

"Though I know how tough the competition was for this award, I also know how talented, dedicated and well-rounded Annie is as a journalist and as a leader,” said Mrs. Rachel Rauch, Homestead English and Journalism teacher, “She always looks for ways to grow her own skills as well as better the Highlander Publications program. I am beyond proud of her."

To learn more about the Wisconsin Journalism Education Association and the national award, please visit or

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