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Rick Kaufman,

Rick was born on April 8, 1962 in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of Willis and Francine Kaufman. He graduated from WDHS in 1980. Rick has impacted countless lives over the years as he is an expert in Crisis Management, and has served in various leadership roles in school community relations, communications and emergency management for school systems in Wisconsin, Colorado, and Minnesota.

Career Accomplishments

  • On April 20th, the day of the mass shooting at Columbine, Rick was among the first to arrive on site to rescue students and provide triage to those wounded, utilizing the paramedic skills he had learned early in his career.

  • Served as the Crisis Response Team leader and chief spokesperson for Columbine High School.

  • Conducted hundreds of training sessions and presentations in more than 25 states for educational associations, colleges and universities, and city, county and state law enforcement and emergency management agencies.

  • Executive Director of Community Relations and Emergency Management for Bloomington Public Schools in Minnesota, where he continues to fulfill the promise to do all he can to protect children, improve school safety, and prevent violence in schools.


  • President’s Award, and the Award of Excellence (three times) from the Wisconsin School Public Relations Association

  • Minnesota School Public Relations Association’s Dawn K. McDowell Award

  • The National School Public Relations Association’s Gold Medallion Award (five times).

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Gisela Hamm,

Gisela was born on June 19, 1931, in Essen, Germany to Fred and Else Sanders, their oldest and only daughter.  In 1953, she married Donald Hamm, and moved to Wisconsin Dells where she became a wonderful teacher, forensics coach, School Board representative, and an advocate for several civic organizations.

Career Accomplishments

  • Graduated with honors from Sheboygan North High School.

  • Attended UW Madison and graduated Cum Laude in 1954.

  • Won numerous speech and debate contests, which was a major accomplishment since she did not speak English when she first came to the United States.

  • Taught Speech and English from 1985 till her retirement in 1996.

  • Coached Forensics teams and helped the program grow. Teams twice won the prestigious Hintze Award.

  • Upon retirement in 1996, was elected to the School Board and served 13 years.

  • Active in many civic organizations, including the Dells Country Art Association (a member since its inception), the Dells Country Historical Society, the Heritage Day Craft Fair, the Wo-Zha-Wa Committee including the Wo-Zha-Wa Art and Craft Fair, Friends of the Library, Kiwanis, Tuesday Club, and Friends of the H.H. Bennett Studio.  

  • A Trustee of the Kilbourn Library from 1991 to 2013, and became very involved with the construction of the new library.  


  • Honored as Marshall of the2014 Wo-Zha-Wa parade.

  • Selected as Columbia Council Library Advocate of the Year.

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Frank Kaminski, Alumnus/Community

Frank Joseph Kaminski was born November 14th, 1946 the son of Frank and Delphine Kaminski. He graduated as Class President from WDHS in 1965. Frank was a life-long resident of Lake Delton working as a business owner, volunteer fire fighter and EMT, and serving on the Village of Lake Delton Board.

Career Accomplishments

  • Served in the US Air Force, and was discharged to help his family after the unexpected death of his father.

  • Owner and operator of several businesses including the Country Market in Lake Delton.

  • One of the four original EMT’s in Lake Delton.

  • Spent 30 years in elected office, including 14 years as Village President.

  • Advocated for a new Fire Department and EMS facility, and considered it a great victory for the community when the new facility was built.

  • Championed several new parks including the skate board park and the softball fields which were named after Frank.

  • Fought to convince others that Lake Delton and Wisconsin Dells should combine their efforts into one Park and Recreation Department.

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Bill Heineke,

Bill was born October 20th 1941 in Portage, Wisconsin. He grew up in a single parent household with his mother, Catherine. Bill graduated from WDHS in 1960 and has devoted most of his life to helping abused and neglected children. He is on a mission to make this world a better place.

Career Accomplishments

  • Bill attended UW LaCrosse and earned a bachelor of Science degree in 1965.

  • Attend UW Stout, earning a master’s in guidance. He then enrolled in graduate school at the University of Wyoming earning the first of two doctoral degrees this one in counseling and counseling education.

  • Staff psychologist at Marquette University counseling center.

  • Works for Campbell County Health with children who have been abused or neglected.

  • Founded the Campbell County Child Protection Team, and continues to serve on it today.  This organization supports families and children in need and works to educate the public about abuse and neglect.

  • Developed and implemented a Summer Program that services high risk children and their families.


  • Campbell County Memorial Hospital Legend Award, given to those who lead by example.

  • Campbell County Healthcare Foundation Outstanding Healthcare Award.

  • Named one of the, “Ten People Who Made a Difference” by the Gillette News Record.