St. Marcus in the Media
Shattering the Myth -- Special Needs Students in Choice Schools
Watch interviews from St. Marcus school parents and staff about the special needs myths and roadblocks for Choice Schools.
After a special needs student recieves an IEP (individual educational plan), the funding for the services must go through approval by MPS. Although a student may be properly diagnosed, because he or she has moved on to another class, or a particular service is not provided outside of MPS, his or her IEP classes would not be available at a Choice School. If the student would qualify, he or she would only receive one 1/2 session a week. As a result, St. Marcus provides much of the funding their special needs students receive.
Students' message changes her life, career
December 7, 2012
The Milwaukee Business Journal covers St. Marcus' impact on Jennifer Bartolotta's life, career path.
Premium content from The Business Journal by Wendy Strong, Multi-media reporter
When Jennifer Bartolotta showed up recently to St. Marcus Lutheran School’s annual benefit gala, she knew she and her volunteer staff would be serving a delicious feast — but she didn’t know her life was about to change.
The Nov. 10 event’s theme was “Courage. Now.” “These kids, who are by most accounts marginalized, were talking about courage and being bold and getting out there and finding your purpose,” Bartolotta said.
As she absorbed the speeches by the St. Marcus students about unleashing their true potential, Bartolotta started to think about her purpose and her passions and wondered how, with all her resources, she could make more of a difference.
The next day she told her husband she wanted to quit her job at the family business where she had worked for 10 years as director of strategic partnerships and director of development for The Bartolotta Restaurants, along with serving as director of the group’s philanthropic arm, Care-a-lotta.
A week later was her last day at work.
“I have never been more at peace with a major decision then I am right now,” she said.
Joe Bartolotta said he supports his wife’s decision fully.
“It’s a new chapter not only in her business life, but also in our personal lives,” said Joe Bartolotta, who said he enjoys meeting his wife for lunch these days and hearing about how her day went.
The two met when she worked as a sales manager at Cintas Corp., a manufacturer of custom uniforms in Chicago.
In her time at the family business, she created a strong outside sales force and recreated the philanthropic arm of the company, Care-a-lotta, which she said she will continue leading.
For the past three years, the Bartolottas have donated the food and service for the St. Marcus gala, which has added up to about $100,000 in in-kind donations. The Bartolottas announced at this year’s gala they would do the same for the next three years.
Henry Tyson, superintendent of St. Marcus Lutheran School, Milwaukee, has known Bartolotta for about four years and describes her as a strong, intelligent, caring woman.
“My sense is Jennifer has been on a journey and the message at our gala was the final straw to give her courage to do whatever it is she is called to do,” Tyson said.
What Bartolotta “is called to do” is what she is pondering over the holiday season — she said she is thinking carefully about what she does well as she makes her decision.
“I’m highly observant — I’ve worked in corporate America, I have a huge grounding in restaurants because of Joe and a lot of experience with nonprofits, so I bring a lot to the table,” Bartolotta said.
Her involvement in the nonprofit sector is extensive. Currently, the 49-year-old is the secretary of the board for Schools That Can Milwaukee, president of the board for Tempo Milwaukee, and secretary of the board for the Wisconsin Humane Society.
Anne Reed, executive director of the Wisconsin Humane Society, said Bartolotta is a great connector and idea generator.
“I don’t know how many times (Bartolotta) has come to me with an idea about connecting people and then will say she would be happy to work with them,” Reed said.
“Connecting” is one of the strongest qualities Bartolotta said she will bring to her next life adventure.
“I have this vision of breaking bread with representatives from Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, Children’s Hospital, the Zilber Foundation’s neighborhood initiative, St. Marcus, Bruce-Guadalupe (Community School) and Milwaukee College Prep, and Growing Power, who are all currently engaged in initiatives that touch poverty, education, and collaboration,” she said. “I wonder what magic would happen.”
One job has already been offered to Bartolotta. She wouldn’t reveal the name of the organization, but said it was a start-up company that would help nonprofit initiatives grow.
She said she is very interested in education and deeply believes every child, regardless of socioeconomic status, deserves an excellent education.
However, whatever she decides to do, she said she is committed to creativity, collaboration and change.
“I love Milwaukee and am committed to its long-term viability and vibrancy,” Bartolotta said.
FAMILY: Married to Joe Bartolotta, president of The Bartolotta Restaurants, which owns Milwaukee-area restaurants such as Lake Park Bistro, Bacchus and Mr. B’s Steakhouse
CURRENT CAREER STATUS: In search of new opportunities and director of Care-a-lotta, the philanthropic arm of The Bartolotta Restaurants
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in international relations from Michigan State University and a culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Chicago
CANINE KIDS: Golden retrievers: Stella, Bubba, Sophie and Ruphus
In Her Words
HER DEFINITION OF A WISE WOMAN: “Age, patience, kindness, compassion, and generosity of time and talent.”
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: “Realizing my dad was human after he had a stroke 15 years ago. I took eight weeks off and lived with my dad in the hospital. It was a humbling realization that this man I’d always had on a pedestal was a human and he needed me as much as I needed him.”
FUNNIEST MOMENT: When she and her husband got locked out of their RV in a Walmart parking lot at 7 a.m. while traveling through Valdosta, Ga. Jennifer was in her pajamas and Joe was in his underwear and a hoodie. Jennifer found a woman in the parking lot who lent them her young daughter to climb into a small window of the RV and unlock the door.
LIFE PHILOSOPHY: “I’ll give my mentor George Dalton credit for it — it is easy to find the bad in people, harder to find the good, but if you take the time to find the good and give it hope and love amazing things will happen.”
St. Marcus Model Offers Hope for Milwaukee School's
September 29, 2012
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Alan Borsuk writes an article speaking to St. Marcus leading Milwaukee education with COURAGE.
CBS 58 features St. Marcus in "Making Milwaukee Great" segment
October 1, 2012
Fox 6 News covers the St. Marcus expansion and why it is needed.
Fox 6 News
St. Marcus | August 28, 2012
St. Marcus School is expanding and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discussed the expansion in the "School Zone."
St. Marcus | August 27, 2012
St. Marcus School is expanding again. Bruce Krier shares his feelings about St. Marcus and the expansion.
St. Marcus sets second expansion
St. Marcus | August 24, 2012
St. Marcus School received helped from a local law firm with the new tax credits.
Northwestern Mutual Foundation donates $50,000 to St. Marcus School's art education.
BizTimes Milwaukee Business News | June 27, 2012
St. Marcus School wins the 2012 Mayor's Design Award for Phase I of the campus expansion project.
The Wisconsin Air National Guard helped St.Marcus with a Department of Defense-sponsored program dubbed STARBASE. The goal of the program is to improve students skills in science, technology, engineering and math.
At the recent 40 under 40 event all conversation led to education and the crisis in Milwaukee. Austin Ramirez pointed out that there are pockets of high-achieving schools like St. Marcus in Milwaukee.
St. Marcus was awarded $10,000 from the Shopko Foundation that will go towards the campus expansion. In addition to the $10,000 from Shopko, M&I will match the gift with $4,000!
Milwaukee's educational and community leaders gathered at the "MMAC Blueprint Briefing" to learn how to improve the education in Milwaukee. Henry Tyson, St. Marcus' Supertinedent was amongst the speakers.
Shopko announced St.Marcus as the winner of their "Choose a Charity" Contest. St. Marcus will put the grant funds towards the campus expansion.
St. Marcus School wins Shopko Contest. The Nationally recognized urban school will receive $10,000 towards their mission.
Donald Driver's Blessings in a Backpack program comes to St. Marcus. Students assemble backpacks for other SML scholars.
Packer's Greg Jennings Urges Students to do their Best
"I don't boast that I'm an NFL player because that can be taken away from me today," said Jennings. "But no one can take away my education." These are just some of the many powerful words Jennings shared with St. Marcus students. Click here to read the article. Also, check out the video footage of Jennings visit just to the right of the Fox 6 article!
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | December 6, 2011
5 organizations recognized for neighborhood development
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | March 30, 2011
"Some voucher schools showed impressive results with students. St. Marcus Lutheran School, with 89% of its students on vouchers, saw 86% of them score proficient or advanced in reading and 78% score proficient or advanced in math. Both of those percentages are above the state average."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | March 29, 2011
Schools That Can, School Leader Spotlight: Henry Tyson at St. Marcus School in Milwaukee
March 23, 2011