Precision Plus Continues On Its Manufacturing Pilgrimage, Leaving No Classroom Unturned

Michael Reader

On May 15, 2015, Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training, representing Precision Plus of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, visited three 4th grade classes at Tibbits Elementary School in the Elkhorn Area School District. Earlier in the year, Butters visited second and third graders to create excitement about manufacturing…or making things from scratch, as the school had recently embarked in Project Lead The Way’s (PLTW) Launch Program for young elementary school students.

However, being with the 4th graders allowed Butters to take the excitement to the next level. “This allowed me to use the Inventor software to probe the students understanding of two dimensional shapes and what happens when the shapes are extruded to a third dimension,” he said, “as when a circle extruded becomes a cylinder.”

Following the presentation, students were able to pick up and explore some of the parts made by Precision Plus, with a better understanding of the process from beginning to end.

Precision Plus thanks the Tibbits Elementary School students and their teachers for their time and attention, and shares their kind thank you notes.

STEM Education Event at Advanced Manufacturing Center on April 22, 2015 Features Elkhorn Area School District PLTW Students and Teachers, State Legislators and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch

Michael Reader

In fall of 2014, Project Lead The Way (PLTW) announced a pilot program with a curriculum specifically designed for elementary school children, to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics arts (STEM). PLTW has had a solid record for rigorous and comprehensive curricula available to children from middle school through high school. Elkhorn Area School District was an early adopter of the elementary grades pilot program, the PLTW Launch Curriculum, which gives students an opportunity to explore and apply STEM sciences early on.

Dr. Joshua Schultz, Affiliate Director of PLTW at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), extended an invitation to Elkhorn Area School District PLTW students, as well as teachers and administrators, to participate in a Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development event and reception at the Advanced Manufacturing Center in Milton, WI on April 22, 2015, to celebrate the district’s accomplishments and receive a special recognition. Also invited were State of Wisconsin legislators, PLTW officials, Barry Butters from Precision Plus, and Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.

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As planned, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was at hand to hand the special recognitions. So were William White, Vice President, Project Lead The Way Midwest Region, Jason Tadlock, District Administrator for the Elkhorn Area School District and Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training at Precision Plus

Students included Cullen Gahart (3rd Grade), Matthew Prokes (4th Grade), Natalie Petersen (5th Grade), Lesly Rodriguez (6th Grade), Gwen Nicholas (6th Grade), Wendy Remeeus (6th Grade), Elizabeth Wallace (11th Grade, Justice Bachtell (12th Grade), J.P. Griswold (12th Grade) and Kathryn Lieffrig (12th Grade). Teachers present were Eryca Card, Linda Frankenberg, Alex Hutson, Barry Butters and Jerry Iserloth. Jason Tadlock and Chris Trottier represented the administrators.

Teachers and administrators were asked to talk about their STEM initiatives, and to showcase their efforts to support education, their students, and reiterate the importance of STEM education policy decisions in Wisconsin. In addition, students from the Elkhorn Area School District displayed their projects and shared the value and lessons learned through their PLTW coursework.

The agenda included a continental breakfast, introductions and welcome by Tania Kilpatrick, CESA 6, an overview of PLTW in the Midwest Region by William White, presentations by Jason Tadlock, Barry Butters, Eryca Card and students, and by Thor Misko, Vice President of Development at PLTW. Dr. Joshua Schultz closed the program with final remarks about the event and the program.

And thank you, Elkhorn Area School District, for the shout out on their Facebook Page!


Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training To Receive Annual “Friend of the Elkhorn Area School District” Award

Michael Reader

Congratulations to Precision Plus’s Director of Education and Training Barry Butters, who has received a “Friend of the Elkhorn Area School District” award.  The awards will be presented on January 26, 2015 at Elkhorn Middle School.  The award is a framed picture created by a West Side Elementary student.
Precision Plus proudly supports local educational initiatives.


Barry Butters receives “Friends of Elkhorn Area School District” award.


Precision Plus Continues to Serve In the Community

Michael Reader

The Elkhorn Area School District Administration recommended to its Board of Education to form an advisory committee to explore the facility needs of the district. Following a community-wide survey addressing the district’s needs and the likelihood of community support for such needs, the advisory committee made its presentation to the board on December 15, 2014. The survey was conducted by an independent agency.

The administration sought to include a cross section of individuals from the community to serve on the advisory committee–parents and non-parents, educators and business leaders–and asked Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training at Precision Plus to serve as a representative of a local manufacturer. Barry is also a long-time resident of Elkhorn, whose two children are graduates of the school district, and who already has had a strong working relationship with the school district.

“I was happy to serve on the committee,” said Butters who reiterated Precision Plus’ President Mike Reader’s sentiment that manufacturers need to be working with school districts instead of sitting idly and complaining about work force development issues.

The committee met numerous times over the last several months, during which time, they reviewed the 2014 community survey, a space capacity study and an overall facility study. Working together, the committee formulated a recommendation for a potential referendum, which balances the needs of the district, with the identified support level of the community.

On December 20, 2014, Tracy Owellete of My Walworth County posted an article by The Elkhorn Independent‘s Editor Kellen Olshefski, which outlines all the points presented at the board meeting and the proposed referendum.

Butters was one of three members of the committee who presented the committee’s recommendations to the board, including the community’s resounding support to fund the remodeling of the high school to include a new technical education wing supporting manufacturing career development.

The school board will take some time to review the issues and finalize the referendum questions that will be put to the community this spring.

To see a video of the board meeting, click here.  To see the PowerPoint presentation of the facilities recommendation report, click here.

Christmas Giving: Gifts Abound Under Precision Plus’ Angel Tree

Michael Reader

For the second year in a row, Precision Plus employees have adopted two families in need from the Elkhorn Area School District.

Their Secret Santa mission consisted in granting the wishes of the children of the family, whose selfless requests often included small gifts for their own parents. Mary Ellen Wright, Social Worker for the Elkhorn Area School District, delivered a set of paper ornaments bearing their requests. The ornaments were hung on Precision Plus’ Angel Tree. Then, our Secret Santas picked one or more wish ornament, went shopping, and brought the gifts to put under the Angel Tree! On December 12, Mary Ellen Wright picked up all the presents, which will be delivered to the families before Christmas.

But their mission didn’t stop there. Besides fulfilling Christmas wishes, our team also brought non-perishable items to donate to area food banks.

We are proud of the kindness and generosity of the Precision Plus Team!