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Winchester Academy’s mission is to enrich the community by providing free, intellectually stimulating, informative, and engaging programs.

The name "Winchester Academy" implies a building and physical structure, but there is none. The Academy is a voluntary organization with a Board of Trustees comprised of area citizens that fosters lifelong learning based on ideas originating in Scandinavian folk academies. The Academy offers, on average, twenty-five programs annually. There is no membership required for attendance at programs. All are FREE of charge and open to the general public. Programs are usually held at the Waupaca Area Public Library on Monday evenings at 6:30. Other venues and days of the week are occasionally used for special seminars and musical programs (e.g., churches, or other sites that can accommodate larger crowds). Some programs might include controversial subject matter, but the Academy takes no position and seeks to provide balanced and reliable information.

Winter/Spring Series 

Please take a few minutes to help the Waupaca Area Public Library

with this survey about their adult programming -
Adult Programming Survey

Feb 6, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

Solving Food Insecurity Utilizing Local Agriculture

Speaker: Tara Roberts-Turner
In 2022, the Biden Administration held the first national conference on food insecurity since 1969. The administration brought farmers, food pantries, chefs, policy makers and healthcare workers together to promote a new national plan to combat food insecurity.  Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative (WFHC) has not been new to this challenge, having worked with Hunger Task Force and Feeding America to deliver boxes to Tribal and Non-Tribal pantries during the pandemic. In 2023, WFHC will work within the Local Food for School (LFS) program, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA), and Tribal Elder Box (Feeding America), following along the goals established at the conference.  This presentation will describe the plan, the challenges, and sustainability of each of these programs. 

Roberts-Turner is a 1996 graduate of Waupaca High School.  She holds a bachelor's degree in human physiology from Boston University and a masters degree in Public Policy from Tufts Veterinary School. Much of her education focused on the impacts of agriculture on the environment, human beings, and animals. She worked for Epic Systems as well as taught science in middle school, high school, and college. In 2012, along with 12 other farms, Roberts-Turner and her dad helped to start the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative. She was the first board president of Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative, and then became the general manager. 

Program Co-Sponsors - Jeanne Bootz and Linda Kassera

Feb 13, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald: The Ship, the Storm, & the Song

Speaker: Steven Ackerman, PhD
SS Edmund Fitzgerald was an American Great Lakes freighter that sank in a Lake Superior storm on Nov 10, 1975, with a loss of the entire crew of 29. When launched on June 7, 1958, she was the largest ship on the Great Lakes and she remains the largest to have sunk there. The exact cause of the sinking remains unknown, though many books, studies, and expeditions have examined it. Ackerman will present this well known disaster,

examine how it relates to weather at the time, and discuss the Lightfoot song.

Ackerman is currently serving as Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education at UW-Madison. This position provides institutional leadership in research and graduate education across campus with responsibilities for the development and implementation of strategic initiatives that seek to maintain and enhance excellence in these areas.
Ackerman, along with Professor Jonathan Martin, is one of the ‘weather guys’, who appear monthly on Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss the weather and climate. They also write a weekly blog ( and a column for the Wisconsin State Journal which answer people’s weather questions.

Program Co-Sponsors - Sally Stevens and Mark Flora

Mar 6, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

Be at the table or on the menu

Speaker: Marcia Anderson

Anderson has a rare perspective on military and civilian service. In 2011, she became the U.S. Army’s first African American female major general, a position she held until her retirement in 2016. She will share some of the experiences that helped form her leadership style, as well as provide insight on the military decision-making process, and how the Army values inform the culture of one of the most successful militaries in modern history. In addition, Major General Anderson will share her experience with addressing diversity in the Army and the ongoing efforts to reduce and eliminate sexual harassment, as will as how to encourage the next generation to consider military service. 

Anderson, whose career was the focus of a 2012 video produced by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, offered her reflections on public service in commemoration of Veterans Day 2019.

Major General (Retired) Marcia Anderson graduated from Creighton University in Omaha NE, earning her B. A. in Political Science in 1979 and received her Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Army Reserve.  She retired in 2016 after 36 years of service.

She was recently appointed as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) for Wisconsin and serves on the Department of Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Defense and Prosecution and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces.

Program Sponsor - Pat Hollenbeck in memory of her mother Florence Miller Seims

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Mar 13, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library
Promoting Health through collaborative research & Community Engagement

Speaker: Richard "Rick" Moss, PhD

Moss is Professor Emeritus of Cell & Regenerative Biology in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), and until he retired in December 2021 was Senior Associate Dean of Basic Sciences, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies.  Over the past 20 years, SMPH has pursued a unique vision as the nation’s first medical school to fully integrate biomedical and public health research.  These efforts are designed to improve health through development of strategies that not only emphasize greater effectiveness in treating disease but also feature collaborations with communities to reduce disease and improve quality of life for citizens of our state and nation. Dr. Moss will present examples of SMPH research and community engagement designed to improve health and will lead an interactive discussion about how to address disparities in health and healthcare across our state.

Program Sponsor - Diane Forsythe

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Mar 27, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

Design concepts for a sustainable landscape

Speaker: Marissa Ashbeck

Anyone can create a garden space, but can you create a sustainable landscape? 

During "Design Concepts for a Sustainable Landscape" we will be touching on thoughtful design concepts, low-impact gardens, low-maintenance landscaping, beneficial plants, and how to attract beneficial insects and wildlife into your yards. We will be getting back to the basics and talking about what is feasible and sustainable in our yards today. Join us and start brainstorming your sustainable gardens today!

Marissa Ashbeck is the Horticulture and Grounds Manager at Monk Botanical Gardens in Wausau, WI. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture- Landscape Design and Management at the University of Wisconsin- River Falls. Her passion for horticulture sparked when she was in high school, and through FFA career development events, she was able to confirm her aspirations. While attending college at UWRF, she was able to specialize in landscape management and design, while gaining first-hand experience in the lab, greenhouse, and in the field. Marissa spent her summers interning at local growers and garden centers, which led into her position as Nursery Manager after graduating from UWRF. After working in the retail garden center, Marissa found her niche in connecting people with plants where she is today at Monk Botanical Gardens.

Program Sponsors - Aniko Litasi Gerlach and Terry Gerlach

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Apr 10, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

How Does Wisconsin Sound

Speaker: Susan Cook

Wisconsin has a remarkable musical past, one that shows the individual and collective power of its native and emigrant peoples, and its regional, national and international connections and relationships. This talk presents snapshots from the state’s historical and current soundscapes identifying the circumstances under which musical practices were made, remembered and changed.

Susan C. Cook, Director of the Mead Witter School of Music at UW-Madison, is a music historian and dance scholar whose published work and current research engages with American musical repertories of all kinds. She is particularly interested in the social contexts of art, musical and dance practices as well as the regional practices of Wisconsin.

Program Sponsors - Dave and Brenda Wenberg

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Apr 17, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library
What a find!
Ancient Canoes discovered in Lake mendota

Speaker: James Skibo, PhD

The Wisconsin Historical Society in partnership with Wisconsin's Native Nations is preserving a pair of historic dugout canoes recovered from Madison's Lake Mendota in 2021 and 2022. Resting on the lake bottom 27 feet underwater, the first discovery contained seven notched stones known as net sinkers used to hold down fishing nets. Photos of the canoe showed it to be in such pristine condition that it was suspected it had been made recently. But radiocarbon dating showed it was in use around A.D. 800, likely by ancestors of today's Ho-Chunk Nation. These finds have prompted the Wisconsin Historical Society to research fluctuating weather levels and ancient shorelines to explore the possibility that the canoes were near what is now submerged village sites.

Skibo received his bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University where he was first introduced to archaeology and a master’s degree and Ph.D. at the University of Arizona.

Skibo is the Wisconsin State Archaeologist with the Wisconsin Historical Society. He is a Michigan native who previously served in roles at Illinois State University for 27 years, first as a professor of anthropology and later as chair of the department.

Program Co-Sponsors - Denny & Cindy Wandtke and the Waupaca Historical Society

Apr 24, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

Common Scams and Frauds

Speaker: Jeffrey Kersten

Jeffrey Kersten with the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection will discuss the details of common scams, the warning signs of a scam, and what to do if you or someone you know falls victim to a scam or fraud. Helpful factsheets will be available. As Wisconsin’s lead agency for consumer protection, the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection, provides information and education, mediates complaints, investigates cases, and takes enforcement actions to fight fraudulent and deceptive practices that harm consumers and honest businesses.

Kersten is the Agency Liaison for the Bureau of Consumer Protection within the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.  As the Agency Liaison, Kersten travels around the state to educate the public, businesses, and law enforcement on privacy protection, data security, identity theft, and other areas of consumer protection. Kersten has over 12 years of experience as a police officer and is a prior Consumer Protection Investigator for the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Program Sponsor - Office Outfitters

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May 1, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

Cryptocurrency 101 - Robin Hoods and Scam Artists

Speaker: Jeffrey M. Glazer, JD

Jeffrey Glazer will examine the basics of the technology behind cryptocurrency from the blockchain to wallets to tokens. He will focus on some of the newsworthy people that have given cryptocurrency its reputation for better and for worse.

Glazer works in the UW Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic supervising students' representation of startup businesses. He (re)designs many of the Clinic's systems and processes to make handling large caseloads more manageable for both students and supervisors. He leads the Clinic's initiatives in food and beverage, agriculture, information technology, data privacy, and public policy.

Glazer has written and spoken frequently on issues facing startups in the food and beverage industry, agriculture (including CBD and cannabis), data privacy, cryptocurrency and blockchain, and technology in the law. 

This program is sponsored by contributions in memory of Maurice Wozniak




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