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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.

Fall Series 2023

Sept 25, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

Why You Can Trust
Wisconsin's Election System

Meagan Wolfe is the Administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), serving as the state’s Chief Election Official. Meagan was appointed by the bi-partisan, six-member Commission in February of 2018 and unanimously confirmed by the Wisconsin State Senate in May of 2019 for a four-year term. Meagan will provide an outline of Wisconsin’s very thorough and decentralized system of running elections. She will discuss how our system is different than systems in other states, and why voters should trust it to deliver accurate and fair results.

Dan and Mary Naylor sponsored this program.

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Oct 16, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

Wandering Curious:

Notes & Photographs from the American Scene

Drake Hokanson, PhD, author and photographer, spent 45 years exploring and taking photos along the Lincoln Highway, small midwestern towns, the endless Great Plains, colorful county fairs, and along the 1st transcontinental railroad. We’ll hear a few stories from the road, examine some of the influences that motivate Hokanson, and consider the nature of photographic art and nonfiction literature, and the brilliance they create when brought together.

Glenda Rhodes sponsored this program.

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Oct 23, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

Combating Illegal Logging

with Forensic Botanical Science, Policy, & Casework

Alex C. Wiedenhoeft, PhD, is a Research Botanist in the USDA Forest Products Lab’s (FPL) Center for Wood Anatomy Research (CWAR). Alex speaks about the history and the legacy of forensic work on cases including murders, car bombings, arson, transportation disasters, and forest fires. He also discusses the forensic relevance of science influencing policy, presents some civil cases and a few less serious cases where forensic botany was used to solve a mystery or a problem.

Pat Pfeifer sponsored this program.

Oct 30, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

Technical Education
for Today and Tomorrow

Chris Matheny, PhD, is president of Fox Valley Technical College. What role does the Wisconsin Technical College System play in educating and training our communities? We’ll discuss the current state of technical education in the State, introduce you to some things you may not know about your Technical Colleges, and touch on what the future of education might look like in a very rapidly changing world.

Florence & Rich Dittle sponsored this program.

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Nov 6, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

Land Acknowledgment - 
Then and Again

Hugh Kress is an educator and resource leader for Land Acknowledgment for the East Central Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Anahkwet (Guy Reiter), Menominee, is the Executive Director of Menīkānaehkem, Inc.
Land Acknowledgement is an international effort to work
in partnership with Indigenous sisters and brothers to apply the principles of a reciprocal relationship to the land as we share its resources. It first recognizes that lands that we occupy are the ancestral home of displaced tribes. The presentation illustrates actions that have been taken and calls for adoption of an attitude that directs present and future respect for the land.

Mark Flora and Sally Stevens sponsored this program.

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Nov 13, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

Staying on Track in a Distracted World

Ivan Jay Wayne, PhD, is founder and owner of Voyagerr, a Waupaca based consulting firm. The average American adult checks their phone every 5 minutes and American office workers switch tasks every 3 minutes. This inability to focus was not always prevalent. Are these trends generational, regional, based on personality, or are they universal? This talk includes information spanning seven books and current psychological research, spotlighting the main causes of our dwindling attention span. Additionally, we will discuss strategies we can utilize to maintain our focus once again.

Donavan and Mary Beth Lane sponsored this program.

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Nov 27, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library

The Stormy Kromer Story

Bob Jacquart is chairman of Jacquart Fabric Products which is home of Stormy Kromer. From invention and evolution throughout a century, the stylish and durably designed Stormy Kromer hats are interwoven into Wisconsin culture. The lore is part of the lure. A pull-down ear band stitched to a baseball cap kept a train worker’s head warm and dry amid winter winds. From authentic originals to ever-evolving designs, Stormy Kromer caps celebrate the art of hat and headwear design.

Denny and Cindy Wandtke sponsored this program.

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