The active and amazing Nienow family has truly made UW-Washington County, “A Family Tradition!” Both parents, Cal and Kathy, as well as all five of their children: Leah (Miller), Chad, Kori (Meyer), Troy, and Jena, started their college careers at UW-WC. In addition, their two son-in-laws also attended UW-WC.
A familiar face to many in the community, Kathy Nienow has been a sixth grade teacher at Badger Middle School since 1993. In addition to participating in LOTS of extra-curricular activities with Badger, she’s also been very active with the West Bend Dance/Tumbling Troupe over the years, currently serving as Dance Camps Coordinator. Kathy’s talent and dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed. Over the years, she has received the Rolf’s Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, WBKV’s Top Teacher Award (several times) and recognized as One of the Top Five Dance Coaches in the nation (twice). Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Middle School education from UW-Milwaukee and a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University.
Kathy’s husband, Cal wasn’t sure of his path after high school graduation, so the “convenience and cost of attending college close to home was appealing.” Self-employed, he manages Cartage & Transportation Services (C.A.T.S.), a truckload and expedited freight carrier. A successful entrepreneur, he also started and continues to manage a home-based business, specializing in product brokering and internet marketing. One important lesson that Cal learned at UW-WC is that, “if you are to succeed, you need to put the time and effort in – to reach your goals.” His profession made this clear, he said, “If you do the work, make the grade, you will obtain success.” With two successful businesses under his belt, it’s evident that Cal has done just that, and he “thanks UW-WC for this life lesson.”
Leah (Miller) Nienow was the first of the five Nienow children to attend UW-WC in 2000. After completing her Associate degree, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education at UW-Milwaukee. Currently, she is a fifth grade teacher at Fair Park Elementary in West Bend. Leah’s husband, Brandon Miller, also attended UW-WC before transferring to UW-Milwaukee where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. Brandon works as a copywriter at an advertising agency, Nelson-Schmidt in Milwaukee. They have one daughter, Tegan.
A dispatch manager for the family-owned, Cartage and Transportation Services, Chad Nienow also completed his Associate’s degree at UW-WC. For Chad, “it was a great way to save money by living at home while going to college.” Active in sports, he also wanted to continue playing soccer in college and “UW-WC has a strong soccer program.” Married last summer at the Nienow home on Wallace Lake, Chad and his wife, Lindsey (a neonatal nurse) live in the Barton area.
Kori (Meyer) Nienow followed in her mom’s and sister’s footsteps, completing an Associate degree at UW-WC and then a Bachelor’s degree in Education from UW-Milwaukee. She is a Reading and Math Title 1 teacher in the West Bend School District, teaching at Decorah and Barton Elementary Schools. Married to Kenny Meyer, they have a one-year old daughter, Ella. Kenny is also a UW-WC alumnus, who transferred to UW-Milwaukee, where he completed an engineering degree. He is employed at Caterpillar Global Mining as an engineer.
Troy was the fourth sibling to attend UW-WC. Currently a Staff Sergeant in the US Army, he has recently returned home from his third deployment overseas and is now stationed in Colorado. After attending UW-WC for two years, he transferred to Cochise College, where he completed an Associate of Applied Science degree in Intelligence Operations, with high honors. He and his wife, Stephanie, have a three-year-old daughter, Talia.
Youngest of the Nienow crew, Jena transferred to UW-Oshkosh, after completing her Associate degree at UW-WC, majoring in Physical Education with minors in Adapted PE and Health. She is employed by Theisen Middle School in Fond du Lac as a Physical Education teacher. She also is the Gymnastics Supervisor and Playground Supervisor for the West Bend Parks and Recreation Department.
As Kathy sums up, “Because Cal and I both felt we greatly benefited by attending UW-WC after high school, we strongly encouraged all five of our children to follow in our footsteps. We were thrilled that they all chose to stay in West Bend to continue their education after graduating from high school. As you can see, we are confirmation that attending UW-WC is a family tradition!”
Washington County is located at 400 University Drive in West Bend. For admission information, visit the campus website at washington.uwc.edu or phone Student Services at 262-335-5201.