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August 2014

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Pewaukee, Sussex are among smartest

If you live in the City of Pewaukee or Village of Sussex, you may be able to count yourself among the intellectual elite of Wisconsin.

Those two communities made the top 10 list of the "Smartest Cities in Wisconsin," compiled by Movoto, an online real estate brokerage company out of Santa Monica, Calif. Pewaukee ranked third, while Sussex came in ninth.

According to the report, Movoto used U.S. Census data, publiclibraries.com and collegestats.org in six different criteria that included colleges and universities per capita, libraries per capita, museums per capita, percentage of residents with a bachelor's degree or higher, high school graduation rate and average K-12 class sizes.

City of Pewaukee

The report said education played a role in Pewaukee's placement on the list.

"The 13,195 residents of this city really have got it together, with 94 percent of them graduating high school and 28 percent of residents having at least a bachelor's degree. Some of those residents could be on their way to earning a degree, too, considering that the city is home to the Waukesha County Technical College."

It also said that the Clark House museum and Pewaukee Area Historical Society help locals "round out the rest of their brains."

JoAnn Sternke, superintendent of the Pewaukee School District said she wasn't surprised that Pewaukee was listed among the smartest.

"I've known this all along! Pewaukee is a great place to live. I hope our school district, in a small way, contributed to this honor since we educate 2,800 Pewaukeeans per year," she said.

Village of Sussex

Sussex is the smallest place on the top 10 list, but the report sites learning for both kids and adults as an aspect to its No. 9 ranking. The report sites summer day camp for kids and special events held by the Sussex-Lisbon Historical Society as pros in the Village.

"The Pauline Haass Public Library makes this little place No. 4 when it comes to libraries per capita, and offers community building events as well as a language program to help people learn to speak a new language for free. Besides that, this place is already pretty educated with a student-teacher ratio of only 15 to 1 and 26 percent of folks having a bachelor's degree or higher," the report reads.

"I certainly think that Sussex is a very smart community. These polls and the rankings are a lot for fun, but we do a lot," said Kathy Klager, library director at the Pauline Haass Library. "We have a lot of library usage in this community. Last year we had an average between 410 and 415 people a day coming in the door, including the really, really cold days of winter."

Village President Gregory Goetz said that there are probably many other "smart" communities in Wisconsin, but he is happy Sussex was recognized for part of what it offers.

"I don't know that it's totally fact-based, but it's nice they recognized us. I know we're doing a lot of great things with our board and our staff," Goetz said citing ongoing development and fiscal soundness in the village.

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