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South Haven Tribune308 Kalamazoo St.South Haven, MI 49090ph: 269-637-1104fax: 269-637-8415southhaventribune@yahoo.com9.18.17Light up the Night raises funds for SH SchoolsSouth Haven area residents will be rocking and glowing for a good cause during the Light up the Night 5K walk/run.Now in its fourth year, the event raises more than $10,000 annually for South Haven Public Schools.This year's 5K glow walk/run begins at 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30 at South Haven High School and will be preceded by fun, family-oriented activities at 5:30 p.m. After the race, participants can enjoy a dinner and music by a DJ.Over the years, Light up the Night has become a popular fundraiser, according to Maple Grove Elementary School teacher Heather Chalupa, one of the organizers of the event.“This event has been extremely successful and with the help of generous area businesses and individuals, we have been  able to raise close to $35,000 for the children of our community,” she said. “This money has been distributed directly to each of our five buildings.”Funds are used to pay for programs and activities such as field trips, new library books, improved access to technology and guest speakers.People can run, jog or walk along the course that starts at the high school, winds around to the lakeshore and continues back through town to the high school.Runners won't have to worry about listening to music from their earphones. Race organizers plan to offer music along the course.The registration fee to participate is $25 per person and $50 for families. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The fee includes the activities, food, entertainment and T-shirt. To receive a free T-shirt, participants have to sign up by Sept. 23.Registration forms are available at any South Haven Public School district office and online at signmeup.comTo volunteer for the event, email 8.28.17An early season startSchool doesn't begin until Sept. 5, but athletes and marching band members throughout Southwest Michigan took part in games this past week. In the photo above, members of South Haven's Purple Pride Marching Band perform during halftime at Thursday's varsity football game at Ratcliffe Field. (Photo by Tom Renner)South Haven High School offers 11 new coursesBy BECKY KARKEditor and general manager When South Haven High School students return to school in September they will have more courses to choose from, including Robotics Engineering, Script Writing for TV, Honors Physics and Honors U.S. History.Board of Education members recently approved 11 new courses for students.A number of the new courses are geared toward the rising demand for advanced learning and career-ready courses, according to Danielle Hendry, South Haven Public Schools curriculum director.Hendry, along with High School Principal Jerry Sardina and Assistant Principal Scott Jackson worked for the past year to expand the choice of academic courses.“Some students are passionate about traditional academic classes and want to push themselves to college readiness,” Hendry said. “Other students are passionate about skilled trades and want to push themselves toward career readiness. We look at student interests, goals and gifts so we can provide opportunities for all students to align their academic experience with their dreams for the future.”Several of the courses are geared for students who want to take advanced placement tests to receive college credit.In the past, South Haven had an agreement with Lake Michigan College to offer dual-enrollment courses where students could take a high school course, such as physics, and earn credit toward their high school diploma as well as an associate's degree from LMC.However, that agreement has ended, according to Superintendent Bob Herrera.“We were teaching the courses with our own staff,” Herrera said. “Now certification for higher education (instruction) has gotten more rigorous and some of our teachers don't meet those qualifications.” LMC also was reluctant to put their staff members solely at South Haven High School to teach courses, according to Herrera.As a result, the high school is stepping up its efforts to offer more honors courses and advanced placement courses to gear students for earning college credit if they decide to take the advanced placement tests.A list of the new courses follows:Parenting Expo planned in September in South HavenBy BECKY KARKEditor and general manager Raising children often creates emotional and financial stress for parents, but a local service club hopes to ease the strain parents feel by hosting a series of workshops and events designed to build positive relationships between youngsters and adults.The Parenting Expo, sponsored and organized by the South Haven Kiwanis Club, will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23 at Lake Michigan College's South Haven campus, 125 Veterans Blvd.A committee of Kiwanis Club members and representatives of other local organizations and volunteers have spent the past six months lining up speakers and family-oriented activities for participants to take part in. Best of all, all of the events are being offered free of charge, including child care for a limited number of children up to age 11. There will also be door prizes and a free lunch for participants.Mary Blashill, a member of the South Haven Kiwanis Club and chair of the Parenting Expo committee, came up with the idea of the expo last year.“I was active in the annual parenting fair held in Sturgis,” she said. “The event, sponsored by the Sturgis Kiwanis Club, was well attended and gave the community an opportunity to explore and learn more about parenting.  I felt South Haven might also benefit from a similar event.”The expo will begin with a speech by keynote speaker Dr. James Henry, founder and director of the Children's Trauma Assessment Center in Kalamazoo and a professor at Western Michigan University.Over the years, Henry has published more than 20 articles in professional journals and makes presentations at national and international conferences on the traumatic impact of child maltreatment.“I was privileged to work for him as a school interventionist for four years,” Blashill said. “He has extensive experience in the children's services area and teaches at WMU in the Social Work department as well as training children's services workers, mental health workers, foster parents, and others about the effects of trauma. He has been a keynote speaker for many conferences, is fascinating to listen to, and has a tremendous command of the physical and psychological development of children.”After Henry's speech, expo participants will be able to choose from 16 workshops featuring such topics as bullying prevention, social media and internet safety, getting children to try new foods, talking to children about sex, money management, suicide prevention, and the importance of play in learning.“Sherry Bennett of the Van Buren Intermediate School District along with the Expo Steering Committee decided on the workshops,” Blashill said.  “Each person on the steering committee is involved with families and children in some way and has contributed their knowledge and expertise to the selection process.  We also asked for parental input during the open houses at the South Haven schools in 2016 and incorporated these suggestions into the list of workshops.”The workshops will be led by speakers with professional experience in each of the topics that they will be speaking about. The Social Media/Internet Safety workshop, for instance, will be led by Det. Gerald Yott of the Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit, while Kelly Ellis of Water's Edge Counseling Services, will lead the workshop titled, “ADHD- How you Can Help.”In addition to providing the keynote speech, Henry will also lead two workshops titled, “Compassion Fatique: How to Keep Yourself Healthy” and “Childhood Anxiety.”Parents interested in taking part in the expo, can register online at Kiwanis Parenting Expo workshops• Suicide Prevention: Tracy Fay of Van Buren Community Mental Health Authority will provide practical ways to identify someone who may have suicide behavior, how to see the warning signs and get help for someone in crisis.• Importance of Play in Learning: Liz Albertson, author of “C'mon Everybody, Let's Play,” will share the importance of play in learning for all children. Ideas and activities will be shared that allow family to discover fun and time for family bonding.• Money Management: Maria Zavala-Paredes, a certified housing counselor for Telamon Corp., will give tips on how people can achieve their financial goals and alleviate financial problems.• Getting Children to Try New Foods: Wendy Syswerda of the Van Buren Intermediate School Districts Project LEAN Nutrition program, will discuss how parents can stay on a budget while getting their children to try new foods.• Conscious Discipline: Amanda Vankosky of Tri-County Head Start will introduce participants to the concepts of Conscious Discipline, which is designed to help parents respond to daily conflicts in a positive way, while teaching life skills to children.• Social Media/Internet Safety: Det. Gerald Yott from the Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit, will help families know how to reduce online safety risks to children.• Childhood Trauma: Dr. Jim Henry, founder and director of the Children's Trauma Assessment Center in Kalamazoo, will discuss the difference between childhood trauma and childhood anxiety• Make it Take it: Activities for Parents and Children: A family educator from the Fmily Links Home Visiting Program, will show participants how families can use everyday objects to create fun and educational opportunities for children.• ADHD - How You Can Help: Kelly Ellis of Water's Edge Counseling Services, will show parents how they can use patience, compassion, and support to help their children reduce the symptoms of ADD or ADHD.• Bullying Prevention: Amy Foster of the Van Buren Domestic Violence Coalition will show how parents can play a key role in preventing and responding to instances of bullying in their child's school and community.• Compassion Fatigue: Dr. Jim Henry will talk with parents and caregivers about how they can deal with burnout that comes from caring for children, especially children with special needs.• The Importance of Reading to Children: This session will show how reading with children is important from infancy through high school.• Credit Repair: Maria Zavala-Paredes will give practical steps on how people can identify and repair their credit.• Talking to Children About Sex: Sandy VanderRoest of South Haven Public Schools will teach parents how they can answer their child's questions in an honest, age-appropriate way.• Families and Nature: Teresa Klan of the Family Links Home Visiting Program will show how families can connect with each other by enjoying the outdoors, whether it's in a backyard, park, or other natural areas.• Strength-Based Parenting: Dawn M. Conroy will discuss how parents can help their children discover their natural talents.   7.17.17The greenhouse effectSouth Haven Schools lands federal grant to convert two old buses into innovative greenhouses and to expand its Farm to School programBy KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune Two out-of-service yellow buses that traveled many miles taking children to school, now have another purpose - providing fresh produce to students. The USDA recently announced that South Haven Public Schools has been selected to receive a Farm to School grant designed to increase the amount of local foods served in schools. Sixty-five projects were chosen nationwide.“We were awarded $98,264 total, and I believe this is the largest nutrition grant ever awarded to the district,” said Food Services Director Amy Nichols who wrote the grant with help from Chris Flood, a nutritionist at Bronson South Haven.The “Farming with Kids Matters” project is a collaborative effort between the school and the hospital. The money will be used to convert the buses into mobile greenhouses, improve nutritional education and increase the amount of locally grown food offered in school meals.The greenhouses, when completed, will be stationed in the Rambling Roots garden at Baseline Middle School and will help extend the growing season as well as increase crop yields. Part of the money will also be used for Agri-tourism field trips for elementary school students.“Farming with Kids ” really does matter and we are thankful to the USDA for the opportunity to bring this creative learning approach to our district,” said district Superintendent Dr. Robert Herrera.According to the 2015 USDA Farm-to-School census, schools with strong farm-to-school programs report higher school meal participation, reduced food waste, and increased willingness of the students to try new foods, such as fruits and vegetables.In the 2013-2014 school year alone, school districts, nationwide, purchased more than $789 million in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food processors and manufacturers. Nearly half of those districts plan to purchase even more local foods in future school years.“Increasing the amount of local foods in America’s schools is a win-win for everyone,” said Cindy Long, Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition Programs at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, which administers the Department’s school meals programs. “Farm-to-school projects foster healthy eating habits among America’s school-age children, and local economies are nourished, as well, when schools buy the food they provide from local producers.”School maintenance workers will dismantle the insides of the buses this summer. Skylights will be installed in the ceilings and raised beds will be added on the inside. Bus heaters will be used to lengthen the growing season. The grant also covers the cost of transporting students to the garden for planting and harvesting, hiring a nutrition educator and farm-to-school specialist. Bronson South Haven will help create a Farming Matters to Kids curriculum and implement it.“We are proud to be able to build upon our reputation as a champion of farm to school, nutrition, and wellness,” said Nichols. “This grant will bring our entire district together around farming and farm to school. With the addition of the rolling greenhouses, we will be able to increase the production and consumption of locally grown foods for years to come.”PHOTO: South Haven Public Schools was selected recently to receive a USDA Farm-to-School grant that will convert two unused school buses into greenhouses, improve nutritional education and increase the amount of locally grown food offered in school meals. The “Farming with Kids Matters” project, which was submitted by Food Service Director Amy Nichols, was one of 65 nationwide that the USDA chose to fund this year. Superintendent Dr. Robert Herrera, left, and Amy Nichols stand in front of one of the buses that will be converted. 6.26.17Bangor Schools lands $124,000 grant to buy ChromebooksBy BECKY KARKEditor and general manager BANGOR — Currently, Bangor Public School district students who live in rural areas can't do online assignments at home because they lack access to high-speed internet. But that could soon change.T-Mobile, a provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services throughout the United States, has given Bangor Public Schools a $124,000 Technology Mobile Empowerment Grant to purchase up to 500 Chromebook computers which will be equipped to give students access to high-speed internet when they're away from school.“We want to give our students greater opportunities to expand their use of educational technology and to incorporate 21st Century learning skills,” said Dennis Paquette, chief operating officer for the school district.School officials became aware of T-Mobile's technology grant program when Community Education Director Lynn Johnson was talking with T-Mobile staff about a different project for several of his online education programs.Johnson then told the district's Technology Director Dawn Everett, and the two along with Paquette began the process of applying for the funding.“We have been working diligently on this grant for about a month and a half,” Paquette said.Originally, school district officials had asked funding for 225 mobile devices. So they were pleasantly surprised when T-Mobile stretched the grant to include up to 500 Chromebooks. The company also will provide up to 500 devices that will provide a high-speed internet connection for the computers. The company will charge a $10 monthly fee for the wifi connection for the computers with 20 percent of the total internet connections provided at no cost.Paquette said it will still need to be determined if the students would pay for the monthly fee or the school district, and district officials still need to figure out which grade levels will receive the new Chromebooks to enhance their classroom curriculum.Mobile computer devices have become more and more common in schools over the past five years as America transitions to digital-based curriculum versus the use of textbooks.Ideally, school districts would like to have a computer device for each students, but that's difficult for some school districts that don't have the extra monetary resources to do that. But Paquette said the $124,000 grant from T-Mobile will go a long way toward helping the school district.“This (grant) will put us at about two devices per three kids,” he said. “This is going to impact our students and our district in a positive way.” 6.12. 17  South Haven graduating seniors receive awards, scholarshipsSouth Haven High School's class of 2017 took part in graduation ceremonies, June 4. The following seniors were honored with awards and scholarships: College scholarship winners     Other scholarship awards    Other Awards PHOTO: Samantha Joines receives a $1,000 scholarship from the National Blueberry Festival Committee. Committee President John Deschaine is shown giving her the award.  Bangor graduating seniors receive scholarships, awards By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune BANGOR — Diplomas were handed out to the graduating seniors of Bangor High School’s Class of 2017 during commencement held Friday, June 2.Megan Watkins, daughter of Wendy Herman and Jamie Watkins, was named as Valedictorian. The National Honor Society student was part of the volleyball and soccer teams and plans to attend Kalamazoo Valley Community College to study nursing.Named as Salutatorian was Ashley Hoadley, daughter of Tammy Hoadley. Hoadley has been a member of the band for four years and the National Honor Society. She received the Academic All Conference and Presidential Educational Achievement awards. After graduation, she plans to attend Southwestern Michigan College for an associates of applied science degree to work in the field of forensics.The following graduating seniors were also honored for their achievements:Gold Cord awards: Megan Watkins, Ashley Hoadley and Anders Mortensen. Silver Cord awards: Joe Alvardo, Lauren Kimbler, Joseph Shafer, Brendalith Garcia Leon, Janet Ibarra, Alonso Garcia, Jessica Villegas, Taylor Watkins. Bronze Cord awards: Susan Daisy, Casey Burrows, Gisela Lorenzo, Matthew Gruber, Patricia Kelly, Oswaldo Villanueva, Adda Perez Perez, Angel Andrade, Justin Smith, Carson Finch, Stephanie Peterson, Abigail Kenya, Ciara Capps and Trevor Hiatt. ScholarshipsPHOTO: Bangor High School's Top Ten Academic seniors are shown. Front row from left: Janet Ibarra, Ashley Hoadley, Lauren Kimbler and Brendalith Garcia Leon. Back row from left: Jessica Villegas, Joe Alvardo, Anders Mortensen, Joseph Shafer, Alonso Garcia Jr. and Megan Watkins.  Covert grads earn awards, scholarships By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune  COVERT - Graduation ceremonies were held Sunday, June 4 for the 20 seniors of Covert’s Class of 2017. Cynthia Columbel-Singh, a 1978 graduate of Covert, was the keynote speaker.Named as Valedictorian was Cynthia Gallegos, daughter of Lazaro and Maria Gallegos. Salutatorian was Brenda Gomez-Ruiz, daughter of Evelia Ruiz and Raymundo Gomez. Both Gallegos and Gomez-Ruiz are members of National Technical Honor Society and received Swing-Lo Company scholarships.Others scholarship and award winners follow:Bloomingdale graduating seniors earn awards, scholarships By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune BLOOMINGDALE – Bloomingdale High School has honored graduating seniors with a number of awards.Commencement exercises took place on Friday, June 2 for the 70 seniors who were part of the Class of 2017.Justine Furlan,earned the title of valedictorian. She is the daughter of John and Julie Furlan of Grand Junction. Lindsay Nuismer was named salutatorian. She is the daughter of Roy and Danielle Nuismer of Grand Junction.Other academic award recipients follow:Highest Academic Honors: Heather Davis, Casey Dolfin, Justine Furlan, Anthony Gillette, Marc Holton, Lindsay Nuismer and Hannah Remington.High Academic Honors: Autumn Beck, Breanna Crawford, Clarissa Eagle and Miles Wixom.Academic Honors: Tristan Anderson, Devin Burt, Lily Case, Aaliyah Fisher, Jessica Gonzalez, Kyle Grover, Kaylee Hooper, Staysha Johnson, Marissa Logan, Florencia Perales Marquez, Joseph McCarty, Jacob Mielke, Adrian Nesta, Sophia Rodas, Timothy Treat-Maas, Cora Van Wieren, Anthony Villanueva,  Summer Weeks and Naomi Zuniga Scholarship recipients follow:• BASF Alumni Scholarship ($1,000): Lindsay Nuismer, Miles Wixom, Florencia Perales Marquez, Hannah Remington• Dee Wesbey Memorial Pullman Pride Scholarship: Tim Treat-Maas, Kaylee Hooper• Pullman Elementary Staff Scholarship: Raven Morrison, Florencia Perales Marquez• Arch and Lou Verne Merrifield Scholarship: Florencia Perales Marquez• Bloomingdale Education Association Scholarship: Florencia Perales Marquez• William Bill Lake Renewable Scholarship ($6,000): Sophia Rodas• William Bill Lake non-renewable scholarship ($4,000): Lindsay Nuismer, Miles Wixom, Hannah Remington, Casey Dolfin• William Bill Lake non-renewable Scholarship ($3,000):  Justine Furlan, Jessica Gonzalez, Florencia Perales Marquez• William Bill Lake non-renewable scholarship ($2,000): Lily Case, Anthony Gillette• William Bill Lake non-renewable Scholarship ($1,000): Marc Holton, Adrian Nesta;• Cardinal Youth Sports: Sophia Rodas, Tony Gillette• Kevin Kluskowski Memorial Scholarship: Florencia Perales Marque• Terry Laraway Memorial Scholarship: Florencia Perales Marquez• Lakeview Scholarship renewable: Naomi Zuniga, Florencia Perales Marquez,  Jessica Gonzalez• Greenstone Farm Credit Services Scholarship: Miles Wixom• AC Laws Trust Educational Gift: Kyle Bodfish• Allegan County Fair Scholarship: Miles Wixom• Van Buren Technology Center Scholarship for Lake Michigan College: Jazmine Brock• KVCC Merit Scholarship Award: Justine Furlan 5.15.17 Students put their history skills to the test By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager A Baseline Middle School student will be headed to the National History Day competition in June after competing at the state level, April 29,Tabby Newberry was chosen national alternate at the Michigan History Day for her documentary about the late British humanitarian, Nicholas Winton, who organized the rescue of 669 children, many of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia at the start of the Nazi holocaust during World War II. The world did not know of his efforts until 40 years later.To prepare for her documentary, Newberry visited the National Holocaust museum this past summer.“Tabby's goal was to show how one man took it upon himself to get involved, while even putting his own life at risk, to make a difference,” said North Shore Elementary School teacher Julie Sheppard, who is also the Michigan History Day coach for South Haven Public Schools.This is Sheppard's 12th year as history club coach for the school district. Of those years, South Haven has qualified to send students to the National History Day competition for eight years in a row.Newberry is one of 10 History Club students from Baseline and North Shore Elementary School who earned awards at this year's Michigan History Day, an educational program offered through the Historical Society of Michigan.Students competed in two divisions — Junior, for middle school students; and Youth, for elementary-age students. While Newberry will proceed to the national competition in June, in Maryland, the youth division students only compete at the regional and state level, Sheppard explained.In addition to Newberry, the following students earned state awards:• North Shore students Sydney Bettis, Shannon Dopp and Teagan Pleasant earned first place in the group performance category for their entry, titled “Suffering to Stand Up.” The group research and wrote their play from direct court transcripts and quotes to show the protests and a court scene focusing on the efforts of political activists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who advocated for women's rights during the mid and late 1800s.• North Shore students Hannah Kaczmarek, Hannah DeVries, Katelyn Foley and Lilly Marovec earned third place in the group performance category for their entry, titled “Black Walls, but Not Forever.” Their performance focused on how American activist and author Helen Keller, who was born deaf and blind, transformed how educators now deal with students who have disabilities. As part of their research, the North Shore team learned how to use a braille typewriter, spoke to teachers who deal with blind and deaf students,learned sign language and looked at today's educational guidelines for dealing with special needs students.• North Shore students Sydney Daugherty and Olivia Crippin earned second place in the group documentary category for their entry, titled “Taking a Stand to Touch the Sky — Jacqueline Cochran.” For their documentary film, students researched the life of Cochran, a female pioneer in the field of aviation, who played a key role in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps and the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. “This was an important topic since a bill was just passed last year allowing burial at Arlington Cemetery and giving acknowledgement to those women who served in the Women's Air Force Service Pilot program,” Sheppard said. “Jacqueline opened the door for women to seek employment as pilots and inspired other women to take a stand on equality issues.”Approximately 40 students took part in South Haven Public Schools History Club this year. Students conduct research and can enter their work in five categories — performances, exhibits, papers, websites and documentaries. This year's theme was “Taking a Stand in History.”South Haven sent 18 entries to the regional competition earlier this year at Western Michigan University. Of that number eight advanced to the state level, April 29.“All of our members did an outstanding job representing our district and are to be commended for their hard word, dedication and effort,” Sheppard said regarding the regional competition. “These students put in countless hours of extra studying and left a huge impression on the people at WMU.”The students who advanced to the state contest were Romy Ransom (who won Best Use of Primary Sources), Tabby Newberry, Jessee Ford, Avery Daugherty, Sydney Daugherty, Olivia Crippin, Caroline Bocock, Makenzi Schewe, Kayley Gorham, Hannah Kaczmarek, Katelyn Foley, Hannah DeVries, Lily Marovec, Shannon Dopp, Teagan Pleasant, Sydney Bettis and Samantha Bocock.5.8.17 North Shore students raise and release young salmon into Black River By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager They're only three inches long now, but if all goes well, 90 Chinook salmon will grow up to thrive in the waters of the Black River and Lake Michigan.North Shore Elementary School teacher Bryan Edwards and his fifth-grade class released the young salmon, Thursday morning, into the Black River. Students also came from Julie Sheppard's class.The salmon release is part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Salmon in the Classroom program, where young students raise and care for salmon in their classes from fall to spring and then release the young fish into watersheds that lead to the Great Lakes.Approximately 200 schools in Michigan participate in the program which allows students to follow the life cycle of salmon from eggs to hatchling to the smolt, or fingerling stage of their development.Locally, the South Haven Steelheaders work with four elementary schools in South Haven, Coloma, Paw Paw and Lawrence to raise and then release the salmon.“It's a great, great program for kids,” said Chuck Keebler of the Steelheaders.At North Shore, students in Edwards' and Sheppard's classes have spent the past seven months carefully nurturing the young salmon.“The students got the eggs in October from Wolf Lake Hatchery in Paw Paw,” Keebler said.The Steelheaders provided the aquarium chiller to help the young fish survive, while the DNR paid for the food, salmon and training materials.If the salmon reach maturity, they will have a life span of about three to four years and will weigh upward of 12-14 pounds, according to Keebler. That's a far cry from when alewives, which salmon eat, were more common in the Great Lakes.“Back when alewives were plentiful, it wasn't unusual for salmon to be 30-40 pounds,” Keebler said, chuckling.The Steelheaders have helped to sponsor the DNR's Salmon in the Classroom program for the past five years in South Haven, according to Keebler. PHOTO: North Shore Elementary School teacher Bryan Edwards (right) gently scoops young salmon in containers for students to release into the Black River in South Haven. (Photo by Becky Kark) 5.1.17 Baseline band students chosen to perform in regional honors band Ten Baseline Middle School band students qualified to be part of the Southwest Michigan Middle School Honors Band this past week at the Howard Performing Arts Center at Andrews University.More than 130 middle school band students throughout the region took part, April 24, in the day-long event that included rehearsals that culminated in a concert conducted by retired Baseline Middle School band director Sheryl Kaptur.Current Baseline Middle School band director Sarah Bopp coordinated the festival, while Alan Mitchell, assistant professor of music at Andrews University, served as festival director.Baseline students who performed in the honors band are shown in the photo (right), along with Sarah Bopp. Front row from left: Daisy Solis, Jessee Ford, Sarah Bopp and Garrett Smith. Second row from left: Ellie Frost, William Bettis, Jose Jimenez and Jenna Ridley. Back row from left: Harrison Smith, Ryan Peterson and Jazzlin Johnson. 4.25.17 South Haven High School hosts regional jazz festival Seventeen high school and middle school jazz ensembles spent Tuesday, April 18, performing at the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association's District VI Jazz Festival.Once again, South Haven High School hosted the event in Listiak Auditorium. The festival concluded with an evening performance featuring the All-Star Jazz Ensemble and the Southwestern Michigan College Jazz Ensemble.Schools that performed in the jazz festival included South Haven High School, Bangor middle and high schools, Lake Michigan Catholic middle and high schools, Brandywine High School, Marcellus High School, Hartford High School, Coloma High School, Lakeshore Middle School, Lawrence High School, St. Joseph High School, Paw Paw High School, Edwardsburg High School, Watervliet High School, Bridgman High School and Berrien Springs High School. The festival was coordinated by South Haven High School band director Jeff Bopp. PHOTO: South Haven High School Jazz Ensemble performs during the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association's District VI Jazz Festival in Listiak Auditorium. (Photo by Becky Kark) 4.17.17 Old fire truck finds a new purpose By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager A fire truck used by South Haven Area Emergency Services for 37 years now has a new lease on life.Students enrolled in the Van Buren Technology Center's Fire Academy program are now using “Engine No. 1” to test their fire-fighting skills.Deputy Chief Tony Marsala and firefighter Keith Bierhalter delivered the 1980-Pierce engine to the Technology Center just before spring break so students could get their first glimpse of it.“The fire truck was still in service as a back-up fire engine that was used on a regular basis for mutual-aid calls,” said South Haven Fire Chief Ron Wise.But, last year, when the fire department purchased a 2002 fire engine from Bangor Community Fire Department, they considered selling the 1980 truck. After no interest was shown, SHAES did something else.“Our board wanted to donate it to a good cause and we found the vo-tech center,” Wise said.Jeromy Robertson, chief instructor for the fire science program, was pleased to receive the donation from SHAES.“This allows the students to learn in a real-world situation,” he said. Students aren't allowed to drive the truck, however they can learn about the truck's functions and learn how to use the fire hoses, ladders and extrication tools.“They can run water through the hoses and actually feel what the pressure is like when they're holding the hoses,” Robertson said. “I wish we could have had more resources like this when I went through the academy.”A retired firefighter, Robertson has been leading the technology center's Fire Academy since September of 2016.“The program is much bigger than it used to be,” he said. “Before, it was just a half-time program, now it's full-time.”Students who successfully complete the Fire Academy can obtain their firefighting I and II certifications by the time they graduate from high school, as well as hazardous materials and CPR certifications.Because the program stipulates that students incorporate math, science and English into the curriculum, Fire Academy pupils can have the ability to earn up to 13 college credits that they can transfer after graduating from high school.But The Academy isn't easy, Robertson stressed.“The average fire academy has 290 hours of training. Our students go over 350 hours,” he said.Twenty-eight students have taken the challenge of enrolling in the Fire Academy at the technology center and are nearing the completion of their first year of the two-year program.Robertson said the program would not be possible without the help of fire departments such as South Haven Area Emergency Services.“A number of fire departments have donated equipment,” he said.Bellevue Fire Department. for instance. donated 12 full sets of fire gear for the Fire Academy.“It really is a blessing,” Robertson said. “One set of turn-out gear could cost $2,500 new.”In addition to the turn-out gear, the program has received donations of helmets, air packs, hose nozzles, radios, masks, and hazardous materials suits.Other fire departments and organizations that have donated equipment include Bangor Community Fire Department, Lawrence Township Emergency Services, Keeler Fire and Rescue, Van Buren County Emergency Management, Benton Township Fire and EMS of Eaton County, Vermontville Fire and EMS in Eaton County, Covert Township Fire Department, Decatur Hamilton Fire Department, Columbia Township Fire and Rescue, Village of Lawrence, Windsor Township Emergency Services and a number of fire prevention industry individuals and professionals. PHOTO: Students who are part of Van Buren Technology Center's Fire Academy practice using a fire hose that is part of a fire truck South Haven Area Emergency Services donated to the academy. (Photo by Tom Renner)  3.27.17 SH orchestras earn high ratings at district festival South Haven Public Schools orchestras earned high ratings in the annual Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association's District Festival. Orchestras were judged in sight-reading and performance on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being a “Superior” rating and II being an “Excellent” rating.“The orchestra did an incredible job this year,” Fiedorowicz said. “The high school orchestra earned an Excellent rating and had a Superior rating in sight reading. The middle school orchestra earned an overall Superior rating and had an Excellent in sight reading.“I am so proud of both groups. They worked hard and dug in during the preparation leading up to this performance. They really wanted to do well, and all of the hard work paid off. Their behavior was amazing and they represented our community and our schools well.” Van Buren tech center students qualify for national competition Four business students from Van Buren Technology Center have qualified to take part in a national competition after placing at the state level and earning scholarships to Davenport University.Jacob Brink of Bangor, Callum Hume of Mattawan, Aaron Nance of Watervliet and Joel Vernon of Dowagiac, competed in the Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids earlier this month and earned awards that qualify them for the national conference in May, in Orlando, Fla.Brinks received fifth place for computer network technology; Hume received third-place awards for administrative support concepts and computer programming concepts; Nance won second place for network administration using Microsoft; and Vernon wont third-place awards for financial math and ysis and information technology concepts, as well as fourth-place awards for systems administration using Cisco and computer security. Because they did well at the state conference and qualified for the national one, the four students received $3,000 scholarships to Davenport that can be renewed each year up to four years, depending on meeting college requirements.The four students were among 35 students from the Technology Center's commercial art, cyber security, computer network technology and software engineering programs, that went to the state conference.The three-day conference included 65 competitive events, 12 professional development sessions, college fair and various other activities.  3.13.17 Band students compete at district level Bangor and South Haven band students brought home high ratings in the Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association's district competition this past week.Bangor High School band earned Division I (superior) ratings and will now be eligible to compete at the state competition in April.“The students had a great performance,” said Bangor band director Tianna Doe. “The judges were so impressed by how well our students represented themselves on stage and responded to directions verbally and non-verbally.”South Haven High School band and Baseline Middle School bands earned a Division II (excellent) rating.Bands were judged on performing several musical selections and sight-reading. Both of South Haven's bands earned Division I ratings for sight-reading, but several judges gave a mix of Division I and Division II ratings for the musical performances.Despite just missing out on an overall Division I rating, music instructors Jeff and Sarah Bopp complimented their students.“A few Bs ended up getting us a very high II, but (they) did a really fine job,” Sarah Bopp, Baseline's music director, posted on Facebook.South Haven and Bangor high school band and orchestra students also earned top honors at the recent the Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association's District Solo and Ensemble competitions at Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac.Students who received Division 1 or Division 2 ratings were eligible to receive medals. Students with Division 1 ratings can now move on to perform at the state solo and ensemble competition.South Haven band and orchestra students and their ratings follow:Maddy Wise, snare drum solo, Division 1; Lindsey Pentinga, flute solo, Division 1; saxophone quartet of Allison Uckele, Ben Myers, Alexis Ridley and William Brennen, Division 2; flute duet of Taylor Vincent and Sophie Goodnough, Division 2.Bangor band and orchestra students and their ratings follow:Division 1 performers: Audrey Hay, Ciara Capps, Jackie Perry, Anise Montoya and Lauren Kimbler.Division 2 performers: Le'Onna Wallace, Bethany Oliver, Abby Helms, Emily Roe, Gisella Lorenzo, Summer Torres, Holly Watkins, Krea Pittman, Lauryn Crandall, Hannah Householder, Connor Hoots, Tashia Walker and Hailee Stone. 3.6.17 From the tower to the cafeteriaBangor students harvest salad fixins' from school's new 'Tower Garden' By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune BANGOR — Students at the Bangor Community Education Center reaped what they sowed recently when they harvested their first batch of salad greens from their new Tower Garden.Picking  bibb lettuce, arugula, chard, basil, and cilantro, they proudly delivered their bounty to the cafeteria STAFF who promptly served it for lunch.“The Tower Garden came as a kit, which Lynn Johnson (CEC director) initially assembled,” explained Joanna Livieratos, Bangor CEC Instructor “ We chose two of our students that were attending the agriculture class at the Van Buren ISD Tech Center last semester to be in charge of filling the garden with plants and taking care of all aspects of maintaining it.”Tower gardens are vertical aeroponic organic growing systems that allow you to grow up to 20 vegetables, fruits and flowers in less than three square feet. Plants grow with only water and nutrients rather than dirt.  Perfect for small sunny spaces like balconies and even kitchens, the tower, says Juice Plus, the company that makes the gardens, helps children understand how things grow and provides a valuable educational experience.“We're trying to move toward adding more project-based learning experiences that would not only enhance our students' learning but also teach them valuable life and work skills, such as gardening, self-sufficiency, and health and nutrition,” explained Livieratos. “And of course, with the Tower Garden, we were definitely hoping to provide fresh veggies and possibly fruit for school lunches.” The first tower was purchased using vending machine sale profits. Hoping to add additional ones, the staff is looking at other funding options.“We are hoping to find sponsors or some type of grant to allow us to purchase a couple more,” she said. “ Also, we are exploring the possibility of trying to have a few students and staff design our own version of an aeroponic tower growing system. The response to the tower garden has been so positive that the school is looking at expanding outside by building raised bed gardens and even adding edible landscaping. “I think it's a great learning experience for the whole community.” Livieratos said. “I often see students, staff, and parents stop by and take a little nibble of something yummy from the tower.” 2.27.17 Bridge Magazine names South Haven High School 'Academic State Champ' Bridge Magazine has named South Haven High School as one of 54 Academic State Champs in Michigan for 2017. The magazine reports that the public and charter schools named for the honor best prepare its students for success after graduation.”I was very happy to see this article when it came out. I'm very proud of the faculty, staff, and students at the high school,” said Jerry Sardina, South Haven High School principal. “​It's ​good​ to see what a great job South Haven is doing when compared to districts with similar barriers to overcome when it comes to educating children. Our district and our community has a lot to be proud of, and I believe it is just more evidence that South Haven really is the school of choice."Schools were narrowed down based on three measures related to student success after high school: college readiness, based on ACT scores in key subjects; post-high school enrollment, based on enrollment in college or a certificate program within a year of graduation; and post-high school success, based on certificates and/or college degrees earned within four years after high school graduation. The schools were then grouped into levels of student poverty, a key indicator of student success, so they would be judged alongside their peers.South Haven High School ranked in the top 10 out of the 166 high schools with below average incomes identified by Bridge Magazine. The Academic State Champ schools fared best in all three measures of student success within their economic peer group. South Haven High School’s Statistics• Students eligible for free or reduced lunch: 43% (of the 166 schools in the lower family income bracket, 40-55% of students were eligible for free or reduced lunch)• College Readiness: 17% (similar schools: 10%)• Higher Ed enrollment: 74% (similar schools: 66%)• Progress in college: 53% (similar schools: 51%)  2.20.17 Not your typical rock climbing wallStudents hone athletic and academic skills using  school's new climbing wall By  KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune Returning from Christmas break, Maple Grove Elementary students found something new in their gym - an eight-foot climbing wall.Installed by the school’s maintenance department while the kids were off of school, the wall has become quite a hit with students.“The rock wall is really fun,” said first grader Kendalyn Russell, 7, who was waiting patiently for her turn on the wall. “We get to climb over to the side and have fun.”Unlike the typical climbing surface where participants climb vertically up a wall, the Maple Grove wall is a transverse one meaning the students climb side to side so they are never more than a few feet off the ground.Staff at Maple Grove thought the wall would be good for children, because it helps strengthen coordination, endurance and even problem solving capabilities. They just lacked the funding options to purchase one. But, thanks to the grant-writing skills of a former staff member, Maple Grove was able to buy the rock-climbing wall. “Kim Ringler, former physical education teacher for South Haven wrote a grant and approached Maple Grove teachers about the idea of using the money from the Youth Advisory Committee grants and Light up the Night funds for a rock-climbing wall for Maple Grove,” explained Kindergarten teacher Heather Chalupa. “YAC loved the grant idea so much and the benefits that as a team they funded the rock-climbing wall.”Besides the physical rewards, transversing the panel requires some brain power too.“Teachers are personally able to use the wall for educational purposes,” Chalupa said. “The wall came with a large set of plans and magnetic letters, words, numbers to use across the curriculum. I’ve personally taken my class down to practice letters, sight words, numbers and math problems.”Combining learning with something fun seems to be a win-win situation for both teachers and students.“It’s really fun learning to move around it and having to make words,” said first grader Riley Consilino, 6.Others found that maneuvering along the wall helped them to develop confidence.“It’s fun because when I first saw it I thought I’d fall off,” said Shane Tewell, 7, “but the more I climbed it, I got the hang of it and didn’t fall off.”  2.6.17 Covert teens perform in concert with Stevie Wonder By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune COVERT – Growing up in a small community, Carla Broady figured she'd never get a chance to see the sights and sounds of a big city let alone perform in a concert featuring the legendary singer Stevie Wonder.But, that is exactly what happened in December when the Covert High School junior along with senior Ivan Chagolla flew to Los Angeles for a holiday concert with Wonder, Tori Kelly and John Legend.“I have never thought that I, Carla Broady, a small-town girl would ever have the opportunity to go to Los Angeles and see a celebrity,” admits the Covert High School junior. “My experience in LA was all of that and more.”The trip was part of the “I'm Saving Myself” program that encourages kids to abstain from sex, drugs, alcohol and violence by involving them in positive activities like music, drama and dance.“The program is pretty incredible,” says Brittany Millan, Covert Public Schools director of communications. “It definitely helps students explore their talents and look at the many possibilities for a career.”Based in Berrien Springs, “I'm Saving Myself” was founded by Bonita McAfee Mitchell who was Wonder's stylist while she lived in L.A, Millan said. Every Friday, the program is held at the high school. Students have the option of focusing on anything they choose – art, graphic design, vocal training and other areas, she said.The LA concert was part of Wonder's non-profit Musication organization that encourages youngsters' musical abilities.While Chagolla worked behind the scenes learning the ropes of video taping, Broady belted out holiday songs with the children's choir. The experience, said Millan, who accompanied them on the trip, showed her and the students that life in the limelight can be more work than play.“We stayed in a really nice hotel but didn't get to see a lot of sights,” she said. “This really showed them what it would be like to be in show business. It's not all that glamorous.”Costs for the trip were paid for by Wonder and organization sponsors. The only downside was that the two students missed a 'meet and greet' with Wonder because of LA traffic. Nevertheless, it was an experience of a lifetime they said.“I’m so thankful that the “I’m Saving Myself” academy would let me journey with them,” Broady said. “I had the chance to meet kids that like to do the same things I do. It was even nicer to hear them sing, and all of our voices together blew the audience out of their seats!” PHOTO: Ivan Chagolla and Carla Broady of Covert High School are shown just before boarding a flight to Los Angeles to perform in a concert with Stevie Wonder. 11.28.16 The anti-bullyFormer MSU athlete gives students advice on how to deal with bullies By FARAH GREENFor the Tribune A guest speaker had a special message for Bangor High School on Wednesday, one of which was about tolerance, compassion, determination, and standing up for oneself and others.Former Michigan State University basketball player Anthony Ianni came to speak to the students throughout the Bangor Public School district, as a part of the Anti-Bullying tour titled the "Relentless Tour."Ianni's story is one of resiliency after having been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as a child, and he faced bullying throughout his youth."Our hope is that through my story and spreading our message we can not only inspire kids to take a stand against bullying but also make bullies rethink their actions,” Ianni said.Despite his struggles in his developing years, Ianni graduated from MSU and became the first known individual with autism to play Division I college basketball. He was coached by the famed Tom Izzo, and played on the 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams, as well as the 2010 Final Four team.Ianni has received MSU’s Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award, the 2012 MSU Unsung Player Award, and also was chosen as 2013 Detroit Pistons Community Game Changer Finalist.Anthony travels throughout the state as a part of the Relentless Tour, which is supported by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the Autism Alliance of Michigan.The Autism Alliance of Michigan seeks to raise awareness of autism and the problem of bullying, which is especially crucial seeing how students with autism are very frequently bullied. It is estimated that 65-90 percent of people with autism have been bullied in their lives, according to the Autism Alliance of Michigan.“Bullying is something we must put an end to, not only in Michigan but across the country. Everyone is affected by bullying in some way and students with autism are at incredibly high risk to be victimized," Ianni said.On Wednesday, Ianni's message of tolerance, understanding, bravery and resiliency resonated with several of Bangor High School's students."When he described the situations he was in, and how he was bullied, I liked hearing how he came out of that and did good things with his life. He overcame his obstacles in life," said Bangor freshman Amarissa Serratos. "Nearly everyone is bullied at some point in their life, and it can get to them. Sometimes people may hang on to that for a long time and dwell on it but you take that experience and also say no, and then make something positive out of that."For Bangor sophomore Maritza Barajas, hearing how Ianni confronted bullies was poignant."I liked how he talked about how his actions spoke for him, and that he was brave enough to go up to some seniors who were doing the bullying and told them to back off," said Maritza Barajas, a freshman at Bangor High School. "There are some real bullies out there and people have actually taken their lives because of it, so I think it's important for kids to hear this."The "Relentless Tour" began on Oct. 17, 2013 and had a goal to reach 659 schools throughout the state, with the hope of spreading its anti-bullying philosophy. The tour is also supported by Lt. Governor Brian Calley and also has garnered support from Detroit Red Wings hockey player Niklas Kronwell and former Detroit Lions football player Nate Burleson.For more information about Anthony Ianni and the Relentless Tour, visit   9.19.16 By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager South Haven area residents will be running for a good cause when the third annual Light up the Night 5K walk/run gets underway, Saturday, Oct. 1.The family-oriented event, which benefits South Haven Public Schools, not only includes the 5K run, but live entertainment, free food from area restaurants, STEM like station, bounce houses, ring toss, basketball shooting and other children activities.So far 600 people have signed up to take part in the walk/run, according to Maple Grove Elementary teacher and Light up the Night organizer Heather Chalupa.Proceeds from the event help fund class projects and programs not normally included in the school district's budget.“In the past 2 years we have raised over $24,000 for our schools that have been split up for various special assemblies, recess equipment, classroom learning enhancement materials, positive behavior programs, and more,” Chalupa said.Light up the Night is modeled after the popular Color 5K Runs, where spectators throw colored powder while runners go by.“A group of teachers did a color run in Grand Rapids a while ago,” Chalupa said in a previous interview. “We thought it would be a great event for South Haven, but we changed it to a rock and roll glow run to get families involved with being healthy.”Unlike other 5Ks that begin in the morning, the fun run in South Haven will begin at night, and to add to the fun, organizers are offering a crazy hair/painting station, glow-in-the-dark nails and glow-in-the-dark tattoos for participants prior to the start of the run. Mini prizes will be awarded for best glow in the dark wear.Activities begin at 5:30 p.m. at South Haven High School. The run then begins at 7 p.m. While it takes place, South Haven Police will block off streets that are along the course to ensure the safety of participants.People can run, jog or walk along the course that starts at the high school, winds around to the lakeshore and continues back through town to the high school.Runners won't have to worry about listening to music from their earphones. Race organizers plan to offer music along the course and a DJ will provide music at the high school after the run/walk ends.“This event is not only for the families of South Haven but is a great event for anyone that wants to get out and participate in a 5K to support South Haven Schools,” Chalupa said.The registration fee to participate is $25 per person and $50 for families. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The fee includes the activities, food, entertainment, T-shirt and a glow swag. To receive a free T-shirt, participants have to sign up by Sept. 23.People who want to take part in the race can sign up at any South Haven Public School district office, online at,To volunteer for the event, email   8.8.16 Making their moveMembers of the South Haven High School Purple Pride marching band brave 90-degree temperatures this past Thursday to begin rehearsing this year's show, "Dragons." The rehearsals were part of the marching band's annual Summer Band Camp, which took place at Baseline Middle School. The band is directed by Jeff Bopp. (Photo by Becky Kark) 6.20.16 Students create large mural for Goodwill store in South Haven By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager When South Haven Goodwill store's patrons gaze at the wall above the dressing rooms, they will no longer see a large, blank area, but rather a colorful mural created by a group of Baseline Middle School students.The idea for the mural came from John Dillworth, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan, who hoped to develop a community partnership with local school teachers to create artwork for the wall.In January he sent out an appeal to area teachers, stating in part, “as you might know, Goodwill has a new store in South Haven and we have this gigantic blue wall with nothing on it...I'd like to fill that blank space with something.”Sarah Rydecki, Baseline's art teacher, decided to respond and suggested that her eighth-grade art students create a mural conveying the theme, “a hand up,” to reflect Goodwill Industries' mission to provide employment, education, training and support services to individuals and families seeking self- sufficiency.“Each of my 35 eighth-grade students made a square work of art,” Rydecki said. She then asked Do-It Corp. to enlarge the squares as wall stickers to be grouped together as one large mural.Students created their art pieces by using a variety of media — acrylic paint, watercolor paint, pencil and colored pencil.The result is a colorful piece of art that Goodwill customers can now enjoy looking at, instead of a big, blue wall. 6.13.16 Aspiring student artist links painting with man who created it 51 years ago By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager As a teenager growing up in Milwaukee, Wis. during the mid '60s, Al Showalterbaugh dabbled in painting and created a series of two abstract oils and one water color. Proud of the largest piece, he gave it to his girlfriend.But as most teenage romances go, the couple broke up and Showalterbaugh never saw his painting again.That is until two weeks ago when a Baseline Middle School student gave it back to him.“It blew me away,” said Showalterbaugh, who now lives in Portage, Ind. with his wife, Linda.The tale of Showalterbaugh's reunion with his painting began a year ago when eighth grader Kasiah Harding found the painting in her mom's boyfriend's van. Tucked in with some of his other belongings, Kasiah, who is an aspiring artist herself, took a liking to the large, abstract oil that depicted a mother, father and son painted against a backdrop of vibrant colors. But just how the painting made it from Milwaukee to Benton Harbor, where her mother's boyfriend acquired it, the family really doesn't know.“I wanted to keep it,” Kasiah said. “My mom wanted to throw it away, but I hung it up in my room.”Impressed with the painting, Kasiah told her art teacher, Sarah Rydecki, about it.Intrigued, Rydecki asked her to bring it to class.“We all oohed and aahed,” Rydecki said.Then they noticed the name at the bottom, right-hand corner of the painting — Al Showalterbaugh, and the date, 1965.The unusual last name prompted para pro Mike Harris to go online to see if he could make a connection between the painting and the man who created it.“He just Googled the name and found a possible person,” Rydecki said.That person was Showalterbaugh of Portage, Ind., who traveled to South Haven, June 4, to meet Kasiah and Rydecki and view his painting.“For him to be reunited with the painting is something special,” Rydecki said.As a friendly gesture to Showalterbaugh, Kasiah decided to part with the painting.“I'll miss it a little bit,” Kasiah conceded. “It's his though, so he should have it.”“She has a good heart,” said Kasiah's grandmother Janie Harding, who also liked the painting.Touched by the teenager's thoughtfulness, Showalterbaugh gave Kasiah money to purchase art supplies so she can continue honing her talent.As for Showalterbaugh's interest in art, he said he hasn't seriously painted since the age of 17, but he may do so once again.“After you folks said you like this, maybe I should paint,” Showalterbaugh told Kasiah and Rydecki.In the meantime, his long-lost painting will be reunited with the other two pieces he created 51 years ago. PHOTO: Kasiah Harding (right) is shown with Al Showalterbaugh and the painting he created in 1965 as a 17-year-old growing up in Milwaukee, Wis. (Photo by Becky Kark) South Haven students put digital design skills to the test By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune Sitting in front of a computer and designing artwork seemed like a piece of cake for most of the students in Josh Bridges' Digital Design class at South Haven High School.That is until their teacher decided the pupils needed some job experience."I can assign art projects on the computer all day long," said Bridges, "(but) I wanted my students to learn some real-world skills."The teenagers got a taste of the real world several months ago when they began their first out-of-school project."Their first assignment was designing the South Haven Garden Club's yearbook," explained Bridges.Buoyed by the success of that project, class members went one step further and began working with local businesses to design their logos.Class members Hayden Sardina, 17, and Jordan Denbow, 17, were just a few of the students whose logo design was adopted by a local business.Sardina and Denbow worked with Jay Marcoux of Phoenix Street Cafe, Cafe Julia and Brix Corner Oven. Marcoux is opening a new restaurant in downtown South Haven — Kitchen 527 — and agreed to allow Denbow and Sardina create a logo and possibly a name for the eatery."At first, we designed the logo around a bottle cap with a burger and called it 'South Haven Burger and Brew,' but they really didn't like it very well," recalled Denbow about Marcoux's reaction. "So, next we came up with 'Riptide; designed around the bottle cap. That didn't work either.""They wanted a more rustic look with modern type" Sardina said, "We all came up with the name 'Kitchen 527' and because we didn't have any type that was distressed, I did that by hand. Then we added a hand-drawn spatula.”The two students put a lot of effort into the project, but are pleased with the outcome."It was a great experience," admits Sardina. "We had to set up business meetings, get ideas on what they wanted."Marcoux said he liked working with the students."I've always supported the schools," he said. "So there was no hesitation when they approached us about doing this project.""And the best thing," Sardina said, "is that you can say everything was done by local students."This is the first year that Digital Design has been offered at the school, said Bridges, and once the high school school renovation project is completed in two years, the class hopes to offer a full range of  design and print services, including silk screening and vinyl cutting. PHOTO: South Haven High School juniors Hayden Sardina (left) and Jordan Denbow don T-shirts that show the new logo they designed for Kitchen 527, a new restaurant that is opening on Phoenix Street in downtown South Haven. The two students worked with restaurant owner Jay Marcoux to design the logo. The students were part of the school's new Digital Design class which was given the assignment of designing artwork for local businesses and organizations. (Photo by Kim Ingalls) Fundraising gathering planned for Drawing Children Into Reading program Educators, teacher-retirees and others interested in children and early childhood education are gathering on the Lake Michigan shore for the Second Annual Fun”d”Raiser Pizza Party to celebrate the accomplishments of Drawing Children Into Reading. Artist, founder Wendy Halperin will share this year’s accomplishments, as well as goals and dreams for the future of this 8-year-old project during the event, 6-9 p.m., Thursday, June 16, at 76990 14th Ave., South Haven. Individualized gourmet, wood-fired pizzas are on the menu.A series of classroom projects that work to link drawing with learning in innovative ways, Drawing Children Into Reading is closely connected to STEM requirements and focuses on teaching methods that show measurable results. Drawing Children Into Reading has touched the lives of more than 42,000 students, grades K – 3, in 8 states, Australia and Canada.“From pencil grip to writing and illustrating stories and binding them into books, the project aims to teach children to love and practice reading, writing, drawing and exploring the natural, scientific and social worlds,” Halperin said.“We want to get the word out to more locals and people in the surrounding region who might put us in contact with schools that could use our help, as well as to folks who might want to lend their support in some other way.”The event is free of charge and open to anyone interested in the goals of the project. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 269-548-8959, 269-767-7290 or emailing Rain date is June 17. PHOTO: First grade students at Homewood Elementary in Illinois show the drawings they've made in a class taught by Drawing Children Into Reading founder, Wendy Halperin. 6.6.16 Bangor High School graduates honored with awards, scholarships By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune BANGOR — Bangor High School's Class of 2016 walked across the podium for the last time during commencement exercises on Friday, June 3 in the high school gymnasium.Emily Ford was chosen as class Valedictorian, while Mikayla Lake was named Salutatorian.The following students earned Top Ten academic honors: William Bray Jr., Kyrstie Burrows, Emily Ford, Michael Harrell, Adan Hernandez, Edvin Hernandez-Alvarado, Mikayla Lake, Madissen Kozel, Israel Llerena and Allison Weber.The following students won awards and scholarships:  Sarah Adams- GEAR-UP Scholarship, Viking Club Scholarship, Dr. Avison & Maude Gano Memorial Scholarship; Jack Babcock - Viking Club Scholarship; Megan Brenne - National Blueberry Festival Scholarship; Terrance Brunn - Bill Mayhak Memorial Scholarship, Adrian College Scholarship; Emily Ford - American Red Cross Scholarship, National Blueberry Festival Scholarship, GEAR-UP Scholarship, Dr. Avison and Maude Gano Memorial Scholarship, Patrick O. Watkins Memorial Scholarship, Viking Club Scholarship, Honor Credit Union Scholarship, Clemson University Scholarship; Johnathon Foster - Bangor Lions Club Scholarship; Jose Hernandez - Ross E. Normington Memorial Scholarship; Madissen Kozel - American Red Cross Scholarship, Dr. Avison & Maude Gano Memorial Scholarship, Women of the Moose Scholarship, Grand Valley Scholarship, Consumers Credit Union Scholarship; Jorge Luna - GEAR-UP Scholarship; Nathan Manthey - Bangor Lion’s Club Scholarship; Fiorie McGuire - Warren & Helen Overton Freestone Memorial Scholarship; Maggie Ring - Norm Johnson Memorial Scholarship; Tony Rigozzi – Create, Engage, Explore Scholarship; Juan Amaya Rodriguez - Norm Johnson Memorial Scholarship; Allison Weber - Central Michigan University Scholarship, GEAR-UP Scholarship, Teri Lynn Wilson Memorial Scholarship, Bangor Arts Council Scholarship, Viking Club Scholarship; and Kylie Wisniewski - GEAR-UP Scholarship, Viking Club Scholarship. PHOTO: The Top Ten academic honors graduates for Bangor High School's class of 2016 are shown from left: Emily Ford, Allison Weber, Israel Llerena, Kyrstie Burrows, Michael Harrell, William Bray Jr., Adan Hernandez,  Edvin Hernandez-Alvarado, Mikayla Lake and Madissen Kozel Covert graduates earn awards, scholarships By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune COVERT — Covert High School's class of 2016 said good-bye to high school, Sunday, during the annual commencement ceremony.Humberto Ortega was named class Valedictorian. Ortega, 18, is the son of Apolinar and Ilda Ortega. Jazmin Cortez, 17, the daughter of Enrique and Esther Cortez, was chosen Salutatorian. A number of seniors in the graduating class earned awards and college scholarships. The students follow:Humberto Ortega - University of Michigan - full tuition, Swing-Lo Systems Foundation scholarship and Entergy scholarship; Jazmin Cortez - Lake Michigan College Board of Trustee scholarship, Lake Michigan College Career and Technical Education scholarship, Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel Van Buren Chapter scholarship, Stifel Fabric Society scholarship, Southwest Michigan Cesar E. Chavez scholarship, Van Buren County Association of School Boards scholarship, Swing-Lo Systems Foundation scholarship and Entergy scholarship; Elizabeth Simmons - Lake Michigan College Winners Circle scholarship, Swing-Lo Systems Foundation Scholarship; Benita Pedroza-Sandoval - Lake Michigan College Career and Technical Education scholarship, Entergy scholarship; Kayla Smith - Black History Society scholarship; Shyann Young Ashford- Veteran's Benefits and Cortland Edwards - Michelle Williams Scholarship. Bloomingdale grads receive awards, scholarships By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune BLOOMINGDALE — Bloomingdale's Class of 2016 received their diplomas on Friday, June 3 during commencement exercises in the high school auditorium.Named as valedictorian was Matthew Veldt, son of Luke and Jodi Veldt. Ellie Sower, daughter of David and Jodi Sower, earned the salutatorian title.The following graduates received awards and scholarships: Lakeview Foundation Scholarship - Kyra Kasiewicz;  South Haven Auxiliary Scholarship - Caleb Gibson; Perrigo Scholarship - Matthew Veldt;  Mildred “Lee” Steciow Scholarship - Caleb Gibson; Pullman Pride/Lee Township Scholarship - Guadalupe Perales, Hannah Harris, Victor Nesta; Arch and Lu Verne Merrifield Scholarship - Yesenia Serna; Bloomingdale Area Schools Foundation ($750) - Guadalupe Perales, Ellie Sower; Bloomingdale Area Schools Foundation ($1000) - Meredith Remington; Terry Laraway Scholarship - Hannah Harris; Bloomingdale Education Association - Guadalupe Perales; Kevin Kluskowski Memorial Scholarship - Ellie Sower; William “Bill” Lake Memorial Scholarships ($1,000) - Danielle Douglas, Alex Garcia, Victor Nesta, Yailene Morales; William “Bill” Lake Memorial Scholarships ($3,000) - Guadalupe Perales, Austin Bertuca, Caleb Gibson; William “Bill” Lake Memorial Scholarship ($5,000) - Meredith Remington, Tamara Worden, Ellie Sower; William “Bill” Lake Memorial Scholarship ($6,000/renewable) - Matthew Veldt.The following seniors earned diplomas: Cheyenne Benny, Austin Bertuca, Ulises Brambila, Omar Castillo, Clarivel Delucas Valdez, Danielle Douglas, Kaylee Erikson, Ryan Fitzsimmons, Alejandro Garcia III,  Jose Garcia, Caleb Gibson,  Bryce Goodwin, Mackenzie Greene,  Zachary Greene, Kyle Guerrero,  Haley Gumpert, Hannah Harris, Courtney Holtsclaw, Ethan Jelsomeno, Antania Judkins, Kyra Kasiewicz, Edward Levering, Brayden Lopez, Jose DeJesus Gallegos Lopez, Chelsea Lopez, Jesus Marin, Dakota May, Megan McDaniel,  Wyatt McNees, Ashley McPike, Adrian Morales, Yailene Morales, Emily Nadeau, Jillian Napp, Victor Nesta, Guadalupe Perales, Tabitha Rainey, Meredith Remington, Brandie Robinson, Antonio Salinas, Yesenia Serna, Nathan Slocum, Brooke Smith, Ellie Sower, Brett Sullivan, Rafael Sustaita Hernandez, Kaysea Van Wieren, Matthew "Nick" Veldt, Casey Vrhel, Hailie Wadley, Gabriel Williams, Brianna Woods, Tamara Worden, Stephanie Zamarippa and Jesse Zuniga.5.31.16 Local group plays role in helping high school students register to vote By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager Thanks to a local organization and help from South Haven area city and township clerks, 49 South Haven High School seniors will now be able to vote in the presidential election in November.South Haven American Association of University Women conducted a voter registration campaign earlier this month at the high school in an effort to get students involved in the electoral process.“We met with five senior-level English classes and talked to students about the importance of voting and the history of voting in the United States,” said Julie Leavitt, a member of AAUW's public policy committee. Students then were invited to register to vote during their school lunch hours.But since many of the seniors will be in college when the November election rolls around, AAUW members had to round up municipal clerks to conduct the actual registrations.“We have conducted voter registration drives in the past but when the students would go off to college they couldn't get absentee ballots. So unless they returned home to vote, they couldn't,” Leavitt said.The solution came about when municipal clerks from the South Haven area agreed to come to the school to register students in person.“The first time you ask for an absentee ballot you have to go face-to-face (at a clerk's office),” Leavitt explained.Of the 49 students who registered, 10 were from the City of South Haven, 22 from South Haven Township, 10 from Geneva Township and 7 from Casco Township.Now that the students have been registered to vote by their hometown clerks, they'll be able to seek absentee ballots for the November election if they are away at college.Now that they've completed the process of helping high school students register to vote, AAUW will turn its attention to college students when it conducts a voter registration drive in September at Lake Michigan College's campus in South Haven.The organization then will host a series of candidate forums in October consisting of local and state candidates seeking office in the November election. PHOTO: South Haven High School senior Kyle Till (left) was one of 49 seniors who registered to vote during a voter registration drive at the high school. Sitting from left are municipal clerks Amanda Morgan of the City of South Haven, Debbie Burrows of South Haven Township and Janet DeWitte of Casco Township. 4.18.16 Monarch bill put into motionNesbitt responds to students' request to make Monarch butterfly state's official insect By TRIBUNE STAFF The idea of the Monarch butterfly becoming Michigan's official state insect took flight this past week for group of students from North Shore and Mattawan elementary schools.While students from Mattawan watched, Rep. Aric Nesbitt introduced legislation to name the Monarch as the state's official insect. His legislation follows on the heels of similar legislation introduced in the state senate in February.Rep. Nesbitt, R-Lawton, led the children into the clerk’s office as he had the bill enrolled. He also gave them a tour of the state Capitol and took them on the House floor.“Monarch butterflies are often seen in great numbers along Michigan’s shoreline as they migrate to Mexico and Central America, so it’s just common sense that kids who grew up next to West Michigan beaches would want to make the monarch our state insect,” Rep. Nesbitt said. “They hatched the idea, told me about it, and today they saw how a good idea can become a legislative bill. They saw government in action.”When Becky Linstrom, North Shore Elementary School fourth-grade teacher, heard the news, she was quite pleased.“I am thrilled that Aric introduced the bill,” she said. “When I told my students, they all cheered and clapped.”Linstrom's students, who have been studying about and raising Monarch butterflies, wrote to Nesbitt earlier this year urging him to introduce legislation to make the Monarch the state's official insect.In March, Nesbitt visited Linstrom's class to thank the students for their letters.There is currently no official state insect. The schoolchildren from Mattawan Elementary and North Shore Elementary hope their suggestion for legislation will change that.“I’m really happy the kids contacted me about this issue,” Rep. Nesbitt said.The monarch is already the state butterfly in Texas, Alabama, West Virginia, Illinois, Minnesota, Vermont and Idaho. PHOTO: State Rep. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, introduces a bill in the clerk's office to designate the Monarch butterfly as the official state insect. Students from Mattawan are shown watching Nesbitt.  4.11.16 Bangor Marching Band performs at Disney World By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager Bangor High School's marching band accomplished a fete this past week that few if any Bangor bands have done in the past — the group traveled to Orlando, Fla., to perform at Disney World.“This is the first time in many years and the first time since I have been band director,” said Tiana Doe, who has served at the helm of the Bangor instrumental music program for six years. “I'm really not sure if they had gone previously.”Regardless, band members, their parents, and businesses plunged into raising $63,000 for the trip, which took place April 1-6.“Many local business helped with participation in our annual Silent Auction,” Doe said. “Maple Grove restaurant sponsored our Music and a Meal concert where we made $2,000 off the the donated meal. We did many traditional fundraisers to build the student accounts. We were also fortunate to have a few individuals make personal donations to the students.”While at Disney World, the 45-member Vikings Marching Band performed at Disney's Magic Kingdom, April 4, and then marched in a parade later in the afternoon. They also participated in a music workshop to hone their musical skills.But, students didn't just travel to Disney to perform music. They spent a portion of their time enjoying the rides and attractions at all of the Disney parks, including The Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot Center and Hollywood Studios. Band members also ate at the Hard Rock Cafe and enjoyed watching The Blue Man Group perform.“This has been something we have been working toward for years,” Doe said regarding the opportunity to perform at Disney. “The smiles on the students' faces were priceless. They made so many memories that will stay with them forever. They were so proud of what they had accomplished together on the trip. For many of them, this was their first time to Disney.” Education foundation awards grants Six programs at South Haven Public Schools have received funding from the South Haven Education Foundation.The foundation distributed nearly $2,650 in grants and gifts that will benefit students in programs and organizations.• Maple Grove teacher Chris McGuire received a $500 grant for the Seeing Science and Social Studies in New Ways program.• Mary Phillips of North Shore Elementary School received a $500 grant for 3D printing and design.• Travis Hargen of the Career Academy and Lake Michigan College received a $337 grant for a computer video monitor for the academy's Connection Corner, which keeps the students “connected” with activities going on at South Haven High School.• Listy Smith received a $300 grant to fund the purchase of Osmo, an educational games system for iPads at Lincoln and Maple Grove elementary schools.• Instructor Tanya Elbert received a $500 gift for the Elementary Art Club at Lincoln and Maple Grove elementary schools.• South Haven High School robotics club advisor Katherine Elliott-Javier received a $500 gift for the robotics team.The South Haven Education Foundation awards grants twice a year to help school-related programs and activities that do not ordinarily receive funding through the district's general fund.  4.4.16 Van Buren Technology Center students earn awards at state conference Six students from the Van Buren Technology Center earned awards this past month at the Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference, in Grand Rapids.The awards they received follow:Aaron Croy of Paw Paw earned first place in Systems Administration Using Cisco competition and fifth place in Computer Network Technologies. Croy is enrolled in the tech center's PC Tech & Computer Networking Technologies program.Callum Hume of Mattawan earned bronze awards for Administrative Support Concepts and Information Technology Concepts. He is enrolled in the tech center's Computer Programming program.Zachary Lewis of Paw Paw earned first place in Network Administration Using Microsoft competition and sixth place in Systems Administration Using Cisco. He is enrolled in the tech center's Tech & Computer Networking Technologies program.Dakota May of Bloomingdale placed sixth in Network Administration Using Microsoft. He is enrolled in the Computer Programming program.Aaron Nance of Watervliet received first place in PC Serving & Troubleshooting. He is enrolled in the Tech & Computer Networking Technologies program.Roberto Rodriguez of Watervliet earned fifth place in Network Administration Using Microsoft competition. He is enrolled in the PC Tech & Computer Networking Technologies program.The six students not only received awards, they also earned $3,000 scholarships to Davenport University, which can be renewed each year. Croy, Lewis and Nance also are eligible to receive an additional $1,000 scholarship to Davenport for their first-place finishes.Students who were within the Top 5 finishes at the state competition now qualify for the BPA National Leadership Conference in Boston, Mass., in May.A total of 35 students from the technology center took part in the state BPA Leadership Conference. BPA is a student organization with 43,000 students in 23 states.Technology center instructors and BPA advisors for the Van Buren Intermediate School District are Steve Ambs, Denis Huffman, Stephanie Reed, Nancy VanHoeven and Kimberly Wood. PHOTO: Six students from Van BurenTechnology Center earned awards at the Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference. They are (not pictured in order) Aaron Croy, Callum Hume, Zachary Lewis, Dakota May, Aaron Nance and Roberto Rodriguez. South Haven Science Olympiad team heads to state tournament South Haven High School's Science Olympiad Team will be headed to the state tournament after placing second, overall, at the regional event at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in March.This year marks the 14th year in a row South Haven's team has qualified for the state tournament.The 2016 state competition will take place April 30 at Michigan State University. There, South Haven will compete against 47 other high school teams across the state in the Olympiad, which offers students the opportunity to take part in 46 science-related events.“Less than 20 percent of the teams that compete in the regional events qualify for the state tournament,” according to South Haven's advisor, Steve Stap.South Haven's Science Olympiad team advanced to the state tournament after its members performed well in individual events at the regional level.The team managed to capture three first-place, three second-place and a third-place awards at the regional meet.Results follow:• Iza Graham and Lexy Ritenburg, Astronomy competition, first place• Ritenburg and Maddy Rycenga, Air Trajectory competition, first place• Rycenga and Ritenburg, Write It, Do It technical writing competition, first place• Alexander Overholser, Electric Vehicle competition, second place• Graham and Rycenga, Chemistry Lab competition, second place• Elizabeth Hasted and Katherine Hasted, Dynamic Planet earth science competition, second place• Jacob Blanksford, Jarod Dee and Overholser, Experimental Design competition, third place. Science Olympiad is a national extracurricular education program that strives to increase student interest in science, while helping them to improve problem-solving and teamwork skills. Students can compete in more than 40 events that test their skills in various science-related topics, including aeronautics, engineering and chemistry.Michigan Science Olympiad is an affiliate of the national Science Olympiad program and administers the program for the state of Michigan. Approximately 8,000 middle and high school students are members of Science Olympiad teams in the state. Students from Van Buren Technology Center recently earned awards at the Family, Career and Community Leaders State leadership conference, in Midland.Thirty students from the tech center's Early Childhood Careers and Education program, the Cadet Teacher Academy and the culinary Arts and Catering Management program took part in the conference competitions that pertained to their career pathways.Students brought home two bronze medals, 10 silver medals and 18 gold meals. Of the 30 competitors, 14 will represent the Van Buren chapter of the FCCLA as national delegates at the national conference in San Diego, Calif., in July. The students are Jondell Jones, Alexis Goff, Jack Babcock, Jaelyn Geib, Mackenzie Amm, Kylee Vosburg, Taylor Huggins, Lauren Rogers, Maddie Brink, Shianne Wichtman, Alex Paladi, Staysha Johnson, Ellie Sower and Jasmine Milam.The advisors for the Van Buren FCCLA chapter are Sheri Johnsen, Jan Hansen, Patti Kenworthy, Diana Stump and Susan Yerrick.  3.14.16 Team Ramageddon's skills put to the test By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager You've got to be a dedicated student to spend 20 hours a week for six weeks on one project.Multiply that one student by 20 others and you end up with Team Ramageddon, a group of South Haven High School students, who have spent an estimated 14,400 hours putting together a robot for the annual F.I.R.S.T. robotics competition.“They only have six weeks to design, build and program a robot,” said Kevin Dee, South Haven Public Schools Operations Director and one of three mentors for Team Ramageddon. “The amount of time they've put in is amazing.”For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (F.I.R.S.T.) was founded by inventor Dean Kamen as a way to promote science and engineering fields. Currently, 6,000 teams exist worldwide with the largest concentrations in Michigan and California. South Haven's team has been in existence for the past four years.Team Ramageddon got its first chance to put their robot to the test during the district contest this past weekend in St. Joseph, where they made it to the quarter-finals. They'll next head to Woodhaven in April to compete in another district competition. If they do well enough at both events, Team Ramageddon will have a shot at the state meet in April.This past week, tension and excitement mounted among the students as they worked on last-minute details for the St. Joe contest.Alex Overholser has been on South Haven's robotics team for three years and leads the committee tasked with building the robot. “This year's competition is 'F.I.R.S.T. Stronghold,'” he said. “It's more difficult than last year where our robot had to stack totes.”F.I.R.S.T. Stronghold is based on a medieval theme in which robots from three different teams work together to gain control of a castle. To do so, each of the robots have to maneuver around obstacles to gain access to the castle. Once they do so, the robots then have to launch a series of balls into the castle's windows, which stand approximately 12 feet from the ground. If the robots accomplish that, they then have to grab onto a bar, propped high on the castle wall, and lift themselves at least two feet off the ground. (To view a game video that simulates the F.I.R.S.T. Stronghold competition, visit )“We have to get through nine defensive obstacles that can be changed into a lot of different combinations,” Overholser said. “So we really don't know what we'll be up against. It's hard to make a robot that can deal with a variety of defensives.”Joel Rummel, also a three-year member of Team Ramageddon, was equally as nervous.Rummel's committee wrote all of the code for the robot's computer.“It's a lot like problem solving,” he said. “You have to figure out what the robots needs to do and come up with the codes. It's stressful. If something goes wrong with the coding, the robot won't work.”Team members aren't just involved in building a robot and writing computer code for it. They they also take charge in raising funds and marketing their efforts.Jared Dee is in charge of the team's marketing committee.“We have a budget between $12,000-$15,000,” he said. “The entry fee is $5,000, alone. Then we have to build the robot and raise money for transportation fees and other costs.”To raise the necessary funds, the marketing committee set up a website and Facebook page and also made presentations to community groups and businesses. In addition, they designed and sold T-shirts promoting the robotics team.Their efforts have paid off. Not only have businesses and groups donated funds to the team, several area businesses have also lent technical and in-kind support to the students.Ed Burgess of Application Engineering and a mentor for the team, let the students use his company's CAD programs to design the robot. Spencer Manufacturing provided welding services to the team,while Riveer Co. provided the resources for the team to fabricate the robot's drive chassis. Kim Wise, human resources director for South Haven Health System, also lent her marketing expertise to the team by serving as a mentor.Other sponsors for the team include Trelleborg/Vibracoustic, Apex Controls Inc., Kiwanis Club of South Haven, South Haven Public Schools Foundation, Albemarle Corp. Woodhams Ford/Lincoln of South Haven, Rotary Club of South Haven, the Wise family, the Hendrix family, Beta Sigma Phi Theta, Hardt Insurance, the Dee family, Coastal Clean, Jensen's Excavating, the Goodnough family, DeGrandchamp Farms, Annie Brown, South Haven Health System, Spencer Manufacturing Inc. and Compton Inc.3.7.16 Bloomingdale High School receives grant for smart drone Bloomingdale High School is among 17 schools that have received funds for programs and equipment from Midwest Energy Cooperative's Strengthening Schools grant program.Bloomingdale received $2,466 to purchase a smart drone and accessories for its digital curriculum programs.A committee comprised of co-op members evaluated and scored 89 applications totaling more than $156,000, then determined the final awards, totaling $30,476.Other area schools that received grants follow:• Lawrence Junior/Senior High School, $2500 for a “Newcomer” class• Paw Paw Later Elementary School, $700 for English language learning program technology“It’s heart wrenching to not be able to give to every school, but wonderful that through true community spirit, we help bridge the gap where budgets fall increasingly short,” said Della Bundle, a member of the committee that chose grant recipients.The grants were also funded with partnership dollars from Touchstone Energy Cooperative.Midwest Energy Cooperative is a member-owned electric utility providing electric distribution and an assortment of energy- and telecommunications-related programs and services to more than 35,000 customers in 11 counties in southern Michigan and northern Indiana and Ohio. LMC students named to dean's, president's lists The following students have been named to academic honors lists at Lake Michigan College for the fall 2015 semester: President’s ListBangor — Nora BurfieldFennville — Ben Ballou, Joseph Batey, Reginald KingPullman — Edna Herrera, Amanda NailSouth Haven — Kristi Boothe, Anna Frederick, Marina Hansen, Jamie Hubbard, Maya Nix, Kayla Spratt, David Wondergem Dean’s ListBangor — Mariah Foster, Rachel Sanford, Devin Sorenson, Marissa Watkins, Megan WilliamsFennville — Olivia Atlee-Loudon, Denise Hoyt, Morgan ParmerGrand Junction — George PricePullman — Haven TaylorSouth Haven — Carolina Barajas, Omar Calderon Novoa, Alex Coady, Kara Dunstan, Allen Jackson, John Noppen, Ismelda Sarco, Tracy Stephens, Regena Westerfield, Jennifer Williams, Jose Zuniga Part-time Dean’s ListBangor — Jaqueline DeSantiago, Samantha DeSantiago, Anders Mortensen, Erin Snider, Kaleigh Trainor, Megan Watkins, Samantha ZordanBloomingdale — Casey Dolfin, Anthony VillanuevaBreedsville — Maher RamirezCovert — Ivette Bucio, Jennifer Green, Maria Gresham, Maria Lopez, Araceli Mendez, Steven ParriginFennville — Karla Acevedo Ramirez, Justine Bouwer, Artemis Brown, Anna Demann, Bridget Hoffman, Kasandra Jenne, Hailey Martin, Cynthia Meza, Jace Rodammer, Licet Romero, Aaron ScovillGrand Junction — Justine FurlanPullman — Matthew Christie, Jessica Erlandson, Kevin Hug, Karina Novoa Rojas, Levi SkucaSouth Haven — Hannah Armstrong, Mary Baber, Amber Brassard, Chelsea Byrd, Hailey Conklin, Heather Debest, Josue Garcia, Alexander Gildea, Jhane Gill-Hudson, Amy Green, George Hooper, Jared Knapp, Nicole May, Kyle McNees, Dylan Nelson, Jared Nelson, Alyc Packard, Haley Patterson, Catherine Perrino, Wesley Pleyer, Bianca Rayas, Melodi Rigozzi, Sierra Simko, Kara Torres, Christine Vancalbergh, Laurie Webb, Isabel Zarco, Emily Schneider 2.29.16 Local UPS stores donate 800 new books to elementary students By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager Thanks to a program offered through UPS stores in South Haven and Paw Paw, elementary students in four Van Buren County schools will receive free books this week.Glenn Cowles, manager of the two stores, plans to donate more than 800 books to students at South Walnut Elementary School and Wood School, in Bangor; St. Mary School in Paw Paw; and St. Basil School in South Haven.He's doing it as part of UPS' Toys for Tots Literacy Program. The UPS stores in South Haven and Paw Paw raised $450 in December 2015 which was matched with a corporate donation that allowed Cowles to purchase an estimated $1,500 worth of books from Scholastic Inc.“Scholastic offers these books at very low prices for the Literacy Program,” Cowles said.Students will be able to choose storybooks, comic books, novels, how-to books, history books, biographies and sports books.“What's neat about this is the teachers can decide how they want to hand out the books,” Cowles said. “South Walnut, for instance, is going to have a scavenger hunt in the library.”Cowles first took part in the Toys for Tots Literacy Program in 2014. The first year he raised several hundred dollars which went directly to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, which purchased books for area-wide reading programs.But during the 2015 holiday season, Cowles managed to raise more than $450, which allowed him to purchase books from Scholastic for direct distribution to the schools of his choice.“I was really excited about this project and see it to fruition,” Cowles said. “To be able to go to specific schools to donate books is great.”Funds for the program were raised from customer donations.“The program provides us the unique opportunity to work with a nationally recognized organization yet make an impact in our community, which is only possible because of contributions from the people in South Haven and Paw Paw,” Cowles said.Cowles plans to continue fundraising activities throughout the year for the Literacy Program. One of the fundraisers is a coin box program for customers to donate their spare change.Next year, he hopes to provide books for public elementary schools in South Haven, as well as other schools throughout Van Buren County.Since launching the Toys for Tots Literacy Program in 2008, the UPS Store network has raised more than $3.5 million to deliver hundreds of thousands of books to children across the country. PHOTO: Glenn Cowles, manager of the UPS stores in South Haven and Paw Paw, is shown with several of the new books he will donate to students in four schools in Van Buren County. (Photo by Becky Kark)  2.22.16 Bloomingdale student creates plaques to honor veterans By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune BLOOMINGDALE — When Bloomingdale area military veterans and current service members see their name on a new plaque honoring them, they'll have a high school senior to thank.Ellie Sower, 18, recently unveiled her Wall of Honor display during a ceremony in Bloomingdale High School's gym. The event was attended by state representatives, members of the National Guard, members of the Decatur VFW and local residents.Sower made the display as part of her senior project at Bloomingdale High School and for her Family, Career and Community Leaders of America project at the Van Buren Technology Center."Ellie is very proud of her patriotic town and wanted there to be a tangible place where people can see how amazing Bloomingdale graduates and service members really are," said Staci Peterson of the Tech Center.The wall Sower created is divided into five sections that display the names of Bloomingdale veterans who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and National Guard. There are over 80 names on the wall, Sower said. Names begin with Vietnam War veterans and also list current service members, including a person who joined the military in December and is still taking part in basic training.Sower said she came up with the idea for her project one day while talking with her mother."Many people I know have recently joined the military — maybe because I am getting older — and I know of so many people from Bloomingdale so I wanted to thank them all for their service, and what better way than a Wall of Honor?" Sower said.But first, she needed to come up wth a list of names."I started this project in November," said Sower, who is the daughter of David and Jodi Sower." I contacted my school and they put messages out on their Facebook pages to get names from people. I also contacted the recruiters that come to Bloomingdale and asked them to give me the most recent names. Then I went down to the Bloomingdale Depot Museum where there are some pictures of soldiers and names that no one had told me yet, so I wrote those down as well with the help from the ladies that work in the Depot."Next, she had to come up with a design for the wall."My Cadet Teacher Academy and FCCLA advisor Mrs. Johnsen got me in touch with the polymer technology class at the Tech Center," explained Sowers who is studying elementary education at the center. "There, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Collins, and student Mark Winchester helped me design my plaques and helped me make them. We started out with a big piece of wood, then cut it in five pieces."For the next portion of the project, Sower ended up learning quite a few carpentry skills."I routered, stained and polyurethaned; Mr. Collins sanded; and then I drilled holes and put the plaques that Mark had engraved on it,” Sower said. “Last, I tacked in some brass nails and we were done“I really didn't know how to work any of the power tools but Mr. Anderson really pushed me to do everything myself and make all of the decisions, so I can say that except for the computer work, I really did do just about everything, from a blueprint, to making lots of phone calls to companies, to putting it all together. I am so proud of the way everything turned out." PHOTO: Ellie Sower, a senior at Bloomingdale High School, shows one of five plaques she created that display the names of local military veterans, from the Vietnam War to the present time. (Contributed photo) 2.15.16 A sticky situationPrincipal agrees to be duct-taped to wall as part of Catholic Schools Week activities at St. Basil School By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager It's pretty hard for a principal to do their job duct taped to a wall, but Jeanne Arbanas didn't mind the one-hour ordeal one bit.The St. Basil Catholic School principal took part in the stunt as part of the National Catholic Schools Week celebration.“The kids loved it,” she said.Arbanas stood patiently on a stool against a wall, Friday, Feb. 5 as students took turns placing brightly colored pieces of duct tape all over her. Her son, Max, a student at the school, was especially gleeful about seeing his mother out-of-action for an hour.“You can't get me now, mom!” he quipped, giving her a hug after students finished the job.The duct-tape event was just one of several activities students took part in during Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 31-Feb. 6.St. Basil School teachers and students started the week enjoying a pancake breakfast prepared by St. Basil Church's Knights of Columbus and receiving a $35,000 check from the school's Endowment Fund to pay for programs and activities for students. Students then traveled to the South Haven Ice Rink, Tuesday, to enjoy an hour of ice skating.On Wednesday, students were invited to bring a guest for an ice cream social prepared by St. Basil Church's Women's Guild. That event was followed by School Spirit Day, Thursday, where students wore new T-shirts donated by the school's Boosters Club. They also enjoyed a space and rocket science presentation.The week culminated with the an award ceremony where Charlie Hamlin was recognized with the Distinguished Graduate Award. Hamlin serves as maintenance director for St. Basil Church and has been very active, over the years, with church and school activities. PHOTO: Max Arbanas, a student at St. Basil Catholic School, laughs while giving his mom, Principal Jeanne Arbanas, a hug after he and other students duct taped the principal to the wall as part of the Catholic Schools Week celebration. (Contributed photo)  Bread bakersNorth Shore Elementary School students Aidan Souders (left) and Yesenia Llorena learn how to make bread, this past week, as part of the Bake For Good program, presented by Paula Grey, an educator for King Arthur Flour Co. During the presentation, students learned how to make homemade bread and then were given ingredients to go home and make two loaves of bread - one for their family and one to share with another person or food pantry. The program also highlighted ways students use math, science and reading skills to bake food. Students from Baseline Middle School also took part in the program. (Photo by Tara Wilkinson) 2.8.16 Baseline student travels to New York to train for luge team By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune Usually it's frowned upon to miss school - especially three weeks worth - but one 14-year-old student has a good excuse to miss so many days in a row. He's trying out for the Junior Olympics.Baseline Middle School students and staff lined the hallways recently for a parade-style send-off for eighth grader Seth Eacker who was heading to Lake Placid Olympic Training Center in New York to try out for the nation's junior luge team.The farewell was the finale to PJ Day which the school had organized to help with Seth's expenses."Seth needed $2,700 to go," said Baseline Middle School principal William Stitt. "On PJ Day, students and staff donated at least a dollar to wear pajamas. From that $502 was raised."PJ day is one that Seth will always remember."The parade was an unexpected surprise and I'll will never forget it,” he said.Seth became interested in the luge about a year ago after he attended an outing at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, hosted by his dad's employer."Seth was 13 when he first tried luge and loved it immediately," said his mom, Becky Snyder.Because his family's home in South Haven was having mold problems, Seth, who has asthmatic tendencies, went to live with his dad, Melvin Eacker II,  in Twin Lake, near Muskegon. While, Snyder said it was difficult for her to send Seth to live with his dad, something unexpected came out of it – his newfound interest in the luge."I was fearful he would stop breathing in his sleep," she recalled. "So I made the heartbreaking decision that for his health he should stay with his dad until I could move. This year he returned to South Haven schools. It was emotionally difficult on Seth and I both, but I pointed out to Seth, 'Look what came out of it.' He wouldn't be where he is now."It didn't take long for Seth to join the Muskegon youth luge team along with his stepbrother Corbin. A few of the members, including Seth, got the opportunity to go to Lake Placid last fall for tryouts. Even though he was young at the time and hadn't had much training, he did so well, said his mother, that he was invited to return for three weeks of training that will culminate with the Empire State Winter Games that end today (Sunday). If he does well there, he heads to the Junior Olympics.In the meantime, Seth's teachers haven't forgotten he has school work to do. Thanks to emails, faxes and tutors, Seth doesn't have any reasons not to do his homework."He's an excellent student," Stitt said. "He has all A's right now. Shouldn't be a problem." 'Super Monday' fundraiser benefits music boosters South Haven area residents can get rid of recyclable cans and bottles from leftover Super Bowl parties while helping the South Haven band and orchestra program at the same time.The South Haven Music Boosters will collect cans and bottles on Monday, Feb. 8 as part of their Super Monday fundraiser.Area residents can drop off cans and bottles from 6 p.m.-8 p.m., at South Haven High School's front driveway. Students and volunteers will sort and count the bottles.Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to help the band and orchestra programs replace aging uniforms.“Both the high school and middle school tux pants are pretty worn out, and many of the shirts are thread bare at elbows and cuffs,” said Ross Woodhams, of the Music Boosters. “We have been working on updating concert dresses for the female students over the last couple years, and they are in pretty good shape, although with the growth in numbers in both the band and the orchestra, we need to increase our inventory.”Two years ago, the Music Boosters were able to purchase uniforms for the Purple Pride Marching Band, however, the group is making paying annual installments to the school district,“Instrumental Music Boosters has added a budget line for uniforms to try and catch up, and then stay current with ongoing uniform fund raising so that we don't get caught needing enormous amounts of money,” Woodhams said.  1.18.16 'Bee-ing' creativeSH students hone their digital design skills outside the classroom By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager As final exams loom for students, one class at South Haven High School is hoping for more than good grades.Students in teacher Josh Bridges' digital design class are putting the final touches on a project that will benefit the South Haven Garden Club.The club asked Bridges whether his class could design the cover for its 2016 yearbook, which features the club's upcoming programs and events.“One of the Garden Club’s primary goals is to engage the community in an effort to stimulate the knowledge and love of horticulture,” said club member Meme Williamson. “II wanted to be able to offer a real world experience to the students. Our Yearbook goes out to our 93 members and is submitted to the National Garden Club Yearbook competition. This gives the students an opportunity to have their work go out into the world. This is exciting and adds to their level of experience.”It didn't take Bridges long to give Williamson and the rest of the Garden Club an answer because the Club's proposal fit perfectly into his goals for the class.“This is the first year we've had this class and we wanted to stress real-world applications of students' art skills,” he said.Students have spent the past several weeks, breaking into groups to create graphics and design covers that reflect the yearbook's theme, “Bee Inspired.” They also plan to design page headers and other illustrations.“Other than a few restrictions they were given, (the designs) are totally up to the students,” Bridges said. “This (completion of the designs) is part of their final exam.” Once the digital designs have been completed, The Garden Club will choose the winning cover design and page headers and honor all of the class members with a pizza party at the end of January.“I have seen the students' preliminary work and there are so many creative designs that I am a little bit worried about making a final decision,” Williamson said.Because the assignment plays a significant role in how well they will do in the class, students are taking their task seriously, not just because it will determine their semester grade, but because the winning design will grace the cover of the Garden Club's yearbook.“It gives your design a purpose and a meaning rather than just a class assignment,” said Edward DeLong, a junior. “It gets noticed and recognized as well.” DeLong said he planned to incorporate the phrase, “rejuvenation through pollination,” into his cover design.He drew inspiration for his cover design from Jerry Seinfeld's 2007 computer animated film, “Bee Movie,” whose plot dealt with the importance bees play in pollinating flowers, plants and vegetables.“Without bees they'd be dead,” DeLong said.Vincent Jeffries, Jada Hooker and Dylan Nelson said they also planned to base their cover design on the important role bees play in pollinating plants.Creating digital art for the Garden Club isn't the only way Bridges' Digital Design class is getting noticed outside the classroom. Earlier this year, the students created screen saver backgrounds for Chromebook computers that are used throughout the school district. The screen savers depict the district's mission statement, athletic and school logos and the district's slogan, “Ram Pride.”Once the project for the Garden Club has been completed, Bridges hopes to partner with a business that is in need of digital artwork for signs or brochures. PHOTO: From left: Dylan Nelson, Jada Hooker and Vincent Jeffries work on a digital design for the South Haven Garden Club's yearbook. The theme for the yearbook is "Bee Inspired." 10.12.15 It's full STEAM ahead for miniature golf courseSt. Basil students create putt-putt golf course as part of new academic program By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager Lots of youngsters enjoy playing miniature golf, but, a group of St. Basil School students is going one step further by creating their own nine-hole putt-putt course.“It's kind of chaotic, but they know what they're doing,” Principal Jeanne Arbanas said.The project is part of the school's new STEAM lab where students spend an hour each day creating projects that incorporate science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.“STEAM Lab is a way of integrating the curriculum so that students are able to see how the content is connected, instead of doing things in isolation,” Arbanas said. “We are providing our students communication, collaborating, critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will set them up for success in the future.”Students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade have been spending the past several weeks building their nine-hole miniature golf course out of plastic parts, similar to Legos.Like a real-life course, some of the hole designs are very simple, while others are more complicated, involving bridges, curves, loops, even circular stairs that eventually lead to the hole.Armed with schematic drawings and instructions, students work in groups to create each hole. Younger students create the easier ones, while older pupils are tasked with building the more complicated designs.“They have to problem solve, so if something is not working right they have to figure it out. I don't do it for them,” said Arbanas, who oversees the STEAM Lab projects.One group, for example, spent Monday afternoon building a hole called “The Split” that contained a double-decker bridge. The design plans called for the ball to travel along the top bridge and then drop down to the lower bridge by way of a lever. But the lever wasn't working correctly, so the students had to spend time figuring out what part of the design they didn't build correctly.“It's really fun to watch them when they do solve a problem. It gives them a sense of accomplishment,” Arbanas said.So far, the students have completed five holes of their course.“We're hoping to have the course done by parent-teacher conferences,” Arbanas said. “The kids are so proud of what they've done they want to share it.”Once the students are done building the golf course, they'll begin creating robots as part of their next STEAM Lab project.  8.31.15 Area school districts get ready for a new year By ANDREW LERSTENand BECKY KARKFor the Tribune Late August in Southwest Michigan: It’s a carefree time for schoolchildren. It’s a time of going on vaca­tions, riding a bicycle or go­ing to the beach.

But in the schools, this is anything but a quiet time for administrators.

With the start of the new school year just a week away, area schools are buzz­ing like beehives.

Many districts are deal­ing with major school con­struction projects and rac­ing the clock to be done when the kids come back to school.

Other districts are train­ing new administra­tors and teachers, and get­ting ready to roll out expanded technology pro­grams for the new school year.

South Haven Schools Su­perintendent Bob Herrera has been a public school ad­ministrator for 22 years. He said most people don’t real­ize how much activity takes place over the summer.

“It’s really crazy in the summer,” Herrera said. “It would be impossible to ac­tually take a vacation right now.”

He added: “We’re busy putting schedules together now for kids, enrolling kids and assigning them to class­rooms. We’re putting all the bus schedules together, with new students and new routes. Our technology crew is doing all the last-minute resetting and reprogram­ming of computing devic­es.” 

South Haven is also in the process of implementing $28.8 million for reconstruction of the high school.A new $1 million roof for the L.C. Mohr building will be the first project the district plans to undertake. District officials will then seek bids on the rest of the high school projects that include plumbing, electrical and mechanical upgrades; classroom, media center and cafeteria renovations and new construction; and technology and security improvements which are expected to take place next year. Bangor joins forces with LMCNeighboring Bangor Public Schools is looking forward to the new school year by partnering with Lake Michigan College to offer college courses for students and local residents.The courses will take place at the district's former Community Education Center next to the high school.“It has been retrofitted to become the Bangor/LMC College annex,” said Bangor Superintendent Dennis Paquette. “We will be offering an English class, the LMC college success class and a social science class. These classes are open to anyone from any school or any community.“The retrofitting of the building has been a fun process,” Paquette continued to say. “We have cleaned and painted the building.  We needed to get some lobby furniture.  We want to give a college feel to the building and I believe we were able to do just that.”The agreement with LMC came about when Bangor's community education director Lynn Johnson suggested that the local school district try to add LMC classes onsite. “LMC has been very receptive and supportive with this undertaking,” Paquette said. “The LMC staff has been great to work with thus far.”Another new program for Bangor Public Schools will be the implementation of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program at Bangor Middle School.“The focus of the STEM program will be an introduction to computer science,” Paquette said. “This class will be led by Dale Hoch.” Bloomingdale Public Schools strengthens curriculum“We have implemented a new math curriculum for grades K-6 called Engage New York,” said District Superintendent Deb Paquette. “We are super excited about this new program.”The Engage New York “common core” math program was developed by the New York State Education Department to help school districts follow “common core” curriculum requirements.Bloomingdale, along with other school districts, are also adding and updating personal computer equipment, which is now used for most subject matters.“We updated three of our six computer labs within the district and added three additional Chromebook carts,” Deb Paquette said. “We have a mobile cart being shared between every 3 teachers which will more than meet the need for every teacher to be able to utilize Chromebooks whenever they want. We also added mobile carts to each elementary in addition to the two labs in each building.”South Haven and Bangor are also adding more devices.“This is another huge leap,”said Kevin Dee, South Haven Schools’ director of non-instructional services. “We’re adding 1,100 new devices.”This year, South Haven students in grades 1 and 2 are getting iPads, all fifth graders are getting Chromebooks, and all 6-12 math classes are getting Chromebooks, Dee said.In Bangor, approximately a half-dozen teachers have pulled their resources to provide additional Chromebooks for their classrooms.They turned to such online sites as Go Fund Me and Donors Choice to solicit donations for the purchase of new personal computers for their classrooms. Covert expands athletics programsAfter spending several years coping with a budget deficit reduction program, Covert Schools is starting to get back on its feet. This fall, the high school will offer a full slate of athletic programs. The Bulldogs' new 8-ma football team competed in its first contest this past Friday. The high school will also field a soccer and volleyball team.Covert is also updating its curriculum by offering SAT Score Soar at the high school to help students perform well on the college entrance SAT test.The district is also adding an additional virtual computer lab and installed a new roof in the center of the school complex.  7.7.15 South Haven schools' green FARM busHits the road with meals, books and fun By ANDREW LERSTENFor the Tribune South Haven area residents will probably be seeing a lot of a distinctive green school bus this summer.South Haven schools has launched the "Fun Activities, Reading and Meals (FARM) Bus" summer program, which brings healthy lunches and books to kids at several area apartment complexes, migrant camps and a mobile home park.It has turned out to be a community effort by several groups and organizations.Local Boy Scouts helped renovate the former school bus interior to put in the book shelves, for example. Many of the books were donated by community residents.Food service staff cook and assemble the lunches at North Shore Elementary, and every Wednesday a nutritional expert from the Van Buren County Intermediate School District brings a healthy snack and teaches kids about nutrition.Superintendent Bob Herrera donated the bus for the program.The only requirements for kids to get a free lunch is that they must be under 18 and must eat the meal at the site, and can't take it home, noted Food Service Director Amy Nichols.On weekdays, the lunches are served at the Port of Call mobile home park, Park Meadows Apartments and then at Briar Hills Apartments.Because last week was the first week for the program, the number of meals served was not available, but participation at each site has been around 20 to 30 so far, officials said. The bus travels to area migrant camps on the weekends.Every Tuesday the kids are allowed to take a book off the bus and keep it for one week.Last Wednesday, kids were served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, along with pears, milk and celery. Michelle Dow of the ISD brought a strawberry and yogurt snack and read a book at the sites. The participants also received kites to fly.Rita Flowers brought her three daughters, ages 3, 6, and 9, to the program site at Park Meadows last  Wednesday."I think it's a good thing," Flowers said. "It gives them a chance to get out of the house and it keeps them engaged." PHOTO: Michelle Dow of the Van Buren Intermediate School District makes a dramatic point last Wednesday while reading a book to participants of South Haven schools' summer reading and meals program at the Park Meadows Apartments. The district is using a former school bus to bring meals, books and activities to the community this summer. Photo by Andrew Lersten Covert High School graduates honored By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune COVERT – Covert High School's class of 2015 earned a number of awards and scholarships that were announced at the graduation ceremony, May 31.Kitana Lewis was chosen as Valedictorian. The daughter of Antruis Atkinson. Lewis's post graduation plans include attending Southwestern Michigan College to study social work.Bria Wilson, the daughter of Raleigh and Phyllis Wilson earned the salutatorian title. Her college plans include studying nursing at Southwestern Michigan College in the fall.The following graduates earned scholarships:Breanna Broady - Entergy, South Haven Health System, Albermarle Scholar, Williams and Merriweather Scholarship Fund and LMC Winners Circle ScholarshipBria Wilson - Entergy and Williams and Merriweather Scholarship FundKitana Lewis - South Haven Rotary Club.Receiving diplomas were Miguel Alegandre, Noe Barboza, Breana Broady, Kristofer Clayton, Donald Daugherty, Marlena Dorsey, Bridget Duncan, Dorreon Gaines, Nicholas Hall, Samuel Hall, Akram James, Marshawn Jones, Kitana Lewis, Carlos Mondragon Jimenez, Trenton Prewitt, Jordan Sachez, Jesus Santiago, James Smith, Chasin Swarn Jr., Monroe Tubner, and Bria Wilson.  6.22.15 South Haven graduating seniors earn honors receive scholarships South Haven High School awarded the following graduating seniors with awards and scholarships: Top Honor Graduates (cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or above. An asterisk denotes 4.0 GPA or higher) — Abigail Avery*, Brooke Boyd, Joseph DeGrandchamp, Taylor DenUyl*, Brianna Dotson, Nia Edwards*, Audriana Gibson, Gladys Gonzalez, Madeline Goodnough, Mallory Griffin*, Eva Heinrich, Megan Larson*, Jessica Miles, Everritt Phillips*, Kayla Sell, Emily Simon*, Angela Sondgerath, Esther Stap*, Luis Vargas*, Nathaniel Wadas, Alec Washegesic, Logan Wesseldyk, Jacquelyn Wyant Purple and Gold Honor Cord Recipients (cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher) — Luisa Aburto, Abigail Avery*, Brooke Boyd, Ana Brantley, Joshua Brower, Amaris Bryant, Ivette Bucio, Christian Burmeister, Jennifer Byers, Cameron Conroy, Armando Cortez, Samuel Cortez, Haley Davis, William Davis, Joseph DeGrandchamp, Taylor DenUyl*, Brianna Dotson, Haley Duncan, Nia Edwards*, Elizabeth Everitt, Aixsa Figueroa Nuila, Eliana' France, Isabella Gallegos-Thompson, Madison Gargus, Audriana Gibson, Nicholas Giles, Leo Gleiss, Gladys Gonzalez, Madeline Goodnough, Mallory Griffin*, Eva Heinrich, Joseph Jackson, Mia Jackson, Nikolaus Jerch, Tyler Jesser, Megan Larson*, Katherine Marr, Brooklyn Mason, Darian Meister, Jessica Miles, Cecilia Paz, Everritt Phillips*, Shelby Phillips, Ryan Rainey, Jessica Reitz, Bailey Rooker, Vanessa Rosas, Luis Ruiz, Marbella Ruiz, Allie Ruppert, Harmoni Rusin, Alexander Salmon, Kayla Sell, Emily Simon*, Nicholas Simon, Patrick Sloyer, Morgan Snyder, Angela Sondgerath, Elley Sparks, Austin Springer, Esther Stap*, Colton Toney, Luis Vargas*, Alex Villegas, Nathaniel Wadas, Alec Washegesic, Sarah Washegesic, Logan Wesseldyk, Tanner Winkel, Jacquelyn Wyant Board of Education awardsGold Bar (senior year GPA 3,5 or higher through 1st semester) — Luisa Aburto, Abigail Avery *, Brooke Boyd, Ana Brantley, Jennifer Byers, Cameron Conroy, Armando Cortez, Liana Cunningham, William Davis, Joseph DeGrandchamp *, Taylor DenUyl *, Brianna Dotson *, Nia Edwards *, Elizabeth Everitt, Eliana' France, Audriana Gibson, Leo Gleiss, Gladys Gonzalez, Madeline Goodnough *, Mallory Griffin *, Eva Heinrich, Joseph Jackson, Mia Jackson, Courtney King, Megan Larson *, Brooklyn Mason, Jessica Miles, Cecilia Paz, Everritt Phillips *, Shelby Phillips, Ryan Rainey, Jessica Reitz, Bailey Rooker, Vanessa Rosas *, Luis Ruiz, Allie Ruppert *, Kayla Sell *, Emily Simon *, Nicholas Simon, Trenton Smiley, Angela Sondgerath *, Elley Sparks, Esther Stap *, Luis Vargas *, Alex Villegas, Nathaniel Wadas *, Alec Washegesic *, Sarah Washegesic, Logan Wesseldyk *. Jacquelyn Wyant *Silver Bar (senior year GPA 3,2-3.49 through 1st semester) — Joshua Brower, Ivette Bucio, Racheal Butler, Samuel Cortez, Haley Duncan, Aixsa Figueroa Nuila, Isabella Gallegos-Thompson, Madison Gargus, Nicholas Giles, Drew Holmes , Nikolaus Jerch, Tyler Jesser, Jason John, De'Zhanae Johnson, Katherine Marr, Alexia Marsh Kreigh, Xavier Mulac, Zackary Parrish, Harmoni Rusin, Alexander, Salmon, Patrick Sloyer, Austin Springer, Jace Vigansky, Tanner Winkel ScholarshipsAmerican Association of University Women — Audriana Gibson, Kayla Sell, Esther StapAlbemarle — Jennifer Byers, Ben Hooper, Sarah HallgrenBrook Krogel Memorial — Mallory Griffin, Luis Vargas, Armando CortezBurger King — Brooke BoydTony & Marialyce Canonie — Leo Gleiss and Kayla SellSouthwest Michigan Cesar E. Chavez — Armando Cortez, Cecilia Paz and Luis VargasFilbrandt Family Funeral Home — Audriana Gibson and Armando CortezGrace J. Calvin Scholarship — Elizabeth Everitt, Mallory Griffin, Trenton SmileyHope Reformed Church Scholarship — Colin Assink, Christopher Brush and Elizabeth EverittJohnson Controls Inc. — Joseph DeGrandchamp and Megan LarsonKiwanis Club Scholarship — Trenton SmileyDr. Fredd Leavitt, DDS, Science Award — Mallory GriffinLake Michgan College Scholarship — Ana Brantley and Elaine FranceLighthouse Oncology Scholarship — Luis VargasLori Nielsen Award for Educators — Trenton SmileySouth Haven Moose Lodge — Brooke Boyd and Ryan CappsOur Town Players Scholarship — Sierra WallPeace Lutheran Church Mission Endowment — Ryan Rainey and Jessica MilesRobert Black Memorial — Audriana GibsonSouth Haven Community Memorial — Hailey DavisSouth Haven Athletic Ram Boosters — Josh BrowerSouthwestern Michigan College Scholarship — Hailey DavisWalter & Karn Stitt Scholarship — Vanessa RosasMiss and Mr. South Haven scholarships — Brooke Boyd, Ryan Rainey, Amaris Bryant, Christian Burmeister, Allie Ruppert and Jessica MilesVan Buren Technology Center Scholarship — Luis VargasMichigan Shell Education Foundation — Madeline GoodnoughBob Braamse Community Scholarship — Brooke BoydWomen of the Moose Scholarship — Brooke Boyd College ScholarshipsAdrian College — Jessica Miles-Presidential $44,000 & Academic Departmental $16,000Aquinas College — Taylor DenUyl - Academic Leadership $70,000; Alec Washegesic - Academic Leadership $70,000, Athletic $16,000 and Alumni $5,000Bacone College —   DeAndre Juarez $3,000Central Michigan University — Emily Simon $5,500Columbia College, Ill. — Leo Gleiss - Presidential $12,000Cornerstone University — Abigail Avery and Logan Wesseldyk - President’s $40,000  and Pastor’s $4,000Davenport University — Nathan Braunz - Academic Scholarship $TBD; Colton Toney - Athletic $10,000Eastern Michigan University — Courtney King - Educational First $2,100 & EMU Scholarship $4,000Ferris State University — Colin Assink - Alumni $TBD; Mallory Griffin - Presidential $176,000; Alex Villegas - Crimson $6,000;    Emily Simon - Academic $10,000Glenville State College: — Madison Gargus-Pioneer - Academic $8,000 and Athletic $9,000Grand Rapids Community College — Isabella Gallegos-Thompson - Merit Scholarship $TBDGrand Valley State University — Taylor DenUyl - Excellence Award $ 8,000; Megan Larson - University Student Award $14,400 and Excellence Award $8,000; Esther Stap - $4,000Henry Ford College — Trenton Smiley - Athletic $4,100Hope College — Taylor DenUyl and Angela Sondgerath - Presidential $34,000; Brianna Dotson Alumni Honor $4,500Lake Michigan College — Ana Brantley - Early College Achievement $1,000Loyola University, Ill. — Madeline Goodnough $66,000Marquette University — Madeline Goodnough $39,200Michigan Tech College — Joseph DeGrandchamp and Madeline Goodnough - Presidential $10,000; Megan Larson - Presidential $18,000 and University Student Award $8,000Northern Michigan University — Sarah Hallgren - Athletic 25 percent of tuition; Esther Stap - Excellence Award $12,000Saginaw Valley State University — Shelby Phillips - Cardinal Award $2,000Siena Heights — Bobbie Goodwin - Athletic $TBDSouthwestern Michigan College — Haley Davis - Merit Scholarship $1,000University of Michigan — Gladys Gonzalez - LSA Scholarship $20,000 and grants $20,000University of Missouri — Nick Simon - Mark Twain Scholarship $40,000University of  Northwestern Ohio — Ryan Capps - Athletic $2,000; Ryan Faux - $2,000Western Michigan University — Armando Cortez, Emily Everitt, Cecilia Paz, Ryan Rainey, Luiz Ruiz, Marbella Ruiz - Incentive $40,000; Megan Larson - CEAS $9,000 and Deans $3,000; Luis Vargas - Incentive $40,000, CEAS $9,000 and Medallion Merit $3,000York College — James Smith Jr. - Academic $2,000 and Athletic $3,000 The Critic Cup Winner — Luis Vargas.  6.8.15 Contributed photoThe following Bangor High School Class of 2015 students were named the Top Ten Academic Scholars: Back row from left: Marilyn Gallegos-Cuevas, Juan Andrade, Jared Hescott, Kyle Robertson and Lindsey Weber. Front row from left: Antonio Ruiz, Deandra Kelly, Juliana DeVisser, Paige Lancaster and Alexander Mendez.  Bangor graduates receive awards, scholarships By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune BANGOR - The 62 members of Bangor High School's Class of 2015 received their diplomas Friday, May 29 during graduation ceremonies at the school.Juliana DeVisser was named Valedictorian while Paige Lancaster earned the Salutatorian title. Honored as Top Ten students were Juan Andrade, Juliana DeVisser, Marilyn Gallegos-Cuevas, Jared Hescott, Deandra Kelly, Paige Lancaster, Alexander Mendez, Kyle Robertson, Antonio Ruiz and Lindsey Weber.Other graduates who received honors and scholarships follow:Four-year Honor Student Awards: Juan Andrade, Juliana DeVisser, Marilyn Gallegos-Cuevas, Jared Hescott, Deandra Kelly and Paige Lancaster.Scholarship winners: Chelsea Byrd - Norm Johnson Memorial Scholarship; Levi Cole - Ross E. Normington Memorial Scholarship, American Red Cross Scholarship, GEAR-UP Scholarship, Bangor Lions Club, Bill Mayhak Memorial Scholarship, Trine University Scholarship; Juliana DeVisser- American Red Cross Scholarship, Richard Beer Memorial Scholarship, South Haven Health System Auxiliary Scholarship, GEAR-UP Scholarship; Marilyn Gallegos-Cuevas - NROTC, Arizona Excellence Award, Emerald Scholarship, American Red Cross Scholarship, Helen/Warren Freestone Memorial Scholarship; Breanna Greiner – Bangor Education Association Scholarship, GEAR-UP Scholarship, Dr. Avison and Maude Gano Memorial Scholarship, Viking Club Scholarship; Brittany Hay - American Red Cross Scholarship; Jared Hescott - Ferris State Provosts Scholarship, Dr. Avison and Maude Gano Memorial Scholarship, Turkey Federation Scholarship, Viking Club Scholarship; Quinten Johnson - Viking Club Scholarship, Bangor Arts Council Scholarship; Deandra Kelly - TIP-WMU  Scholarship Tuition; Paige Lancaster - American Red Cross Scholarship, Viking Club Scholarship, Teri Lynn Wilson Scholarship, GEAR-UP Scholarship, The University of Oklahoma’s Academic Achievement Scholarship, The University of Oklahoma’s Sooner Heritage Scholarship, Western Michigan University Medallion Scholarship Finalist, Saint Mary’s College Dean Scholarship, Loyola U University’s Damen Scholarship; Alanis Mellinger - Adrian College Scholarship, Adrian College Academic Departmental Scholarship, Frances E. Martin Memorial Scholarship; Alexander Mendez – TIP - WMU Scholarship Tuition, Trine University Honor Award; Lindsey Weber - Patrick O. Watkins Memorial Scholarship, American Red Cross Scholarship, South Haven Health Systems Auxiliary Scholarship, GEAR-UP Scholarship; Savion Willis - Norm Johnson Memorial Scholarship.Three female students will be serving their country after graduation. Hannah Rukas and Marilyn Gallegos-Cuevas will be entering the U.S. Marines while Deandra Kelly enlisted with the U.S. Navy. 4.7.15The members of South Haven High School's robotics team are shown in this picture along with their robot. Team Ramageddon puts their skills to the test By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager There's more to building a robot than meets the eye.That's what South Haven High School's robotics team has discovered since forming three years ago.Team Ramageddon's season doesn't last very long, but the work involved in putting together a robot can be rather time-consuming.“There's a lot more to it than you think,” said Joseph DeGrandchamp, a senior and member of the team. “A lot of planning goes into what we want the robot to do. And then there's fundraising and marketing.”South Haven's team began planning for this year's district competitions in the fall of 2014.But before they could begin building a robot they had to raise upwards of $20,000 to purchase materials for the robot and to pay fees for competitions, transportation to and from meets, lodging and to provide seed money for next year's team.“This is a 100-percent sponsored team,” said senior Logan Wesseldyk, who is in charge of the group's marketing efforts. “Without the support of local businesses and donors we would not be able to compete.”Once funds were gathered, Team Ramageddon went to work constructing its robot.According to F.I.R.S.T., the organization that sponsors the robotics competitions throughout the world, teams are given only so much time to construct their robot.“We had six weeks to build it,” DeGrandchamp said. Team members had to learn how to weld, work with electronics and program the robot's computer to make it perform various functions for competitions.Team Ramageddon's robot, dubbed “Valerie,” was created to lift crates and containers in a fashion similar to a forklift.Mechanical arms were created for the robot to grab and stack totes and garbage containers to a height of 10 feet.Team Ramageddon competed in district competitions in Kentwood and St. Joseph earlier this month, but was not able to qualify for the state tournament.But, they say they've learned a great deal from coming together as a team to raise money to build a robot.“This is my first year in robotics,” Wesseldyk said. “I've been involved in every aspect...financials, marketing, helping with safety. I've enjoyed every second of it.”Team members also take pride in constructing the robot mainly on their own.“There's teams that have robots built by professional engineers,” said Jared Dee, a member of Team Ramageddon.“When the robot breaks down at competitions and the team is standing around not knowing what to do you know which ones were made by professionals,” agreed Tony Wise, a member of Team Ramageddon. “We're around 95-percent student-built.”The following sponsors helped finance South Haven robotics team's competitions and robot construction project: South Haven Kiwanis Club, Application Engineering, Woodhams Ford Lincoln; Trelleborg Vibracoustics, Ron and Kim Wise; Edward Jones; South Haven Rotary Club, Filbrandt Family Funeral Home, Joe and Kathryn DeGrandchamp, Hardt Insurance, Pet Vet Family Pet Care Center, System Components, Spencer Manufacturing, Compton Inc., Radio Shack and John's Stereo, South Haven Family Dentistry, Fastenal, Verne E. Ticknor Dentistry, Fifth Third Bank. Fast facts about FIRST South Haven's robotics team is part of an international program called For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or F.I.R.S.T.The program was founded by inventor Dean Kamen as a way to promote science and engineering fields. Currently, 6,000 teams exist worldwide with the largest concentrations in Michigan and California. 12.15.14Contributed photoBangor Middle School Boys Basketball players recently collected more than 600 crayons, coloring books and other items to donate to Operation Scribble - part of the Crayons 4 Kids project. The donations will be given to hospitalized children at Bronson Children's Hospital and Bronson Children's Cancer Center in Kalamazoo. Pictured from left are  seventh-grade basketball coach Angel Rosales, manager Samantha Zordan,  Josh Zordan,  Shawn Cox, Joey Hardester  and eighth-grade basketball coach Dan Thorbjornsen. Bangor Middle School basketball players help brighten children's holidays By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune BANGOR - Armed with boxes and bags stuffed full of crayons, coloring books, games and other items, the Bangor seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball teams headed to Kalamazoo recently to help make the holidays brighter for children staying at Bronson Methodist Hospital.Joey Hardester, Shawn Cox, Josh Zordan, team manager Samantha Zordan along with basketball coaches Angel Rosales and Dan Thorbjornsen were among the many groups that donated to Operation Scribble."Operation Scribble is an annual drive to furnish Kalamazoo area hospitals with coloring books, crayons, games, cards and such for children who have long stays in the hospital," explained Thorbjornsen, who is also Bangor Middle School assistant principal. "The Bangor Middle School seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball teams have participated in this drive for the last six years."Operation Scribble is part of Crayons 4 Kids, a non-profit organization that distributes toys, games, stuffed animals, and movies to hospitalized children across the country. The project was started in 2001 by two youngsters, who accompanied their pediatric surgeon dad on his weekend rounds at the hospital where he worked.Seeing that hospitalized children needed activities to occupy their time and cheer them up, his two children, who were 5 and 6 years old at the time, put a cardboard box on their porch and asked family members who visited to bring crayons and coloring books to fill the box.Ten years later, the project has reached children in Kalamazoo, Los Angeles, Boston, and Philadelphia. As of last December, the organization had collected more than 115,000 new crayons, 10,000 coloring books and more than 5,700 games and toys."Coach Rosales and I would like to thank all who helped in the drive and to the team representatives who got out of bed early to make the 6 a.m. drive to Kalamazoo to support the Operation Scribble drive," Thorbjornsen said. 10.21.14 Kyle and Kelley Gorham and their daughter Kayley participate in the Light up the Night fundraiser for South Haven Public Schools enrichment programs. More than 700 people took part in the 5K fun run/walk, Oct. 11. (Photo by Sheryl Kaptur)  4.29.14  The photo above shows a 5K color event. Bangor High School's National Honor Society will host a similar event May 17 to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Bangor 5K event to be quite colorful A group of Bangor High School students has decided to add pizazz to a 5K run, while raising money for the American Cancer Society.The National Honor Society plans to host its first-ever 5K color run, at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 17, at Bangor High School.“It's a fun, un-timed run/walk where participants will be showered with colored powder throughout the course,” said NHS advisor and teacher Vicki Putnik.The powder is a non-toxic, corn starch mix that contains a variety of colors. While runners travel along the course, the colored powder will be thrown at them.“At the end of the run everyone will be very colorful,” Putnik said.The run is not only a fun event, but one that will raise money for the American Cancer Society's annual Relay for Life event in June.“We (the NHS) have formed a team for Relay and this 5K color run is a fundraiser for it,” Putnik said.The fee to enter is $20. Participants will receive a T-shirt if they register by May 2. People can register online at For more information, call Putnik at 427-6800, ext. 1025.4.14.14 South Haven band students earn top ratings By TRIBUNE STAFF South Haven Public Schools band students are tooting their horns, so to speak, after winning top ratings at district and state band competitions.The South Haven High School jazz ensemble received a Division I rating at the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association's State Jazz Festival, April 2, while the high school concert band, marching band and Baseline Middle School concert band received Division I ratings at the district level.“This is the first year that every ensemble has attended a festival for adjudication,” said high school band director Jeff Bopp. “In the past, the marching band and concert bands have attended, but not the jazz ensemble.”Bopp conducts all of the high school bands, while his wife, Sarah Bopp, conducts the middle school bands.“The Jazz Ensemble is a traditional Big Band that meets as a class every day at 6:40 a.m. for "Zero Hour,'” said high school band director Jeff Bopp. “This group is by audition only and we have many students on secondary instruments - instruments that they learned to play just to be in jazz band.” LMC hosts open house for prospective students BENTON TOWNSHIP – As construction moves ahead on Lake Michigan College’s first-ever residence hall, the College is hosting an open house on the Napier Avenue Campus to introduce prospective students and parents to the benefits of living at Lake Michigan College. The event, to be held Saturday, April 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is free and open to anyone who wants more information about attending LMC. “Excitement builds every day as we enter the final phases of construction on Beckwith Hall. We are putting plans in place for welcoming a new level of student engagement on campus and want to share that information with students and parents,” stated LMC Director of Admissions Doug Schaffer. “The open house is a chance for them to see how campus living adds a completely new dimension to a Lake Michigan College education.”A feature of the open house will be the model residence hall suite. Attendees can experience first-hand how the units will look and feel. Amenities include a full kitchen, washer and dryer, free wi-fi, a 42” flat panel television, furniture, free utilities, and access control into the suites and individual bedrooms. Other activities during the open house will include:Information sessions about how to apply to be among the first to live in the residence hallTours of the model residence hall suiteTours of the Napier Avenue Campus including the recently renovated science labs and health care career training facilitiesFinancial aid workshops at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.Opportunity to talk with advisors and faculty about the 100+ program, certificate, and degree options available to studentsStudent life information and tours of the new Hawk’s Nest student activity centerAnswers to questions and assistance with the application and registration process Schaffer added that those people who want more information about attending LMC, but who many not be interested in on-campus living, should plan to attend the open house also.“The event will present a complete view of the academic and student life opportunities available to all students at Lake Michigan College,” he stated. Those planning to attend the open house can pre-register at For more information call (269) 927-8626 or email at  4.7.14South Haven robotics team competes in district contest By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune South Haven High School's robotics team finished another successful season by earning a respectable finish at the FIRST Robotics District Competition in St. Joseph.Forty teams from around the state attended the two- day event, which pitted teams and machines in “Aerial Assist,” a game similar to basketball.“The start of the competition consisted of roughly 80 rounds of competitions, in which we participated in 12,” explained robotics teacher Josh Bridges. “This is considered the qualification round. We finished 13th overall and had a strong showing, including being in second place for a number of rounds.”During competitions three teams and their three robots compete as part of an alliance. Alliances score as many points as possible in a timed match by having robots launch a ball into the opposing team's goal.“Part of a team's place is determined not only by how they do, but how well the alliance they are on at the time does,” Bridges said. “Once the qualification round is complete, alliances are picked for the elimination rounds. We ended up being chosen for the fourth-seeded alliance with Mona Shores and Gull Lake.”The Ramageddon team, as the South Haven students call themselves, won best of three in the quarterfinal round and then moved into the semi-final match, said Bridges.There, the team lost the first game, won the second, but ended up losing the last round because two of the team’s alliance robots failed to communicate with the field properly.“The students did great and I had a really awesome time working with them this season and it was awesome to see their growth since the Grand Valley event two weeks ago,” Bridges said.“Our current season is over, but we are already gearing up for the next season and working on pre-season items to make sure that we will be more competitive and organized next season.”Competitions may be over this year for the Ramaggeddon robot, but its public appearances are not.On Friday, April 16 it will be at the high school’s eighth-grade parent night and on Saturday, April 26, it will be present at the South Haven School Foundation dinner.Sponsors, donations and financial support are still needed for the team. For more information visit        1.27.14First and second graders at St. Basil School are shown above. St. Basil students celebrate Catholic Schools Week By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager St. Basil School gets to toot its own horn, so to speak, when it celebrates National Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 26-31.Now in its 40th year, National Catholic Schools Week, focuses on the value of Catholic education and students' contributions to the community.St. Basil plans to celebrate the week with a variety of activities centered on the theme “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Events began Sunday and conclude Friday.“We have planned an active program for students all week long that includes a pancake breakfast, ice skating, bring-a-special-friend ice-cream social, a 'Distinguished Graduate Award' presentation, and an All-Schools Mass in Kalamazoo,” said St. Basil School Principal Jeanne Arbanas.This is the first time St. Basil's will present The Distinguished Graduate Award, Arbanas went on to say. The award is given to St. Basil graduates who have gone on to make a positive difference in the community and St. Basil Catholic Church and school. This year's recipient will be Michael Vidmar, former St. Basil principal, who is very active with St. Basil parish.The Distinguished Graduate Award dovetails into a part of National Catholic Schools Week's theme of community service.“Each class chooses a service project as part of National Catholic Schools Week,” Arbanas said. “The first project will be done by our middle school students when they help with the Soup Luncheon that benefits We Care in the Name of Christ's annual heating assistance fundraiser.” The soup luncheon took place Sunday in the lower level of St. Basil Catholic Church, 513 Monroe Blvd.Other service projects students plan to undertake during Catholic Schools Week include a canned food drive, a shoe collection drive, the creation of Valentine's Day cards for patients at the Veterans Administration hospital in Battle Creek, and a fund-raising penny drive for the national Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.Amidst all of the service projects students will still have some light-hearted moments during the week, according to Arbanas.“Students here wear uniforms each day, but during National Catholic Schools Week they'll get the chance to dress for themed spirit days that include hat day, fashion disaster day, spirit day, crazy sock day and pajama day.”  12.23.13South Haven Kiwanis Club donates nearly 700 dictionaries, Thesauruses to students By BECKY KARKeditor and general manager Is xylophone spelled with an “x” or a “z?”A group of third graders at Lincoln Elementary quickly found out when they received dictionaries this past week, courtesy of the South Haven Kiwanis Club.Scouring through the books, they also discovered other interesting tidbits, such as the world's longest word — an enzyme that has 267 amino acids in it and is more than 1,900 letters long“I wonder how that's pronounced?” one student asked.This year marks the sixth year local Kiwanians have trekked to area elementary schools to deliver dictionaries to third graders and Thesauruses to fifth graders.This year, club members will deliver nearly 700 books to students in South Haven, Covert, Bangor, Glenn and Pullman.At first the club limited its coverage area to South Haven Public Schools and St. Basil Catholic School in South Haven. However, for the past several years, the group has dropped off books for students in Bangor Public Schools and Covert Public Schools. Last year, Glenn School was added and this year, Pullman Elementary.“We expanded the program for a couple of reasons, said chairman Jeffrey Dick. “First, we know some teachers who live in South Haven who teach in these other communities.   As they heard of the project, they were asking if we could include their students.   Second, there is no Kiwanis Club serving those areas and it seemed like the right thing to do.”Kiwanis members get a lot of satisfaction in visiting students and delivering the books, Dick went on to say.“We are aware that schools have dictionaries in each room, but these are theirs to take home and keep.    Having participated in this project for a number of years, it is exciting to go into a fifth-grade class and have a student remember they received a dictionary from us.    Recently, at St. Basil school, one of the students had their dictionary from third grade on their desk. The students excitement in receiving a book is wonderful.”South Haven's Kiwanis Club obtains its dictionaries and Thesauruses through The Dictionary Project, a Charleston, S.C.-based nonprofit organization that encourages service clubs throughout the United States to donate funds for the books and then deliver the bound volumes to students.Since The Dictionary Project formed in 1995, more than 18 million children have received dictionaries in communities all over the United States.Giving away dictionaries and Thesauruses is just one of a number of projects the local Kiwanis club undertakes each year for area youngsters. In January, the 50-member club sponsors a free skate night at the South Haven Ice Rink for children. It provides a picnic lunch for a community-wide Summer Bible School program, and provides funding to the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Van Buren Youth Camp, South Haven Memorial Library and other groups for youth-oriented programs. PHOTO: Ken Overholser of the South Haven Kiwanis Club hands out dictionaries to Lincoln Elementary School third graders.    12.16.13Baseline Middle School band students that participated in the Solo and Ensemble Festival are shown. Front row: Anna Bocock. Second row from left: Lindsey Pentinga, Sophie Goodnough, Maddy Wise, Joe Nelson, Jocelyn Kaczkowski and Brittney Giles. Back row from left: Joel Rummel, Hunter DeVries, Austin Hunt, Sam Dubuisson, Zach Hanner, William Brennen and Grant Frabe. Baseline band students earn medals at district solo and ensemble festival Students from Baseline Middle School took part in the annual Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association's District Solo and Ensemble Festival at Edwardsburg High School earlier this month.Four soloists and a percussion ensemble earned Division One ratings (the highest rating), while two ensembles earned Division Two ratings (the second highest rating).Performers who earn the two highest ratings received medals for their performances.“All students put hours of hard work into their performances and represented South Haven incredibly well,” said Baseline Band Director Sarah Bopp.The award winners follow:SoloistsGrant Frabe, Division One; Joel Rummel, Division One: Hunter DeVries, Division One; and Sam Dubuisson, Division One.EnsemblesLindsey Pentinga and Sophie Goodnough, Second Division; Anna Bocock, Sam Dubuisson, Zach Hanner, Joe Nelson and Madison Wise, Division One; Brittney Giles, Jocelyn Kaczkowski, Joel Rummel, William Brennen and Austin Hunt, Division Two. 11.25.13Sarah Isom-Wright (left) and Myles Daugherty arrange snacks for people participating in a Red Cross Blood Drive at North Shore Elementary School this past week. Pint size heroesNorth Shore students play key role in blood drive By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager A little bit of blood goes a along way to save someone's life.Just ask students at North Shore Elementary School.This past week the fourth and fifth graders helped the American Red Cross host a blood drive, and along the way youngsters, such as Sarah Isom-Wright, learned a few facts about the importance of blood donations.“Someone needs blood every two seconds,” she said.Fellow student Miles Daugherty found out that one pint of blood can save three people's lives.The blood drive and lessons students learned about the importance of blood donatinos are all part of the Red Cross Pine Size Hero program.“This is the fourth year we've taken part in it,” said North Shore Elementary Principal LaTanya Gill.As part of the program students agree to provide assistance during a blood drive and ask parents and other adults to donate blood and volunteer at the event.“That's how they become pint size heroes,” Gill said.Alice Robinson related how her daughter Chaylise asked her to volunteer for the blood drive.“She asked but I would have anyway,” said Robinson, who sat at a desk and registered donors. “I like to be involved in school activities and this is for a good cause.”Led by the student council, North Shore students got 32 adults to sign up ahead of time to donate blood. “We always have walk-ins,” Gill assured during last week's blood drive. “Our goal is at least 50 pints.”    11.11.13Lesson for the day – go outside and get your hands dirty  North Shore students go outside to learn Budgets may be tight, but a passion for education remains clear and strong in the work going on at North Shore Elementary in South Haven, especially at the school’s new Liberty Hyde Bailey Outdoor Learning Center.The inspiration for the Outdoor Learning Center, which consists of two trails through woods and wetlands and a set of raised garden beds on the property of North Shore Elementary, emerged in discussions between fourth-grade teacher Rebecca Linstrom and John Stempien, then the director of South Haven’s Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum, in 2010. Linstrom had taught previously at Maple Grove Elementary, where she was able to regularly take her kids for walks on the nature trail there. She missed having that resource when she moved to North Shore, and when she heard that South Haven native Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey had been a great proponent of the “nature-study movement” of his day, she saw the perfect opportunity to start something new in South Haven.Outdoor learning is a hot topic for educators today, and it often serves as an attraction for parents looking for a place to send their kids to school. Modern educators like Richard Louv, who famously coined the term “nature-deficit disorder,” write that it is especially important in this age, when kids tend to spend less time in contact with the real world and more time in front of screens. “Today, outdoor learning is still cutting-edge,” Linstrom says. “It has the power to engage all of the multiple intelligences. It gives you a hands-on tool to learn about all kinds of curricular subjects, and it also helps students who are dealing with attention problems to focus.”Since that conversation with Mr. Stempien, Linstrom has organized a host of community volunteers to create the Liberty Hyde Bailey Outdoor Learning Center, and last week the school started a new chapter in its efforts to engage students with outdoor learning. Local Eagle Scout Cameron Sleeper recently completed an outdoor classroom in the woods along one of the trails, with enough space to seat a 28-student class comfortably.That space was put to use as the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum began the first of several outdoor learning projects scheduled for this year at North Shore, which they are calling the Bailey Outdoor Learning Initiative. Linstrom’s son John impersonated Liberty Hyde Bailey for a living history presentation and museum Chair Anne Long partnered with volunteers Diane Fox and Mary Combs in a bulb-planting activity in one of the raised beds. Students had their own sections of the garden bed to plant in, and will watch as their daffodils and crocuses bloom in the early spring. Later this year, these kids will also be able to work with presenters from the Kalamazoo Nature Center and Russ Schipper of the Kalamazoo Audubon Society.As Bailey put it in 1905, outdoor learning “is the active method as distinguished from the sit-still method. It arouses, stimulates, individualizes the learner, developing its own mental movement. The older method is largely one of repression and subjugation. It is little less than barbarous to keep children sitting all day on benches.” He would be glad to know that no such barbarism is taking place at North Shore! PHOTOS: In the top photo, Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum director John Linstrom dresses up as a young Bailey to talk about the importance of nature. He did so at Northshore Elementary School's new outdoor education center. In the other photo, fourth graders plant daffodil and crocus bulbs in a section of the outdoor education center. 8.26.13 It's back to the classroom for area students By KIM INGALLSTribune staff writer BangorBangor Public Schools students will head back to the classroom Tuesday, Sept. 3 for a full day of school to kick off the 2013-14 school year.South Walnut Elementary students and parents will get a chance to see classrooms and meet school staff during an open house from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 28. Bangor Community Education Center, which is located in the former primary school building, will also hold its open house at the same time.The public will get its first glimpse of the renovated middle and high schools during an open house from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 26. Both buildings, as well as the outdoor athletic facilities, have been undergoing extensive renovations and improvements over the summer.Once doors open at Bangor Schools on Sept. 3, classes will begin at 8 a.m. for South Walnut students and end at 3:05 p.m. Middle and high school hours are the same as last year -  7:55 a.m to 2:45 p.m.Breakfast and lunch programs will begin on the first day for students. Meal prices are $1.25 breakfast and $2.15 lunch for grades K-4, and $1.35 breakfast and $2.40 lunch for grades 5-12. Free and reduced lunch applications will be handed to students the first day of school.Bus schedules will be similar to last year. All students should be prepared to board their buses a few minutes earlier than normal during the first week of school. For transportation questions, contact Tina Campbell at 269-427-6800 ext 3100.Students new to Bangor should report to the principal’s office in the building in which they will be attending classes.Information on new programs at the Community Education Center will be available at the open house. These include Early/Middle College model high school which offers students the opportunity for dual enrollment in high school and college at no cost. Students can earn an associate's degree or up to two years of college credits towards a bachelor's degree within the span of five years.Post-Secondary Readiness is another program for students enrolled in Early/Middle College. The curriculum meets or exceeds the basic skill standards for an Associate's Degree through Lake Michigan College.Virtual High School returns this year. The "online" school allows high school students to earn high school credits by attending classes at their convenience through the Internet. Mentor teachers are assigned to each student who are provided with laptops to connect with the online classes.Other programs include GED, Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language and Home School Partnership which is open to all home schoolers in Allegan, Berrien, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.    BloomingdaleBloomingdale Public School students will start the new school year on Tuesday, Sept. 3 with a full day of classes.Elementary school hours are 8:05 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. and middle and high school hours are 8:05 a.m. to 3 p.m. Middle and high school students need to report to their school’s gym on the first day. Pictures will be taken on Tuesday for middle and high school students only. Proofs will be sent home at a later date. No payment for pictures is due at that time.The first day of preschool is Monday, Sept. 16.Open houses for all buildings will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27. Freshman orientation will be held from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium prior to the open house. School officials encourage all ninth-grade students and their parents to attend.New students enrolling in sixth through eighth grades need to bring their final report card from their previous school for the most recently completed school year. No appointments with the counselor are necessary.New high school students need to bring their class transcript showing all courses completed. In addition to completing enrollment forms, students entering high school must schedule an appointment with the counselor to make a class schedule.Students who will be enrolling in special education services need to bring a copy of their most recent Individualized Education Plan (IEP).Breakfast will again be provided to all district students. There is no cost for the meal. Breakfast menus can be found on the school's web site under the food service tab or on the back of all elementary lunch menus. If you have any questions or would like a menu sent to your home, please contact Food Service Director Eric Meloche at 269-521-3923.Lunch prices are $1.75 for elementary students and $2 to $2.85 for middle and high schools depending on what is ordered. Free and reduced lunch applications can be filled online at They will also be available at open houses. Applications must be filled out every school year.Bus routes and times will run approximately the same as last year. Families will be notified of initial changes to bus routes. For updates of school news, events, and important announcements, visit Bloomingdale Public Schools’ website: CovertThe new school year will start Tuesday, Sept. 3 with a full day of classes for Covert Public School studentsAll students will start school at 7:45 a.m. and be dismissed at 2:45 p.m. The after school program will run from 2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.Thanks to a partnership between Entergy/Palisades Power Plant and the school, a free backpack giveaway will take place at 4 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29 in the front school parking lot. To qualify, students must be registered with the school and accompanied by a parent or guardian.Both the breakfast and lunch programs will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 3. Breakfast will cost $1 and hot lunch $1.65. Reduced meal prices are 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch. Students who ride buses should be prepared to board a little bit earlier than their normal pick up times for the first week. For transportation questions, call 269-764-3756. South Haven Public Schools students can plan on starting school Tuesday, Sept. 3.New students and their parents can get a glimpse of school buildings and staff at open houses planned this week. Lincoln, Maple Grove and North Shore elementary schools, along with Baseline Middle School, will open their doors for the open houses from 4:30-6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27. The Career and Early College Academy at Lake Michigan College's South Haven campus, will have its open house from 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 28. The high school will host a freshman fair from 3-5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29. The high school plans to hold an open house for all students and parents from 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 10.School start and dismissal times: High school students will attend classes from 7:40 a.m.-2:18 p.m.; middle school students from 7:50 a.m.-2:37 p.m.; North Shore from 8:45 a.m.-3:35 p.m. and Lincoln and Maple Grove from 9 a.m.-3:50 p.m.Breakfast and lunch: New meal prices have been set this year. Breakfast is free for students in PreK- eighth grade and $1.25 for high school students. Lunch is $2.25 for elementary students and $2.75 for middle and high school students. Free and reduced lunches can be applied for at each school building office.Bus schedules: Buses will operate on the first day of school. Students who registered to ride buses last year are automatically registered this year. Kindergarten and sixth-grade students who request a bus assignment will receive a postcard with bus information. If parents are unsure of bus pickup times or locations, they should call the transportation supervisor at 637-0570. South HavenSouth Haven Public Schools students can plan on starting school Tuesday, Sept. 3.New students and their parents can get a glimpse of school buildings and staff at open houses planned this week. Lincoln, Maple Grove and North Shore elementary schools, along with Baseline Middle School, will open their doors for the open houses from 4:30-6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27. The Career and Early College Academy at Lake Michigan College's South Haven campus, will have its open house from 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 28. The high school will host a freshman fair from 3-5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29. The high school plans to hold an open house for all students and parents from 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 10.School start and dismissal times: High school students will attend classes from 7:40 a.m.-2:18 p.m.; middle school students from 7:50 a.m.-2:37 p.m.; North Shore from 8:45 a.m.-3:35 p.m. and Lincoln and Maple Grove from 9 a.m.-3:50 p.m.Breakfast and lunch: New meal prices have been set this year. Breakfast is free for students in PreK- eighth grade and $1.25 for high school students. Lunch is $2.25 for elementary students and $2.75 for middle and high school students. Free and reduced lunches can be applied for at each school building office.Bus schedules: Buses will operate on the first day of school. Students who registered to ride buses last year are automatically registered this year. Kindergarten and sixth-grade students who request a bus assignment will receive a postcard with bus information. If parents are unsure of bus pickup times or locations, they should call the transportation supervisor at 637-0570. PHOTO CAPTION: Students get ready to board buses at Maple Grove Elementary School. (File photo by Jody Warner).   6.17,13 Bloomingdale seniors honored By KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune BLOOMINGDALE - In front of a full crowd, the 58 seniors of Bloomingdale High School's Class of 2013 crossed the podium on Friday, May 31 to receive their high school diplomas during commencement ceremonies in the high school gymnasium.Nathan Douglas was selected as valedictorian. He is,the son of Mike and Wendy Douglas. Jill Bartz was chosen as Salutatorian. She is the daughter of Paul and Diane Bartz.Douglas also earned the Highest Honor Graduate award.Other students who were honored follow:High Honor graduates : Jill Bartz,  Janet Bautista, Allison Nadeau and Allison Rall.Honor graduates: Grace Cooley,  Savannah Crouch, Stephanie Earl, Tiffany Flannigan, Summer Fritz, Matthew Gibson, Jaclynn Grenlin, Brody Harris, Andrea Hooper, Thomas Jelsomeno, Jeremiah Johnson, Michael Jones, Tayler Martin, Kyle Martinez, Gary Napp, Brian Norman, Elizabeth Ruiz, Nayeli Sanchez, Mikayla Waddle, Adam Walczak, Cole Wixom and Troy Vance.National Honor Society graduates: Jill Bartz, Nathan Douglas, Stephanie Earl, Summer Fritz, Brody Harris, Kyle Martinex, Allison Nadeau, Allison Rall and Nayeli Sanchez.Scholarship winners: Jill Bartz - Arch and Lu Verne Merrifield scholarships; Janet Bautista - William "Bill" Lake scholarship, Western Michigan University Incentive Full Tuition award; Nathan Douglas - Clarence and Veta Tildes scholarship, Bloomingdale Area Schools Foundation award, Cardinal Youth Sports scholarship, Kevin Kluskowski Memorial scholarship, and William "Bill" Lake scholarship; Stephanie Earl - William "Bill" Lake scholarship; Tiffany Flannigan - Western Michigan University Incentive Full Tuition award; Summer Fritz - Western Michigan University Incentive Full Tuition award; Brody Harris - Clarence and Veta Tildes scholarship, Cardinal Youth Sports scholarship and William "Bill" Lake scholarship; Jeremiah Johnson - Western Michigan University Incentive Full Tuition award; Michael Jones - Western Michigan University Incentive Full Tuition award; Summer Lemon -  William "Bill" Lake scholarship; Matthew Lopez - Pullman Pride scholarship; Tayler Martin - Arch and Lu Verne Merrifield scholarship, Stan DeBois scholarship, and William "Bill" Lake scholarship; Gary Napp - William "Bill" Lake scholarship; Brian Norman - William "Bill" Lake scholarship, Grant and Marguerite Pearson scholarship; Allison Rall -  William "Bill" Lake scholarship; Nayeli Sanchez-  Pullman Pride scholarship and Western Michigan University Incentive Full Tuition award; Veronica Serna - Terry Laraway scholarship and William "Bill" Lake scholarship; Emily Smith - William "Bill" Lake scholarship; Adam Walczak - William "Bill" Lake scholarship; Seth Walle - Hank Niewooder Citizenship award, Pullman Pride scholarship and Terry Laraway scholarship; Cole Wixom - Western Michigan University Incentive Full Tuition grant.  Bangor seniors honoredBy KIM INGALLSFor the Tribune BANGOR — Bangor's Class of 2013 ended their four-year trek through high school, June 2, at the annual graduation ceremony.The following students were honoredTop Ten seniors: Austin Ford, Kelcey Gravatt, Andrew Johnson, Thomas Kerber, Kelly Molenda, Kristian Moore, Emily Shafer, Emma Thorbjornsen, Timothy Ward and Krista Watson.Presidential Educational Academic Program Award (3.50 or higher GPA): Austin Ford, Kelcey Gravatt, Andrew Johnson, Thomas Kerber, Derek Lee, Kelly Molenda, Kristian Moore, Elvira Saucedo, Emily Shafer, Emma Thorbjornsen, Timothy Ward, Krista Watson, Curtis Welty and Stephon Willis.Honor Graduates (3.00-3.50 GPA): Philip Brower, Corina Carpio, Austin Ford, Raul Garcia-Cruz, Vincent Goodyear, Kelcey Gravatt, Andrew Johnson, Monique Johnson, Alexandra Kelly, Thomas Kerber, Chelsey Kerley, Katherine Kimbler, Shawn Kindig, Derek Lee, Kelly Molenda, Kristian Moore, Calvin Perry, Nadesta Piper, Olga Quinones, Lorena Sanchez-Saucedo, Elvira Saucedo, Nallely Saucedo, Emily Shafer, Joanna Tenorio-Leyva, Emma Thorbjornsen, Aaron Umbanhowar, Timothy Ward, Krista Watson, Curtis Welty and Charles Stephon Willis. Awards and scholarship winners:Community scholarships: Cori Carpio, Austin Ford, Andrew Johnson, Thomas Kerber, Katherine Kimbler, Derek Lee, Kelly Molenda, Emily Shafer, Joanna Tenorio-Leyva, Emma ThorbjornsenBangor Lions Club scholarship: Katherine Kimbler, Emma Thorbjornsen, Krista WatsonGEAR-UP scholarship - Andrew Johnson, Sarah Fillmore, Raul Garcia-Cruz, Kelcey Gravatt, Cinnamon Jackson, Monique Johnson, Thomas Kerber, Katherine Kimbler, Derek Lee, Celina Martinez, David McNealy, Kelly Molenda. Daniel Munoz, Joshua Oviedo, Olga Quinones, Emily Shafer, Jessica Sullins, Emma Thorbjornsen, Krista Watson, Charles WillisRoss Normington Memorial scholarship: Daniel MunozRichard Beer Memorial scholarship: Kelly MolendaFrancis E. Martin Memorial scholarship: Nallely SaucedoPatrick O. Watkins Memorial scholarship: Alexandra KellyTerri Lynn Wilson Memorial scholarship: Krista WatsonKay Myrkle scholarship :Katherine KimblerBangor Arts Council scholarship: Katherine Kimbler, Joshua OviedoDr. Avison and Maude Gano Memorial scholarship: Andrew Johnson. Kelcey Gravatt, Kelly Molenda, Austin FordSouth Haven Community Hospital Auxiliary scholarship: Kelcey Gravatt, Kelly Molenda, Krista WatsonBangor Education Association scholarship: Emily Shafer;American Red Cross - Blood Services scholarship: Joanna Tenorio-Leyva, Kelcey Gravatt, Katherine KimblerMichigan Competitive scholarship: Philip Brower, Corina Carpio, Austin Ford, Kelcey Gravatt, Andrew Johnson, Alexandra Kelly, Thomas Kerber, Chelsey Kerley, Dylan Kerley, Shawn Kindig, Derek Lee, Kristian Moore, Emily Shafer, Emma Thorbjornsen, Aaron Umbanhowar, Timothy Ward, Krista Watson, Curtis WeltySAC Academic All Conference award: Timothy Ward (Viking Scholar), Austin Ford (Viking Scholar), Thomas Kerber (Viking Scholar), Andrew Johnson, Philip BrowerU.S. Marine Corp – Scholastic Excellence award: Stephon Willis, Kristian MooreU.S. Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete: Emma Thorbjornsen, Andrew JohnsonNorm Johnson Memorial scholarship for the outstanding male/female senior athlete: Monique Johnson, Stephon WillisHelen Freestone Memorial scholarship: Emma ThorbjornsenViking Club scholarship: Cori Carpio, Austin Ford, Andrew Johnson, Alexandra Kelly, David McNealy, Emma ThorbjornsenBill Mayhak Memorial scholarship: Andrew JohnsonBig Heart award scholarship: Lorena SanchezPete Gent award: Jesse RingSportsmanship award: Joshua Kelly, Kristian MooreU.S. Marine Corp Student/Athlete award: Corless Parker, Kelly MolendaJohn Phillips Sousa Band award: Katherine KimblerSouthwestern Athletic Conference (SAC) Scholar-Athlete 3.25 GPA and four letters in two sports: Corina Carpio, Austin Ford, Andrew Johnson. Alexandra Kelly, Thomas Kerber, Kelly Molenda. Kristian Moore, Emily Shafer, Joanna Tenorio-Leyva, Emma Thorbjornsen, Stephon Willis, Curtis Welty, Krista WatsonThe Herald-Palladium Academic All-Stars award: Austin Ford, Timothy WardDetroit Free Press Scholar/Athlete: Austin Ford, Kelly MolendaVan Buren Technology awards: Thomas Kerber - Physical.Tech Cluster – Student of the Year Scholarship winner; Kahlieb Redaway - Fundamentals of Patient Care (B); Monique Johnson - Law Enforcement; Kelcey Gravatt - Pharmacy Technician; and Shawn Kindig - Plastics.            4.22.13 Principal invited to speak at KVCC commencement By BECKY KARKEditor and general manager Bangor High School Principal Jeff Melvin didn't know what to make of a letter he received while on spring break. He was either an award winner or an April Fool.The letter arrived from his alma mater, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and stated he had been named the college's first-ever Distinguished Alumni Award winner.“But it came on April 1,” Melvin said. “I called and said, 'Is this for real?”It certainly was, according to Mike Collins, vice president for College and Student Relations at KVCC. Melvin will receive his award April 28 during Kalamazoo Valley's graduation ceremony. He'll also give a short speech to the 900 graduating students.“It's so humbling,” Melvin said. “I asked, 'Why me?' They said, 'Why not?'”The college created the award “to recognize alumni for using their education toward personal achievement and the betterment of the community,” Collins said.Melvin attended KVCC from 1976-78 with the intention of becoming a professional baseball player.“That didn't work out so I became pro in something else,” he quipped.During his two years at the community college the Bloomingdale native became interested in being a teacher.“The people and the programs at Kalamazoo Valley guided me, a rural farm kid without a real goal, down the right career path, “Melvin said. “Great instructors recognized my skills and challenged me to stretch and grow beyond my aspirations of baseball. Some of those instructors are still there. Some of our students at Bangor who are dual-enrolled at KVCC have those (same) instructors.”After graduating from KVCC, Melvin went on to earn a bachelor degree in physical education and elementary education from Grand Valley State University and a master's degree in educational leadership from Western Michigan University. He has spent the past three decades in the education field and and has served as Bangor High School principal since 1997. Area students named to LMC dean's list The following area students have been named the academic honors lists at Lake Michigan College for the fall 2012 semester: President's List Dean’s List Part-time Dean’s List9.10.12A group of North Shore Elementary students and staff, along with representatives from Albemarle Inc., Albemarle Foundation and the American Heart Association, stand in front of the new Teaching Gardens that students will plant each fall and spring. Let the planting beginNorth Shore students learn about proper nutrition by gardening By BECKY BURKERTEditor and general manager Students at North Shore Elementary School got their hands a little dirty this past week for a good cause — their health.This past Friday, students began planting a series of gardens to learn the value of home-grown produce in their diet.The garden and the curriculum come courtesy of the American Heart Association Teaching Gardens, a program that is being funded with a $90,000 grant from the Albemarle Foundation.Six schools throughout the United States received a portion of the grant, according to Cindy Bouma, communications director for the American Heart Association in Grand Rapids.“Currently, less than 1 percent of children have ideal cardiovascular health,” Bouma said. That startling statistic prompted the American Heart Association to develop the Teaching Gardens program. The program, founded by nutrition activist Kelly Meyer, was created using American Heart Association science and nutrition guidelines coupled with information from gardening and education experts.“The Teaching Gardens is a real-life laboratory where students learn how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest food and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits and the importance of physical activity,” Bouma said.North Shore teachers Jenny Puvogel and Nicole Burleson will be overseeing the garden and are looking forward to helping students learn about and plant the produce.“We are pleased to have been selected to receive an American Heart Association Teaching Garden and thankful for Albemarle Foundation's generosity,” Puvogel said.The program will work in the following way: Each fall and spring students will plant vegetables from seeds. They will continue to water and weed the vegetable gardens until they're ready for harvest and then enjoy the fruits of their labor, so to speak. Some of the vegetables will be used by South Haven Public Schools food services for its summer lunch program, according to Burleson.“There's 10 flower beds and each bed will be planted by the students,' Burleson said. “We have eight classes participating this first year and then hope to expand it next year for the whole school.On Friday, representatives from both the American Heart Association and Albemarle were on hand to watch the students plant the gardens.“The Albemarle Foundation is excited to work with the American Heart Association and North Shore Elementary to 'grow a foundation' of good eating habits, nutritional awareness and wellness activities that will have a life-long impact on students, their family and community,” Sandra Holub, executive director of the Albe5.21.12South Haven High School chooses top graduating seniorsSouth Haven High School has announced its leading academic seniors for the 2012 school year. Students were chosen based on their grade point averages and had to achieve at least a 3.75 GPA, according to Principal Craig McCrumb. Many of the students chosen had great point averages above 4.0 (on a weighted grade point system), he added. The students were honored today by the South Haven Kiwanis Club, who gave them certificates and treated the students and their families to pizza at Lakeside Entertainment Center. The Kiwanians also presented senior Mariah Boss with a $1,000 scholarship. Boss was chosen based on her grade point average, community involvement, and athleticism. 1. Grace Brianne Carver – daughter of Jennifer & Joseph Carver. Future Plans: Taylor University. Field of Study: Biblical Studies.2. Katie Nicole Colvin – daughter of Mary & Mark Colvin. Future Plans: Oakland University. Field of Study: Forensic Accounting. 3. Hakeem Olajuwon Dodd – son of Dorothy Dodd & Earl Cox. Future Plans: Hope College. Field of Study: Nursing. 4. Chad Dotson – son of Lori & Charlie Dotson. Future Plans: University of Michigan. Field of Study: Business Finance.5. Kyle David Fitton – son of Patricia & Paul Fitton. Future Plans: Michigan State University. Field of Study: Chemical Engineering. 6. Alexander Thomas Gildea – son of Gabriela & Judson Gildea. Future Plans: University of Michigan. Field of Study: Chemical Engineering.7. Cambrea Marie Gordon – daughter of Mary Rose & Richard Gordon. Future Plans: Arizona State University. Field of Study: Forensic Science. 8. Audrey Anna Gruber – daughter of Janine Marr & Clark Gruber. Future Plans: Michigan State University. Field of Study: Psychology. 9. Branden Lee Holtzman – son of Barb & Mark Holtzman. Future Plans: Dominican University. Field of Study: Undecided. 10. Shawna Elizabeth Jerch – daughter of Lucie & Holger Jerch. Future Plans: Christ for the Nations Institute. Field of Study: Global Missions.11. Keith Jens Carl Johnson – son of Christie & David Johnson. Future Plans: University of Michigan. Field of Study: Astrophysics.12. Tyler J. Kasishke – son of Kristina & John Kasishke. Future Plans: Michigan State University. Field of Study: Chemical Engineering.13. Lucas Edward Katt – son of Susan & Gary Katt. Future Plans: University of Michigan. Field of Study: Biomedical Engineering. 14. Courtney Aleese Lemmer – daughter of Teresa & John Lemmer. Future Plans: Lake Michigan College. Field of Study: Architecture. 15. Andrew Bryan Lewis – son of Carol & Bryan Lewis. Future Plans: Calvin College. Field of Study: Education.16. Emily Helen Miller – daughter of Pam & Greg Miller. Future Plans: Michigan State University. Field of Study: Veterinary Medicine. 17. Madison Leigh Miller – daughter of Lisa & Patrick Miller. Future Plans: Texas A&M. Field of Study: Marine Biology.18. Aaron Christopher Missman – son of Kim & Steve Missman. Future Plans: Purdue University. Field of Study: Chemical Engineering. 19. Jane Galvin Nixon – daughter of Margaret & Hugh Nixon. Future Plans: University of Michigan. Field of Study: International Business.20. Lincoln Joel Osbon - son of Dina & Lincoln Osbon. Future Plans:  Brigham Young University-Idaho. Field of Study:  Mechanical Engineering.21. Danielle Riffer-Reinert – daughter of Karen & Tony Riffer-Reinert. Future Plans: Kalamazoo College. Field of Study: Psychology and Neuroscience. 22. Zanita Robinson – daughter of Bruce Robinson. Future Plans: DePaul University. Field of Study: Political Science and Sociology.23. Jordan Michelle Skinner – daughter of Debbie Fillmore & Brett Skinner. Future Plans: Michigan State University. Field of Study: Veterinarian. 24. Michelle Marie Sondgerath – daughter of Sandra & Paul Sondgerath. Future Plans: Michigan State University. Field of Study: Undecided.25. Annette Teresa Stephens – daughter of Mary & Ken Stephens. Future Plans: Lake Michigan College. Field of Study: Communications. 26. Ashley Danielle Thon – daughter of Carolyn & Mike Thon. Future Plans: Lake Michigan College. Field of Study: Accounting.27. Stephanie Kay Ticknor – daughter of Eva & Verne Ticknor. Future Plans: Michigan State University. Field of Study: Athletic Training and Actuarial Science.28. Conner Lee Toney – son of Lori & Mark Toney. Future Plans: Grand Valley State University. Field of Study: Chemistry (Pre-Dental).29. Aaron VanderWeide – son of Hope & Dale VanderWeide. Future Plans: Western Michigan University. Field of Study: Business30. Edward William Verdonk – son of Sylvia & Chris Verdonk. Future Plans: University of Michigan. Field of Study: Spanish and Communications.31. Erin Marie White – daughter of Theresa & Rick White. Future Plans: Western Michigan University. Field of Study: Communications and Journalism.32. Jenna Marie Wood – daughter of Cheryl Pobuda. Future Plans: Kalamazoo College. Field of Study: Theater.4.16.12 South Haven grad returns to his alma mater to discuss his acting career with students By BECKY BURKERTEditor and general manager South Haven High School alum Nick Dalton recently returned to his alma mater to give aspiring theater students a few tips about what the acting world is really like.And he should know.Since graduating from South Haven in 1998 and Western Michigan University in 2002, Dalton has performed in three Broadway musical tours, several Off Broadway shows and has had several small roles on television shows, including All My Children.I wanted to give them a real sense of what the business is like, Dalton said from his hotel in Las Vegas. People think it's glamorous and it can be. You have to work hard at it, but you can work continuously.Students of Erin O'Neil's theater class seemed impressed with the young actor.I thought his discussion with students was great, O'Neil said. He was frank and honest. He definitely answered each question posed by students with a sense of being a mentor and role model to them. Nick discussed the focus and drive needed to pursue life as an actor, but also discussed the rewards this lifestyle has given him. My students really seemed to respond to hearing this life and career advice from him because he once sat in the same classrooms and walked the same halls that they do today.O'Neil, a former classmate of Dalton's, got the idea of inviting him to talk with her students after she heard he was coming to Western Michigan University to serve as choreographer for its production of Hairspray.We worked on many high school productions together including 'Fame' and 'Guys and Dolls,' O'Neil said. Nick is a great example of how you can have big dreams and achieve them despite being from a small, Midwestern town. He is a great actor, role model and person. I personally have always admired how Nick has never let anyone diminish his dreams and is now a successful working actor.When Dalton left South Haven two weeks ago, he packed his bags and traveled to Las Vegas where he is scheduled to perform a starring role in the production of Surf, at Planet Hollywood casino later this summer. The show features songs and lyrics by the Beach Boys.It's more of a spoof of the 'Beach Blanket' movies of the '60s, Dalton said. No stranger to Vegas, Dalton also starred as the character Corny Collins in the original Las Vegas cast of Hairspray. Prior to that he toured one-and-a-half years with Legally Blonde: The Musical and performed in the European tour of Hair.His involvement with Hairspray prompted Western Michigan University's theater department to hire him as choreographer for its musical Hairspray, that continues through April 21 at Shaw Theatre.Mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings young and old should come and see this great family show, Dalton was quoted as saying in Curtain Call, the newsletter of WMU's University Theatre Guild. 'Hairspray' seems like a bit of a bubblegum time capsule, but it actually represents ideas and themes, such as racism, classism, that we still struggle with today and how change is needed for better or worse.Since performing on Listiak Auditorium's stage as a high school student, Dalton has appeared at the Red Barn Theatre in Augusta, at regional theaters in Arizona, Virginia, Illinois and Philadelphia, where he earned a Barrymore Award nomination for his portrayal of Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof.Most recently, Dalton closed the world premiere of a new musical, The Nutcracker and I, at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick New Jersey, and has just recorded demos for the new musicals Jawbreaker and Relativity, according to the University Theatre Guild newsletter.When he's not in rehearsals, Dalton continues to work on a musical he is writing about the life of Charles Proteus Steinmetz, a 19th century German-American mathematician and electrical engineer who played a key role in the development of alternating current that made possible the expansion of the electric power industry in the United States. He also made ground-breaking discoveries in the understanding of hysteresis that enabled engineers to design better electric motors for use in industry.He was an amazing person that many people don't know about because his name was removed from (school) history books in the 1950s because of his socialist background, Dalton said. Most of our modern appliances would not be possible without him.What intrigued Dalton about Steinmetz was the fact that he also played a prominent role in Schenectady, NY, where he served as a Board of Education president and city council president. He also provided assistance for local orphans. His many accomplishments came about besides genetic birth defects that included dwarfism and a hunchback.He's kind of an American fable, Dalton said.  2.13.12Historical association donates to school clubSouth Haven High School's History Club received a boost in funding recently from the Historical Association of South Haven. In the photo, Sue Frederick (left), secretary of the historical association, presents the check to students in the club. Student's art in regional show Two art pieces created by Ariana Norman of South Haven High School will be on display at the Michigan Art Education Association's Region 5 Student Art Show. Norman created a rendering in the Surrealist style of a car seemingly floating over a suspension bridge, and a humorous ceramic mask of a scuba diver and an octopus, according to her teacher Lisa Rostar. The Region 5 Student Art Show will be on display at the Portage Public Library through Feb. 26. Norman is the daughter of Terry and Tonya Norman of South Haven. Students perform in state honors choir Six Baseline Middle School choir students were chosen to perform with the Michigan State Vocal Music Association's State Honors Choir in January.The concert took place during the Michigan Music Conference, Jan. 21, at DeVos Hall.Students who sang in the SATB State Honors Choir included Xia Aragon, Leah King, Devon Smiley and Armani May, who performed under the direction of Joel Moore of Three Rivers Community School District. The other two students, Haley Kinney and Kiiven Wolf, performed in the SA State Honors Choir under the direction of Carolyn Gross of Brownell Middle School in Grosse Pointe.   2.1.12 St. Basil School puts people's trivia knowledge to the test Ready for a fun, mid-winter night?St. Basil Booster Club is once again hosting Trivia Night. This year's event takes place at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18, at Sophies Restaurant, 7379 North Shore Drive, South Haven.Area residents are welcome to put together a team of up to 10 people, and compete for the $200 prize. Individuals can also enter and be placed on a team. The entry fee is $10 per person.The event begins at 7 p.m. You dont have to be really smart, said committee member Cecilia Wondergem. You would be amazed at how much trivial information you have in your head! Anyone can do it!Teams may bring snacks from home, or order from the appetizer menu at Sophies. A cash bar is provided by the restaurant.The entry form is on the St. Basil School website,, and is also available at St. Basil School. For more information, call Cecilia Wondergem at 906-0141. LMC's College Goal Sunday provides assistance with financial aid paperwork BENTON TOWNSHIP - Lake Michigan College is one of nearly 30 sites in the state participating in College Goal Sunday, from 2-4 p.m., Feb. 12 in the Richard J. Pappas Student Services Center on LMC's Napier Avenue Campus, 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor. This free event is open to high school seniors and adults planning to attend college in the fall. At the event, financial aid experts will be available to work one-on-one with individuals in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which is required for federal and state tuition grants. The FAFSA is also required in the application process for many scholarships. Families will also be able to discuss all financial aid resources, admission requirements and more. New this year, if families file taxes electronically by January 29, FAFSA can use income information from the IRS automatically, facilitating the financial aid process. Students under 23 years of age are encouraged to attend with a parent or guardian. Individuals should bring 2011 income records to the event. Dependent students will also need their parents' income information. Specific information individuals need to bring includes: College Goal Sunday is a collaborative effort among the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association, and EduGuide. It is designed to increase the number of Michigan students who continue education beyond high school and earn post-secondary degrees. Questions about College Goal Sunday and financial aid can be directed to LMC's Financial Aid office at 269-927-8112 or 1-800-252-1562 ext. 8112. To pre-register for College Goal Sunday online, visit  Vo-Tech students enjoy helping the community A group of students at the Van Buren Technology Center made the holidays brighter for children of incarcerated parents.Students in the Early Childhood Careers and Education held a holiday party for Van Buren County children whose parent or other family meber are incarcerated. Children received gifts and were treated to refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus.The students obtained names of prisoners and their children through the Angel Tree program, which is part of Marrifeild, VA-based Prison Fellowship. Prison Fellowship seeks to reconcile prisoners and their families to each other and their communities.Two students taking part in the Early Childhood Careers and Education program came up with the idea for the project.Prior to the Angel Tree project, another group of students held a Parents Night Out for parents whose children attend the Playschool Nursery. There were more than 20 children in attendance where students organized an evening of activities and snacks, while the parents were able to enjoy an evening out at no cost for child care.Also, the students are back at it with a Soles for Souls shoe drive, the continuing visits to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, a Lighting the Darkness walk for suicide awareness and prevention, Twice Loved which is a drive for gently used baby clothing, and a literacy and a safety kit project. 1.27.12  Fifth- and sixth-grade instrumentalists perform On Thursday, Feb. 2, South Haven Public Schools will present a Winter Concert featuring the Fifth Grade Band, Fifth Grade Orchestra, Sixth Grade Band and Sixth Grade Orchestra. The concert will be held at Listiak Auditorium and start at 7:30 p.m. The concert is open to the public and free. Fifth Grade Orchestra will be performing:Three-Way Pizzicato, Pulse is a Must, Clouds of Many Colors, Merrily We Roll Along, Jingle Bells, Countryside Sunrise, Slow Bow, Here We Go!, Quarters Together and Twinkle Twinkle. Fifth GradeBand will be performing: Awful Sound, Ahhh Better, Hot Cross Buns, Au Claire de la Lune, Merrily We Roll Along, Go Tell Aunt Rhody, Lightly Row, London Bridge and Twinkling Stars. Baseline Middle School Sixth Grade Orchestra will be performing:Shoe Symphony by John Caponegro, Robo Rock by Sandra Dackow and Simple Square Dance by Dorothy Straub. Baseline Sixth Grade Band will be performing:The Great Gate of Kiev by Modest Mussorgsky, When the Saints Go Marching In, and Blue Note Rock by Feldstein and OReilly. The orchestras are conducted by Jessica Fiedorowicz. The bands are conducted by Sheryl A. Kaptur and Jeff Bopp.   11.28.11 Taking a tour Village Market Manager Andy Edge is shown in this photo leading a group of young elementary students from St Basil School on a tour of the store. Students had finished a social studies lesson on community and needs vs. wants. The tour included a visit to the bakery where students saw how frosting is designed to look like roses. They also visited the fresh produce department, the seafood department where Sherry French took a lobster out of the tank for the students to see, and the meat-wrapping department and freezer. Edge stressed to students the importance of learning how to read so they can look at food labels and make good, healthy choices. The tour finished with fruit smoothies and some fresh fruit and vegetables for a snack. 10.24.11Bullying addressed by speaker in seminar at North Shore Elementary SchoolBullying prevention expert Marcia McEvoy will speak to parents Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. at North Shore School on Blue Star Highway.In this workshop, parents will be presented with information about how to work collaboratively with the school to reduce mean behavior. Strategies for addressing mean teasing, exclusion, name calling, bullying ridiculing, threatening, intimidation, and harassment will be shared.In this often humorous and interactive presentation, parents will learn about the dynamics of mean behavior as well as the impact of peer cruelty on students. Parents will be taught strategies to help their children, whether their students are bystanders, targets, or acting aggressively. Strategies will be demonstrated through a series of lively role-plays and video clips.McEvoy, who has worked in the bullying prevention field for more than 15 years, is a Grand Rapids-based licensed psychologist. She has worked in a variety of professional settings including public schools, community mental health centers, a child guidance clinic, and two universities. She presently owns her own private consulting business. McEvoy is an expert in the area of violence prevention, including the prevention of youth suicide. She is the co-author of Preventing Youth Suicide: A Handbook for Educators and Human Service Professionals.She is writing her next book on the prevention of school-based aggression, with an emphasis on bullying, mean teasing, intimidation, and harassment. She has trained thousands of school personnel, parents, and students on this topic, and is sought as a consultant to schools all over Michigan and the Midwest.Coffee and refreshments will be offered. Child care is available by calling North Shore School, 637-0560.10.3.11 50 high school students take part in student leadership summitBy BECKY BURKERTEditor and general managerApproximately 50 area high school students came away from a recent conference with a better idea of the skills theyll need to succeed after graduation.The Student Leadership Summit took place Sept. 24, and marks the second year that the First Ward Action Committee in South Haven has sponsored the event.Last year we had a small summit at Lake Michigan College (South Haven campus), said Aaron Cobbs, president of the First Ward Action Committee. We had no outside speakers.This year, however, the committee reached out to the community, found more sponsors, and hosted a much larger event at South Haven High School.This years summit featured former Illinois State Sen. Alice Palmer and Whirlpool International CEO Michael Toddman as keynote speakers. There were also a number of community leaders on hand to talk with students, including South Haven Police Chief Tom Martin, South Haven Mayor Bob Burr, leaders of area churches, and South Haven High School graduates who have gone on to launch successful careers. Students were also able to speak with representatives from four colleges - Lake Michigan College, Western Michigan University, Western Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University.Although the summit was targeted for high school students residing in the citys First Ward, it was also open to South Haven students, in general, as well as students from Bangor and Covert, according to Cobbs.We think its important to get as much information as possible about leadership and education to students, Cobbs said.The summit wasnt all information and no fun, however. Students were treated to a breakfast and lunch, courtesy of event sponsors, including Lily of the Valley Church and the South Haven Police Department.The Ward One Action Committee was pleased with the turnout at the summit.I talked with Alice Palmer and she said she attended a similar summit in Illinois that only had about 10 students, Cobbs said. She was impressed with out turnout. Were planning to do something like this next year.PHOTO CAPTION: From left are Dr. Betty Brown-Chappell, facilitator, and the Rev. and Mrs. Aaron Cobbs, and a student participant who is revewing college materials. Rev. Cobbs is president of South Haven's Ward 1 Action Committee, which sponsored the event Saturday, Septt. 24.South Haven student named National Merit SemifinalistDanielle Maly, a senior at Black River Public High School in Holland and a South Haven High School resident, has been named a semifinalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship competition.She is one of 16,000 semifinalists throughout the United States to be honored. He now has the opportunity to continue in the competition to receive 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34 million. To be named a semifinalist, Maly joined 15 million juniors this past year to take he 2010 Preliminary SAC/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The semifinalists that were chosen represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.To become a finalist, semifinalists must maintain a high grade point average, be recommended by the high school princiipal and earn SAT scores that confirm the students earlier performance on the qualifying test. Maly is the daughter of Norm and Michelle Maly.9.21.11 Students get fit and raise money for PTO Students of North Shore Elementary plan to raise money for their school while promoting physical fitness when they take part in the annual Walk-Jog-athon, Friday, Sept. 30.The annual event is a fundraiser for the schools PTO, and is the organizations largest fundraising event of the year, according to President Lisa Bettis-Cooper. Last year the students raised $16,000, she said.The Walk-Jog-athon works in the following way: Students seek pledges for each lap they run or jog around the perimeter of the school. The more laps they complete the more money they raise.Each students who takes part in the event will receive a prize for doing so. Students who raise the most money will be eligible for more prizes.If area residents want to contribute to the fundraiser, they can call the school at 637-0560. Hope College sets enrollment recordHOLLAND A record-sized incoming class has helped propel Hope College to the highest overall enrollment in the colleges history.Hope has enrolled 3,249 students this fall, surpassing the previous high of 3,238 students set in the fall of 2008.It is the sixth year in a row that enrollment at the college has topped 3,200. Enrollment last year was 3,202.The student body includes a record-high 848 students in college for the first time. The previous high was 819 first-time students in the fall of 2007.The enrollment by class, with last years class in parentheses, is: freshmen, 847 (781); sophomores, 756 (742); juniors, 698 (739); seniors, 867 (877); and special students, 81 (63). The student body consists of 1,245 men and 2,004 women from 43 states and territories and 33 foreign countries.The largest representation is from Michigan with 2,217 students. Other states represented with 10 or more students include: Illinois, 407; Indiana, 104; Ohio, 69; Wisconsin, 51; California and Minnesota, 45 each; New York, 25; Pennsylvania, 23; Colorado and Iowa, 19 each; Florida, 18; New Jersey, 16; Texas, 13; Kansas, 11; and Washington, 10.Foreign countries represented in the student body include: Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Honduras, India, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Venezuela and the West Bank.Students transferring to Hope from other colleges and universities total 64, compared with 59 in 2010. There are 77 students in off-campus programs, compared to 86 last year.Hope College was chartered in 1866 and is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America (RCA). The college offers courses in 87 majors leading to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.9.19.11 South Haven student named National Merit SemifinalistKeith Johnson, a senior at South Haven High School, has been named a semifinalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship competition.He is one of 16,000 semifinalists throughout the United States to be honored. He now has the opportunity to continue in the competition to receive 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34 million. To be named a semifinalist, Johnson joined 15 million juniors this past year to take he 2010 Preliminary SAC/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The semifinalists that were chosen represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.To become a finalist, semifinalists must maintain a high grade point average, be recommended by the high school princiipal and earn SAT scores that confirm the students earlier performance on the qualifying test. Johnson, the son of David and Kristi Johnson of South Haven, is quite active in school. He is president of the National Honor Society, a section leader for the marching band, a member of the jazz band, yearbook and Science Olympiad team, and reads the morning announcements at the high school. Free 5-week workshop helps adults transition into collegeAdults account for a significant number of students on college campuses across the country. At Lake Michigan College, one in every three students is 30 or older. They return to school to change careers, to learn new skills that will help them earn promotions and to earn the credentials that employers are seeking in qualified job candidates.To assist adults who want to further their education, Lake Michigan College is once again offering College Essentials: A Guide for Adult Students, a 5-week free workshop for adult students. The one-night-a-week sessions begin the week of Oct. 3. At the South Haven campus, the sessions will be Thursdays, Oct. 6-Nov. 3 from 6-9 p.m. To register, call 637-7500, ext. 7502.The workshops will show participants how college can lead to a new career, provide them with a personalized career assessment, review study skills, demonstrate how to use campus technology and services, and let them talk with other adult students, college faculty and staff and area employers about the benefits of the college experience.Students who successfully complete the program earn a voucher for one credit of free tuition that they can use for the following semester.To register online, go to For questions about the sessions, contact the LMC Admissions office at (269) 927-8626.More than 70 Colleges in one place - College Night hosted by Lake Michigan CollegeLake Michigan College is hosting its annual College Night event on Monday, Sept. 26. This free event is for college-bound high school students and their parents. It will be held in the Mendel Centers Grand Upton Hall on LMCs Napier Avenue Campus from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Those planning to attend can pre-register at year, more than 70 colleges and universities will be represented including Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Lake Michigan College, Siena Heights University, Central Michigan University, Western Michigan University, Michigan Technological University, Indiana University South Bend, Saint Marys College, Andrews University and more.A financial aid workshop conducted by LMC financial aid director, Anne Tews, will be held at 7 p.m. Students will learn about various forms of financial aid including scholarships, grants, loans and work study opportunities, geared towards making college education more affordable. An Early College workshop will be offered at 7:30 p.m. for high school juniors and their parents. Raquel Fraam, LMCs Early College director, will present information about the opportunities available to students to earn college credit during their junior and senior years of high school.In addition to the evenings activities, a Transfer Day program for current LMC students planning to transfer to a four-year institution will be held that day from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Whirlpool Hall of Pride, near the book store on the first floor of the main academic building on the Napier Avenue Campus. Representatives from several Michigan and Indiana four-year schools will be available to answer any questions transferring students may have. 9.12.11 Area students invited to leadership summitTwo prominent leaders will share the secrets of their success with area teenagers at a Leadership Summit Saturday, Sept. 24th. at Listiak Auditorium in South Haven High School, 600 Elkenburg St.The free event lasts from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., and is a collaborative effort of the Ward 1 Community Action Committee, the South Haven Police Department, Youth Development Corp./ Police Activities League, local schools and churches."Students from surrounding communities including South Haven, Bangor, Covert and Bloomingdale are welcome to attend," said the Rev. Aaron Cobbs, president of the committee."Two very special speakers are scheduled," said Rev. Cobbs. The keynote speaker will be Michael Todman, president of Whirlpool International. He will be followed by former Illinois State Sen. Alice Palmer. Master of Ceremonies will be local entrepreneur, Jeremiah Smith. South Haven police officers will work with members of the Lily of the Valley Church in serving a continental breakfast and a pizza lunch. Door prizes will be awarded to students, as well. Todman joined Whirlpool in 1993. He has held a number of roles at the company and became President of Whirlpool International in 2010. In 2009 he was named "one of the most powerful executives" by Black Enterprise Magazine.The publication named him "Corporate Executive of the Year" in 2010.Alice Palmer was an Illinois State Senator from 1991 to 1997. Dr. Palmer was succeeded in that office by Barack Obama. She was the founding executive director of Chicago Cities in Schools and creator and founding director of the Chicago Metropolitan YMCA Youth and Government Program. Palmer was also editor of the Black Press Review.Bangor grad plans to visit 11 countries in 11 months as part of missionary tripBy KIM INGALLSTribune staff writerBANGOR - A 2005 Bangor High School grad is embarking on a journey of a life time as she visits 11 countries in 11 months.On Tuesday, Amanda Brucki, 24, will head toward the Philippines with 43 other people from Adventures in MIssion (AIM), an interdenominational missions organization that focuses on discipleship.A ministry of AIM, "The World Race," takes it participants into 11 countries in 11 months to serve "the least of these." The mission trip is a "challenging adventure for young adults to abandon worldly possessions and a traditional lifestyle in exchange for an understanding that it's not about you; it's about the Kingdom, according to AIM.After the Philippines, the group plans to visit China, South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, Serbia, Bulgaria, East Europe, Nicaragua, Honduras/El Salvador and Guatemala."It will vary in the different countries what we will be doing," says Brucki, who has a Bachelor's degree in Social Work from Spring Arbor University. "I know that in the Philippines they have worked with street kids and orphans."Ama, as her friends call her, become interested in Georgia-based AIM after hearing about it from college friends who had went on the mission trips. To participate, she hopes to raise $15,000."We don't have to have all of it raised by the time we leave," she says. While she's reached her first goal and deadline, she has earned a little over half of her next goal of $6,000 and is holding fundraisers, including a bracelet sale of jewelry made by women in the Philippines. She is also soliciting monetary suupport through friends and the community.For the last two-and-a-half years, Brucki, the daughter of Sharrise and the late David Brucki, has been living in Denver where she completed an internship for her undergraduate degree at the Denver Rescue Mission where she worked with families in a transitional housing program. That hands-on experience has, she thinks, prepared her for this next chapter in her life."I never know what I'll find when I'm abroad," she says about her plans afterwards. "I may come back and work on my master's degree in Social Work. God may also find me a different path."For more information, visit her blog: Buren ISD helps South Haven to administrate special educationBy ANDREW LERSTENFor the TribuneSouth Haven Schools is getting assistance in special education from the Van Buren County Intermediate School District this school year.Due to budget cuts, the board eliminated the administrative position of curriculum and special education director in the fiscal year that started July 1.The ISD's special education regional manager Kathy Morton has assumed most of those special education duties this school year, Schools Superintendent Bob Black said."She will have an office at the high school, and she will be here at least half time," Black said. Morton will also be working with Covert Schools, he added."We're going to try it out and see how it works," Black said. Some of her primary duties will be working with special education teachers and the parents of special education students, he said.In other district news, state officials have notified that the district is invited to develop a grant proposal this school year under the federally-funded "Safe Routes to Schools" program, Black said.In Michigan, the grant program is administered by the state Department of Education. Grants of $50,000 to $250,000 are available to help school districts develop new or safer walking or bicycling routes leading to schools, and there is only a small local match required - possibly as little as $2,000, Black said."We are very excited to have some assistance from the state on this," he said. "(State officials) will work with us this year to develop a proposal."More than 70 Colleges in One Place - College Night Hosted by Lake Michigan CollegeLake Michigan College is hosting its annual College Night event on Monday, Sept. 26. This free event is for college-bound high school students and their parents. It will be held in the Mendel Centers Grand Upton Hall on LMCs Napier Avenue Campus from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Those planning to attend can pre-register at year, more than 70 colleges and universities will be represented including Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Lake Michigan College, Siena Heights University, Central Michigan University, Western Michigan University, Michigan Technological University, Indiana University South Bend, Saint Marys College, Andrews University and more.A financial aid workshop conducted by LMC financial aid director, Anne Tews, will be held at 7 p.m. Students will learn about various forms of financial aid including scholarships, grants, loans and work study opportunities, geared towards making college education more affordable. An Early College workshop will be offered at 7:30 p.m. for high school juniors and their parents. Raquel Fraam, LMCs Early College director, will present information about the opportunities available to students to earn college credit during their junior and senior years of high school.In addition to the evenings activities, a Transfer Day program for current LMC students planning to transfer to a four-year institution will be held that day from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Whirlpool Hall of Pride, near the book store on the first floor of the main academic building on the Napier Avenue Campus. Representatives from several Michigan and Indiana four-year schools will be available to answer any questions transferring students may have.Free 5-week workshop helps adults transition into collegeAdults account for a significant number of students on college campuses across the country. At Lake Michigan College, one in every three students is 30 or older. They return to school to change careers, to learn new skills that will help them earn promotions and to earn the credentials that employers are seeking in qualified job candidates.To assist adults who want to further their education, Lake Michigan College is once again offering College Essentials: A Guide for Adult Students, a 5-week free workshop for adult students. The one-night-a-week sessions begin the week of Oct. 3.The workshops will show participants how college can lead to a new career, provide them with a personalized career assessment, review study skills, demonstrate how to use campus technology and services, and let them talk with other adult students, college faculty and staff and area employers about the benefits of the college experience.Students who successfully complete the program earn a voucher for one credit of free tuition that they can use for the following semester.Bertrand Crossing Campus, NilesMondays, October 3 31Time: 6 9 pmCall (269) 927-695-1391 to register or register onlineNapier Avenue CampusTuesdays, October 4 November 1Time: 6 9 pmCall (269) 927-8626 to register or register onlineSouth Haven CampusThursdays, October 6 November 3Time: 6 9 pmCall (269) 637-7500, ext. 7502 to register or register onlineTo register online, go to For questions about the sessions, contact the LMC Admissions office at (269) 927-8626.8.29.11 Ready for another school yearArea schools announce starting times, dates Bloomingdale begins classes Sept. 6By KIM INGALLSTribune staff writerBLOOMINGDALE - Students enrolled in Bloomingdale Public Schools will begin their 2011-2012 school year on Tuesday, Sept. 6 with a full day of classes.Open houses will be held in all buildings on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Pullman will hold its open house from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Bloomingdale Elementary, Middle and High schools will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.On school days, the buildings will be open to all students at 8 a.m. or 7:45 a.m. for students who eat breakfast there. School will begin at 8:05 a.m. and dismiss at 3:10 p.m.New this year is the Universal Breakfast at both Bloomingdale and Pullman elementaries. The program allows all students to receive a free breakfast at the beginning of the school day at no cost to families.Hot lunch this year will be $1.60 per day for elementary students. Secondary students will pay $1.85 for Tier 1 (home-style meals and grill), $2.60 for Tier 2 (pizzeria) and $2.85 for Tier 3 (fresh deli subs and salads).Students new to the district who need to enroll in sixth, seventh or eight grades, need to bring their final report card from their previous school for the previous school year. No appointment with the counselor is necessary.Students enrolling in ninth through 12th grades need to bring a transcript from their previous school listing high school courses completed. An appointment with the counselor is required.Special education students need to bring a copy of their IEP when enrolling.All students must bring their immunization card and original birth certificate. Registration is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.Bangor announces new starting times for schoolsBy KIM INGALLSTribune staff writerBANGOR - The 2011-2012 school year will start with a full day of classes on Tuesday, Sept. 6 for Bangor Public Schools students. Open houses will be held in all buildings on Wednesday, Aug. 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Parents and students will be able to tour the facilities, meet teachers, pick up lunch forms and received transportation information. A brief orientation for Kindergarten parents as well as other new families will take place from 4:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. the same day. Preschoolers and Kindergartners will be able to take an orientation ride around town to become familiar with riding the bus. Rides will start at 5:30 p.m.New hours have been set for all buildings this year. South Walnut Elementary will begin at 8 a.m. and dismiss at 3:05 p.m. Middle and high school classes will begin at 7:55 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m.Students new to Bangor should report to the principals office from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the building in which they will be attending classes. New students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the time of registration unless they are over 18 years old. A birth certificate, immunization records and class transcript is required to register. Adult education students should call for appointment.Prices for school meals are: breakfast $1.25 and lunch $2 for grades K-4th; breakfast $1.35 and lunch $2.25 for remaining grades. Free lunch forms are available in each building. Students who qualify for reduced price lunches will pay 30 for Breakfast and 40 for lunch.Bus schedules will be similar to last year. All students should be prepared to board their buses a few minutes earlier than normal during the first week of school.Community Education registration is open everyday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adult Education, GED, and English as a Second Language classes begin September 7 and will be held mornings, afternoons and evenings.Bangor High School and Middle School are located at 801 W. Arlington. South Walnut Elementary is located at 309 S. Walnut. For more information, contact the high school at 427-6825, ext. 1000; middle school at 427-6892, ext. 2001; South Walnut School at 427-6893, ext 3000; and Community Ed at 427-6839, ext. 2100.Lake Michigan Colleges SH campus offersSeptember Community Education classesLake Michigan Colleges South Haven Campus is offering several non-credit community education classes and workshops throughout September, including entering the world of eBay and leaping landscapes. The entire schedule of classes offered this fall is available at the World of eBay, noon-3:30 p.m., Saturdays, Sept. 10-Nov. 19, room 216. Cost is $49. Learn to navigate through eBay by browsing sale items by determining when an auction will end, and determining whether a seller is trustworthy and bidding on or buying items safely. Part two of the course will help you create a practice auction listing that includes the writing of a description and photo of the sale item. Students will learn about the responsibilities of a seller throughout the auction process. A recommended prerequisite is the introduction to computers and introduction to Windows, or equivalent experience.Leaping Landscapes, 6-8 p.m., Mondays, Sept. 26-Nov. 14, 6-8 p.m., room 141. Cost is $45. This series offers a potpourri of garden topics including extending your garden season, managing mulches, wildlife intruders, garden ponds, protecting your home from wildfires, and more. These gardening sessions offer that next step beyond your basic flower garden.Pre-registration is required. Those interested in registering can contact Mary Farrell at (800) 252-1562 ext.7502 or visit the LMC South Haven Campus at 125 Veterans Boulevard. For more information, visit 8.10.11 Bangor hopes to attract more students with online academyBy BECKY BURKERTEditor and general managerBANGOR To gain more students and state-aid, Bangor Public Schools is reaching out to the community with a couple of new programs designed to give non-traditional students greater access to classes and activities.Starting this fall, Bangor will allow students in grades 6-12 to complete schoolwork via computer online classes. The district is also reaching out to home-school families to offer electives and after-school programs.Its all part of a new state program that allows school districts to receive state aid for students, even if they do not complete course work in the traditional school setting.In July, State Superintendent Michael Flanagan began granting seat-time waivers that allow school districts, such as Bangor, to implement programs to reduce the drop-out rate. Some student aid will also be allocated to districts that offer on-site programs to homeschoolers.Colleges have been offering degrees online for years now, said Lynn Johnson, director of the Bangor Career Academy which oversees community and adult education classes for the school district. Educators are realizing that not every student is geared toward sitting in a building for six hours a day.State Sen. John Proos, who advocated for seat-time waivers, agreed.Seat-time waivers help us help students who are struggling or have given up, said Proos, R-St. Joseph. Students who have dropped out of school often respond very well to the alternative instruction allowed through the waivers. The students in southwest Michigan deserve this opportunity.When it opens its Virtual Academy in the fall, Bangor will become one of a dozen or so public school districts in the state to offer online courses for grades 6-12.Berrien Springs has been doing it for two or three years now, Johnson said. Theyve enrolled over 100 students (for online courses).Students who enroll in the Virtual Academy will take online courses through Education 20-20, a software curriculum that is aligned with the Michigan Department of Education academic requirements. Students will be assigned mentors who will meet with them twice a week, and tests will be administered in person by the mentors. Student who dont have access to a computer or Internet access at home, may be eligible to receive a computer through Bangor Public Schools.Theres kids who are out of school, behind academically, teen parents, working teens...this is the kind of program for them so that they can stay in school and earn their diploma, Johnson said. You dont have to be a drop-out to be in this program. This program is geared for anybody. You can still attend the vo-tech center or participate in the school-to-work program. We can make the arrangements.Home-schoolers will also be able to take advantage of electives or field trips offered through Bangor Public Schools through the new Home-School Partnership program.Although some parents home-school their children, theyre still taxpayers. They should be able to take advantage of programs offered through the school district, Johnson said.By January, Bangor plans to provide a home for its new programs by converting the vacant Primary School building into a community center, according to Johnson.The building would house adult education and community education classrooms, as well as rooms for home school programs and for the Virtual Academy for students who dont have computers at home.An information session for the Home-School Partnership program is scheduled at 7 p.m., Wednesday, in high school auditorium, 801 W. Arlington Road, while a similar session for the Virtual Academy is scheduled at 7 p.m., Thursday in the auditorium, as well.For more information about the programs, contact Johnson at 427-6839.6.6.11 South Haven graduating seniors honored; Critic Cup recipient named By TRIBUNE STAFFA senior who excels both in the classroom and in athletics received South Haven High Schools highest honor for graduating seniors The Critic Cup.Gregory Maxwell, the son of Ken and Kathy Maxwell, earned the honor during the Senior Awards program, June 2. Twenty graduating seniors were nominated for this years award. The winner was chosen by a team of high school staff and administrators.A wide variety of awards were handed out during the awards program.Recipients follow:Bangor graduating seniors honoredBy KIM INGALLSTribune staff writerBANGOR Bangor High School's Class of 2011 will receive their diplomas during commencement exercises at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 in the high school gymnasium.Nathan Bus, Ashley Clark, Cassandra Carpio, Chelsea Drake, Daniel Efting, Megan Johnson, Marissa Kerber, Omar Tenorio-Leyva, Oscar Tenorio-Leyva, and Yaritza Rodriguez were named as this year's Top Ten students.Receiving awards and scholarships were:Covert graduating seniors honoredBy KIM INGALLSTribune staff writerCOVERT - Commencement exercises will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 5 for the 36 seniors in Covert High School's Class of 2011.Valedictorian for the Class of 2011 is Adriana Perez. Salutatorian honors go to Cassandra Arellano.Receiving diplomas are Juan Aburto Cortez, Cassandra Arellano, Demonte' Shaquille Atkins, Victor Manuel Barbosa Alonso, Jaime Bautista, Antoinette Enez Brown, Kalyn Ann Cole, Ste'phon Lemar Dean, Brea' Chantell Shamron Doubley, Donsha Demetrius Evans Jr. , lely Fabian, Bridget Marie Fricke, Brenda Torres Gamino, Nancy Agilar Gamino, Gabriel Jibri Gibson, Shawn Claude Marshall Gresham , Sarah Nicole Susan Gunn, Melinda Ellen Hayes, Serae Leanne Jackson, Robert William McCaffrey Jr., Erica Morales-Alejandre, Robert Taylor Lanier Morgan, Jonathon Ray Morrow, Adriana Perez Zarco, Aaron Michael Andrew Peters, Brenda Quintana, Elizabeth Ruiz, Maricela Ruiz Perez, Mayra Samano Alicia Sarco Villagomez, Drianna Le'Shae Smith, Lyniesha Tashae Michelle Smith, Michael Edward Smith, Gentry Lamar Valentine Jr., Brianna Renne Varney, Seantika Sute'ce Wilder. 5.31.11 A good deedTwo second graders at Maple Grove Elementary School received a pat on the back and an award for being honest, recently. Johnny Johnson (left) and Dominic Blair attended a school outing at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo earlier this month when they found a purse. The two youngsters promptly gave the purse to an attendant. Shown with the two students in their teacher, Jan Jessup. Bloomingdale graduating seniors honoredBy KIM INGALLSTribune staff writerBLOOMINGDALE - The Class of 2011 of Bloomingdale High School will receive their diplomas on Friday, June 3 during graduation exercises in the high school gymnasium.Hannah Rall, the daughter of Susan Rall and Rod Rall, has been named Valedictorian, and Stacia Peterson, the daughter of Andy and Missy Peterson, Salutatorian.Other honors, scholarships and awards follow: Bangor graduating seniors honoredBy KIM INGALLSTribune staff writer BANGOR Bangor High School's Class of 2011 will receive their diplomas during commencement exercises at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 in the high school gymnasium.Nathan Bus, Ashley Clark, Cassandra Carpio, Chelsea Drake, Daniel Efting, Megan Johnson, Marissa Kerber, Omar Tenorio-Leyva, Oscar Tenorio-Leyva, and Yaritza Rodriguez were named as this year's Top Ten students.Receiving awards and scholarships were: Covert graduating seniors honored By KIM INGALLSTribune staff writerCOVERT - Commencement exercises will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 5 for the 36 seniors in Covert High School's Class of 2011.Valedictorian for the Class of 2011 is Adriana Perez. Salutatorian honors go to Cassandra Arellano.Receiving diplomas are Juan Aburto Cortez, Cassandra Arellano, Demonte' Shaquille Atkins, Victor Manuel Barbosa Alonso, Jaime Bautista, Antoinette Enez Brown, Kalyn Ann Cole, Ste'phon Lemar Dean, Brea' Chantell Shamron Doubley, Donsha Demetrius Evans Jr. , lely Fabian, Bridget Marie Fricke, Brenda Torres Gamino, Nancy Agilar Gamino, Gabriel Jibri Gibson, Shawn Claude Marshall Gresham , Sarah Nicole Susan Gunn, Melinda Ellen Hayes, Serae Leanne Jackson, Robert William McCaffrey Jr., Erica Morales-Alejandre, Robert Taylor Lanier Morgan, Jonathon Ray Morrow, Adriana Perez Zarco, Aaron Michael Andrew Peters, Brenda Quintana, Elizabeth Ruiz, Maricela Ruiz Perez, Mayra Samano Alicia Sarco Villagomez, Drianna Le'Shae Smith, Lyniesha Tashae Michelle Smith, Michael Edward Smith, Gentry Lamar Valentine Jr., Brianna Renne Varney, Seantika Sute'ce Wilder.5.9.11 Students qualify for national history competition Four South Haven High School students will be traveling to Washington D.C. in June to compete in the National History Day contest.The students earned the honor after finishing in first and second place at the state competition, in April, at Grand Valley State University in Allendale.The first-place winners were Jessica Overholser and Marissa Ross, whose project was titled, Susan B. Anthony vs. the United States, while the second-place winners were David Ward and Tyler Towne, with their project Was it Demon Rum or Arbitrary Law?The South Haven students competed against 12 other projects submitted for the state competition. The students made it to the state competition after earning high marks at the regional level in March at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.Students who entered the competition are members of the high schools History Club, which was organized by government teacher Jeremy Burleson.History Day was created to promote the study of history throughout the nations schools and throughout the state, Burleson said.The national competition will take place June 12-16. Area residents or businesses interested in sponsoring one of the projects by helping with travel and lodging expenses can contact Jeremy Burleson at or at 269-767-6039 for more information.PHOTO: Jessica Overholser and Marissa Ross won first place at the Michigan History Day competition with their project, "Susan B. Anthony vs. the United States." From RIF to RIPPopular reading program ends due to federal cutbacks in spendingBy BECKY BURKERTEditor and general managerAfter 40 years of giving away books to South Haven elementary school children, a local womens organization is closing the book on the popular project.Due to federal government budget cuts this is the final year for Reading is Fundamental (RIF) in South Haven, said Elaine Fluck, coordinator of the local RIF program and a member of the American Association of University Women, the programs local sponsor.The news hit local elementary school officials hard.I am so disappointed about RIF being cut because reading is the very foundation upon which our childrens education is based, said Carey Frost, principal of Lincoln Elementary School. There are many children in this district whose families simply do not have the means to purchase books for their children...Additionally, anyone who has seen the energy and joy on the faces of children as they pick their books at a RIF fair will attest to the fact that the program truly inspired a love of reading.Fluck agreed. I had one parent say her child cried because she wouldnt be able to get any more RIF books.For four decades, the local AAUW has raised funds to provide books for the RIF program. The federal government would provide three-quarters of the expense, with a local group picking up the rest of the cost and providing reading activities, Fluck said.South Haven qualified for the RIF program because more than 50 percent of its students qualify for free or reduced lunches.But in March, Congress and President Obama approved legislation eliminating funding to RIF.Theyd been saying for a couple of years it would be cut, so it wasnt much of a surprise, Fluck said. I feel very sad to hear when reading is not encouraged.The local funds AAUW raised each year amounted to $1,600. Added to the federal grant, the womens organization was able to provide up to three books, once a year, for each elementary school student in the younger grades.We raised the funds through our annual book sale. We also had generous support from many parents, grandparents, local residents, and the South Haven Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, the United Way and Wal-Mart, Fluck said.AAUW still plans to promote reading and educational activities in the community, Fluck assured.Besides its annual book sale, the organization provides scholarships to young women, a Sister-to-Sister summit for middle school-age girls, Meet the Candidates nights and other community projects. South Haven seniors named Merit finalistsTwo South Haven High School seniors have been named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship program.Ryan Miller and Jared Wall were both recognized as finalists in March and will now compete to be named among 8,400 Merit Scholarship winners nationwide.Its a great honor to have one National Merit finalist let alone two, said South Haven High School Principal Shane Peters. Its quite an accomplishment. These students can be proud of what theyve done.Miller has already signed a letter of intent to receive a scholarship to attend Alabama University. Miller plans to pursue an engineering degree. At South Haven High School he has been a member of the golf team and the swim team, where he was a captain this past season. Hes a member of the National Honor society, has been employed as a cook at the South Haven Yacht Club for four years and participates as a counselor for the schools sixth-grade camp program.Wall is the son of Scott and Heidi Wall. He is considering attending either Oberlin University in Oberlin, Ohio or Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo to major in vocal performance and mathematics. At South Haven High School, he has been a member of the high school chorale, football team, Science Olympiad, and National Honor Society. He also has performed with Our Town Players community theater group.PHOTO: Ryan Miller (left) and Jared Wall of South Haven High School have been named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. 4.11.11Ryan Miller, (left), a senior at South Haven High School, signs a letter of intent to receive a scholarship from Alabama University. Miller was recruited by the university after being named a National Merit Scholarship program finlist. Alabama extended a very enticing offer, said Ryans dad, Patrick. We toured the campus, he fell in love with it and decided thats where he wanted to go. Ryan plans to pursue an engineering degree at Alabama. At South Haven High School he has been a member of the golf team and the swim team, where he was a captain this past season. Hes a member of the National Honor society, has been employed as a cook at the South Haven Yacht Club for four years and participates as a counselor for the schools sixth-grade camp program.3.29.11 Photo contributed by Dixie CappsThomas Capps and Kara Reel were named king and queen of Winterfest at South Haven High School recently. Other nominees included Ryan Jones, Citiali Alcaraz, Tim Covey and Joelyn VanWynen. 3.28.11 Welcome to the Viking County FairTo celebrate March is Reading Month, the cafeteria at South Walnut Elementary School in Bangor was turned into the "Viking County Fair." Parents, grandparents and other adults joined students for breakfast Wednesday to read books in the cafeteria which was decorated with a 4-H building, cardboard goats, pigs and calves along with midway games, a roller coaster, carousel, game booths and food vendors. At the outside entrance of the school, two Farmall tractors and a ferris wheel set the tone for the fair. Students logo chosen for Lincoln PTO promotionsLincoln Elementary School third grader Heaven Meister was all smiles after a logo she created was chosen as the winning logo for the schools PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) program.The PTO held a contest, inviting students to submit a logo best depicting the PTOs efforts of fostering relationships among parents, teachers and staff. Meister designed the logo with the help of her grandmother Denise Meister. Heaven received a T-shirt with her winning logo design imprinted on the front, a certificate, a water bottle and a lunch date with school principal Carey Frost. PHOTO: Pictured on the left is PTO President, Rachel Ridley, Heaven Meister is in the middle, and Carey Frost, the Lincoln Scholl principal is on the right. Crock pot Cook-off at LincolnLincoln Elementary Schools PTO recently sponsored a Crock pot Cook-off. The participants and winners are shown above. Back row from left: Brian Ridley, Maria Machado, Lori Lammlin, Mrs. Klifman, Sheryl Postma, Senice Ransom, Heidi & Savannah Ward, Angela Marr, and Kristy Mitchell. Front row from left shows 2011 Cook-Off winner, Kimberlee Klifman, Elise Postma, and Sydney Ward.South Haven High School singers earn top ratings at state competitionAll nine South Haven High School vocal ensembles received First Division ratings at the Michigan School Vocal Music Association State Solo & Ensemble Festival, March 18-19 at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. These ensembles also received perfect or near perfect scores in sight reading, according to Choir Director Cole Tyrrell.Ensembles receiving First Division ratings in sight reading and performance were the Jared Wall-Morgan Darke Duet, the Octet, Men of Chorale, Women of Chorale, Mens Ensemble, Womens Ensemble, Mixed Ensemble and the Chorale.Also receiving a First Division rating as soloist was senior Jared Wall who also received a First Division rating in advanced sight reading. Receiving a second division rating in performance and sight reading was sophomore Bri Rigozzi.I couldnt have been more pleased, Tyrrell said. Our students had just finished the Southwest Michigan Vocal Festival the night before and arrived home late. To turn around and perform that well during a second consecutive evening was really remarkable and speaks well of their focus and stamina.3.21.11 Students build bridges and businesses and solve community problems at annual contestBENTON HARBOR Using their noodles will be more important than ever when students from five area high schools measure the strength of home-engineered spaghetti bridges during a regional competition this week. Bridge building is just one of many competitions to take place at the States second Jobs for Americas Graduates (JAG) Career Development Conference, Wednesday, at the Mendel Center of Lake Michigan College.The event, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., is the yearly capstone of the Michigan Works JAG program, a nationwide dropout prevention and school-to-career transition initiative focused on student graduation, career preparation and college.In addition to building spaghetti bridges, JAG students from Benton Harbor, Cassopolis, Covert, Coloma and Niles high schools will compete in events focusing on career preparation, community service, public speaking, entrepreneurialism, and community problem solving. Students will display business start-up plans and are given $25,000 make believe dollars to solve a problem in their communities. More than a dozen representatives from local businesses and other organizations will be on hand to serve as judges or as workshop presenters on colleges and careers.This program is performing the essential functions to tear down barriers and make sure area students get the education needed to move our region forward, said Todd Gustafson, executive director of Michigan Works! The Career Development Conference is a great way we can recognize the students accomplishments in leadership, career preparation, and entrepreneurialism.JAG is a component of YouthWorks!, a comprehensive, tri-county effort to prepare young people for the workplace. Michigan Works! is a non-profit, workforce development organization providing the skilled workforce necessary to meet the needs of employers. They offer no-cost services to employers and jobseekers and oversee six service centers in Benton Harbor, Buchanan, Dowagiac, Niles, Paw Paw and South Haven. For more information, call 1-800-533-5800 or visit Singers qualify for state competitionA dozen South Haven High School singers will be headed to state competition after earning high marks in the District 6 Solo and Ensemble Festival this month.The students were competing in the Michigan School Vocal Music Association-sponsored event at Southwest Michigan College in Dowagiac, Feb. 19.Of the 15 soloists and ensemble groups entered, 12 received First Division ratings while three received Second Division ratings, according to high school vocal music instructor Cole Tyrrell. Students who receive Division One ratings proceed to the state competition that will take place March 18 at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. Of the twelve soloists and ensembles receiving First Division ratings, eight scored the highest rating possible of 5, Tyrrell said.Soloists receiving First Division ratings were sophomore, Bri Rigozzi and senior Jared Wall. Ensembles receiving First Division ratings were the duets of Emily Edwards and Jen Kritzberg, and Jared Wall and Morgan Darke. Ensembles receiving First Division ratings were the SATB Quartet, the Octet, Men of Chorale, Women of Chorale, full Chorale, Mens Ensemble, Womens Ensemble and Mixed Ensemble. Receiving Second Division ratings were soloist Ashleigh Smith, the duet of Ben June and Olivia Victor and the ensemble from the Womens Chorus. 3.2.11 Choral groups from Baseline, L.C. Mohr qualify for state festival Choirs from Baseline Middle School and South Haven High School will head to state competition after earning high marks at the Michigan School Vocal Music Association District VI choral festival in Stevensville, recently.The Baseline Middle School Choir and the high school Chorale and Choir all received superior ratings in performance and sight reading, and will perform at the State Choral Festival in May. The high school Womens Chorus performed well at the District festival, earning a superior rating in sight-reading, but settled for an Excellence rating in performance. Only groups that earn superior ratings in both sight reading and performance qualify for the state festival.South Haven High School choral director Cole Tyrrell was pleased with the group performances. Our students were very pleased with the results at District Festival, Tyrrell said. Both the Baseline Choir and the High School Chorale received the top scores in both days of performing. He went on to say that the high school Chorale and Choir were only two of three musical groups at the District festival who performed in the advanced sight-reading category.He also praised the Baseline choir and its director, Kelly Willard.The Baseline Middle School Choir received the best score at festival in over 20 years, earning a Superior rating for the first time since the new rating structure was implemented, Tyrrell said. 3.1.11 Honoring Liberty's legacyInterpretive garden path envisioned at North Shore Elementary to honor famous South Haven native By BECKY BURKERTEditor and general manager South Haven native Liberty Hyde Bailey Jr. is often considered the father of modern horticulture, but few know that he played an instrumental role in creating the 4-H movement and cooperative extension services for rural residents during the early 1900s. Not only that, it is also widely unknown that he pioneered landscape architecture as an academic discipline, and was a prolific writer who authored more than 700 books, including elementary school textbooks and poetry.A North Shore Elementary teacher wants to change all that by creating a garden path at the school in Baileys memory, called the Liberty Hyde Bailey Interpretive Path.Its going to be created in the spirit of Liberty Hyde Bailey, said North Shore teacher Rebecca Linstrom, who is spearheading the movement to create not just a series of gardens, but a greater understanding of the influence that Bailey played in the development of Americas rural society during the early 1900s.There will be a wetlands garden, shaded garden, full-sun garden, prairie landscaping, even a section for dandelions, Linstrom said in reference to one of Baileys well-known quotes regarding the flowering weed that many adults consider a nuisance - Children love dandelions, why may not we?Our goal is to plant what Liberty would plant and to plant what would be conducive to our curriculum, Linstrom said.To help promote interest in the creation of a garden path at North Shore, a meeting will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 3 at Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum, 903 S. Bailey Ave. The meeting is for people interested in helping to create the garden.Our vision is to honor Liberty Hyde Bailey, to develop an interpretive outdoor learning center and an integrated hands-on curriculum, Linstrom said. Together we can make this thing grow.She plans to establish committees to focus on flower plantings, ways to coordinate the garden into the schools curriculum, signage and technology. Wed like to document the progress of the garden and hope to start a (computer) Blog the kids can use to keep people up to date with the garden, Linstrom explained.She has received the blessing of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum Board of Trustees as well as South Havens Board of Education to proceed with the project. She is also currently working with a landscape designer who has agreed to help create the garden.She hopes by spring to have the garden path started, and envisions a day when students can study the various plants, write poetry while being one with nature, or simply enjoy being outdoors.Linstrom became acquainted with the studies of Bailey thanks in part to her oldest son, John, who obtained bachelors degrees in creative writing and environmental studies. While preparing for a masters program at Iowa State University this past summer, John told his mother about the information available at Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum and the influence that Bailey has had on horticulture and rural sociology.I was blown away by this scientist, environmentalist and visionary that came from this little town, said Linstrom, who met with museum director John Stempien to discuss a way to honor Bailey and educate students about the contributions he had made to horticulture. It (the garden path) grew out of a conversation with my son and John Stempien, said Linstrom who thinks that students and parents will rally around the creation of the garden path, especially as they begin to learn more about Baileys teachings.He was a strong proponent of family life, Linstrom said. Even back then (in the early 1900s), he said kids need to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. PHOTO CAPTION: A group of North Shore Elementary students stand on the future site of an interpretive garden path to be placed there in honor of the late Liberty Hyde Bailey Jr., world-famous horticulturist from South Haven. Singers qualify for state competitionA dozen South Haven High School singers will be headed to state competition after earning high marks in the District 6 Solo and Ensemble Festival this month.The students were competing in the Michigan School Vocal Music Association-sponsored event at Southwest Michigan College in Dowagiac, Feb. 19.Of the 15 soloists and ensemble groups entered, 12 received First Division ratings while three received Second Division ratings, according to high school vocal music instructor Cole Tyrrell. Students who receive Division One ratings proceed to the state competition that will take place March 18 at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. Of the twelve soloists and ensembles receiving First Division ratings, eight scored the highest rating possible of 5, Tyrrell said.Soloists receiving First Division ratings were sophomore, Bri Rigozzi and senior Jared Wall. Ensembles receiving First Division ratings were the duets of Emily Edwards and Jen Kritzberg, and Jared Wall and Morgan Darke. Ensembles receiving First Division ratings were the SATB Quartet, the Octet, Men of Chorale, Women of Chorale, full Chorale, Mes Ensemble, Womens Ensemble and Mixed Ensemble. Receiving Second Division ratings were soloist Ashleigh Smith, the duet of Ben June and Olivia Victor and the ensemble from the Womens Chorus.2.21.11 A high schoolers dream: A Netbook for home and school useBloomingdale High School juniors use Netbooks in class to keep up with assignmentsBy KIM INGALLSTribune staff writerBLOOMINGDALE When juniors at Bloomingdale High School need help with their homework, they can now ask their teachers via the Internet.Netbooks, with wireless Internet cards, were distributed Monday to 108 11th-grade students as part of a pilot program that school officials hope willallow students to compete and excel in a technology-oriented world.Students will be able to use the small, lightweight, and inexpensive laptop computers not only in school, but at home as well."The netbooks will allow students to be continually assessed by teachers, collaborate on projects with other students, and work on assignments in the classroom as well as at home," explains Bloomingdale Superintendent Deb Paquette. "The computers will be treated similar to textbooks with the students being responsible for any damage or loss of the device."In August, the high school was named as one of nine of the worst-performing schools in southwest Michigan, and was given a mandate - redesign or face a state takeover.The ranking was based on math and reading scores on state standardized tests between the 2006-07 and 2009-10 school years.School officials hope that the one-to-one computer program will help increase student achievement.A number of teachers, including science teacher Ryan Schoenborn, have led the implementation of the project.Schoenborn has been using netbooks in his classroom since the start of the school year.The use of netbooks has opened up many possibilities in my classroom," he said. "For example, I have posted online quizzes through Google forms that allow me to give an entire class instant feedback. This speed in assessment allows me to adjust my teaching to the needs of individual classes and students. I have also created quizzes that change depending on the answer the student gives. This sort of individualized interaction will be even greater when each student has their own netbook."The one-to-one pilot program has great potential, officials say. Schoenborn has a number of ideas on how to use the new resource,Looking forward, the one-to-one program will open up even more possibilities, he said. The use of education software like Moodle will allow me to post full lessons online, speed up assessment, and differentiate my instruction....My students will have constant access to all of their assignments as well as supplementary materials and study aids. They will also be able to use their netbooks to do research projects and produce content-oriented media that would be impossible without this technology.The district plans to extend an electronic curriculum in a number of subject areas, Paquette said, and hopes to obtain grants to expand computerized teaching to other grade levels.This year's computers were paid for from the school districts general fund."Our long term goal is for all 6th- through 12th-grade students to receive netbook computers in the fall of 2011," Paquette said.2.16.11Van Buren tech center FFA morning students are shown. Front row from left: Jackie Salinas, South Haven Public Schools, Emily Vince, Lawrence Public Schools, Megan Earls, Hartford Public Schools, Megan Stainbrook, Paw Paw Public Schools, Sara Vliek, Decatur Public Schools, Ashley Turk, Paw Paw Public Schools, Mrs. Katie Wagar (teacher), Allison Amsbury, Mattawan Consolidated Schools, Merle Ennes, Mattawan Consolidated Schools, Austin Johnson, Bloomingdale Public Schools, Haley Brown, Mattawan Consolidated Schools, Kiaya Anthony, Mattawan Consolidated Schools, and Erika Talley, Eau Claire Public Schools. Back row from left: Heather Bailey, Eau Claire Public Schools, Ashley Herr, Eau Claire Public Schools, Shannon Arndt, Eau Claire Public Schools, Trevor Streit, Lawrence Public Schools, Ben Ross, Lawrence Public Schools, Nate Carango, Lawton Community Schools, and John Revore, Paw Paw Public Schools. Van Buren tech center FFA afternoon students are shown. Front Row from left: Salvador Cruz, Lawrence Public Schools, Jennifer Burns, Gobles Public Schools, Genesis Tait, Bangor Public Schools, Tom Cook, Bloomingdale Public Schools, Dallas Winsemius, Bangor Public Schools, Charles Beeching, Lawrence Public Schools, Back row from left: Sarah Gunn, Covert Public Schools, Sierra Benny, Bloomingdale Public Schools, Alexandria Smith, Gobles Public Schools, Heather Steinfeld, Paw Paw Public Schools, Dylan Blackston, Watervliet Public Schools, and Mrs Katie Wagar.Van Buren Technology Center FFA Chapter celebrates National FFA Week  A group of future farmers from southwest Michigan plans to celebrate National Future Farmers of America (FFA) week at Van Buren Technology Center in Lawrence.Infinite Potential is the theme of this years celebration, Feb. 19-26, and FFA members at the tech center plan to take part in several events, including: teambuilding skills, mock interviews, dairy quality testing, a business and industry tour and a teacher appreciation activity.There are two groups of FFA students at the tech center and they remain active in the national organizations activities. More than half a million members around the nation will participate in National FFA Week activities at the local and state levels.The focus of National FFA Week is to tell America about the agricultural and business opportunities available for all youth. From its beginnings in 1928 as the Future Farmers of America, the national FFA organization today reaches out to all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. FFA is committed to developing character and leadership skills and preparing members for a lifetime of civic leadership and career success.National FFA Week is sponsored by Tractor Supply Co. and Carhartt as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The Foundation is the fundraising arm of the national FFA and supports programs by working with sponsors to raise funds for scholarships that are awarded to outstanding members. 2.15.11Nine high school and middle school students were honored for their award-winning artwork at the opening ceremony of the Artists in Transition exhibition at South Haven Center for the Arts, Deb. 13. The exhibition includes artwork from students in South Haven, Bangor and Covert. Front row from left are Ashley Blair, Deanna Meskauskas, Allie Ruppert, Martin Miles and Jessica Miles. Back row from left are Francisco Gomez, Ariana Norman, Kendra Nuismer and Isabella Gallegos-Thompson. 2.14.11 Local students honored in regional competitionBy ROD SMITHFor the TribuneLAWRENCE--Local Business Professionals of America students took five first-place awards in the annual BPA Regional Leadership Conference in January at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor.Students also took home three second-place awards, three third-place, five fourth-place, and two fifth-place awards.They were among a group of 116 Van Buren Technology Center students who competed against more than 450 students from southwest Michigan in 54 events. A total of 41 Tech Center students were honored.Financial ysis Team, first place, Nicholas Langston, South Haven; Fundamental Accounting, fourth place, Kala Barnett, Bangor; Advanced Accounting, second place, Nicholas Langston, South Haven; Cisco Systems Administration, first place, Daniel Houchin, Bangor, second place, David Houchin, Bangor, fifth place, Kyle Fillmore, Bangor; Network Administration Using Microsoft, first place, Richard Hacker, Bloomingdale, thirdplace, Alexander Crafts, Bangor, fourth place, Michael Hoadley, Bangor; Computer Security, third place, Richard Hacker, Bloomingdale; Computer Network Technology, fifth place, Michael Hoadly, Bangor; Digital Media Production, fourth place, Marbella Chavez, Covert; Computer Animation Team, second place, Cameron Viktora, Bloomingdale; Web Application Team (E-Commerce), first place, Kyle Fillmore, Bangor, David Houchin, Bangor; Information Technology Concepts, fourth place, Michael Hoadley, Bangor; Visual Basic Programming, fourth place, John Till, South Haven.Each student recognized is qualified to compete in the BPA State Leadership Conference, March 24-27, at the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids. In addition, with qualifying grade point averages, each winner will be eligible to receive a variety of scholarships from local colleges and universities, including a four-year renewable scholarship worth $12,000 from Davenport University. Bangor student a finalist in regional spelling bee Bangor Middle School student Anders Mortensen took home a $120 prize after earning fifth place in the Cloverleaf Spelling Bee, Tuesday, at Lake Michigan College.Fifty-seven spellers from 19 schools in Berrien and Van Buren counties took part in Tuesdays contest, which was won by Cameron Haynes, 10, of Lincoln Township.Haynes won the contest after correctly spelling escarole, a leafy vegetable, to eliminate competitor Gabrielle Aubermann of Coloma, who settled for runner-up honors. He then went on to correctly spell bastion to be crowned champion.As winner of the regional spelling bee Haynes won a trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee, June 1-2.Although he didnt win the contest, Bangors Mortensen managed to be one of the top 10 spellers. He then made it to fifth place before bowing out of the competition. The top 10 winners earned prizes. Mortensens was $120 from Cook Nuclear Power Plant.Other area students competing in the contest follow: Bangor Middle School - Olivia Stockford and Samantha ZordanNorth Shore Elementary School - Laila Klavins, Joel Rummel and Keegan Seifert.Contest sponsors included Berrien Regional Education Service Agency, The Herald-Palladium, AEP, Lake Michigan College and Honor Credit Union.Co-sponsors were Pizza Hut of Michigan, Jay Sugarman, Merrian-Webster, Encyclopedia Britannica, Hexco Academic and H-P staff writer William F. Ast III contributed to this story 2.8.11Winterfest this week at L.C. Mohr high school South Haven High School students will be dressed in unusual attire this week as the school celebrates its annual Winterfest.The week-long celebration kicked off Friday, Feb. 4 when the Winterfest court was announced at the basketball game. Seniors nominated for the court include Jocelyn VanWynan, Kara Reel, Cici Alcaraz, Thomas Capps, Ryan Jones and Tim Covey.As part of the celebration students will be dressing up in various outfits during the week. Monday was PJ/Snuggie Day. Today is Favorite College Day. Wednesday is Mismatch Day, Thursday Super Hero Day, and the dress-up days will end Friday with Purple and Gold Day.The Winterfest King and Queen will be crowned at Fridays basketball game and the 2011 Hall of Fame inductees will also be announced.Prior to Fridays game the National Honor Society will host a spaghetti dinner. Contact the High School Office at 637-0500 for more information or tickets.1.17.11Contributed photo The South Haven Chapter of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) recently presented the South Haven Center for the Arts with a donation of $400. Melissa Warner-Talcott (left), exhibitions coordinator and office manager for the Art Center, accepts the donation from NAHS officers Jessica Overholser, tresurer; Tyler Smith, president; and treasurer and Courtney Lemmer, secretary.The students raised the funds by having a raffle and by having an art activity booth at the summer art fair.1.13.11St. Basil Catholic School students who earned top honors in the local spelling bee are shown in the photo along with members of the Knights of Columbus, who sponsored the bee, teachers and Fr. Bob Flickinger.St. Basil students compete in Spelling Bee Two St. Basil School students are headed to the Knights of Columbus regional spelling bee after winning top honors at the local spelling bee.St. Basil held its annual spelling bee Dec. 3 and divided students into two categories, based on grade level.Students who placed in the lower division consisted of grade levels 4-6. Cassidy Rieck won first place, Franny Valenziano came in second, Lauren Kimbler, third and Devin Cox, fourth.Students in grades 7-8 competed in the upper division, which required multiple rounds before the winner was decided. David Arya won first place, Emily Simon placed second, Eva Heinrich. third and Tanner Rieck, fourth.The winners competed in the regional competition, Jan. 9, in Kalamazoo. The winners of that competition will proceed to the Michigan State championship, March 5.To prepare for the local contest, students practiced spelling words for several weeks in their classrooms. The word list students used was compiled from a statewide list and ranged from average words to very difficult ones. Students at St. Basil who earned top honors in the local contest received monetary gifts from St. Basil Knights of Columbus. South Haven residents Carol and Tom Newton recently donated books written by their daughter, the late Afton Newton, to Wood School students. The couple also purchased 20 books for the school and are shown presenting them to Marinna Good and Ely Fidler, both students at the school.Wood School students receive booksBy KIM INGALLSTribune staff writerBANGOR Carol and Tom Newton, parents of the late Afton Newton, recently gave Wood School students an extra Christmas present.The South Haven couple visited the school, located west of Bangor, before the holiday and gave each student a copy of Aftons third book in her The Cousin Adventures series. While there, the Newtons asked students what books they would like for the school, and then on Jan. 6 showed up with 20 more books.The students were very excited, said Wood School teacher Connie Hollis. They had received all the books they had asked for. In addition, they (the Newtons) gave our school several Michigan historical books. Afton, 26, passed away on Jan. 11, 2009 after a long battle with autoimmune diseases. A graduate of Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, Afton created The Cousin Adventures, which follow the travels of three cousins to real historical sites where they solve suspenseful mysteries.Since her death, Tom and Carol have been donating her books to area schools in her memory. Afton was very fond of reading, said Hollis, who was a close friend, and had written many other stories, which the parents say they may publish in the future.Helping youth Youth Development Company/Police Activities League, received a financial contribution from a South Haven Township supermarket, recently. Store managers of Village Market Food Center in South Haven, Diane Bachman and Andy Edge (right), present a check to Teresa R. Cunningham (second from left), executive rirector, and Jessica Gray (left), program director and mentor coordinator of youth development1.3.11 Forced to make a choiceParent questions sons punishment for choosing soccer game over band performance By ANDREW LERSTENFor the Tribune A committee is being formed to study South Haven Schools' policy on handling conflicts students have when forced to choose between activities held at the same time.The issue came to a head recently when parent Julie Wood complained to the School Board about a recent conflict involving her son, a senior at South Haven High School.Specifically, she was upset that her son had his marching band grade lowered after he chose to attend a district soccer game that was on the same night as a marching band concert.While the board chose to stand by the grading decision, it asked Schools Superintendent Bob Black to form a committee to review the district policy on the matter.Black said the issue of student activity conflicts pops up about a half dozen times each school year. The policy may need to be made more specific, he said."The committee will take a look at the policy, to see if it can be made more specific and less ambiguous," Black said. The current policy simply states that the two directors of an activity involved in a timing conflict need to resolve the issue and recommend to the student which event to attend, he said.The policy becomes problematic when there is an impasse between the directors, he said."The issue is if there's no agreement (on a choice) all the way around. It can happen about four to six times a year when there's a conflict you can't plan on, such as with state festivals or tournaments where there's less than a month of advance notice," he said.At the start of every school year, the various activity directors meet and discuss their event schedules so there are no conflicts in the district, he added.The committee will also study whether simply giving the student the choice of which activity to attend could be the best policy, he said. The committee will likely include some staff members, parents and possibly students too, Black said. It will report back to the school board with its recommendations by spring, he said. 12.10.10 Decorating the treeCovert Elementary students in grades 3 through 5 hang paper cutout snowflakes on a tree mural they created for a wall near the Covert High School gym. The students of art teacher Naima Abdul-Haqq made the tree from several different types of paper, glitter and paint. They then mounted the 16-foot-tall tree on the wall in sections. 12.7.10 Elks help teachers purchase school supplies for classrooms By BECKY BURKERTEditor and general managerA fraternal organizations donation is making the purchase of supplies a little easier on teachers at Lincoln Elementary School.The South Haven Elks Lodge has donated $500 to the South Haven school so that instructors can purchase more supplies for their classrooms.Teachers receive a very small stipend to buy classroom supplies, said Carey Frost, Lincoln principal. But with the budgets being cut in the past several years they get less and less. Most teachers spend at least a couple of hundred dollars each year, others spend more than that.Kenneth McNicholas, Southwest Michigan District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler for the Elks, said the local club is more than happy to help teachers with their classroom projects.This program is something weve been looking at and we hope to expand it, he said. Teachers are spending money out of their own pocket for these school supplies.Once the local club can shore up more funds for the program, it hopes to offer monetary contributions to more local schools. This is just a start, McNicholas said.The clubs Grand Exalted Ruler Susan Nienhuis agreed, saying she knows what its like for teachers to dig into their own pockets for supplies. Her niece, Janelle Nienhuis, is a third-grade teacher at Lincoln School.The local Elks has a reputation for helping the community in a number of ways, said club secretary Jim Mears, but the average person may not be aware of it.Everybody thinks what we do is a big secret, he said jokingly, that we sit back and smoke cigars in a dark room.The club is probably best known for its Hoops Shoot contest that it sponsors each year at Baseline Middle School. The winners of the contest have a chance to compete at district, state and national competitions.But, the Elks help the community in other ways.We just donated 12 turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners to We Care (a local human service ministry). Were planning to make a donation of $1,000 for We Cares food pantries.Were here to help our community, Mears said. Charles Beeching of Lawrence, Rosey Craig of Bangor, Dallas Winsemius of Bangor, and Genesis Tait of Bangor build the walls for a chicken pen.Agricultural & Natural Resources Program Gives 80 Chickens to Local Food BanksLAWRENCE Students at the Van Buren Technology Center Agriculture and Natural Resources Program and FFA chapter know what it takes to raise chickens.Earlier this semester they began the Poultry Improvement Project, starting with 125 chickens.Students monitored their rate of gain, and finally selected the top 5 chickens to participate in a state contest in November.Students from the Learning Center were invited to observe this experience over the five-week period.Students raised more than 100 broilers to study growth and development in poultry and also the impact of feed and nutrition on the birds.The birds were raised for 5 weeks, with weights, feed efficiency, and comparisons to industry standards carefully observed and recorded. Students selected 5 birds from each pen and processed them for the FFA State Poultry Improvement Project in November in Fowlerville.The remaining 93 birds were collected and processed and 80 were delivered to two local food banks, in time for the holiday season. These donations were for the Harvest for America Program in conjunction with Tractor Supply Stores.The processed chickens were divided equally between Eleanors Pantry in Paw Paw and the Van Buren Action Agency in Lawrence. Laura Wydick, a former class member of the Agriculture & Natural Resources program, who graduated in 2002, volunteered her time to assist in collecting the live chickens and helping to transport them to Fowlerville where they were processed by Millers Fowlerville Poultry Processing.11.29.10 North Shore Elementary, South Haven Health System partner for Pint-Size Hero Blood DriveNorth Shore Elementary and South Haven Health System are once again joining forces with the American Red Cross to hold a special Pint-Size Hero Blood Drive Tuesday, Nov. 30 at the school.Were happy to be part of a program that teaches our children about the importance of blood as a medicine and help the American Red Cross meet the needs of patients in Michigan, said Kim Wise, employee and community development specialist for South Haven Health System. The need for blood is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. However, generally less than 5 percent of the population gives blood on a regular basis. The Pint-Size Hero Program (PSHP) was developed to help promote community service awareness, volunteerism, and the positive results of coming together for a good cause. This project not only helps the American Red Cross provide a safe supply of blood to area hospitals, but also teaches the importance of blood donation. Everyday the Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross needs to collect about 700 units of blood to meet the needs of the hospitals it serves. Were excited to partner with our local hospital to provide this service to our community, said North Shore Elementary Principal LaTonya Gill-Williams. Were hoping to reach a new generation of blood donors and encourage everyone that can to donate on our childrens behalf.The blood drive will be from 1 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., at 7320 North Shore Drive in South Haven. The school is looking to top the 39 donations collected at last years blood drive. Call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit to make an appointment. Applications available for grants to help youthThe Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) of the South Haven Foundation plans to accept grant applications from organizations that help youth in the area.YAC consists of a group of South Haven High School students that work under the direction of Andrea Olson and Teresa Cunnigham, of the South Haven Community Foundation.The students review grant applications and choose recipients.Applicaionts are available at STate Farm Insurance, Cafe Julias, Phoenix Street Cafe, Chemical Bank, South Haven Memorial Library, the U.S. Post Office in South Haven and South Haven High School library.Forms should be addressed to Teresa Cunningham and must be received in the high school office by Feb. 24, 2011. For more information, call Andrea Olson, 637-5655.11.15.10 Is South Haven Schools enforcing its anti-bullyingpolicy? Several parents say more needs to be doneBy ANDREW LERSTENFor the TribuneCan South Haven Schools do more to protect its students from bullying?The issue came up at last week's School Board meeting, with several residents telling the board better enforcement of the district anti-bullying policy is needed.The stated policy is that bullying is unacceptable and prohibited, and that bullies can face suspension or expulsion.Jennie Pope said she recently pulled her high school freshman daughter out of school because of ongoing bullying. She told the board she had talked to high school staff about the problem 20 times before she took action."You guys have a serious problem," Pope said. She said other students have left the district due to bullying too.Another woman said she had never heard of any disciplinary action being taken by the district against a bully."We will look into it," said Superintendent Bob Black. He said he was not aware of the scope of the problem.Board Trustees Annie Brown and Teresa Cunningham asked about anti-bullying training for staff, and suggested additional training is needed."I'm very upset hearing all these accounts," Trustee Charlie Dotson said. "The policy is only as good as the enforcement. We shouldn't have kids leaving our school district over bullying. Hopefully this will be resolved.""This should not be tolerated," Brown added.In other matters, the superintendent noted that 64 percent of the district students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, based on family income. That's up 1 percent from one year ago, he told the board.Bangor revisits possibility of bond proposal to pay for facility improvementsBy BECKY BURKERTEditor and general managerBANGOR It takes money to fix leaky roofs and old, drafty windows, so Bangor Public Schools is once again considering whether to ask voters for funding to make facility improvements.This past week, Bangor Board of Education president Kurt Doroh asked the boards Facilities Committee Chairman, Dwight Click, to begin meeting with district administrators to determine the scope and cost of necessary improvements.Doroh did so at Mondays school board meeting after hearing a report from District Superintendent Ron Parker suggesting the board revisit putting a bond issue in front of voters sometime in the future.The bond issue we had planned...was put on hold due to economic conditions, Parker said. Unfortunately economic conditions havent changed so we need to put together a committee to decide when to put (a bond proposal) on the ballot.Doroh agreed. We still have the need. At some point things have to be fixed, and the longer we wait the more it will cost.A year ago, the school board had agreed to ask voters to approve an $11.68 million bond issue to replace school roofs, buy a new boiler for the Primary School and make renovations and upgrades to school and athletic facilities throughout the district. But in August of 2009, the board put the election on hold citing Michigans unstable economy and high unemployment rate.In the meantime the district chose to close the Primary School building this year as a cost-saving measure and move elementary school students there to South Walnut Elementary School.There are no cost estimates as of yet on what a future bond issue would be. The district, however, does have a $60,000 balance with the architectural firm of C2AE of Lansing. If we decide on no bond issue theyll pay us that money, but if we decide on a bond issue well have some money to pay them, Parker said.Student count downBangor Public Schools anticipates a loss of approximately 30 students this year, according to its latest pupil count. Due to glitches with a new student accounting program, the district has not been able to gain an accurate count of pupils for each building, but the latest tally indicates a loss from 5-30 students, according to Superintendent Ron Parker. The school chief went on to say that most likely, the reduction will be closer to a loss of 30 students, however. 11.8.10 The cast of 'The Idiot's Guide to High School' poses for a picture. The play will be performed Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12-13 in Listiak auditorium of South Haven High School.South Haven theater students present The Idiots Guide to High SchoolTheater students at South Haven High School will give a humorous lesson on how to survive high school when they present the play The Idiots Guide to High School, this weekend.The play, written by Alan Haehnel, will take place at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday in Listiak Auditorium of the high school, 600 Elkenburg St.Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens and are available in advance during lunch times at South Haven High School or may be purchased at the door on the evening of the performance. In The Idiots Guide to High School the audience will meet Earl, played by Sam Linstrom, and Shirley, played by Hillary Spitters. Everyone knows that Earl is an idiot, including Earls own mother. With the assistance of his friend Shirley, another well-acknowledged idiot, Earl seeks to host an informative guide to high school, including high schools true purpose, the crafting of a perfect excuse, and more. Fellow students help illustrate topics for the interactive chapters of The Idiots Guide to High School.The fall play is terrifically funny and quite family friendly, according to Director Cheri Stein. Weve ended up with the largest cast for a fall production that I can recall 30 students on stage at once give it incredible energy, and everyone who attends should know at least one actor. The audience should be greatly entertained, Stein continued. In addition to the cast of 34 students, Cheri Stein and Erin ONeil are directing, Steven Zimbrich is stage manager and Dave Hughes heads up set construction, lights and sound.10.25.10 LMC hosts workshops for parents of college-bound students With over 3,800 colleges and universities in the United States, the process of selecting a college can be daunting for families. Not only do they need to make decisions based on cost, programs offered and the overall fit of the college with their childs personality, there are also the issues of the admissions process, applying for financial aid, and finding scholarships. To give parents the tools they need to be knowledgeable about the process no matter where they plan to send their child, Lake Michigan College is hosting College: The Next Big Step A Workshop for Parents. These workshops will be held Monday, Nov. 1, at the Bertrand Crossing Campus in Niles; Wednesday, Nov. 3, in the LMC Mendel Center Grand Upton Hall on the Colleges Napier Avenue Campus; and Thursday, Nov. 4, at the South Haven Campus. The two-hour workshops begin at 6:30 p.m. and are free to anyone interested in preparing for college. Families will learn the hows and whys of financial aid including grants, loans and scholarships; college assessment testing; career services; transfer options from two-year to four-year schools; and Early College opportunities while students are still in high school. Selecting a college is not only one of the most important decisions a high school student will make but it can also be one of the most challenging, states Dr. John Selmon, executive dean of Student Services at LMC. These workshops are designed to answer a lot of the questions that families have in the decision-making process to help them make the best choice for their son or daughter. Selmon went on to add that these sessions are for anyone preparing to send a son or daughter to college, whether they are new to the process or are seasoned college search veterans, and that the information will be covered in a general way that will apply to the college selection process no matter what school they are considering. To reserve a seat at this free event, parents can pre-register online at or contact Cindy Reuss at (269) 927-8626.No SH School Board races on tap Nov. 2, but nonhomestead tax renewal is on ballotBy ANDREW LERSTENFor the TribuneSouth Haven Schools voters are being asked to approve a three-year renewal of the district's 18-mill nonhomestead property tax levy in the Nov. 2 election.If approved, it would bring in an estimated $2,279,964 in 2011, the first year of the renewal period."It's like 11 or 12 percent of our budget," explained Superintendent Bob Black. "We're labor intensive and we cut close to $600,000 out of last year's budget to balance it. To live another $2.2 million would be just about crippling. There would be staff reductions or major program reductions (if it doesn't pass)."Also, two candidates are unopposed in seeking the two available four-year school board terms. They are Cindy Liscow, 56, 11560 76th St., and Michael Rainey, 38, 68044 Riverview Drive.Current board members Kim Griffin and Teresa Cunningham have chosen to step down.10.4.10Reliving the life of a Civil War soldier David Rowley, commanding officer for the 10th Michigan Infantry, a Civil War reenactment group from Mt. Pleasant, teaches American History students at South Haven High School how soldiers marched during the War Between the States. Students from Jeremy Burleson's American History classes spent several hours outdoors on Monday, learning how to march in formation and to see the equipment, tents, guns and medical supplies that were used in the Civil War. For the marching exercise, the students used sticks rather than guns. A South Haven couple hopes their daughter’s love of reading and writing rubs off on Maple Grove Elementary students.So much so that Tom and Carol Newton decided to donate a set of children’s books their daughter Afton had written before her untimely death in 2009.Afton had grown up in South Haven and at a young age showed a great interest in writing. After honing her skills and  graduating summa cum laude from Washington State University, she wrote and published a series of mystery books, titled “The Cousin Adentures” that wove historical lore into a mystery that the cousins spent time solving.#“Theft on Freedom Trail,” “Trouble at Buckman Tavern,” and “The Mystery of the Sabatouged Dig,” all have a new home in Maple Grove’s library, while students in 2nd grade teacher Jan Jessup’s class have more than a dozen children’s books for classroom use, courtesy of the Newtons.“Afton loved to write,” Carol said. “When she was in second grade her Young Authors book was called “Flying Eagle.” Later during her school years, Afton had to be home schooled because she suffered from autoimmune diseases and died at the young age of 26.Despite the limitations the medical problems had on her level of activity, Afton earned her college degree in history and sociology and traveled. She combined her love of history and passion for writing when penning the Cousins books.“The books tell a mystery about history and Afton visited all the places that are in the books,” Carol said. 8.2.10Public forum on South Haven high school bond issue set for Sept. 14 at the high schoolBy ANDREW LERSTENFor the TribuneA public forum to gather more input on a proposed 2011 South Haven Schools bond issue to fund high school renovations is being planned for September.The forum is set for Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m., in the high school auditorium, which seats 500, Schools Superintendent Bob Black told the school board last week.A $23.9 million high school bond issue had been scheduled to go before district voters in May 2009, but the school board scuttled it due to concerns over the economic recession.Since then, the board hired a new architecture company, GMP Architects of Holland, to start working on the new bond proposal. The scope of the issue, and the time when it will go before voters, has not yet been decided.In other district news, Black said the district received 35 applications for the new maintenance and custodial director's position, and the school board is expected to hire someone at the Aug. 18 board meeting.The new position will replace the former operations director post, which was eliminated after Dave Waaso resigned that job to become superintendent at Mackinac Island Schools.High School Principal Shane Peters announced that the recent Gus Macker three-on-three basketball tournament held on the high school grounds brought in $13,000 for the high school. Another Gus Macker tournament is already scheduled to take place again next summer at the high school, he added.Several large green signs proclaiming the district's recent Education Excellence Award from the Michigan Association of School Boards will soon be seen at some of the main roadways into South Haven, the superintendent annouced. The award was for the district's innovative elementary art program called Project 64, officials said earlier.Also at last week's board meeting, parent Susan Turner complained about disciplinary action taken against her daughter, 13, in May after the girl's notebook was found on a school bus with sexually explicit drawings in it.Her daughter denied she had drawn the pictures, and Turner believes someone else had drawn them after her daughter lost the notebook for a few days. Her daughter was given one week of lunch hour detention, and one day of after-school detention, she said."I appealed it within five days," Turner said. "I think it was mishandled. She should not have been in detention. They're innocent until proven guilty. The book was lost for two days. Anybody could have drawn those pictures. They never proved my daughter drew them."  South Haven Hispanic moms subject of health-related comic bookBy KIM INGALLSTribune staff writerConcerned about the growing obesity problem among Latino farm worker families, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland has created a bilingal comic book after researching 200 children on farms in South Haven as well as Ohio. “Small Changes, Big Results” features two Hispanic mothers who strive to create a healthier lifestyle for their children and families.The cartoon moms are a mosaic of real-life moms who she had met through her research, explains Jill Kilanowski, assistant professor at the college’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. “There was one particular migrant mom in a migrant camp in South Haven who honestly expressed her concern, barriers, and challenges in serving her child healthy foods,” she said.Her research showed that 41 to 48 percent of migrant children are overweight or obese. That number is more than double the national average, she says, for  children between the ages of 2 and 19, and greater than their peers - other Latino children of the same age group.Kilanowski, who lives in Ohio, became acquainted with local growers and Latino community leaders in the area after her daughter married Jay Compton at St. Basil’s. Through introductions from the Compton family and Rev. Billie Dalton, she conducted focus groups with migrant mothers here and in Ohio to learn how they like to learn about health matters. The comic book was designed with input of their likes and dislikes about existing health promotion materials.The researcher found that migrant moms, who traditionally cook the meals, said they'd prefer a comic book, which are popular in Mexico, because their gypsy life-styles don’t always give them access to computers, DVDs and TVs.  The comic offers tips about exercising and making cooking changes like using healthier cooking oils instead of the popular lardo (animal fat). It talks about eating more vegetables, decreasing television time, and playing outside more. It even throws in a recipe for a healthy vegetable dip.For more information about the comic book, contact Kilanowski at  Western raises tuition; improves academic resources for studentsKALAMAZOO — Students attending Western Michigan University in the fall will be paying more for classes, however, school officils say much of the increase will help improve academic resources for students, including more financial aid.The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees has approved a 7.4 percent increase in tuition and required fees targeted for investments in academic areas and improving academic resources  to students.Just over 76 percent of the new tuition revenue will be funneled back to students in the form of more than $6 million in new financial aid, new faculty hires in areas of high student demand and critical need, and a boost to the number of academic advisors available to students."We've kept our costs low and managed to operate at levels of incredible quality and efficiency in recent years," says WMU President John M. Dunn. "We will continue to do that and have already identified $3 million in reductions to the coming year's budget. But now it is also necessary to invest in a way that will meet the academic needs of our current students and allow us to build our programs in a way that will continue to increase the value of a WMU degree."Dunn points out that WMU, which has long been the most affordable of Michigan's five research universities, will continue to hold that title. The University also will remain 10th in costs among all 15 of Michigan's public universities, with nine of those schools charging more to attend."We're pleased that we can say those things about WMU, but in the long run, the most meaningful measure we can offer our students is access," Dunn says. "With every tuition increase, there are more individuals and families for whom we have to redouble our efforts and be more vigilant in containing costs and more committed to maintaining appropriate levels of student aid. The new financial aid funds we've assigned for next year will go to both need- and merit-based aid packages. We want to help families offset last year's loss of state scholarship funds, and we need to make sure our doors are always open to those talented students who will become our state's and nation's leaders."Over the past decade, budget reductions and cost avoidance measures at WMU have amounted to $60 million. Budget reductions have focused on preserving academic quality while reducing nonacademic expenses. As a result, WMU has the second leanest administrative staffing levels of any of Michigan's public universities. The University also has been recognized as a national leader in campus energy conservation and regularly attracts facilities personnel from other campuses and from the corporate world to the WMU campus in Kalamazoo to learn best practices in managing energy use.The increases for the 2010-11 academic year will amount to $312 per semester or $624 per year for an in-state resident who is a full-time freshman or sophomore. The increased rates adopted by the board include fee increases that account for .5 percent of the total increase. The fee changes include modest increases to existing Technology and Recreation fees of $25 and $15 per semester, respectively, and a new Sustainability Fee of $8 per semester approved by a vote of the WMU student body during the spring 2010 semester.The new rates mean a full-time freshman or sophomore student who is a Michigan resident will pay $9,006 for the full academic year--fall and spring semesters. An out-of-state full-time freshman or sophomore will pay $20,894 in tuition and required fees, while resident and nonresident graduate students will pay $429.32 and $909.31 per credit hour, respectively.Emily Sicard of South Haven Receives Fulbright AwardHOLLAND - Hope College senior Emily Sicard of South Haven has received a highly competitive English teaching assistantship through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.Through the assistantship, Sicard will spend the 2010-11 academic year teaching English in a bilingual program at a secondary school in Madrid, Spain.Sicard is graduating with majors in English and Spanish. She spent the spring 2007 semester studying at the Autonomous University of Queretaro, Mexico, with which Hope has an on-going exchange relationship. Her activities while at Hope have included serving as an English as a Second Language instructor through Latin Americans United for Progress, clarinet section leader of the Wind Ensemble and a trip to Tijuana, Mexico with the spring break mission trip program. She is also a member of Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish honor society, and received one of the society's scholarships last summer for a month of Spanish language study at La Universidad Internacional in Cuernavaca, Mexico.She is a 2006 graduate of South Haven High School. She is the daughter of Walter and Kathleen Sicard of South Haven. Honor Rolls6.28.11St. Basil Honor Rollall four quarters of the 2010-11 year5th grade: Brittney Giles, Manny Insidioso-Tucker, Jocelyn Kaczkowski, Cassidy Rieck, Allison Uckele, and Francesca Valenziano6th grade: Justine Furlan, Dani Giles, Bryston Jerch, Mariah Jones, and Lauren Kimbler7th grade: Cora Jones, Tanner Rieck, Sara Sollman8th grade: Eva Heinrich, Nik Jerch, Emily SimonBaseline Middle SchoolHonor Roll4th Marking Period2010-2011*Denotes a 4.0 GPA6th GradeIsabella Aleman, Jamone Allen, Zachary Alm, Shane Barrera, Alexander Bass, Shylanta Beck, Carsen Boyd, Jolie Brower, *Desiree Brown, Brittny Buck, Jessica Byers, Jonathon Byers, Jessica Calderon, Brandon Candelario, Kristal Clarke, Cameron Clemons, Cassius Cornstalk, *Veronica Corona, Kendall Cunningham,  Noah Cutler, Edward Delong, Jordan Denbow, Jonathan Deschaine, Tuwana Dirden, Kisha Ferguson, *John Filbrandt, Josue Garcia, Gage Gardner, *Bryce Gargus, Juliet Gibson, *Jonbrielle Gill, Jeffrey Gillett, Darion Gist-Lewis, Jacob Gleason, Dylan Goff, *Carlos Guzman, Avanti S. Hardnett, Ezalenda Harrison, *Katherine Hasted, Kaine Hecht, Matthew Hinkle, Taylor Hodge, Tiffany Hoyt, *Taylor Huggins, Barbara Johnson, Kenneth Johnson, *Samantha Joines, *David Kluskowski, Camry Krieger, Corey Lawson, Jordan Lucas, Samantha Martin, Katelyn Mason, *Aaron McAllister, Jared McCloughan, Erica McDonald, *Kadeisha McIntosh, Justice Meister, Yadira Meneses, *Martin Miles, Meghan Miles, *Valeria Moreno, Caitlynn Morgan, Jesse Morrison, Brynn Murdock, *Leah Pearl, Logan Peters, Nicholas Postema, Ashley Price, Shawn Quinn, Erica Reel, *Allie Remick, Joshua Riedel, Tresa Sell, Reagan Servatius, Cain Severens, Jordan Shiflett, *Seth Smith, Rachel Soderquist, Benson Sparks, Michael Stephens, Brieanne Turner, *Jacob Vanderroest, Benjamin Venner, Cameron Watkins, Shaina Weber, *Joe Wilkins, Cody Willett, Anthony Wise.7th GradeLuisa Aleman, Xia Aragon, *Hannah Armstrong, *Akashia Austin-Whitfield, Keanue Austin-Whitfield, Wyatt Baker, Robert Barringer Jr., Cindy Becerra, Jacob Blanksvard, Eric Branham, Elizabeth Brennen, *William Cadwell, Judah Christian, Dominick Clark, Jacob Clemons Jr., Chelsea Colberg, Dakota Conant, Dylan Conant, *Hailey Conklin, Lucas Cooper, Lauren Cummins, Arthur Curry, Charles Cusac, Derrick Davidson, Heather deBest, Jarod Dee, Zeno DeGrandchamp, Joseph Delcollo Jr., Justin Denbow, Evelyn Diaz, Morgan Dickens, *Rex Dopp, *Logan Dubas, Amanda Duncan, *Tyler Edwards, Winter Ellis, Lorna Erwin, *Emily Everitt, Kameelah Foster, Sondra Garber, Jhane Gill-Hudson, *Rachel Gohn, *Iza Graham, Elizabeth Hasted, James Hedges, Reed Heinze, Koby Henderson, *Abigail Hendrix, Jada Hooker, Brian Horan, Justin Hulsey, Kayla Hunt, Tyler Jack, *Samantha Jackson, Vincent Jeffries, Alaina Johnson, *Heidi Johnson, Matthew Johnson, Brian Kelly, *Leah King, Haley Kinney, Caitlin Koch, Pearce Kramer, Michael Krawczyk, Jasmine Lafond, Javonte Langford, Reegan Lawson, *Emilee Lemmer, *Thomas Lyon, *Jerome Mahone II, Warren Martin, Jose Martinez, Monica Martinez, Elijah Mason, Armani May, Fiori McGuire, Nathaniel Merrell, Taylor Molesworth, Samantha Morgan, Raisa Morrison, Alejandra Najera, Dylan Nelson, Jared Nelson, *Madison Nelson, *Ruben Ocanas, *Mormon Olivas, *Emily Oliver, *Kristina Osbon, Romeo Osteen, *Alexander P. Overholser, *Sierra Parmley, Niyla Perez, Tina Perez, Madysen Pillars, Max Poindexter III, Stephanie Postema, *Jessica Price, Alyssa Rainey, Andrea Rayas, Dennis Rayford, Cayley Rediess, *Lexy Ritenburgh, Dylan Robbins, Alicia Roberts, Skylar Roe, Alejandro Rosas, Lorenzo Rosas, Colton Ruppert, *Madelyn Rycenga, Charles Saintz, Karissa Schnake, Nicholas Schooley, Gabriella Shafer, Jacob Simon, Hailey Sisson, Levi Skuca, Alexis Smith, *Leigh Smith, Megan Sollman, *Kelli Stricklin, Tiah Deshon Sutton, Perissos Tate, Kyle James Till, Johanna Uckele, Colten Alexander Vincent, Kathy Vu, Kelly Vu, Kaleb Walden, Kade Warner, Jordan Weldon, Markus Wesseldyk, Autumn Wheeler, Anjelica White, Michael Williams, Kiiven Wolf, Allison Zemanek.8th GradeKylie Alcala, Antonia Aleman, Colin Assink, *Abigail Avery, Sierra Barringer, Daniel Barton, Cody Bengtson, Brooke Boyd, Ana Brantley, Joshua Brower, Amaris Bryant, Ivette Bucio, Racheal Butler, Jennifer Byers, Erin Bywater, Ryan Capps, Cameron Conroy, Olivia Corona, Dalton Cowell, Yanakie Cunningham, William Davis, Joseph DeGrandchamp, *Taylor Denuyl, Brianna Dotson, Haley Duncan, William Edson, Nia Edwards, Elizabeth Everitt, Ryan A. Faux, Krista M. Filbrandt, Jamal Follett, Isabella Gallegos-Thompson, Madison Gargus, Nicholas Giles, John Gillett, Leo Gleiss, Hannah Goff, *Gladys Gonzalez, Madeline Goodnough, Bobbie Goodwin, Katelyn Griffin, *Mallory Griffin, Sarah Hallgren, Isabella Harrison, Jorge Hernandez, Avery Hoyt, Tyler Jesser, Jason John, Izaiah Kelemen, Courtney King, Megan Larson, Kyla Lavanway, Alexia Marsh Kreigh, *Brooklyn Mason, Abigail McAllister, Kameren McKamey, Darian Meister, *Jessica Miles, Kenia Morales, Guadalupe Moreno, Jacob Morey, Brittanie Morris, Xavier Mulac, Emily Olivas, Bobbi Jo Osborn, Zackary Parrish, Cullen Peters, Everritt Phillips, Shelby Phillips, Courtney Poindexter, Riley Quakenbush, Alma Rafael, Ryan Rainey, Jessica Reitz, Henry Robbins, Bailey Rooker, Vanessa Rosas, Allie Ruppertt, Kayla Sell, Soncerae Shepherd, Emily Simon, Nicholas Simon, Ruth Sloane, Joseph Small, Morgan Snyder, Hannah Soderquist, *Angela Sondgerath, *Elley Sparks, Austin Springer, Marcus Springer, Samantha Stewart, Faye Sustaita, Colton Toney, Katie Trantham, Alexandra Utke, Nathaniel Wadas, *Alec Washegesic, Sarah Washegesic, Daniel Webster, Logan Wesseldyk, Jade Williams, Stephen Williams II, Tanner Winkel, Jacquelyn Wyant, Emmanuel Yanez.3.1.11Baseline Middle SchoolHonor Roll2nd Marking Period2010-2011*Denotes a 4.0 GPA6th GradeIsabella Aleman, Zachary Alm, *Shane Barrera, Alexander Bass, Shylanta Beck, Carsen Boyd, Jolie Brower, Desiree Brown, Brittny Buck, *Jessica Byers, Jonathon Byers, Jessica Calderon, Brandon Candelario, Christine Clark, Kristal Clarke, Cameron Clemons, Cassius Cornstalk, Veronica Corona, Kendall Cunningham, Noah Cutler,  Justin Deja Jr., Edward Delong, *Jordan Denbow, Jonathan Deschaine, Tuwana Dirden, Kisha Ferguson, *John Filbrandt, *Josue Garcia, *Bryce Gargus, Juliet Gibson, *Jonbrielle Gill, Jeffrey Gillett, Oscar Godinez, Dylan Goff, Carlos Guzman, Triston Hagen, *Katherine Hasted, Matthew Hinkle, *Taylor Hodge, Tiffany Hoyt, *Taylor Huggins, *Barbara Johnson, Kenneth Johnson, Samantha Joines, Kahleel Jubilee, *David Kluskowski, Camry Krieger, Corey Lawson, Zaria Long, Jordan Lucas, Samantha Martin, Katelyn Mason, Aaron McAllister, Jared McCloughan, Kadeisha McIntosh, Justice Meister, *Yadira Meneses, *Martin Miles, Meghan Miles, Caitlynn Morgan, Jesse Morrison, Brynn Murdock, Leah Pearl, *Logan Peters, Deandreeka Phillips, Nicholas Postema, Ashley Price, Shawn Quinn, Erica Reel, *Allie Remick, Dominick Saintz, *Tresa Sell, Cain Severens, *Jordan Shiflett, Seth Smith, Rachel Sonderquist, Benson Sparks, Vladimir Tolentino, Brieanne Turner, *Jacob Vanderroest, Benjamin Venner, Cameron Watkins, *Joe Wilkins, Cody Willett, *Anthony Wise7th GradeLuisa Aleman, Jermaina Alexander, Marcus Allen, Xia Aragon, Hannah Armstrong, Akashia Austin-Whitfield, Wyatt Baker, Robert Barringer Jr., Amber Beason, Jacob Blanksvard, Eric Branham, Elizabeth Brennen, William Cadwell, Alberto Castorena, Judah Christian, Hunter Chumley, Dominick Clark, Dakota Conant, Dylan Conant, Hailey Conklin, Lucas Cooper, *Lauren Cummins, *Charles Cusac, Derrick Davidson, Jarod Dee, Zeno DeGrandchamp, Joseph Delcollo Jr., Justin Denbow, Evelyn Diaz, Morgan Dickens, Rex Dopp, *Logan Dubas, Amanda Duncan, Tyler Edwards, Winter Ellis, Emily Everitt, Nicholas Fisher, Kameelah Foster, Jhane Gill-Hudson, *Rachel Gohn, Iza Graham, Zenaido Gutierrez, *Elizabeth Hasted, Reed Heinze, Koby Henderson, *Abigail Hendrix, *Jacob Hill, Jada Hooker, *Brian Horan, Justin Hulsey, Kayla Hunt, Samantha Jackson, Vincent Jeffries, Heidi Johnson, Matthew Johnson, Nicholas Jones, Brian Kelly, *Leah King, Haley Kinney, Caitlin Koch, Pearce Kramer, Michael Krawczyk, Jasmine Lafond, Javonte Langford, Reegan Lawson, *Emilee Lemmer, *Thomas Lyon, Jerome Mahone II, Jose Martinez, Monica Martinez, Armani May, Fiori McGuire, Nathaniel Merrell, Taylor Molesworth, Samantha Morgan, Raisa Morrison, Alejandra Najera, Dylan Nelson, Jared Nelson, *Madison Nelson, Joshua Newman, James O'Niel, Joseph O'Niel, Ruben Ocanas, *Mormon Olivas, *Emily Oliver, *Kristina Osbon, Romeo Osteen, *Alexander Overholser, *Sierra Parmley, Niyla Perez, Tina Perez, Madysen Pillars, Stephanie Postema, *Jessica Price, Alyssa Rainey, Andrea Rayas, Dennis Rayford, Cayley Rediess,  *Lexy Ritenburgh, Dylan Robbins, Skylar Roe, Alejandro Rosas, Lorenzo Rosas, Colton Ruppert, *Madelyn Rycenga, Charles Saintz, Karissa Schnake, Nicholas Schooley, *Gabriella Shafer, Jacob Simon, Hailey Sisson, Levi Skuca, Alexis Smith, Leigh Smith, Megan Sollman, *Kelli Stricklin, Perissos Tate, Kyle Till, *Johanna Uckele, Colten Vincent, Kathy Vu, Kelly Vu, Kaleb Walden, Kade Warner, Jordan Weldon, Markus Wesseldyk, Autumn Wheeler, *Anjelica White, Michael Williams, *Kiiven Wolf, Allison Zemanek, Hailee Ziegler8th GradeKylie Alcala, Colin Assink, *Abigail Avery, Daniel Barton, Cody Bengtson, Ana Brantley, Joshua Brower, Amaris Bryant, Jennifer Byers, Erin Bywater, Omar Calderon, Ricardo Candelario, Jacob Carr, Crystal Chavira, Cameron Conroy, Olivia Corona, Yanakie Cunningham, William Davis, Joseph DeGrandchamp, Taylor Denuyl, Haley Duncan, William Edson, *Nia Edwards, Elizabeth Everitt, Ryan Faux, Jamal Follett, Madison Gargus, Nicholas Giles, John Gillett, Leo Gleiss, Hannah Goff, Gladys Gonzalez, Madeline Goodnough, Bobbie Goodwin, Katelyn Griffin, *Mallory Griffin, Sarah Hallgren, Isabella Harrison, Jorge Hernandez, Jonathan Hosier, Selena Hunt, Joseph Jackson, Mia Jackson, Tyler Jesser, Izaiah Kelemen, Courtney King, *Megan Larson, Katherine Marr, Alexia Marsh Kreigh, Brooklyn Mason, Abigail McAllister, *Darian Meister, Jessica Miles, Gabriel Miller, Jacob Morey, Brittanie Morris, Darien Mosley, Xavier Mulac, Krista O'Shel, Emily Olivas, Bobbie Osborn, Zackary Parrish, Nelly Perez, Cullen Peters, Everritt Phillips, Shelby Phillips, Courtney Poindexter, Riley Quakenbush, Alma Rafael, Ryan Rainey, Jessica Reitz, Henry Robbins, Bailey Rooker, Vanessa Rosas, Allie Ruppert, Kayla Sell, Byron Shepard, Nicholas Simon, Joseph Small, Hannah Sonderquist, Angela Sondgerath, Elley Sparks, Austin Springer, Marcus Springer, Samantha Stewart, Damon Street, Colton Toney, Katie Trantham, Alexandra Utke, *Nathaniel Wadas, Alec Washegesic, Sarah Washegesic, Daniel Webster, Logan Wesseldyk, Tanner Winkel, Jacquelyn Wyant7.7.106th GradeLuisa B. Aleman, *Xia Aragon, *Hannah Armstrong, *James Atteberry, Akaishia Austin-Whitfield, Keanue Austin-Whitfield, *Wyatt Baker, Robert Barringer Jr., Cindy Becerra, Jacob Blanksvard, Eric Branham, Elizabeth Brennen, William Cadwell, Alberto Castorena, Judah Christian, Hunter Chumley, Jacob Clemons Jr., Connor Cochran, Dakota Conant, Hailey Conklin, Lucas Cooper, Alejandro Corona-Hentzell, Lauren Cummins, *Heather DeBest, Jarod Dee, Joseph Delcollo Jr., Justin Denbow, *Evelyn Diaz, *Morgan Dickens, *Rex Dopp, Logan Dubas, Amanda Duncan, *Tyler Edwards, Winter Ellis, Lorna Erwin, Emily Everitt, Kameelah Foster, Sondra Garber, Jhane Gill-Hudson, *Rachel Gohn, Iza Graham, Jackson Gruber, *Elizabeth Hasted, Reed Heinze, Koby Henderson, *Abigail Hendrix, Noah Henry, Mario Hernandez, Jacob Hill, *Brian Horan, Justin Hulsey, *Kayla Hunt, *Samantha Jackson, Heidi Johnson, Nicholas Jones, Brian Kelly, Leah King, Haley Kinney, Caitlin Koch, *Pearce Kramer, Javonte Langford, *Emilee Lemmer, Thomas Lyon, Jeremy Madison, Jerome Mahone II, Warren Martin, Monica Martinez, Armani May, Nathaniel Merrell, Taylor Molesworth, Jaime Moreno, Raisa Morrison, Alejandra Najera, Dylan Nelson, Jared Nelson, *Madison Nelson, Joseph O'Niel, Ruben Ocanas, Mormon Olivas, *Emily Oliver,  Kristina Osbon, *Alexander Overholser, *Sierra Parmley, Niyla Perez, Tina Perez, Madysen Pillars, Stephanie Postema, Jessica Price, Alyssa Rainey, Ulises Ramirez Tapia, Andrea Rayas, Dennis Rayford, Cayley Rediess, *Lexy Ritenburgh, Dylan Robbins, Skylar Roe, Lorenzo Rosas, *Madelyn Rycenga, Charles Saintz, Karissa Schnake, Nicholas Schooley, Gabriella Shafer, Brittany Schumaker, Jacob Simon, Hailey Sisson, Levi Skuca, Alexis Smith, Leigh Smith, Megan Sollman, *Kelli Stricklin, Tiah Sutton, Perissos Tate, Kyle Till, Johanna Uckele, John Vasquez, Colten Vincent, Kathy Vu, Kelly Vu, Kade Warner, Markus Wesseldyk, Autumn Wheeler, Anjelica White, Michael Williams, *Kiiven Wolf, Allison Zemanek.7th GradeKylie Alcala, Antonia Aleman, Colin Assink, *Abigail Avery, Tyronisha Baker, Sierra Barringer, Cody Bengtson, *Brooke Boyd, Ana Brantley, Joshua Brower, Christopher Brush, Amaris Bryant, Kelsey Burrows, Racheal Butler, Jennifer Byers, Omar Calderon, Ricardo Candelario, Hannah Chambers, Crystal Chavira, Cameron P. Conroy, Olivia Corona, Cody Couturier, Dalton Cowell, Yanakie Cunningham, William Davis, *Joseph DeGrandchamp, *Taylor Denuyl, Brianna Dotson, Haley Duncan, Seth Eastman, William Edson, Elizabeth Everitt, Clayton Farnsworth, Ryan Faux, *Garrett Fragala, Isabella Gallegos-Thompson, Madison Gargus, Nicholas Giles, *John Gillett, Leo Gleiss, Hannah Goff, Gladys Gonzalez, Madeline Goodnough, Bobbie Goodwin, Jared Goodwin, Katelyn Griffin, *Mallory Griffin, Zachary Haberland, Sarah Hallgren, Armando Hernandez, Jorge Hernandez, Drew Holmes, Haley Honcharenko, George Hooper, Jonathan Hosier, Joseph Jackson, Mia Jackson, *Tyler Jesser, Jason John, Rachel Jordan, Kyle June, Joseph Kelemen, Courtney King, Jacob King, *Megan Larson, Kyla Lavanway, Marisa Malin, Katherine Marr, Alexia Marsh Kreigh, Brooklyn Mason, *Abigail McAllister, Kameren McKamey, Darian Meister, *Jessica Miles, Gabriel Miller, Adreana Mize, Kenia Morales, Guadalupe Moreno, Brittanie Morris, Xavier Mulac, Krista O'Shel, *Emily Olivas, Bobbie Osborn, Zackary Parrish, Cullen Peters, Shelby Phillips, Courtney Poindexter, Devin Pratt, Riley Quakenbush, Alma Rafael, Ryan Rainey, Amy Rawlings, Jessica Reitz, Joseph Reyna, Henry Robbins, Nicholas Robinson, *Bailey Rooker, Vanessa Rosas, Allie Ruppert, Ryan Ruppert, Harmoni Rusin, Amy Sanchez, *Kayla Sell, Soncerae Shepherd, Austin Shumaker, Nicholas Simon, Ruth Sloane, Patrick Sloyer, Joseph Small, Morgan Snyder, Hannah Sonderquist, *Angela Sondgerath, Elley Sparks, Austin Springer, Marcus Springer, Samantha Stewart, Faye Sustaita, Colton Toney, Katie Trantham, *Nathaniel Wadas, Kelli Waldschmidt, *Alec Washegesic, *Sarah Washegesic, Daniel Webster, Logan Wesseldyk, Tanner Winkel, Kaylee Wrzesinski, Jacquelyn Wyant, Emmanuel Yanez.8th GradeWilliam Anders, Skylar Austell, Sara Barringer, Lawrence Bigda, Zachary Blanksvard, Marissa Branham, Mason Bright, Marcus Brown, Emma Brzezinski, Tristan Butler, *Chelsea Cedarquist, Carla Clark, Elizabeth Cochran, Katherine Conde, Todd Cornett, Marina Cowie, Alexander Davis, Sarah Dehn, Jada Dibble, Samantha Dopp, Rachel Dubuisson, Ian Everitt, Justin Fragala, Shelby Frederick, Kendra Fridley, Vincent Gianino, Courtney Goff, *Mitchell Graham, James Hager, John Hager, Logan Heinze, *Austin Hinz, Kayla Hollebrands, Bradley Holtzman, Jack Hostetler, Evan Johnson, Andrew Johnston, Tyler Johnatzke, Grace Katt, *Shannon Kelley, Zachary Kenreich, Erica Kick, Richard King, *Jared Koller, Alex Lawson, Alicia Madsen, Megan Malin, Mikayla McGowan, Paras Mehta, Joseph Miller, *Kendra Newton, Olivia Nichols, Kurtis Oliver, Bobby Perez, Tanner Plochocki, Morgan Priest, Bella Reyna, Benjamin Robertson, Mackenzee Rose, Rebekah Rutherford, Briana Sallis, Siera Severinghaus, Morgan Sisson, *Cameron Sleeper, Steven Sollman, Kayla Spratt, *Zachary Swiecicki, Cameron Thaler, Carlton Thompson, Kiley Tippman, Melanie Tromotola, *James Vanderroest, Caleb Vochaska, Ken Whiteford, Kathryn Wickham, Michael Wilkinson, Assad Wilson, Dalton Wolfe, Drew Ziegler.      Copyright 2010 South Haven Tribune. 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