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Rotary Club honors 5th grade essay winners

Pictured are the Cedar Springs Rotary 4-Way Test essay winners. From L to R: Sally Odren, Makenna Nichols, Jack Cairy, Analiese Van Harten, and Josh Trendt. Courtesy photo.

Pictured are the Cedar Springs Rotary 4-Way Test essay winners. From L to R: Sally Odren, Makenna Nichols, Jack Cairy, Analiese Van Harten, and Josh Trendt. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Rotary handed out awards to students last week in their annual Rotary 4-way test essay contest. They invited fifth grade students from Cedar View and Creative Technologies Academy to participate. All essays were written in 200 words or less. Teachers chose the 2 best essays from their class and submitted them to the committee, which included Julie Wheeler, Carolyn Davis, Donna Clark and Bea Hesley.

Clark and Rotary president Tom Noreen spoke with each of the classes ahead of time, and gave them some background on Rotary. “We talked about having integrity and the 4 way formula (is it the truth, is it fair, will it build goodwill, will it be beneficial) and how it ties in with habits of mind,” explained Clark. “People who live by these have integrity and impact their community in a positive way. We told them to think about one of these that they practiced in their own lives—a real life situation that would touch us, and told them to write about it.”

The students were then on their own to write the essays. And the students who won had a good grasp of what the committee was looking for. Out of 14 essays, they chose five. There were ties for second and third place.

“We feel like these essays were the best ever,” said Clark.

The two second place essays were about volunteering to feed hungry families. The third place winners wrote stories about how a community can work together to benefit one another, such as the fundraisers for the Rickers.

The first place winner spoke about how things people say can be cruel, but we can choose to be inspired rather than let their words have a bad effect on us.

The first place winner was Sally Odren, of Mr. Moleski’s class at Cedar View. She won $50.

Second place winners were Jack Cairy, of Mrs. Kahler’s class, and Makenna Nichols, of Mrs. Miller’s class, both at Cedar View. They each won $25.

Third place winners were Josh Trendt, of Mr. Moleski’s class at Cedar View, and Analiese Van Harten, of Mrs. Norman’s class at CTA. They each won $10.

“We as Rotarians are aware of the example we set as individuals and as a Club in our community,” said Noreen. “As community leaders and partners, we are mindful of what we think, say and do.”

The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and is a code of ethics each Rotarian aspires to live by both in their business and personal lives. It says: “Of the things we think, say or do: 1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

This is the ninth year that the Rotary has partnered with local schools on this project.

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March Reading Madness

Senator Peter MacGregor read to young students.

Senator Peter MacGregor read to young students.

Senator Peter MacGregor stopped by Creative Technologies Academy for a visit the morning of March 13 and read to the kindergarten, first, and second grade students. He read Bobby Bramble Loses His Brain by Dave Keane. Senator MacGregor discussed the difference between fiction and nonfiction books with the young students and encouraged them to read with their peers, siblings, and adults. He made sure to allow time to answer the many questions the students had, such as: How did you get elected? Who’s your boss? What do you like to read? What’s your favorite color?

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team take time to pose with third grade student, Aiden Dood, after reading with his class.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team take time to pose with third grade student, Aiden Dood, after reading with his class.

Ferris State University’s women’s basketball Coach, Kendra Faustin, and Assistant Coach, Sharonda Hurd, brought a few of their players to the CTA elementary in order to spend time reading with students during March is Reading Month. The coaches and players also visited with the middle and high school students in an assembly to share powerful lessons about the importance of personal responsibility and accountability in everyday life.

CTA’s middle school students were visited by the Grace Bible College Tigers basketball team. The students watched a video, produced by MAPSA and Buddy Morehouse, about the story of Curtis Jones. Jones was widely considered the greatest basketball talent ever to come out of the city of Detroit, but his dreams died and his life spiraled downward because he couldn’t read and write. After viewing the video, team members led small group discussions with CTA students about lessons to be learned from Curtis Jones, specifically, about the importance of getting the best education possible.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team pose with several middle school students.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team pose with several middle school students.

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5th Grade Student Named Third Place Winner of Rotary Essay Contest

Analiese with her parents, Rob and Amy Van Harten.

Analiese with her parents, Rob and Amy Van Harten.

Analiese with her parents, Rob and Amy Van Harten.

Analiese with her parents, Rob and Amy Van Harten.

Every year the Cedar Springs Rotary Club puts on a Four-Way Test Essay Contest for local fifth grade students. The Rotary’s Four-Way Test essay questions consist of:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

This year, one of CTA’s fifth grade students, Analiese Van Harten, tied for Third Place in the contest. She and her family, fifth grade teacher Mrs. Norman, and Dean of Students, Mrs. Mattson, attended the Rotary Meeting on March 8, which honored all of the winners.

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Putting the “Fun” in Fundraiser

Drama Teacher Jeremy Holtrop (back left) gets into the singing groove with CTA students.

Drama Teacher Jeremy Holtrop (back left) gets into the singing groove with CTA students.

On Saturday, February 18, the choir students of Creative Technologies Academy held a karaoke fundraiser to help raise money for their upcoming performance at District Choral Festival. Many fundraisers can be tedious and time-consuming, so the choir students came up with the idea to do a fundraiser that was more fun! Students in grade 6-12 came out for an evening of karaoke, dancing, games, and food. The evening started off with a few well-known belting karaoke songs, and then continued with student requests. Midway through, students participated in a “Singing Bee” style competition in which they had to complete the lyrics to well known songs for a prize. Also included in the event were a few group dance numbers like “Cha Cha Slide” and “The Chicken Dance.”

When students weren’t singing or dancing they could have their picture taken at the photo booth or grab some snacks. All of the funds raised at the event went right back to the choir who is preparing to go to the District Choral Festival on Thursday, March 16.

For the CTA choir, Charger Voices, this will be the first time attending the festival and the group has worked hard to be able to go. At the festival, the choir will be singing two prepared songs and then will sight read for a group of judges. Jeremy Holtrop, the director of the group, said, “The students show a lot of pride and dedication to this choir. It has become a family, and we are so excited to challenge ourselves to go to the next level!”

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Congratulations 4th and 5th grade Honor Roll

4th and 5th Grade Honor Roll Students

4th and 5th Grade Honor Roll Students

A BIG congratulations to the following 4th and 5th grade students for making the 2nd Trimester Honor Roll! These students worked their tails off to get A’s or B’s in all of their core subject classes. Great job putting forth a commendable Charger effort, 4th and 5th graders! These students completed their homework, asked questions, and studied; they showed responsibility in every way! We can’t wait to see this list grow for third trimester.


Thomas Hoops

Karly Fisk

Owen Freyling

Shawney Mason

Ame Schaap- Jones

Sage Sidlauskas


William Brinks

Nadelynn Brinley

Mason Sullivan

Analiese VanHarten

Kaden Winters

Lilly Coffee

Jacob de la Rosa

Meghan McKinney

Brenden Rizzon

Zachary Gibbs

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CTA 2016-17 Honor Roll – Trimester 2


Middle School Honor Roll

Grade Name GPA

08 Alverson, McKenzie 4.0

08 Armstrong, Casen 4.0

07 August, Elizabeth 3.4

06 Beiter, Landon 3.7

08 Bennett, Derek 3.3

07 Benson, Jesse 3.8

07 Besmer, Evan 4.0

07 Brecker, Carlene 3.8

07 Brown, Jordan 3.3

08 Buchanan, Anthony 3.1

08 Calkins, Calvin 3.2

07 Case, Ava 3.2

07 Cook, Brittanie 3.5

06 Covell, Remington 3.8

06 Davenport, Haydn 3.9

08 Dekraker, Madelin 3.2

06 Fessenden, Joshua 3.3

07 Fisk, Austin 4.0

07 Fisk, Nathaniel 3.2

07 Fleet, Raven 3.3

06 Greenfield, Dylan 3.5

06 Hanes, Joel 3.1

08 Hawley, Nash 3.2

08 Hutchins, Nathan 3.7

06 Jibson, Brenna 3.9

07 Lehman, Lauren 4.0

08 Marek, Jeff 4.0

07 Marek, Sawyer 3.6

08 Mauric, James 3.8

08 McSorley, Carson 4.0

07 Merritt, Adanna 3.4

08 Miner, Kevin 3.3

06 Phillips, Anna 3.5

07 Shelagowski, Alyssa 3.8

08 Sidlauskas, Willow 4.0

06 Slock, Ethan 4.0

06 Slock, Kaden 3.7

07 Stevens, Zachary 3.5

07 Thebo, Michael 3.3

06 Tompkins, Parker 3.5

08 Tompkins, Ruby 3.6

06 Turoski, Kylee 3.0

06 Walker, Malikia 3.9

08 Wierda, Tori 3.4

08 Wilhelm, Kristina 4.0

06 Wineman, Rebekah 4.0

06 Winn, Emily 3.6

07 Winters, Ivan 4.0

06 Winters, Landon 3.2

08 Wortz, John 3.5

07 Wortz, Molly 4.0


High School Honor Roll

Grade Name GPA

12 Alverson, Allie 3.2

11 Armstrong, Dawson 4.0

11 Aspinall, Cortney 3.7

10 August, Danielle 3.9

11 Baird, Kayla 3.1

12 Beck, Brandon 3.6

11 Buchanan, Briannah 3.6

09 Bucholtz, Kaela 3.7

10 Calkins, Brianne 3.7

09 Coffee, Summer 3.4

10 Davison, Matthew 3.9

10 Dillon, Joshua 3.2

10 Dillon, Justin 3.2

09 Fahling, Gabriela 3.3

12 Fahling, Holly 3.7

10 Fulkerson, Lily 3.5

11 Gibbs, Hannah 3.7

12 Hanes, Victoria 3.7

12 Heydenburg, Emily 3.7

12 Hickox, Annalise 4.0

09 Hirsch, Travis 3.2

09 Hofstra, Hannah 3.9

11 Hofstra, James 3.8

11 Howard, Austin 4.0

11 Imhoff, Elise 3.8

10 Jahns, Elizabeth 3.7

11 Korody, Michael 4.0

12 Kyser, June 3.7

12 Lass, Bridget 3.1

12 Lawson, Tatyanna 3.5

12 Lehman, Ethan 4.0

09 Lehman, Zoe 4.0

12 Long, Deija 3.1

09 Martinek, Olivia 3.7

12 Mauric, Eleanor 4.0

12 McKinney, Thomas 3.2

11 Medwayosh, Sierra 3.0

11 Miner, Leslie 4.0

12 Piskun, Isaiah 3.3

10 Roebuck, Isaac 3.3

12 Russell, Lexus 3.7

11 Ryder, Jamie 4.0

12 Ryder, Jessie 4.0

09 Shelagowski, Ashley 4.0

12 Shelagowski, Autumn 4.0

11 Sidlauskas, Violet 4.0

10 Slock, Keegan 4.0

10 Starr, Marjorie 4.0

11 Thebo, Tayler 3.3

09 VanderMeulen, Anya 3.2

11 Watson, Autumn 3.6

09 Watson, Faith 3.0

10 Winters, Logan 3.7

09 Wright, Aaron 3.0

12 Wright, Jason 3.2

11 Yarrington, Josie 3.0

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  • 24 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)*
  • 27-30 Spirit Week K-5
  • 28 Daddy Daughter Dance
  • 29 Talent Show
  • 30 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)*
  • 30 Battle of the Books
  • 31 Spring Break Begins


  • 10 School Resumes from Spring Break
  • 10 Coffee Time with School Leader/Superintendent
  • 14 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)*
  • 17 4th & 5th Grade Health Curriculum Parent Meeting
  • 24-27 K-8 Student-Led Conferences
  • 28 Prom

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

• K-2 Dismissal at 12:50 p.m.

• 3-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

• 6-12 Dismissal at 12:40 p.m.

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From the Superintendent’s Desk

Laura VanDuyn

Laura VanDuyn

Dear Cedar Springs Public Schools Families:

Exciting School District News: 2017 Refunding Bonds! The Board of Education Cedar Springs Public Schools is proud to announce the successful sale of its 2017 Refunding Bonds in the amount of $7,060,000.  The Bonds are being issued for the purpose of currently refunding a portion of the School District’s outstanding 2007 Refunding Bonds and to pay the costs of issuing the Bonds. The 2017 Refunding Bonds reduce the School District interest expense over $679,873 for the taxpayers and will occur through lower debt payments over the next 12 years.

In preparing to sell the 2017 Refunding Bonds the School District, working with their financial advisor, PFM Financial Advisors LLC, requested that S&P Global Ratings, acting through Standard and Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”) evaluate the School District’s credit quality.  S&P assigned the School District the outstanding underlying rating of “A+”.  The rating agency cited the School District’s stable economy with good incomes, strong market value per capita, stable enrollment, strong reserves and moderate debt burden in their rational for rating of the School District at this level.

I’m extremely pleased with the results of the refunding and thrilled that we’re able to save the taxpayers of Cedar Springs almost $700,000 over the next 12 years!   When you add that to the $2.5 million saved from last years’ refunding, that’s significant.

The School District’s financing was conducted by the Michigan investment banking office of the brokerage firm, Stifel, the financial advising firm, PFM Financial Advisors LLC and the law firm serving as bond counsel, Thrun Law Firm, P.C.  The School District’s 2017 Refunding Bonds were sold at a true interest rate of 2.85% with a final maturity of 2029 (a repayment term of approximately 12 years). Jeffrey Zylstra, Managing Director with Stifel states, “Cedar Springs Public Schools’ Bonds were well received by the bond market.  We were able to take advantage of current interest rates that met the goals of the District and resulted in a nice savings that will be passed on to the District’s Taxpayers.”

Please feel free to contact me should you have questions about this exciting news.


Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools

Office:  616-696-1204 ext. 1001    Cell: 925-899-3111    Email: laura.vanduyn@csredhawks.org

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National School Breakfast Week 


CSPS-NSBW17white-OriginalMarch 6-10, 2017.  Enter to Win 4 Movie Tickets to Kent Theater  

Busy weekday mornings make it a challenge for families to find time for a healthy breakfast. Cedar Springs Public Schools will recognize National School Breakfast Week during March 6th -10th, 2017.  The National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) campaign theme, “School Breakfast Challenge”, reminds the entire school community that school breakfast provides a healthy, energizing start to the day for students.

During National School Breakfast Week each student that joins us for breakfast will be entered into a raffle drawing for a chance to win a gift certificate to Cedar Springs Kent Theater.  A student may be entered once per day from March 6th – 10th, 2017.

For additional information, contact Holly Haywood at 616-696-0372.

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Scholar Instrumentalist of the Month for January


Nicole was the senior section leader of the trombones for marching band, member of our top concert band, Wind Ensemble, and is a member of the Cedar Springs Jazz Band.  She is an outstanding student leader, is very dedicated and hard-working.

Congratulations Nicole VonSeggern!

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