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Archive | Cedar Springs Public Schools

Student Athlete of the Month

OCTOBER 2018


Jaydon Moleski has been named the October Athlete of the Month for Boys Cross Country.   He is the son of Christopher and Kelly Moleski.   Jaydon was also named OK White First Team All-Conference, All-Region, All-Area, All State and Academic All-State.  Coach Lacy comments: 

“Jaydon had a banner season. There are very few runners or athletes in general that will ever accomplish everything that he did in one season.  One of the hardest workers on the team and he deserves much praise for everything that he accomplished this season.”

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Cedar Springs student wins national award

Pictured L to R: American Legion Unit #287 Education Chairman Mary Anne Yuncker, David Vernon, Jasmine Fankhauser, Rachel Vernon, and Deborah Chambers, 2017-2018 Unit President. Not pictured is Unit Poppy Chairman last year LoraLee Nauta.

Congratulations to Jasmine Fankhauser for winning a National award for the best poppy poster in the Poppy Poster contest sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary. Ms. Vickie Burke was the art teacher who encouraged her class to enter the contest. Jasmine followed the guidelines and won at the local, district and state levels before winning the National award. 

Her poster was featured at the American Legion Auxiliary National Convention in Minneapolis, Minn. in August. She was presented her certificates and a $50.00 prize for her outstanding talent at a ceremony on November 8. “We hope to have even more entries next year,” said Mary Anne Yunker, Education Chairman for American Legion Unit #287.

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Cedar Springs Schools awarded $478,000 safety grant

By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs Public Schools will be making some safety improvements thanks to a $478,713 matching grant they recently were awarded from the Michigan State Police Grants and Community Services Division. 

Under the conditions of the grant, the school will be reimbursed for 75 percent of an upcoming $638,284 project. The school will pay the other 25 percent ($159, 571). According to Cedar Springs School Superintendent Scott Smith, the money will come out of either their general fund, or the building and site sinking fund.

The grant will help fund the following projects: building access controls; exterior doors and frames; electronic door strikes; a public address system; and a Bluepoint Rapid Emergency Response System. They have until next September to complete the projects, and Smith said they would start on them as soon as possible.

“Words cannot express the degree of appreciation Cedar Springs Public Schools has for the efforts of Ken Simon, Deputy Tom McCutcheon, and Jeff Malloch in making this happen for our community,” said Smith.

The grant was part of $25 million in grants awarded by the MSP to purchase equipment and/or technology to improve the safety and security of school buildings, students and staff across Michigan.  

“These grants are part of the proactive approach the state is taking to help prevent tragedies in our schools and provide for the safe learning environment that our kids need and deserve,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “A multifaceted approach is necessary to keep our schools safe and these grants are a component of the comprehensive effort to keep Michigan school children safe.”

Grants were given to 114 public school districts, 42 non-public schools, 22 public charter schools, and 10 Intermediate School Districts / Regional Education Services.

Over $69 million in requests were included in 407 applications submitted. A committee that included representatives from the MSP, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools, school security personnel and the Executive Office of the Governor reviewed the grant applications.

 “The Competitive School Safety Grant Program will provide the resources needed by many schools throughout our state to ensure students have a safe learning environment,” said MSP Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue. “The review committee gave priority to proposals that sought to secure access points at school buildings, as it is considered one of the best and most cost-effective ways to improve school safety and security.”

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All conference athletes for fall

Cedar Springs had several All Conference first team athletes for the fall season. Congratulations to you all!

Dane Conely-Boys Tennis

Ryan Ringler-Football

Kolby Swank-Football

Lucus Pienton-Football

Ben Shaw-Football

Landon Totten-Football

Sage Serbenta-Football

Gage Gardner-Football

Grace Pavelka-Volleyball

Corey Bowers-Boys Cross Country

Dilan Sargent-Boys Cross Country

Jaydon Moleski-Boys Cross Country

Austin Mann-Boys Cross Country

Abe Winkels-Boys Soccer

Easton Mooney-Boys Soccer

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Business, community working together

The football parents provide team dinner for the players and coaches every week on the evening before game day. In the week before the first playoff game, a group of football moms were contacting local businesses asking for donations for that week. Anne West, mother of Varsity player Ethan West, contacted Tom Goldsmith, franchise owner of Culver’s,  because her son and other football players work there. Anne said Tom responded back immediately with what they could donate, and it was way more than she expected. It included 300 chicken tenders, 15 pounds of pot roast, 90 buns, 80 concrete mixers, and ranch and barbecue cups.

“He was very generous with his donation as he’s only been in the community for a little over 3 months and we were asking to provide for 70 players and coaches,” remarked Anne. “When we arrived on Thursday, he had one of his crew leaders, Owen, meet us in the back and brought out a large warming cart with all the hot and cold food items. He even loaded up the vehicle with all the food so we were in and out of there within 10 minutes.” 

Because the team wanted to show their appreciation, they had all the varsity players sign a autographable photo matte which included a picture of the team and coaches after beating Forest Hills Northern and clinching the OK White Conference Championship. They also provided some other items and took a picture with a couple of his crew members underneath the Culver’s sign after the meal.

“This is such a great example of how great our small town community is in supporting our football team,” said Anne.

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Brighton Miller commits to play basketball at Aquinas

On November 1, Cedar Springs had their first student-athlete of the year make their college commitment official when senior Brighton Miller (4.23 GPA) signed to play collegiate basketball at Aquinas College. Brighton is pictured at her signing ceremony with her mom Christine, and her father and coach, Brandon.  

Also attending Brighton’s signing ceremony were numerous family members, friends, administrators, staff, teammates and coaches, including the Aquinas College Basketball staff. 

“We are extremely excited to have Brighton as part of our women’s basketball program at Aquinas College,” said Head Coach Nash, from Aquinas College. “Brighton is an outstanding student-athlete. Her work ethic and knowledge of the game will be a huge asset to our program.”

“Brighton is a multi-sport standout athlete for Cedar, and she has especially shined on the hardwood for the Red Hawks since her freshman year,” said Cedar Springs Athletic Director John Norton.

Brighton is excited about the commitment. “Aquinas just felt like a good fit for me. I like the location, and I am just excited to be able to keep playing at the next level beyond High School. I am extremely thankful to my Mom and Dad for their support, and giving me this opportunity,” she said.

Brighton and the Red Hawks will begin preparing for their coming season next Monday, November 12. With Brighton leading the way, it should be an exciting season for the Lady Red Hawks.

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Red Hawks end season with loss to the Big Reds 34-18

The Red Hawks couldn’t stop Cameron Martinez, of the Muskegon Big Reds. Photo by Kelly and Rob LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks ended their season on an ice covered field at Grand Haven High School last Friday, November 9, when they lost to the undefeated Muskegon Big Reds in the regional championship by a score of 34-18. But what a season it was!

The team went 10-2, which is their best record since 2000, when they went 11-2 and made it to the semifinals. They lost their first game this season to a tough Saginaw Swan Valley 12-21, and then went on to win 10 straight, including two playoff games. They won their first ever OK White Conference championship (6-0) and went on to become District Champs, defeating a previously undefeated Mount Pleasant for the title. They only allowed 95 points during the regular season, and 55 during the post season, with the Muskegon game making up the bulk of that. 

Kapolka explained why his team had such a great season and what he will remember about it. “We were successful because our team was unselfish, and played hard for each other. This group enjoyed being around each other and loved playing football. They never had a bad day on the practice field or weight room, and it was an honor for me to coach this group,” he said.

The loss to Muskegon brought an end to the best season Cedar Springs has had since 2000. Photo by Kelly and Rob LaLone.

Muskegon scored first in Friday’s game with 8:44 on the clock in the first quarter on a 4-yard run by Cameron Martinez, and Carlos Hernandez-sias kicked the extra point. Cedar Springs then scored with 4:54 left in the first, on a 5-yard run by QB Kolby Swank. The extra point run was no good. Cedar Springs then kicked off to Muskegon, and the ball was run all the way back by Myles Walton to the Cedar Springs end zone for a touchdown. The first quarter ended with a score of Cedar Springs 6, Muskegon 13.

The Red Hawks then scored again in the second when Ethan West ran left 20 yards for the touchdown. Swank’s pass to West for the extra points was no good. Muskegon did not score in the second, so it ended with a score of Muskegon 13, Cedar Springs 12.

Muskegon scored twice in the third on runs by Cameron Martinez—a 32-yard run and a 75-yard run. Extra points were good, and the score at the end of 3 was Muskegon 28, Cedar Springs 12.

Both teams scored again in the fourth quarter. The Big Reds scored on a two-yard touchdown by Martinez, and the extra point was no good. The Red Hawks scored with 3:20 left, when Sage Serbenta ran the ball in two yards for the touchdown. Swank’s pass to Ryan Ringler was no good. The final score was Muskegon 34, Cedar Springs 18.

“I thought our kids played tough Friday night,” said Coach Gus Kapolka. “We made a few too many mistakes, and against a team like Muskegon it makes it difficult to win. It was a disappointing end to our season, but I’m proud of how our kids handled themselves against a tough opponent. I thought they represented Cedar Springs well, and our community should be proud of the job they did.”

Leading rushers for Cedar Springs were Serbenta with 94 yards; West with 81; Ringler with 31; Lucas Pienton with 24; and Swank with 14. The team rushed for 244 yards.

For Muskegon, Martinez was the leading rusher with 232 yards. The team total was 321.

Leading in tackles for Cedar Springs was Ethan West, with 11; Xavier Anderson with 9; Ryan Ringler with 8; Seth Almas with 6; Landon Totten with 5; Ben Shaw and Sage Serbenta with 4; Lucas Pienton, Gage Gardner and Zack Schmid with 3 each; and Brayden Marvel, Bryant Maley and Tyler Salinas all had one.

Ali’vonta Wallace led the Big Reds in tackles with 12.

When the Red Hawks come back next season, they will be missing some of the familiar names from this season. What does Kapolka see in the team’s future? 

“We lose an amazing group of seniors who have raised the bar of expectations in our program” he remarked. “Their impact on our program will be felt for a very long time. With that being said, we will return approximately 5 starters on both sides of the ball, including our leading scorer and rusher from this year’s team, Sage Serbenta. In addition, our JV’s finished 8-1 and the freshmen were 6-3, so the future is bright for our program.”

Congratulations to the Red Hawks on a great season! 

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Cedar Springs student wins national award

Pictured L to R: American Legion Unit #287 Education Chairman Mary Anne Yuncker, David Vernon, Jasmine Fankhauser, Rachel Vernon, and Deborah Chambers, 2017-2018 Unit President. Not pictured is Unit Poppy Chairman last year LoraLee Nauta.

Congratulations to Jasmine Fankhauser for winning a National award for the best poppy poster in the Poppy Poster contest sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary. Ms. Vickie Burke was the art teacher who encouraged her class to enter the contest. Jasmine followed the guidelines and won at the local, district and state levels before winning the National award. 

Her poster was featured at the American Legion Auxiliary National Convention in Minneapolis, Minn. in August. She was presented her certificates and a $50.00 prize for her outstanding talent at a ceremony on November 8. “We hope to have even more entries next year,” said Mary Anne Yunker, Education Chairman for American Legion Unit #287.

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From the Superintendent’s Office

Superintendent Scott Smith

As we are now in the month of October, it is safe to say that we have successfully reached the point in the journey where we can remove the “new” label when referring to the 2018/19 school year for Cedar Springs Public Schools.  It is no longer necessary to say the “new school year” in our conversations.

The successful establishment of routines, at home, on the bus, at lunch, at recess, and in the classroom, has made this possible.  The incredible efforts of our students, families, and staff have contributed to the establishment of new norms around attending school.  These norms will create the foundation for our success moving forward. Routines at home and school help contribute to stability for students, families, and staff.  

For some, getting up in the morning may not be as easy as it was in previous weeks as the “newness” of the school year wears off.  It is important to recognize the impact that regular school attendance has on the academic growth of students regardless of their age.  Cedar Springs is thankful for the opportunity to partner with other schools in Kent County in our efforts to improve school attendance for our students.  

The initiative, called “Strive for Less than 5”, encourages students to do their best to miss less than five days in any given school year.  Chronic absenteeism is often a factor when students fall behind their peers academically.

Families in Cedar Springs can help support this initiative through the establishment of regular routines at home.  Routines that involve sleep, eating, play, reading, and other homework are essential for our students to be at their very best each day.  Another way families can support students is to help build excitement at home around the things their students are doing at school. Each of our buildings uses multiple channels to communicate with families around what is happening at school.  To continuously improve in the area of communication with families, if we are not meeting your needs as a family in this area, please let us know so we can take steps to assist you in your efforts as you do your best to support our amazing students.

With respect and appreciation,
Scott B. Smith, Superintendent

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Cedar Springs Education Foundation 

The Cedar Springs Education Foundation was established in 1986, and has provided over $2 million to support the quality education and learning in our Cedar Springs Public Schools. The board members are volunteers and have a passion for our public schools and the education of our young people. The Foundation has 501(c)(3) non-profit status, therefore all donations are tax deductible and can be mailed to the Foundation at 204 E Muskegon or given to any board member. Please consider a donation as a way to honor a teacher, staff member or community member. A note will be sent to the honoree informing them of your donation.   Tax deductible donations can be mailed to: Cedar Springs Education Foundation 204 E Muskegon Street Cedar Springs, MI 49319

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