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Chargers Celebrate March is Reading Month

9th graders Brett Kooienga and Caden McSorley show off their class door design, which played on RedBox movies but with a reading twist to it.

March is known nationally as Reading Month and at CTA, the district celebrates the importance of a love of reading from grades preschool through 12th grade.

How CTA is celebrating March is Reading Month:

Audrey Faber is working on a craft project to align with the book she is reading.
  • To kick off the month, all students, preschool-12th grade, stopped what they were doing and read for 2021 seconds at the same time.
  • Elementary students are “Celebrating” Reading month by filling the halls with paper balloons that represent books read by individual students, as well as class read-alouds.
  • Classrooms have been able to invite Mystery Readers into their classrooms by utilizing ZOOM calls and hosting friends and family members of students virtually as readers.
  • Mrs. Bialkowski, CTA elementary principal, and Mrs. Mattson, CTA superintendent, have visited all elementary classrooms to read and gift ALL students with books purchased through a reading grant.
  • At the secondary level, 6th-12th grade students are “Reading for the Gold.” Reading for the Gold includes a door decorating contest; reading challenges to encourage and increase student time spent on reading; and celebrating at the end of the month with a CTA Olympics day of events.

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National Honor Society inductees

Top row (L to R): Senior, Willow Sidlauskas; Senior, Grace Hoogerhyde; Senior, Jeff Marek, Jr.; Senior, McKenzie Alverson;Bottom Row (L to R): Junior, Alison Fisk; Junior, Austin Fisk; Junior, Alyssa Shelagowski

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Order On The Court

CTA wraps up up the basketball season

Varsity Girls Basketball: Front (L to R): Jayda Schreiber, Ruby Tompkins, Taylor Dells, Alison Fisk, Nadelynn Brinley. Back (L to R): Assistant Coach Ben Perry, Danielle Piskun, Analiese VanHarten, Molly Wortz, Alyssa Shelagowski, Lydia Romancky, Coach Lisa Perry.

The 20-21 season for the Varsity Lady Chargers was a great one filled with many learning opportunities. The Lady Chargers started the season with five returning players. Many players were new to basketball or had to fill new roles. Overall, the girls learned a lot as a team and their unity remained strong and spirits were high, despite the many challenges. Captains Ruby Tompkins and Molly Wortz led the Chargers with their positive energy and focused on the job ahead of them. Sophomore Taylor Dells stepped into the point guard role and led the Chargers in scoring. Alison Fisk led in rebounds, and first year player Lydia Romancky earned herself a starting role. The Lady Chargers look forward to working hard for next season, as well as learning and growing together as a team. All-conference Awards went to senior Ruby Tompkins, junior Molly Wortz, and junior Alison Fisk.

Varsity Boys Basketball: Front (L to R): John Elliott, Parker Tompkins, Jake Perry, Alexander Toth, Jacob Jaggers, Ethan Watson. Back (L to R): Assistant Coach Ben Perry, Damien Pohl, Evan Besmer, John Wortz, Jordan Brown, Cameron Haan, Coach Eric Besmer.

The 20-21 CTA boys Varsity basketball team endured injuries and missing players throughout the season to persevere through practices and games. Coach Eric Besmer had one returning starter from last year: senior John Wortz. Besmer noted that several players including juniors Evan Besmer and Ethan Watson; sophomore Parker Tompkins; and freshman Jake Perry stepped up their game this year in various ways. “We had newcomers this year that showed lots of growth, and I am looking forward to the years ahead,” shared Coach Besmer. CTA had a 2-8 league record and 1-1 tournament record.

Middle School Girls Basketball: Front (L to R): Natalie Reichelt, Zoi Devries, Calyssa Brinley, Natalie Haan, Penelope Rose. Back (L to R): Coach Justin Harding, Manager Grace Middlebrook, Sydnee Shepherd, Alyssa Bishop, Katie Christie, Assistant Coach Tori Wierda.

The 2021 CTA middle school girls basketball team had a great season for their second year in the program. The girls finished 4-4 and 1 tied game. Coach Justin Harding was impressed with how the girls responded to the challenges of having minimal practice time and so many games in a short time span. The Middle School Lady Chargers were led by team Captains, eighth graders Alyssa Bishop and Katie Christie. “I am proud of the team,” commended Coach Harding. “They stayed focused in every game and they never stopped giving 100%. I look forward to the future of the Lady Chargers Basketball program at CTA”.

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CTA Alumni Announces Book Publishing

Alicia Kelly, author of “See You Later, Alligator”.

Congrats to our very own World Changing 2014 CTA Alumni Alicia Kelley! She has published her very first children’s book. For the last few years, this project has been in the back of her mind as well as the dream of becoming a bestselling author. Alicia shared, “When I was in high school, I wrote a children’s book for my senior project, with the hopes of someday having it published.” That “someday” came a few years later than she originally anticipated, but “See You Later, Alligator” is now published. She has a second book that’s currently being illustrated and will be published soon. To learn more about Alicia’s books visit https://www.butterflybookspublishing.com/.

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CTA featured staff:

Carrie Gale

Mrs. Carrie Gale

Mrs. Gale is in her 2nd year at CTA and she serves as the K-7 special education services provider. Mrs. Gale works closely with all of our general education teachers, utilizing push-in and pull-out models to support all children both academically as well as social;y and emotionally. She consistently strives to go above and

beyond for all of the Chargers she supports with a smile on her face!

Mr. Ted Cusack

Ted Cusack

This is Mr. Cusack’s fourth year at CTA as the special education services provider for students in grades 7-12.

Mr. Cusack also teaches Transitions, a course which focuses on building soft skills such as organization, filling out applications and interviewing for jobs, setting goals, and problem solving. Mr. Cusack is dedicated to helping students reach their full potential and achieve success, both in and outside of the classroom.

Kay Ransom
Nancy Freyling

Mrs. Kay Ransom & Mrs. Nancy Freyling

Nancy & Kay are our part-time Kindergarten through 2nd grade teacher aides. They are the smiling support that greet some of our youngest Chargers each morning alongside Mrs. Ceglowski. Along with supporting the Kindergarteners, Mrs. Ransom and Mrs. Freyling help with small group instruction, recess supervision, lunchtime and classroom activities. CTA is blessed to have such caring and dedicated aides supporting our Chargers.

Cindy Johnson

Mrs. Cindy Johnson

Cindy Johnson is our full-time 3rd-5th grade teacher aide and has been working with CTA for nearly 20 years.

She can be found all over campus in a variety of capacities. From the cafeteria to the playground, and from the hallways teaching small groups to leading book clubs or supporting science instruction, we are grateful for Mrs. Johnson serving as a pillar in the CTA community!

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CTA featured staff

Kristi Norman

Ms. Kristi Norman

Ms. Norman has been teaching at CTA for 7 years and in the field of education for 16 years. Her desire to create a safe and inclusive environment for all students is evident when you hear her students say, “We own our weird in this classroom!” She is passionate about science education and strives to develop inquisitive and collaborative thinking skills in all of the World Changers that sit in her classroom.

Kate Norman

Mrs. Kate Norman

Mrs. Norman has been teaching at CTA for 8 years and in the field of education for 16 years, just like her sister-in-law Ms. Kristi Norman. Mrs. Norman strives to inspire her students to be self-driven and accountable year after year. The thoughtful, collaborative talk she scaffolds and models can be heard in her classroom on a daily basis, making an impact on all of her World Changers!

Lisa Perry

Mrs. Lisa Perry

This is Mrs. Perry’s fifth year at CTA, where she currently serves as the K-12 Physical Education teacher and Lady Chargers’ Varsity Basketball Coach. Mrs. Perry builds strong relationships with her students and enjoys being active alongside them. She teaches and models to Chargers the qualities of good sportsmanship and the practice of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Dominic Morlan

Mr. Dominic Morlan

Mr. Morlan is in his second year as the CTA Fine Arts teacher. He loves to instill his love of music and drama into his K-12 students. In addition to teaching, Mr. Morlan directs the fall play and spring musical. He is excited to be able to provide the opportunity for creative outlets in a variety of ways through these productions. Outside of school, Mr. Morlan is a proud member of the 126th Army Band.

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Enroll Now!

Open Enrollment Period for the 2021-22 School Year

January 15 – February 15, 2021

You may register students for grades K-12 by calling Mrs. Atkins, Mrs.
Bialkowski (K-5), or Mrs. Colin (6-12) at 696-4905.

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CTA Featured Staff

Ms. Meredith Lane

Ms. Lane is in her second year of teaching 2nd grade at CTA. Ms. Lane continues to share her passion for providing real world experiences and hands-on learning to her students on a regular basis. Her engaging and animated teaching style creates a positive learning environment for her Chargers.

Ms. Gabby Schatz

Ms. Schatz is new to CTA as the 3rd grade teacher and in her first year teaching, although she seems like a natural. Ms. Schatz hails from Central Michigan University and resides in Cedar Springs. She loves being outdoors, fishing, and gardening, and brings her love of the outdoors and love of learning into her classroom.

Ms. Alexis Lucarelli

This is Ms. Lucarelli’’s first year at CTA. She teaches 6th grade Science and 6th-8th grade ELA. Ms. Lucarelli graduated from Cornerstone University and lives in Cedar Springs. Her passion for investing in the lives of young people is evident in the energy she brings each day. Ms. Lucarelli works to make her classroom a positive and fun environment for her students.

Ms. Megan Kilts

Ms. Kilts is in her first year at CTA, teaching high school English. She is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and a Cedar Springs native. Ms. Kilts enjoys being a part of our community of students, families, and staff. She aims to spread her love of literature to her students through a variety of activities. High school Chargers are fortunate to have her lead their learning.

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Civic Duty of Voting is practiced in the classroom

4th grade student Gwen Middlebrook cast her ballot for her favorite animal, sport, ice cream flavor and more.

Teachers brought the recent national election to relatable and age-appropriate levels in the classrooms. In the elementary building, students explored the concepts of voting and elections through read alouds such as Duck For President, and cast ballots in mock elections and learned about how the electoral college process works. Middle schoolers learned about the election process with Social Studies teacher Mrs. Marsman through a student-led Kid Explorer video presentation. By completing this project they learned the answers to questions such as: What are the requirements to become President? How do elections work? What is the Electoral College? Which amendments guarantee voting rights? What are political parties? And what are checks and balances?

In the high school, Government teacher Mr. Washington focused on the purposes, organization, powers, processes, and election of the executive branch of the United States, and the roles and responsibilities of the President. Mr. Washington taught students in his other Social Studies classes the components of a professional and respectful debate, and students had the opportunity to put these new skills into practice.

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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