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Something to celebrate

CTA students throw their hats in celebration after commencement last week. Courtesy photo.
CTA valedictorian Hannah Hofstra gives her commencement speech. Courtesy photo.

With school ending early this year, and students missing out on many of the end of the year activities due to COVID-19, the class of 2020 at Creative Technologies Academy finally had something to celebrate last week.

The CTA class of 2020 held their commencement ceremony on June 23 at Red Hawk Stadium at the Cedar Springs High School. Eighteen students graduated, with 15 of them participating in the ceremony.

The school adhered to state guidelines of outdoor gatherings of less than 100 people. Students were allotted to bring a certain number of guests. 

Students, staff and board members were all spaced the recommended 6-feet apart on the stage and track, while families in the stadium sat spaced with their immediate group. 

Dan Quisenberry, president of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, served as the guest speaker and shared words of wisdom with the students as he encouraged them in their future endeavors. Superintendent Dan George encouraged the students to “Change the World” as has been his mantra during his tenure at CTA and this was his last graduation before his retirement. Former elementary principal Autumn Mattson has now taken the reins as Superintendent/School leader.

CTA is proud of the Class of 2020 and thankful for their flexibility during these unprecedented times.

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Celebrating the Class of 2020

Graduation this year will likely look a little different than the above photo. Social distancing and masks may make an appearance. The above photo was taken in 2017 by Kelly and Rob LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The end of the 2019-20 school year has been anything but normal. In-class learning ended abruptly in March after the COVID-19 virus made its appearance here. In April, the rest of the school year was canceled, though students continued to learn online and from home. The school year is now over, and the senior class of 2020 missed out on many of the things that make a senior year special. So this week, we are celebrating our seniors, as we normally do this time of year. You can find photos of the Class of 2020 from various schools and their highest honors seniors by downloading the following link: 2020 Graduation.pdf

Some schools have given us tentative graduation dates: 

Creative Technologies Academy has a tentative date of June 23 at Red Hawk Stadium. “We are still working out the details, but we will follow the governor’s Phase 4 guidelines for crowd size and social distancing rules,” said retiring Superintendent Dan George. “The guest speaker is Dan Quisenberry, president of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies. As you know, this will be my last ceremony, so I’m thrilled that we get to do this for our seniors who have endured so much this year.”

Cedar Springs Public Schools has a tentative date of June 25 at 7 p.m., according to high school principal Ron Behrenwald.

Tri County Area Schools has two tentative dates with the first one being on Sunday, June 14.  “Not highly likely that one will happen but we also have Sunday, August 2 penciled in,” said Connie Butler, of Tri County.

Algoma Christian School had their graduation on Friday, May 29, with students and their families in the school parking lot, where they also practiced social distancing.

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CTA response to governor suspending face to face learning for the rest of the year

From Dan George, Superintendent, Creative Technologies Academy

With the governor’s formal announcement this morning of the closing of school for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, I understand we are moving into unexplored territory. The decision to close our buildings is highly disappointing, but understandable and necessary.  The governor had no choice. If this decision saves only one life, it is worth it.

Our entire nation is facing a challenge perhaps unlike anything since World War II, certainly unlike anything I’ve seen in my lifetime. But hope springs eternal for Americans and our community. We know how to pull together. And we will! And we are! Even though our campus is closed, teaching and learning will continue through the end of May. I have been so encouraged by the spirit of the educators in this community, those on my own staff and those at CSPS. I am blessed by the partnership of CSPS Superintendent Scott Smith to feed the children of CSPS and CTA. My administrators and teachers have been collaborating with educators from other districts, sharing ideas for distance learning. My staff has been sharing resources with parents and students for three weeks, having Zoom meetings, and preparing for this announcement. 

We continue the development of our plan for continuity of learning to meet the emotional and academic needs of all our students, and we will implement it as soon as possible. We will especially reach out to our seniors and collaborate on some innovative ways to celebrate their achievements. 

We also want you to know this:

  • Our staff is not surprised by this and we have been preparing for this event. We believe we are ahead of the curve in our preparation. We are experienced in innovation and personal instruction.
  • Our target date for implementing our plan is April 20. This date could change depending on factors for approval. We will keep you posted.
  • Spring Break (April 6-10) will be honored for our students.

We are extremely proud of our families and staff for their flexibility, patience, and understanding during this crisis. We also know this situation presents unique challenges to each family. We want our CTA families and the Cedar Springs community to know you are our family. We are in this together. Please reach out if you are in need of help.

Lastly, please take the appropriate measures to keep your family healthy.

Sincerely,

Dan George
Superintendent
Creative Technologies Academy
350 Pine Street
Cedar Springs, MI 49319
Office: (616) 696-4905
Mobile: (616) 893-1507

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Boys Varsity Basketball Finishes on Top

The varsity boys take a minute to pose with their victory net after the district championship game.
Front Row (L tor R): John Wortz, Luke Hubbard, Ivan Winters. Back Row (L to R): Coach Eric Besmer, Evan Besmer, Ethan Watson, Landon Winters, Avery Bishop, Kaden Winters, Jake Perry, Parker Tompkins, Assistant Coach Mark Winters

Boys Varsity won the Great Lakes 6 district championship. The boys had a great season and Coach Eric Besmer is proud of the boys as they came together to finish the season strong.

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Sweetheart Sock Hop

CTA students had an opportunity to take a step back in time at the Sweetheart Sock Hop on Saturday, February 15. Festivities included retro decor, throwback music, and fun photo opportunities!

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March is A Reading Adventure

Elementary and middle school students partner to read ​Wish​.

CTA is celebrating March is Reading Month school-wide!

In the elementary, Ms. Lane created a bulletin board filled with staff and student book recommendations. There have been a slew of parents and community members in the building as mystery readers, and 4th & 5th graders are building a Yellow Brick Road to Oz as they log their reading!

The freshmen created a world map for students in grades 6-12 to promote reading books from around the world, and secondary students are accumulating as many reads as they can throughout the month. Students are competing to see which class can read the most!

The map created by freshmen to denote reading around the world and exposing students to different genres and cultures.

ALL students are having a shared reading experience through ​One School – One Book​, partnering the elementary and secondary together! Every Monday morning in March, K-5 students read Barbara O’Conner’s ​Wish​ with their secondary partners, and preschool students and their partners will read a variety of picture books. You can find students throughout the campus reading and discussing together. ​Every student will be able to keep his or her copy!

Happy reading, everyone! 

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SCHOOL CALENDAR

*Subject to change per government mandates.

SCHOOL HOURS

Grades K-5: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Grades 6-12: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

FlexTrac Grades 9-12: (7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. including 2 self-scheduled hours)

April 3-10 Spring Break

13 Classes ressume

14 Jostens Cap & Gown Delivery

14 Girls Varsity Soccer Game @Algoma Christian School @4:30 p.m.

16 Girls Varsity Soccer Game @Barry County Christian School @4:30 p.m.

17 Wall of Honor Celebration @1:15 p.m.

17 Girls Varsity Soccer Game @Cedar Springs HS @4:30 p.m.

20 Girls Varsity Soccer Game @Cedar Springs HS @4:30 p.m. PA Meeting @6:30 p.m.

21 Girls Varsity Soccer Game @Algoma Christian School @4:30 p.m. 22 Board Meeting at 3:30 p.m.

24 Early Release Day

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

• K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

• 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

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CTA boys and girls basketball teams conference champs


The CTA Varsity Lady Chargers Basketball team celebrated their championship after the game by cutting the net.

Creative Technologies Academy had two teams win conference championships this past week. Both the CTA women’s varsity basketball team and the CTA boys varsity basketball team earned the Great Lakes 6 League Conference Championship title.

The girls finished 7-1 in the league and hope to bring home the district title next week. The team swept the series 2-0 versus West Michigan Lutheran, Libertas Christian, and West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science. The girls split the series with Algoma Christian giving them their only loss. “The Lady Chargers have developed into a strong team led by returning captains, seniors Faith Watson and Hannah Hofstra,” shared Coach Lisa Perry. “Both girls have been leaders both on and off the court and will be missed next season.”

The boys finished 8-2 in league play and look forward to their district tournament. The boys are being led by senior caption Luke Hubbard who averaged 25.7 points per game and sophomore Ivan Winters who averaged 21.1 points per game. The conference came down to the last game where the Chargers defeated Barry County Christian by a score of 59-56. The Chargers swept the series 2-0 versus Algoma Christian, West Michigan Lutheran, and Hudsonville Libertas Christian. The boys split the series with West Michigan Academy of Environmental Sciences and Barry County Christian. Good luck to the Chargers as they look to bring home a district title next week.

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CTA Senior Night


Senior athletes and their parents were recognized on Senior Night at the February 13 basketball game at Grace Christian University. Honored seniors were (L to R): Hannah Hofstra, Faith Watson, Luke Hubbard, and Gabriela Fahling.

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CTA Girls Basketball Highlights


Front Row (L to R): Stella Shafer, Léda Gitchel, Nadelynn Brinley, Katie Christie, Jayda Schreiber, Gabi Christie
Back Row (L to R): Assistant Coach Tori Wierda, Analiese VanHarten, Dani Piskun, Alyssa Bishop, Sydnee Shepherd, Natalie Haan, Coach Justin Harding

The girls middle school team finished the season with a record of 4-6. This was the first year that CTA had a girls middle school team. They learned so much throughout the season, as this was the first year of basketball for many of the girls. Coach Harding was happy to work with such a great group of girls. He is excited to send five of the 8th Graders to Varsity and continue to watch the rest of the team grow and learn.

Boys Varsity has continued their league dominance with a record of 12-2. The boys look to play 2 remaining league games vs. Barry County Christian for the Great Lakes 6 League Championship.

The Girls Varsity are also continuing their winning ways with a record of 11-1. The girls look to play 1 remaining league game vs. Algoma Christian for the out-right league Championship.

Good luck to the Chargers on their remaining games!

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