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Tag Archive | "Cedar Trails"

Local principal to umpire College World Series


Michael Duffy has been umpiring for college baseball since 1985.

Michael Duffy has been umpiring for college baseball since 1985.

Michael Duffy

Michael Duffy

 

By Judy Reed

This last week has been a dream come true for Cedar Trails principal Michael Duffy. After a 30-year love affair with umpiring college baseball games, he is finally officiating at the College World Series, in Omaha, Nebraska, which began last Saturday, June 13.

Duffy, who umpires for the Big Ten, Mid-American, and Big East Conferences, began umpiring college baseball in 1985, for smaller colleges. But his roots go much deeper. He played Little League as a boy, and then began to umpire Little League games when he was a high school baseball player. After graduation, he umpired high school games.

In 1985, he was approached by Terry Bocian, Athletic Director at Aquinas. “I knew Terry, and he said he needed an ump for just one game,” explained Duffy. But he was hooked. “It became a love affair,” he said.

Duffy at first umpired for smaller colleges, like Aquinas and Grand Rapids Community College. He’s been doing the Big 10 since 1995. “My mentor, Bruce Doane Jr., took me under his wing, showed me the ropes, then said you are ready to go out on your own,” he recalled.

What does Duffy like about umpiring? “I’ve always been a sports enthusiast. At first, I needed to make some money, but I loved being around sports and the competition. After awhile, I realized that ‘Hey, I’m pretty good at this.’ Then other people started to notice my skill level. It’s really just a thrill to be a part of it,” he said.

This year, Duffy umpired 42 Division 1 baseball games, which take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Post asked Duffy how that worked with his job as principal at Cedar Trails Elementary. “The school has been really good about it. Cedar Springs allowed me to restructure my contract so that I work less days,” he explained.

Duffy has been working hard to get to the College World Series. Over the years he has worked several NCAA Division I Regional Tournaments and one NCAA Division I Super Regional Tournament. He has also worked NCAA Division II, III, and JUCO Regional Tournaments. He has also umpired three baseball high school State Championships. With all that on his resume, there was still one thing they wanted him to do to reach the College World Series: take off a few pounds. Duffy did that, and this year, he finally got the call.

While Duffy didn’t have his schedule when we talked last week, he said that people could recognize him by the number he will be wearing—22. He got to choose his number, and it was a heartfelt decision. “My favorite number is 12. I wore it in school as a quarterback, and in baseball. But I decided the number to choose was #22—to honor the person who has sacrificed the most—my wife, Deb. That was her number in school, when she played softball,” he explained. “So with thankful thoughts, I chose 22.”

Duffy will be in Omaha through June 25. The series started on Saturday, June 13.

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Community Playground Build completed


CSPS-Cedar-Trails-Kids-Playground-Build-webCommunity Playground Build completed on April 30 at Cedar Trails Elementary Kindergarten and 1st grade playgrounds.  Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to support this event!

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Cedar Trails Honor Guard


 

“Cedar Trails Honor Guard” participants from 3/31/15. Mr. Sartore selects different students each day to help him take down the flag at the end of the day. He chooses the students based on their character and if they are a “powerful” Red Hawk. The four students in these pictures are Kindergartners and they were very proud to help Mr. Sartore. What an honor!

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Cedar Trails teacher wins “Cool Teacher” award


Mary Graf, right, received the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award.

Mary Graf, right, received the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award.

N-Cool-teacher-Graf2Mary Graf, a first grade teacher at Cedar Trails Elementary in Cedar Springs, was named the latest teacher to receive the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award. WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23, which also happened to be Graf’s birthday. Graf has been teaching first graders for 37 of her 38 teaching years, all having been in Cedar Springs.

Cedar Trails Elementary Principal Mike Duffy, cited Graf as a “Master Teacher always growing, learning, and looking for ways to improve educational techniques for her students.”

Sienna Wolfe nominated her teacher, Mrs. Graf, for the award because “she is kind, caring, and makes learning fun! She even allows us to dance in the classroom as one way of expressing ideas.” Several other students from the class also submitted letters of support in naming her a “Cool Teacher.”

WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23.

WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23.

Bradley Gordon, WGVU Marketing and Special Events Coordinator noted, “We receive several hundred applications each month from our 2.1 million viewers, within 28 counties. A committee comprised of educators and other professionals from GVSU judge the nominees based on the students evidence of learning. Just 30 teachers, from grades kindergarten thru eighth, are selected each school year. Graf met all the criteria and had strong support from her students.”

Gordon and WGVU photographer Zack Limiewski video-recorded the celebration and various activities of Graf interacting with classroom students. A twice-a-day airing of this recording will begin around mid-May on WGVU TV 35 and TV 52 as well as on the website WGVU.org.

Graf and Wolfe were presented with four vouchers each from Amtrak for a trip from Grand Rapids to Chicago. On May 7, WGVU will host an Education Celebration with a dinner and award presentations to be held at the Eberhard Center honoring the 2014-15 winning “Cool Teachers.”

When Graf was asked what she enjoyed about teaching, she responded, “I love the enthusiasm that first graders have for learning. Every new lesson is a new adventure for them! First grade is such an amazing grade to teach because they are just discovering the incredible world of reading and writing. I feel so lucky to be part of this journey with them. To see the pleasure and joy on their faces after they read a great book or write a new story is so rewarding. I feel so blessed to have the best job in the world! I am humbled and honored to receive this award.”

The “Cool Teacher Award” promotes the positive and good things that teachers are doing with our youth. This program is an example of WGVU’s mission to provide educational, informational, and entertaining programs and events to the West Michigan Community as a service of Grand Valley State University.

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Zero the Hero


CSPS-Zero-the-hero-at-Cedar-Trails

Zero the Hero (a.k.a Principal Duffy) made a special appearance at Cedar Trails Friday, February 6 to celebrate 100 day.

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November 10 Board of Education Meeting Math & Writing Presentations by Cedar Trails Students


Cedar Trails students and parents poured into the November 10 Board of Education Meeting with their teachers to share all their great work with Math and Writing Samples with the Board of Education members.  It was a great evening for all.  It was very inspiring to see these young students excited about learning.

 

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COMMUNICATING THE HABITS OF MIND AT CEDAR TRAILS


 

Mike Duffy, Cedar Trails Co-Principal

 

As educators we are responsible for teaching students all of the core content with rigor and relevance each and every day.  Along with this awesome task helping our student to become responsible citizens is a definite must. The Cedar Springs district believes that the Habits of Mind is the foundation upon which learning is built. It is taught through a combination of classroom lessons, teacher and student discussion, student self-reflection and regular presentations by both students and staff.

Each day during the morning announcements the principal shares their thoughts on the Habits of Mind. Many times individuals and whole classrooms are recognized for using good Habits of Mind. Students will also be sharing their own use on the announcements starting in October.

The three Habits that Cedar Trails works on are Empathy, Persistence and Impulsivity. Each of these Habits has a short little chant that describes the correct behavior associated with each Habit.

If you ever have a chance to talk to a Cedar Trails student, please ask them about 1. Kind hands, kind hearts and listening ears or 2. I can do it if I stick to it or 3. Stop, think, I make good choices.

Many classrooms performed 75 good works (kind hands and kind hearts) to honor Red Flannel Days’ 75 anniversary.

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First graders and families celebrate


N-Library-card1Almost 250 first-graders were at the Kent Theatre Monday and Tuesday to celebrate March is Reading month and their brand new library cards.

The Cedar Springs Public Library launched its 16th Annual First Grade Library Card Roundup last month, in partnership with the Kent District Library, Cedar Trails, Creative Technologies Academy, and Algoma Christian School.

“The program is largely successful due to the classroom visits by Children’s parapros Shannon Vanderhyde, of Cedar Springs Library, and Sara Magnusen, of KDL, and the great cooperation and support by each first grade classroom teacher,” said Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark.

First graders and their families were invited to celebrate “March is Reading Month” by getting a library card and thereby gaining access to hundreds of thousands of books and other materials available at the 81 libraries and branch libraries in the 8 counties served by the Lakeland Library Cooperative.

N-Library-card2Free movie passes to see “Nut Job” at the Kent Theatre were issued to all 320 first graders, paid for by the Cedar Springs Public Library via a grant from a local Cedar Springs sponsor. Students showing a library card also got a free popcorn to eat during the show, compliments of the Kent Theatre. About 246 came to the movie and almost every single child/family had a library card.

Just before the movie started, local children’s author Amanda Litz hosted a drawing to give away 6 of her books, one of which was just released that afternoon. To find out more about Amanda, her books, her new bookstore located at 25 S. Main, and the events she has planned, go to her website at www.travelerstrunkpublishing.com

The library card program was originated in 1998 by Mike Metzger, a former library board member.

 

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Hearing & Vision screenings


CSPS-Vision-Hearing

Hearing and Vision screenings for 2014-2015 Cedar Springs Kindergarten Class will be held Friday, May 2 @ Cedar Trails from 8:45am to 3:45pm

If your child has not been previously screened, please call 616-696-9884 to schedule your appointment.

 

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New Play Spaces at Cedar Trails Elementary


CSPS-PlaySpaces-CedarTrailsCheck out the Cedar Trails Community Playground Build from beginning to end.   Visit  www.csredhawks.org/playground.

A Huge THANK YOU all who made this happen: HS Soccer Teams,     Cedar Trails PTO,     Cedar Springs Public Schools, Rowland Excavating Company, Jenny Majerczak (coordinator).

 

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