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Tag Archive | "CTA"

Springtime Spruce Up


Spring is in the air and landscaping projects are plentiful around CTAs six-acre campus. To get a jump start on the springtime spruce up projects, high school students spent several afternoons cleaning out flower beds, picking up sticks and branches, raking leaves and more in order to

make the spreading of 25 yards of wood chips a bit more manageable. On Saturday, May 13, 25 CTA staff, students and family members came with shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows to power through the task ahead of them and spread the wood chips in flowerbeds, around trees and signs. Thank you to those who gave of their time and tools to help enhance the beautiful landscaping we have on CTAs campus!

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Law and Order: Fairy Tale Unit


Spring Theater Production May 18 & 20

Announcing CTA’s spring play, Law and Order: Fairy Tale Unit. CTA Drama students have been hard at work on their first ever full-length play. You will not want to miss this funny spoof on the Law and Order series. This story focuses on Detective HD (Humpty Dumpty) and Detective Cindy (Cinderella) as they investigate the mysterious destruction of the three little pig’s houses.

Many well-known fairy tale characters such as Hansel and Gretel, the Three Blind Mice, Jack and Jill and more become suspects in the story. To see how the mystery plays out, come see the performance!

May 18 & 20 @ 7:00 p.m.

CTA Auditorium

Tickets are $3 in advance/$5 at the door

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Winners of Essay Contest

Winners are pictured here with the Selection Committee.

Winners are pictured here with the Selection Committee.

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.

CS Rotary Club announced the winners of the 4-Way Test Essay Contest. The theme was “Setting A Good Example”.

1st place – Sally Odren, Mr. Moleski’s class “The Things People Say”

2nd place (tie) – Jack Cairy, Mrs. Kahler’s class “Feeding the Heart”

2nd place (tie) – Makenna Nichols, Mrs. Miller’s  class, “Feeding the Hungry”

Josh Trendt with Mr. Moleski

Josh Trendt with Mr. Moleski

3rd place (tie) – Josh Trendt, Mr. Moleski’s class, “Small Town, Big Heart”

3rd place (tie) – Analiese Van Harten,  CTA, “Inspire”

Congratulations to the winners. Thank you to the teachers and parents for supporting these great writers! It’s exciting and gratifying to be able to promote the habits of mind so esteemed by Cedar Springs and by Rotarians alike.

Go Red Hawks!

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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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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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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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The Second Annual CTA Spelling Bee 2017

CTA Spelling Bee: Brenna Jibson, Middle School English Teacher Jenny Bangma and Conner Warner.

CTA Spelling Bee: Brenna Jibson, Middle School English Teacher Jenny Bangma and Conner Warner.

In January, 23 students in grades fourth through eighth competed in the second annual CTA School Spelling Bee!

For several weeks prior to the Bee, participants practiced, practiced, and practiced lists of spelling words in preparation for the School Bee. These same participants also attended the weekly CTA Chargers Spelling Club hosted by sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Jenny Bangma; it was here that participants gained strategies for spelling words, remembering letter patterns, and etiquette for the actual Bee. Lots of hard work was put in by our Charger Spellers over the last few months in preparation for this event!

The CTA School Spelling Bee went nine rounds, resulting in a Champion and a Runner-up. The Bee Champion is fifth grade student, Conner Warner; the Runner-up is sixthgrade student, Brenna Jibson. The winners will head to the Regional Spelling Bee competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday, Feb. 16. Our entire school community is so proud and excited for our Chargers!

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Creative Technologies Academy names new business manager

Lori Oestrike, new Business Manager

Lori Oestrike, new Business Manager

Kim Burge, retiring Business Manager

Kim Burge, retiring Business Manager

Creative Technologies Academy completed a search and announced the appointment of Lori Oestrike as the Business Manager of the Ferris State University-authorized public school academy.

Oestrike began her new position January 4. She succeeds the school’s current and outgoing Business Manager, Kim Burge, who is retiring but will remain in the position until the end of January to ensure a seamless transition.

CTA School Leader/Superintendent, Dan George believes Oestrike is well-suited for this position.

“We are excited to welcome Lori Oestrike to fill the Business Manager position,” shared George. “Lori comes to us with all the credentials and experience we are looking for and we look forward to working with her.”

Oestrike comes to CTA from Ionia County Intermediate School District where she served as their Fiscal Services Coordinator for eight years. Prior to that, she served with Central Montcalm Public Schools for six years. She received her Masters in Accounting at Liberty University and completed her undergraduate degree at Davenport University. Oestrike has earned the Chief Financial Officer certification through MSBO (Michigan School Business Officials).

“Creative Technologies Academy is dedicated to developing students in character, scholarship and leadership as stated in their mission,” commented Oestrike. “I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to effectively integrating my skills and education with that of the team at CTA to meet future goals and learn and grow together.”

Burge, who has been with CTA since its founding year in 1998, was one of the schools’ first hired employees. While overseeing the finances of the school, she also handles human resource responsibilities and oversees the Food Services department and the Energy and Maintenance department—all of which Oestrike will now assume responsibility for.

“Kim has loyally served CTA since the first year of the school’s existence, and she has served our community as CTA’s representative in Rotary,” commented Dan George. “We wish her the best in her retirement.”

“It was a challenge when the school was first founded to get it up and going. The school has grown and stabilized and I’m glad that it is in a good position both financially and academically,” shared Burge. “I’m confident that it is being left in good hands with Lori.”

Oestrike is married to Richard Oestrike, and they have one son.

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Making A Difference One Project At A Time


CTA takes pride in character education in their 300 students. The November character trait they focused on was Kindness and they have rolled what they learned into December – a month where there is much need for kindness and giving.

“The ‘CTA Way’ is being demonstrated in many ways this month,” shared Dean of Students Autumn Mattson. “We strive daily to instill the core value that all of our students can change the world. We are so proud of who our staff and students have chosen to give their time, energy and support to throughout the community during this holiday season. “

Toys For Tots and Coin Drive

11th grade student Cortney Aspinall displays a few of the toys that were collected for Toys for Tots.

11th grade student Cortney Aspinall displays a few of the toys that were collected for Toys for Tots.

Kindergarten students won the coin drive.

Kindergarten students won the coin drive.

The largest project of the season was the school-wide Toys for Tots toy drive combined with a coin drive. The initiative is in its 4th year at CTA. Each class competed to raise the most “positive” change – pennies counted as positive and silver and dollars counted as negative. The kindergarten class raised the most with more than $52 “positive” dollars and the school as a whole raised more than $800. All of the funds raised during the coin drive were donated to the Toys for Tots campaign to be used to purchase additional gifts for children throughout southwest Michigan. The school also served as a WZZM 13 Toys for Tots drop off location and collected 78 toys from students and the community. Kindergarten teacher Lauren Bostic, who assisted in coordinating the Toys for Tots projects shared, “Our hope is that these students will look outside of themselves to see that there is a great need in the community and the world and that other children may not enjoy the ‘luxuries’ they are used to – such as gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.” The coin drive has been going on for more than 4 years and previously the funds went to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Society In Film students display the many cards they wrote and made for servicemen and women.

Society In Film students display the many cards they wrote and made for servicemen and women.

Spreading Cheer To Those Who Serve

All of the Social Studies classes in the High School wrote Christmas and holiday cards to send to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans – a long-term care facility for veterans which provides support, health services, clothing, living facilities and necessities. Some cards were handcrafted while others were store-bought, but all of the 80-plus cards that were written expressed gratitude to the servicemen and women for their service and sacrifice to our country. Cards were also written to a group of Southfield-based Army reserve soldiers who are currently deployed in Afghanistan for 10 months. “I wanted to provide the students with an opportunity to be an encouragement to others during the holiday season,” shared Shellie Chilcote, long-term Social Studies substitute teacher whose daughter and son-in-law are both currently serving in the reserves. “We have so much to be thankful for in our country. These veterans and active-duty soldiers have all made great sacrifices that ensure the freedoms we enjoy today.”


Charger Basketball Teams Food Drive

Thirty pounds of food have been collected to date by the boys and girls basketball teams to benefit Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids – and they are still going until Dec. 19. The boys and girls teams are competing against each other in a food drive and it’s all based on food weight. “Our athletes are truly appreciative of the things that they have received from their families and hope to give back to the community,” shared girls basketball coach Steve Washington. “One of our lady Chargers saw this as an opportunity to raise awareness, serve our community and have fun competing with the guys team as well.”

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Fall Fun and Festivities

Liam Barr decorates his caramel apple in Miss Bostic’s Kindergarten class

Liam Barr decorates his caramel apple in Miss Bostic’s Kindergarten class

What a ghoulish and ghostly October for Creative Technologies Academy! CTA celebrated another great Halloween season with our annual Halloween parade and Halloween parties. The elementary students paraded around the campus in their costumes for the whole school to see. Upon their return, mothers and fathers put on great parties for their youngsters. Thank you to everyone who made the Halloween parties a success!

Mrs. Norman’s fifth grade class looking festive

Mrs. Norman’s fifth grade class looking festive

Our school community also wants to give a HUGE shout out to the parents and guardians of CTA Elementary because you helped us make our goal of having 100 percent attendance at Student-Led Conferences this Fall. Thank you all for coming and supporting your child’s education; your support is extremely important and valued! There will be a second set of student-led conferences in the spring, but all the teachers are free to hear your questions and/or concerns anytime of the year!

Mr. Holtrop bringing the fun to the third grade classroom

Mr. Holtrop bringing the fun to the third grade classroom

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