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Tag Archive | "Michigan State University"

Cedar Springs teacher wins Excellence in Education Award


Brett Burns poses for a photo with (left to right) Cedar Springs Middle School principal Sue Spahr, his daughter Cylie, wife Heather, and daughter Cassidy, after accepting his Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

Brett Burns poses for a photo with (left to right) Cedar Springs Middle School principal Sue Spahr, his daughter Cylie, wife Heather, and daughter Cassidy, after accepting his Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

A Kent County educator known for his dedication to helping students improve their math skills and for using technology and current events to help them grasp concepts and increase their understanding has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Brett Burns, teaches mathematics at Cedar Springs Middle School, part of the Cedar Springs Public Schools district. He also serves as the basketball coach for the eighth grade teams.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year.

Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to their classroom, school or school district. One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations:  WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, and FOX 47 in Lansing. The news segment featuring Burns aired Tuesday evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and will air Thursday in Detroit.

Brett Burns talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education award.

Brett Burns talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education award.

For the Excellence in Education awards program, the Lottery has teamed up with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo, who recently presented Burns with the award at the Breslin Center.

Burns said he was attracted to a career in education because “it gives me the opportunity to make a difference every day. When I first started teaching math, I had a lot to learn about how to educate middle school students. I have grown and perfected my craft, but I’ve never stopped learning. Every year, I have to change with the new group of students that enters my classroom.

“As I look back, I remember how I used to assign 20 to 30 math problems as homework each night that didn’t require much thinking from students about the how and the why of solving the problems. Now my assignments are much shorter, but incorporate deep thinking and exploration,” he said. “Math is one of the most difficult subjects for middle school students, so my goal every year is to change their mindset about math. By the end of the year, I want them to see that they can do math and can be successful. That’s not an easy job, but I love the challenge and look forward to it each and every year.

“I am willing to grow and change and learn who my students are as people first, before I ever teach them a math lesson. I make that a priority and my mission is to earn their trust and show them that I care about them as people. This creates a mutual respect between myself and my students and helps me to be more effective as a teacher. The students know that I truly care about them.”

A colleague nominated Burns for the Excellence in Education award, saying: “High energy, integrity, collaboration, leadership and high relationship are just a few words that describe Brett Burns.

“Every day, he arrives at school at about 4:30 a.m. and works diligently to review student work and prepare quality lessons. Setting aside this time allows him maximum efficiency, so when students arrive, he is totally focused on them. Mr. Burns can be seen fist bumping, joking, complimenting, and welcoming the students each day. The students form a huddle around him, smiles all-around.

“Mr. Burns has dedicated many hours to improving math achievement at Cedar Springs Middle School. He has collaborated with a vertical team of sixth grade through 12th grade teachers to align instruction with the Common Core standards and the latest research on thinking mathematically. He also works to incorporate technology and current events into instruction to deepen engagement and conceptual understanding,” the nomination said.

“Mr. Burns breaks his groups down in collaborative teams, working in small groups with them to question, prompt, and cue them, not give them answers and direction with their struggles. Frequent emails to parents keep them informed of student opportunities to improve their mastery of the standards.

“Outside of the classroom, Mr. Burns pours his energy into coaching basketball for the eighth grade students. He continues to inspire and build relationships with students, encouraging them to break through barriers in their thinking that stop them from exceeding their own goals.

“His dedication to the students, staff, parents, colleagues, and community inspires everyone to be selfless in their work.”

Burns earned a bachelor of arts degree from Sienna Heights College and has been an educator for nearly 20 years, all with the Cedar Springs Public Schools.

Outstanding public school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at http://bit.ly/ExcellenceInEducation or through the websites of the Lottery’s media partner stations.

Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

Excellence – Their work consistently helps students and/or their schools or school districts advance to higher levels of academic achievement.

Dedication – They consistently go above and beyond expectations to help students succeed.

Inspiration – Their work inspires others around them to exceed expectations either academically or professionally.

Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions with their school or school districts

Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results on the educational advancement of students within the school or school district.

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Visit MCC at the Montcalm County 4-H Fair


 

Written by MCC Communications Assistant Samantha Mack 

Hannah Salisbury, a Montcalm Community College student dual enrolled in Michigan State University’s applied horse science program, and her horse Autumn show off their awards during last year’s Montcalm County 4-H Fair.

Hannah Salisbury, a Montcalm Community College student dual enrolled in Michigan State University’s applied horse science program, and her horse Autumn show off their awards during last year’s Montcalm County 4-H Fair.

Sidney – Montcalm Community College and Michigan State University’s Institute of Agricultural Technology are partnering to support the 81st annual Montcalm County 4-H Fair, which runs June 26 to July 2.

“We are pleased to partner with MSU in sponsoring this year’s 4-H fair,” MCC President Bob Ferrentino said. “The fair is a wonderful part of Montcalm County’s rich agricultural heritage and we at MCC could not be prouder than to be involved in this year’s event. Together with MSU, we are providing education and training programs in the all-important field of agriculture and bringing increased learning opportunities to Montcalm County residents.”

MCC and MSU representatives will be at the fair Sunday through Friday to support the 4-Hers and their achievements.

Samantha Plank, a Montcalm Community College student dual enrolled in Michigan State University’s agricultural operations program, shows her cow at the Montcalm County 4-H Fair.

Samantha Plank, a Montcalm Community College student dual enrolled in Michigan State University’s agricultural operations program, shows her cow at the Montcalm County 4-H Fair.

In 2015, MCC and MSU partnered to bring MSU’s agricultural operations, applied horse science, fruit and crop management and landscape management programs to MCC. Merry Kim Meyers serves as a liaison between the colleges to support students as they complete associate degrees at MCC and receive further certifications and degrees from MSU if desired.

“MCC and MSU sponsoring the Montcalm County 4-H Fair ties perfectly to our agriculture program,” Meyers said. “We want to be there for the 4-Hers because they already know ag, and they already show the dedication and effort to be successful. They’re exactly the people we want in our programs.”

MCC Director of Alumni Relations & Development Melissa Christensen said the co-sponsorship is a fantastic opportunity for both colleges to display their agriculture partnership.

“Montcalm County is one of the largest agricultural producers in Michigan, and it is only fitting that we highlight our four agricultural technology certificate and associate degree programs during the fair,” Christensen said. “Our state offers high demand careers in agricultural technology, and the MCC partnership with MSU brings our community the right training and education for those high-demand jobs.”

Meyers said MCC and MSU embrace this year’s fair theme, “There’s no place like a county fair.”

On June 29, visitors can enjoy the “MCC-MSU Know-place” to experience hands-on science and agricultural activities from 1 to 3 p.m. in the activities tent.

“Since Friday is Kids’ Day, we are planning special treats for the 4-Hers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” Meyers said. “From 3 to 4:30 p.m., 4-H teens can enjoy a ‘Fair Survivor Celebration’ and ice cream social where we’ll hand out discounted tickets to the rodeo and door prizes.”

“MCC is especially excited about Kids’ Day,” Christensen added. “We are planning some fun learning opportunities that will demonstrate agricultural science for the younger crowd.”

MCC students who are dual-enrolled in the MSU agriculture program will be present to offer 4-Hers advice and answer questions.

“We hope to connect to 4-Hers and have them think ahead for their career futures,” Meyers said. “We hope they’re thinking ag.”

The Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds are located at 8784 Peck Road in Greenville.

For more information about the MCC and MSU partnership, visit www.montcalm.edu/mcc-and-msu-are-partners-in-ag-education/.

To download The POST’s 4H Fair schedule in this week’s paper click the link below:

Montcalm4H2016.pdf

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Meet the Hawks: Eric Freeman


West Michigan Hawks linebacker Eric Freeman

West Michigan Hawks linebacker Eric Freeman

By Shae Brophy

Meet West Michigan Hawks linebacker Eric Freeman. A 2007 graduate from Wyoming Park High School, Freeman has always stood out on the gridiron. After being named a captain in each of the first three years of high school, he took his senior year off to prepare for college ball. Freeman was a preferred walk-on at Michigan State University under defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. After careful consideration, Freeman decided to transfer to Grand Rapids Community College to not only be able to play, but also to see if he was mature enough for the college lifestyle.

Freeman’s biggest idol is his grandfather, German Lopez. “He worked at a camp in Cuba for two years basically for free so that he could legally come to the USA with my mother and grandmother,” said Freeman. “He came here knowing zero English, building his life from the ground up, allowing my siblings and I to live the blessed and fortunate lives that we live.”

When he isn’t laying devasting hits on the football field, Freeman enjoys trying to identify which sports his three-year-old son enjoys, lifting, playing basketball, and his PlayStation.

“Mr. David Lange is very serious about this organization,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself and bigger than football. Mr. Lange and I had multiple conversations, and the simple fact that we play all of our games for a greater cause, whether it be Mr. Alan Beamer and his fight against Alzheimer’s Disease, or Brison Ricker and his fight against a brain tumor, made this a very easy decision. Every game is played for a much bigger reason than just the game we love.”

Head coach/owner David Lange sees something special in Freeman. “Eric is our run stopper without a doubt,” he said. “You’d have better success trying to run through a wall. He is very smart at his position and is a great teacher as well. He brings so much intensity and tenacity to our defense, it’s scary. Eric is a monster and a go-getter, exactly the type of player you want on your team.”

We hope to see you at Skinner Field on Saturday evening as the Hawks benefit Stephanie Cornwell in her fight against breast cancer. The Indiana Wolf Pack are coming to town, and the Hawks have vengeance on their minds!

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Bear that mauled teen in 2013 killed in Wexford County


Black bear attacks on humans are highly unusual, according to the Michigan DNR, but can occur if a sow is protecting her cubs.

Black bear attacks on humans are highly unusual, according to the Michigan DNR, but can occur if a sow is protecting her cubs.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday, May 11,  that a black bear recently shot and killed in Haring Township, north of Cadillac in Wexford County, is the same bear that mauled a teenage girl, Abby Wetherell, in that same township in 2013.

The DNR confirms a 9-year-old female black bear was killed April 30 by an individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, acting in self-defense. The individual let out a dog, which then immediately ran after what appeared to be a bear cub. The dog was stopped at the end of the tree line barking when the owner saw a bear appear and attack the dog. The individual went to assist the dog and the bear ran off. As the owner attempted to render aid to the injured dog, the bear retuned to the scene and approached the resident, who then shot the bear. The situation was reported to the DNR and investigated. It was determined to be a justifiable killing of the bear.

The bear carcass was sent to the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Lansing for pathology review. DNA samples were sent to Michigan State University for genetic testing. MSU’s Jeannette Kanefsky of the Molecular Ecology Laboratory did the genotyping.

“The results of the genetic testing are consistent between the sample from the 2016 shot black bear and the evidence at the 2013 black bear mauling scene,” said Kanefsky. “The genotypes obtained from the samples are a match.”

The Wetherells were informed late Tuesday of the findings.

Through a process called “cementum annuli analysis,” DNR wildlife biologists examined the bear’s teeth to assess her age and number of litters. They determined this bear had three litters throughout her lifetime, including in 2013 when the mauling took place. It remains uncertain whether cubs were in the vicinity when the attack on Abby occurred.

After the attack on Abby, the DNR put extensive effort into setting traps and responding to bear activity in the area.

“DNR staff is relieved to have this matter resolved for both the Wetherells and the community,” said Keith Kintigh, field operations manager for the DNR’s Northern Lower Region. “Over the last three years, we have been highly responsive to multiple bear issues in the hopes of catching this animal.”

Michigan has an estimated black bear population of approximately 11,000 bears, with roughly 80 percent of the population in the Upper Peninsula. There is an established bear population in the area of Wexford County. The DNR reminds the public that black bears generally are fearful of humans and usually will leave if they become aware that people are present. Bear attacks on human beings are highly unusual and in most cases occur because a sow is protecting her cubs.

Here are some important facts to remember when in an area where bears may be present:

• To avoid surprising bears, travel in small groups and make noise.

• If you encounter a bear, stand your ground and then slowly back away. Do not turn away. Do not show fear and run. Do not play dead.

• Make yourself look bigger and talk to the bear in a stern voice.

• If actually attacked, fight back with a backpack, stick or bare hands.

For additional information on living with bears, visit the DNR website atwww.michigan.gov/bear.

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Congratulations


C-CONGRATS-SawadeRemington Sawade

Remington Sawade, a senior at Cedar Springs High School has been awarded a 4 year full tuition Air Force ROTC Scholarship for college.  This highly competitive scholarship is based on GPA, ACT test scores, a physical ability test, leadership qualities, an interview process, and community service.  Remington plans to study Materials Science Engineering at either Michigan State University or Michigan Technological University along with his ROTC training before he serves as an officer in the United States Air Force.

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MELVIN K. BROWN


 

Melvin K. Brown, age 93, of Big Rapids, Michigan, and formerly of Grand Rapids, died peacefully on December 1, 2015 at home. He was born May 3, 1922 in Sparta, Michigan, and was a graduate of Cedar Springs High School, Western Michigan University, and Michigan State University. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Rosemary, and is survived by his two sons, Steven and Timothy, and his two grandchildren, Cody (Angela) and Caitlin. As Melvin requested, cremation has taken place, and no memorial service will be held. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the charity of your choice. A private farewell to Melvin for the immediate family will be planned at a later date.

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HATS Off to local middle school student


 

Madison Skelonc

Madison Skelonc

Madison Skelonc, a 7th grader at Cedar Springs Middle School, was one of 300 high achieving middle school students recently honored at the annual HATS OFF (High Achieving Talented Students) Recognition Ceremony, a statewide award ceremony that recognizes the top-scoring students who participate in Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search. The students who were recognized have received extremely high scores on a college entrance exam—either the SAT or ACT—while in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade.

Madison, the daughter of Brent and Jenny Skelonc, of Nelson Township, took the ACT in 6th grade.

The students and their parents were guests at a reception on October 17 that was hosted by the Gifted and Talented Education office at Michigan State University.

The SAT and ACT tests are administered annually to approximately 2,250 Michigan middle school students who demonstrate high academic ability. These tests are utilized by high school juniors and seniors as part of the college admissions process. Data from Northwestern Midwest Academic Talent Search indicates that participating middle school students score, on average, very close to the average score of college-bound high school seniors nationally. Those students recognized at the HATS OFF awards ceremony achieved scores comparable to the top 1-20 percent range of college-bound senior’s scores.

The process seeks to identify students who reason well in math and verbal areas and to recommend educational options available both in and out of school.

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Athletic College Letters of Intent


CSPS-Athletic-Letters-of-Intent

Mackenzie Weiler – Michigan State University

Brad Brechting – Oakland University

Austin Sargent – Eastern Michigan University

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Michigan/Shiga high school student exchange program


 

High school students currently in grades 9, 10 and 11 are invited to apply to a statewide student exchange program that would take them to Shiga, Japan, our Sister State, for two weeks during the summer of 2015. The program is the Michigan-Shiga High School Student Exchange Program, a program co-sponsored by the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Program and Michigan State University Asian Studies Center. Fifteen high school students from Michigan are selected to participate each year, and paired with Japanese students with similar interests.

The Michigan students will live with host families and attend school with the Shiga exchange students from June 24-July 10, 2015. Then, beginning August 28-September 12, 2015, the Japanese students will come here and spend two weeks with the Michigan families, attending school with their Michigan partners.

Any student who is adventurous, likes to meet new people and is open-minded qualifies for the program. Knowledge of the Japanese language is helpful, but not necessary. There is a mandatory orientation on Saturday, February 28, 2015 to acquaint selected students and parents with Japanese customs and basic language, held on the Michigan State University campus.

Students interested in applying can receive an application and descriptive brochure online at http://www.mishiga.org/programs/highschool. If you have further questions, please call the program coordinator, Kathee McDonald, at 517.388.1308 or by e-mail at mcdon288@msu.edu.

 

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Muskegon River walleye egg collection to occur this spring


 

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds Muskegon River anglers that Fisheries Division personnel will be taking walleye eggs below Croton Dam this spring.

The DNR plans to collect approximately 62 million walleye eggs from the Muskegon River in 2014 that will result in 13.4 million fry for transfer to rearing ponds throughout the Lower Peninsula. These walleye will be raised to fingerling size and stocked in late spring or early summer in lakes and rivers throughout the state.

Lake Michigan walleye populations in the Lower Peninsula depend on the fingerlings produced from Muskegon River eggs, as well as many inland lakes in the Lower Peninsula. The size of the walleye spawning run in the Muskegon River is presently about 40,000 to 50,000 each year. DNR crews will strip milt and eggs from approximately 700 adult fish, which will be returned to the river, except for 60 that will be sent to Michigan State University for fish health testing.

“This adult population consists of mostly stocked fish,” said Rich O’Neal, fisheries biologist for the Central Lake Michigan Management Unit. “The Muskegon River has the largest run of walleye in the Lake Michigan watershed south of Green Bay.”

The DNR plans to collect walleyes with an electro-fishing boat beginning as early as the week of March 24 and concluding by April 15. Eight days of fish collections are planned during this period. The actual date when collections will begin depends on water temperatures and the presence of ripe fish. This schedule can change on a daily basis for many reasons, but it is anticipated most work will be completed during the last week of March through the second week of April.

Sampling using electro-fishing usually begins each day at Croton Dam at about 8:30 a.m. and proceeds downstream to the Pine Street access site. If more eggs are needed, additional collections may occur downstream to the Thornapple Street access site.

Egg collection and fertilizing is conducted at the Pine Street access site, about 2 miles downstream of Croton Dam. This process generally begins between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. The public is welcome to observe how the eggs are removed from the fish and fertilized before they are packed and shipped to Wolf Lake and Platte River state fish hatcheries.

Anglers who wish to avoid the walleye collection activities should fish downstream of the areas of the river previously noted. The DNR asks anglers to exhibit caution when fishing near the electro-fishing boats. Wading anglers will be asked to exit the water when the boat approaches to ensure anglers’ safety during the electro-fishing work. The DNR appreciates angler cooperation during this critical egg take operation.
Learn more about fisheries management and fishing opportunities at the DNR website www.michigan.gov/fishing.

 

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