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Tag Archive | "Michigan State University"

MARIANNE BLANCHARD


Marianne Blanchard, age 89, of Cedar Springs, passed away Thursday morning, June 11, 2020 at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. She was born June 8, 1931 in Sand Lake, Michigan to George Arthur and Isabel (Moyle) Blanchard. She grew up in Sand Lake and was Valedictorian of the Sand Lake High School Class of 1949. She attended Michigan State University earning a degree in Home Economics and Education. In 1958 she earned her Master’s Degree in Home Economics Curriculum from Michigan State University. Marianne was employed for 35 years at Battle Creek Public School District, during which time she updated the curriculum guide both in 1953 and 1970. She taught Home Economics at Southeastern Junior High and Battle Creek Central High School and Nutrition at Kellogg Community College. She also taught math and English at Southeastern. She was one of the first Home Economic teachers to establish a Home Economics class for boys. In 1985 Marianne was chosen as the Home Economics Teacher of the Year for the State of Michigan and selected in the top 12 Home Ec. Teachers in the country. When microwaves were new to kitchens she taught microwave cooking at Kellogg Community College, talked weekly on Live at Five Radio and Television Show and also had a television show called “Microwaving with Marianne.” Marianne was a member of the First Congregational Church and its Ruth Vore-Susan Winslow Circle. She served on the Town Hall Board six years serving as president for two years and also served on the Y-Center Board of Directors for five years. She could be seen swimming laps most mornings at the Y-Center. She volunteered for the American Red Cross for 33 years and the Cayman Red Cross for five years in the Cayman Islands where she spent her winters. She was a member of N.E.A., M.E.A. and B.C.E.A., MSU Alumni Organization, Battle Creek Retired Teachers, Electrical Women’s Round Table and The Cedar Springs Order of Eastern Star. She was selected to be a “Kentucky Colonel” in 1969 by Kentucky Governor Louie Nunn. Marianne enjoyed traveling, adventure and domestic activities. She enjoyed scuba diving and para sailing and painted murals and totem poles along with being a sculptress. She was called upon by friends to do seamstress work or bake cakes for events. In 1983 she was the Ladies Champion Skeet Shooter at the Battle Creek Gun Club. Recently, taking an interest in genealogy and working with a genealogist she traced the Blanchard family back to the Mayflower. Surviving are nieces, Darlene Barlass of Spring Lake, Ml and Cheryl (Bill) Green of Rockford, Ml; nephews John (Beth) Blanchard of Jefferson City, MO and George Blanchard of Sarasota, FL; great-nieces and nephews: Amy Donaldson (Bill) and Mark Hoskins (Rebecca), Kristine Thaxton (Jon), Keri Gibbons (James) and Katie Seymour (Ken), Hailie Casteel (Cris), and Renee Blanchard; Robert Jr., and cousins Joan Brown, George Miller, and Tom, David and Meryl Hudson; also survived by a bunch of “adopted” grandchildren who referred to her as “Grandma Blanchard”. Marianne was preceded in death by her parents. She survived her five brothers, George Arthur Jr., Arden Moyle, Ward Douglas, John Moyle and Paul Steward; nephews, Ward Douglas Blanchard Jr. and Robert Blanchard; a niece Kelly Green and her special friend, James A. Shouldice. Due to the COVID-19 virus, a service will be held later when it is safe for family and friends to be together and celebrate Marianne’s life. Inurnment will be held at Sand Lake Cemetery, Sand Lake, MI. Donations can be made in Marianne’s name to The Y Center of Battle Creek and Meals on Wheels of Calhoun County. 

Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.

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Rugg signs to row for MSU


Avery Rugg, a senior at Cedar Springs High School, has signed her national letter of intent for Women’s Rowing at Michigan State University. Avery has been a Junior Olympic Gymnast for R Athletics for the past 10 years, and is also a three-year Varsity track runner for Cedar Springs High School.  

“I am looking forward to my next adventure,” she said. 

Avery hopes to do something in Agriculture. 

She is the daughter of Todd and Becky Rugg, of Courtland Township.

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Tips sought to help identify human remains found in 1994 


 

Artistic renderings released 

Investigators from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Alpena Post and the Alcona County Sheriff’s Department are seeking information from the public to help identify human remains found in Northern Michigan 23 years ago. 

A bow hunter discovered the human skeletal remains in October 1994 while walking in a wooded area off Bamfield Road, between Curtisville and Alcona Dam, in Alcona County. The Alcona County Sheriff’s Department was the lead investigating agency with the MSP crime lab assisting in the recovery of the remains from the scene. 

Michigan State University Anthropologists have determined the remains are that of a female 30-50 years old and approximately 4’ 7” to 5’ 6” tall. The woman was likely of European ancestry, commonly referred to as Caucasian, but no population group should be excluded. Evidence of a fracture to the skull indicates she may have experienced some type of trauma at or around the time of her death. The remains may have been in the wooded area for up to four years before being discovered. 

As DNA technology advanced, so has the investigation. A mitochondrial DNA sample was collected by scientists at the University of North Texas Health Science Center for Human Identification and a full DNA profile has been uploaded to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database. A case profile has been posted on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) database at https://identifyus.org/en/cases/8371

Several artistic renderings have been done by forensic artists and are being released to help prompt tips from the public. The following techniques were used: 

First image (left) – Two-dimensional sketch completed by a MSP forensic artist. This was drawn in graphite and used anthropological landmarks on the skull to give a glimpse of what the woman may have looked like when alive. 

Second image (middle) – Digital rendering completed by a forensic artist from Louisiana State University’s Missing Persons Molecular and Medical Genetics Department. This technique was aided by a 3D scan of the skull. 

Third image (right) – 3D clay model of the skull completed by a FBI forensic artist. This technique is much like the two-dimensional approach, but uses clay applied to the cast skull. 

If you have a lead on who this person might be, please contact D/Sgt. Jennifer Pintar, MSP Alpena Post, 989-354-4101 or Deputy Nathanael Leeseberg, Alcona County Sheriff’s Department, 989-724-6271. 

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Project FISH at the Wittenbach Wege Center


 

Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife invites teachers, educators and volunteers to three evenings of Sportfishing and Aquatic Resource Education at the Wittenbach Wege Center, 11715 Vergennes SE, Lowell, Michigan, on December 4, 12, and 14, from 5:30-9:00pm each day. 

This workshop is open to anyone, even those who may want to learn a bit more about fishing to be able to volunteer for local fishing events, or even teach you own family! 

Coordinated through Michigan State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, this workshop is a partnership with MSU Extension, MSU 4-H Youth Development, Department of Natural Resources, Wittenbach/Wege Agiscience Center, schools, and community service organizations and many others to educate young people about our natural resources through FISHING. 

This is a workshop based on the Project FISH philosophy of hands on, multiple-contact sportfishing and aquatic resource education. We will offer activities in Aquatic Ecology, Tackle Crafting, People and Fish Management and actual Angling Skills. Participants will leave with curriculum activities, equipment, even a fishing rod & reel, and access to supplies and resources to begin a successful fishing program/club with children in the classroom or in an after school setting. 

Contact: Mark Stephens at 517-432-2700, steph143@msu.edu. Space is limited. Registration deadline is December 1. Registration info at http://www.projectfish.org/lowell2017.pdf 

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FFA celebrates with fall activities


 

FFA members participated in the Ag Olympics earlier this month, where they competed in various games, including sack races. Courtesy photo.

By Olivia Martinek 

Fall activities are starting to take place here at the Cedar Springs FFA. As we’re getting into the swing of a new school year, officers have been planning many events for the FFA. Unfortunately some of our officers moved this summer, but we elected a few new ones for this school year. Our new secretary is Zack Cardinal, our new reporter is Olivia Martinek, and our new historian is Marjorie Hosking.    

Two members of the Cedar Springs FFA, Melody and Michael Hughes, entered in this year’s Broiler Contest. The broiler contest consists of the members purchasing broiler chickens (meat chickens) and raising them for 6 weeks. They then pick three to five chickens to bring to Michigan State University to be judged based on their composition; the members also bring their records along to be judged.  

The FFA also participated in the annual Red Flannel Parade the first weekend in October. Volunteers worked hard after school to make a float for the parade. A big thank you to Dave Johnson for letting the FFA use his tractor to pull our float and also a huge thank you to Catherine Smith for helping organize the float workers.

On September 18, the FFA members gathered to participate in various games and activities for the Ag Olympics. Games included: marshmallow toss, egg toss, milk chug, hay bale toss, pitchfork javelin, cookie slide, and sack races. The Ag Olympics is an annual event for the FFA to get members outside for recreation and having a good time. 

Members Attend SLCCO-Pictured l to r Cecelia Brandt, Heather Beverwyk, Evan Young, Alyssa Marshall, Dylan McConnon, Mykenzie Gage, and Diane Howe.

The FFA is beginning their PALS (Partners in Active Learning Support) program. PALS is a mentorship program where high school FFA members are paired with at risk second graders to tutor them one day after school every week for an hour. So far 9 members have signed up to participate.

On Monday October 9, Mr. Reyburn’s agriculture classes took a field trip to the FFA’s sugar bush. They went to help manage the trees and clean up the woods in preparation for the winter. The students ran chainsaws, stacked wood, and cleaned up brush. In the spring, the FFA taps approximately 200 sugar maple trees, collects the sap, and then local supporter Rick Sevey makes the maple syrup for the FFA to sell. Several adults aided in running chainsaws and mentoring our future foresters; they included Wayne Marsmen, Bob Babbitt, Bill Brandt, Randy VanDuyn, and Dennis White. 

FFA members partnered with Beach Elementary to give kids a hayride, experience a corn maze, and other fall activities. Courtesy photo.

The annual FFA Harvest Day, planned with Beach Elementary, took place on Monday, October 16. The kids went through a corn maze, visited farm animals, received an apple, milk, and a coloring book, and took a hayride back to the school. 

The fall is a busy time for the FFA, but we are excited and ready. We are looking forward to the winter and spring activities to come!

  

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New state record cisco caught


Michael Lemanski holding his state-record cisco (formerly known as lake herring).

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed last week that a new state-record had been set for the fish known as cisco (formerly known as lake herring). This marks the second state-record fish caught in 2017.

The fish was caught Friday, June 9, at 10 a.m. by Michael Lemanski of Florence, Wisconsin, on Lake Ottawa in Iron County in the western Upper Peninsula. Lemanski was still-fishing with a homemade jig. The fish weighed 6.36 pounds and measured 21.8 inches.

Jennifer Johnson, a DNR fisheries biologist in Crystal Falls, verified the record.

Robert Rogers, of Hartford, Wisconsin, set the previous state-record for cisco (lake herring) in 1992, when he caught one while trolling the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay. That fish weighed 5.4 pounds and measured 25 inches.

“Although this fish was caught in June, we only recently verified it as a state record,” said Gary Whelan, the DNR’s fisheries research manager. “The reason for the delay stemmed from the fact we wanted to ensure this fish was not a hybrid between a cisco and a lake whitefish. These fish look extremely similar so we gathered DNA from the fish to test its compatibility with what we know about cisco. That test, done by Michigan State University, proved to be a match.”

State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

To view a current list of Michigan state-record fish visit  michigan.gov/staterecordfish.

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MHSAA announces concussion report findings


2016-17 school year

The Michigan High School Athletic Association has completed its second year of collecting head injury reports from member schools and continues to build data that will assist in identifying trends and progress being made to reduce the incidence of head injuries in school sports.

Following a first mandate to do so in 2015-16, member schools again were required to report head injuries to the MHSAA identifying the sport that each student-athlete was participating in and whether the injury was sustained during practice or competition. As reporting for the 2017-18 school year is now underway, schools again are required to designate if potential concussions occur during competition or practice and at which level—varsity, junior varsity or freshman.

The full report of all head injuries experienced during 2016-17 by student-athletes at MHSAA member high schools—including percentages by sport (per 1,000 participants), gender and team level, as well as data tracking when athletes returned to play—is available on the Health & Safety page of the MHSAA Website at https://www.mhsaa.com/portals/0/Documents/health%20safety/concussionreport1617.pdf.

As with the first year of reporting, the MHSAA received data from more than 99 percent of its member high schools after the fall, winter and spring seasons and continued to track each injury report through its conclusion this summer. Member junior high and middle schools also were allowed, although not mandated, to report their potential head injuries; and those findings are not part of the published report.

The 2016-17 concussion report found an 11-percent decrease in the number of confirmed concussions from the previous year. Student-athletes at MHSAA member high schools encountered during 2016-17 a total of 3,958 head injuries—or 5.2 per member school, similar but lower than the 2015-16 average of 5.9. Total participation in MHSAA sports for 2016-17 was 283,625, with students counted once for each sport he or she played and only 1.4 percent of participants experienced a head injury; that percentage in 2015-16 was 1.6.

Although the total number of confirmed concussions was significantly lower in 2016-17, a number of findings detailing those injuries fell in line with results of the 2015-16 survey.

Boys experienced 2,607—or 66 percent—of those injuries, nearly the same ratio as 2015-16 and as boys participation in sports, especially contact sports, remained higher than girls. More than half of head injuries—55 percent—were experienced by varsity athletes, which also fell within a percent difference of last year’s findings.

A total of 2,973 head injuries—or 65 percent—came in competition as opposed to practice. More than half took place during either the middle of practice or middle of competition as opposed to the start or end, and 52 percent of injuries were a result of person-to-person contact. The largest percentage of athletes—27 percent—returned to activity after 6 to 10 days, while 23 percent of those who suffered head injuries returned after 11-15 days of rest. All of these findings were within 1-4 percent of those discovered from the 2015-16 data.

Contact sports again revealed the most head injuries. Ranking first was football, 11 and 8-player combined, with 44 head injuries per 1,000 participants—a decrease of five head injuries per 1,000 participants from 2015-16. Ice hockey repeated with the second-most injuries per 1,000, with 36 (down two injuries per 1,000 from 2015-16), and girls soccer was again third with 28 head injuries per 1,000 participants (also down two from the previous year).

In fact, after football and hockey, the next four sports to show the highest incidences of head injuries were girls sports—girls soccer followed by girls basketball (23 per 1,000), girls competitive cheer (22) and girls lacrosse (20). Although girls basketball moved up from fifth to fourth for highest ratio, it did see a decline of six injuries per 1,000 participants from 2015-16.

Startling indications of another potential trend were seen again in the number of reported head injuries suffered by girls and boys playing the same sports. Soccer, basketball and baseball/softball are played under identical or nearly identical rules. Just as in 2015-16, females in those sports reported significantly more concussions than males playing the same or similar sport.

Female soccer players reported double the concussions per 1,000 participants as male soccer players, while female basketball players reported nearly triple the number of concussions per 1,000 participants (23 to 8). Softball players reported 11 concussions per 1,000 participants, and baseball players reported four per 1,000. The numbers from all three comparisons remained consistent from what the survey found in 2015-16.

It is the hope that Michigan’s universities, health care systems and the National Federation of State High School Associations will take part in analyzing the data and questions that have arisen during the past two years. Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports submitted a paper titled “Gender Differences in Youth Sports Concussion” based on the 2015-16 results, and that subject will remain closely monitored in 2017-18 and beyond.

“The Institute’s research concluded that there is merit for believing females may be more susceptible than males to having concussions because of structural differences to the neck and head, and also due to neurological differences in the brains of females and males. But the findings also show merit for believing females may be more honest in reporting concussions,” said MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts.

“We need to find out why. Are girls just more willing to report the injury? Are boys hiding it? These are some of our most important questions moving forward, and they will be critical in our efforts to educate athletes, their parents and coaches on the importance of reporting and receiving care for these injuries immediately.”

Roberts said that while it’s significant to note the similarity in statistics over the first two years of injury report collection, the lower percentages in 2016-17 don’t necessarily represent a trend; that conclusion can only be made after more data is collected in years to come. Some differences in data from the first year to the second could be the result of schools’ increased familiarity with the reporting system, the refinement of the follow-up reporting procedure and other survey error that is expected to decrease with future surveys.

“Our first survey in 2015-16 raised some initial themes, and the data we collected this past year and will continue to collect will help us identify the trends that will guide our next steps in reducing head injuries in interscholastic athletics,” Roberts said. “However, the necessity for more data to determine these trends should not delay our efforts to experiment with more head protection and modified play and practice rules in contact sports like ice hockey, soccer, wrestling and lacrosse, which all ranked among the top 10 sports for numbers of head injuries per thousand participants.

“We will continue to look for ways to make our good games better and our healthy games safer, and the collection of this data will continue to prove key as we work toward those goals.”

Schools report possible concussions online via the MHSAA Website. Reports are then examined by members of the MHSAA staff, who follow up with school administrators as those student-athletes continue to receive care and eventually return to play. Student privacy is protected.

The reporting of possible concussions is part of a three-pronged advance by the MHSAA in concussion care begun during the 2015-16 school year. The MHSAA completed this past spring (2017) the largest-ever state high school association sideline concussion testing pilot program, with a sample of schools from across the state over the last two years using one of two screening tests designed to detect concussions. The second year of the pilot program (2016-17) allowed participating schools to use the sideline detection tests in all sports but mandated they be used in sports (11 total over three seasons) showing the highest prevalence of concussions.

The MHSAA also was the first state association to provide all participants at every member high school and junior high/middle school with insurance intended to pay accident medical expense benefits—covering deductibles and co-pays left unpaid by other policies—resulting from head injuries sustained during school practices or competitions and at no cost to either schools or families. During 2016-17, a total of 139 claims were made—20 fewer than in 2015-16—with  football (44) and girls basketball (27) the sports most cited in those claims for the second straight year.

Previously, the MHSAA also was among the first state associations to adopt a return-to-play protocol that keeps an athlete out of activity until at least the next day after a suspected concussion, and allows that athlete to return to play only after he or she has been cleared unconditionally for activity by a doctor (M.D. or D.O.), physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner.

In addition, the MHSAA’s Coaches Advancement Program, which includes courses that must be completed by all varsity head coaches hired for the first time at a member school, has augmented for this fall its already substantial instruction on concussion care. Separately, rules meetings that are required viewing for all varsity and subvarsity head and assistant coaches at the start of each season include detailed training on caring for athletes with possible head injuries.

 

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Congratulations


BRANDEN GOLLER

Branden Goller, son of Daniel Goller a Cedar Springs High School alumnus, and grandson of Betty Goller, a longtime Cedar Springs resident, started medical school at Michigan State University. His family and friends congratulate Branden on the work he has invested thus far, and wish him luck on his journey.

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FOUNTAIN – GATES


4C-wed-Fountain-Gates

Linsey Gates and Daniel Fountain were married September 10th at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Muskegon. The festivities continued at a reception on White Lake. Linsey graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2006 and Western Michigan University in 2010 and 2013. She works as a speech-language pathologist in Highland Park, Illinois. Daniel graduated from Notre Dame Preparatory High School in Pontiac in 2004, Western Michigan University in 2009 and Michigan State University in 2014. Daniel is a manager in the aerospace industry. Lindsey is the daughter of Craig and Sue Gates of Cedar Springs. Daniel is the son of Bud and Ann Fountain of Rochester. The couple reside in Chicago.

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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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