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CTA Announces New Staff Members


CTA is pleased to announce its new staff members for the 2020-2021 school year!

Ms. Kilts

Ms. Megan Kilts is the high school English teacher. Ms. Kilts is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. She is looking forward to being a part of CTA’s close-knit community of students, families, and staff.

Ms. Lucarelli

Ms. Alexis Lucarelli is the 6th-grade Homeroom and Middle School Language Arts teacher. Ms. Lucarelli graduated from Cornerstone University and has a passion for investing in the lives of young people.

Both Ms. Kilts and Ms. Lucarelli are native to Cedar Springs.

Ms. Schatz

CTA’s new third grade teacher is Ms. Gabby Schatz. Ms. Schatz hails from Central Michigan University and resides in Cedar Springs. She loves being outdoors, fishing, and gardening and is thrilled to be part of the team.

Mrs. Hovanec

Mrs. Carrie Hovanec is the new GSRP Preschool Lead Teacher and Director of Preschool. Mrs. Hovance has worked her entire career with young children and their families. She lives in Cedar Springs with her family and enjoys being outside on her boat and in the sunshine. Mrs. Hovanec is excited to start preschool at CTA on October 5. If you have questions regarding preschool, please email her at chovanec@ctachargers.org.

Mrs. Freyling

Mrs. Nancy Freyling is the Elementary Teacher Assistant and Cross Country Coach. Mrs. Freyling discovered CTA four years ago while searching for a smaller school for her two boys, who now are in 6th and 8th grade.

Mrs. Freyling shared that she knew her family was meant to be at CTA from the moment she stepped in the door. She has been serving on campus for several years, volunteering and subbing, and is overjoyed to officially be a part of the team.

CTA is excited to have these amazing educators join the team!

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Full Speed Ahead with Soccer and Cross Country


Staff and coaches at CTA are looking forward to providing student-athletes as traditional of an experience as possible this season. CTA provides two fall sports for students. The Boys and Girls Cross Country team is coached by Nancy Freyling and is open to 6th-12th grade students. “ This year we have a couple of seasoned runners, but the majority of the team is new to cross country,” stated Freyling. “I was a little shocked and excited to see so many new runners. It is great to see these kids get out there and push themselves, and learn how running is a great outlet. The experienced runners have taken the new runners under their wings, helping encourage and lead them. They are a young, fun group, keeping me on my toes and always making me smile.”

The CTA Boys Soccer team is coached by Mark Winters and is open to 6th -12th grade. “This is our third year of CTA soccer. We started out as a very young Varsity team and the boys have grown in size, speed, and as a team, shared Winters. “We have put in a lot of hard work and can’t wait for the season to start.”

CTA is prepared for a fun, and perhaps unpredictable, Fall Sports Season, and is committed to working together to provide a safe and exciting experience for its student-athletes.

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ENROLL NOW!


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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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CTA names elementary principal for 2020-21


Creative Technologies Academy completed its search for a new elementary principal to take effect July 1, 2020. Current principal Autumn Mattson will become the Academy’s superintendent/school leader on that date, creating the need to hire a new principal. CTA is pleased to name Kate Bialkowski as the school’s elementary principal effective July 1.

Bialkowski is no stranger to CTA. She has served the Academy for five years—first as a teacher and currently she is an Instructional Coach at the Academy. 

Bialkowski received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University in 2006 and her Master’s Degree in Education from Montreat College in 2011. She and her husband, Steve, live in Cedar Springs with their two children.

Current Superintendent Dan George said this: “Ms. Bialkowski brings a wealth of experience and accomplishments to this position. She has approached each assignment at CTA with enthusiasm and she has been a key initiator in many of them. Her experience in compliance, interventions, academic support, student success teams, leading PLC groups, our WIN (Whatever I Need) program, and supporting teachers with her coaching will launch her into success as a principal. Most importantly, she loves kids, and they know it.”

Autumn Mattson, current Elementary Principal, commented: “Mrs. Bialkowski has played an important role in enriching and developing key instructional components at Creative Technologies Academy. She is a mentor to many, a leader of multiple teams, and a facilitator of growth for several diverse groups. Her charismatic leadership style allows for all voices to be heard while at the same time continually moving forward with a vision of success. She has a natural way of supporting and encouraging, reflecting, and growing others. She is continuously seeking ways to improve herself and the school experience for students and staff. The staff and student learning needs are at the core of all that she does and her broad experience brings the type of credibility that will make her asset to continuing to support the growth of our CTA World Changers!”

Ms. Bialkowski shared this statement: “It is with great excitement and honor that I accept the CTA Elementary Principal position! My family and I are thrilled to continue serving CTA and growing with this great community. My passion for education has always aligned with the mission, vision, and values of this district and it is a privilege to continue to grow professionally alongside such a strong and inspiring staff. I am grateful for the growth and leadership Mr. George and Mrs. Mattson have provided for me over the last 5 years and I hope to continue the great work they have done for the Elementary. I care deeply for the elementary students at CTA; I care for their academic growth, individual needs, and overall well-being as future world changers. Because of this, I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve as the next Elementary Principal!”

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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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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 celebrates 20 years



From Left to right: Autumn Mattson – CTA Elementary Principal; Jen Colin – CTA Secondary Principal; Dan George – CTA Superintendent/School Leader;  Art Willick – CSO Field Representative; Dr. Ron Rizzo – FSU Director of the Charter School Office;  Dr. Paul Blake – Vice President-Provost Ferris State University, Michigan’s Charter Schools, Ferris State Charter Schools.

Creative Technologies Academy was recognized this week for over 20 years of continuous operation as a Michigan Public School Academy authorized by Ferris State Charter Schools. 

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The Fifth Annual CTA Spelling Bee 2020


Raelynn Dells and Jaxson Morey with Mrs. Bangma


In January, seventeen students in grades third through eighth competed in the fifth 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 the 6-12 Academic Specialist, Mrs. Jenny Bangma; it was here that participants gained strategies for spelling words, remembering letter patterns, and the etiquette for participating in 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 lasted over ten rounds, resulting in a Champion and a Runner-up. The CTA School Spelling Bee Champion is third grade student, Jaxon Morey; the Runner-up is fourth grade student, Raelynn Dells. The winners will head to the Regional Spelling Bee competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Our entire school community is so proud and excited for our Chargers!

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