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a great school in a great community

What’s Inside: BEAR PRIDE SHINES BRIGHT ON LAKESHORE DRIVE classroom of today visitors from korea one book-one school lincoln walks to school BRown Students... e.p. clarke... upton p2p project Alumni association news fieldhouse programs calendar of events

St. Joseph Public Schools

3275 Lincoln Ave. St. Joseph, MI 49085

Creating a Strong Vision for Our School District

FALL 2008

it nearly 50 years ago that the beautiful St. Joseph High School

opened its doors for students? Can this be possible? This building, dubbed the “glass house”, was the rave of the state for its modern design and open venue. The entire building featured floor to ceiling windows and entrances at every corner. This was wonderful in 1959 when energy was cheap and no one dreamed of a need to monitor who entered a school building or was concerned with anyone harming students. Technology in 1959 was shown in the dedication brochure as a giant slide rule that was to be used in math classes. Again, no one could have envisioned personal computers, smart boards, or the Internet, and certainly didn’t provide for the infrastructure to run these systems. All our buildings which range in age from 60 years (Lincoln) to 40 years (Upton) have been well maintained and are structurally sound but are in need of upgrades and remodeling due to the demands of the 21st century. After an extensive facilities study was conducted, a broad stroke plan was put together to address the areas of student safety, energy efficiency, technology, and the fine arts facility including the auditorium. While our plan was being put together, the state issued a mandate that by 2011, kindergarten must be longer than a half day which requires twice as many kindergarten classrooms as we now have. Recently, several community forums were held to share the current and future needs of this district and to ask for input on a plan to best address those needs. This community has a tremendous investment in its schools and has always taken pride in maintaining the excellence in instruction and facilities. Whenever there has been a demonstrated need, this community has supported the necessary cost to keep their investment secure.

While our buildings are structurally sound and maintenance has always been excellent, many things have just worn out, become outdated, or can no longer meet the needs of how instruction must be delivered because of their age. Therefore the Board of Education plans to bring a bond issue request to this community as soon as a more favorable economic climate exists. The needs are great and the items that can be addressed with Building and Site and General Fund dollars will be taken care of immediately. The rest will wait until we can gain the greatest advantage for our tax dollars. Allen Skibbe Superintendent SJHS Class of 1964

we won!

St. Joseph Public Schools Awarded “Wha

Bear Pride Shines Bright on Lakeshore Drive

Things look a little different this year as you come around the bend on Lakeshore Drive this year. A brand new fence and a fantastic new, state-of-theart sign decorate the west side of the High School campus. This all came about because of a community partnership formed by the City of St. Joseph and the St. Joseph Public Schools Foundation. Their initiative not only made things look a little nicer to our visitors, but also provided a valuable communications tool for the Community. At any given time you can see advertised on the new venue, educational achievements, City happenings, sports events, concerts, community service messages and much more. Foundation President, Bill Marohn, had this to say about the endeavor: “One project that has been important to the district for some time has been an electronic sign to communicate important messages from the school district to the community. Funding for this project had been difficult until it was determined that the city also had an interest in the project. The idea was that this could be a joint project between the City and the Foundation. Thanks to very generous contributions from the City, St. Joseph Improvement Association, Schalon Foundation, Frederick S. Upton Foundation, Erik & Irene Fiskars and numerous other donors, we have been able to raise the necessary to construct the sign. It will be operational by the time school starts and should become a beacon for community messages and a source of pride.� The School Administration would like to extend their gratitude to everyone involved including all of the donors, Frank Walsh, and Bill Marohn who truly made this project a wonderful addition to our community.


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at Parents Want” by School Match for 2008.

SISTER SCHOOL: Visitors from Korea WRITTEN BY Aushja Syed, Writing for Publication Student

What is the connection between Daeji High School in South Korea and St. Joseph High School in Michigan? It’s not the age of the buildings or the countries that they’re in. The relation is that these two high schools are adopted sisters. Daeji (Day-gee) High School is located in Youngin, South Korea, a city nearby the country’s capital, Seoul. The high school was built in 2007, making it about two years old. Since the education center is fairly new, the school contains only the tenth and eleventh grades. In the future, more grades will be added to the high school. Although there are only two grade levels, the building is a high tech learning center for 720 students. The principal, Mr. Soo Yeol Yu, proposed the idea of becoming sister high schools with St. Joseph, and Principal Jeff Runser supports him. Mr. Henry Seo is the mediator

Brian Carrick, Haley Miller, between Daeji High School Lindsey Slavicek, and Aushja and St. Joseph High School. Syed; eleventh graders Olivia He taught Korean culture and Postelli, Greg St. Amand, and language at Buchanan High School for 13 years. He retired “I thought about this a bit,” he said, because of the lack “and decided that it would be a terrific of funding for the opportunity for students to get involved in classes.

the Global World. ”

Students from both high schools will take part in a program that will give them an opportunity to see a representative high school from the opposite country through video tapes. The program is set up to share ideas between the two education systems. There are plans to communicate via computer (video, online chatting). More plans include taking pictures of the high schools, and eventually, touring the buildings. A few students at St. Joseph that are willing to help out in making posters and getting involved with the adopted sister schools program are as follows: ninth graders Stephen Brennan, Sean Carpenter, and Ryan Hamilton; tenth graders Jessica Burton,


Paul Villa; and twelfth graders Sharon Lee and Sarah Lopes. The plans for having a long distance learning system have been discussed and approved by the principals of the two high schools and Mr. Henry Seo. This means video taping classes in Daeji and St. Joseph and then switching tapes.

a better understanding of U.S. high schools, but U.S. students will also be able to experience a better understanding of South Korean high schools as well. Mr. Runser is enthusiastic about the positive aspects of the program. “I thought about this a bit,” he said, “and decided that it would be a terrific opportunity for students to get involved in the Global World. Through this partnership, we could expand our cultural experiences, technological expertise, and global knowledge of communication.”

The video taping of the classes will help students in South Korea understand the school system of the United States. Not only will South Korean students experience

One Book - One School

The pleasure of reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books. ~ Katherine Mansfield

Thirty-one teachers and the entire freshman class

Next semester the entire staff and student body

books during the first semester. Each teacher

Book/One School experience. We will all read

at the High School are reading and talking about

agreed to sponsor one of the books selected

by the NCA Reading Committee for this project. Each student selected one title to read as well.

Individual students will then “Book a Conversation” with the teacher. Conversation should flow easily

as the books all deal with social issues familiar to high school students. The project should further our NCA goals of promoting literacy, deepening an

appreciation of reading, improving reading skills,

and fostering a sense of community in our school. Look on the High School website for photos detailing our progress.

– every one of us! – will participate in a One the same title and share conversation as well as

related activities. Each student will receive a copy to keep. The book selected for this project will be

posted on the High School website. Donations

in increments of $5.00 to help cover the cost of the books are appreciated. Forms are available

on the website or in the front office. They may be

returned to the school or mailed to One Book / St. Joseph High School / 2521 Stadium Drive / St. Joseph, MI 49085.


Walk to School Wednesday a Success at Lincoln What is the connection between On Wednesday, October 8, 2008, Lincoln School Participated in the National Walk to School Day. This was done in partnership with our Safe Routes to School initiative to encourage exercise and the use of our off-site drop-off/pick-up site at the John and Dede Howard Ice Arena, and to reduce traffic congestion around the school. 175 Lincoln Students participated in this event. That is 43% of the student body! Twelve members of the St. Joseph High School Student Senate, Mayor Bob Judd, and St. Joseph City Police Officers Rick Smiedendorf and Chris Sysco were on hand to pass out stickers and register those students who walked or biked to school that day for a prize drawing.

We would like to thank Mike Jones from Cycle & Fitness, G & M Variety Store, Dairy Queen, Kilwins, Mrs. Laura Masters, and an anonymous donor for their contributions to the prize drawing. Fifty Lincoln Students were the lucky winners of the donated prizes ranging from book marks to gift certificates to Web-Kinz to bike helmets. Thanks again to the following people and companies for making this such a successful event: Mayor Bob Judd Officer Rick Smiedendorf Officer Chris Sysco Laura Masters Claire Gillespie Mike Jones Ryan Hamilton Katherine Yircott Mitch Dunha Tyler Tiefenbach Dakota Brock Kit Borr Jessica Lenardson Robby Schuler Sarah Lopes Kaitlyn Ketcham Johnny Schweir Ellery Karsten G & M Variety Cycle & Fitness Dairy Queen Kilwins


E.P. CLARKE - What’s Up?



new alumni association St. Joseph Public Schools has contracted with Harris Connect

to start a new alumni program. If you are an alumn, or know of visit our web site to

update your information.

You may also be receiving contact directly from Harris Connect

These names wll ONLY be used through the school for news

updates, invitations to special events and for mentoring

opportunities. Please visit for more information.



ALUMNI, PARENTS & COMMUNITY MEMBERS! Register on-line to receive news about up-coming events and email alerts. Visit for more information on how to subscribe.

UPCOMING EVENTS Community Planetarium Night Nov. 6th 7:00 pm Upton Elementary & Middle School Conferences Nov. 11th and 12th HS All School Play Nov. 21and 22 7:30 pm HS Auditorium Thanksgiving Break Nov. 26 - 28 Holiday Concert Dec. 15th 7:00 pm HS Orchestra & Choir Mendel Center Holiday Concert Dec. 16th 7:30 pm HS & Middle School Bands Mendel Center Winter Break Dec. 22 - Jan 2

Walking/Jogging Sun-Thurs 6:30-9 pm free to residents weds family walk night (kids with parent)

Weight Room Sun, Tues, Thurs 6:30-8 pm $2 residents or $30/30 visits personal trainer $50/10 sessions

in the mail. It is our goal to form as complete a list as possible.

3275 lincoln avenue, st. joseph, mi 49085

Starts Nov 2nd and runs through March. All SJ residents are welcome.

Adult Basketball Sun 6:30-8:30 pm Thurs 7-9 pm $1 residents/$3 non-residents

someone who graduated from St. Joseph Public Schools, please

harrisconnect program

Fieldhouse Public Fitness Program

Sunday Family Swim/Gym Nov 16, 4-6 pm Dec 14, 4-6 pm $5.00 per family Ultimate Frisbee Tues 7:30-9:30 pm $5.00 Parent w/Child Basketball Thurs 7-8 pm $1 residents only


bear pride shines bright on laKeshore driVe calendar of eVents lincoln walKs to school alumni association news upton p2p proJect Visitors fr...

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