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NO SCHOOL -- 1/2 PD, 1/2 Teacher Work Day 5th/6th Grade Band Concert

March 21

School Board Meeting

March 24

Family Reading Night

March 26

Annual School Carnival

March 30-31

Elementary Parent Teacher Conferences

April 14-15

Preschool and Kindergarten Round-Up

April 14

2nd Grade Spring Music Program**

April 26

3rd Grade Spring Music Program**

April 28

4th Grade Spring Music Program**

May 2

Kindergarten Spring Music Program**

May 5

1st Grade Spring Music Program**

May 6

Middle School Play


Back Row (L-R): Jiawei Zhang, Niklas Petersen, Tae’ (Pariwat) Imsa-ard. Front Row (L-R): Mariana Lombana, Marlena Sarnecka, Sophia Wiegele

The first day at a new school is always nerve wracking. You need to make new friends, figure out where to sit at lunch and find all of your new classrooms – while getting to class on time. I mean, what can be scarier than that? Maybe starting school in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT COUNTRY!! That is how our new school year began, welcoming four unique individuals from around the world. On August 31, Mariana Lombana Rossell, arrived from Maracay, Venezuela to live in Blanchard. Jarot and Laura Karcher decided to open their home again this year to Mariana for her time here in Michigan. While here Mariana participated in varsity volleyball and is on the pom-pon squad, she also plans to play golf this com-

ing spring. Marlena Sarnecka from Katowice, Poland is now a sophomore at Montabella and lives with Jim and Jane Jolley in Edmore. She isn’t the only one; Sophia Wiegele, a senior, from Vienna, Austria is also living with them. They both ran cross-country in the fall and Marlena is currently playing JV girls basketball. Sophia is also a member of the art club and is a wonderful photographer. They both plan to participate in track in the spring. Tae’ (Pariwat) Imsa-ard began his life here in Michigan living with the Withey family in Edmore, quite a ways from Bangkok, Thailand; however, in November he needed to find another host family. Jeff and Lisa Lee of Greenville were happy to give Tae’ a place to stay. He is a great addition to the sophomore class and the Montabella family! Coming back from Christmas break was extra exciting for students because we had the chance to welcome two new foreign exchange students to our student body. Niklas Petersen from Norderarup, Germany and Jiawei Zhang from Ürümqi, China are both living with Lori Stevens. These sophomore boys are on the JV basketball team and fit in well as mighty Mustangs. Students at Montabella are very fortunate to have the opportunity to experience the diversity and culture that these foreign exchange students have to offer. Whether they’re playing Apples to Apples, sledding down the Millpond hill, or busting a move on the dance floor, the memories these students are creating will last a lifetime.

End of 2nd Trimester

March 16

Volume XXXII, Issue 3 March 2011 by Sarah Fredricks

March 8

May 10

High School Band Spring Concert*

May 11

7th/8th Grade Band Spring Concert*

*All band concerts are at 7:00pm in the Jr/Sr High Cafeteria. **All Elementary Music Programs are at 6:30pm in the Elementary Cafeteria.

3RD GRADE VISITS LOCAL NATURE CENTER Mrs. Carrier and Ms. Nartker’s classes recently went to the Forest Hills Nature Center near Shepherd. The students focused on Science activities. Fishing for microorganisms in the pond and then viewing them on microscopes was one activity. Another was sledding, to focus on force and friction. The students also went on a nature hike to view winter animal activity. Many Michigan animal skins were shown and discussed on the animal’s life and survival. Learning and fun was had by all ! It’s time to think spring, which means Baseball/Softball season is almost here! Sign up during Early Registration & save $5.00 per player! Register in person on the following dates: •

Tuesday, February 22nd-Jr/Sr High Hallway 5pm - 8pm Saturday, March 5th-Chemical Bank, Edmore 9am noon • Saturday, March 26th-Montabella School Carnival @ Elem 5pm - 8pm •

Early Registration discount ends March 5th Registration Deadline is April 1st Registration fee is due at sign up $25 ages 5-12 & $45 ages 13 & up Forms are available in the school office, on the school website or at the sign ups listed above. Questions contact Shaila Christensen at 989-565-0118 or

A MESSAGE FROM YOUR SUPERINTENDENT Mr. Ronald Farrell, Superintendent of Schools


t is the time of year when the focus of the administration team begins the transition from the current year to the year forthcoming. It is the time of year when attention is necessarily drawn to such legislative activity as will ultimately define and determine the funding model by which school revenues will be established and thus the amount of money available to operate our district is determined. As of this writing school funding for the 2011-2012 year has not been determined. We have however been made extremely aware of the fact that the shortage of revenue available to our state will continue to translate into fewer available dollars for all public schools to include our own. hat being the case, our district will continue to contain expenditures in the most effective ways we are able even as such restrictions often result in reductions, eliminations or in many cases new ways of doing things. Despite the agonies and frustrations with which all of us are faced as school districts, as organizations, as businesses and as families, we must acknowledge a bigger picture and broader vision which will overtime and in all likelihood show greater promise for the future. From the current times during which we have become leaner and meaner, we will, I am confident, emerge into a future which will be healthier, wealthier, and wiser. n contemplation of the coming school year, and aside from the matters of finance and budget, I very proudly wish to share with you two programs that are being seriously considered and which have great promise and potential for our Montabella District and the many fine students we are privileged to serve. he first is called Middle College. It is a plan and a program that in conjunction and cooperation with a local community college provides an opportunity for a small group of students to complete high school over a five year period. Yes, the plan does require five years rather than four, but within that five year time period those students complete not only requirements for high school graduation but simultaneously complete from the community college the requirements for an associate’s degree. This program is already in place in several locations in Michigan. The nearest Middle College program is in operation within the Clare-Gladwin ISD which works with Mid-Michigan Community College. In planning such a program for our district we would be working with Montcalm Community College and we have already held discussions with that organization. I must advise that implementation would most likely occur if grant funding is made available. Likelihood is that the program has potential to be in place for the 2012-2013 school year. s superintendent I am very much in support of both of these program possibilities and such potential advantages as would therefore be provided to our school and community. second new program that we are hopeful of bringing to Montabella will involve a cooperative and collaborative effort, with Michigan College Advising Corps. whose mission it is to increase (especially) the number of low income, first generation, and underrepresented students who enroll in and complete college by placing University of Michigan graduates as college advisers in selected public high schools throughout the state. The goals of that program will be (1)Increase the college-go-





ing rate of the high school (2)Increase the college completion rate of our graduates (3) Expand the range of colleges to which our students apply and enroll; and (4) Help establish a college-going culture within our high school and community. The adviser would spend approximately twenty hours per week at our high school for an entire school year during which he would work with students and parents relative to such matters as providing information and awareness about colleges, assisting with financial aid and scholarship forms, completion of admission applications, etc. I am both personally and professionally excited as to providing this advantageous opportunity to our students and parents.

ESSENCE OF STAGE CLASS TO PRESENT WILDER’S “OUR TOWN” Montabella High School’s “Essence of Stage” class, taught by Mrs. Haas, will be presenting Thornton Wilder’s, OUR TOWN to the public on February 22, 2011. The presentation will take place at 7:00 pm in the High School Cafetorium. The class will be performing the play as a fund raising effort to pay for a recent visit to MSU’s Wharton Theater to see a production of ROMEO and JULIET performed by the New York City Acting Company. 37 students were given an opportunity to see the campus, enjoy the play, and to dine in the new Brody Cafe on campus. Working with the Essence of Stage class, the Art Club under the guidance of Mrs. Willoughby, will sell refreshments to the audience during the play’s intermission. This is a fund raising effort, as well. We hope you will join us for an evening of classic nostalgia.

MONTABELLA DISPLAYS COMMUNITY OUTREACH Montabella students in grades 4-8 participated in the annual pack the house initiative sponsored by the CMU women’s basketball team. Students from various schools in the area collected donations for the Eastern Michigan Food Bank. The students represented the following school districts: Mt. Pleasant, Ithaca, Alma, Harrison, Sacred Heart, Shepherd, Coleman, Beal City, and of course Montabella. A competition from ABC12 news for the Spirit Cup was initiated between all of the participating school for the most pounds of food collected. The cash donations were converted into pounds. Over 40,000 pounds of food was collected by all of the students and schools that were represented at the event. Montabella was the winner of the spirit cup, collecting over 10,000 pounds of food for the organization. Collecting over ¼ of the total collections is very impressive, but considering that Montabella has the highest poverty census rate in Montcalm county that accomplishment is that more impressive. The overwhelming display of compassion and community support is special. It certainly makes us proud to be Mustangs!

Montabella Mustangs 2010-2011 SPRING SPORTS SCHEDULE

HIGH SCHOOL TRACK Wed. Sat. Thur. Wed. Fri. Fri. Wed. Wed.

04/13 04/16 04/21 04/27 04/29 05/06 05/11 05/25


Central Montcalm Fulton Invitational Evart League Ovid-Elsie Invit. Lakeview League @ Sacred Heart League @Vestaburg


4:00 9:00 a.m. 4:00 4:30 4:00 3:30 4:00 4:00

4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00

MIDDLE SCHOOL TRACK Tues. Tues. Tues. Tues.

04/19 04/26 05/03 05/17

League @ Montabella League @ Coleman League @ Sacred Heart League @ Sacred Heart

Tues. Thur. Sat. Mon. Thur. Sat. Mon. Thur. Mon. Thur. Sat. Mon. Thur. Sat. Tues. Thur. Mon. Thur. Wed.

03/29 03/31 04/09 04/11 04/14 04/16 04/18 04/21 04/25 04/28 04/30 05/02 05/05 05/07 05/10 05/12 05/16 05/19 05/25

Morley Stanwood A Merrill H Fulton Invite (BB) A St. Louis A Ashley A MorleyStanwood (SB)A Vestaburg H Farwell A Coleman H Sacred Heart A St. Louis (SB) A Ashley H Vestaburg A Tri County (BB) A Saranac H Coleman A Central Montcalm A Sacred Heart H Evart H

4:00 4:00 9:00 am 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 9:00 am 4:00 4:00 9:30 am 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00

Mustangs! Athletic Schedules are subject to change due to weather, especially in spring. Please check our website ( for updated schedules.


BOYS GOLF Thur. Mon. Wed. Wed. Thur. Mon. Fri. Mon.

04/14 04/18 04/20 04/27 05/05 05/09 05/13 05/23

Lakeview @ St. Ives Greenville Invite Home Dual Sacred Heart Tri @ Sacred Heart Quad Ithaca Invite Ithaca


9:00am 9:00am 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 1:00 4:00

Tues. Thur. Mon. Mon. Thur. Mon. Thur. Sat. Thur. Tues. Thur. Mon. Thur. Wed.

03/29 03/31 04/11 04/18 04/21 04/25 04/28 04/30 05/05 05/10 05/12 05/16 05/19 05/25

Morley Stanwood Merrill St. Louis Vestaburg Farwell Coleman Sacred Heart Lakeview Vestaburg Saranac Coleman Central Montcalm Sacred Heart Evart

H 4:00 A 4:00 H 4:00 A 4:00 H 4:00 A 4:00 H 4:00 A 10:00am H 4:00 A 4:00 H 4:00 H 4:00 A 4:00 A 4:00

In this Issue:

Montabella Welcomes Friends from Afar.....................................1 3rd Grade Classes Visit Nature Center........................................1 Little League Sign-Up Information..............................................1 Message from the Superintendent................................................2 Essence of Stage Class to Present Wilder’s “Our Town”.............2 Montabella Community Displays Community Outreach............2 Spring Sports Schedule.................................................................3 Mustang of the Month...................................................................4 Elementary Music Concerts..........................................................4

ELEMENTARY MUSIC CONCERTS Elementary students will be presenting their spring concerts in April and May (see front page for dates). All concerts will be in the cafeteria starting at 6:30, with an ice cream social following for all students and audience guests. The 2nd grade musical is entitled “Best Friends”, the 3rd graders will present “Bones”, 4th grade shares “Recorder Magic”, 1st grade will sing about “Dinosaurs”, and Kindergarten will sing Songs by Raffi.


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Edmore, MI 48829 PERMIT No. 1

302 West Main Street | Edmore, MI 48829 | 989-427-5148 (p) | 989-427-3828 (f) BOARD OF EDUCATION

Jann LaPointe President Tim Eldred, Vice-President Emily Longnecker, Secretary Bryan Smith, Treasurer

Chris Rasmussen, Trustee Ivan Renne, Trustee Dennis Stratton, Trustee



Name: Kendra Pierce Grade: 10th Sport: Basketball

Name: Jonny Durham Grade: 9th Sport: Wrestling

Kendra tore her ACL as a freshman and had reconstructive surgery that same year. As a Sophomore, Kendra had limited playing time as she adjusted to Varsity and the repaired knee. Kendra made a commitment to work on her game during her off season between her sophomore and junior years, this commitment made her a solid varsity player and second team all conference. During summer workouts this past year, Kendra again tore her ACL. Making a tough decision, Kendra decided to play her Senior year with a torn ACL. Kendra has not let it damper her basketball career, as she has posted 3 straight double, doubles - for the season she has a total of 5 double/double’s.

Jonny is 18-2 for the season which is the best Freshmen record at a start of a season in Montbella History. Jonny has shown great improvement all year long. He works hard in practice and has recently begun trying to help others succeed as well. He is becoming an excellent leader, wrestler, and young man of character.


February Name: Jeremy Quezada Grade: 11th Grade Sport: Wrestling

Name: Sarah Miller Grade: 9th Sport: Basketball

Jeremy was undefeated in January! He currently is 35-3 on the season with 32 pins. Jeremy has become a team leader and leads by example on and off the mat. He is a good student and a very good role model for others in the sport.

Playing varsity in any sport is a tough transition, to do so as a freshman can be even more difficult and sometimes an overwhelming venture. The speed, strength, and maturity of varsity basketball can be very complex, and for a freshman to not only be able to play, but be a starter and active contributor, is nothing short of special. Sarah went from 8th grade to Varsity and has been a key ingredient to a 7 game winning streak, where she has averaged 11 points a game while dishing out 4 assists a game during this streak. She has also been responsible to defend one of the other team’s top guard each night. The nightly expectations for Sarah are as high as any senior. For her to not only accept these expectations, but to excel, has made her one of the top players in the area and a highlight on everyone’s scouting report.

March 2011 Mustang News  

Quarterly newspaper published by Montabella Community Schools.