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In this Issue

Volume XXXII, Issue 2 November 2011

Message from the Superintendent............................................ 2 Montabella Represented at Calvin College Honors Band....... 2 Jr/Sr High News......................................................................... 3 Montabella Advances One to XC State Final........................... 6 Winter Sports Schedule............................................................. 7 Elementary News....................................................................... 8 Mustangs of the Month.............................................................. 8 Important Upcoming Dates....................................................... 8


Football fever is spreading like wildfire at Montabella as the varsity wraps up a historical season. The Mustangs not only set a new school record for the most season wins at nine, but have upped the ante by earning Montabella’s first playoff win against Burton Bendle. Achieving top athletic performance is a year-round process. Last fall, this year’s varsity football team put a plan in motion. These motivated athletes focused on off-season training to set the course for a winning season. A new strength and conditioning workout began at 6:30 each morning in the Montabella Junior/Senior High School weight room. These early-morning sessions were well-attended by many dedicated athletes. David Clay, the Montabella varsity football coach, takes great pride in this special group of young men. “We consistently had great attendance in the gym and weight room early in the morning,” said Coach Clay. “There is no doubt that it is the reason we have been able to have success this season.” Certainly, the team’s 9-1 history-making season is a result of this hard work and dedication. Montabella football continues to make great strides, including making the playoffs three of the last four seasons. The athletes in the football program have exceeded every goal Clay had for them going into the season. “This group of guys set a goal last year that they wanted to be a playoff team again,” Clay stated. “Not only that, but they wanted to win in the playoffs. We have definitely accomplished that.” Building a successful football program doesn’t happen overnight. It is a culmination of years of planning and preparation. “As the old proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” At Montabella, it takes a community’s support to build a winning football program. The Montabella Quarterback Club has assumed this mission. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the start of this community-based assembly of Montabella football enthusiasts. Meeting every Tuesday at 5 a.m. at Gale’s Gym, the Quarterback Club discusses what it takes to build a top-notch football program. The club was established to help provide monetary support, mentor athletes, promote a positive community connection to the continued on page 6

The Mustangs sing the Montabella fight song to the fans following their 38-22 win at Burton Bendle (Photo courtesy of Suzi Dunn)


ing more accurate and honest to both the students and public as well as the educators who provide the teaching and guide the learning.

pon your receiving this issue of The Mustang News our school will be ending the first trimester of the 2011-2012 academic year. That is to acknowledge that the school year is one third complete. In assessing the status quo of that time frame, I am relatively comfortable in saying that the year thus far is going quite well. May such be likewise for the six months remaining. I must also acknowledge that while “things” for the most part are going well, the truth is that we haven’t as many “things” as was the case within previous years and especially as those “things” equate to offerings and amenities most often taken for granted within stronger economic times. To be sure some such losses are unfortunate, but I remain confident that our students still have available to them the necessary makings of a good and productive education. In the meantime as a district we continue to explore and implement more economically sound and sensible ways of delivering such learning as will prepare our students for survival in a working world that, for many if not most, will exist far beyond our state and nation. It’s easy to despair and even despise the current economic circumstance which affect each and every one of us as both individuals and organizations. We likewise hope for an economic upturn that will return an era of greater plenty. Hopefully such upturn is nigh forthcoming but in the meantime we must do what we can with what we have. In fact we must do better with what we have. Lean times lend opportunity to improve on many fronts and I believe that is happening within our district and the many others throughout our state. The old adage of no pain - no gain is most truly applicable to our educational operation and productivity as we navigate this new economic reality.

Rest assured that the pain these new more accurate and honest results will reveal will result in an upward movement in student growth and performance which will clearly equate to gain - real, accurate and honest gain. A moment of truth is rightfully upon us in which all parties involved, to especially include the students, must function within yet another form of the new reality which, much like the new reality of the financial would, demands greater accountability.


Mr. Ronald Farrell, Superintendent of Schools

Relative to the new reality and certainly mindful of pain and gain, I wish to address the matter of student test scores as will be reported soon based on recently completed state assessment tests known as MEAP. Such test results are reported not only in numerical form but with categories of achievement based on those numerical test scores. This has been the process for several years. It will continue to be the process but with another new reality that is truly long overdue. Get ready for the pain and be confident about the gain that will most assuredly follow. The identified categorical levels of student performance will continue to be (1) Advanced (2) Proficient (3) Partially Proficient or (4) Not Proficient. However the labels will, beginning with this year’s MEAP scores, be more harsh but certainly far more accurate and honest. With the new and more rigorous cut scores students will need to get roughly 65 percent of the answers correct to “pass” the state test instead of only 39 percent as was previously the case. By way of example, looking at last year’s test scores for grade three math 95% of those students were labeled “proficient”. Were the new cut scores applied to those same students and test results only 35% would earn the proficient rating. Looking at eleventh grade science last year found 61% to be proficient. In using the new cut score that number would have shown only 26% to be proficient. So it is with all grade levels and subjects tested. The scores used in the MME (Michigan Merit Exam) are also subject to new and more rigid calculation. Again this is long overdue and is certainly in be-

I would wish to advise as well that the greater accountability applies not only to our students but to our faculty, staff and administration. Resulting from a wealth of legislation which was recently passed, individual student test scores will be linked directly to the teachers who taught those students in order to provide data which in part determine student growth as relates to student knowledge and learning. The student growth measurements must become a significant portion of each teacher’s evaluation. Starting with the 2013-2014 school year 25% of each teacher’s and administrators annual evaluation must be based on student growth. That percentage increases to 40% in the 2014-2015 school year and 49% in the 2015-2016 school year. The fact clearly becomes that all players in the learning process on the school’s end are being held accountable to a higher, and yes, more accurate, demanding and realistic standard. In acknowledging this I feel very obligated to mention that just as the school’s role in teaching and learning is being held to a higher standard, hopefully parents and guardians will likewise hold themselves to the very highest standard they can. To be sure it takes a safe, strong and structured home environment from which students come in order for them to be successful in a safe, strong and structured school setting to which they must go. Neither parents nor teachers can make sound learning to happen by themselves. Both parties are needed and needed to work in ongoing and cooperative fashion. When such diligent, deliberate and dedicated cooperation is in place, students will learn, students will achieve and students will be successful. The importance of that success is without question, condition or reservation. Today’s students are our future. Let us therefore accept, applaud, support and move forward within the new reality. Bring on the pain! Bring on the gain! Our students and our community will emerge the better, the stronger and the more productive therefrom. What greater outcome can be sought!

MOORE ATTENDS CALVIN COLLEGE HONORS BAND On October 25th, Derrick Moore a high school tuba player, had the privilege of performing with the Calvin College Honors Band. This honors band contained many talented musicians from all over West Michigan. After going through the audition process Derrick was awarded with 1st chair tuba and was charged with leading the section throughout the day’s rehearsals and during the evening performance. Derrick spent the day with the other students rehearsing for the evening concert. Great job Derrick in representing Montabella at such a prestigious musical event.



Tasha was nominated by Mrs. Dreyer-Molitor who said she is one of the hardest-working students I have had the privilege to teach. She is 100% committed to producing excellence in all that she does - from homework assignments to class projects to unit tests. I’ve witnessed her pursuit of excellence rub off on other students as well. If ever she is absent, she always makes it her first priority to find out what she has missed and Tasha Daws makes it up asap. Furthermore, she is one of the nicest and most respectful young adults I’ve come across here at Montabella. Thanks Tasha, for all you do!

Hello Montabella! My name is Melanie Chamberlain and I am the new College Adviser at Montabella Jr/Sr High School. I am a member of the Michigan State University College Advising Corps and my job is to assist students with their post-secondary plans. I work in the counseling office alongside Ms. Gaffield and help with college searches, college applications, ACT registration, financial aid options and much more. If you or your student would benefit from my assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am at the high school on Mondays, Fridays, and alternating Wednesdays – my time is split between Montabella and Lakeview. My phone number is 989-427-5175 ext. 382 and I can always be reached by e-mail – mchamberlain@ I will also be posting college-related information and opportunities on my Facebook page: Miss Chamberlain’s College Connection – Montabella Jr/Sr High School.

Logan was nominated by Mr. Shaw who said she is a great student and a very nice person. She works hard and is a pleasure to have in class. Logan Rios



High school seniors have started a new program this year called “Adopt a Classroom”. This group is comprised of students who are taking a college class or are enrolled in the Community As Schools program. These students are available at the end of the day to help out at the elementary school a couple of times a month from 2-2:45. There are currently 14 students who are volunteering their time. The students are helping in a variety of ways – reading with the students, helping fine tune motor skills, and working with students in science and math. So far the seniors participating have found this experience very rewarding.

All students applying to college should be filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application becomes available online on January 1st (and is due March 1st). It requires information from your tax documents, but last years information can be used to estimate. Montabella will be hosting two events to help you and your students during this process: Financial Aid Night: Wednesday, January 11th at 7:00 pm. Representatives from MCC will be here to give an overview of important financial aid information. FAFSA Night: February 8th from 3:307:30pm. Come in and fill out your FAFSA! We will have MCC staff on hand to answer any questions you may have. Local scholarships will become available around December/January. Make sure your students stop by the office at that time to pick up applications!

Back: JeMikel Papendick, Travis Dunn, Ivanna Coville, Drew Burggren Front: Derrick Moore, Emily Korte, Sarah Belson Not Pictured: Paul Bellingar, Charley Helmer, Tori Patch, Bob Lawler, Ally Jolley, Rebekah Irani, Daniella Lahay

continued from page 1.

football program, and provide a direct line of communication with the head coach. During this football season, the Quarterback Club purchased 50 white football pants for the varsity team, University of Michigan-style decals for the helmets, sack lunches for away games, and paid for diesel fuel, a spectator bus and other travel expenses for the playoff games. Proceeds from the advertising signs along the fencing on the north side of the football field funded the majority of the club’s disbursements. Mustang pride is alive at Montabella! The contagious excitement surrounding a successful football team more than filled the visitors’ side of the Burton Bendle stadium as students, faculty, alumni and community members made the two-hour trek to Montabella’s first playoff game on October 29. It’s a great day to be a Mustang - a beautiful facility, a supportive community, enthusiastic fans and a winning football team. GO MUSTANGS!!! 2011 MONTABELLA FOOTBALL SEASON RESULTS Montabella vs. Evart, 34-32 W Montabella vs. Coleman, 26-16 W Montabella @ Manistee Catholic Central, 22-20 W Montabella vs. Sacred Heart Academy, 35-6 L Montabella @ Ashley, 43-8 W Montabella @ Vestaburg, 32-26 W Montabella vs. Onekama, 48-28 W Montabella vs. Crossroads Academy, 68-3 W Montabella @ St. Louis, 40-7 W Montabella @ Burton Bendle, 38-22 W Montabella @ Saginaw Nouvel 62-6 L “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - American anthropologist Margaret Mead


Montabella sophomore Taylor Smith finished third with a time of 19:20 in a field of 53 female runners at the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 4-30 Cross Country Regional held at the Fish Creek Sportsman Club in Carson City on October 29. The top fifteen finishers in each division advance to the next week’s state finals in Brooklyn. This was Smith’s second trip to Michigan International Speedway (M.I.S.) in Brooklyn for the state finals, which took place on Saturday, November 5. In 2010, she took 27th place in Brooklyn after finishing 7th at the regional meet. Smith knows what it takes to be an all-state cross country runner. Her past experience helped her develop a plan for this year’s state meet. “I’m definitely going out hard in the beginning,” Smith said. “Last year, I got boxed in right away and that hurt me a lot.” In addition to training, she says her pre-race menu and motivational tactics help her get ready to run a race. Hanging out with her team and listening to the pep talks get her pumped up and ready to go. “I especially like to hang out with my friend, Sarah, before I run,” laughed Smith. “She always has something very inspirational to say.” Smith says she always eats the same thing before a race – a bagel with peanut butter, a granola bar and a banana. Montabella cross country coach Jeff Kauffman values Smith’s work ethic and attributes her success to experience and competitiveness. “Taylor’s success this season comes from two sources. The first source is her experience. Running a full year of cross-country and track has taught her to run competitively and given her a solid mileage base,” Coach Kauffman said. “The other reason is Taylor’s competitiveness. Her strength as a runner is her desire to win as she is willing to push through pain in order to win.” Smith’s short term and long term goals continue to inspire her to work hard. “I’d like to beat the Montabella high school record before I graduate,” said Smith, “and next year, I’d like to go to state as a team.” Smith is edging closer to beating the long-standing twenty-four-year Montabella girls cross country record of 19:04. In fact, Smith’s 19:20 time in this year’s regional not only placed her in third and advanced to the state level, but became her new personal record.

The Mustang Marching Band joins the Saginaw Nouvel Marching Panthers in the playing of the National Anthem before the playoff game.

Smith is a year-round athlete and also plays softball and basketball. She admits she has never been one to train for cross country during the off-season or summer months, but her desire to reach her goals inspires her to train harder. “I think I might run some next summer,” Smith said. “I’d like to be a better runner next season and plan to work harder to meet my goals.”

Taylor Smith with the girls team and coaches right before this year’s regional.

Montabella Mustangs 2011-2012 WINTER SPORTS SCHEDULE

Varsity/JV Boys Basketball

JV/Var Girls Basketball H H H A H A A H A H A H A H A H H H A H H A A

5:30 4:30 5:30 4:30 4:30 4:00 5:30 5:30 5:30 4:30 4:30 5:30 5:30 4:30 5:30 5:30 4:30 4:30 5:30 4:30 4:30 5:30


5:30 9:00am 9:00am 6:00 6:00 9:00am 6:00 9:00am 6:00 10:00am 6:00 9:00am 6:00 9:00am

Wrestling Wed. Sat. Sat. Mon. Wed. Sat. Wed. Sat. Wed. Sat. Wed. Sat. Wed. Sat.

12/07 Chippewa Hills 12/10 Mustang Round Robin 12/17 Farwell Team Invite 12/19 Chesaning Quad 01/04 Montabella Quad 01/07 St. Louis Invite 01/11 Montabella Quad 01/14 Lakeview Invite 01/18 Lainsburg Quad 01/21 Mio Invite 01/25 Dansville Quad 01/28 Mustang Duals 02/01 Montabella Quad 02/04 League Tourn. @ Bath

Remember: Sports schedules are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule check

Tues. 11/29 Clare H Fri. 12/02 Coleman H Tues. 12/06 Lakeview H Fri. 12/09 Vestaburg A Thur. 12/15 Sacred Heart A Sat. 12/17 Alcona H Mon. 12/19 Chippewa Hills A Wed. 01/04 Fulton A Fri. 01/06 Ashley H Tues. 01/10 Farwell H Mon. 01/16 Beal City A Fri. 01/20 Coleman A Thur. 01/26 Vestaburg H Mon. 01/30 Evart A Thur. 02/02 Sacred Heart H Mon. 02/06 Central Montcalm A Thur. 02/09 Ashley A Mon. 02/13 Merrill H Wed. 02/15 Harrison H Tues. 02/21 Newaygo H

5:30 5:30 5:30 5:30 5:30 5:30 6:00 6:00 5:30 5:30 6:00 5:30 5:30 6:00 5:30 6:00 5:30 5:30 5:30 5:30

Middle School Boys Basektball

Go Mustangs!

Mon. 12/05 Lakeview—JV/V Coleman—F Thur. 12/08 Vestaburg—JV/V Mon. 12/12 Beal City—F/JV/V Fri. 12/16 Sacred Heart– F/JV/V Tues. 12/20 Chippewa Hills—F/JV/V Wed. 12/28 Shepherd—V Tues. 01/03 Fulton—JV/V Thur. 01/05 Ashley—JV/V Fri. 01/13 Providence Christian-JV/V Tues. 01/17 Ithaca—F/JV/V Thur. 01/19 Coleman– F/JV/V Fri. 01/27 Vestaburg—JV/V Tues. 01/31 St. Louis—JV/V Fri. 02/03 Sacred Heart—F/JV/V Tues. 02/07 Central Mont.—JV/V Fri. 02/10 Ashley—JV/V Beal City—F Tues. 02/14 Merrill—F/JV/V Mon. 02/20 Evart—JV/V Chippewa Hills—F Fri. 02/24 Coleman—F/JV/V Thur. 03/01 White Cloud—JV/V

Mon. 11/09 Ashley H 4:30 Fri. 11/11 Sacred Heart H 4:30 Mon. 11/14 Vestaburg A 4:30 Wed. 11/16 Coleman H 4:30 Tues. 11/22 Ashley A 4:30 Mon. 11/28 Coleman A 4:30 Wed. 11/30 Sacred Heart A 4:30 Mon. 12/05 Vestaburg H 4:30 Wed. 12/07 MSAC Tourn @ Coleman Sat. 12/10 MSAC Tourn @ Ashley

Middle Schools Girls Basketball Wed. Mon. Wed. Mon. Mon. Wed. Mon. Wed. Wed. Sat.

01/18 Ashley H 4:30 01/23 Sacred Heart H 4:30 01/25 Vestaburg A 4:30 01/30 Coleman H 4:30 02/06 Ashley A 4:30 02/08 Coleman A 4:30 02/13 Sacred Heart A 4:30 02/15 Vestaburg H 4:30 02/22 MSAC Tourn @ Vestaburg 02/25 MSAC Tourn @ Montabella

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES November 20 Volleyball Banquet November 21 School Board Meeting November 23-25 NO SCHOOL December 7 6th Grade Band Christmas Concert December 9 Deadline to turn in senior pictures 2-4 Grades Christmas Music Program December 12 PTO Meeting December 13 Middle School Band Christmas Concert December 14 High School Band Christmas Concert December 15 5th Grade Band Christmas Concert December 19 School Board Meeting December 21NO SCHOOL January 3, 2012 HOOPS FOR HUNGER Students in grade K-8 participated in the Hoops for Hunger project again this year. Money raised through this project benefits the Eastern Michigan Food Bank. During the three week collection period, students brought in approximately $1,531 and over 1000 pounds of food. Week 2 of the project also included a competition among the 6th grade classrooms. The 6th grade classroom that donated the most, won the privilege of giving Ms. Millis a makeover. As a thanks for collecting and donating the goods, students in grades 4-8 got to attend the CMU women’s basketball game on 11/11/11 against Northwestern.


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 Sherri Miel, Treasurer

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

BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION Montabella Community Schools actively participates in the Box Tops for Education Program. Students at the elementary school are encouraged to bring in box tops on a regular basis with monthly challenges. This month’s challenge is a “Turkey Toss”. For every 10 box tops a class brings in, they get to choose another classroom and “toss” a turkey at their door. As you can see, the students really get into this and enjoy the rivalry of seeing who they can get the most! The class that collects the most box tops by the end of the month wins a movie and popcorn party. Money raised through the collection of Box Tops helps pay for field trips.



Name: Patrick Crawford Grade: 12th Sport: Cross Country

Name: Travis Haenke Grade: 9th Sport: JV Football

Patrick was nominated by Coach Kauffman. Patrick has improved tremendously in his dedication and in his overall performance this year. At regionals, Patrick finished 2nd on the team and ran a lifetime PR of 18:44. Consistently our 3rd runner, he has helped push his teammates to faster times. Patrick’s positive attitude under every circumstance sets the tone for the boys’ team. Respected by his teammates, Patrick leads by example in his work ethic, dedication, and attitude. Much of the boys’ success this season can be attributed to his quiet leadership.

Travis was nominated by Coach Nealy. Travis has been a dominating force for the JV Mustangs. He has led the team tackles for losses the entire season. Travis never takes a day off; he is constantly giving his best effort on the practice field and in the classroom. Travis sets the tone in practice with his effort and is a leader by example. Travis has maintained an “A” average during football. He is a great asset to the Mustang Football program.

November 2011 Mustang News  

Quarterly newspaper for Montabella Community Schools

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