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“Linking Students to the World...� A Publication of Otsego Public Schools June 2012 District Newsletter Volume I Issue 4

In This Issue: Spotlight On... Class of 2012 Top Ten

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Community Connection Veterans Projects

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Focus on Fitness

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From the Superintendent Great things, Great leaders

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Students take on spring challenges

Tech Talk p. 10 One-to-one digital learning

Spotlight On... There are 158 students graduating in the Class of 2012; here is a closer look at the future plans of the ten students who emerged at the top of the class academically. Each one wanted to thank their parents, friends and OPS staff for a great high school experience.

OHS Top Ten 2012

Lydia Moyer Lydia Moyer will attend Grand Valley State University for nursing with a goal of becoming a neonatal nurse, “My inspiration for choosing the medical field is that I love to help people,” she says, “I enjoy knowing that someone is better off because of my help.” Her teachers were her mentors through school and she thanks Emma Bomeli her parents “for all the time and money they spent on me. I Emma Bomeli plans to attend Hope College in the wouldn’t be the same person today if they hadn’t put as much fall to pursue a career in social work, “I love effort into raising me as they did.” spending time with children and making them Matt Chavez smile,” she says, “Our homecoming with Andrew and MakeMatt Chavez will be the second OHS graduate in two years A-Wish sealed the deal on my to head off to Yale decision.” University. He plans to Before embarking on this major in Biomedical journey, she’s going on a mission Engineering, “I am trip this summer to Ecuador. interested in the sciences Kara Kanwischer and math, and I like Kara Kanwischer is heading to coming up with unique Grand Valley State University in solutions to difficult the fall to major in Biopsychology problems,” he says. with plans to go into the physical A WMU graduate or occupational therapy program, student with whom he “I loved AP Biology and studying did research was his the body, so I thought it would inspiration into this be something good to turn into a field. career,” she says. She did a career 2012 Academic Top Ten left to right: Emma Bomeli, Kara Kanwischer, Brian Cunninghamexploration at Agility Health and Alexander Wolf, Tim Ruesink, Ronnie Knoll, Lydia Moyer, Matt Rhoads looked to her mom, as well, who Chavez, Brian Cunningham-Rhoads, Gabriela Hawk, Megan Voisard Brian is attending is an ER nurse and who Kara says Kalamazoo College in was her mentor through school. the fall to pursue a career in biological research and health care. Alex Wolf His AP Biology class solidified his field of choice. Alex is heading to Michigan State University this fall to Brian says his parents were his high school mentors. He study Biomed. Throughout school, he was involved with thanks them, his teachers, and OPS administration “for making Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association (KOHA.) Otsego High School such a marvelous place to grow and Tim Ruesink mature.” Tim Ruesink plans to attend Western Michigan University. Gabriela Hawk While he hasn’t yet decided on a major, he is considering Gabi Hawk is attending the University of Michigan in the a career in engineering design technology, “I chose it as it fall to major in Biology and Pre-Med. She knows she wants to combines creativity and math into a field of study,” he says. be a doctor, but is undecided on a what she might specialize in, He points to his swim coach and teacher, Darryl Belton, as “The medical field is really interesting to me and I want to help his mentor and inspiration throughout high school. He also others and save lives,” she says. thanks his teachers, coaches and parents “for pushing me to do She thanks her teachers, family and friends, “especially my my best.” parents for being the best support system and motivators.” Ronnie Knoll Megan Voisard Ronnie Knoll is traveling north to attend Michigan It’s a high-flying future for this member of the top ten. Technological University and study Applied Geophysics Megan Voisard plans to attend Western Michigan University because of his enjoyment of the outdoors and fascination with and go into the Aviation Flight Science program to become a rocks and minerals, “I would love this career as it would offer a pilot, “I chose this field because when I was 10 years old my fun and rewarding job,” he says. mom signed me up to take a flight lesson, and I have wanted to He credits Mr. (Darryl) Belton as a contributor to his be a pilot ever since.” academic success, “His class showed me what hard work and Her parents have been her inspiration, “because they have determination truly meant.” always encouraged me to do my best and given me the tools I need to be successful.” Read more:


Community CONNECTION Students for Sylvia’s Place

Several fundraising events focus on the women’s safe house Springtime at Otsego Public Schools is a big fundraising time for Sylvia’s Place, a safe house for abused women and their children. The Otsego staff collects personal care items to fill Easter baskets for the women, and two other projects raise money to help the children who stay there. For the second year, second graders across the district have chosen Sylvia’s Place for their spring community service project. They collect a variety of items, such as toys, school supplies, games, toothbrushes and books to fill a shoebox that can be easily handed to children when they come into the house. This year, the district filled 92 boxes. One Girls on the Run team filled 8 for their GOTR service project. For more than 10 years now, the middle school has held a friendly competition between strive classes to take in donations for Sylvia’s Place. This year’s “Clash of the Cash” raised $2,079.43. Sylvia’s Place plans to use the money for shoes and backpacks and Veterans Honored by to fund field trips for the kids.

Tribute to Veterans, Memorial

OMS project:

OMS social studies students expanded on their winter donation drive, which raised money to buy bricks for the new memorial, and constructed a Pathway to Freedom, a brick wall which contains messages from each student, “we talked about what freedoms we have because these people had fought for us,” explains teacher Lisa Eldred, “then the students picked a freedom important to them and said thanks for it.” The students were encouraged to bring in pictures of veterans from their families which were hung above and below the wall. The donation drive allowed the class to buy nine bricks for the new memorial. Students brought in names of veterans from their families and nine names were drawn. Students were given the list before Memorial Day so they could locate them at the new memorial. Otsego High School hosted the second Stars and Stripes Patriotic Concert/Fundraiser for the Otsego Area Veterans Memorial on May 19th. It was also a celebration of the completion of the memorial which was dedicated on Memorial Day.


Walter Kilbourn U.S. Marines Detlef Dieter Zander U.S. Army Max Muecke Army WWII MIA Eastern Europe Scott Richardson Army, Mobile Engineers Dale R. Morse Army Unit 122 Co. 3rd Armor Division Lonny Smith 25th Infantry Division Headquarters George Joseph Foster U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam – 1966-69 Jason M. Wesaw U.S. Army Ranger James Marciniak U.S. Army, Fort Knox

From the Superintendent

Dennis M. Patzer

As another successful school year draws to a close, I want to congratulate all of our students on a job well done. I also want to thank students, parents and family members for their unending support for Otsego Public Schools. When looking back over the year, it is truly amazing to see the large number of student successes coupled with a high level of achievement. Every year, our students make an impact in academics, athletics and the arts that is matched by few other schools of our size. It is also very important to salute all of our elementary, middle and high school students for their charity and community service. Of this we can all be equally proud! Our students give of themselves over and over for a wide variety of causes. To name a few - Food Drives, the Veterans Memorial, Blood Drives, Cancer fundraisers, and Jump Rope for Heart. There are many more annual events that receive school support, as well. This past year, support for the Make a Wish Foundation of Michigan was outstanding and heartwarming and the creation of the “Clothes Closet” was the recipient of a Fox 17 Pay It Forward Challenge award that equalled a $5,000 award for the program. Finally, I encourage you to take the time to send a note of thanks to our teachers and principals. They play a significant role in the success of your students. Due to their knowledge, guidance and dedication to the teaching profession, they build connections with your students and help all of them grow. Think about the impact they are having on your kids and consider telling them “Thanks” the next time you see them. I hope you agree that it has been a remarkable year for Otsego Public Schools. While we also recognize there are focus areas, like math, science, writing and reading for us to improve on, we are glad to serve you and your families. Have a great summer and see you in the fall!

Education Excellence Award

The Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) awarded Otsego High School a 2012 Education Excellence award for its Math Lab. Math Lab is an intervention program that helps students in Algebra I stay on track and master the fundamental skills needed for the curriculum. Since its full implementation in 2009-2010, student achievement has risen dramatically, even as benchmarks for passing were raised. High School Principal Hervé Dardis, Math Teacher Kathryn Wideen, High School Asst. Principal/Dir. of Secondary Instruction Heather Kortlandt, Supt. Denny Patzer and members of the Otsego Board of Education traveled to the ceremony May 9 to celebrate the honor. Read more online:

High school math program honored by MASB

Otsego Public Schools News & Notes

Don’t miss out on any of the great things happening at Otsego Public Schools! Bookmark our website “Like” us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter @OtsegoSchools. Stay updated on student projects, achievements and awards as well as school closings/cancellations and much more! Check out our online newsletter for more stories and links to more information!


Outstanding People for Education kids and gets to know them individually. He also gets right in to help with winter gear, lunchtime and encouraging their independence. He is known for making birthdays special. He quiets the lunchroom and leads them all in singing “Happy Birthday.”

Steve Long:

Both an educator and a coach, Steve Long’s nomination points out his “ability to accurately read students and understand how to best motivate them.” As the Alternative Education Teacher at West Campus High School, Steve might be the one constant in a student’s life. He often steps outside his classroom role to help counsel students and provide some of their basic needs so they can better concentrate on learning. As a coach, he sets high goals for students, but teaches them life skills as well as athletic techniques.

From left: Supt. Denny Patzer, Gordy Boelman, Anna Starr and Steve Long

Anna Starr

For the fourth year, the Allegan County School Boards Association sponsored the Outstanding People for Education awards. These awards can be given to up to three people in each district who are excelling in their field and/or making an impact in the quality of public education in Allegan County. Here are the 2012 Recipients from Otsego:

As the social worker for the district’s Kindergarten through 8th grades, Anna Starr teaches hundreds of students, “learn to be more compassionate and accepting,” her nomination states. She works to build self-confidence in her students and has formed multiple social skills groups at both the middle and elementary schools. She led her Dix Street Positive Thinking class of 3rd graders in forming a Clothes Closet for the district to provide students with clothing needs which won the FOX 17 Pay It Forward Challenge and $5,000. A parent nomination came in to thank Anna for helping her out with clothing for her son, “She is kind and made me feel like I was still a good mom even though I had no money.”

Gordy Boelman:

The Head Custodian at Washington Street Elementary, Gordy Boelman makes himself visible to the school’s 426 students. His nomination stated, “he has proven to be a dedicated, supportive team player who provides service that goes beyond what is expected while staying sensitive to the varying needs of each individual.” Gordy puts in the extra effort to make connections with the

From the Directors’ Chair

Director of Elementary Instruction Alamo Elementary Principal Melissa Koenig

Director of Secondary Instruction OHS Asst. Principal Heather Kortlandt

Common Core Curriculum

This has been a very busy year for curriculum and instructional work. Some highlights include mobilizing for the new Common Core Curriculum for English and Math. These are national standards that are very different from the current Michigan Standards. Common Core standards are designed to cover less breadth of content, but more depth. They are modeled after what other high achieving countries do. Along with numerous professional development opportunities attended by teachers, we also prepared for the new curriculum by developing two district vertical teams to examine Mathematics and Writing education in our district. These groups have been reviewing the PreK-12th grade progressions and have met to brainstorm coehesive linear pieces for every child at every level. We believe that with the vertical team strategy and the implementation of the Common Core, our curriculum will have less repetition and be able to dig deeper into content making solid connections from grade level to grade level. We are very excited about these instructional teams and feel that there will be unifying themes to track data on from year to year. We would like to thank all of our teachers for their hard work and dedication to our students this year! Have a wonderful summer!


Congratulations, Class of 2012

Rod Morrison Scholarship: Emma Bomeli Charles and Wilma Cushman Scholarship: Eric Cornell The Barry Community Foundation Scholarship: Nicole Back Dr. Jeff Chapman Memorial Scholarship: Celeste Webber

Graduates are all smiles as they receive their diplomas. National Honor Society: Nicole Back, Emma Bomeli, Brittany Chapman, Matthew Chavez, Samantha Clark, Eric Cornell, Maija Cota, Brian Cunningham-Rhoads, Ashley Dardis, Sierra Frasier, Gabriela Hawk, Kara Kanwischer, Daina Kaugars, Ronald Knoll, Paul McPherson, Danielle Molenaar, Lydia Moyer, Whitney Olson, Zachary Radcliffe, Caleb Rohr, Timothy Ruesink, Ellie Seelye, Megan Voisard, and Zachariah Williams

OEA Scholarship: Alyssa Davis Student Council Scholarship: Emma Bomeli Red Cross Scholarship: Ashley Dardis, Brooke DePauw, Lydia Moyer

Raymond Malvitz Otsego Rotary Club Scholarship: Emma Bomeli

Otsego Athletic Boosters Scholarship: Kara Kanwischer, Lydia Moyer, Caleb Rohr, Timothy Ruesink, Megan Voisard

Jack Warner Otsego Rotary Club Scholarship: Brian Cunningham-Rhoads Otsego Chamber of Commerce Scholarship: Emma Bomeli Comet Scholarship: Emma Bomeli, Carly Farrell, Sierra Frasier, Brittany Gardner, Skyler Scott, Ellie Seelye, Megan Voisard, Melissa Weirick Victors Scholarship: Paul McPherson Robert Stewart Memorial Scholarship: Matthew Chavez

Retired Otsego teacher Ray Bomeli was the guest speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony.

Otsego Public Schools Foundation Scholarship: Nicole Back, Emma Bomeli, Samantha Clark, Kara Kanwischer, Danielle Molenaar, Lydia Moyer, Rachel White, Benjamin Wieber, Zachariah Williams and (in memory of Dr. John Kingsnorth) Logan Brumley

Senior Gabe Porter read a heartfelt thank you letter to his classmates for their friendship at Swingout.

Departmental Awards: Art: Delaine Dugan Business: Ethan Weeldreyer English: Ellie Seelye Graphic Arts: Cameron Andrus Instrumental Music: John Philip Sousa Award: Sarah Edwards Arion Award: Sean Walker Life Management: Ogden Mehler Mathematics: Matthew Chavez Physical Education: Jayson Hill Science: Matthew Chavez OHS Art Club members Social Studies: created garden art for a Megan Voisard silent auction at the Otsego Vocal Music: Chamber of Commerce Lydia Moyer Annual Dinner. World Language: Kelly Chui The money raised went toward the Chamber Scholarship.

Did You Know...?


Scholarships & Awards Charles & Emma Clapp Trust Scholarship: Kristi Blank, Brittany Chapman, Eric Cornell, Ashley Dardis, Alyssa Davis, Alayna Meert, Haley Reed, Ellie Seelye, Megan Voisard, Rachel White Otsego Public Schools Foundation “O-Zone” Scholarship: Ethan Weeldreyer

Athletes of the Year: Male: Jared Klein Female: Lydia Moyer

Perrigo Scholarship: Gabriela Hawk, Ronald Knoll

Students Entering Military After High School: David Gaddis, Kaitlin Gross, Sarah Hanson, Brittany Keech, Nathaniel Kirkpatrick, Branden Pfau, Jacob Rose, Seth Rose Senior Class Presidents Lydia Moyer and Brian Cunningham-Rhoads announced Science Teacher Kristin Alkire as the class’s Teacher Honoree.

Allegan County Technical Education Awards Perfect Attendance: Michael Bush, Victorria Hotchkiss, Reece Olrich, Celeste Webber

Friends of the Otsego Library Scholarship: Kelly Chui

Perfect Attendance Two Years: Dustin Mitchell, Allison Rohr, Kori Seibert

VFW Post 3030/Ladies Auxiliary of Otsego Scholarship: Allison Rohr

National Technical Honor Society: Alexandra Leafdale, Taylor Stone

Don Knight Memorial Scholarship: Lydia Moyer, Caleb Rohr

Student of the Year: Alexandra Leafdale

Patti Sholler-Barber “The Power of One” Scholarship: Eric Cornell

Adult Graduation Ceremony Honors 35

P.E.O. Star Scholarship: Emma Bomeli Otsego Running Club Scholarship: Bryan Harvey, Celeste Webber Harry’s Foundation Scholarship: Alayna Meert, Ogden Mehler O.H.S. Leadership Award: Hannah Larson, Whitney Olson, Harold Watkins

High School diplomas were handed out to 35 graduates at a ceremony May 21st. The graduates come from West Campus High School, Starr Literacy programs from Plainwell and Fennville and the Otsego Adult Education Program.

National Merit Finalist: Daina Kaugars


Focus on Fitness

Young Warriors

Boyz on the Move

Washington Street Elementary students became warriors this spring in a new program focused on fitness and safety called “Young Warriors.” This 6-week program ended May 30th with a bike, swim and running event totalling 3.1 miles. Amy Nieuwenhuis, WSE Phys Ed Teacher, Warriors ride their bikes after school. organized this group for boys and girls in grades 3-5. The group of 36 met twice a week after school; the “Warrior Leaders” held three sessions each on biking, swimming and running, stressing the importance of safety in each of these sports, and also incorporated team-building exercises. The program focused on three things: respect, setting goals and encouraging others. “They amazed me with the effort they put forth,” Nieuwenhuis said, “and some of them doubted they could do all the activities, so I think they surprised themselves, too.” “I really like physical activity and I decided it would be fun,” said Nate Misner, 4th grader. He said he learned a lot about how to better perform in each sport and had fun, “look at all these people I get to play with and adults to talk to.” For Heaven Watson, 4th grade, it was a perfect fit. She likes to exercise and liked having an after-school activity, “It gives me something to do that’s athletic and fun,” she said. She added that she also met new friends.

In its second year, Boyz on the Move has grown and expanded to another school, Dix Street Elementary. Alamo Elementary teacher Mary Reitenour started the program last year with 18 boys as an outlet to learn life skills, much like Girls on the Run does for girls. This year, almost 40 boys went through the 6-week curriculum focusing on Self Esteem, Positive Thoughts, Anger Management, Sportsmanship, Teamwork and Gentlemen Skills. They met two times a week, each time starting with a lesson on those character traits, then they ran to help train for their 5K triathlon at the end of the program. “I learned to respect a lot of things more, control your actions, learn to be a gentleman,” said 4th grader Owen Watson, “and it’s not all about you, let other Boys at Dix Street write their character words in kids get a a mirror to later reflect upon when they might chance.” need a boost.

Expands in Year Two

Take on New Challenge

Middle School Mileage Club

Girls on the run keeps Growing

Otsego had 78 girls participate in the 10th Annual Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run 5K event at WMU’s Waldo Stadium. This is a 10-week program aimed to help their selfesteem, confidence and decision-making skills as they face dificulties growing up, all while training for a 5K.


This year, Middle School students took the mileage club to a new level, traveling hundreds of miles while focusing on better health and getting their bodies and minds ready for the day, “It is proven that at least 20 minutes of activity ‘boosts’ the brain to The two top walkers were Jacob start making new conAgy (left) with 38.5 miles and Dylan nections,” said Diane Ingold with 38.25 miles. Hitchock, OMS Physical Education Teacher and OMS Mileage Club Coordinator, “The Mileage Club provides the students with an opportunity to ‘jump start’ their brains before their school day begins.” It was an 8-week program that ran from January to April. Students walked the middle school hallway loop for 20 minutes before school. About 145 students participated and walked 5-40 miles.

Otsego Public Schools Foundation Awards $29,105 in Scholarships, Grants The Otsego Public Schools Foundation Awards reached an all-time high for 2012. Twenty-seven teachers and 16 students received awards this year totaling almost $30,000. The Foundation, which began in 1986, has a mission to direct charitable contributions to benefit the students enrolled in the Otsego Public School district. Teacher grants fund equipment or materials to improve student learning; from Physical Education equipment to SMARTBoard software, to art, Spanish, reading and math materials, this year’s grant recipients cover all curriculum areas. Students directly receive money to help with college expenses. The money to support these awards comes directly from donations. More at

Twenty-five grants were given to Otsego teachers this year totalling $15,501. They fund a wide variety of purchases to help in the classroom.

The Foundation itself awards eight, $1,000 scholarships to students and oversees the delivery of four other scholarships developed by Otsego Alumni. Nine recipients are pictured.

OHS Teacher Earns Certification, Chosen for Elite Summer Institute An English Language Arts teacher with a passion for technology. That is how Sara Badiner describes herself and she’s looking forward to a new opportunity to mesh those two. Earlier this year, the OHS teacher became a Certified STAR Discovery Educator through the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), a community of educators who incorporate digital media into their classrooms. There are more than 5,000 STAR Educators, “DEN STARS are active members of the community, willing to share what they have learned with others,” explains Porter Palmer, Director of DEN Global Community. To earn the certification, there is an application process where educators need to report what they have shared. As a STAR Educator, she will present two training sessions a year. And she will soon have even more to share. She learned later in March that she was one of only 125 STAR Educators selected to attend the week-long DEN Summer Institute. This is a sought-after spot that hundreds of people apply for each year. “I am overwhelmed that I was selected, I am thrilled,” Badiner says, “It is such a small group. To get some recognition outside the area reaffirms that I am doing some-

thing right.” The Summer Institute is an intense five days of classes and workshops that will further detail the tools the Discovery Educator Network has available. Badiner says it’s a way to become a better educator, learn new tools to use in class, network and hear about the successes happening across the country, “I really think it is just seeing how other teachers are integrating technology into their classrooms in a meaningful way. “ The institute is July 21-26 at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.

Special Guest

Wyoming Police Sergeant, and preschool dad, John McCaw, spoke to the Learn N’ Grow Preschool class at Washington Street Elementary about his job as a police officer and shared ways they can stay safe, like buckling up and asking for help. The students asked him questions about his job and received coloring books, sticker badges and temporary tattoos.



New Technology Now, More Coming As we end another school year, I reflect on so many great projects we did during the year. We implemented iPads at our elementaries and “flipped” a couple of classrooms. We added SMART Board Interactive Whiteboards in several classrooms in the district. I am also very excited that Otsego Public Schools is now a district-wide wireless campus. Being wireless district-wide will dramatically increase our options for technology integration at every building. While our teachers and students get ready for their summer vacations, our Technology Department gears up for a very busy summer. Over the summer we plan to install additional SMART Board interactive whiteboards so that almost every classroom in our district will be equipped with one when the new school year begins. We will be implementing iPads at the High School level but we are still researching how to best deploy them to students. Our ultimate goal is for our students to be in a 1:1 learning environment. The concept with a 1:1 environment simply means that each student will have their own technology device to utilize at school and at home. Research continues to show that a 1:1 environment enhances a students’ learning environment as well improves student engagement. To assist the district in reaching our 1:1 goal, we will also begin allowing students to bring their own device, also known as BYOD. Students will be allowed to use these devices as technology tools in the classroom. While the technology is an important part of a 1:1 learning environment, there are other factors that we need to consider. Another key factor for a successful implementation is to ensure that our teachers are properly trained how to fully utilize the technology. I continue to provide Professional Development opportunities for our teachers so they can learn how to effectively integrate technology into their classroom. I will continue to offer classes throughout the summer in preparation for the new school year. Director of Technology I hope you have a great summer and I look forward to what we Michelle Triemstra have in store for the Fall.

College-Bound Athletes Otsego Athletic Boosters holds Golf Outing/Fundraiser The Otsego Athletic Boosters is hosting its 30th Annual Golf Outing and Pig Roast.

Otsego High School enjoyed a tremendous year in athletics capturing Conference, District, Regional and State titles. These seniors will continue on with sports at the collegiate level. Back row from left: Jared Klein, WMU, Basketball; Harold Watkins, Thiel College, Baseball; Jerimiah Rutkowski, GVSU, Swimming; Eric Dennis, WMU, Football; Bryan Harvey, Ferris State University, Cross Country and Track & Field; Collin Ahrens, Albion College, Football. Front row from left: Alberto Selby-Lopez, John Carroll University, Wrestling; Alayna Meert, Spring Arbor University, Soccer; Kyle Cupp, Olivet College, Soccer; Jayson Hill, Olivet College, Football.

When: June 22nd Where: Prairiewood Golf Course, Otsego Cost: $100 per person Time: Shotgun start at 9am. Get a foursome together and get ready to have some fun! You can find the form online:


Sign up for a Summer Voyage!

Who to Call

Administration Office, 400 Sherwood Street, Otsego, MI 49078-1281 Superintendent Dennis M. Patzer................................... (269) 692-6076 Director of Elementary Instruction Melissa Koenig.................................................................. (269) 692-6149 Director of Secondary Instruction Heather Kortlandt............................................................ (269) 692-6162 Director of Technology Michelle Triemstra........................................................... (269) 692-6222

Otsego Community Education plans great events to keep the kids busy throughout the summer. Below are the classes for summer 2012! Go to to sign up!

Transportation Office, 560 Washington Street, Carrie Barnhart, Supervisor..............................................(269) 692-6245


Communications Director & Newsletter Editor Holly McCaw.......................................................................(269) 692-6073

Babysitting certification (Ages 11-14) June 18 &19, $85, 9am-12pm

Otsego High School, 550 Washington Street Principal Hervé Dardis ................................................... (269) 692-6166 Attendance......................................................................... (269) 692-6170 Guidance Office.................................................................. (269) 692-6175 Athletic Director John Kubiak.......................................... (269) 692-6163

Cookie/Cupcake Decorating (K-8) June 19, $8, 9-11am Picnic in the Park (Yankee Springs) (K-8) June 20, $5, 10:30am-3pm

Otsego Middle School, 540 Washington Street Principal Bill Houseman .................................................. (269) 692-6199 Attendance.......................................................................... (269) 692-6203

Create your own art supplies (K-8) June 21, $8, 9-11am

Special Education, 540 Washington Street Director Alice Hoekstra..................................................... (269) 692-6233

Putter’s Family Fun Center (K-8) June 22, $12, 11:30am-3:45pm

Otsego Community Education & Adult Education 501 Grant Street Director Tim Syrek............................................................ (269) 692-6225

Tye-Dye T-shirts (K-8) June 18, $10, 10-11am


Alamo Elementary, 8184 N. 6th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009-8808 Principal Melissa Koenig................................................... (269) 692-6150 Attendance.......................................................................... (269) 692-6148 Learn N’ Grow Preschool.................................................. (269) 692-6152 B.A.S.E. Supervisor Amanda Stone................................. (269) 692-6140

Jungle Joe’s (K-8) July 11, $10, 12:15-3:15pm

Dix Street Elementary, 503 Dix Street Principal Mark Rollandini .............................................. (269) 692-6099 Attendance...........................................................................(269) 692-6110 B.A.S.E. Supervisor Lacey Stout.......................................(269) 692-6114 Learn N’ Grow Preschool ................................................. (269) 692-6099

White Caps Baseball Game (all ages, adults welcome) July 9, $30, 9:15am-5:15pm

Art with Food (K-8) July 12, $8, 9-11am

Washington Street Elementary, 538 Washington Street Principal Heather Badders ............................................... (269) 692-6069 Attendance.......................................................................... (269) 692-6080 Learn N’ Grow Preschool ................................................. (269) 692-6092 B.A.S.E. Supervisor Kaleigh Hoisington ........................ (269) 692-6088

Christmas in July (K-8) July 13, $8, 9am-12pm Tye-Dye T-shirts (K-8) July 10, $10, 10-11am

OPS Website OPS Foundation Website ������������������������������������


Picnic in the Park (Milham Park) (K-8) August 6, $10, 11am-2pm

Save the Dates 2012-13 School Year

Minute to Win It (3-8) August 7, $10, 9am-12pm

First Day of School: September 4, 2012

Bowling at Snowden Sunset Lanes (K-8) August 8, $10, 12:30-3:30pm

Thanksgiving Break: November 21 - 26 Christmas Break: December 24 - January 4, 2013

Cookie/Cupcake Decorating (K-8) August 9, $8, 9-11am

Mid-Winter Break: February 15 & 18 Spring Break: March 29 - April 5

Roller Skating @ Long Lake Roller Rink (K-8) August 10, $10, 12-4pm

Last Day of School: June 12, 2013


More CONNECTIONS OPS Connection online supplement!

Published Poets

Genevieve Gavitt holds her poetry book with Daelyn Burd. Both have their poems published in the book.

Dix Street Elementary third graders looked at what was inside each of them as their inspiration for this year’s entries into the “Poetry That Ate Our Ears” contest sponsored by the Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library. This year, two students became published poets. Daelyn Burd’s poem received an Honorable Mention, and Genevieve Gavitt was one of this year’s winners. In addition to being published in this year’s book, Genevieve received a free copy of the book and was featured at an event at the Kalamazoo Public Library on June 2nd where the contest winners read their poems aloud. Here is her poem:

Inside Me

I feel like I have monkey’s because I feel tingly inside. Inside me is a regular guitar, it makes a melody that helps me fall asleep. I’m happy I’m me, happy as can be.


learning classroom, life lessons in english class

Real life can sometimes offer the best of topics for classroom lessons. Freshman in English 1b tackled bullying this last trimester and not only took on new material, but are still thinking about all they learned. As the trimester began, they discussed the controversy over the documentary movie “Bully,” which centered around its rating. It was rated “R” so many high school kids couldn’t see it without their parents’ permission. The students wrote persuasive essays about who’s responsible for bullying - schools, parents, legal system - and followed that essay up with one on whether it should be rated R. As they followed the controversy, which ultimately ended in a PG-13 rating, they wrote a persuasive letter to OHS Principal Hervé Dardis, asking for permission to take a field trip to see the movie. On Thursday, May 31, about 80 students went to Grand Rapids to see the movie. When you ask the class what they thought, a resounding, “I liked it,” is given. “I almost cried,” admitted one student. Teacher Merry Beth Ruiz says you could hear a lot of sniffling in the theatre. The movie documents several instances of bullying and what is done, or not done, around those incidents. Some students wrote in their character analyses afterward that they were surprised no one did anything. “So much is true (in the movie) when they show that parents and teachers sometimes don’t notice it,” says student Lexi Glazier, “students act differently around teachers.” Ruiz said the lesson left an impact, “everyone got something out of it.”

“Dare to be Different” presented an hour-long assembly to just the girls at the high school.

“Men With Integrity” put on an hourlong assembly for just the boys at the high school.

Spring Assemblies Address Bullying, Other Issues Facing Teens This spring, two clubs at the high school organized assemblies to address bullying and other tough issues high school students face. They presented honest stories and very bold facts as they urged students to think about their actions and how they should treat each other. Not a topic was left out of the conversation - from alcohol and drugs and sex, to abuse, confidence and self image. You can read more in articles on our website. Both groups saw a surge in participation after the assemblies.


Girls’ Club Focuses on Helping Others

Children’s Research Hospital, t’s not uncommon for American Heart Association, girls to form clubs in elementary school, but March of Dimes, Kids Wish Network, Clean Water for the what isn’t common, is the goal behind one of them formed by World, Jane Goodall Institute, The Humane Society and the three fourth graders this year. World Wildlife Fund. It’s founder, Mina Bohl, named it the “Life Savers Club.” At the end of the year, they had 153.10 miles. With pledges per “Last fall, Mina told me that when she was walking/runnin stick and onations from other family members, the girls raised for Mileage Club, she would pretend she was walkin to save Maria Germain, Mina Bohl and Jocee France made up $251.60. They decided to split kids who were sick or dying to large checks to go along with the contributions from the their money and donated about $50 each to the World Wildlife motivate herself to keep going “Life Savers Club.” Fun, Jane Goodall Institute, St. and try harder,” says Mina’s Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Kids Wish network mom, Rebecca Bohl, “The next morning I told her I would and Clean Water for the World. give her 10 cents for every stick she got this year and she “Maria really liked learning about the chimpanzees could donate the money to a real organization at the end and the Jane Goodall Institute,” explains Rebecca, of the year. She asked if two friends could join her, so Jocee “Jocee liked Clean Water for the World and Mina France and Maria Germain came on board. was touched by the stories of kids that St. Jude’s has The girls met once a month and learned aout different helped.” Clean Water for the World is an organization organizations that helped kids and animals - St. Jude’s that Mina’s grandfather, Jerry Bohl, is involved with. At the end, the girls said they were excited to have the opportunity to be part of a program like this, “They said they would like more of their friends to join their club next year, so they can help even more kids and animals.”

Summer From left: Rylee Zigterman, Art Teacher Vicki Salvatori, Emma Ouellette, Kalamazoo Assoc. of Realtors Rep. Chuck Kinnane, Chris LaCourse and Dix Street Elementary Principal Mark Rollandini.

Poster Contest Winners

Three Dix Street 5th graders will have their artwork featured as months in a calendar that focuses on fair housing. Their pictures were entries in a contest from the Kalamazoo Association of Realtors. Each year they ask 5th graders to create pictures depicting the seven protected Fair Housing classes such as race and gender. All of Dix Street’s 5th graders participated and three will be included in the poster. The contest included hundreds of entries from schools all over the Kalamazoo area. The winners and Mrs. Salvatori received $25 gift cards; the entire 5th grade got a pizza party for their participation.


To thank you for your support of Otsego Public Schools and for being a fan on Facebook, we will hold a giveaway of Otsego apparel (donated from Cronen Signs) each Thursday throughout the summer! Look for the prompts each Thursday morning, leave a comment and you’ll be entered into the drawing. We will reveal the winner in another facebook post. Let others know to become a fan of OPS on facebook! They can get in on the contest and see all the great things happening at Otsego Public Schools! The giveaways begin June 14th!

From: Otsego Public Schools 400 Sherwood Street Otsego, MI 49078-1281

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Otsego, MI Permit No. 23

To: Postal Customer **ECRWSS**

Artwork off to China

Eleven students’ artwork chosen to travel overseas

Alamo Elementary winners from left: Emma Owens, Samantha Krusinga, Nash Smith, Kayla Krusinga

Dix Street Elementary winners from left: Kaitlyn Robinson, Alex Goodwin, Ashley Goodrich, Logan Brown

Washington Street Elementary winners from left: Jean Angilque Podewell, Heaven Leigh Watson, Carly Bowling

Otsego students’ artwork will be on display in China for the 11th year through the 4H Children’s Art Exchange - Art to China. This year, 11 of the 74 art pieces from Michigan 4H are from Otsego students. More than 500 of the district’s elementary students submitted artwork into the program. Each class selects 10 pieces to go on to the county level, then ten are chosen from each school to compete at the state level. The state then chooses its selections to send to China. The partner school in China has been Binzhou City, Shandong Province since 2004. In return, artwork from students in China will be displayed in each winning school. The students are asked to create something important in their lives, such as friends, family, pets, home, school, sports and holidays. The program is about more than creating a painting or drawing; through the Art Exchange, students learn about Chinese art, language and culture and what the two countries have in common. See more of what this year’s students created online: OPS Connection is published 4 times per year with printing by Premiere Printing Corporation, 720 N. Main St., Plainwell. It is distributed to all residents of the Otsego Public School district. Residents in the district who live north of “F” Avenue receive their newsletter via the Community Shopper’s Guide. Residents who live south of “F” Avenue and residents with Allegan and Gobles addresses receive their newsletter via the U.S. Post Office. Changes of address, suggestions, questions and contributed articles should be signed and sent to Holly McCaw, OPS Connection editor, Otsego Public Schools, 400 Sherwood Street, Otsego, MI 49078-1281. For more information, call Holly at (269) 692-6073. The Otsego Public School District complies with all federal laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, or physical or mental handicap. Upon request to the Superintendent, the District shall make reasonable accommodations for a disabled person to participate in any building activity.

OPS Connection June 2012  

District newsletter

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