Tidbits from here and there
Last Thursday recreational marijuana arrived in our county for the first time when Skymint began moving beyond dispensary mode and into dual duties including cannabis presumably not prescribed for medical usage.
Well, one imagines recreational pot has long been a part of our little slice of bipeninsular heaven, but they were indeed the first ones to do it under the auspices of licenses, regulation and whatnot.
We drove by just before noon on Opening Day (a term generally reserved for deer hunting and baseball) and there wasn’t the anticipated line running from their doorway to just past city hall.
A couple of cars per usual but not nearly the activity level one might imagine on a day that seemed to get ample attention on social media.
Of course it was, as I said, before noon so lunch hour folks had not been able to break free as yet and 3rd shifters were perhaps still getting a few winks in and those not within a quick lunchtime stopover wouldn’t be getting there until later on in the day.
But we heard on television later that a line formed prior to opening the doors so perhaps we just missed the rush.
For now the ‘Cannabis in the Cloud’ emporium remains unique and the only (legal) place nearby one can purchase pot since the next nearest is in Evart.
Think the young one in your life is a special kind of cutie?
Of course you do. What lovingly smitten Mom, Dad or doting grandparent thinks otherwise?
Well for the 10th year parents can enter their child for a chance to become a Gerber ambassador for a year by submitting a photo and story to their online portal.
The little ones need to be between ages birth and 48 months (that’s four years but NOT 4 years and a day, remember).
One can only imagine how this would look on a future resume.
Here’s the site:
You a local history buff? Or maybe a recent relo to the area and looking for a peek into the past of your newfound region?
The Newaygo Museum has been running a series of speakers (including a rambling discourse from yours truly last summer) and this Thursday is a good one because Dale Twing former owner of Sally’s and current Drain Commissioner will be delivering the historical goods on his ancestral home White Cloud. Dale knows how to spin a story, and his reflections on what the county seat used to be back in the day will deliver a vivid picture of the town during its heyday.
This Thursday starting at 6:30pm at the Museum located at 12 Quarterline in downtown Newaygo. Doors open at 6pm and it is a true bargain because admission is free.
More into the future than the past?
Then go to The Stream in downtown Newaygo Thursday at 6pm and you can hear a presentation and participate in a discussion during the I Am Newaygo meeting where folks will be chatting up the proposed pedestrian bridge running across the Mighty Muskegon from downtown to Henning Park.
Got an opinion and have a desire to express it beyond the wasteland of social media?
Here's your opportunity.
Apparently it’s Beer Month in Grand Rapids from February 15 to March 15 which seems odd because most named months are encapsulated in the same calendar month like Mustache Month (March) or National Pizza Month (October).
Having spent much of my first several decades in GR I always assumed every month was beer month but hey, Grand Rapidians love to celebrate everything so more power to ‘em. The centerpiece of this celebratory 29 day hoppy holiday is perhaps the 15th Winter Beer Fest held next weekend at 5th Third Park where the brews are always cold and so are you.
Me? I would prefer the Burning Foot Beer Festival in Muskegon being held in August because…. well…. because it’s August and it’s warm of course.
We understand one can become a Brewsader (seriously?) and get a passport and t-shirt and all but we skimmed over the details without taking action because we have enough t-shirts and our tendency is to avoid getting involved in large groups with vague objectives since that time in Mt Pleasant involving Shriners, a Rastafarian and a couple of monkeys...
But we digress.
Here’s the skinny if you want to join the Brewsade.
Keep in touch and as we always like to say, eschew obfuscation fellow bipeninsularians.
Ken and the staff of N3 World Headquarters
From our high flying friends at Pilots for Christ:
Pilots for Christ, located at the Fremont Airport, is going on television! We spread the Gospel using aviation and now we are primed to send His news out via the TV. Would you like to get involved? Volunteer your time and talent? We have many opportunities for those just starting out and those that are seasoned in your craft. These are ALL volunteer positions however you can have your name added to the credit roll if you choose.
Pilots for Christ is now accepting interviews for the following positions;
Musical / Vocal
Filming / Editing
You do not need to be a Christian to be involved In the making of these Christian films, however you will find all materials are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Available audition times are February 18, 2020 from 12-6pm ; February 20, 2020 from 1-7pm and February 24, 2020 from 11- 3pm. You must call for an interview slot time. Please call Lori at 616-570-2767 for appointment.
Bumstead legislation to aid local governments sees committee approval
LANSING — The Senate Committee on Local Government Thursday afternoon approved legislation introduced by Sen. Jon Bumstead that would aid local governments with certain administrative duties.
“Elected officials should be held to a certain standard when taking office,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “People place their trust in who they elect to show up to meetings and make important decisions on their behalf. When the law allows local officials to avoid handling day-to-day business in their communities, without any repercussions, it’s time for some changes.”
The village of Hesperia has been unable to hold a village council meeting since May 20, 2019 due to a lack of quorum. The village is made up of a seven-member council that includes one village president and six trustees. However, three of the village trustees resigned, leaving four members on the village council.
Additionally, one trustee has refused to attend village council meetings for personal reasons, causing a lack of quorum — meaning the village cannot officially take care of matters in the community.
Senate Bills 712 and 713 would amend current state law and give local governments the power to compel absent members to attend.
The legislation would also provide direction for local governments unable to achieve a quorum and give them tools to ensure elected officials are sufficiently conducting their duties. Under the legislation, if a local official continually fails to attend a meeting under ordinary circumstances, the absent member shall be guilty of gross neglect of duty, which is a precursor for the governor to consider removal.
“The village of Hesperia is seeing a breakdown in the way the system was designed to work,” Bumstead said. “Those who remain on the council have their hands tied by our current laws. My legislation includes some much-needed changes that will help officials in my district solve a dire issue and prevent these types of abuse of power in the future.”
The bills were unanimously approved by the committee and will now go before the full Senate for a vote.
Gerber FCU donates $50,000 Community Dividend to Newaygo County Museum
FREMONT- Gerber Federal Credit Union President/CEO John P. Buckley, Jr (pictured left) presented a check in the amount of $50,000 to the Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center Executive Director Steven Radtke (pictured right) for its ‘Your History, Our Legacy’ capital campaign.
“Gerber Federal Credit Union is pleased to support the Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center,” said John Buckley. “The Museum is an essential component to the education of Newaygo County residents.”
Gerber Memorial hosts support group for new moms facing anxiety
FREMONT – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is hosting a free weekly support group for new moms and moms-to-be who face anxiety, depression and other mood changes. The group meets every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Tamarac, Room 3, 1401 West Main, Fremont.
“Gerber Memorial encourages new mothers and soon-to-be moms to join our group and meet other women who are going through what they’re going through and know that they’re not alone,” said Rhonda Byrne, a social worker who will facilitate the support group. “When you get people in a group talking, a bond happens and that helps moms resolve their challenges together. Moms can create friendships through support groups, and they find someone they can count on for a whole range of issues.”
Studies show that meeting other moms in the same situation improves outcomes, Byrne said.
Anxiety and depression affect 2 of 10 new mothers across the United States and is identified as a healthcare concern in Newaygo County’s most recent Community Health Needs Assessment, conducted in 2017.
Byrne said a range of factors can affect a woman’s sense of emotional balance just before and after giving birth. New moms may experience lack of sleep, feeding issues, loss of appetite, feelings of isolation and guilt, and other challenges – all experiences Byrne said the support group can help address.
Anxiety and depression may also be brought on by factors that elevate stress, such as a sick baby, a complicated pregnancy, a miscarriage, and abuse and violence.
At the same time, Byrne cautioned that anxiety and depression can occur in new moms and moms-to-be who have outwardly normal lives. Other factors include social and physical isolation.
“As a mom myself, I remember having feelings of anxiety and being stressed and unsure,” said Prudi Foster, community health worker who is supporting Byrne as she facilitates the group. “We want women to know that they’re not the only ones who have these feelings. You’re not a bad mom because you’re having these negative feelings. We want women to know that with support, they can be well.”
For information, contact: 231.924.3073
White Cloud Rotary Club was pleased to welcome Prevention of Child Abuse Executive Director Tara Nelson as it's newest member on Wednesday, February 5th.
Tara was inducted into the Club by President Holly Moon and sponsored by Worth Stay, County Prosecutor and Club member. Tara's PCA Office is located in White Cloud, which made joining our Club a great fit.
We are excited to have Tara's fresh ideas as well as her participation in our service projects!
Bumstead Legislation Would Prevent Local Government Stalemates
The Senate Committee on Local Government Thursday afternoon took testimony on legislation introduced by Sen. Jon Bumstead that would aid local governments with administrative duties.
“Local governments are on the front lines when it comes to civic engagement,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “A variety of issues start at and are dealt with by local governments. Residents, along with statewide and federal officials, are expected to show up to work every day, and people ought to receive that same courtesy from those elected to serve in local positions.”
The village of Hesperia has been unable to hold a village council meeting since May 20, 2019 due to a lack of quorum. The village has a seven-member council that includes one village president and six trustees.
By July 2019, three of the village trustees resigned, leaving four members on the village council. Additionally, one trustee simply refuses to attend village council meetings for personal reasons, causing a lack of quorum. The village cannot appoint temporary trustees or process the three resignations because they don’t have a quorum to officially conduct business.
Senate Bills 712 and 713 amend the General Law Village Act and Michigan Election Law giving local governments power in situations like this.
Under the legislation, villages would have the general power to compel absent members to attend. The legislation would also provide direction for villages unable to achieve a quorum and give them tools to ensure elected officials are held to their duties.
The bills remove the requirement that an ordinance must be approved by a village for them to compel absent members to attend, while also allowing the presiding officer of a local council to compel absent council members to attend a meeting. If a village fails to compel an absent member to attend a meeting under ordinary circumstances, the absent member shall be guilty of gross neglect of duty, which is a precursor for the governor to consider removal.
“This is good public policy that will help restore people’s faith in government,” Bumstead said. “Some of the current requirements are overly burdensome and do not allow officials to properly conduct business or deal with officials who are not performing the job they were elected to do. My bills would change that and hold people accountable, while also allowing officials to focus on important business in their communities.”
Donna Trice of White Cloud was recently elected to serve on Fremont Area Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
Trice and her family moved to the area from Detroit in the late 1980s. Her career included 29 years at Gerber Life. Trice then spent a year traveling to visit family and working on projects at home before realizing that retirement wasn’t for her. She now works for State Farm in White Cloud and is earning her license as an insurance agent. She is also very active in her community and her church, where she serves as secretary, board member, and a mentor to young women.
“I enjoy helping people,” said Trice. “Giving back is very important. It’s not just about helping yourself; it’s important to reach back and help somebody else too.”
As she begins her service with the Community Foundation board, Trice said that she looks forward to learning more about the organization’s work and how it impacts the community.
“I thought serving on the Community Foundation board would be very interesting and that I could learn from it,” said Trice. “I’m excited about learning more about what the Community Foundation does and how I can take it back to my community. I want to be a voice for my community.”
High School Technical Training Program at Career-Tech Center
The International Residential Code® (IRC®) is the focus of study for the Construction Trades students at the Career Tech Center. Instructors provide students with study tools that enable them for success, and to ensure proper understanding of the IRC codes while also maintaining safety standards. While working alongside instructors, students build a house using the concepts and standards of the IRC. This process allows students to work hands-on with the IRC and develop understanding for the codes specific to the local standards.
By having hands-on experience of building a safe structure, students are able to obtain a level of knowledge that can benefit, not only themselves, but also the community. With their advanced understanding of the IRC, students have a head-start to a successful future and a broader understanding of their chosen trade. Career-Tech students in Construction Trades can obtain four different Residential Certificates of Achievement: Building, Electrical, Mechanical (HVAC) and Plumbing through the International Code Council. Students learn up-to-date building codes which will open doors to many career opportunities including code administration. Construction Trades currently has 60 students working on their Building Certificate of Achievement.
HSTTP: Benefiting Students and the Community Our society recognizes the need for a modern, up- to-date residential code addressing the design and construction of homes. The IRC is designed to meet these needs through model code regulations that safeguard the public health and safety in all communities, large and small. Becoming Code Council certified is a significant personal and professional accomplishment. Knowing the code is the basis for many fields related to construction. Individuals may use this knowledge to further their careers in various professions, such as residential builders, construction managers, building inspectors or architects.
Results of three Michigan 2019 Novel Coronavirus specimens come back negative
On Monday, January 27, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reported today that test results on three possible cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus came back negative. A specimen from a fourth possible case, from Washtenaw County, was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today for testing.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can infect people and animals. They are a common cause of mild respiratory illness, or "the common cold", in people. Occasionally, coronaviruses from people and animals mix together creating a new strain. These new strains usually cause worse illness in people.
An example of one of these new strains is the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Cases started in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and as of January 27, 2020, number over 2,800 in 15 countries, with 81 deaths. This is a fatality rate of approximately 3%. There have been 5 cases in the United States but no spread of the illness from these cases.
Another example of a new strain of coronavirus is the Severe Acute Respiratory Disease Coronavirus (SARS-CoV). In 2002-2003, it caused 8,437 cases and 813 deaths, a fatality rate of approximately 10%. In 2012, another novel coronavirus named Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was identified as a cause of severe illness. It caused over 2,400 cases and had a fatality rate of around 35%.
Coronaviruses, including 2019-nCoV, are spread by droplets created by coughing or sneezing. This is the same way influenza is spread. While 2019-nCoV is a serious public health situation, only those in direct contact to someone ill are at risk. It is recommended that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China. It is also recommended that people traveling to other parts of China avoid contact with people who are sick and practice good hand hygiene.
If you have been in China within the last 2 weeks and develop symptoms of 2019-nCoV, which include fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider. Symptoms should appear within 2 to 14 days after being exposed.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to this virus. But everyday actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
West Michigan Housing Network Is Counting the Homeless
The West Michigan Housing Network is seeking out where the homeless among us are for its annual Point- in- Time count on Wednesday, January 29.
“We know that in rural areas, there’s a lot of people who aren’t sheltered and who are homeless,” said Bill Jessup, West Michigan Housing Network chairperson and Supportive Services for Veteran Families Manager for Goodwill Industries of West Michigan. “These are the people we’re looking for.”
The Point-in-Time (PIT) assessment identifies the needs of people experiencing homelessness in Lake, Mason, Newaygo and Oceana counties. The West Michigan Housing Network coordinates efforts in the four counties to reduce homelessness and to increase access to affordable housing. TrueNorth Community Services is the region’s Housing Assessment and Resource Agency (HARA) and is the network’s lead agency.
The PIT count identifies sheltered and unsheltered people on a single night in January. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that communities receiving federal funding from the McKinney- Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program conduct a census of all sheltered people.
The survey is conducted via an on-the-street, door-to-door census in all four counties, including the pair of shelters in the region, to track sheltered and unsheltered individuals and families.
“When in need, we help families and individuals find shelter and resources,” said Diana Hanna, Housing & Family Services Director for TrueNorth. “This is part of that effort.”
The effort is not that straightforward, however.
“A tent in January in Michigan isn’t permanent housing,” Jessup said. “We’re looking to permanently house people.”
Debbie Chatfield, a Housing Resource Specialist with TrueNorth, points out: “Couch surfing isn’t considered being homeless, but we still want to know about those individuals so we can help them.”
According to the Michigan Campaign to End Homelessness’ 2018 annual report, there were 65,104 homeless individuals in Michigan in 2018. Those included 3,605 military veterans; 8,367 seniors (ages 55 and older); and 3,995 young adults (ages 18-24). Forty-four percent of Michigan’s homeless report having a disability, compared to 14 percent in the state’s general population.
Newaygo County -The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy recently announced new grants for its Drug Free Communities Support Program. The DFC program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use. Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use problems.
The Headway Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition serving Newaygo County, was one of the grant recipients and will receive $625,000 in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth. The Newaygo County RESA serves as the fiduciary for the Headway Coalition.
“It is with great humility and gratitude that I would like to thank our Coalition leaders for their dedication to making Newaygo County a drug-free community. The Headway Coalition’s continued ability to attract state and federal funding for prevention efforts reveals the high level of collaboration and an endless commitment to our kids” said Rachel Uganski, the Project Coordinator for Drug Free Communities at the Newaygo County RESA.
The Headway Coalition plans to focus their DFC funding on environmental change strategies that prioritize vaping (nicotine) and prescription drug misuse prevention in 2020.
Newaygo County schools are among the first in Michigan to complete formal School Site Safety Audits. Law enforcement agencies and schools have come together to improve preventative measures and overall student and staff safety in our local schools. “Our Newaygo County School Safety team has a top priority to create and ensure the safest possible learning environment for all of our youth,” said Joel Phillips, NC RESA Director of Technology and the team’s co-chair.
NC RESA partnered with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office to create a multi-member team to conduct these assessments. These team members included:
Abby Watkins and Renee Gavin – Newaygo County Emergency Services Trooper Todd Goodrich – Michigan State Police, Hart Post Jason Wolford – Newaygo County Central Dispatch Doug Harmon – Former School Board Member Ed Cook – Fremont Fire Department/NC RESA Deputy Justin Visser – Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bunnita Ouwinga – Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office Ryan Ergang – NC RESA and Fremont Public Schools Director of Maintenance Operation.
The School Site Safety Team (SSST) met several times and created an in-depth checklist involving 31 different security best practices and resources that school leaders should consider while developing school safety plans and procedures that will work for their students and teachers. With the help of each school district in Newaygo County, every school’s assessment has been completed and each school superintendent has a list of recommendations in their audit report.
“This was one of the first teams in the state to conduct these assessments. A lot of time and effort was put into these assessments and the amount of cooperation was impressive. It was our goal to help recognize safety features that needed to be updated or implemented. We want to commend all the school districts for their willingness to participate and improve the safety of our schools,” stated Sheriff Bob Mendham.
The Elderly Needs Fund (ENF) at Fremont Area Community Foundation is currently accepting grant proposals for programs that benefit Newaygo County seniors.
Grants are available for projects or programs that promote the physical health of local seniors, the mental/emotional well-being of seniors and their caregivers, social enrichment and prevention of social isolation, and basic human services.
Past grants have supported senior transportation services, respite care, art classes, and food programs. In last spring’s grant round, Bellwether Harbor was awarded a grant for its new Seniors for Seniors program. In this program, older adults are matched with older rescue cats in permanent foster placements. Food, supplies, medical care, and ongoing support is provided, eliminating much of the financial burden of owning a pet for seniors on a fixed income. The arrangement provides loving homes for older cats who are often overlooked by potential adopters and opens more space in the shelter for other rescues. For seniors, having a cat at home can also help prevent isolation, provide companionship, encourage mobility as the senior cares for the cat, and even improve mood and reduce stress and depression.
Grant applications for the Elderly Needs Fund are completed online and are due on February 3.
For more information and to apply, visit facommunityfoundation.org/ENF.
Recently Family Fitness and the Fremont Rec Center parted ways leaving some questions about the changes, so we contacted Interim Director Dawn Finch to get a little info.
N3-Family Fitness is no longer operating at the Fremont Rec Center. What does this mean for those who had memberships?
We will be honoring the memberships people had with Family Fitness, but as those memberships expire, people will need to then get a Rec Center membership. If people choose to renew their membership with Family Fitness, then they will need to workout at the nearest Family Fitness location which I believe is in North Muskegon.
N3-What services are available. Is it open 24/7?
Having a Rec Center membership means that you can use the workout room, the pool and the gymnasium. The 24/7 access will stop at the end of January
N3-What are the current fees for joining the Rec center? Any services not included?
A Family Membership (for up to 5 people) is $40/month. Additional family members can be added for $5/person per month. An Individual Membership is $20/month and a Student Membership is $15/month. And again, your membership lets you use any of the facilities you wish. For example, you could go and lift weights and use the exercise equipment, then move on to the pool for lap swim, and then go into the gym and shoot some hoops. Exercise classes like Senior Water Exercise Club or Yoga are extra.
N3-If I don't wish to join but want to play Pickleball or swim. What is the charge?
A Day Pass will cost you $5. We also have punch cards available for $25 which gives you six (6) drop-ins for the price of five (5).
N3-We hear a lot of confusion about who runs the Rec Center. We are aware there is a board but is it tied to the city in any way?
The Rec Center was developed as part of the City of Fremont's 2012-2016 Recreation Master Plan and it is its own entity. We do have a nine member board made up of people living in the City of Fremont, Dayton Township, and Sheridan Township. There is currently a vacancy for Dayton Township and we welcome anyone from that township to submit an application to join the board.
Got more questions? Contact the Rec Center at 924.3750, check out their facebook page or stop in for a chat (201 E Maple).
Story and photo by Ken DeLaat
The idea was there long before it became a reality.
Linda Cudworth considered a number of options in the area and even gave a fleeting thought to a place she stumbled upon during a visit to Grand Marais.
But in the end Hit The Road Joe landed next door to her house in Croton.
That was 20 years ago when she was 50. Now 20 years later her daughter Tracy, known as Chef T, has taken the reins of the iconic restaurant that has been a gathering spot for a slew of regulars and a pleasant surprise for those who have discovered this haven of epicurean delights by accident, by design or by recommendation.
And she is now nearly 50, producing a fitting symmetry to the transition process
The eatery began life with just a drive through window, opened a small dining room soon after and since has seen additions to the dining area and the kitchen as well as the creation of an outdoor deck.
All the while maintaining the casual charm befitting this unique establishment overlooking an imaginative landscape in the heart of rural Newaygo County.
“I said I’d do it for 5 years then open a bait shop,” said Linda. “And now here we are fifteen years past the five I planned on.”
And now the torch has passed to her eldest daughter.
“These are huge shoes to fill and I can’t say enough good things about my Mother,” said Ms. Murrell. “She has been a true pioneer in our community. Her tenacity and hard work has created a ‘one of a kind’ business and I am so grateful for this opportunity.
“I look forward to growing and honoring her legacy.”
Tracy is no stranger to HTRJ. She started fairly soon after it’s opening working once a week and in recent years has used her extensive traveling to bring home recipes from around the globe. The international dinners held on occasion draw capacity crowds eager to sample her latest creations and her summertime takeout rib dinners are legendary for residents and summer folks alike.
Hit The Road Joe is in good hands and familiar hands at that.
“It will be the same vibe, the same feel with homemade organic offerings. Real food in a friendly atmosphere”
She and husband Chris will do more traveling and there will be more time to pursue some of her other interests.
“I could not have done this without the help of my sister Kendra, my three daughters, my husband and the incredible support from the community,” said Linda. “It’s been a great run.”
And fortunately for folks who enjoy a great meal in a welcoming venue…
The bait shop never happened.
Newaygo County Partners Taking Truancy Seriously
NC RESA, along with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office, have partnered to create a truancy intervention program in Newaygo County. The primary focus is to identify students who are chronically truant and return them to school. Under Michigan law, a student age 6 until their 18th birthday must attend school. Students become chronically truant at 10 unexcused absences during one school year. School Resource Officers identify these students and attempt to provide available resources and interventions to improve attendance.
“There was a 26% decrease in truancies for the 2018-1019 school year,” reported Sheriff Bob Mendham. He also said that so far during the 2019-2020 school year, truancy is down over 50% from the previous year.
Sheriff Mendham added that none of this would be possible without teamwork and collaboration between all Newaygo County schools, Child Protective Services, Department of Human Services, Community Mental Health, NC RESA, and many other partners that make this program successful.
If you have any questions regarding truancy, please contact Deputy Bunnita Ouwinga or Deputy Justin Visser at 231-924-8846.
Newaygo County RESA Celebrates School Board Recognition Month
Newaygo County RESA is joining 529 local and 56 intermediate school districts across Michigan to celebrate January as School Board Recognition Month.
“Our school board members spend countless hours of unpaid time working to provide the best possible education for our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Lori Tubbergen Clark. “They also serve as the corporate board of directors for some of our county’s largest employers. Celebrating School Board Recognition Month is one way to say ‘thanks’ for all they do.”
School board members represent their fellow citizens’ views and priorities in the complex enterprise of maintaining and running the community’s public schools, Tubbergen Clark said. They also reinforce the principle of local control over public education, which is an important, highly valued aspect of education in Michigan.
“Too often the efforts of school board members go unrecognized,” Tubbergen Clark said. She added that the school board’s main goal is to support student achievement. To achieve that goal, the board focuses on the following needs:
• Creating a vision for what parents and citizens want their school district to become and how to make student achievement the top priority.
• Setting standards for what students must learn and be able to do.
• Assessing whether schools achieve their goals and whether students are learning.
• Accounting for the outcomes of decisions and by tracking progress and reporting results.
• Aligning the use of the district’s human and financial resources.
• Creating a safe and orderly climate where students can learn and teachers can teach.
• Collaborating to solve common problems and to support common successes.
• Focusing on continuous improvement by questioning, examining, revising, refining and revisiting issues related to student achievement.
“Even though we are making a special effort during January to show appreciation for our school board members, we recognize that their contributions reflect a year-round effort on their part,” Tubbergen Clark said. “They are dedicated individuals who are committed to improving student achievement and to fighting for the best for all of our students.”
The men and women serving the public schools in Newaygo County are: Big Jackson Public School: Charlotte Lockerby, Laura Johnson, Brad Crawford, Sue Jones, Lynn Ulman
Fremont Public Schools: Matt Hendrie, Jennifer Scott, Rick St. Peter, Peter Slovinski, Kim Rasch, Michael Campeau, Crystal Calkins
Grant Public Schools: Kris Lesley, Shawn Moore, Neil Geers, Dianne Ring, Damon Arsenault, George Brown, Rachal Gort
Hesperia Community Schools: Mary Sturtevant, Ryan Good, Michelle K. Allen, Mark Kraus, Julie Burrell, Scott Wenberg, Alan Daniels
Newaygo Public Schools: Bret Brummel, Thomas Frisbie, Vince Grodus, Morgan Heinzman, Jami Schultz, Reid Sherwood, Melissa Swinehart
White Cloud Public Schools: Holly Bowman, Megan Cruzan, Keith Derks, Elaine Engel, Jim Jones, Mindy Mench, Harry Stevens
Newaygo County RESA: David Hewitt, Ed Haynor, Karen Kasankiewicz, Laura Johnson, Sarah Robinson