Student of the Month

2023-2024 School Year

 

November - Team Work

Picture of student and staff of the month

 

Students
 
Greyhound Central Elementary School

Student: Macie Davis
Grade: Kindergarten
Macie is a total team player. She gets along in any group that she is in. She is a quiet leader by example and asks for help if she needs it. I can always trust her to be doing what is asked and with quality
 
 
Student: Alexander Fockler
Grade: Kindergarten
Alexander is a good friend and enjoys being a part of our DK team. He wants to be helpful, and is one of the first students with his hand up when I ask for volunteers. He is an eager participant and is often our He garty Hero of the Day. We often use Alex as an example of classmates that follow our BARK procedures. I enjoy having him in my class!
 
 
Student: Piper Barson
Grade: Kindergarten
Piper is a very independent kindergartner. I only have to give Piper the directions once and she is on it! She completes her assignments in a timely manner and when she finishes early she knows just what to do without interrupting me or her peers.  She works hard and participates in class. She is very meticulous and takes her time to complete her best work. She follows the BARK and is a great role model for her classmates.
 
 
Lockwood Elementary School

Student: Gorgiana Stutz
Grade: First
I nominate Georgiana Stutz for Student of the Month. Gorgie is an amazing student she comes to school every day ready to work, and ready to be a great friend. Gorgie takes these two amazing qualities and becomes a great team player and team leader. Gorgie has amazing listening skills she can listen to her classmates and give positive constructive feedback in small group and whole group work. Gorgie leads her groups in labs and other small group work. I believe Gorgie is the ingredient that gives the output that all first-grade tean:,s are looking for!
 
Student: Everly Francisco
Grade: 1st
Everly is being nominated tonight for her team work abilities. Everly could rally the troops in our class for anyone in need. If someone needed help moving a balance beam, Everly soon had the entire class under the beam helping to carry it. She was great at lending a hand to others and recruiting help when needed. Everly could often be found teaching others new skills or assisting them when learning something new. I am so very proud of the growth Everly has shown and her ability to bring people together in a time of need.
 
 
Student: Emerson Surato
Grade: Kindergarten
Emerson has been in our classroom for the past 2 years. She has grown immensely in so many ways during this time. Emerson is our biggest and best teammate in all aspects of the classroom! She is always willing to drop what she is doing to help anyone (peer or staff member). She takes pride in helping in any way she can. Emerson takes charge and helps others find ways to help in the classroom as well. She can be counted on and trusted with any task given at school. Emerson leads by example and encourages others to do the same. We are SO proud of her!
 
 
Student: Ben Smith
Grade: Kindergarten
Ben is a confident 1st grader. He is a hard worker and great leader in the classroom. During work on his groups magnificent thing he listened to others ideas and showed initiative. He is diligent about getting his work done in a quality manner. He is a great friend and includes everyone in his activities.
 
 
Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Emma Zaucha
Grade: 5th
This is my second year with Emma in my classroom. She has proven herself to be a well rounded student and person. Emma has all the qualities of a "self-directed" learner. If you came into our classroom you would see her working to complete assignments and helping her peers. Emma is also very organized keeping track of her assignments, due dates, and personal belongings. She comes into class and starts without any direction and stays on task throughout our lessons. I am proud of Emma and her role as a leader in our classroom community. She is definitely a Great Greyhound!
 
Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Jesse Mausser
Grade: 8th
Jesse is respectful and kind. He is always friendly to his classmates and helps those around him. He is always willing to raise his hand and answer questions for the class, which helps his classmates to understand the material that is being presented. He is kind hearted and listens to those around him, even if they have different opinions than he does. He is a team player.
 
Student: Miranda White
Grade: 6th
Miranda is a phenomenal young lady. Not only is she a leader in our classroom, she is kind to all. She can hold a conversation with any' of her peers a-swell as'adults in owr building. She works hard in school and in dance. I'm proud to have her as a student.
 
Student: Torin McNabb
Grade: 6th
Self-Direction is the ability and learned skill to cast a vision of future goals and then take intentional steps toward who, where, and what we want to be. Torin McNabb is a student who exemplifies Self-Direction. He is a focused and determined student who is driven to excel. Torin wants to do well in school and has set goals for himself to do his best while getting good grades. He is doing just that. To reach his goals he is able to remove and ignore distractions of the classroom to complete his work to the best of his ability. For example, Torin completed our 6-8 Lexia Power-up program as a 6th grader! He always gets his classwork done well and can be seen as one who is doing what is expected. I have no doubt that Torin will have success in everything he puts his mind to because he is able to cast a vision of his future goals and take intentional steps toward achieving those goals!
 
Eaton Rapids High School
 
Student: Symiah Stone
Grade: Senior
The Math Department's nomination for Teamwork is Symiah Stone. From sports to academics, Symiah Stone is a team player. In our Algebra 1A class, students are drawn to her eagerness to learn, friendliness and her willingness to help them. Everyday during work time in class, Symiah leads the way in collaborating with a group (2-3 students) of students in understanding the daily math concepts. Watching the teamwork that transpires is an uplifting experience to see. All students have voices and it's safe for any of them to speak up, right or wrong, they work to understand and towards a consensus to each problem they do. We appreciate your great efforts in TEAMWORK Symiah!
 
 
Student: Will Ribby    
Grade: Senior
A good teammate does not see himself as separate from the team and realizes the success of the team is the goal. They realize that each person has a role and they have to each work together for the whole team to be successful. As Katelyn Tuohy, an All-American distance runner at NC State said this weekend before running at the NCAA Championship Finals, "...it's a lot easier to push yourself individually when the team goal is your priority." Good teammates push themselves to be their best person. Good teammates encourage their teammates to be their best person. This defines Will Ribby. His positive attitude and willingness to help everyone - in the classroom, as a LINK, and as a member of the ER student body - demonstrates the epitome of teamwork.
 
Student: Alaina Dodge
Grade: Senior

Alaina is the epitome of a team player. She is an important member of our Studio 143 News team. In fact, Alaina has completed more stories for our news program than any other student, always stepping up when someone has a new store idea. So far, she has done double the amount of stories as compared to other students on the news team. Alaina also is a major part of Senior Student Council and Interact, making sure events around the school and community like the food drive go off without a hitch. She is active in the school's drama department. She has even helped with the Middle School's Production of Finding Nemo. Her commitment to the groups that she is a part of makes Alaina Dodge the perfect nominee for the Teamwork Student of the Month.
 
Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Student: Marlie Neimeister
Grade: 11th
GCPA staff nominated Marlie Neimeister for October self-direction. Marlie has shown a lot of initiative and independence this year. They already completed 2 classes and is more than halfway through two more classes. In addition, Marlie is in Health Tech 1 at LCC where they currently has an A. Marlie comes to school and works really hard. We all enjoy having Marlie in class and we support Marlie in their goal of trying to get into Early College next year.
 
Student: Alexys Cogswell, Axel Haddad, Erin Wisham
Grade: 11th
GCPA staff would like to nominate Alexys Cogswell, Axel Haddad, and Erin Wishman. These students have shown great initiative in collaboratin·g to help each other through English 11A which includes the challenge of not one but two Shakespeare plays. They have each demonstrated leadership in the classroom and are always willing to participate in reading, questioning and discussing the literature. Alexys, Axel and Erin are all a joy to have in class and we are very proud of each their progress individually and how they work as a team.
 
 
Staff
 
Union Street Early Learning Center

Name: Sarah Wolthuis
Nominated by: Melanie Rasmussen
I have had the pleasure of working with Ms. Sarah for the last two school years in the GSRP program and she has been a wonderful addition to our classroom as an associate teacher. She goes above and beyond to support all of the students in our classroom. She works hard to support the social emotional health of our students and helps children cultivate skills to solve social problems on their own. Ms. Sarah is always willing to do whatever is needed in the classroom and we can always count on her to help with kindness and patience. She helps our room run smoothly and is able to jump into situations without needing to be asked. I am very grateful for Ms. Sarah's contribution to our classroom and feel she is very deservng of this award.
 
Name: Megan Cates
Nominated by: Melanie Rasmussen
Ms. Megan was hired last spring as a paraprofessional in our GSRP classroom. Since being hired Ms. Megan has gone above and beyond to support our students. She works one on one to help students regulate emotions, gives academic support, and helps students work through social problems. Ms. Megan is quick to help out when needed and is very good at providing support to - students when they need it. She is a hard worker and contributes tremendously to the success of our class. Our room is fortunate to have Ms. Megan and in my opinion this award would be well deserved.
 
Greyhound Central Elementary

Name: Tamara Roush
Nominated by: Ashley Wicker
Tamra is the leading example of how to keep her classroom happy and interested in learning. She is always outgoing and treats. Everybody with the most love and respect even kids that are not doing very well. She always has something fun, planned up her sleeve and our school wouldn't be the same without her.
 
 
Name: Tammy Oliver
Nominated by: Tamara Roush
Tammy is a positive role model for both staff and students. She comes to work ready to encourage everyone that she comes in-contact with. Students go to her, because they know she will listen, be excited with and for them, and resolve any issue that might be weighing on them. She validates everyone! Her reading students are flourishing because she creates a positive learning atmosphere and they love working with her! She also keeps me focused, which is a full time job in itself, and she adds ideas to my plans that allow students to be even more engaged and creative. Tammy joins me in my fun shenanigans and I appreciate her!
 
Lockwood Elementary

Name: Shandell McBride
Nominated by: Sarah Curry
Shandell always is ready to jump in to help out in whatever way is needed. Whether a band aid or ice pack, a quick hug and back to class, making sure that whatever has been requested is provided. She is also always ready to encourage a student or a staff person (teacher or otherwise) to get back into the "game" and do our best. She is a fierce momma-bear to the students that need and a stern momma-bear to those that also need.
 
Name: Eric Cross
Nominated by: Shandell McBride
He goes above and beyond to make the Lockwood kids feel safe and loved . He not only helps the students but makes sure the staff is safe and loved also.
 
Eaton Rapids Middle School

Name: Sara Collins
Nominated by: Julie Adolphson
Sara is always willing to go above and beyond. She finds a way to connect with her students. She keeps a detailed log of what works well for students so she can refer back it and share her successes and struggles with the case manager. She has excellent attendance and is always looking for new opportunities to learn.
 
Name: Tina Truscott
Nominated by: Rebecca Ely
Although Tina is designated to help two special education students in my classroom, she also helps many other struggling students. Tina moves between her 2 designated students, clarifying questions and reminding them what to write. She also does the same with other struggling students. During instruction, she moves near distracted students and helps them to refocus. She is an amazing help in the classroom!
 
Eaton Rapids High School

Name: David Grzesek
Nominated by: Scott Jansen
'David Grzesek is one of our inspiring new teachers in the district. He started out in 2018 serving as a Multitiered Systems Support person working in the In School Suspension room at the High School.  He worked with students who had many disciplinary problems and excelled at helping them change their behavior. He then decided to become a teacher through a non-traditional method of certification. He did not have all the teaching and education classes that most teachers had so he had to work twice as hard. His students are witnesses to his success as a teacher. He has helped coach the soccer team at the High School and has helped to lead them to their two District titles. He helps students in track as well in two of the hardest events: hurdles and sprints. He has also inspired students into different careers paths with his course in Kinesiology. David is a great example of what it is like to be a great greyhound teacher.
 
Name: Kala Grzesek
Nominated by: Alicia Cooper
Kala is an amazing asset to the special education department and the High School. She not only advocates for her caseload, but other students as well. She works continuously to be better at her job. She knows all the ins and outs and, knows how to make it work for each specific student. As a coworker, I love her friendship and she is most definitely a person I choose to confide in. She makes the day better on so many levels. She needs to be acknowledged for all of her hard work and devotion to others!
 
Name: Betty Humphrey
Nominated by: Rebecca Sobanski
Betty Humphrey is a kind, dependable, and hard working person who we are beyond lucky to have at ERHS! Every single day Betty gives her all to make sure everything hums along smoothly. She is indispensable in classes working one-on-one with students whether it's history, math, English, or academic success. The kids know she genuinely cares about them and wants to help them do their best. She also holds them accountable when they start pushing boundaries which further helps them to grow as students and people. She is always ready and willing to do whatever needs to be done whether it's reading a last minute test or getting together the needed lunch items for Friendship Group. We are so grateful for everything Betty does day in and day out!
 
Name: Tim Coolidge
Nominated by: Alicia Cooper
There are so many things I could say about Tim. He is helpful, witty, and most of all one of my favorite people to work with. He, regardless of the situation, steps up and helps whenever needed, and is amazing at it. He is amazing with the kids, they relate to him(mainly because he's silly), just kidding...it's because he talks to them with compassion but also with respect. These kids take to that, much better than being spoken down to. As a coworker that I work closely with, we laugh on a daily basis, we work incredibly well together and he listens when I need him to listen! He is an amazing asset to this school district. He needs to be recognized for all the amazing he is!

 

  

 

 

 

October - Self Direction

Student of the month picture

 

Students

 

Greyhound Central Elementary School
Student: Levi Yennior
Grade: Kindergarten

Levi has been an amazing example of using self-direction throughout the day. I can count on him to give friendly reminders to his classmates. Levi enjoys a neat and tidy room and takes it upon himself to pick up items on the floor and take care of garbage without being asked. Levi is a good friend to others and at times, when they see or notice him cleaning up, they begin to help as well! He doe this with a smile on his face and never looks to be recognized. This is why I nominate him for student of the month!

 

Lockwood Elementary School
Student: Darcey Dygart
Grade: Kindergarten

Darcey has started out the school year following directions, helping and showing Empathy to her classmates that are learning how to be in a school setting. She gives hugs to those that are feeling sad and invites them to play or to work with her. Darcey eagerly helps friends get on to the swings or gives them a push when needed. She is also available to give a lesson to a friend that has missed the lesson for a material or to reteach a lesson to appropriately use it. Keep up the good work.

 

Greyhound Intermediate School
Student: Piper George
Grade: 5th

I have enjoyed getting to know Piper this school year. We spend time together each day working on her writing skills. Piper does great work! She shows initiative in improving her writing skills on a daily basis. She is always well-behaved and ready to get to work. She often completes additional assignments that are not required of her for more practice. For these reasons, I feel Piper represents what it is to be student of the month. Well done, Piper!

 

Student: Kellyn Wegner
Grade: 5th

The characteristic for October's student of the month is "self direct". Students who represent this have, "pride and confidence in oneself; a feeling that one is behaving with honor and dignity," and they show initiative and the ability to organize oneself. Kellyn Wegner came immediately to mind. Kellyn has been in my class for two years, last year as a 4th grader, and now a 5th grader. She showed these qualities last year, and this year as a 5th grader she has perfected them.  Kellyn is self motivated and self driven. Kellyn sets goals and meets her goals. She is very organized and always has a clear vision on what she is going to work on next. She has the motivation and self confidence to work ahead on the Summit platform and takes pride in her work. Kellyn is also always willing to help her peers. She has been a wonderful role model to the 4th graders and to a new student that just joined our class. I'm proud to nominate Kellyn Wegner as October's Great Greyhound

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Cherish Kelly
Grade: 7th

Self-Direction is the ability and learned skill to cast a vision of future goals and then take intentional steps toward who, where, and what we want to be. Cherish Kelley is new to Eaton Rapids this school year and has shown amazing self-direction in the short time she has been here. Cherish works very hard in each class and does not let others distract her from accomplishing what she sets out to do. As soon as Cherish knows what it is she is expected to do during class, she makes a point to get as much accomplished as possible. She is fearless in asking for help if she doesn't understand something or gets stuck. Cherish utilizes every moment of class time wisely and with precision. She not only possesses self-direction, but she also possesses the ability to inspire others to take initiative and work towards their goals. Cherish holds herself to a high standard, while remaining kind, helpful, generous and positive. Cherish has been self-directed since the moment she arrived at Eaton Rapids Middle School and is more than deserving of receiving Student of the Month. I can not wait to see what the future holds for Cherish!

 

Student: Atley Mock
Grade: 6th

Atley is doing a great job starting off his middle school career. He is completing all his work and doing a great job. He asks questions when he does not understand and he works well with the others around him. He seems to get along with everyone. He does a great job participating in class discussion and answering questions aloud. He is a great role model for the other students in class!!

 

Eaton Rapids High School
Student: Kaiden Reynolds
Grade: Senior

Kaiden Reynolds is in his senior year at Eaton Rapids High School and has been chosen for the Great Start Greyhound by numerous staff members. Kaiden's nomination reflects his dedication and determination to success and graduation. For the last 3 years he has overcome challenges and setbacks to make up classes in Credit Recovery and Summer School. This past summer Kaiden's hard work and resilience paid off and he started his senior year on track to graduate. It has been a joy to see Kaiden in the halls this semester, there is a smile on his face every day as he has persevered and is thriving in his senior year. Kaiden has maintained all A's& B's in his courses for the last 7 weeks, while working part time in the evenings. His success is pouring over into extracurriculars as well, he has stepped up to become a leader this fall by volunteering for Walk to School day and helping with Homecoming. We are so very proud of Kaiden and his fantastic start of the year.

 

 

2022-2023 School Year

 

 

April and May - Perseverance and Integrity

 

Student and Staff of the month

 

Students

 

Greyhound Central Elementary School

 

Student: Keller Brown
Grade: Kindergarten

Keller is a hard worker. Even when things are difficult for him, he shows courage by trying his best and giving his all. I am proud of him for his hard work and determination. Way to go Keller!

 

Student: Adeline Hare
Grade : Kindergarten

Adeline is a wonderful student and I have no doubt that she will accomplish all that she sets out to do. She works hard and has her own opinions which will serve her well. I am proud of her for being courageous and always standing up for what is right. Way to go Adeline!

 

Student: Ace Wicks
Grade : Kindergarten

I have been blown away by Ace and his drive for learning. Ace worked so hard during pup time and was always ready to begin as soon as he sat down at the table. He would see the book on the table and start saying sounds before I even sat down. He listened to corrections and applied them to his work. He continues to work hard everyday at pup time and I am very proud of him. 

 

Student: Ava Palm
Grade : Kindergarten

Ava's hard work and perseverance have really paid off this year. She came to pup time everyday and did her very best. She listened and was willing to try and asked questions when she didn't understand. She recently graduated from Pup time as a reader! I am very proud of Ava and know she will continue to work hard and do amazing. 

 

Student: Carmynn Hisler
Grade: Kindergarten

Carmynn shows perseverance every day when she comes to Pup time. She works hard and tries her best. She has made a lot of growth and continues to want to learn even as we are getting close to the end of the year. She is very excited about telling me what she has practiced at home and what she has learned. Carmynn doesn't give up when things get tough, she pushes through with a smile on her face and always seems to have fun while learning. 

 

Lockwood Elementary School

 

Student: Connor Piotrowicz
Grade: Kindergarten

Connor is a curious, interested, BARK behavior student. He is always willing to do what is asked of him for his work. Even when he is asked to try something again, Connor willing erases and tries again. Connor uses his best focusing and listening when being given a new lesson on materials. If he doesn't understand something, Connor asks for help. This is a great growth step for him from the beginning of the year when he would just sit and stare. Keep up the great work, Connor.

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

 

Student: Sophia Sich

Grade: Fifth

One of the highlights of the 2022-2023 school year has been seeing Sophia build confidence.  She has built her confidence through hard work and determination.  I know I can trust her to ask questions to help her understanding, take risks when she isn't sure how to do the work, and trust that her support system (family & school) will help her develop her math skills.  I couldn't be prouder of the growth that Sophia has made this year, and know that she will continue to be successful! 

 

Student: Gypsy Knickerbocker
Grade: Third

Gypsy Knickerbocker is a lovely third grader in my classroom. She is a hardworking gal who perseveres when things are hard. Gypsy can become quite a writer this year. She often exceeds the expectations for writing. Gypsy is always trying to get better at her math and reading. You will always find her working.

 

Student: Maddie Lopez
Grade: Fifth

Maddie Lopez has shown perseverance in everything she has done all year. I have given her numerous challenges and she has faced her own challenges both academically and socially all year. She has risen to the challenge each and every time even though it hasn’t always been easy for her. I have watched her struggle, but she never gives up in anything she does. She always strives to achieve her best, and I am so proud of her.

 

Student: MaKensie Helton
Grade: Fifth

MaKensie never gives up.  There have been many times this year when she struggled with assignments. During those times, I would ask her to change, add or improve on what she had completed. She always went back and improved the assignment with out complaining.   Even at the times when it was obvious that she was frustrated with me asking for her to change something, she never gave up and always persevered. I am proud to be her teacher.

 

Student: Jackson Nierenberger
Grade: Third

Jackson works hard everyday and has learn ways to meet challenges positivity.  I am very proud of all he has accomplished this school year.  

 

Student: Rylee Tyler
Grade: Fifth

Rylee works very hard on everything he turns in. He pays attention and participates to the lessons, whole group or small group, to make sure that he is learning and improving. When he struggles Rylee will pull himself back up, ask for help and work on whatever the struggle is.

 

Student: Saiya Beck
Grade: Fifth

It is with great pleasure that I nominate Saiya Beck for student of the month in February.  The theme for this month is kindness, and I can't think of a student that epitomizes that word more than Saiya.  She is always looking to help others, and is quick to greet others with a smile that lights up the room.  Whenever extra help is needed by myself, or others, Saiya can be counted on to help out.  Her positive attitude is infectious, and I have never heard another person say something unkind about her.  She constantly models our social contract principles of kindness, positive attitude, honesty, respect, and empathy.  It has been a pleasure having Saiya in the classroom this year, and I look forward to seeing all the amazing things she will accomplish in the future.

 

Student: Ernesto Garza
Grade: Third

Ernesto is and always has been so kind since the moment he stepped into my third grade classroom. He is always trying hard to be kind to not only his peers but also anyone else he encounters throughout his day. He is kind to the kids in the classroom by trying to help in any way that he can. He is kind to the custodial for always cleaning up after himself and others. Most of all Ernie is kind to me as his teacher and that doesn't always happen. He puts a smile on everyone's face that gets the privilege to work with Ernie. 

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

 

Student: Joey Emerson
Grade: Seventh

Joey Emerson is the kind of student who makes me want to be a better teacher. He epitomizes what it means to be a great musician and a great human. Every day, he stops in the band room to say hello, greets me with a smile and asks for help on some part of the music that we're working on. Over the course of the year, his skills as a percussionist have grown immensely and it's because of his perseverance and hard work. He doesn't give up, he uses resources outside of class to help him achieve his goals, and most importantly, he asks for help. On top of that, he is also one of the most respectful, kind and friendly students in class. He is always willing to include others, give high fives to younger students and make people feel welcome in any situation. I am so proud of everything Joey has accomplished this year and I can't wait to see what he does in the future. 

 

Student: Abraham Strait
Grade: Sixth

Abe is a very quiet, well behaved student with a good sense of humor. He does a great job focusing on getting his work completed and using class time well. He has shown growth in his work throughout the year.  His behavior is a model for other students to follow; especially when it is my 7th hour and everyone is ready to go home for the day.

 

Student: Peter Bodkin 
Grade: Eighth

We are happy to nominate Peter for student of the month. He was nominated for his perseverance in the classroom.  Peter does not work fast; he thinks through all of his work, but he always makes sure that he completes his assignments.  He always wants to do his best, and asks great questions so that he can do his best on each assignment.  

Writing does not always come easy to Peter.  This is why Peter was nominated for student of the month. He works hard and puts so much effort and determination into each assignment.  He perseveres in being successful in his assignments and at school.

 

Student: Hudson Hathaway
Grade: Seventh

The student that I selected has a heart of gold!  His academics stand above his peers and his dedication to his school work is phenomenal.  This student is always willing to help with a struggling student, help someone who doesn’t understand maybe from being absent and is always willing to give me (the teacher) a helping hand.  I take great pleasure in nominating Hudson Hathaway as the month of May represents Integrity…..Hudson knows how to show integrity and I appreciate everything he does to show it!  So Hudson, keep up the great work! 

 

Student: Isabella Stewart
Grade: Eighth

Izzy Stewart has shown amazing growth this year in math. On the first day of school, Izzy was very open about how much she didn't like math, saying she just "wasn't good at it". However, through a lot of commitment and determination, Izzy has overcome her doubts regarding math. She has learned to advocate for herself and be truly honest about her needs in the classroom. It takes a person of great integrity to admit their faults and put in as much work as Izzy has to overcome them.  



Student: Ivan Willis
Grade: Sixth

Define integrity…..the quality of being honest and having strong moral principals….that’s what I love about this student.  Yes we know all middle school students are not perfect but this student is the first to admit, yup that was me or no I didn’t do that.  He is always being honest to every degree!  Roy is an assets to Eaton Rapids Middle School with his honest characteristics and also his motivation to succeed in the classroom.  Roy, it has truly been a pleasure to have you in class and I know you have it in you to be successful.  Stay true to yourself and keep showing integrity because it makes us proud that you are doing such an amazing job!!!!  Now Roy, go out and start changing the world you’ve got your whole future ahead of you!!!

 

Eaton Rapids High School

 

Student: Courtney Bush
Grade: Senior

Perseverance- Courtnie Bush- several of us teachers nominated Courtnie Bush for Perseverance for this month as it is a strong character trait in Courtnie.  She has endured a lot of physical, emotional, and psychological stress since her car accident in December of 2020.  She became eligible for special education service shortly after this in 2021 as she had a traumatic brain injury.  I have been her case manager ever since.  

In 2021 she usually had 2-3 doctor appointments a week and had to regain her processing speed and had many physical limitations.  At first, she had speech and language services, OT, and PT and was going to doctor’s appointments often.  She had several surgeries and had to work hard to be back to her level of fitness so that she could participate in basketball again and resume her athletic activities.  Every year she progressed immensely since her accident. She is now released from all of the above services and has shown perseverance and hard work trying to get herself back on track academically. 

This year she has been able to keep up with her homework without needing extra time, participate in a sport, improve her grades and even prepare for college. I have seen great growth with her in the last few years. She works hard and completes her work on time and her perseverance has been an inspiration to us all here.  She is very organized and always knows what she needs to do, when she needs to get it done, and will organize help if she needs it.  She advocates for herself and didn’t feel sorry for herself all throughout her recovery.  She fought to make it back to her previous physical and mental abilities with great strength and perseverance.  Her perseverance is an inspiration to her peers, teachers, and anyone she meets who hears her story.  Today she is going off to the state choir festival with the Chamber Choir.  Mr. Funaro said she has grown vocally and persevered in her singing abilities despite her physical limitations as well.  We are proud of her going off to college and living on her own and moving forward with her life in spite of the obstacles that have been thrown in her way.  Courtnie you are persevering and an inspiration to us all!



Student: Jason Large
Grade: Freshman

Jason Large is a student with great integrity and is a hard worker who shows he cares for others. He has never missed an assignment and uses class time very wisely. He helps other students and the teacher when needed. He passes assignments out to give students feedback. His fellow students look at him as an example of how hard work pays off. He has been seen in the hall stopping to help students with locker issues and stopped to help a student who dropped their work in the hall which shows how much he cares for others. I can't think of a better student than Jason who will always do what's right when no one is watching and expects nothing in return.

 

Greyhound Central Performance Academy

 

Student: Madison White

GCPA has nominated Madison White for our student of the month for Integrity because Madison worked hard and turned in high quality work while juggling many outside obligations.  We are proud of how hard Madison worked to finish up her classes and graduate with us.

Staff

 

Greyhound Central Elementary School

 

Brooke Sheldon

I have had the privilege of working with Brooke for 2 years. Ms. Brooke works in our DK classroom as a paraprofessional. I am in awe over her dedication and perseverance. Ms. Brooke goes above and beyond in her efforts to make a difference in the lives of her students.

When issues arise in class (which happens ALOT!), she looks for solutions. She has taken much of her down time and funds to create tools for our students such as weighted vests. As difficult as a day may be, not only does she persevere, she finds ways to make sure her students are successful. We are so fortunate to have her on team kindergarten.

 

Chelsea Spitzley

Chelsea is super woman. She always is there to help when kids are having a bad day. They look up to her and love her a lot. She is there to listen to fellow employees who need an ear or a shoulder to cry on. Ms. Stanton goes the extra mile for any and everyone in the building. We honestly couldn’t do it without her. 

 

Kristy Merignac

This is Kristy's first year with us and I couldn't be more impressed with her dedication to her class. There has been quite a few hurdles and unique challenges, however she has continued to overcome them with grace and positivity. Her calm, loving disposition brings a smile to the faces of students and staff alike. As our only developmental kindergarten teacher she provides a rainbow of learning and caring to her students' world. Thank you Kristy!

 

Lockwood Elementary

 

Debbie Stahl

"Mimi" is a huge help at Lockwood. If there is something that needs to be done, she will do it. She never sits still. She is always there when a student needs help and will do anything you ask her to do (except share her coffee). She is one of the many important wheels that keeps Lockwood running, and she does it all behind the scenes without any need for recognition.

 

Miranda Eaton

Miranda is an amazing person in so many ways. She understands the need to respond to situations all around her in quick, efficient and kind ways. She's called on to meet the needs in the classrooms as a 3rd and 4th hand to a teacher, as a substitute fill in teacher at the last minute (with or without lesson plans!), she's called on to calm a child that has reached his/her learning capacity and needs an out, she's called on to assess a situation quickly and respond just because she is available. I have seen her do this multiple times in a day, sometimes with only a moments notice. She does this willingly with grace, professionalism and (almost always) a smile and a calm attitude. She is amazing and I am thankful that I get to work with her. Miranda, you make me a better professional because of how you serve and step in. Thank you.

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

 

Joni Clarke

Joni Clarke has been an amazing mentor and leader of the 5th grade team. I can not believe that she is retiring and I don't know what we will do next year without this vital part of our team. Joni has done more then just support and mentor me in my professional carrier she listens to me and gives me advice about my personal life as well. Without Joni Clarke I would not have made it through this school year with my sanity intact.

 

Aaron Czapla

Greyhound Intermediate School is so fortunate to have Aaron among our staff!   Aaron's enthusiasiam to start a STEAM class in our building has spread to all of the students that enter his classroom.  Aaron's students are excited to go to class.  The projects and activities they are working on are highly engaging.  Students are collaberating, learning and having such a positive experience.  I am so grateful that our students have these opportunities and I want Aaron to know that his efforts are recognized and appreciated!  Thank you Aaron, for all that you do!  

Eaton Rapids Middle School

 

Lisa Hicks and Kim Gum

The Middle School has a great staff and many members selflessly help each other as various needs arise.  Recently, I was unexpectedly out of my classroom for several weeks.  Lisa Hicks and Kim Gum stepped up to help out the substitute teacher with my science classes.  They planned lessons, graded student work, and communicated with students and parents.  They covered the needs of my classroom in addition to their own classroom responsibilities.   I am very grateful for their help during my time of need.

 

Kylee Lonn

Kylee does a phenomenal job providing support to both students and staff at the middle school.  Over the years, there has been several changes in teachers in 6th grade ELA positions. With every change, Kylee has stepped up; providing support in familiarizing new staff with our programs and procedures.  She has helped new teachers learn the curriculum, master Summit, learn building policies, planned lessons as part of the co-teaching model and independently when the position remained open for any extended time.  Kylee's professionalism and support is a great asset to the ELA department and the middle school in general. 

 

Emma Carlson

When thinking about a staff member who needs to be recognized, there are so many fantastic members to choose from; but there is one who stands out this year as one who has selflessly supported so many. Emma saw a need when the middle school started the year without a 7th grade science teacher. She graciously began planning lessons, grading student work, and supporting the sub in addition to her own position. Emma has given so much time and energy without an expectation of recognition, but deserves it nonetheless.  The Middle School is better because of teachers like Emma! 

 

Eaton Rapids High School

 

Nick Jones

I feel fortunate to have worked with so many outstanding math teachers in my 23 years of working at the High School. Nic Jones is one of the math teachers who stands out most in my mind. It has been both an absolute pleasure and great learning experience to have worked with him for many years, about 20. When I think of Nic's contributions to ERHS the most admirable trait that comes to my mind is his wiliness to do anything & everything possible for the betterment of our STUDENTS!  HE DOES THIS EVERY SINGLE DAY. Another attribute I would like to mention is that Nic is an I CAN & I WILL MAN! For the benefit of ERHS, he will complete all tasks thrown his way, write curriculum, obtain classroom materials (calculators, Legos etc.) and so much more! He not only does this for the math department, but all of the departments he works in, 3 at least. While he's working at the very best of his ability regularly, he tells no one. He expects no praise, you see he's just doing his job.  The last thing I'd like to mention, is that it has been a pleasure to work with Nic. I bet I've asked Nic for help at least a thousand times and never once was he too busy to help me. I'm a better teacher because of working with Nic. Thank you!

 

Elena Plenda

Mrs. Plenda is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. It has been a great honor to work with her the last two years. She is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that her students not only complete their work, but also have an expansive understanding of the content. Math is sometimes the “hard class” for students, so her kindness and warm smiles make the hard class much easier. Ms Plenda sacrifices her evenings every week to assist with the tutoring program at the high school. This means that as others are running out the door to get home, she is in her room greeting students with a huge smile on her face and ready to dig in. This world is such a better place with teachers like Mrs Plenda who not only guide students in knowledge but always show mounds of compassion and integrity. I feel truly blessed to be considered part of her team!

 

Nate Lewis

Mr. Lewis was new to our District at the beginning of the school year.  He has shown complete dedication to making a positive impact on the students at staff at the high school.  He brings an incredible amount of experience in a school setting and his compassion for making sure the students and staff are prepared for life beyond high school is unmatched.

Nate is our Assistant Principal here at the High School. This being his first year, he obviously had to get to know kids, staff, etc. He has done this amazingly. Things get crazy some days at the High School and he handles everything so well. He is kind, generous and knowledgeable in so many areas. I feel the kids respect him as well as the staff. He has been a wonderful addition to our front office team. This being my first year in my current position as clerical assistant at the High School, we came in to the front office life essentially together and it's been great from the get go. He is always there whenever needed and much deserving of this award.

 

Food Service

 

Kristen Bayer

Since coming to our building, Kristen has gone above and beyond for our GCPA students.  Recognizing breakfast as an important need, Kristen began serving hot breakfast at GCPA, which was a first for us.  Kristen is always ready to take care of our students dining needs and always has a positive, upbeat approach in doing so. Our students are very appreciative of her and love having her as a part of GCPA.

 February - Respect

Student of the month photo

 

Students

 

Greyhound Central Elementary School
 
Student: Solomon Graham
Grade: Kindergarten

Solomon is a very sweet, polite and kind young man! He goes out of his way to be kind to everyone and·always has a welcoming smile to share with his peers and teachers. Solomon has a huge heart and it shows in his daily acts of kindness like sharing toys during free choice time. He is quick to help out in the classroom and he loves giving compliments to everyone. Solomon has that special ability to make you feel good about yourself and I am so glad to have him in my class!

Student: Charilee Fitch
Grade : Kindergarten

Charilee shows kindness in our classroom every day. It can always count on Charilee to be kind and helpful. She is quick to share a smile, or comfort a friend that is sad. I can count on her to be a role model to other students. I love having her in our class!

Student: TJ Frost
Grade : Kindergarten

TJ shows respect in many ways. He raises his hand and waits to be called on. He respects other peoples feelings. TJ listens to his friends and tries to help them out. He likes to include others while he's playing and he likes to share. He's respectful to others property by putting items away and using them appropriately. We are very lucky to have such a respectful friend in our class.

Student: Tinsley McMahon
Grade : Kindergarten

I am nominating Tinsley for the Student of the Month Respect Award. She consistently follows the classroom and school rules and shows respect to everyone! Tinsley sits quietly and respectfully during whole group lessons. I appreciate how she pays attention and also how she raises her hand and waits to be called on. Tinsley listens carefully to directions and is always good about following them. It is so nice to have such a polite and respectful student in my classroom! Thank you Tinsley!

Student: Liam Coats
Grade: Kindergarten

I have nominated Liam to recognize the respect that he shows every day in my classroom. He treats his peers and adults with kindness and respect and he never forgets his courtesy words such as "please" and "thank you" in his daily interactions! Liam is respectful of the classroom rules and follows them every day! He also comes to school every day ready to learn and always shows respect by raising his hand politely during our whole group lessons! Great job being a Respectful Student of the Month!

Lockwood Elementary School
 
Student: Landen Holland
Grade: Kindergarten

Landen is my most kind, loving, caring, and giving student. He is actually the best hugger too! Landen is such a handworker in class and loves to help however he can. He never hesitates to put others before himself. Landen is always the first to remind us that he loves and appreciates us. He has amazing manners! I can always count on Landen to brighten my most challenging days. I am certainly blessed to have such a sweetheart in my class.

Student: Myra Ziemer
Grade: Kindergarten

Myra is an exemplary student with friends and Teachers. She consistently shows respect to all she interacts with while having a positive attitude. Myra demonstrates respect to teachers by listening with her whole body, raising her hand to speak, waiting her turn, using materials in the classroom appropriately, and doing her work in a timely manner. She demonstrates respect to classmates by listening to them when they talk to her and responding; being aware of their personal boundaries; and treating them like she wants to be treated. When I heard that Respect was the topic of the Month, Myra is the first name that came immediately to my head. Thank you so much Myra for showing Respect everyday in everything you do.

Greyhound Intermediate School
 
Student: Eva Chapman
Grade: Fourth

I am selecting Eva for the Great Greyhound representing Kindness because she is a very kind girl. She is always kind to her classmates and willing to help out whenever needed. She has a very sweet and kind disposition that shines through daily.

Student: Brayden Bloomquist
Grade: Fifth

Brayden is always kind to his classmates. He is willing to share his school supplies, snacks, a kind word or whatever he sees someone needs without hesitation. He is very caring and sensitive. We are - lucky to have him in our class.

Student: Adelyn Shepard
Grade: Fourth

Adelyn never loses focus of our social contract norms, and is graceful in guiding others to be positive and stay on task. Adelyn has been known to go out of her way to show kindness.

Student: Asher Valle
Grade: Fourth

Asher Valle is my choice for the Great Greyhound who exemplifies kindness. Asher is a somewhat shy, but he leads by quiet example. His kindness isn't "in your face". He's more low key about it which suits his personality. He is always willing to lend someone a hand when needed. He uses his manners on a daily basis and encourages others. I don't think I've ever heard him say something mean! I miss Asher when he isn't here and I appreciate his thoughtful nature.

Student: Hayden Bush
Grade: Fifth

Hayden has been in my class for two years, last year as a 4th grader, and now a 5th grader. Hayden is a Great Greyhound in all areas. I could nominate him every month! This month the focus is on kindness. He really shines in this area. Hayden is kind to his peers and his teachers. His classmates look up to him and know they can go to him for help. He is a young man that always speaks to you and has a smile on his face. He is also generous with his time and possessions. If a student needs a pencil, he is the first to offer. If a student needs help, he is there for them. All of his teachers have noticed what a Great Greyhound he is and we are very proud of him. It is an honor to nominate Hayden as this month's Great Greyhound.

Student: Meredith Powell
Grade: Fifth

This is the second year I have had the privilege to have Meredith in my class. She works hard in all her classes and puts forth her best effort. Meredith is kind to all her classmates and shows them respect. I can count on Meredith be supportive and helpful to anyone she is partnered up with. Meredith often jumps in when she sees a need in our classroom without being asked. I will miss having her next year as part of my classroom community. This is why I selected Meredith as a Great Greyhound.

Student: Linh Nguyen
Grade: Fifth

Linh has been incredibly respectful to me since I began subbing here. Every day, she comes in ready to learn and demonstrates this attitude in every class. It's been a pleasure teaching her.

Student: Emma Shanabrook
Grade: Fifth

Emma always follows directions the first time and double checks with staff to make sure that she is doing what is asked. Not only does Emma complete all of her work, but she goes above and beyond to do the best that she can. She always has a positive attitude with staff and is a role model for her peers. I highly recommend Emma for the Student of the Month.

Student: Rylie Lewis
Grade: Fifth

Rylie follows the procedures in class without a reminder. Rylie also follows directions the first time she is asked. She completes the work she is assigned and turns it in on time. She works hard at independent times and ignores other distractions.

Eaton Rapids Middle School
 
Student: Sydney Means
Grade: Eighth
Sydney Means is a living definition of a perfect student. She is one of the kindest students I know, always asking other teachers how they are doing as well as checking in with her friends and other students. She is constantly trying to better herself by asking clarifying questions in class in every subject. She is always prepared and treats every person in this building with respect. Sydney is a joy to have in class and I know that she will excel next year at the High School. 

 

Student: Allison Cozzie
Grade: Sixth
I nominated Allison for student of the month because she does an excellent job showing respect to me and her classmates. She responds positively every morning when I greet her at my door. Allison does her work and when asked to share her responses, does so respectfully. She is always willing to help others and is an all around great kid!

Student: lkaika Best
Grade: Seventh
I have had lkiaka Best as both a 6th grader and 7th grader in my art classes, and now also in TAG. lkiaka is always kind and courteous to his peers. He listens during instruction and when receiving help. He often arrives first in the morning and puts down all the chairs in the classroom. lkiaka is engaged during class discussions or activities. I enjoy having lkiaka in class because he respects both the people and the environment.
 
 
Student: Kaydence Robinson
Grade: Eighth
Kaydence Robinson exuberates what February is all about-Kindness. Kaydence is kind and is always willing to help a classmate. She is ,friendly with all_of her classmates. She comes to rea'ding and writing class with a smile and a positive attitude. (Even after I tell her she can't switch her seat to sit next to her friend.) ;) Not only is Kaydence kind and helpful, but she is responsible and gives her best inside and outside of the classroom. I am honored to give Kaydence Robinson student of the month for the month of February. 

 

Student: Kaleb Chambers
Grade: Sixth
Kaleb Chambers is one of the sweetest students I have the pleasure of teaching this year. He comes every day with a smile on his face and is always looking for ways to spread that joy. He helps other students and is super kind to each and every one of his classmates whether in Social Studies or TAG. He comes to my desk and tells me stories almost every day and his generosity to share just shows the level of thoughtfulness he has for others. I am proud to say that Kaleb exemplifies the theme of Kindness and can not wait to see him continue to grow and thrive. 

 

Student: Alison Baker
Grade: Seventh

Someone who is kind is someone who is generous, helpful, and thinks of other people's feelings. Ali is a great example of this! She treats others with a gentleness and supportive nature. In ELA class, she works in a quiet way to help support her peers when they are in need. When others get stuck in discussion; she will often volunteer, taking the pressure off a peer and does so with positivity and thoughtfulness. Ali's kindness does not go unnoticed by those around her and I am grateful to have her as a role model in my classes.

Eaton Rapids High School
 
Student: Gabby Vides
Grade: Freshman

I have had the privilege of knowing Gabby Vides this semester, as she has joined the Peer to Peer Support Program, of which I am the coordinator. Gabby not only looks out for her student but other students with special needs and everyone that might be having a rough day. Gabby gives a smile and a kind word to everyone she meets and always tries to help those in need. She exhibits kindness in her daily interactions with her teachers and other students. Gabby is a great asset to the Peer to Peer Support Program and to our high school. 

Student: Keira Tate
Grade: Junior

Keira is an extremely hard working student. She is someone who has challenged herself throughout High School taking a number of advanced and AP Classes. In all of the classes we have had Keira in, she has shown a tremendous amount of respect towards her peers and the professionals in the classroom. She works well with her classmates and is always eager to learn. She does not shy away from asking questions. She is willing to help her classmates and teachers without having to be asked.     She is a leader in her classes by leading by example. When we were asked which students show and demonstrate respect, Keira is on the top of the list. 

Greyhound Central Performance Academy
Student: Dante Watts

Dante has been nominated for "Kindness" Student of the Month because of how kind he is to his fellow students, teachers and the community. He always greets others with a smile and a good morning when he sees them. Recently on our way to a bowling reward trip, Dante put his window down on the bus to say "Good Morning George" as we passed George Doxtader sitting at the corner of State and Main Street. This really exhibits Dante's kindness to others. Well done Dante, we are all so proud of you! GCPA Staff 

Student: Monat Reed

Monet has been nominated for "Courage" Student of the Month because she has proven herself courageous by returning to complete her GED after have her son. She has set a goal for herself to pass all four GED tests by the end of this school year. She has been attending the GED prep courses here at GCPA regularly and has already passed the Social Studies GED test. Congrats Monet on your courage to return to school and make progress towards completing your GED. We are all so proud of you, GCPA  staff.

 

December - Responsibilitystudent of the month photo

 

 

 

Students

Greyhound Central Elementary School
 
Student: Mackenzie BishopGrade: Kindergarten

Mackenzie is quickly becoming a class leader because she is so responsible. She is very responsible with her work and materials and encourages her classmates to also be responsible. I often find Mackenzie taking care of the classroom and materials just to be sure that things are where they should be and giving her classmates friendly reminders to do their job. She does it without asking for a BARK slip or any other recognition and praise. She also gives others the time out signal as our class reminder to listen to the teacher. Others look up to Mackenzie and follow her  lead.

Student: Giselle Wilson
Grade: Kindergarten

Giselle is always a respectful and responsible student. She listens and follows directions. She always tries her best. This month, I noticed that she was especially responsible. She and another student had found a toy on the playground. They new it did not belong to the school and it must be another student's toy. They took it upon themselves to find who it belonged to and give it back instead of just keeping it for themselves. I was super proud of the choices that the kids made. Giselle is a pleasure to have in class and deserves to be student of the month.

Student: Macie Davis
Grade : Kindergarten

Macie is kind and helpful.  Whenever she sees someone that needs help, she is one of the first people in our class to go help them. She likes to ask if anyone needs help, and helps with a willing spirit.

Student: Sawyer Graham
Grade : Kindergarten

Sawyer is a very kind and responsible student.  He has made great growth academically and is a great help to Ms Wilke in class.  He is always a friend to everyone and follows directions.  He is happy and a joy to work with. I can always count on him to be doing what is expected. He takes care of his things, his friends and the classroom.  Great job Sawyer!

Lockwood Elementary School
 
Student: Mauricio Garza
Grade: Second

Ricio has shown responsibility at Lockwood since the first day of school. He listens intently and always does what is asked of him whether it is his schoolwork, helping a friend or following rules or directions that have been given. He is self directed and organized throughout the day. I know I can always count on him. On top of his amazing responsibility, he is kind, thoughtful and smart! I love having him in my class. Great job, Ricio!

Student: Alice Lindsey
Grade: First

Alice is a joy to have in class. She always greets me in the morning with a smile on her face and some news or story to share with me. Alices comes to school every day ready to learn. She does a great job of being responsible by following directions, completing her work, focusing and participating during lessons, and helping others in our classroom. If I ask Alice to do something, I know she is more than willing to help out and complete the task. Thank you Alice for being the awesome and amazing you! Keep up all your hard work!

Student: Grant Hunt
Grade: Kindergarten

Grant has been an amazing leader in the classroom this year. He is by far my biggest helper in assisting anyone struggling in the classroom. Grant is always willing to stop what he is doing to help those in need. He has been especially helpful with our youngest preschoolers and has been instrumental in helping some of them feel comfortable and independent at school. Grant has a natural and effortless way of bringing his peers together. He is kind, compassionate, patient, and hardworking. I feel blessed to have him in our class!

Student: Luke Grulke
Grade: First

Luke is always the first to ask how he can help someone, whether it is a classmate or a staff member.  He is always looking to see how he can help others, cheer someone on, or contribute to our class environment, our first grade team, and Lockwood. He doesn't wait to be asked. Luke is good at being a mediator and working with others, even if it is a hard situation. He is fair, polite, and kind to all. We enjoy having Luke and his cheery attitude as part of our team!

Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Marissa McNabb

Grade: Fourth

Marissa, not only exemplifies teamwork in my classroom, she is a team leader. I have witnessed her leaving her seat to help a student who was struggling with a problem while I was helping others.  Marissa is always eager to help me with a special task and she is often my "go to" when completing everyday responsibilities in the classroom.   Marissa's sense of teamwork is not confined to the classroom.  She also works to support the entire school.  Along with Alyssa, Marissa gives up two recesses a week to help out in the library by reshelving and straightening books in Ms. Wahlquist's absence, so the entire school may continue to enjoy using the library.

Student: Alyssa Loucks

Grade: Fourth

Alyssa demonstrates teamwork on many levels in school.  She is always willing to help a student who is struggling with an assignment.  She is very eager to lend a hand anytime I ask her to complete a task to help the classroom run effectively.  On a school level, Alyssa currently gives up her recess time twice a week to reshelve books and straighten the library to help Ms. Colleen in Ms. Wahlquist's absence.  Alyssa is a wonderful team member for her classmates, our classroom and even the whole school.

Student: Savannah Robinson

Grade: Fourth

I'm nominating Savannah because of her teamwork and sense of fair play. She welcomes people to whatever game is being played, encourages others to follow the rules/reminds them of the rules, and is polite about it. As a result, many of her peers want to play and be around her. One day, a girl from another class commented to Savannah that she didn't have many friends. Without hesitation, Savannah invited her to come play with the group. I've been impressed with that willingness to include others.

Student: Bryson Woodman

Grade: Third

Bryson is a new student who came from a different state. He has shown many leadership skills working in teams for various activities. He collaborates with his peers in a respectful way and is always has a positive attitude while working with others. He cares about his peers and wants nothing but the best for them. I can always count on him to collaborate with his peers using BARK behavior!

Student: Damian Pyers

Grade: Fifth

Damian has grown so much as a student since the beginning of last year. He had joined our Summit team in 4th grade. At first, adjusting to Summit may have been a bit tough for him. He was very quiet last year. this year, I have seen a complete change in him. He has chosen to sit in a place in the classroom where he is more engaged. He sits next to students who help work with him. He participates in class, asks questions, looks for help, and looks to help others when he can. I am so proud to see how much he has grown this year, and I am so happy to see him being an advocate for himself and his learning!

Student: Chase Stitt

Grade: Fifth

Chase is always giving encouragement to his fellow classmates.  He is always willing to give "I trys" to any activity that I have asked of him.  He is also very good at helping any teacher at GIS.  I am so honored to have the pleasure of working along side of Chase. 

Student: Chase Grimes

Grade: Fifth

Chase comes to class everyday with a smile and a readiness to get to work.  This year he comes to class, knows what he needs to do and starts right away.  Not only does he get his work accomplished, he is quick to help others and is excited to work with the teacher.  He wants to grow and it shows in his work ethic and determination.  He is a role model for his peers.

Student: Calleigh Drinkwater

Grade: Fourth

Calleigh is a kind young lady that strives to do her best. She always has a great attitude and works hard daily. Calleigh displays many of the 16 habits of success; such as, self-regulation, self-awareness, relationship skills, executive function, growth mindset, resilience, and self-direction to name a few. I appreciate her smiles and happy outlook that she spreads everywhere she goes. Thank you Calleigh for bring such an amazing attitude to our classroom! 

Student: Allison Hoyt

Grade: Fifth

Allie is new to our district this year and she is a joy to have in our classroom. Allie is polite, friendly and displays a positive attitude. She has made many new friends at GIS because of these attributes. Her peers and her teachers enjoy spending time with her and she is a wonderful role model. Allie also shines academically. She organizes her time well, and is working ahead on the Summit platform. She takes pride in her work and the quality shows in her assignments. Allie has been an asset to our classroom and I'm proud to say that she is a Great Greyhound.

Student: Mya Hanis

Grade: Third

Mya is always so on top of everything. She has stepped up and taken charge and has worked super hard to be the best she can in and out of the classroom!

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Madelyn Planck

Grade: Seventh

Maddie brings a great attitude, sense of humor, and good work ethic to class each day. She comes prepared to class. She works hard during class and tries to understand the material on a deep level. She asks questions when she does not understand and is willing to help others when needed. She is great about making sure all her work is complete, even when she has been absent. She is a great role model for others.  Finally, she has a great sense of humor and a great personality to go along with her great attitude about school which makes it very easy for staff to work with her each day.

Student: Jaden Ostrowski 

Grade: Eighth

Jaden Ostrowski is a very friendly and helpful student.  He works well with his peers.  He is always willing to help other students whether they need something, like a pencil, or need academic support, especially in math.  In math class, he always volunteers to answer questions and help others with their work.

Student: Abigail Pratt 

Grade: Eighth

Abigail always arrives to class ready to learn with a positive attitude.  She engages in class discussion with articulate and well thought out ideas and opinions.  Even when her classmates may be off task, Abigail maintains her focus and her attention to her work.  She models our social contract and what it looks like to be a great student.  She is kind, engaged, and invested in her education.  Thank you, Abi, for being such a reliable and conscientious student.

Student: Patrick Johnson

Grade: Seventh

Patrick is a super hard-working young man. He is always willing to try anything and gives every task his all! He is very social (but in a good way) and gets along with everyone he is with. Patrick is a phenomenal example of what it means to show GROWL and be a leader. Anyone (staff and student) is extremely lucky to have Patrick in their class.

Student: Olivia Firman

Grade: Seventh

Olivia is a pleasure to have in class each day.  She always has a smile on her face and is ready to learn.  She is a very capable student, but she doesn’t dominate class discussions, allowing other students to share their understanding and class knowledge.  She gets along well with all of her classmates and does a great job leading her partners during science labs.  Recently, her group during a lab was so efficient that they repeated the lab during class because their results didn’t turn out quite right the first time.  She always has a positive attitude.  Besides her determination to excel in school, she is a good leader, is well respected by her peers, and is a positive role model in the middle school.

 

Student: Walker Offrink

Grade: Sixth

It is my pleasure to speak on the behalf of Walker.  I currently have Walker in my 6th grade English and SDL class.  Walker contributes daily with high level ideas and work.  During SDL, he is always willing to stop what he is doing to help students with math questions.  He has become my resident math expert. Walker is a pleasure to have in class! 

Student: Archer Barcroft

Grade: Eighth

Archer comes to class everyday prepared and starts his daily work without any instruction.  Archer has completed his daily work everyday this year and has even chosen to select a 2nd language to explore.  He is polite, hard-working, trustworthy, and an all around great student.

Student: Ruby Briggs

Grade: Sixth

Ruby exhibits Teamwork regularly in Study Skills. She is a kind individual that is always willing to help others, or cheer them up when they are down. Ruby is always smiling and has something positive to contribute to the conversation. When Ruby enters the room she brings energy that is contagious to all others around and I really enjoy having her in class.

Student: Abraham Strait

Grade: Sixth

Abraham Strait is an excellent student who is continually showing every characteristic of our GROWL expectation for students!  Abe gives his best in all assignments and assessments. Abe is respectful to both his peers and his teachers. Abe owns his own behaviors by following the rules and expectations in the classroom. Abe always works and plays safely.  Abe leads by example and does an exemplary job which other students can learn from in class. I wish I had a whole classroom of Abrahams in class as the amount of learning that could take place in class would be amazing!!!!  Thanks Abraham for everything you do to be you!!

Eaton Rapids High School

Student: Rachel Dong

Grade: Junior

The High School is pleased to nominate Rachel Dong for December student of the month. For the month of December, we were asked to pick a student who exemplifies responsibility and Rachel is far and away the student who best represents this. Rachel is a stellar student who is taking three AP classes as a junior. This in and of itself is impressive. What makes her stand out though is her giving spirit and determination to help those around her. She regularly helps with after-school snacks. She has volunteered to tutor an elementary student who struggles and she goes above and beyond tutoring and mentors him with loving care. When we met to discuss who to nominate, every staff member had a story of Rachel being her wonderful self. She is beyond deserving of this recognition.

Student: Blake Byron

Grade: Senior

FFA-  Blake has done a fantastic job this year working with his committee to plan out the fall and winter lock-ins. Blake is our FFA Secretary and head of the Social Committee.  In addition, Blake plans out fun activities to include all members during chapter meetings and gets everyone involved.  In the classroom, Blake works with students in the class to complete lessons and projects.

Quiz Bowl–Blake is one of my captains on the Quiz Bowl team.  He helps lead practices and keeps the team in line.  He is a great communicator with his teammates and helps them do their best.

Afterschool- Blake also is active at the Eaton Rapids Teen Center and has picked up snacks from our school snack pantry to share with other kids involved in Teen Center activities afterschool.  

Overall Blake is a team player, watching out for other students and working to provide inclusive opportunities.

Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Student: Nyx Jolls

Grade: Senior

We nominate Nyx Jolls for November student of the month because November is teamwork. Nyx  is a great team player and actively encourages her classmates to complete their work. Nyx completed an awesome group project in her English 11A class and has also  successfully worked as a team to complete several chemistry projects. Nyx’s ability to work well in a team is why she is November student of the month.

Student: Marile Neimeister

Grade: Sophomore

Marlie is nominated as student of the month for GCPA because she has had an amazing start here at GCPA. Marlie has already completed three classes within the first three weeks of school. She has made great progress in her other three classes as well. Marlie genuinely enjoys learning. Marlie comes to school every morning with a smile on face and actively participates in her classes. Marlie is actually ahead in credits and hopes to be able to graduate early. We look forward to Marlie’s continued success throughout this year.

Student: Jude Miller

Grade: Senior

Jude has had a great start to this year and has really pushed himself. He actively participates in all his classes and is ahead of pace in all of them. Jude is a hard worker and has worked especially hard in his English class. Jude kind and polite, making him a great addition to GCPA this year. 

 

 

 

 

September - Empathy

Student of the month photo

Students

 

Greyhound Central Elementary School

 

Student: Sofia Canfield

Grade: Kindergarten

Nominated by: Mary Bunting

Sophia is always showing B.A.R.K. behavior. She is safe, acts appropriately, is responsible, and acts kinds toward others. I appreciate how respectful Sophia is and see all the hard work she puts in to school. Sophia has had a wonderful start to Kindergarten!

Student: Luella Miller

Grade : Kindergarten

Nominated by: Amy Crittenden

I want to recognize Luella for an amazing start to kindergarten!  From the very beginning she has been very responsible, respectful and polite and has the most positive outlook on everything!  Luella makes good choices, follows directions and works diligently to do quality work!  I love how she is so kind to her peers and how she goes out of her way to help them when she sees they are in need!  Luella has a great sense of humor and once when I asked her how she got to be so awesome--she said she got it from her momma!   I loved that!  She definitely adds an abundance of "sunshine" to our classroom every day! 

Student: Oliver Boggs

Grade : Kindergarten

Nominated by: Erica Rinkey

Oliver is independent, follows directions, completes tasks in a timely manner and is always willing to help others. Oliver supports all his classmates. He encourages his peers to follow the BARK, compliments, and checks in with them. It is pretty amazing to listen and watch him ask how his peers are feeling or what he can do to help. He can also recognize the moments he is having strong feelings and is able to self-regulate. Oliver is an awesome student and I am proud to have him be a part of our classroom family.

Student: Amiyah Putnam

Grade : Kindergarten

Nominated by:Tamara Roush

Amiyah is becoming a very determined student. During the last month she has really shown me that she wants to figure things out and motivates herself to do so by saying one of our class motto's, "I don't say I can't, I say I can and try." If that was not enough, she would approach me and say, I tried this and then that, I need help." I have also noticed her taking on leadership roles as she assist others at her table group. I am very proud of her!

Lockwood Elementary School

 

Student: Miles Jones

Grade: Kindergarten

Nominated by: Sallie Guy

I have had the pleasure of having Miles in my classroom for the past two years. During this time I have watched Miles grow and mature into an amazing role model for his peers. He is friendly, kind, hardworking, bright, positive, attentive, and helpful. You can always find Miles focused during work time and encouraging others to do the same. Miles knows the routine and will even remind me when I stray away from it or when I forget something. I am so proud of Miles and feel truly blessed to have him in class!

Student: Max Hoyt

Grade: Third

Nominated by: Leanne Simms, Ed Jewett, Stacy Carstensen

Max is new to Eaton Rapids this year. From his first day in the Upper Montessori classrooms, Max has jumped right in and shown himself to be a leader, a friend, and a helper. He always puts in his best effort and loves to help others. We are very proud of the great start Max has made this year!

Student: Emily O’Connell

Grade: Kindergarten

Nominated by: Kari Benjamin

Emily has started the school year as a great leader to all the students in her class. She follows the school BARK expectations, focuses on her work and listens to staff and classmates. 

Student: Maxton Hall

Grade: First

Nominated by: Amber Schafer

Maxx had had a great start to the school year. He is a hard worker. He is considerate of his classmates and is always ready to give a helping hand. Maxx is a joy to have in class.

Student: Brad Woody

Grade: Second

Nominated by: Sarah Curry

Brad Woody is a 2nd grade student who has continued to "WOW" me this year. He is courteous and kind, looking for ways to help make our classroom a better place. He often has opened doors for me while our class has dismissed to recess. He is helpful to his table partners and most always on task, making friends with everyone in our classroom.  He is nominated for his great start to 2nd grade this year.  Keep up the great work, Brad.

Greyhound Intermediate School

 

Student: Hadassah Clements

Grade: Third

Nominated by: Kerry Warren

Hadassah has gotten right back into the swing of things at school.  She is very helpful when others are struggling.  She has learned the routines very quickly and is always demonstrating BARK expectations

Student: Branson Deland

Grade: Fourth

Nominated by: Tiffany Foote

Branson has started the year off like a Great Greyhound!  He is positive, hard-working and very respectful.  We are so grateful for his effort and example!  Thank you for being such a great student Branson!

Student: Garrett Johnson

Grade: Fourth

Nominated by: Carrie Strong

Garrett has had an amazing start to the school year.  He is here every day, working hard to accomplish his "I Trys", gives his best effort on every activity and is always very kind.

Eaton Rapids Middle School

 

Student: Joel Bohus 

Grade: 

Nominated by:Sarah Hayhow

I nominated Joel for a very specific situation that happened at the beginning of the year. We were doing an activity where students were quickly finding partners to discuss different topics pertaining to our unit. Joel saw someone who was struggling to find a partner two rounds in a row and was very quick to pull that student into his group and include them in the conversation.

Student: Haleigh Clarke 

Grade: Seventh

Nominated by: Sarah Buckmaster

I chose Haileigh Clarke as student of the month because of her love and care for others. In our social studies class she goes above and beyond to help other students with their assignments, particularly one boy.  She asked to sit next to him stating he was "her buddy" and I have watched her get her work done, then turn her attention to him and help him to complete his assignment.  She is also our loudest cheer leader in the class when students who don't typically answer or volunteer to read aloud do so.  I have watched Haleigh grow academically and socially over the last two years and could not be more proud of her.

Student: Paige Hall 

Grade: Seventh

Nominated by: Anthony Funaro

I selected Paige Hall as my student of the month because of the heart that she shows not only every day in our 6th-grade choir class but during the Lion King Jr production. Paige had never done a musical before and she picked up on things really quickly, but the thing I was most impressed with was her positivity. I always remind our casts that doing a musical is hard work and that EVERYONE gets stressed during the run of the show. I remind them of the importance of staying positive and of lifting each other up. Paige really took that to heart. I would always hear her telling others (including the directors) that they were doing a great job! This meant a lot to me personally because sometimes being the director can feel very lonely when it feels like things aren't coming together the way you planned. Her kind words always made me, and others, feel good and brought an extra boost of energy.  This is the kind of thing that although small, makes a huge difference in any group, especially a musical group. It takes a village to make any show or performance happen and if I could have a whole village of Paiges, I would be incredibly happy!  I am truly honored to have her in my class and I look forward to years of positive energy to come! 

Eaton Rapids High School

 

Student: Cooper Jones

Grade: Senior

Nominated by: Ciena Hadley

Cooper Jones is a high achieving high school senior who has gone above and beyond academically this year.  Cooper’s goal is to become a writer, and he has taken it upon himself to take an additional creative writing course this semester, along with his AP English class.  Cooper’s creative writing class is entirely self-directed, and he has completed multiple pieces of work and entered multiple writing competitions during this period.  Cooper’s motivation and self-direction has allowed him to be extremely successful throughout high school, and I know it will serve him well in his future endeavors.

Student: Janus Grivins

Grade: Senior

Nominated by: Becca Sobanski

Janus not only had a great start but has helped countless other students to also have a great start to their school year! Without fail, Janus can be found making our school a better place to be whether it's helping freshmen to find their class the first week of school or bringing students who are distressed directly to the counselor's office to make sure they get the help they need. Janus takes advantage of all opportunities to be involved in the school whether it's FFA, helping with plays and musicals, or just being a friendly presence. Students know Janus is someone they can go to for help and that trust is well placed. Janus truly is an inspiration!

Student: Lauren Malone

Grade: Senior

Nominated by: Jamy Marske

Lauren Malone is the model for self direction.  She is someone who gets to work and always does a great job.  She will ask questions when needed, but needs little guidance when it comes to get her work done.   She is a great example for the students in her classes.  She is taking AP Biology online and is on top of everything.  Lauren does not waste time and always gets right to work.  When she has a free moment she uses that to get work done for all of her classes.  Lauren is a great example of the quality of self-direction and she is someone that her peers can learn from.

Greyhound Central Performance Academy

 

Student: Kai Rose

Grade: Senior

Nominated by: GCPA Staff

Kai has had an extremely productive year so far at GCPA. They are at school nearly every day and work very hard when at school. They have already completed three classes so far this year. Kai has not only completed those classes, but worked hard to understand the material. Kai is a wealth of information for both fellow-students and teachers and shows a love of learning.  Kai only has six classes left to complete and we look forward to seeing Kai graduate soon.

Staff

Central Administration

Vicki Koehn

Nominated by:Sarah DeFrance

I am nominating Vicki Koehn as staff person of the month because Vicki has been a truly amazing addition to Central Office since she arrived two years ago. Vicki is always smiling and is such a great fit to be the first person most people see when they come into Central Office. She is happy, cheerful, and kind. She is always offering to help other staff members. Vicki is the definition of team player, always willing to jump in when help is needed. Whenever I go down to Central Office, Vicki brings a smile to my face. Thank you Vicki for the energy and dedication you bring to Eaton Rapids Public Schools.

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Jeff Taylor

Nominated by: Bill Hicks and Matt Boersma

Jeff has put a lot of time and effort to try and bring some games and activities to the students in the Middle School. So far he has built a badminton court, a volleyball pit, some additional basketball hoops, and a Pickleball court. He has also been instrumental in bringing in some funding to build playground equipment to the Middle School. This will give the students at the Middle School lots of activities to do, when on recess, or when teachers take their kids out for some free time. It's a win, win for the Middle School kids!

To start the school year Mr. Taylor has put in countless hours outside the school day to prepare his classroom and collect materials to help complete the projects his students will be working on.  Already his classes have created a sand volleyball court, a badminton court, and a pickleball court in our playground area.  The kids have learned how to measure the height of the posts, how to secure them in the ground so they don't move, how to lay liner down to make weeds don't grow through the sand and how to work together to spread the sand.  This was not done with one class, this was a project for all classes so he had to have not only 8th graders working together but then have younger grades pick up the work that the last class left off.  The kids have love the new areas to enjoy during our lunch hour.  At the end of the week he even found time to get his class into the pool and jumped in with them to celebrate all their great work.  Great job Mr Taylor

Greyhound Intermediate School

Patrick Jackson

Nominate by: Katina Dziewiatkowski

Patrick is a long term building sub at GIS in special education.  Patrick is neither a certified teacher nor familiar special education, yet he has tackled his position at GIS with passion and enthusiasm.  His eagerness to learn is motivating and his desire to meet kids where they are at and overcome their challenges as a team is what ERPS strives for.  Patrick works diligently to support his team daily and has built amazing relationship throughout the staff and with all  students on the summit team.  Patrick is both an amazing future teacher and an exemplary employee.

Lockwood Elementary School

Sallie Guy

Nominate by: Stacy Carstensen

Sallie is a great team leader. She cares about her personal and professional growth, tries to make everyone in the building feel welcome, brings laughter and joy to the staff and her students daily. She has been so intentional in all of these things which has helped Lockwood have a great start this school year.

Lockwood Elementary School

Stacy Carstensen

Nominate by: Jamie Doxtader

Stacy is an absolutely amazing teacher. She is always patient with her students and so kind. Stacy works hard to keep her class a fun, safe, happy class.

 2021-2022 School Year


  March - ELA Excellence  Student of the Month photo
STUDENTS
 
Greyhound Central Elementary School Student: Celina Gatica
Grade: Kindergarten Nominated by: Ms. Rinckey
Celina is a very sweet little girl. She works very hard and tries her best. She has almost already reached all of the end-of-year goals for kindergarten ELA. Celina has learned many high-frequency words, which has led her to begin reading short stories. She is becoming a great writer! She is fantastic at adding details to her sentences and drawings. Celina takes her time stretching out her words to hear all the sounds, using finger spacing, and punctuation! When she finishes her work, she is willing to help her peers. I am so proud of everything Celina has learned this year!
Lockwood Elementary School Student: Keldan Ribby Grade: Kindergarten Nominated by: Keri Benjamin
Keldan has made amazing growth in Language Arts. He has shown this through NWEA growth, EL Education Assessments, and classroom work. Keldan strives to do his personal best in sounding out words, writing, and reading. Keep up the amazing work!
Student: Kadina Phillips Grade: Kindergarten
Nominated by: Sallie Guy and Ashley Gruesbeck
We have had the pleasure of having Kadina in our classroom since she was in preschool. Over the past three years, we have been amazed at how much she has grown. Kadina has become an amazing and detailed writer with beautiful handwriting. These skills rival that of an upper elementary student. She loves to share her writings with others and can often be found reading her stories to the preschoolers and kindergarteners in our class. We are so proud of her hard work!
 
Greyhound Intermediate School Student: Boyd Walters
Grade: 4th
Nominated by: Mrs. Clubb
Boyd has shown so much growth and progress this year! Since the beginning of the school year, Boyd's interest in reading and Language Arts has grown tremendously! In our poetry units, he was able to connect with the main character of the story we read, and even made some amazing poetry of his own! Now that we are beginning research on animal defense mechanisms, he is just as engaged, trying to learn more about the topic. One of the things that makes me most proud of him is his ability to personally connect with, and identify with, what we have read this year. So proud of his accomplishments!
Virtual Scholar's Program Student: Taylor CampbellGrade: 4th
Nominated by: Dawn Beaver
Taylor is a 4th-grade student in the Virtual Scholars Program. She is a hard-working student who has been able to work independently since the beginning of the school year. She also has committed to meeting with me every day (twice a day) to work on Math and ELA because those are the two classes she needs a little extra support in. She has a positive attitude, asks questions when she doesn't understand something, is fully engaged in learning, and has improved her ELA skills and grade along the way. Taylor is a smart, inquisitive, and hard-working student who definitely deserves to be a Student of the Month!
Eaton Rapids Middle School Student: Lyla Pople
Grade: 7th
Nominated by: Mrs. Wegner
Lyla is a pleasure to have in class! She is positive and dedicated to doing well in class. I can count on Lila to do her best no matter what. Lyla will offer to help others if they are struggling in a quiet and respectful manner that supports the classroom environment. It is a joy to watch Lyla grow as a reader and writer this year as a 7th grader as well as develop lifelong skills as a person.
Student: Weston Phillips Grade: 6th
Nominated by: Mrs. Ellis and Mrs. Lonn
Weston the Wise! Mrs. Lonn and I are proud to nominate you for the 6th grade English class award. Weston immediately stood out at the beginning of the school year with his upper-level vocabulary. We knew right away that he was a reader!! One time I heard a student comment, "sometimes I can't understand Weston because of the words he uses!" which made me laugh. Weston is doing amazing in the Summit platform - well ahead of the "line" or due dates. We rely on Weston to set a good example with thoughtful answers and participation, and he delivers!!! Anytime I've asked Weston to pair up with a struggling student, he is willing and patiently helps them out. Weston always has thoughtful and detailed answers and works well with partners and individually. He is polite, pleasant, wise beyond his years, and a pleasure to have in class!
Eaton Rapids High School Student: William Ribby Grade: 10
Nominated by: Mrs. Ferguson
I have William for American Literature, which is a very demanding advanced English class. William is an excellent student who not only meets but consistently exceeds expectations. He is an incredibly hard-working student. His diligence is evidenced by his outstanding work, which is impressively thoughtful and exceptionally thorough. William constantly goes above and beyond in everything he does. His contributions to discussion are an invaluable asset to the class; his assignments are insightful and reveal a true understanding of the content. In addition to demonstrating great academic prowess, he is a genuinely kind, funny,  and good-natured young man, who is an absolute joy to work with, and I'm so grateful to have him in class.
Greyhound Central Performance Academy Student: Jaden Welch
Grade: 12
Nominated by: GCPA Staff
We picked Jaden Welch as English Language Arts student of the month. Jaden came into this year needing several English classes. He has worked really hard on English this year to get caught up, often working on two classes at a time. He is a great addition to class, respectful, and willing to contribute to class discussions. It is a joy to have Jaden as a student here at GCPA and we are very proud of him and his progress this year.
STAFF
Staff: Jessica Drinkwater Building: Maintenance
Nominated by: Sallie Guy, Ashley Gruesbeck, Keri Benjamin
Jessica has been filling in for our custodial staff at Lockwood since January. She has an amazing work ethic. Jessica is dedicated, hard-working, outgoing, and always willing to do what it takes to get a job done. She has wonderful problem skills! Jessica has gone above and beyond to make our building ready for staff and students every day. We love and appreciate you Jessica! Thank you for everything you do!
VOLUNTEER
Volunteer: Dave Sysum
Building: Eaton Rapids High School Nominated by: Dan Langeland
He stepped into the role of Varsity coach when our girls' head coach became sick. Not only did he step in and inspire the girls, but he also led them to one of the biggest comebacks in the program's history, it was against our rival Charlotte! Down 17 points with 10 minutes to go, that is incredible for any program at any level to manage. Additionally, his commitment to the program and its students has been unwavering. With such leadership, he stepped in and filled the position of head coach when the students needed it most.

February - MathphotoSTUDENTS
Greyhound Central Elementary
 
Student: Lynkon Piper
Grade: K
Nominated by: Ms. Rinckey
Parents: Cathy Clayton and Matt Piper

Lynkon excels at math. He can already count beyond 100 by 1s and 10s. He can write his numbers past 20. He enjoys learning new material. Lynkon participates and is engaged with the lessons. He is also willing to help his peers with their work.

Student: Carson Cole

Grade: K
Nominated by: Mrs. Laretz
Parents: Alisha Cole and Matthew Vainner
Carson is a very kind boy who loves being at school. I am nominating him for student of the month in Math because he truly loves math time. He is always one of the first students finished with his work, always tries his           best, and looks forward to our math stations and i-ready math. I love seeing his excitement for math! Great job  Carson.

 

Student: Alex Feldpausch
Grade: K
Nominated by: Mrs. Crittenden
Parents: Elise and Benjamin Feldpausch
Alex is a math wizard!  He has great number sense and when I had him count by ones during our winter testing, I had him stop at 120 but he definitely could have kept going! Alex also counted to 190 by tens, he could recognize 31 numbers which included bigger numbers than 20, and he wrote numbers 1-109! This was exceptional since all of these far surpassed our January goals for math! Alex is quick to figure out everyday math scenarios such as how many more BARK slips we need before    reaching 10 and also being able to tell how many students are present when he knows how many are absent--without actually counting them! He is great at math and I am very proud of his progress! Awesome job         Alex!

Lockwood Elementary School
 
Student: Ben Florian
Grade: 3rd
Nominated by: Mrs. Carstensen
Parents: Jeff and Heather Florian
Ben has a great math brain. He loves learning as much as he can, as fast as he can. He works hard on his math every day and only complains if his math has not been challenging enough! He has been working ahead of grade level in math since 1st grade in my classroom. Not only does he excel at math himself, he's helping other          students if they have questions by patiently teaching them. I appreciate his focus and positive attitude each day  in class.

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School
 
Student: Angelo Bartshe
Grade: 8th
Nominated by: Mrs. Merritt
Parents: Nicholas and Kenya Bartshe
Angelo has been doing a great job in math this year. Angelo has math 7th hour, one of the hardest times to have math. Most students are not fond of math to begin with and then to have it at the end of the day can be even more challenging.  But it doesn't appear to be that way with him.  Angelo comes to class always in a good mood, which to a math teacher is a blessing. He is sure to work his hardest even when it is a topic that he doesn't feel the most confident in. When we are working through examples in class, and I ask for a volunteer to      walk us through it, Angelo will always lend a hand even if he isn't 100% sure that he is doing it correctly. Angelo helps students when they've needed it without batting an eye. He is such a pleasure to have in class and  I appreciate all of his hard work. I look forward to seeing what he can do throughout the rest of the year.

 

Greyhound Central Performance Academy
 
Student: Hosea Vang
Grade: 12th
Nominated by: Mr. Barden
Parents: Chue Thao and Zongseng Vang
Hosea has worked hard in his Algebra 2A class. He is always engaged in the material, focused and shows a great desire to learn. Hosea is always willing to help other students in the class understand the content as well.        His leadership has helped set a positive tone for the entire class.

Eaton Rapids High School
 
Student: Lucien Woodworth
Grade: 11th
Nominated by: Ms. Bos
Parents: Renee and Ed Hallas
Lucien Woodward is a pleasure to have in class. Each day at the conclusion of class he says to staff, "Have a nice day". In regards to Algebra 2 class, he has the highest standards for himself. He says he likes to teach himself the assignment and will often work ahead of the class. He seeks to understand and has a great interest  in learning. He likes to challenge himself with class extensions, like puzzles. I appreciate your thirst for learning Lucien, it will benefit you in life.

 

Student: Ben Pierce
Grade: 10th
Nominated by: Mrs. Acker
Parents: Anthony and Robyn Pierce
I have nominated Ben Pierce as the math student of the month as he has shown me that he is a logical thinker. Ben is quiet in the classroom, but has impressed me with the questions he asks about the lessons. His questions are always forward thinking. He asks the why of mathematics and truly wants to know why it may work. He considers other cases for mathematical rules, he explores them before he comes to a conclusion. I have enjoyed    having Ben in class as he seems to truly enjoy learning and thinking. Ben is studious, courteous, and has earned  top grades on our assessments thus far. He is kind to other students in the class and is supportive of their thinking as well. When we have partner activities, he usually carries the team, but I have noticed that he is willing to explain the materials to others if they are interested in listening.  I hope that Ben will pursue a career in which he uses his abilities to think and analyze. Great work Ben!
 
 
 
November - Visual and Performing Arts
photo of students of the month
STUDENTS
 
Eaton Rapids High School
 
Student: Andrew Shimmin
Grade:12th
Nominated by: Mrs. Zeiger and Mrs. Dalton
Parents: Richard and Julie Shimmin
Zeiger: Andrew goes above and beyond in the classroom. I am his Spanish teacher, and when his peers are completing and turning in paper assignments, Andrew is completing movies using different character voices, with his puppets, in Spanish. He is very talented and an asset in the classroom. On top of spending extra home time (his assignments have never been late) to go above and beyond, he also asks questions that help out his peers, works amazingly well with anyone I ask him to work with, always has positives to say, and comes to class with a smile and excitement. He was one of my 15 students who went to Disney for a week. Andrew started working on it a week before he left to ensure it was done before his trip - allowing him to enjoy his trip and then come back and not be stressed.
 
Dalton: Andrew is every educator's dream student. He is hardworking, dedicated and full of zeal. He is determined to do a good job and will relentlessly work until he is satisfied with his work. Andrew is the student every teacher hopes and prays for every year. I could never be as proud of a student as I am Andrew. Before he went to the Disney trip, with the band and choir, he worked feverishly to get all of his work done so that he would not be behind when he came back and was able to relax and smile because he was not behind. He is such a kind spirit that does not mind expressing his fondness for those around him and works hard to make sure that Eaton Rapids High School is a safe place for students. Thank you for all of your hard work Andrew, it has not gone unnoticed! No matter the class, whether it is Choir, or Spanish, Andrew gives his all everyday!    

 

Greyhound Central Elementary
 
Student: Caryn Winstead
Grade: K
Nominated by: Ms.Rinckey
Parents: Jeanette Winstead and Ian Yelinek
Stunning, is the first word that comes to mind when I look at Caryn's artwork. Her skills are well beyond the kindergarten level. She really has an eye for detail. She also has a very vivid imagination allowing her to create some of the most impressive pieces of art from any type of medium. The colors she uses are very vibrant and compliment each other. I love looking at her creations and can not wait to see what she produces in the future.
 
Lockwood Elementary School
 
Student: Charlie Skinner
Grade:3rd
Nominated by: Mrs. Hanson
Parents: John and Ashley Skinner
Charlie is consistently a self directed, quiet and dutiful student. He gets along with everyone and is extremely focused during art classes. The result of all this focus is excellent artwork that demonstrates great thought ,care and loads of interesting detail. I appreciate his maturity and care with his work. I want Charlie to know that I notice all of this, even though he is super quiet in my room. To me, he stands out and shines like a bright star!
 
Student: Gregory Hunt
Grade: Kindergarten
Nominated by: Mrs. Guy and Mrs. Gruesbeck
Parents: Tyler and Jennifer Hunt
Gregory has been in our classroom for the past three years. He has grown tremendously in countless ways. Gregory is one of the most creative students in our classroom. He loves creating with anything around him! He will often amaze us with his imaginative ideas. He is a wonderful artist and is very attentive to details. He loves sharing his ideas and work with others. Gregory is bright, kind, and hardworking. We love having him in our classroom and can't wait to see the amazing things he does in his future.

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

 

Student: Walker Offrink
Grade:5th
Nominated by: Mrs. Shoup
Parents: Andrew and Kelly Offrink
I met Walker last year through remote learning Zoom meetings. He always had a little bit of a different, creative take on the art assignments and I always looked forward to his sharing his work with the class. Walker thinks like an artist. He is very creative and very thoughtful in his work.  He also takes the time to talk about his mi and explain his process and concepts, which is quite a mature trait. As an art teacher, I try to give the students a "jumping off'' point to inspire creativity. Walker is one who is able to take the assignment and run with it. I hope that he will continue to do so! It is a treat to watch.
 
Student: Emma Droste
Grade: 5th
Nominated by: Mrs. Shoup
Parents: Justin and Christin Droste

Emma is a very talented artist. She has natural ability and creating comes easily for her. That being said, she is focused and on task in art class even when the class is noisy and busy all around her. She is serious about her work and not only completes all assignments, but goes above and beyond expectations to create truly beautiful art. Her attitude and energy is always positive. Her artistry is an inspiration to other students and they often comment on her work. Emma is an excellent student and artist and I have enjoyed having her in art class over her years at GIS. My hope is that she continues to develop her art through out her school career and beyond.

 

Student: Camden Thill
Grade:5th
Nominated by: Mrs. Clubb
Parents: Michelle Thill
Camden had come in this year, new to the district. Coming in as a new 5th grader can be very tough! Camden has really flourished into a fine young man, who works hard in the Summit program and always has a positive attitude. He has shown a lot of academic growth in Summit this year as well. He is very kind to his peers, in the classroom and out on the playground. He has made new friends, and spreads positivity! He is a daily role model, and has shown how kind, caring, and hard working he is. It is an absolute pleasure to have him in my class.

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: John Lopez
Grade: 8th
Nominated by: Ms. Guettler and Mrs. McNabb
Parents: Beth and Derek Miller and John Lopez
While not directly for visual and performing arts John has made huge improvements both academically and behaviorally this year. He is on task and focused during work, is working ahead academically and is a good classmate. We have been very impressed with his work ethic this year.

 

Staff

 

Jeannie Hanson  
GCE/Lockwood
Nominated by: Anja Laretz

Jeannie has always had our kindergarten students create the most amazing art projects. This year, with art being in our classrooms, I've gotten to see more of what goes on "behind the scenes" for each project. There was one project in particular that really impacted the students in an amazing way. Jeannie did a lesson on Guatemalan Worry Dolls for Hispanic Heritage month. The students got to design and build their own worry dolls. I had multiple parents tell me how much those dolls helped their children sleep at night. Students even went home and helped their siblings create their own worry dolls to use. Jeannie does an amazing job for our students and truly helps them find their creativity and love for Art.

 

Julie Houstina

GCE/Lockwood

Nominated by: Sallie Guy and Ashley Gruesbeck

Julie Houstina is our new gym teacher at Lockwood. She is the perfect addition to our Lockwood family. Julie is engaging and warm to ALL students and staff. Her lessons are creative, new and exciting, and full of fun. It is very apparent how much time and effort she is putting into a quality physical education program. Our students adore her and are always so excited on Gym days.  We feel blessed and lucky to have her here.

 

Karen Rose
GCE/Lockwood
Nominated by: Barbara Jean Hanson
It is nearly impossible to list all of Mrs. Rose's traits and skills she brings to her students and fellow faculty each day. We can start with "each day"...her consistent, positive, kind and genuine love for her students and dedication to her job is admirable. Karen is the person you look to in order to *smooth out* your day. She emanates a quiet, positive, steady energy, has the patience of a saint, and brings her best, above and beyond, always! Karen has been helpful with many glitches or tech questions during the transition from what was a normal school day to when we went fully remote. She steps up and gives so much to us all. ERPS is a better place each day because of staff like Mrs. Karen Rose.

 

Kim Hallenbeck

High School

Nominated by: Amber Zeiger

I absolutely enjoy working with Kim. She is an overachiever, always making sure that students are doing well even if they aren't on her caseload. She forms great relationships with students where they feel comfortable asking her for help on assignments and asking her for advice. She is best known to be running around the school like Superwoman (or someone being chased by a herd of bears) as she jets to check on her different students who need her help for medical purposes. Just watching her is exhausting, but she does it all, every day, with a smile on her face, a positive attitude, and a great sense of humor! On top of all of the things that she has going on as part of her day, she ALWAYS asks what else she can be doing to make my life as a teacher easier. Kim is such an asset and a great co-worker!

 
 
  
 
September/October - Great Start Greyhounds
Student of the month
 
Eaton Rapids High School
 
Student: Ash Trayer
Grade: 11th
Nominated by: Mrs. Dalton
Parents: Kyle Locke
Ash is always willing to overcome their fears and is able to make the best of every situation! They we so scared of Spanish on the first day and everyday since, big smiles, happy, and ready to learn. They are such a great example for all students! Not to mention a wonderful, wonderful person!
 
Student: Sami Dhouib
Grade: 12
Nominated by: Mrs. Lightner
Parents: Randy and Amber Ford
Sami is a really great person! He will go above and beyond for anyone. If you need something done he will do it for you with no questions asked. He is the absolute Best!!
 
Student: Alivia Scherer
Grade: 11
Nominated by: Mr. Gumbrecht
Parents: Jaff and Karin Brown
Alivia is a junior in our band program, first year section leader, band council member, and all around great student. Our season started way back in July as we began preparations for our first band camp in two years. As a first year section leader (the only current junior section leader we have), Alivia came in clearly fired up for our season. At band camp, as a member of our leadership team, she helped create a positive environment for everyone by always finding the fun in what we were doing. At camp, we have a "spirit stick" (that we call the "enthusiastick") for the most enthusiastic leader each day and, at the end of the week, the students vote on who was the overall most enthusiastic member for the entire week--an honor which Alivia won convincingly. Beyond just being spirited, Alivia--like she has always done--continues to-try to be the best version of herself possible. She asks questions when she needs to--and not just for her own understanding but so she can help the people around her. Her energy is contagious and, though we have many deserving students in our program, Alivia has shown herself to be one of our most spirited members.
 
Student: Kaydence Richardson
Grade: 12
Nominated by: Mrs. Dalton
Parents: Kim Kores and Craig Richardson
Kaydence is willing to do whatever it takes no matter what to make every student feel at home at Eaton Rapids High School! She is so kind, polite, and thoughtful! She is the absolute best role model for everyone she is around! Kaydence is such an amazing person!

 

 

Greyhound Central Elementary

Student: Alice Lindsey
Grade: Kindergarten
Nominated by: Mrs. Laretz
Parents: Jonathan and Elizabeth Lindsey
Alice is a true example of a Great Start Greyhound. Beginning Kindergarten after so much time at home due to COVID, has been difficult for many students. Since the first day of school, Alice has worked hard to learn our class routines, be a great friend, and help others. Every day she is challenging herself to do her best and she is always willing to help out her teachers, friends, and anyone else who needs it. She is always smiling, happy, and a wonderful friend to all. She includes others and is always the first one to welcome someone new to our room. I am so proud of Alice and all the amazing work she does in class. She is truly a Great Start Greyhound!
 
Student: Genevieve Deshais
Grade: Kindergarten
Nominated by: Mrs. Roush
Parents: Sarah Roush
Genevieve is a student with an amazingly confident smile! The smile was hidden during the first few weeks of school. After each passing day, I noticed that she was bringing it out a bit more as she challenged herself to try rather than give up or become frustrated. The smile and confidence that were hidden are now shining bright for all to see. When I ask her if she needs assistance with writing her name or finding a material that she may need, she gives me that ear to ear smile and states, "Mrs. Roush, I got this!" I am so proud to nominate her as student of the month because she is an example of perseverance to all of her classmates and to me.
 
Student: Owayn Clark
Grade: Kindergarten
Nominated by: Ms. Rinkey
Parents: Alva Clark and Jamie Baker
I am honored to be Owayn's teacher for a 2nd year. I have been able to watch him grow as a virtual student to an in-person student. He came to school this year with an "I can" and "I will" attitude. He works very hard and tries his best. He serves as a great role model for his peers both academically and behaviorally. He is very kind, gentle, and patient with others. He also has a very infectious smile.

 

Lockwood Elementary School

Student: Aria Russian
Grade: 1st
Nominated by: Mrs. Esler
Parents: Andrew and Misty Russian
I am so delighted to welcome not only a new member of the Lockwood Community but also a new member of the Eaton Rapids community, first grader, Aria! Aria very excitedly told me that she is participating in events downtown and getting to know her neighbors. She has a great attitude and loves to help her classmates. She likes to challenge herself academically in class and she brightens everyone's spirits with her smile and even welcomed me the other day by arriving at school and telling me, "Today is going to be a good day." Today is a good day because you are here, Aria!
 
Student: Haevyn Hart
Grade: 1st
Nominated by: Mrs. Saindon
Parents: Lana Brown and Corey Hart
Haevyn is a pleasure to have in my first grade classroom. She comes in every morning with a smile on her face, ready to start her day. Haevyn is kind to her fellow classmates both in the classroom and out on the playground. She also follows directions and does a great job participating in class lessons. Since the beginning of the school year she has always tried her best and through this, I have already seen her growing as a reader and writer. I can't wait to see Haevyn continue to grow in our first grade classroom this year. Keep up all your hard work Haevyn!
 
Student: Jayden Fowler
Grade: 2nd
Nominated by: Mrs. Carstensen
Parents: Jeff and Jodie Fowler
When I first heard the student of the month theme was Great Start Greyhounds, I immediately thought of Jayden. He quickly settled into the routines and behavior expectations for this year. Jayden has had a positive attitude about his schoolwork, classmates and showing BARK behavior. He loves Eaton Rapids and I'm so proud of him this month!
 
Student: Landon Brown
Grade: 1st
Nominated by: Mrs. Badgero
Parents: Torin and Staci Brown
Landon has had a great start to the school year. He showed up on the first day of school with a smile that reached his eyes. He comes in ready to work and ready to learn every day. He is kind to all of his classmates, he is helpful and a true class leader. Landon always has a great attitude.
 
Student: Blake Orr
Grade: 1st
Nominated by: Mrs. Schafer
Parents: Cody Orr
Blake has come to first grade ready to learn. He gives his best effort to everything he does even if it is hard. He is a great friend and enjoys playing and laughing with all of his classmates. I look forward to a wonderful year with him!!!

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Aurora Barcroft
Grade: 3rd
Nominated by: Ms. Eastman
Parents: Jaclyn 'and Brad Barcroft
Aurora Barcroft, AKA Rory, is a student who stands out for many reasons. She has had nothing less than a positive attitude since the day we started school. She exceeds BARK behavior expectations and is a wonderful role model inside and outside the classroom. Rory is responsible, hard-working, and has a very bright future ahead. I look forward to seeing where this year takes you and to watch you grow. It truly is a privilege to have a leader like you in class. Congratulations Rory!
 
Student: Chevy Chaney
Grade: 4th
Nominated by: Ms. Dziewiatkowski
Parents: Julie Hoffman
Chevy is a 4th grade student at GIS. We missed him greatly last year and are so pleased to have him back with us. Chevy has done an amazing job of attending school this year (he even left for a doctor's appointment and came back so he wouldn't miss too much class) as well as working very hard to build strong friendships with his classmates and positive relationships with adults. He has an incredible smile on his face everyday, is quick with a hug and hello and comes prepared to have a great day, everyday. We are so pleased to nominate Chevy as our Great Start Greyhound.
 
Student: Taylor Benkovsky
Grade: 5th
Nominated by: Mrs. Foote
Parents: Matt and Melinda Benkovsky
Taylor is a wonderful student to have in class. She comes to school each and every day with a positive spirit and a desire to learn! She is kind and hard working. She is a wonderful participant and will also do whatever she can to help her peers, and never hesitates to help others if she can. She is certainly a Great Greyhound!

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School
 
Student: Evelyn Gruesbeck
Grade: 7th
Nominated by: Mrs. Ely
Parents: Evan and Ashley Gruesbeck
Evelyn is always willing to participate in class in a positive way. She contributes and leads in small groups and whole class discussions.  She uses the "check yourself' signal to quietly remind other students to refocus. She is a student who is ready and eager to learn. I am glad to have her in my class.
 
Student: Kaydence Robinson
Grade: 7th
Nominated by: Mrs. Wegner
Parents: Rachelle Williams
Kaydence is the perfect example of starting off the 2021-2022 school year right! She, like all of our students, has traversed the craziness of the last school year and maintained her enthusiasm and zest for learning.

Kaydence is always happy to be in class and participates in each activity. She puts her heart and soul into the content she is attempting to learn and gives nothing less than 100% every time. In addition to school, Kaydence was a part of the Frozen Jr cast and was fabulous in her role. She took on the extra responsibilities of a production while navigating so many new things this year and never faltered; her grades are straight A's, her attitude continued to be completely positive, and her performance was well rehearsed. Great start Kaydence

 

Greyhound Central Performance Academy
Student: Maya LaLonde
Grade: 12th
Nominated by: Abby, Sarah, Brian, and Eric
Parents: Mike LaLonde and Vicki LaLonde
Maya has had an awesome start to the year. She has already completed 6 classes so far this school year and she only has three more classes to complete before graduating with her Greyhound Central diploma. At this rate, Maya will be done with high school in the next few weeks. Maya has been working really hard since school started this August and that is why we have picked her for our "Great Start Greyhound"
 
Student: Azazel Phinney
Grade: 12th
Nominated by: Abby, Sarah, Brian, and Eric
Parents: Erin and Dan Ackles
First, we would like to recognize Azazel's hard work over the summer. He came to summer school with Sarah and completed 4 classes. Azazel came back this year needing 7 math classes in order to graduate on time with his class. Azazel was not a fan of math coming into this year, but starting August 30, he hit the ground running. He has already completed Geometry B, Algebra lA, and Earth Science A. All of the classes Azazel has completed so far have been really tough and Azazel has worked really hard to understand the material. We have been able to see Azazel's academic growth since he came to us last year and we are excited to see him graduate with us in June.
 
 

2019-2020 School Year

 

November - Visual and Performing Arts

Photo of November Student of the Month

 

STUDENTS

 

Greyhound Central Elementary
Student: Bryce Cox
Grade: K
Nominated by: Mrs. Hanson
Parents: Ashley and Maurice Cox

Bryce is consistent with his positive, polite attitude and is a wonderful role model for others in his class to emulate. He always follows BARK rules, is very kind and works hard on every project. It is a real pleasure to have him in Art class.

 

Lockwood Elementary School
Student: Ani Marske
Grade: 1st
Nominated by: Mrs. Hanson
Parents: Jamy and Kristi Marske
Ani is a terrific artist due in great part to her willingness to power through any obstacles in creating her work. She is excellent with detail and completeness. Her attitude is always pleasant and positive!

 

Greyhound Intermediate School
Student: Lyla Pople and Abigail Pusey
Grade: 5th
Nominated by: Ms. Dziewiatkowski
Parents: Kevin and Michelle Pople and Heidi and Tony Pusey

Lyla and Abigail are an amazingly talented duo.  Recently cast in the community youth musical as flotsam and jetsam in the Little Mermaid, these incredible young ladies are also competitive dancers as well as involved in their school music programs as members of the GIS handbell choir and as 5th grade band/choir students.   They have performed for several years in the GIS's annual talent show and are just two of the kindest young ladies you will ever encounter. I am very blessed to work with them at GIS and am honored to nominated them as the Performing Arts students of the month.

Eaton Rapids Middle School
Student: Kristin Mowatt
Grade: 8th
Nominated by: Mrs. Rosin and Mr. Funaro
Parents: Laura and Michael Mowatt

We have a lot of talented musicians in our Middle School music program, and 8th grader Kristin Mowatt is a shining example of that. She is a spectacular example of a student who has found a home in the arts. Kristin is in the 8th grade choir, 8th grade band, and participated in Peter Pan Jr. as Tiger Lily. This year she also auditioned and was selected to perform at Greyhound Cabaret, where she serenaded the crowd on her ukelele! She was wonderful!  Mr. Funaro really saw Kristin shine during the fall production of Peter Pan Jr. She demonstrated leadership by helping other castmates stay focused and helping with choreography, blocking, and music. If our choreographer wasn’t there, Kristin could always be counted on to help remember the steps! She always came prepared and ready to rehearse. Kristin’s infectious personality was a beacon of positivity in the cast when things were getting hard. She brought a positive attitude and tried to help others find theirs. This simple act really helped to bring the cast together. Mrs. Rosin agrees that Kristin is a student whose enthusiasm permeates through everything she does. She is a leader in our band class when it comes to performing and rallying the class through special events. I can count on her to work on difficult music until she gets it right, and she even helps other students in the class. Her good humor makes the class fun and brings a great energy to the group. We are so lucky to have her as a member of the arts team!  Kristin has a passion for music, theater, and the arts. We are fortunate to have such a great student in our classes here at the Middle School, and we can guarantee you will see her on the stage at the High School in the future!

 

Eaton Rapids High School
Student: Blaine Wheaton
Grade: 12th
Nominated by: Mr. Funaro
Parents: Brenda Austin and Michael Wheaton

I have been exceptionally fortunate to have Blaine Wheaton in class for the last 6 years. I have seen him grow from a shy 7th grade boy to a remarkable musician and leader.  Blaine is a senior now and preparing for the next adventure in his life while still exuding the exemplary character and characteristics we want to see in all our students. Blaine is a multifaceted musician. He is a 4 year member of Chamber Choir, where he is the section leader. He is also a proud member of the band and drama programs,  all while maintaining the highest of academic standards we expect of our students. To put it plainly, Blaine is... a Great Greyhound. Blaine has recently begun his 3rd year in the MSVMA Honors Choir program with his successful audition into the 2019 Regional Honors Choir. Knowing Blaine, he will meticulously work to earn his way into another All-State Honors choir, which will feature 150 of the best singers in Michigan. Blaine has also had success as a soloist at District and State Solo & Ensemble. He has wowed the judges with his mature tone, charismatic presentation, and musicality. I expect he will continue this success in the spring.  All of these achievements are great, but what I love the most about Blaine is his honesty and his heart. He is always there to pass along a word of encouragement to other students, and even to me on occasion. He is always helping the younger members of his section with sightreading, or with a specific section of a song, and he is NEVER afraid to say to me “Mr. Funaro, I think you might have played that rhythm wrong.” I love that he is comfortable enough in my class, and with me, to do that! I don’t think I’ve told him this but, that act alone, reinforces to me that I have achieved my goal of creating a collaborative learning environment where students can even teach the teacher! 

 

Blaine’s leadership has been instrumental to the success of our Chamber Choir the last few years. His positivity and genuine care for others is something you cannot teach.They simply comes from his heart, and it is that heart that I will miss most as he begins the next phase of his life. BUT...I take great solace in knowing that somewhere, at any given moment, Blaine will be sitting in a choir rehearsal ready to say to his future choir director ...”Excuse me, but I think you might have played that rhythm wrong!” 

 

 

 

 

October - Helping Hands

photo

 

STUDENTS

 

Lockwood Elementary School

Student: Damani Bailey

Grade: 2nd

Nominated by: Mrs. Saindon

Parents: Kali Bailey

Since the first day of school, Damani has been a great helper in class. If I am looking for volunteers for anything, whether it be cleaning up, delivering a note, or another classroom chore, Damani is always willing to help out and she does it with a great big smile on her face. She is also very helpful with her classmates. We have one friend in our class who is very shy and Damani has been a great helper with her. If that student is too nervous to speak out about something she needs, Damani has been there to help and let me know as well. In addition to Damani being a great helper, she is also a great cheerleader for her classmates. I often overhear her complimenting and encouraging other students in our class. Damani, you are doing a great job and are an important piece of making our classroom a great place to be. Keep it up!

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Elle Lorente

Grade: 5th

Nominated by: Mrs. Babbitt

Parents: Keri and Brian Lorente

Our year has started out wonderful and Elle has made a huge impact on making it happen. Elle is a 5th grader in our 4th/5th Montessori classroom and has been an excellent role model for our 4th graders. Her behavior is outstanding. She is kind, helpful, and makes everyone feel welcome. She really demonstrates empathy towards her classmates and always has an encouraging word or smile.  This has been one of the best beginning of a school year ever! Thank you Elle!

 

Student: Olivia Firman

Grade: 4th

Nominated by: Mrs. Brown

Parents: Lynnette and Jason Firman

Olivia always greets the day with a smile on her face. Her enthusiasm is contagious. She's also sensitive to the needs of others. After a student had missed a week of school I asked Olivia if she'd mind helping the other student catch up on a couple of assignments. This would mean she'd have to take her Reading Street test later. Before I'd even finished she politely stopped me and told me she'd love to help her classmate! Not only did she do this, she took her test and got 100% on it! Her willingness to help others shows great compassion and she's a role model for her peers. For that reason, I nominate her for the Great Start Greyhound!



School: Eaton Rapids High School

Student: Natasha Wood

Grade: 11

Nominated by: Mrs. Zeiger

Parents: Chris and Renee Wood

Tasha goes above and beyond to help her peers and teachers out in any way that she can. You can often find her in a teachers room; helping decorate the room, cheer up a student who is upset, or talking to a student who may not have a social group yet. Tasha was eager and willing to take a new student to homecoming so the student didn't have to go alone. As a member of PALs, she demonstrates her leadership abilities daily through her compassion towards anyone who crosses paths with her. 

 

Student: Kegan Hatt

Grade: 11th

Nominated by: Mrs. Bos

Parent: Brandy Hatt

Kegan Hatt has a very kind and caring heart and seems to always being helping his neighbor, friend and school out in times of need.  He never asks for anything in return, but does enjoy a friendly smile or a "thank you". I have personally witnessed him helping out all of the following people; move a person's belongings from a large truck into their apartment, an elderly man by climbing a 75 foot ladder to secure some shingles, and gave a newer looking coat to a friend at school who said he didn't have one.  The latest good deed I have heard about Kegan doing is volunteering at ERHS in cleaning up the courtyard outside the cafeteria. On Friday October 4th, when everyone had a half day of school and wanted to hurry home to start their weekend off early, Kegan stayed and worked diligently for hours on beautifying the courtyard. I was also told that he was planning on continuing to help with this courtyard project.  I want you to know Kegan, your efforts don't go unnoticed. You are a true blessing to everyone fortunate enough to know you.

 

School:  Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Student: Shoney Joseph

Grade: 12

Nominated by: GCPA Staff

Parents: Suzanne Joseph

The Greyhound Central Staff recognizes Shoney Joseph as our Helping Hands Student of the Month for October. Shoney has shown an enthusiastic interest in being helpful to our school staff since she started  with us in August. Whether it is cleaning out Pam’s coffee cups in the morning, organizing the Chromebook cart, or cleaning off the tables after lunch, she is always willing to help. Shoney is even using her art skills to create a mural on a wall in our building. Shoney’s positive attitude and willingness to help in our building where needed has really been a great addition to Greyhound Central this year.




STAFF

 

Name: Vicki Koehn

Nominated by: Anja Laretz

Vicki truly exemplifies the definition of being a "helping hand". Vicki is always willing to step in and cover a classroom, help out with students, and has done a phenomenal job running our math center in the afternoon. Vicki is always willing to adapt and she gives great ideas with a positive attitude and genuine care for the students. On top of helping anyone and everyone, Vicki is always kind, positive, and a joy to work with. Thank you Vicki for all you do!!!!   

 

Name: Kris Reinecke

Nominated by: Tiffany Foote

Kris welcomes students as we are walking to class each morning.   She calls out to my class in the most upbeat manner with positive messages to start off their day!  I can see my students light up when she interacts with them. Her positive energy gets them excited to be at school!  In the classroom Kris is there for all students. She is watchful and insightful when giving support and ideas. She is helpful and encourages students so they feel supported and cared for.

 

Name: Kim Hallenbeck

Nominated by: Lori Kirkland

Kim is my "go-to" person at the Middle School.  If ever I need any assistance, a student summoned, office watched, message delivered, ANYTHING, Kim is there to help.  She is always willing to go above and beyond in helping students and staff. She doe this happily and always with a smile.  Kim genuinely cares about and takes pride in the Middle School.

 

Name: Jim Ivy

Nominated by: Melissa Williams

Jim has really done a great job.  He stepped up to the plate when we lost our full time dispatcher at the Transportation Dept.  He's been working the fuil time hours and helping out especially since Melissa broke her ankle.  She can't Thank him enough. Everything he has done has been greatly appreciated!

 

Name: Natasha Jewell

Nominated by: Terri Lake

Natasha Jewell is our new Middle School 6th grade reading and writing teacher.  Even before school started Natasha would come in with lots of smiles, excitement, and enthusiasm to get her room ready for the start of the school year.  She has created a very welcoming classroom for her students as she greets them daily with a spark of excitement for learning. Students can't wait to get to her classroom where they know they will be greeted with a smile, kind words, and an enthusiastic teacher.  Natasha is helping hand!



Name: Tami Fleming

Nominated by: Colleen Shoup

Mrs.Tami  Fleming is our wonderful gym teacher at GIS.  She is very experienced in working with children in gym class and is well loved and respected by students.   She started her teaching career as a counselor, and uses those skills in regard to her students. Mrs. Fleming and I greet students in the lobby mornings at Greyhound Intermediate and I witness daily her relationship and rapport with the students. I witnessed a student apologize for his behavior in class the day before and she was very accepting and understanding.   They love her and they love gym! They are constantly asking "when do we get to go to gym class!". They have a great deal of fun in gym class at GIS, but learn new skills every day as well. 

 Mrs. Fleming is also a great organizer of special activities for students.  She sees the "big picture" and is easily able to schedule and implement her ideas.   As a fellow Encore teacher, I often have the opportunity to work with Tami and follow her lead in fun activities.   She is a valuable member of our faculty. Thank you for all you do, Mrs. Fleming!

 

  

 

September - Great Start Greyhound

Student and staff of the month photo

 

STUDENTS

 

Greyhound Central Elementary School
Student: Alexavier Hall
Grade: Kindergarten
Nominated by: Mrs. Ford
Parents: Sarah Hall

Alex joined our Greyhound family for his kindergarten year. He has had a wonderful start to our school year. Alex does a wonderful job following directions, playing with his peers and using the tools in our classroom appropriately and successfully. 

 

Lockwood Elementary School
Student: Alyssa Loucks
Grade: 1st Nominated by: Mrs. Quick
Parents: Kristin and Jesse Loucks

Alyssa has jumped right into first grade ready to learn. She starts every day with a smile and a hug and is just always happy to be here. She is always willing to help other students and help me with special tasks. When things are hard or confusing to her, she always asks for help. Alyssa has definitely put her best foot forward starting first grade and that is why I'm happy to nominate her for the Great Start Greyhounds student of the month! 

 

Greyhound Intermediate School
Students: Nico Ciavattone, Sarah Loren, Athena Stitt, Rylee Winkelman
Grade: 5th
Nominated by: Jessica Taranto
Parents: Jason and Lindsey Zeller, Damian Ciavattone, Joe and Vikki Loren, Chad and Chelsea Stitt, Kurt and Suzann Winkelman

Fuel Up to Play 60 is a partnership between schools and the NFL to get kids moving at least 60 minutes per day. It takes a special student to be a part of this team. Students have to complete an application and an essay explaining why they would be a good fit for this leadership role. They must exhibit B.A.R.K. behaviors consistently and keep up with their school work. The group I have nominated have embraced their Fuel Up to Play 60 role and grown as students and leaders. They are always excited about learning, being healthy and active. These students participate in our monthly Move It Mondays, Friday Family movie nights and extra Fuel Up projects such as Stuff the Stockings. When I decided that I wanted to expand out program this year and invade the kindergarten, they volunteered without hesitation and got to work planning.  This group of leaders does an amazing job of balancing school work and leadership roles, and did I mention they all play sports too! I am incredibly proud of everything these students have accomplished!


School: Eaton Rapids Middle School
Student: Delayne Brown
Grade: 7th
Nominated by: Mrs. Herriman 
Parents:  Cristan Hellen and Daniel Brown

I have Delayne in my seventh grade art class this year and it is always a pleasure to see her.  She is always upbeat and approaches every assignment with enthusiasm. Delayne is kind to her classmates, works hard in class, and is willing to try new things in art.  I can't wait to see her future artistic endeavors.  

 

School: Eaton Rapids High School
Student: Olivia Curry
Grade: 11
Nominated by: Mrs. Raymond
Parents: Steve and Sarah Curry

Olivia has an exceptionally awesome attitude when it comes to school, her everyday interactions with staff and students. She is incredibly active in FFA and has worked very hard to raise funds for her various trips. Any time that I see her in the office or in the hallways, she is the definition of polite, thoughtful and respectful. We all love the happiness and cheer from her positive attitude and her willingness to help. Way to go Olivia!!!

 

School: Greyhound Central Performance Academy
Student: Amanda Adkins
Grade: 12
Nominated by: GCPA Staff
Parents: Diane Adkins

The teaching staff at Greyhound Central is excited to have the opportunity to recognize the hard work that Amanda Adkins has put in during the first few weeks of school. Amanda has already completed four classes since the school year started. This is Amanda’s second year with us and while Amanda worked hard last year, Amanda is even more driven to this year. She has been working hard both during school time and at home to turn in quality work. Amanda has also been working hard on figuring out life after high school. She only has a few classes left to complete in order to earn her diploma. After she graduates, she plans on starting at Lansing Community College in January. We know that Amanda will be successful because of her hard work and determination to graduate here at GCPA. Congratulations Amanda, we are proud of how hard you have worked this year and we look forward to writing your name up on our lists of graduates.



STAFF

 

Name: Tina Truscott
Nominated by: Krista Lipp

Tina is a very hard worker. She always has a smile and a friendly hi as you walk by her in the halls.  Tina is always willing to help out students and her coworkers. Tina is a great coworker and friendly to everyone here at the middle school.  Tina will go the extra mile to make sure her job is done with her students. Shes a ray of sun shine.

 

Name: Jessica Drinkwater
Nominated by: Adam Gumbrecht

Jessica wears many hats within our district and we need all of them!  While her "day job" has her working with Louise Sagaert and our special needs students at the high school, she does so much more.  For our band program, she sits on our band booster executive board AND serves as our uniform manager. Any time you see a band member in uniform during marching season or our concert bands on stage--Jessica is the one who fit each and every one of those students, ordered the uniform parts, kept them all together--she does it all!  During the summer, she also helps out our custodial staff getting the buildings ready for the school year. It's safe to say that, without Jessica, we'd be short-staffed in many areas!

 

Name: Jeff Taylor
Nominated by: Brittani Marvin

Mr. Taylor is a dedicated, hardworking teacher. His students respect both his firmness and his fairness. Jeff Taylor has been with Eaton Rapids for many years. He shows us every day what an amazing leader and role model looks like. Mr Taylor is a caring, patient teacher.  These special qualities deserve to be celebrated and recognized. Eaton Rapids is blessed to have Mr. Taylor. He is such an important part of our team. 

 

Name: Christine Moore
Nominated by: Dawn Esler

Whenever anything at Lockwood needs to be done, you can always count on Chris to be one of the first to offer her help.  If she sees a student that is down, she will offer a handshake and a kind word of encouragement and check back later to see if they are having a better day. It doesn’t matter if they are on her caseload or not. If a staff member has a question, she won’t make you feel silly for asking but help you find the answer and always points out the good she sees in you. She has lots of great advice on helping to get students to make better choices and always had time to help brighten their day.



Name: Amber Schafer
Nominated by: Colleen Martell

This year, thanks to Amber's initiative, several teachers at Lockwood are participating in a pilot reading system called EBLI. This stands for Evidence Based Reading Instruction. Learning this way of teaching takes a lot of extra time and effort for the teachers. There are lessons to learn and practice at home, zoom meetings to attend, data to share, and feedback forms to fill out. Amber is super excited about doing this with her first graders this year. She has already met with me several times to talk through implementation and ideas, organized all of her materials (and it's a ton) and spent countless hours going through everything to make sure she is doing it right. (Those are her words, not mine) I know that she has gotten positive feedback from one parent already. I know that her students are engaged during lessons and doing really well. I also know that this is due to her diligence and her enthusiasm. She definitely has had a great start!

 

Name: Katina Dziewiatkowski
Nominated by: Chris Rupp

Katina went above the call of duty as the school facilitator of our summer reading program Kids Read Now!.  We had 135 3rd graders sign up for the program and they each had a goal to read 9 books over the summer. Due to Katina’s extra effort communicating with Kids read Now and 3rd grade families, all 135 3rd grade students completed all 9 books!  Thanks Ms. D for helping get them off to a great start!

 

 2018-2019 School Year 

 

 

April - Social Studies

 STUDENTS

 

Greyhound Intermediate School
Student: Kylen Dykstra
Grade: 4th
Nominated by: Mrs. Taranto
Parents: Sara Shepard

Having Kylen as a student is awesome. Kylen puts in a lot of effort on all his projects in school and at home to accomplish all of his goals. He has already finished the 4th grade ELA curriculum. He works hard to become better at everything he does and is enthusiastic about his work!  It is not uncommon for Kylen to be submitting work from home if he cannot be at school. He is a very kind, young man who is always willing to help his peers and when you ask Kylen for help you better be prepared for a mini lesson because he is going to teach you and not just give you the answer! When it comes to Social Studies, Kylen is just as enthusiastic about his learning. If the history has anything to do with Greek mythology, as we did recently in ELA, then you might as well just let him take over! I cannot be there tonight but I am proud of Kylen and I am impressed by him every day!

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School
Student: Jack Huntington
Grade: 6th
Nominated by: Mr. Goatley
Parents: Jeff and Kari Huntington

Jack brings to class each day a great attitude. He has a very inquisitive mind and spends time thinking deeply about the topics we are exploring. He has a lot of questions and gives answers during class discussion which adds to the whole classes learning process. He often stays after class and into lunch continuing the discuss of the day. He gets along with his fellow classmates and is a great role model for others.

 

Greyhound Central Performance Academy
Student: Celia Marvin
Grade: 11
Nominated by: GCPA staff
Parents: Robert and Britani Marvin

The GCPA staff recognizes Celia Marvin as our Student of the Month for April. Celia has completed both  Economics and Civics during her time with us this year and earned an A in both classes. She works hard to understand the material she is learning in all her classes, whether it is social studies, English or even her Algebra 2 class, and always does her best. She is polite and kind and has a great sense of humor. Celia has been such a delightful addition to our student population and we love having her here at Greyhound Central.

 

STAFF

Eaton Rapids Middle School
Name: Britani Marvin
Nominated by: Krista Lipp

She is always working hard with every student and always is so helpful. She wears a smile and makes everyone feel special. She goes over and above what is expected of her.

 

 

 

March - English/Language Arts

STUDENTS

 

Greyhound Central Elementary

Student: Taylor Preston

Nominated by: Mrs. Crittenden

Parents: Kate Preston

I am so happy to nominate Taylor Preston for the ELA Student of the Month recognition!  She is an enthusiastic and motivated learner and I am very impressed with her skills in reading and writing!  Taylor tells me on a regular basis how excited she is to read our take-home books at home and she particularly enjoys figuring out how to read and write the bigger and trickier words!  Another thing that she loves to do throughout the school day is to find our Reading Street high frequency words in books, on posters and on signs in the school, and even pointing them out in her own writing! 

 

Taylor’s writing really stands out as exceptional because she uses spaces appropriately between words, remembers to use upper case letters and punctuation appropriately, and her stories are easy to read and very neatly written!  She is also good at making her pictures match the words that she has written!  I can even read the more complex words in her writing because she can segment the word and write the sounds that she hears in the correct order!

 

I have really enjoyed seeing the wonderful progress that Taylor has made in reading and writing this school year and the best part is how much she loves being a reader and writer!  Awesome job Taylor!!!

 

Lockwood Elementary School

Student: Ruby Briggs

Grade: 2nd

Nominated by: Mrs. Peterson

Parents: Julie and William Briggs

I would like to nominate Ruby Briggs as second grade ELA student of the month. This young lady had shown a tremendous growth in her reading and writing skills. At the beginning of the year, she would pretend to read and seemed to think she wasn't a reader. Through practice and lots of hard work, she has made a huge shift, her abilities have increased tremendously and she seems to be the first one to pull out her book when it is time to read. Congratulations to Ruby on becoming a reader. Her adventures are just beginning!!

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Olivia Vinten-Johansen

Grade: 4th

Nominated by: Mrs. Taranto

Parents: Darcie and Scott Vinten-Johansen

When I think about an excellent English language arts learner I always think of Olivia. Olivia has fully embraced our Summit platform and works diligently to make sure she completes all her projects and assignments. Olivia takes such amazing notes that there are some adults I'd like to send her way for a lesson. She is a leader in the classroom and the school. She participates in Fuel Up to Play 60 and volunteers for all jobs no matter how trivial they may seem. Olivia is kind and helpful to all her peers and it is a pleasure to have her as a student!

 

Student: Isabel Shepard

Grade: 5th

Nominated by: Ms. Vogel

Parents: Elizabeth Barshaw and Matt Shepard

Isabel is a wonderful student. She works very hard in every subject and is an example to her fellow peers. She has done wonderful things in Summit this year. She uses her time wisely, creates daily goals, takes meticulous notes, and reflects upon her work. Her work ethic is outstanding. Isabel is ahead in all of her Focus Areas AND Additional Focus Areas in English. At this pace, she is bound to start 6th grade material in a matter of weeks. Great job Isabel and keep up the hard work.

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Delayne Brown

Grade: 6th

Nominated by: Mrs. Ellis and Mrs. Salzman

Parents: Christian and Daniel Brown

Delayne Brown is our nomination for 6th grade ELA student of the month.  Delayne has performed consistently above average since the start of the school year.  Not only is Delayne a hard worker in class, but she also participates in class discussions and always ask questions to be sure she is headed in the right direction.  Delayne always completes her classwork and homework with great quality.  Being helpful and positive seems to come naturally to Delayne.  We are so glad to have Delayne as part of our ELA classes!!

 

Eaton Rapids High School

Student: Ryan Pretzel

Grade: 9th

Nominated by: Mrs. Acker

Parents: Linda and Thomas Pretzel

Ryan is a freshman taking a junior level math course at the High School.  He was able to be at the top on his class for both Algebra 2A with me and Algebra 2B with Mrs. Allison.  Ryan is hard working, a great logical thinker and has a pleasant personality.  Ryan even corrected the answer book one day, what I find amazing is that he got one problem wrong on a multiple choice practice test, he reworked the answer and got the same result.  He brought it to me and we found out together that the answer booklet was wrong.  I admire his caring about the concepts.  He could have said that a 19 our of 20 is good, instead, he cared enough to check it over and make sure he understood.  It has been a pleasure to have Ryan in class and watch him grow as a math learner.  I hope to see Ryan push his math knowledge further and look into Accounting, Actuarial Science or Statistics in the future.  Great job Ryan!

 

Eaton Rapids High School

Student: Connor Nelson

Grade: 11th

Nominated by: Mr. Bryan

Parents: Susan Nelson

Connor embraced the challenge of being totally out of his comfort zone by taking a class like Drama and did exceptionally well.  Also his essay writing ability has grown by leaps and bounds.  He has grown so much and continues to push himself to do better and expand his abilities.

 

Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Student: Brooke Hector

Grade: HS

Nominated by: GCPA staff

Parents: Valerie Heintz

The GCPA staff recognizes Brooke Hector as our Student of the Month for the month of March. In the past few months,  Brooke has put in an improved effort especially in her English classes.. She has worked extremely hard to turn in quality work. She asks questions, takes notes and tries her very best to complete the assignments she is given. She is an active participant in her English 12B class.  Brooke is working hard to try to finish her classes this year and we are very proud of her.

 

Staff

 

Lockwood Elementary School

Name: Andreea Wells

Nominated by: Dawn Esler and Christine Moore

The staff and students at Lockwood Elementary can count on Andrea Wells to go above and beyond to help them. Sometimes it is a simple gesture, such as using her personal time to write encouraging letters to remember glasses to help her readers or dressing up to participate in March is Reading Month. Other times it is taking the time to get notes and data around to assist in meetings to provide more information. She has great ideas and her input is invaluable. She does lots of extras making sure students have books to read at home, and passing out BARK slips, and giving high fives to those making progress or a pep talk to those needing it. She takes an interest in their home situation and makes sure basic needs are met. Her presence is extended beyond literacy with her passion for helping Lockwood develop a recycling program.

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Name: Jessica Taranto

Nominated by: Joe Taranto

This is tough for me to write, because it may not sound bias due to the fact that Jessica Taranto is not only my coworker and teammate, but she is also my wife.  However, it does not change the fact that she deserves to be recognized for everything she does for GIS.  These last few months have been even more inspiring because, on December 20, 2018 (her birthday) Jessica suffered a Stroke and had to have a blood clot removed from her brain.  As her husband it was very scary to see her in that state and I was not sure what the future held for her, but I was going to be by her side no matter what.  Fast forward to January 14, 2019 (3 weeks later) and Jessica was back in the classroom!  Not only was she back but she was also back in charge of leading Fuel Up to Play 60, Movie Nights, School Store, Girls on the Run, Sparrow Mileage Club and being a role model to not only her students, but the staff too.  As her coworker and teammate I am amazed by her dedication to education.  For her to go through all she went through and work so hard at returning to the classroom it is inspirational.  Anytime I think of times it gets "too tough" teaching and want to just move on, I think of what Jessica has been through and she still keeps going, it's amazing!  Not only is Jessica Taranto the Teacher of the Month, but if I had anything to say about it I would nominate her for Teacher of the Year and in terms of competition, it's not even close.

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Name: Kim Hallenbeck

Nominated by: Krista Lipp

Kim goes above and beyond her job. she is always there to help whenever you need her.

 

Volunteer

 

Matt Swab

Nominated by Bill DeFrance and Chris Rupp

Bill and I attended a presentation from Discovery Education on the campus of Eastern Michigan University.  We met Kelly Thieken whose son attends Tecumseh Public Schools and is a youth wrestler.  Kelly shared that recently her son dislocated his elbow at a tournament in Leslie.  The first person to the aid of her son was Matt.  She shared how grateful she was for his help and for the support she received from Matt as a nervous parent with a hurt child.  It is crazy how we would come to know that one of our community members and youth wrestling coaches acted to the benefit of everyone in Eaton Rapids.  Thank you, Matt, for your act of service to our schools and community!

 

 

 February - Excellence in Math

STUDENTS

 

Greyhound Central Elementary

Student: Alonzo Mans

Nominated by: Ms. Ford

Parents: Betsie Mans

Alonzo is a very happy kinder friend that loves math. He is excited to participate in our class math activities. He is focused, works hard and is willing to share his ideas freely and with confidence. It is a pleasure to see Alonzo's excitement for math and it encourages his classmates to do their best!

 

Student: Harmonee Nierenberger

Nominated by: Ms. Wilke

Parents: Amy and Jeremy Nierenberger

Harmonee is a very shy and quiet student.  During math she is always listening, she shows her most confidence, follows along and tries her best.  I often hear her say "I love math" when we are finishing up. She is just a joy to watch progress in the Go Math curriculum.  

 

Lockwood Elementary School

Student: Chase Stitt

Grade: 1st

Nominated by: Mrs. Quick

Parents: Chad and Chelsea Stitt

Chase has made enormous growth in first grade both academically and with his behavior. This growth has been especially evident in math. During math instruction, Chase loves to raise his hand to answer (and ask!) questions. He uses many different strategies to solve math problems, likes to help others, and really just seems to enjoy math! I am proud to nominate Chase for his excellence in math and especially proud of his growth so far this school year!

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Jacob Droste

Grade: 4th

Nominated by: Mr. Taranto

Parents: Justin and Christin Droste

Jacob Droste is the type of student that all teachers would be lucky to have, and luckily I have him this year.  Jacob is part of the Summit Learning Program and he is taking to it like a fish to water. What is most impressive about Jacob is not just his drive to be the best, but he is humble enough to ask questions for topics that he does not understand...yet.  Jacob is not satisfied with getting a problem right or wrong, he wants to know why they are marked that way and will prove it. He is no longer waiting for others to catch up to his ability and I am proud to say that as of this moment he is now working on 5th grade Math.  These are just a few of the many reasons why I would like to nominate Jacob Droste as the 4th Grade Math Student of the Month.

 

Student: Benjamin Isaac

Grade: 4th

Nominated by: Ms. Alexander

Parents: Jessica and Cory Isaac

Benny has a gift with numbers.  He catches on quickly to any math skill put in front of him.  He is often able to explain additional ways to work through problems and then shares his knowledge with his classmates.  He enjoys a challenging math problem and finds a way to solve it. Benny amazes me with his math abilities. He has never received anything less than an A on any math assignment, quiz or test all year long.

 

Student: Anna Steffen

Grade: 4th

Nominated by: Ms. Brown

Parents: Karianne and Douglas Steffen

Anna has shown some wonderful growth since the year started. I have a small group of higher boys in math and she is giving those boys a run for their money. She is highly motivated to succeed so she rarely has late or missing work and that alone is a big part of her improvement. In addition to great preparation, she has strong study skills. She is showing steady progress and while she may not have the "best" or "highest" mathematical knowledge in the group, her perseverance is commendable. I don't have to worry about her giving up if she doesn't grasp a concept. Instead, she'll ask for help from me, a peer, or her parents. It's that grit and determination that will be a significant help to her in the years to come. She should be incredibly proud of her efforts this year. I know I am!

 

Student: Hannah Garity

Grade: 5th

Nominated by: Ms. Vogel

Parents: Christina Garity

Hannah is a dynamite math student! She passed all of 5th grade math Focus Areas and Additional Focus areas by January in Summit. She is now starting 6th grade math and thriving! Hannah is independent, resourceful, and is motivated to be the best student she can be. Not only is she a great math student, but Hannah is a great Greyhound. She has strong aspirations for helping others and also helped start an organization with her mother called Hannah's Helping Hands. I am so proud to be just one of her Summit teachers and mentor. Way to go Hannah!

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Brandon and Jack Huntington

Grade: 6th

Nominated by: Mrs. Curry

Parents: Jeff and Kari Huntington

Brandon and Jack work diligently everyday.  They are great at being in class on time ready to learn when the bell rings and often times beforehand.  While they are twins, they are both willing to explain concisely the skill being taught. This is why I am nominating both of them for the Math February Award

Greyhound Central Performance Academy

 

Student: Amanda Adkins

Grade: HS

Nominated by: GCPA staff

Parents: Diane Adkins

GCPA Staff would like to recognize Amanda Adkins as our Student of the Month for February. Amanda is a hard worker and has impressed us with her work ethic all year. She completed 5 classes first trimester, including Algebra 1A, and turned in quality work in all her classes. Now Amanda is working hard in Algebra 2A. She is willing to work, take lots of notes, and figure out how to attain her math answers to achieve her goals. When Amanda misses class, she always works hard to make up her work. Amanda is kind and does not complain too much when being in Pam’s Algebra 2 class requires her to spend 3 or 4 hours a day. We are proud of Amanda and how hard she is willing to work in the math classes she has completed and the ones she will complete this year.

 

Staff

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Name: Lucinda ad Chris Staszuk

Nominated by: Ms. Dziewiatkowski and Ms. Tirado

GIS would like to nominate Lucinda and Chris Staszuk for the month of March.  Lucinda Staszuk is an amazing member of our staff. In addition to going above and beyond in all that she does for our building from helping students be successful to organizing special events that create unique opportunities for our students, Lucinda, along with her husband Chris, are also responsible for the Eaton Rapids Youth Basketball association, which provided athletic opportunities to students all over the ERPS district, not just GIS.  Lucinda and Chris began as volunteers for the association when their children were young. When the original organizers decided to step down, rather than have our community loose this opportunity, the Staszuks took charge of the organization and have been recruiting volunteer coaches, creating teams, putting together tournaments and banquets and organizing funding for over 16 years. Chris even coaches a team in his spare time. Lucinda and her husband Chris have had a true impact on the children and families of this community.

 

Eaton Rapids HIgh School

Name: Ryan Anderson

Nominated by: Mrs. Copeland

Ryan is wonderful and involved in everything! He is great in the classroom- very engaging with the students and knowledgeable.  He runs student council, boys and girls tennis, and organizes the winterfest dance just to name a few. He has taught both gen ed and spec ed and always keeps his sense of humor.  He is a favorite with the students and can teach many subjects. He is even taking on AP Biology which is not easy to be sure. Way to go Ryan!

 

 

  

 

November - Visual/Performing Arts, Science & Technology 

 

STUDENTS

 

Greyhound Central Elementary
 
Student: Lincoln Scott
Nominated by: Mrs. Laretz
Parents: Brianna Kinney and Ryan Scott

When I found out that this month's student of the month category was Science I immediately thought of Lincoln. I then asked Ms. Ford, who does science with our class, and she also immediately thought of Lincoln. Lincoln has so much enthusiasm for science and is always ready to answer a question, ask a question, and participate in investigations. Lincoln works extremely hard and remembers everything we talk about. He even asks additional questions when we get back to our classroom after science time. Lincoln does well in all areas of our school day but science seems to be a particular subject that he has a passion for. I hope Lincoln always continues to investigate and question the world around him. Great Job Lincoln!

 

Student: Gabrielle (Gabby) Sikkenga
Grade: Kindergarten
Nominated by: Mrs. Laretz
Parents: Tricia Sikkenga

Gabby is truly a Great Start Greyhound! She came in a bit shy at the beginning of the year but has truly flourished. She has learned our BARK behaviors and shows them in everything she does. She has become a great friend and student. I am so excited to see all that Gabby will achieve this year. She is already challenging herself and always wanting to do her best. It has been a great 9 weeks for Gabby and I can't wait to enjoy the rest of the year with her in my class. Great Job Gabby!!!

 

Student: Micah Gaston
Grade: Kindergarten
Nominated by: Mrs. Hanson
Parents: Jessica Shaw and Wade Gaston Jr.

Micah exemplifies BARK behavior, especially in the area of kindness. He is very attentive and focused during his instructional and production time.  I appreciate his workman like attitude and it serves as a model for other peers to emulate.


Lockwood Elementary School

Student: Emma Droste
Grade: 2nd
Nominated by: Mrs. Ames
Parent: Justin and Christin Droste

When I think about what qualities a student of the month should have, I look at our school wide behavior expectations (the BARK). Be safe, appropriate behavior, responsibility and kindness. Emma demonstrates all of these on a daily basis. I have had the pleasure of having Emma as a technology student in both first and now second grade. Not only does she excel in her technology skills, she always comes to class excited to learn. She will frequently stop me in the hallway to ask what the weekly lesson will be because she just can't wait to come! Emma is always willing to help students problem solve when something isn't working correctly on their computer. Emma frequently takes what we learn in class and expands her knowledge at home. As a first grader, she had the most amazing google slideshow with background music, embedded videos and slide transitions. In fact, I had her teach me how to add background music to slideshows! Thank you Emma, for making Lockwood a wonderful place to be! I look forward to watching you grow as a learner throughout your school career.

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Lauren Mills
Grade: 5th
Nominated by: Ms. Dziewiatkowski
Parents: Sean and Shana Mills

Lauren Mills is an amazing young woman.  Not only is Lauren excelling academically, she participates in several sports throughout out the year while being an active participant in the performing arts both at school and in the community.  Lauren is a member of the GIS choral ensemble, a member of her church bell choir and is currently a cast member in the community production of "Annie." While Lauren truly shines on the stage, her true talent is the sparkle that she brings each and every day to her studies, the kindness she shows as she works with her peers, and her respectful and helpful attitude towards the adults she interacts with.  In acknowledging Lauren's accomplishments, we must also recognize her parents Sean and Shana as well as her sister Lexi. Without their support and involvement, Lauren would not have the opportunities she has had. Involvement in the arts is a family affair with the Mills. As a family, they have embraced the underlying principles taught through involvement in the arts: dedication, perseverance and community service.  



Student: Sarah Loren
Grade: 4th
Nominated by: Joe Taranto
Parents: Joe and Vicki Loren

Sarah is the type of student that all teachers dream of having.  She is not only very bright, but her kindness and leadership are the traits that makes her a role model to all of her classmates.  Sarah excels at all subjects, but the one that she started to struggle with this year was Science. Like any scientist she was not happy with sub par results.  Sarah would take an assessment and not only want to know why she made an error so she could fix it later, but she would want to know why she was correct on other problems.  That showed me that even though she was struggling at first, she would not let the first attempt determine her final outcome, like a true scientist. These are the reasons why I consider Sarah to be the Student of the Month for Science.

 

Student: Hannah Garity
Grade: 5th
Nominated by: Mrs. Shoup
Parents: John and Christina Garity

Hannah is an outstanding artist.  She is not only talented in her artistic ability and creativity, but is an excellent student and person!  Hannah participates 100% in art class and as an artist, she often goes above and beyond the 'assignment'. This is of course what every art teacher hopes for; a student that will take an assignment and run with it!  For example,when 5th grade art classes were creating group paper mosaics for the Eaton Rapids Air event in the fall, Hannah asked if she could create her own "Wizard of Oz" themed artwork to represent her community outreach project "Hannah's Helping Hands".  She recruited a couple of her friends to help. She collaborates well with others and is a natural leader. Hannah is a very positive person with a warm and pleasant disposition. I don't think I have ever seen her without a smile. Her work is always quality.  She is focused and hard working. She truly is a pleasure to have in class. I look forward to seeing what Hannah accomplishes in the future. I hope she continues to develop her art and her creative spirit. I will miss her when she leaves G.I.S. for the middle school, but I'm certain I will hear good things about her as she continues her school ART 'career!

 

Student: Cynthia Elliott
Grade: 5th
Nominated by: Mrs. Smith
Parent: Tasia Wambaugh

Cynthia is a pleasure to have in Technology class.  Students come to technology with a wide range of kills.  Cynthia is very tech savvy and is always willing to help out her peers if they are struggling in class.  She is patient with her peers who need more guidance and always maintains a positive attitude. Cynthia's enthusiasm for everything technology related and our projects shows in the quality of her work.  Cynthia is currently our fastest keyboarder at GIS with 28 WPM on our Typing Wall of Fame. Cynthia is a model student and knows at all times how to exhibit appropriate behavior both in and out of the classroom.  It has been wonderful having her in technology for the last 3 years!

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Raven Leach
Grade: 8th
Nominated by: Mrs. Herriman
Parents: Robert and Shannon Jenkins

Raven is passionate about art. She pours herself into her creations and invests herself fully in her artwork.  She is familiar with both famous and street artists. Raven believes that art matters in the world. She has an eye for details and I can see her maintaining this passion throughout her life.  My hope for her is that she is able to continue her study of art and to further develop her talents.

 

Eaton Rapids High School

Student: Trinaty Hosler
Grade: 10th
Nominated by: Mrs. Pesce
Parents: Chyan Paluszak

Trinaty goes above and beyond to be a very well rounded, determined, and respectful student. While juggling 5 classes and staying on top of her grades she also is in choir and the fall play. She had an amazing performance last night that received a standing ovation (all choir), and she will be performing the next three nights in the play. While maintaining a busy practice/performance life she is also maintaining her classwork and homework. She is very positive towards her peers and teachers and is a student who all students seem to want to sit by because she's very positive and helpful for her peers.

 

Student: Aleigha Sutton
Grade: 11th
Nominated by: Mrs. O’Neil
Parents: Sandra Dillon

The ERHS Art Department nominated Aleigha Sutton for student of the month for a variety of reasons. She is such an amazingly talented and brilliant young lady whose artwork has evolved beautifully over the years. We are so fortunate to have been able to make art with her. She is also an incredibly thoughtful and compassionate person. Aleigha is a high school junior and she absolutely loves drawing! Her preferred medium is pen and ink. Aleigha also excels at drawing in pencil. These are her favorite mediums because she enjoys creating imagery that requires precision and detail.  Aleigha specializes in intricate mandala drawing. She has also expressed her interest in developing her skills to draw realistic portraits of people and animals. Aleigha also frequents the local pottery studio in ER where she enjoys ceramic glazing. She is active in 4H competitions, where she enjoys showing her rabbits as well as exhibiting her artwork each year. Aleigha will be exhibiting her work in multiple juried exhibitions this year, such as the current Olivet College Student Art Exhibit where she has received honorable mention, the upcoming MSUFCU Student Art Exhibit, Lansing Art Gallery's Spring Exhibition and 4H. She has also been working toward completion of her art portfolio and has already started networking with prospective higher education institutions to have her artwork get attention from portfolio review reps.  The word "scholarship" has been used many times, in the same sentence with "Aleigha Sutton," by some very important people. She will continue working toward her goal of using her art education as a spring board for her future career! Aleigha hopes to someday be an architect or pursue a career in the visual arts industry.

 

Student: Grace Lehto
Grade: 11th
Nominated by: Science Department
Parents: Ken and Kelly Lehto

Grace Lehto is currently enrolled in 3 AP courses, Calculus, Chemistry and Computer Science and has earned no less than an A in any science class she has taken.  Additionally, Grace is a 3 sport varsity athlete as well as the president of her class. Grace consistently has her work done ahead of time, always has a great attitude and is a wonderful student to have in class.

 

Student: John Grivins
Grade: 12th
Nominated by: Science Department
Parents: Peter and Jennifer Grivins

John Grivins is a young man with a passion and zeal for the sciences. Again John has been outstandingly successful in every science course has taken ranging from Robotics and Ag Science to multiple AP courses. John is also the president of our FFA and a varsity tennis player. John's advanced sense of humor make having him as a student an outstanding experience.

 

Student: Jack Brown
Grade: 12th
Nominated by: Science Department
Parents: Nicole and Jeff Brown

Jack Brown is an all round great guy and is the embodiment of the term "Gentlemen and Scholar".  He has always demonstrated himself to be a focused and determined individual and drove that point home this fall when eh enrolled in 5 AP courses and maintained over a 4.0 while participating in a varsity sport. Jack is continuously even keeled, even under the stress of his course load he stays well composed and on top of his work.

 

Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Student: Madeline Hackworth
Grade: HS
Nominated by: GCPA staff
Parents: Mistelle Hackworth

Greyhound Central staff nominates Madeline Hackworth for our December student of the month for Art/Music/Science and Technology. Maddie has been our student since her freshman year of high school. We have enjoyed having her in our building for the past three and a half years. Maddie is not only smart and self-driven, she is also compassionate and kind. She is the rare kind of student who will tell you a joke when you are having a rough day to make you laugh and remind you not to take yourself too seriously. She helps our staff around the school with community service projects and is always willing to help a fellow classmate with school work or give them a needed extra boost of confidence. Madeline is the kind of person who is not afraid to do what is right, even when it could make her unpopular.   Maddie is now in her senior year..For many students that is time where they try to work as little as possible just to get by. Maddie has done the opposite. She has already completed two science classes this year, part of nine classes total in the first trimester. Second and third trimester she is taking Human Anatomy and Physiology at the high school in addition to her regular course load. Maddie plans on going into science and is excited about the opportunity to take anatomy. We are glad to be able to recognize Maddie for her interest in science, her hard work, and the contribution she has made to our building over the last three and a half years.

 

Staff

School: Lockwood Elementary
Name: Tracey Hayward
Nominated by: Jess Rasmussen

Ms. Tracy is an amazing asset to our ECSE program and to the Lockwood community. She always comes to work with a smile and hugs for anyone that wants them. She is actively searching for new ways to make Lockwood a great place to our students to be. Tracy is constantly coming to work with new ideas to try with the kids or staff. She brings in materials for many of the rooms and programs here from her family's shop or goes and purchases them out of her own pocket. She is a true delight and joy to be around, she makes Lockwood great!


Name: Kelly Martinez
Nominated by: Sally Harmon and Brenda Hiemstra
 

Brenda: Kelly not only works for us at Lockwood she also volunteers her time there as well. She spends countless hours decorating our main office for holidays and the seasons. She spends her time at home cutting out decorations and painting them. She then comes into the school on her time off  to decorate the hallways to make it a special place for our kids to enjoy. Kelly also helps out by donating snacks to kids that do not bring any from home. She secretly sneaks them in lockers when needed. She has brought in coats, boots, clothes and other needed items as well. She spends countless volunteer hours helping out our school making it feel warm and welcoming. Kelly helps with our backpack program as well. She never hesitates to extend a hand to help a fellow coworker or fill in for someone. We appreciate all you do Ms.Kelly!!

 

Sallie: Kelly is AMAZING!! she is caring, dedicated and very talented. She helps keep the office running smoothly as well as caring for the kids at lunch time. She is the primary decorator of Lockwood, always giving us all, a fun and whimsical feel in her creations, so parents, children and staff enjoy coming into our building each season to see what she has created. She volunteers a lot of her own time to make others smile. She is an invaluable asset to our district and our building. I am blessed to call her friend and Co-worker.



Greyhound Intermediate School

Name: Lindsay Ames
Nominated by: Colleen Martell

The first time I worked with Lindsay was when she was doing a long term substitute position for my co-teacher. Right away I was impressed with her go-getter attitude and her work ethic. From the beginning she was ready to jump in and do whatever needed to be done. Since then, Lindsay has become a full time staff member at GIS, and I've had other opportunities to work with her. Of course she still exhibits those characteristics, but what I respect about her even more, is her drive to do what's best for her students. She truly knows her kids and even with challenging situations, she doesn't back down or give up.  Her willingness to reach out for ideas, and her openness to try new strategies are qualities that I appreciate. She goes above and beyond the role of teacher, even donating her own supplies and materials to the family of one of her students. Inside and outside of the classroom, she is doing as much as she can, when she can, using all the resources she has, making a difference in students' lives. For this, she should be recognized as December's staff of the month.

 

Name: Joe Taranto
Nominated by: Ms. Dziewiatkowski

Mr. Taranto is a second year teacher at GIS.  During his brief time with our school, he has made a tremendous impact on our school community. Currently, Mr. Taranto supports the Fuel up to Play 60 initiative, sponsors the Kids Crew,  helps to organize our Family Movie Nights and has volunteered at numerous activities both within the school day and after school hours. Mr. Taranto shows his students every day an example of what dedication and commitment to community are.  Thank you Mr. T for making a difference at GIS.

 

Name: Lori Kirkland
Nominated by: All Staff

Ask anyone at the Middle School and they will tell you that Lori Kirkland is the most friendly, welcoming, and cheerful secretary ever.  Staff shared that Lori goes above and beyond the call of duty for students and staff. She helps with fundraisers, concessions, Seussical, and many other school activities and events.  Lori has a special way in which she connects and builds relationships with middle school students. Whether a student needs a listening ear, happy smile, a heartfelt hug, or a peppermint, she is always there for them.  Lori has a great sense of humor and her smile is infectious. Lori's hard work, dedication, and organization keep the middle school running smoothly. Lori Kirkland is a one in a million person and ERMS is fortunate to have her.  Congratulations Lori from all of us.

 

Transportation

Name: Sue Warfield
Nominated by: Jamie Warfield

Sue Warfield has driven school bus for over 20 years now. And even though the last couple years have been trying she still came to work every day with a smile on her face ready to do her job and greet her kids on the bus. She's a wonderful caring person. And even though she's getting closer to retirement we hope she knows just how much all of us in the transportation department will miss her and how much her bus kids from over the many years have loved her. Congratulations Susan

 

Members of the Eaton Rapids Music Department

Anthony Funaro, Adam Gumbrecht, Katina Dziewiatkowski, Melanie Rosin
Nominated by: Amber Pesce

Mr. Funaro, Mr. Gumbrecht, Mrs. Rosin, and Ms. D. go above and beyond to ensure their students have fun, give a great performance, and above all enjoy their classes. After seeing the choir/band concert last night and every time,  it is evident that they truly love what they do which is reflected in the way their students smile, dance, sing, and seem to truly enjoy performing and singing/playing. Their performances are always top notch, and although they look flawless, I'm sure they put a lot of effort into their performances!

 

None of them could be here tonight.  Why? Because they have concerts or rehearsals for concerts to come.  Who’d of thought?

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Name: Susan Kubicek
Nominated by: All Staff

Susan and Matt have anchored our P.E. program long before I entered the building. It has been a true blessing to  work with her and watch her interact with students. Her kindness, passion, and consistency are staples that Susan brings on a daily basis. She goes above and beyond the call of duty for our staff and students by organizing different events. She will be greatly missed and it has been an absolute honor to work with her and get to know her over the past 4.5 years.

Mrs. Kubicek has been an asset to our building since her first day on the job. She has been instrumental in planning special days for students like our student vs. staff basketball game. She has run her physical fitness classes in a way that keeps students engaged and feeling good about their physical condition. In addition to being an excellent teacher, she is truly a caring and compassionate individual who forms positive relationships with kids. She has taken time to build these relationships no matter what problems the student brings to the class or their physical abilities. I am proud the have worked with Mrs. Kubicek and feel fortunate that she has been a colleague over the years.

She is amazing and fun. She connects with the kids and really gets to know them. She will be missed and hard to replace. Good luck to her.

I've been so lucky to have Susan working beside me during my first couple of years here. She always has a kind word, uplifting spirit, and positive attitude to bring to any situation. She puts her heart into everything she takes on, and the students and staff have been fortunate to have her here at Eaton Rapids. She will be truly missed.

Kubicek has been an asset to our school. She pushes students to do their very best without making them feel insecure about themselves. You can't help, but smile when Kubicek is around. She is a positive person that makes everyone around her a better person.

The students respect her.

Susan has been awesome to work with!  She is full of energy, very organized, and a great basketball player!

Susan is such a hard worker and has always gone above and beyond for both her students and coworkers.  Over the years she has put together several amazing GROWL reward activities/ assemblies. They are a ton of work, but the kids love it and they make a big impact to improve our school's climate.  

Our students love Mrs. K.  She makes an effort to connect with them and they look forward to seeing her everyday at school.

Over several years of working with Susan I have witnessed her seemingly effortless ability to make connections with students and I am always impressed by her willingness to undertake and organize events like our annual student vs. staff games.  

Susan is the best. She has been very patient with my kids in gym class and provided much encouragement when the three had to run the mile last year.

I have had the honor of co teaching in the PE department with Susan for the past 15 years.  She is an amazing teacher and an even better person. Susan is a role model for other teachers on how to connect with students and get the best out of them.  She gets to know her students on not only an athletic level in PE class but more importantly on a personal level. Susan's caring nature comes out in her teaching making her gym a friendly place to be and an area students feel safe and are willing to put themselves out there and try new things or give new efforts in our activities.   Not a day goes by where I am not in awe of something she does to make students feel proud of themselves. If someone has not been in one of her classes to see her work her magic they have missed out on an amazing opportunity to learn for one of the best teacher I have seen. Not only is she a great teacher but an amazing person. Last year I was diagnosed with cancer and the compassion she showed me was heart warming.  She did the work of 2 teachers so I could focus on getting better. She sent me daily text messages asking how I was or sent funny little tid bits about somethings going on in our classes. She helped the sub do their job the best they could and continued to tell me not to worry about things she would take care of them. When I am able to say I am cancer free she will be one of the people at the top of the list that I thank.  It is hard for me to write this note, not that I can't come up with countless things that make Susan a great teacher and person, but because I am losing my best friend in teaching. It has been beyond amazing working with Susan and if I could go to Bath and talk to the school I would be happy to let them know how great of a teacher they are getting. Best of luck Susan and all of us in Eaton Rapids will miss you and we wish you nothing but happiness in your new adventure.

 

  

October - Great Start Greyhounds 

Photo of students of the month

 

STUDENTS 

 

School: Greyhound Central Elementary

Student: Maddox Krokker

Grade: DK

Nominated by: Mrs. Miller

Parent: Victoria Stringer

The first couple of weeks of school can be scary for anyone especially a DK student.  You are in a brand new building with so many new faces and a bunch of new rules.  Maddox was nervous at first with a few silent tears in the morning, but he quickly adjusted and became a role model for his peers.  Maddox always follows the BARK, is willing to help others, and is focused on his work.  I am looking forward to working with him this year!

 

School: Greyhound Central Elementary

Student: Gabrielle (Gabby) Sikkenga

Grade: Kindergarten

Nominated by: Anja Laretz

Parent: Tricia Sikkenga

Gabby is truly a Great Start Greyhound!  She came in a bit shy at the beginning of the year but has truly flourished.  She has learned our BARK behaviors and shows them in everything she does.  She has become a great friend and student.  I am so excited to see all that Gabby will achieve this year.  She is already challenging herself and always wanting to do her best.  It has been a great 9 weeks for Gabby and I can't wait to enjoy the rest of the year with her in my class.  Great job Gabby!

 

School: Lockwood Elementary

Student: Andi Adelman

Grade: Pre-K Montessori

Nominated by: Sallie guy

Parent: Lisa Saunders

Andi has been in my classroom for the last three years.  She has grown so much socially, emotionally, and academically since the first day she walked into my classroom.  She is bright, outgoing, helpful, loving, energetic, and passionate about learning.  Her joy for being at school is infectious.  To me this demonstrates what a Great Greyhound is!

 

School: Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Mallory Smith

Grade: 5th 

Nominated by: Sara Vogel

Parents: Keith and Jennifer Smith

Mallory is a model student in Summit Learning.  She works extremely hard, already mastering seven focus areas on the platform all while keeping up with her school projects.  Mallory takes feedback well and shows the ability to fix and solve problems independently.  She is excellent at asking thoughtful, precise questions and always participates in class. I can't wait to see what she will be able accomplish this year.

 

School: Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Brandy Lee

Grade: 6th grade

Nominated by: Mr. Sainz

Parent: Debra Lee

Brandy Lee is a delightful 6th grade student who is always willing to help out.  Starting out this year Brandy has helped others with their hall lockers and participated in our school wide fundraiser along with taking the time to help out by volunteering to participate in "Walk to School Day".  Brandy is studious earning mostly all A's.  In her tech ed class she excelled by making a self supporting bridge out of just 3 sheets of paper that held over 10 pounds even though she was challenged to hold only 5 pounds.  In TAG, while making  a paper mache pumpkin, 
Brandy was always very patient sharing her supplies and helping others who were having trouble.  Brandy demonstrates our behavior acronym GROWL by always giving her best.  Respecting herself and others, owning her own behavior, working and playing safely and leading by example.  I am fortunate to have Brandy Lee as a student.

 

School: Eaton Rapids High School 

Student: Zamuel Thompson

Grade: 9th

Nominated by: Mrs. Marcus

Parent: Robert Thompson

Zamuel is a 9th grader at the high school who has had terrific start to his high school career.  He is maintaining excellent grades while challenging himself with some advanced classes and doing this while also participating in a Fall sport.  Zam is a member of our JV Football team and there was a heated moment in one of our games and people were starting to get upset and there was almost a fight.  However, Zam took it upon himself to show exemplary sportsmanship and get in the middle and calm everyone down.  He showed great leadership on the field and true Greyhound spirit.  He is a great example for our community.  Welcome to the high school Zam!

 

School: Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Student: Elizabeth Lee

Grade: High School

Nominated by: GCPA Staff

The Greyhound Central Performance Academy teachers are excited to nominate Elizabeth Lee for "Great Start Greyhound."  Since she enrolled with us last year, we have enjoyed watching Elizabeth's confidence in herself and her academic abilities grow.  Elizabeth has been a stand out student this year at GCPA.  What we are so impressed with this year about Elizabeth is her hard work.  She puts so much effort into all her work, with the goal of not just completing her work but doing it well.  She consistently turns in quality and work and is not afraid of asking for help when she needs it.  Elizabeth participated in a traditional English 11A British Literature class and worked very hard to understand difficult literature.  She is always the first one to volunteer and help us as staff or fellow students.  Elizabeth is such a positive presence in our building.  Her kindness, hard work and determination to be her best self are why we picked her for our student of the month for October.

 

STAFF

 

School: Lockwood Elementary

Name: Dawn Esler

Nominated by: Sallie Guy

Dawn is a resourceful, tech-savvy, and skilled grant finder!  This year she has been able to partner Lockwood Elementary with PBS kids through a series of planned/scheduled family events (a Literacy Night and a Science Night) in our school.  We had our first event recently.  It was a success!  Many families participated.  Students and families thoroughly enjoyed the activities, food and the time spent with PBS kids staff as well as Lockwood staff.  Great job Dawn!

 

School: Lockwood Elementary

Name: Brittany Hoover

Nominated by: Sallie Guy

 

Brittany Hoover is a paraprofessional in the Pre K/DK/K Montessori Program at Lockwood Elementary.  She is an amazing and dedicated staff member, especially in the Montessori Program.  She is creative, caring, passionate and hardworking.  She has recently stepped  up and taken charge in helping plan activities, manage classroom routines and student behavior, communicated to the families as needed, as well as supported teachers in her classroom.  Lockwood is blessed to have her as a part of their staff.

 

School: Eaton Rapids Middle School

Name: Wendy Dilernia

Nominated by: Sarah Jones

Wendy is so loving, patient and kind.  She is always moving around the school helping all students with special needs making sure they are getting the accommodations and extra support that they need. On top of taking care of students Wendy is always communicating with with teachers on where she will be if needed at any point when helping more than one student.  As a teacher at Eaton Rapids Middle School we have truly been blessed with such talented individual to work with every day. 

 

School: Eaton Rapids High School

Name: Amber Pesce

Nominated by: Sarah Curry

She has consistently gone above what she's required to do by welcoming exchange students to our school, as well as welcoming guest teachers (even long term subs) to our school.  She's even made herself very available to students who are testing the water of foreign languages!  She's always ready to offer ideas and help for making languages easier to learn.

 

School: Eaton Rapids High School

Name: Sue Jarrad

Nominated by: Dori Ike

Sue goes above and beyond her duties and responsibilities as a parapro.  She is more like a team teacher to me, always willing to add to the lesson or help out students.  Sue works with struggling students and forms connections with students that allow her to help them be successful in class.  She always approaches students with care and concern.  She is by far one of our best parapros I have ever had the pleasure to work with and call my friend.

 

 

 

May - All Around Scholar/Most Improved Scholar

Front row: Bryanna Wing, Devyn Winkleman, Tessa Wisham, Lydia Mazurek, Logan Miller, 
Back Row: Haley Johnson-Pizano, Cooper Jones, Liam Boomer, Lexi Hallenbeck, Xin Dong, Brendan Driksna
 

 

STUDENTS

Greyhound Central Elementary

Student: Devyn Winkelman
Nominated by: Amy Crittenden
Parents: Suzann & Kurt Winkelman

It is my pleasure to nominate Devyn Winkelman for "All-Around Scholar".  Devyn is a very responsible, motivated and confident student.  She comes to school every day with an excitement for learning and a dedication for going above and beyond at school.  Devyn pays close attention to details and makes sure that her daily work is not only accurate, but also meticulously neat and of the utmost quality.  She excels in all the subject areas and I especially am impressed with her writing and accompanying illustrations!  
In addition to her academic excellence, Devyn is also a model student who sets a positive example for her peers.  Her work ethic and focus on doing well is an inspiration to her classmates and has earned herself a leadership role in the classroom where students often seek her help with various tasks/schoolwork throughout the day.   Devyn is a wonderful young lady and it has been my privilege being Devyn’s kindergarten teacher!

 

Greyhound Central Elementary

Student: Bryanna Wing
Nominated by: Susan Wilke
Parents: Rockney and Ashley Wing

Bryanna Wing:  Bryanna started kindergarten as a very shy 4 year old.  She picked up EVERYTHING that I presented and was always very interested in learning everything that was taught.  She picked up on social skills very quickly and is always a good friend to all.  She went from being at risk and getting extra help in PUP time to  my top group.  She is now a fluent reader,  a beautiful writer, an interested math student, and an assertive friend and student.  I have really enjoyed watching her progress.  Congratulations on being our Most Improved student.

 

Lockwood Elementary School

Student: Logan Miller
Grade: 2nd Grade
Nominated by: Melissa Riley
Parents: Andrew & Kelly Miller

It has been a pleasure to have Logan in my class this year.  He is an excellent student and has demonstrated strong academic understanding in all subject areas.  He gives his very best at everything everyday.  He is a wonderful example to all his classmates of the BARK expectations.  He is very interested and involved in all our classroom discussions.  Logan always has very insightful comments.  His commitment to hard work and strong academics makes him our All Around Scholar.

 

Student: Brendan Driksna
Grade: 2nd Grade
Nominated by: Pam Mead
Parents: Dana Driksna

Brendan has faced many challenges in his young life.  Most recently he has worked very hard to improve his fluency and accuracy in reading.  He has been excited to chart his progress during his Pup Time and small group time.  He enjoys reading and working with his friends in Montessori time.  He is a good friend to others and sensitive to caring for peers.  It is wonderful to see how much Brendan has grown over his time in Montessori.  We are delighted to recommend him for our Most Improved student!  

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Lydia Mazurek
Grade: 4th
Nominated by: Stephanie Brown
Parents: Steven and Lisa Mazurek

If I could legally clone Lydia Mazurek I would! Lydia is respectful, responsible, and reliable and not just in regards to her own school work. She helps take care of her younger siblings at home and often assists her classmates. She has willingly given up her lunch recess to help her peers complete assignments. Not many 4th graders would do that! Also, while I'm doing small group reading instruction, she's one of the few students who can quietly help others! At times, I won't even realize she's out of her seat! That is also unusual, but she manages to do it.
   Lydia is a natural leader, but she does it in such a subtle way. She truly leads by quiet example. She's become the unofficial student to go to if there's a question and I'm working with someone. Her classmates know they can ask her and she'll be able to answer them. Another job she has taken on is being my "checker" in math class. If I goof something up, which occasionally happens, I can count on her to point it out. Plus, she's always super polite about it. Furthermore, Lydia writes daily what we do each day and what may be homework in the absent student planner. That's in addition to completing her own planner. It's something those who have been absent really appreciate.
     Taking her academics seriously is important to her. It doesn't matter what subject it is. Her study skills are spectacular and she pays attention very well. For instance, she could likely look at these paragraphs and pick out my alliteration examples and transition words. Rarely does she have late or missing work. Throughout the year she regularly made the "honor roll".  At the end of each quarter students in my  class who have no late or missing work get to pick things from my Treasure Box. They can choose 1 item for every subject area. I don't think she ever received less than 5 items, which is outstanding.
   It seems she learned the secret to success early on because her prior teacher informed me she was also doing these things in 3rd grade. While there is no doubt she is a determined young lady, she also knows when it's ok to have fun. That's an important life lesson. Lydia is the epitome of a well rounded student.
     She should be proud of herself. I thank her for her efforts this year and I can't wait to see what she does with her tremendous talents. I'm confident she will go far in life! It is for the above reasons that I nominated Lydia Mazurek for All Around Scholar.
  However, I firmly believe these habits started at home with her parents. Her Dad, who works for the Lansing Fire Department, even took the time to come to our classroom with his gear to talk about fire safety! So, I'd like to thank them as well for raising such a dedicated, hard working and caring child. It's been a pleasure to work with Lydia this year.

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Tessa Wisham
Grade: 4th
Nominated by: Carl Fangboner
Parents: Casey Wisham

It is my pleasure to recommend Miss Tessa Wisham as “Most Improved Student Scholar” for the 2016-2017 school year.Tessa is a 4th Grade student in my homeroom at Greyhound Intermediate School. She has come so far this year in her abilities as a student. Here are just some of her accomplishments so far this year:

She has increased her reading fluency from around 80 words per minute read to over 120 words to minute.

Her DAZE test reading comprehension scores have now doubled from October and have passed the end of the year goal.

Her Reading Street test scores keep improving. On the last two major tests she has earned “A’s” on them. This is even more impressive when you consider she is a Title I Reading student.

In Math she has passed all of her basic math fact tests and is now earning some A’s on quizzes and tests.

On the Star Math Test she made a half year’s growth in just the first 3 months.

In Spelling she has raised her average up one whole grade.

In Social Studies she has raised her grade up to an “A”.

Tessa is much more than an improved academic scholar.  She starts and ends each day with a smile. She is patient and tolerant of others. With confidence she asks questions to get more understanding in class. She applies the skills that she has learned. She is willing to help others without being asked. She always has nice things to say about other people. She spends one lunch time a week with a special education classmate as a “Lunch Buddy.  Tessa is an excellent representative of our school, Greyhound Intermediate School and of the Eaton Rapids School District as a whole. I highly support Tessa Wisham as “Most Improved Student Scholar” for 2016-2017.

 

School: Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Liam Boomer
Grade: 7th
Nominated by: Staff
Parent: David and Laura Boomer

Liam always goes above and beyond on his assignments.  He takes his time to think about his answers and provide the most detailed answers he can.  He works well with everyone and really tries to include and help struggling students participate and understand the concepts being covered in class.  (Other students sometimes ignore those struggling students and just complete the work on their own instead of trying to include them and their ideas.)  He always puts forth his best effort.

 

School: Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Cooper Jones
Grade: 6th  Nominated by: Staff
Parent: Clinton and Amy Jones

Cooper has earned the Middle School's All Around Scholar Award for many reasons. First of all, his academic skills are "off the charts" for a sixth grader. He scored advanced in every area of the M-STEP statewide assessment. Cooper loves to learn and is a real "thinker". He constantly takes in information, evaluates and synthesizes it and shares it with others. Even though his skills are advanced, he continues to push himself to learn more and always gives his best.
Cooper is a voracious reader and always demonstrates excellent comprehension. In writing class, Cooper not only shows his excellent vocabulary and ability to organize and create detailed, fluent writing, he also takes the time to choose topics that he will enjoy writing about and others will enjoy reading. Whether it's the creative story he recently wrote titled "Possessed Toilet Attacks ER" or a more serious topic like swimming or explaining phobias, his writing is always highly engaging and brings a smile to not only his face, but others around him.
Speaking of smiles, Cooper usually shows up to TAG Class in the morning with a smile on his face, a positive attitude, and something exciting to share with me and others. I feel so lucky to have had Cooper as a student this year and will enjoy seeing and hearing about his future accomplishments.

 

School: Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Haley Johnson- Pizano
Grade: 6th
Nominated by: Staff
Parent: Melissa Dickson

Haley---Haley has really turned things around.  She has been working hard to complete assignments.  She has been doing her best work and taking pride in the quality of her work and the effort she has been putting into her assignments. She has also been taking a more active role in class. This has been paying off and her grades have been improving as a result of all her hard work.

 

School: Eaton Rapids High School

Student: Xin (Rachel) Dong
Grade: Senior
Nominated by: Staff
Parents: Yong Dong and Yu Wang

Xin Dong is a tremendous asset to the high school and well deserving of the All-Around Scholar recognition.  Xin has earned a 4.18 cumulative GPA while taking a rigorous course load that has included advanced English and Biology, AP Psychology, AP World History, AP Chemistry, and on-line AP Micro- and Macroeconomics.  Next year Xin has requested to take AP English, AP Biology, AP Calculus, and AP U.S. History.  In additional to her demanding course load,Xin is in National Honor Society, Youth in Government,  plays varsity tennis and works at her family’s business.  Xin’s work ethic, dedication, and achievement exemplify what it means to be a greyhound.

 

School: Eaton Rapids High School

Student: Lexi Hallenbeck
Nominated by: Staff
Parents: Bill and Kim Hallenbeck

Lexi is a 10th grader at the high school and has shown amazing growth this year, as a student and as a young adult.  Lexi came from a self contained classroom in the middle school where she was not exposed to the general education curriculum.  As a freshman, we knew she had more potential and she was transferred into general ed classes with support.  Although it was very difficult and Lexi experienced some tough times, she persevered and this year has all A's, B's and C's.  Lexi is also part of the swim team and has been a positive influence on many students.  It is a pleasure to see Lexi everyday; her humor, positive attitude, and her determination make her a great choice for the high school's Most Improved Scholar Award.

 

School:  Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Student: Emeleigh Ballor
Grade: HS
Nominated by: GCPA staff
Parent: Chris and Kelly Ballor

The teachers at Greyhound Central are excited to nominate Emeleigh Anne Ballor for our All Around Scholar. Emeleigh was an easy choice for this honor. Since she came to us from the high school second trimester, she has been an incredibly hard worker. She completed seven classes during second trimester. At the beginning of third trimester, since she did not have many more classes to complete, she made the decision to try and graduate early. As of today, she has already completed 10 courses this trimester and will finish enough by the end of the year to graduate one year early with her high school diploma. She has completed more courses by far than any of our other students this year.  Graduating early is not for everyone, but Emeleigh already has made plans for her future. She has a scholarship to Baker College in the fall. We have enjoyed getting to know Emeleigh over her past two trimesters and we know she has a bright future.

 

School:  Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Student: Haley Lee
Grade: HS
Nominated by: GCPA staff
Parent: Bree Daughenbaugh

The teachers at Greyhound Central Performance Academy teachers are proud to nominate Haley Lee as our Most Improved Scholar for this year. Being successful here at GCPA is difficult. Haley has had to overcome some obstacles in her life this year and she has done an awesome job. Haley has developed great note-taking and study skills throughout the years. Her notes are awesome. She is one of the few students who consistently puts in her required 25 hours of school work per week.She works hard on her classes and makes sure to ask for help when she needs it. We are very proud of her and how hard she has worked this year.

 

Staff

 

School: Lockwood

Name: Deb Hernandez
Nominated by: Kristina Fox

Deb is an amazing co-worker and encourager here at Lockwood.  She has worked very hard to improve our Title program here at Lockwood.  She has organized Data days with each grade level this year, and is constantly working to improve the Title program across the district. Here at Lockwood, Deb is an extremely important member to every committee that she serves on. She has a way to make everyone that she works with really think about why they are doing things a certain way and what if they were to do it a different way.  
Her heart for kids and enthusiasm for teaching shines through in all that she does.  Many students, not even in her reading groups,  stop by her room for encouragement and a big smile.  Deb does countless of small and big things for all staff members, most of them no one even knows that it is her.  

 

School: Eaton Rapids High School

Name: Kathleen Sard

Nominated by: Dawn Copeland

Katie is always cheerful and positive. She is willing to help out students who are struggling or behind. She does a great job with the Robotics team and has been adjusting so well as a new teacher it seems like she has been here for years.  She works well with Special Education students and never loses her cool.  She even sings!  This woman can do everything!

 

School: Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Name: Abby Devalk

Nominated by: Christina Cogo
The staff at Greyhound Central Performance  is excited to honor Abigail DeValk as teacher of the month. Abby has been with the Alternative Education program here in Eaton Rapids for 11 years.  She is an asset to the program and has helped it to thrive and grow.  She is gentle, but firm and tries to take the students from where they are at when they enter the program and guide them to where they need to be to complete their high school requirements.  She believes in them and they know it.
Because her passion is with the Alternative population, Abby believes that it is crucial to find ways to get to know and connect with her students.  She feels that building relationships and trust are valuable to help students get back on their educational track.  Abby  is our  9-12 grade English teacher. She teaches her classes through group readings and discussion to help students gain an understanding and an appreciation of literature. Abby always makes time to work with students when they need extra help. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she is also our Teacher Leader and Academic Coordinator.  Abby spends many after school hours enrolling students, meeting with them and their parents to help them ease into the alternative program, to decide which educational track will be best, and writes their educational plan to help them begin this process. It has been an honor and pleasure to work side by side with a teacher as talented, compassionate, and dedicated to helping students as Abby DeValk.
 

Volunteers

 

School: Greyhound Central Elementary

Name: Cathy Anderson

Nominated by: Erica Miller

Cathy has done so much for my classroom and the building this year. She volunteers once a month to help in the classroom for the whole day. While she is in my classroom she will help with numerous activities such as: centers, making copies, cutting items out, and helping students in anyway needed. I also send home projects for her to work on such as laminating, putting together book orders, and assembling a variety of activities. Cathy is also very caring and generous. For Earth Day she provided my classroom with all the materials for each student to grow a tomato plant. Anytime I have asked for classroom supplies, she is the first to donate the items. Even when her and her daughter were home sick she still found time to buy and make a bunch of food items for the teachers during parent teacher conferences. She is assisting the PTO with the upcoming Fun Run and chaperoning our class field trip. Cathy goes above and beyond and I know that I can always count on her for help.

 

Lockwood Elementary School

Lunch Mentors- Lynn DeMoree,  Anna Curtis, Tim Johnson, Heather Schragg, Sue Steward, Susan Marshall, Diane Buell,  Diane Clone, Lindsay Peters, Kaye Peterson, Erin Elke, Ben Dancer

Nominated by: Jim Bullinger

Our mentoring program is in its second year at Lockwood Elementary.  Every week, our mentors take time out of their busy lives to come to our building and spend time with students who are in need of an additional connection to school.  Many of our mentors are in their second year of service to this important program, and several have dedicated their time over the past two school years to visiting with the same student as they advanced from first to second grade.  Others have rededicated themselves to new students, and are spending the year assisting them with the journey through first grade.  Whatever their capacity, all of our mentors have enriched the lives of our students, and have provided them with positive guidance throughout the year.
    At a time when so many of our children seek stability and support, our mentors are able to provide a predictably positive presence with their weekly visits.  The students enthusiastically await their visits each week, and excitedly relate stories of mentoring activities after their meetings.  Each of our mentors offers unique talents to share with their students.  Each has developed bonds with the students that would be impossible to duplicate without the program.
    Mentors and students exchange smiles at the start of every visit, share lunch and engage in activities ranging from board games to outdoor play to personal grooming activities like polishing fingernails.  They practice martial arts moves, design art projects, play with Dudly (Lynn's dog) and read together.  Mainly, they enjoy one another's company.  For all of the students in our program, it has become a highlight of their week.
    Without the dedication of these wonderful adults, the Lockwood mentoring program would not be possible.  We are grateful for their time, their talents, their patience and their sense of community.    They have each enriched the lives of the students with whom they share time each week.  They have made Lockwood School a better place by their presence.

 

Eaton Rapids High School

Name: All volunteers for HS Musical "The Music Man"

Becky Davis, Larry and Cathie Ott, Barbara and Dan Streed, Dave Jaksa, Laura Ovresat, Heather Tynes, Crystal Bliese, Dawn and Chris Copeland, Rae Darefsky, Derek Lounds, Amy Jones, Shelly Bair, Nicole Fahnestock, Jennifer Holzschu, Liz Hubert, and Colleen O’Neil.

Nominated by: Mrs. Ferguson and Mr. Funaro

"The Music Man" was a success this year, but its success was only made possible through the time and effort of many volunteers behind the scenes.  These individuals donated time out of their busy lives to help the cast, crew, and directors in so many ways. Without their efforts, "The Music Man" would not have been the great production that it was.  These men and women helped design, build, and paint an amazing set; designed, altered, mended, and ironed a variety of wonderful costumes; sold tickets and concessions; designed and printed the program; helped set lighting cues; organized and provided food for dinners during tech week; picked up and returned the rented backdrop; helped configure sound cues; lent us props; supervised those adorable little members of the boys band; and hosted our cast party.  There are likely many other things that were done by our volunteers that didn't make this list, but it goes without saying that the success of our show lies heavily with these kind and generous folks. Thanks to their selflessness, our kids were able to shine.  They are all more than deserving of our gratitude and this special honor.

 

March Outstanding ELA Student/Staff/Volunteer of the Month


Front row: Ikaika Best- Lockwood, Mia Wheaton- GIS,Torin McNabb- GCE
Back Row:Tyler Gibson- ERMS, Mary Williams- GIS, Drew Bogardus- ERHS, Jaycob Stowell- GCPA

 

STUDENTS

Greyhound Central Elementary

Student: Torin McNabb
Nominated by: Susan Wilke
Parents: Erica and Donald McNabb

Torin is an excellent kindergartener.  He is always doing his job and is a good friend to all.  He is a bit shy but still will read and participate.  He came in to my class already knowing how to read 31 words, but he still  works hard and pushes himself to do better each day.  He has moved up 5 levels in reading, can read 127 words on the test, is a top writer and a great test taker.
 

Lockwood Elementary School

Student: Ikaika Best
Grade: 1st Grade
Nominated by: Amber Schafer
Parents: Chelsie Best

Ikaika has made so much progress in academics this school year, especially in reading.  He has become an avid reader and has excelled far beyond what I expected for him.  Every time I look up he is engrossed in some kind of literature.  Reading has definitely become a strength for Ikaika this school year.  He has a love for learning and is a bright spot in my day.

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Mia Wheaton
Grade: 5th
Nominated by: Pam Babbitt
Parents: Brenda Austin and Michael Wheaton

Mia is a wonderful all around student.  She does outstanding work in ELA.  She excels not only in ELA, but across the curriculum. She is an excellent role model for my fourth graders and always volunteers to help them with reading and writing. I frequently use Mia's writing and reading responses as anchor papers. She values and takes ownership of her work. Nothing but her best is turned in for assignments. It has been a joy to see her grow from a 4th grader to a 5th grader. She is is a confident, responsible, academically conscientious student that I am proud to send to the Middle School.

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Tyler Gibson
Grade: 6th
Nominated by: Jane Orr
Parent: Carol Crose and Zi Gibson

Tyler is a fantastic writer. His vocabulary choices and the way he phrases his ideas into sentences are so well done that I actually checked his work for possible plagiarism earlier this school year. Obviously, it wasn't plagiarism. It was just an extremely talented and hard working sixth grade writer. Tyler's interests are also very mature, and it's always interesting to hear about his knowledge and thoughts about topics like: religion, history, the environment, and more through his writing.  Tyler is a vivacious reader of both fiction and nonfiction, and this also contributes to his amazing writing skills.
Tyler naturally uses transition words to help his readers understand his thoughts and ideas, when most sixth graders aren't even sure what they are yet. Tyler isn't afraid to share his ideas and voice his thoughts, even if he is disagreeing with the teacher. He does this is a very respectful way and adds more information and perspective to the topics being discussed. Although Tyler doesn't tend to share his writing a lot at school,  he always works very hard to take his writing to the level that he can be proud of. His excellent writing skills, along with his many other talents, will help take him many places in the future, and I'm so glad that I got to be a part of it.

 

Eaton Rapids High School

Student: Drew Bogardus
Grade: Senior
Nominated by: High School English Department
Parents: Jeff and Molly Bogardus

Drew was nominated unanimously by the English Department. Drew is an excellent student who goes above and beyond in English.  Although he didn't have to, he registered for three English classes his Senior year.  In English 12A, he created a very memorable display for the Holocaust Museum focusing on the companies that profited from slave labor during the World War II.  
Drew also took Modern Novels and is currently in Creative Writing. He approaches literature with a deep love of language and a mature understanding of content.  His willingness to participate in class and his drive to succeed has made him a joy to have in all of our classes. We celebrate his accomplishments in English and have enjoyed having him in English classes over the past four years.

 

Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Student: Jaycob Stowell
Grade: HS
Nominated by: GCPA staff
Parent: Kari Priesman

The GCPA teachers nominate Jaycob Stowell for the ELA student of the month. We want to recognize Jaycob because he has already completed two English classes this year.  He is currently in the process of completing two more English classes. Our English classes are challenging because they require students to complete both online work and read books and complete the written work that goes with them. Jaycob has shown an improved work ethic this year and a willingness to ask for help. We are delighted to see his growth as both a person and a student and we look forward to see Jaycob graduate.

 

STAFF

 

GIS
Name: Mary Williams
Nominated by: Carl Fangboner

I would like to nominate Mary Williams as “Exemplary Teacher of the Month”.  I have known and worked with Mary many years.  For the last few years it has been my pleasure to work with her as a partner, teaming together on the behalf of a number of shared students.  I marvel how she can fill the roles of juggler, organizer, counselor and coordinator all during the same day and sometimes the same hour. She juggles the schedules of paraprofessionals to meet the needs of her students. She organizes the days of her students to have them ready for the their classrooms and for their time with her. She truly listens to her students as they share about themselves and their day. She coordinates the student schedules from homeroom teachers across all 3 grade levels and still gets in the necessary student instruction. I am amazed how she works on the challenges of each student while being encouraging and developing their strengths at the same time. I admire how she models being caring and being patient so her students can see those qualities in action. I am impressed at how she is always ready and yet flexible for whatever each day might bring. Mary always is there for her students, for their parents, and for her fellow teachers. She truly is a wonderful representative of the School District and people in the teaching profession. It is my honor and privilege to support Mary Williams as Eaton Rapids Exemplary Teacher of the Month.

Eaton Rapids High School
Name: Kelly Coppins
Nominated by: High School Staff

Kelly Coppins is a teacher that is very dedicated to the "art" of teaching and the "Science" of her craft as well. She is an excellent Physics and Chemistry teacher because she makes both of those subjects come alive for students with wonderful explanations and almost daily hands-on experiments and activities. All of her notes are typed up with fill in the blanks so that students follow along and listen to the important lecture, but at the same time are learning to copy notes and pick out the important information. All of her students have their work in a binder she has copied for them for the whole trimester so that they have access to it and they don't loose any of their notes or quizzes.
She comes to many IEP's and parent meetings before and after school, often with great ideas about what will help the student to be successful. When student's have traumatic events thrown at them in their life that perhaps steer them off the path for a little while, Kelly will write them a letter, letting them know she understands, she empathizes, but she knows they can overcome whatever hurdle they have to. She connects well with students, bends over backwards for anything staff needs and is a very hard working, dedicated teacher that doesn't get acknowledged enough. Thank you Kelly, and we are lucky to have you making a difference in our school and community.

 

 

 

February Outstanding Math Student/Staff/Volunteer of the Month

 (front row) Zoielynn Ahler -Greyhound Central Elementary, Abby Prendergast - Lockwood Elementary, Isabel Shepard - Greyhound Intermediate School. (Back row) McKenzie Anderson - Eaton Rapids High School, Dawn Copland (staff) Eaton Rapids High School, Nancy Trimble (staff) Lockwood & GCE, Liam Boomer - Eaton Rapids Middle School. Not Pictured: Alex Jordan - Greyhound Central Performance Academy.

 

STUDENTS

 

Greyhound Central Elementary

Student: Zoielynn Ahler
Nominated by: Anja Laretz
Parents: Hannah and Brad Ahler

From the first day of school, Zoielynn has been very interested in math. She is always very engaged in math and enjoys trying new things. This year I changed my math centers many times to create what was best for my class. Right after winter break, I was explaining the new centers to the class and I heard Zoielynn whisper to a friend "I am so excited! I love math!" She also went home and told her aunt all about how she was going to get to do addition in the new centers. Zoielynn is always willing to help others in math and is always doing her best. I truly think Zoielynn deserves to be this month's Student of the Month for her excellence in Math!

 

Lockwood Elementary School

Student: Abigail (Abby) Prendergast
Grade: 2nd
Nominated by: Pam Mead
Parents:Bethany and Shawn Prendergast

Abby is a fantastic math student.  She is a 2nd grader working with the 3rd graders in our class.  She has worked hard to keep up with her daily work.  Abby has most of her multiplication facts memorized and is very accurate in her daily work in all areas.  More importantly Abby is very good at thinking about problem solving in many different ways.  She is very flexible in her thinking and can come up with more than one way to solve a problem.  If a peer doesn't understand how to get to an answer, Abby is often the one who can come up with a way to explain it!  She is very  articulate  in explaining her mathematical thinking.  I am proud of how Abby has challenged herself to continue to learn new things in math.  She isn't afraid to make a mistake to learn something new. I'm delighted to nominate Abby for Lockwood's Math Student of the Month.  

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Isabel Shepard
Grade: 3rd
Nominated by: Colleen Martell
Parents: Elizabeth Barshaw and Matthew Shepard  

Isabel is a well rounded student. Honestly, I could nominate her for any of the student of the month themes, but I chose Math for several reasons.
First, Isabel has a strong mathematical/logical intelligence.  I so appreciate her ability to explain and describe her thinking. Isabel enthusiastically participates during our math lessons, and with our new GO Math curriculum, she is rising to the challenge of sharing her thinking with her classmates. She is great at drawing mathematical models, transferring those to equations, and solving problems. Because of her attention and effort during class, she has done exceptionally well on the 5 unit math tests she has taken so far, which happen to be six pages long each!
Second, Isabel is always willing to help others in class or explain something a different way. However, she is not afraid to ask for help herself when she has questions and will often rephrase or restate in her own words the answer she was given. Also, Isabel readily participates with our skip counting videos and while she is sometimes shy, doesn't hesitate to try out the videos dance moves.

Finally, we recently took our star math test. We expect students to have about a five month growth since that is how long we have been in school. Isabel has already reached a full years growth! I am so proud of her effort, her generosity, her willingness to help others, her ability to take risks, and her overall positive attitude. She definitely deserves to be February's math student of the month!

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Liam Boomer
Grade: 7th
Nominated by: Judy Sharpe
Parent: David and Laura Boomer

I would like to nominate Liam Boomer for the math award from Eaton Rapids Middle School. Everyone has students that do exactly what they are told and often do it without asking but Liam goes above and beyond that all the time.  Liam is all around a great student.  He takes pride in his work....always wants to make sure that he is understanding the concepts that are being taught in class and is always willing to help those around him.  Liam has even offered to help students during his lunch hour...again showing his care for others around him.  I nominate Liam Boomer as a leader and a well deserved candidate for the math award for ERMS.

 

Eaton Rapids High School

Student: McKenzie Anderson
Grade: 11
Nominated by: Kristy Acker
Parents: Andrew ad Laura Anderson

McKenzie Anderson was nominated to be the math student of the month because she has excellent basic math skills, has problem solving ability and is a critical thinker.  She is currently enrolled in Algebra 2B at the High School, but is completing both Algebra 2B and Algebra 2C in one trimester.  This means that McKenzie has been able to work double time through the material in order to take Trigonometry for her third trimester.

Besides being good at math, McKenzie is a good role model at the High School.  She participates in athletic events and is involved with clubs and activities.  Besides being on the team, I see McKenzie cheering on others in the student section at games as well as motivate her fellow classmates to take part in our donation drives at the school.  Keep up the great attitude and work McKenzie!

 

Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Student: Alex Jordan 
Grade: HS
Nominated by: GCPA staff
Parent: Sarah Hillsburg

The GCPA teachers nominate Alexsandra Jordan as the mathematics Student of the Month. Trying to get through math in an online program is difficult, but Alexsandra has worked her way through ¾ of Algebra 2A in the short time she has been at GCPA.   She is willing to work, take lots of notes, and figure out how to attain her math answers to achieve her goals.  Alexsandra’s short-term goal is to graduate with her diploma next year.  She is striving hard to attain that goal from the start. Alexsandra is a pleasure to have in class and always has a smile on her face.  She is nice, respectful, thoughtful, and very easy to get along with.  She is a delight to have in our program.  

 

STAFF

Lockwood, GCE

Name: Nancy Trimble
Nominated by: Tamara Rousch

Nancy goes above and beyond on a daily basis while working at Lockwood. Not only does she work without ceasing, she never complains...ever! This is an asset for the school as this trait makes Nancy very approachable. Whether or not staff complete a trouble ticket, Nancy takes the trouble out of technology as she is intentional to resolve issues using analogies to communicate technical resolution from what may seem to be a technical nightmare. These analogies communicate patience and understanding to those of us who may not be very technologically literate. She is so compassionate with the students at Lockwood and engages them with her upbeat attitude and demeanor that fosters ownership of technological learning, use of the library, and enjoying that "just right" book. Also, she encourages students to discover potential literature for book reports, geography study, or a poetry unit. Nancy uses bold numbers and multi colored duct tape as a referencing tool for the students. She also creates themed bookmarks for every student to enhance reading as the students take home books to share with their family. In addition to encouraging the students to become connected with the library and technology with great resources, she also assists the staff in doing so. For example, when the Polar Express was going to be read, Nancy researched sound and animation that served as an added attraction for the students as they entered the library. Nancy is relentless at ensuring that the technological needs of the staff and students at Lockwood are met. She values the importance of augmenting interdisciplinary learning by ensuring that the staff and students have the supplies and equipment needed to foster a positive learning environment. She does this by providing a welcoming, orderly and updated library that encompasses novice staff and student along with the use of technology.  

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Name: Kristen Mulkey
Nominated by:  Bill Sainz

Kristin Mulkey is a parapro/health aid in my 1st period tech ed class.  Besides, making sure students are welcomed, prepared and participating in my class she also takes care of the health needs of some of my diabetic students.  She supports our classroom activities and lessons and fills in when I am busy with other students.  She noticed last week as we were playing "Measure That Thing" as part of our measuring unit that my class was in need of some new rulers.  Without my knowledge, she spent her own money and time and purchased a classroom set of wonderful flexible rulers for "our" class.  She refused my efforts to reimburse her, insisting she just wanted to help.  
   Thank you very much to Kristin Mulkey for helping out so very much everyday and going way beyond the call of duty.  She is my Queen of rulers!

 

Eaton Rapids High School

Name: Dawn Copeland
Nominated by: High School Staff

Dawn is very dedicated to her work in the library.  She is very organized and extremely helpful to students and staff.  Thank you Dawn for your energy, dedication, and organization!

We would also like to recognize the members of the high school choir who were selected to the Michigan School Vocal Music Association All-State Choirs.  They are:

Morgan Maier, Melissa Copeland, Sorcha Lahna, Carl Peebles, and Kirsten Kidd

 

October Student/Staff/Volunteer of the Month

Leadership and Positive Behavior

L-R front row:  Greyhound Central Elementary Student: Alivia Large, Lockwood Elementary School Student: Remie Ellis .Second row: Greyhound Intermediate School 3rd Grade Teacher: Colleen Martell, Eaton Rapids Middle School Student: Shane Baker, Eaton Rapids High School Student: Emily Charles, Eaton Rapids High School Teacher:  Erik Smith.Back row: Greyhound Central Performance Academy Student: Savannah Davis, Transportation Employee: Melissa Williams.

 

Students

Greyhound Central Elementary

Student: Alivia Large, GCE
Nominated by: Anja Laretz
Parents: Angela and Justin Large

If you ever step foot in my kindergarten classroom you could look at Alivia and know exactly what the students should be doing. Alivia is always following BARK behavior, she works hard, and she encourages others to work hard. Alivia completes her work to the best of her ability and has made so many academic gains already this year!

Alivia has been out sick quite a bit this year and each time she comes back she is positive, happy, and ready to work. Each day Alivia is not in class, we greatly miss her positive attitude and help in our classroom. Alivia deserves to be the student of the month for leadership and positive behavior.

 

Lockwood Elementary School

Student:  Remie Ellis
Nominated by:  Carrie Saindon
Parents: Constance and Russell Ellis

Remie is a pleasure to have in first grade. She comes into class every morning with a smile on her face and a great attitude. She gets right to work on her morning work and and is always ready for the next task. Whether we are working on the carpet doing reading or math, or at our desks working on writing, Remie is always trying her best. I can always count on Remie to be a role model for others in my classroom.

In addition to Remie's great attitude and hard work ethic, she is also kind to her classmates. She is very helpful and is always willing to help out. She does this through helping a friend spell a word, sharing stories, sharing markers, helping a classmate clean up, and the list could go on.

I have enjoyed having Remie in my class and look forward to the rest of the school year together. Keep up the great work!

 

Greyhound Intermediate School

Student: Courteney Ackley
Nominated by: Kate Jewett
Parents: Jenifer and Johnathan Ackley

I am honored to nominate Courteney Ackley for student of the month for leadership and positive behavior.  Courteney is a fifth grader at Greyhound Intermediate School, and sets an example daily, for what leadership and positive behavior looks like at GIS.

Courteney is constantly stepping up to help others in her class, as well as the entire school community.  Inside the classroom, Courteney can be seen eagerly contributing to class discussions, and working with any and all of her peers.  She encourages others to share ideas and contribute, even if they are nervous or unsure of themselves.  Courteney encompasses qualities of the best BARK behavior possible.  She has been a leader in the school community by participating in Kids Crew which is a service group at GIS.  She has also played a large role in Red Ribbon Week where students and staff advocate for healthy living and to stay away from drugs and other harmful things.

In closing, I would say that Courteney embodies all of the great qualities of a student leader.  Her positive behavior, outlook and willingness to help others, in the class and school, are infectious.  I see students looking up to her in a way that would make any teacher or parent proud.  It has been a pleasure to get to know Courteney and I look forward to watching all the amazing things she does over her years in Eaton Rapids Public Schools!

 

Eaton Rapids Middle School

Student: Shane Baker
Nominated by: ERMS Staff
Parents: Pam Baker

Shane has had an outstanding start of the school  year. This young man has truly grown in front of us over the last 3 years. Shane leads by example inside and outside the classroom. Shane is always willing to help students with their own studies. Some things staff members have used to describe Shane are: young  man of great character, helpful, empathy towards others, always willing to help out. Puts others first.

For example:  On the walk to school day without hesitation, Shane helped out a student that had fallen behind. He helped her catch up and also lent her his jacket as she was cold from the brisk morning.

 

Eaton Rapids High School

Student: Emily Charles
Parents: George and Rebecca Charles
Nominated by: Mr. Lounds

Emily is an incredible all-around student. She is an excellent student and leader in our classrooms and hallways on a daily basis. In addition to this everyday leadership, Emily was instrumental in our first blood drive. She organized the entire event, including meeting with the Red Cross organizer, developing the donation schedule, organizing the volunteers and completing the paperwork. On the day of the drive, whenever something unexpected came up, she was able to adjust plans and make it a success. It is important to note that Emily is NOT being nominated for her role in a one time event. This is just one example of the many ways, both large and small, noticed and unnoticed, that Emily provides leadership and a positive example for our school! She truly embodies what it means to be a Greyhound!

 

Greyhound Central Performance Academy

Student: Savannah Davis
Nominated by: Tina, Sarah, Abby, and Pam
Parents: Tanya and Ronald Davis

The GCPA teachers would like to nominate Savannah Davis as our October student of the month for Positive Behavior and Leadership. Savannah has been contributing to our positive school culture from the first day that she started here at Greyhound Central. This is now Savannah’s second year with us. She always comes on her assigned days and even asked at the beginning of the year if she could come four days instead of two in order to get more class work done.

Even though Savannah is not a particular fan on it, she has been working diligently to finished her Algebra 1B class and always asking for help when she needs it. She often even checks out a graphing calculator to take home with her so she can get more work done. In addition to working on her core classes at Greyhound Central she is also enrolled in the mornings at LCC in the Health Technology program. She attends that rigorous program daily and uses her other classmates also in that program as valuable resources to help her be successful at LCC.

Savannah not only tries hard academically, she also advocates for us to be doing more fun things for students here at Greyhound Central. Whenever we need ideas or help with a project, Savannah is always willing to contribute. Having Savannah as a student here at Greyhound Central makes our school a more positive and fun place to be.

 

Staff

Transportation

Employee: Melissa Williams
Nominated by: Staff

Since taking the position of Assistant Supervisor, she has stepped up to the plate full force.  She took the reigns and hasn’t looked back!  She is doing an awesome job and is a joy to work with.

Greyhound Intermediate School

Teacher: Colleen Martell, 3rd Grade
Nominated by: Joanna Adams

Colleen Martell spent many years as a beloved 5th grade teacher at GIS.  I worked with her for several years in her capacity as a 5th grade general education teacher and she was consistently sensitive to the individual strengths, differences, and needs of all students in her classes.  Staff and students alike are aware of her extraordinary teaching talents.  One day, a 4th grade student enthusiastically informed me that he heard that "Mrs. Martell is the world's greatest ELA teacher!

This year, Mrs. Martell transitioned to a 3rd grade general education classroom, and her teaching gifts continue to amaze me in the midst of change. She is patient, kind, and a forward thinker.  She constantly thinks about her students and considers how to make positive changes in her classroom environment.   

Any time I am in her room, I hear her give countless positive comments toward her students, as well as lots of encouragement, care, and concern. She is a tireless teacher, giving up time on weekends to do prep work at school to make each day of the week as positive for her students as possible.  I'm not sure how she does it all, but I am thankful she does!  I'm sure her students are thankful for her as well!

 

Eaton Rapids High School

Teacher:  Erik Smith
Nominated by: Derek Lounds

Erik is one of many great teacher leaders at Eaton Rapids High School. He has taken an active role in more committees and initiatives that I can name or care to name. Whether as department chair, member of the technology committee, or anything else, Erik is there providing thoughtful insight and helping shape and refine the direction. He is not only a part of all of these things, but he is an active part. He helps me be a better leader by helping me ensure that our focus is on our students. He is not afraid to share his opinion, but does so in a professional and respectful manner, always with a constructive goal in mind. Our students, staff, and school community are blessed to have Erik Smith as a part of ERHS!

Student and Staff of the Month

Each month every building will have an "Outstanding" student that we will recognize in different areas of our curriculum. All our students are special, but we want to toot our horn about a few each month..
Well done Greyhounds!