Everyday Evidence

EVIDENCE Provided by our constituents that great things are happening at Allegan Schools EVERY DAY! (To submit your own "Everyday Evidence" please send an email to everyday@alleganps.org)

Awesome Aquatic Experience
Submitted by:  Jerry & Anita Lavin

Our family just recently started coming to the aquatic center.  What an amazing place to bring our grandkids, ages 18 m and 22 m.  The facility is clean and well taken care of.  Mark Mattox, Aquatics Director, and his staff are all professional, kind, and alert.  Thank you for providing such a great place for our community, especially on these cold winter days.

 snorkeling boy
Man with toolbox
APS Maintenance Crew
Submitted by:  Mindy Sturman
I wish to recognize the Maintenance Crew for such outstanding help with the Kindergarten Round-up Event. The event was held Thursday April 16th at Allegan High School.  The maintenance staff were so helpful and went out of their way to “get the job done”.  We had some issues with the inflatables in the aux gym…some blowers needed securing and we blew a fuse (or two) in the process.  The maintenance crew helped in any way they could in a timely and friendly fashion.  They were lifesavers for the event, and were instrumental in making kindergarten round-up a success.  Thank you so much!

4th Graders Receive Kudos from KIA
Submitted by:  Kim Licavoli (Elementary music/art teacher)
I wish to recognize North Ward Elementary 4th grade classes for their exemplary, STAR behavior during their January 21 field trip to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.  The tour guides commented that these students were thoughtful, observant, asked good questions, and were most mannerly.  The art teacher commented that in the 29 years that she has been teaching for the KIA, North Ward’s 4th graders were in the top 5 for demonstrating positive behavior!  What more can one ask!?  

Girl drawing picture
Happy young kids

Allegan Public Schools Administration

Submitted By:    Mike Fairbanks, APS School Board Trustee
Proactive Response to School Funding that Directly Impacts All APS students.
Although many in the community might not be aware, on November 12 the MI Senate Appropriations Committee passed Senate Bill 1077, which would severely limit access to the school bond loan fund.  If this bill continues to move through the process and is signed into law, borrowing from the fund will be almost nonexistent for 20 years and could lead to much higher property taxes for new building projects or the inability to pass bond issues, leading to substandard buildings. It is important to note that our school administration saw the potential for this coming.  Through good planning, excellent leadership throughout the process, and the community’s support, APS proposed and passed our bond issue in 2012 (with NO tax increase!) which has led to significant improvements in building infrastructure, student safety initiatives, elementary school playgrounds, athletic facilities, and the recent expansion in our technology platform to boost student achievement – enhancements that touch each one of our students on a daily basis!  During the recent MASB Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids, I was able to speak with members of several school boards across the state that were very nervous about how they would be able to fund their needed improvements without this option.  The Allegan community is very fortunate to have a school administration that is well-informed, prepared, and thinks of the community as a whole in making Allegan Public Schools a great place to learn and grow!

North Ward 4th Graders
Submitted by Mrs. Harlan (teacher at North Ward Elementary)
I wish to recognize the North Ward 4th graders for the way they interact with our kindergarten students at recess I saw several 4th graders pushing kindergarten students on the swings and other 4th graders helping kindergarten students onto other playground equipment when they couldn't reach it by themselves. Our students are learning to be good citizens!
Kids on swings
Picture of Cindy

Adult Education
Submitted by Toree & Chris Gribble and Amber Canfield (GED students) October 2014

Two former GED students took the time to write a note of thanks to their Adult Education teacher, Cindy Siegers, who was recently presented with an award from the Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education (MACAE).

Hi Cindy! Not sure if you remember me or not, my husband Chris and I were there last year with you guys from October through December. We both obtained our GEDs there thanks to all of your help! My husband received a decent factory job which required a GED or diploma, and I am now pre-med at GRCC! We are so thankful for all you guys helped us achieve! We will never forget what you did for us!
Toree and Chris Gribble

Dear Cindy, 
I am doing very well. I am currently attending Davenport for psychology and behavioral science. I'm on my way to my dream career. Thank you for your amazing support and your kindness. I wouldn't be in this incredible path without you!
Amber Canfield

Classroom T-Shirts
Submitted by Marne Sieber (teacher at Dawson Elementary)
Recognizing:  Sharon & Allen Lynema and Agri-Equipment Service

For: donating money for t-shirts for the C.I. Classroom at Dawson Elementary.  Teacher Marne Sieber and Instructional Assistant Kim Carroll had been talking for several years about getting matching t-shirts for the class to wear on field trips and other outings, so the students would be easily recognizable, and not get separated from the group.  Sharon Lynema, IA at Dawson, found out about this need and mentioned it to her husband.  The next day he brought in a check from Agri-Equipment Services, where Allen is part-owner, to purchase the shirts!  Just one example of community supporting our schools!!!!!

Picture of kids with orange shirts
stack of books

Love Of Literature
Submitted by Becky Corbett (Principal at N.W. Elementary), Sept 2014

I wish to recognize 1st grade teacher Ed Spicer for all the time he spends outside of school, reviewing children's literature and writing curriculum guides for other teachers to use.  Through his outstanding work, Allegan Public Schools and the Allegan District Library have received thousands of dollars worth of books each year!

Patience With Parents
Submitted by Jen & Chris Conrad, parents of kindergartner, June 2014

My husband and I want to express our gratitude to the Dawson staff, especially teacher Kelly Nugent and secretary Martee Spreitzer. They showed unrelenting kindness, patience, and consistency as our 4-year-old son experienced the growing pains of being in school all day, every day as part of the Young 5s class. We have really appreciated their constant communication, positive encouragement, and dedication to the students of their school. Our son has already grown so much under their guidance and care! We are so grateful for all that they, and their fellow Dawson staff members, do to help these very young students adjust to and be successful in their first year of school!

ABC Blocks
clipart of money Thousands Donated To Allegan Students
Submitted by:  Kim Licavoli, AEA Scholarship Foundation, June 2014
A shout-out to the K-12 teaching and professional staff from Allegan Public Schools, who, over the course of 17 years, have gifted the children of the Allegan community over $165,000.00 in educational opportunities beyond the classroom in the form of $1000 college scholarships and K-8 educational summer camp scholarships.  The Allegan Education Association (AEA) Scholarship Foundation awarded over $9,000 this year alone in scholarships!  Another example of "everyday evidence" proving that Allegan is a great place to learn and grow!!!

Patient Bus Driver
Submitted by:  Marne Sieber, special education teacher at Dawson Elementary

I wish to recognize Robin Ashley, who drove Dawson’s special needs children to John Ball Zoo on a rainy, wet day. We had to eat lunch on the bus because of the rain. We offered to sweep the bus after we ate, but she insisted on doing it herself.  She said “Go see the zoo. I’ll clean this up.”  She was very patient with our students and went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we had a good time.

school bus clipart
everyday evidence documents Helpful Students
Submitted by Alexis and Mercedes from North Ward Elementary

I wish to recognize Teddy Cassidy for helping me pick up my books in the hall.  They got thrown everywhere and Teddy was a gentleman and helped me!  Thank you, Teddy. (from Alex)

I wish to recognize Ares Ratulowski for holding the door for me and a lot of other people yesterday morning.  Ares is a wonderful helper.  Thank you, Ares Ratulowski! (from Mercedes)

Kindergarten Roundup was Awesome!
Submitted by:  Chris Conrad (HS teacher, and parent of kindergartner)
I just wanted to take a moment to give a big thank you to everyone involved with the Kindergarten roundup.  Darrell and the bus garage staff made my son excited to ride the bus in the fall.  All of the teachers were so engaging with every single kid that it really made me excited for my son to start school next year, I know that he will have teachers that truly care about all kids.  Teaching at the high school, I know that we have a great staff at APS, but it still made me proud to see how all of the staff and volunteers (both adult and student) went out of their way to invite every single child into their lives that evening.  We are lucky that we have so many on staff that take pride in the work that they do. Well done!

Kindergarten Roundup
Derik Deesler
Derik Keeslar - PALS Program
Submitted by:  Sarah Vlietstra, middle school secretary

Derik has a positive attitude every day.  He works extremely well with our students at the middle school and he shows a sincere concern for them.  If he ever has extra time to spare, he gladly assists us in the office with making copies or running errands.  The high school PALS Program is one more piece of evidence that GREAT things are happening at Allegan Public Schools... and Derik is an example of a student who is truly learning the service aspect of being a PAL.

AHS Drama Production of "The Crucible" 
Submitted by community member, Elizabeth Engelsman, March 2014
I just wanted to tell you and all involved in this production how much we enjoyed the play this past weekend.  I have to admit, I thought at first it was going to be such a serious or "dark" type play to follow, but I cannot get out of my mind what a fabulous job these young actors did in this production.  They delivered a performance that probably did not attain the recognition it deserved!  These young ladies and gentlemen portrayed their characters so well that it brought you into the lives of these individuals that lived so many years ago, giving the audience an understanding of how they lived, what they feared, and what is important to them.  
Some of these kids had to play characters that were much older than they were, showing a lot of maturity, heart and soul.  The exchange student even delivered quite a performances that suited the character she portrayed!  I never paid much attention to the story of the Salem Witch Trials in the past, but I have to say that after researching it and watching these kids perform "The Crucible," I have come to realize that history repeats itself, and I want to thank Kim Sparks and Devyn Morris for bringing this play to Allegan High Drama.  I am so glad to have Allison a part of it, and so glad I got to experience it!
Dawson héros

Dawson Volunteers
Submitted by Doug Beauregard and Michelle Norland (Dawson Elementary teachers), March 2014

Over the last few years Sue Boylan and April Hatfield have volunteered to help the classes out that their children are in, as well as helping out classrooms where they attended in the past!  Some examples of things these ladies have volunteered to help with include:  chaperoning field trips, helping with classroom parties, supervising swimming classes at the high school pool, hiding Easter Eggs, Dr. Seuss luncheons, making weekly popcorn, and decorating classroom doors for "March Reading Month"!!!  These ladies QUIETLY make a big splash at Dawson as involved parents, and they are one more example of the great things happening at APS.

"Peer to Peer"
Submitted by:  Cheryl-Marie Manson, APS Director of Instruction
At Allegan High School, a small group of staff members organized a great program called "Peer to Peer" that is another example of "Everyday Evidence" of the great things that are happening at APS... The program works with general education students to assist those students on the autism spectrum.  Instead of adults and teachers working to support students with these unique needs, STUDENTS/PEERS assist (much like will be happening in the real world!).  This program is a win-win, as it obviously helps those students with disabilities, but also develops unique skills in those peers who assist!  Kudos go to the staff members who helped organize this program:  Shaun Lawson (instructional assistant), Jamie Antoine (school social worker), and Michelle Selzer (high school teacher).

Teacher helping student
Students posing

Students Display Tolerance and Acceptance
Submitted by Cheryl-Marie Manson, Director of instruction, Dec. 2013

I wish to recognize Laura Feffer and the students at Allegan Alternative High School for welcoming students from Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in a very genuine way. Students who attend Hillside have a high level of special needs (medically and educationally). Without skipping a beat, Laura offered to have these students work on their educational goals by inviting them into AAHS to sell their baked goods. As the students sold their goodies, Laura modeled and encouraged interaction between the AAHS students and the students from Hillside. It was truly beautiful to witness the genuine inclusive spirit!

Christmas Spirit at Allegan High School
Submitted by Jamie Antoine, school social worker, Dec. 2013

Allegan High School staff and students, together with many community members, decided to lend a helping hand to several families in need this holiday season. Food, clothing, and gifts were collected and wrapped and delivered. The spirit of giving was definitely on display at Allegan High School this year!

can goods


Showing Kindness with Popcorn!
Submitted by Cindy Tibbitts, 2nd grade teacher at Dawson Elementary, Dec. 2013

I observed a student who displayed extra kindness toward other students… 2nd grader Arianna Birkhold brought a dollar to school to purchase popcorn on Popcorn Day. On her own, she observed others signing up for popcorn and noticed three students that did not have a quarter to spend, so she offered to pay for them! She signed up her own name as well as her three peers. Kudos to Arianna, who is learning very early in life how to spread kindness by sharing.

Great School-Great Staff
Submitted by Stephanie Klinkhammer, middle school student, Dec. 2014

What I have experienced here in Allegan is a great school and great teachers and principals who are willing to support me in my education. THANK YOU! 

Praise for a Bus Driver
Submitted anonymously, Dec. 2013

I just wanted to let you know that the bus driver of Bus #4-20 does a wonderful job! I often find myself behind this bus on 118th (after it has turned off River Street), usually when I am running a bit late. The driver is always driving very carefully and signals that a stop is about to happen well in advance. What I really want to thank him/her for is how aware of traffic he/she is. Many times I end up behind the bus right before it makes 3 stops in a row, just before 118th and Babylon Road merge. Every single time, the driver pulls over to the side of the road after picking up the 3rd group to allow me to pass. The other day, I turned in behind the bus on River Street and the driver pulled over once we were both on 118th to let me pass. I just really appreciate that staff kindly allows traffic to pass by even though they are also on a tight schedule to get the kids to school. I wanted to pass along my appreciation to the driver of Bus #4-20. It’s from the driver of the black Equinox with the Jane Austen sticker in the window!
Food stacked
Middle School Helper Extraordinaire

Submitted by Sarah Vlietstra, middle school secretary, Dec. 2013

Helping with the Tiger Store at the middle school on Tuesdays and Thursdays is Christina Madison. She and her entire family also came to the school and helped distribute the school’s fundraiser items. Christina is friendly, fun and is extremely polite to staff and students. She helps us create a positive atmosphere at the middle school, and we love to see her come through the door!
Going “Above and Beyond” in the Classroom
Submitted by Catherine Hellman, middle school teacher, Dec. 2013

6th grade students in Ms. Hellman’s classes were given a list of Holiday Words and were asked to write a story using the ten spelling words. Two girls, Lauren Delpiere and Maddison Wagner, took the assignment to the next level by creating a PowerPoint message that incorporated the spelling words into a fictional journal. They then presented their project to the class, along with a video from YouTube which related to their story. It was entertaining and educational for the rest of the class; and it was very rewarding to see my students get so excited about a project and to see them utilizing some of our school’s new technology!

Music Department Offers Enrichment Opportunities

Submitted by Kim Licavoli, elementary music teacher, Dec. 2013

Treble Cleff
One of the many great things happening at Allegan Public Schools is the Fine Arts Department, specifically the Music Department. Even at the elementary level, opportunities abound that provide enrichment for our youngest students and help them to learn to develop a love of music! High School Vocal Music Teacher Rebecca Balkon recently invited the 5th grade students to perform with the middle and high school choirs at the December Holiday Concert. The Elementary Music classes (Mrs. Licavoli and Ms. Armbruster) invited the Kalamazoo Symphony ensemble Brass Quintet to perform 30 minute mini-concerts for each of Allegan’s four elementaries. Dawson 3rd grade teacher Doug Beauregard and his class are partnering with students at Hillside Learning Center for a visit to the Kalamazoo Symphony Youth Concert on March 3, 2014.

Christmas Concert