Earlier this school year, one of Newaygo’s employees was given some tough news. Sheila Bichler, a member of the evening cleaning staff at NHS, was diagnosed with colon cancer. In a matter of a couple of days, the students and staff had started implementing plans to raise funds to help Sheila with her treatment and care. The staff had a t-shirt designed and took orders from staff and students. Students, with the assistance of teachers, organized a dance in December with the proceeds being donated to Sheila. The high school and middle school staff collected donations and gave away prizes at their staff Christmas party. Most recently, a group of students with the help of Ms. Gellise, arranged for the order and sale of homemade tamales. An account has been set up at Choice One Bank where all of the funds have been deposited. Sheila can then access these funds when she needs assistance with medical expenses.
The high school has also set up a rotating schedule where students from different advisory classes make cards for Sheila so they can be delivered periodically to assist her during the difficult treatment period. Bear in mind, that our school community has rallied around Sheila as they value and recognize her contributions as a member of the custodial staff. It does not matter what role a person fills in this school community. We are all part of the Newaygo school family and all of this is evidence of how Lions Protect Their Pride.
I continue to be amazed and proud of NPS students and staff. Undoubtedly Sheila feels the love and support of her “school” family. If anyone is interested in donating to Sheila’s fund, contact the administration office.
It has been approximately one year since the esteemed Mr. Nic Nordin passed away. Mr. Nordin was a long-time NPS elementary teacher who taught and influenced many Newaygo students. The teachers at the Velma Matson Upper Elementary have decided to honor his memory by organizing the JUMP ROPE FOR HEART fundraiser this year. Students are jumping rope this week, but money will be collected until spring break. The school has set a goal of $3000. If this goal is reached, the following incentives are in place: 3rd grade teachers will get slimed, 4th grade teachers will kiss a pig, 5th grade teachers will dress up, and one student (of those who collect pledges) will be drawn from each grade to project silly string on Principal Bush. Additionally, Mr. Bush has also agreed to treat one student per grade level to lunch. Mr. Nordin would be proud of the fact that our students and staff are raising money for this worthy cause.
Newaygo Middle School has for several years, had a Positive Behavior Support Plan in place to recognize and affirm positive student behaviors and achievement. The program is called ACES, which stands for Academic & Citizenship Excellence for Students. After each 9-week marking period (quarter), students who have met the criteria are recognized through the ACES program. Criteria includes: no discipline referrals to the office, no missing assignments, no more than one late assignment in their classes, and no failing grades. The quarterly ACES events include a movie in the fall, a trip to Pando in the winter, another movie in the spring, and the annual rafting trip at the end of the school year. I am pleased to report that 182 students qualified for the ACES Pando trip in February and this is the largest number to be eligible for ACES recongnition in several years!
As an educational leader, it has become necessary for me to utilize technology to share the story of Newaygo Public Schools. We have so many positive things happening in our community and in our schools. I am new at operating and maintaining a blog but I hope you will join me on this adventure. Check back regularly for updates of what is happening with the students and staff at NPS.
I am the Superintendent of Newaygo Public Schools in Newaygo, Michigan. In addition to my work as an educator, I am married to Mark. We have two kids and a retired K9 that make our lives interesting!