January 2019 Every child has a right to be connected ... ... I do believe academics are so import-ant

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  • Vol. 4 No. 2January 2019 Every child has a right to be connected. Every child has a right to intellect.

    A Mattawan Consolidated School Publication

    Mattawan Consolidated School 56720 Murray Street Mattawan, Mi 49071***ECRWSS***




    A recognition ceremony was held on November 10, 2018 for the newest members of Mattawan Con- solidated School’s Hall of Honor. The Hall of Honor was established in 2017 as a way to recognize alum- ni, staff, volunteers and others who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to society, contribu- tions to MCS, for their exceptional performance in the arts, athletics, academics, or for their military service.

    This year nearly all of the 15 recipients were in attendance with the exception of Amber Brooks and Tom Brown who were out of town and Leo Hunt who is deceased. Spencer Lenfield, a 2008 graduate, was present via a live video feed.

    Mattawan High School Principal Tim Eastman was the evening’s emcee. Following the introduction

    of each recipient, the honored guests stepped up to the podium to say a few words and receive their award. In the audience were current and retired staff members, friends, family and community members.

    The Hall of Honor ceremony was held in the high school cafeteria and a variety of desserts and beverages were prepared by David Rose and the Dining Services staff.

    The Hall of Honor LCD panel is on display in the high school lobby, serving as a perpetual way to recog- nize all inductees.

    Additional information about the Hall of Honor, including sponsorship and nominations, may be found on the District’s web page. The 2019 nomination forms and documentation are due by May 1, 2019.

    What a difference a space makes when it comes to teaching and learning. The new Early Elementary School (EES) on Mattawan’s campus is nearly one se- mester old, but staff members are not taking their new environment for granted.

    The EES is a state of the art learning center that boasts natural light, commons areas, modern tech- nology and climate control, appropriate furniture and playgrounds, plenty of storage, security features and efficiency. Staff members overwhelmingly express a feeling of positivity and renewed energy when asked to comment on their new workplace.

    First grade teacher Whitney Ihrman-Holmes said, “The natural light, climate control and cleanliness make everyone feel better, the technology is great and it all works. Having the whole grade level in one pod is so nice because we can collaborate, eat lunch in our family room each day and have a space to share re- sources.”

    Prior to moving into the new EES, staff and stu- dents were split across two buildings and some classes were housed in portables, making collaboration diffi- cult and security less than preferable.

    continued on page 3

    New Hall of Honor members are recognized at a ceremony on November 10, 2018. Top row, left to right are Noah Her- ron, Aubrey (Williams) Patiño, Colonel Bradley Magrath, Rodney Martin, John Pobutsky and Al Fewless; Front row, left to right are Curtis Bell Sr., Bill Brisky, Bob Brisky, Sara Jane Baker and Larry McKee. Not pictured are Amber Brooks, Tom Brown, Spencer Lenfield and Leo Hunt (deceased).

    The kindergarten wing of the Early Elementary School is representative of the well-lit commons areas in each wing.


    2018 Members Inducted Into Hall Of HonorNew School Exceeds Staff Expectations

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    So often, when we hear about how successful our students are, intelligence and test scores define success. There is a belief out there called “cognitive hypoth- esis” that says success today depends pri- marily on cognitive skills. It is supported by a report published by Carnegie Corpo- ration back in 1994 called Starting Points: Meeting the Needs of Our Youngest Children. This report had a powerful ef- fect on public policy and the push to teach complex academics at an even earlier age,

    from zero to three years old. It defines success as intellectual achievement.

    I do believe academics are so import- ant to opening doors for our students’ next journey. However, success in life is so much more than the top score on the SAT or the highest GPA in the class. In my position, I am fortunate to hear stories of all the oth- er sides of success and to me, these traits are a true measure of life-long success. The stories shared celebrate perseverance, curiosity, optimism, self-control, kindness, thoughtfulness, and taking care of others. In my November SuperNews sent to staff, I shared many of these stories of kindness, respect, appreciation, and taking care of others and I want to share some of those stories with our community.

    A Letter of Thanks for Going The Extra Mile

    The following letter was sent to Mattawan High School’s athletic office following the kind gesture of two young men:

    To Two Young Men Who Saved The Baby Goats:

    I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the two young men who helped corral our goats yesterday, not once, but twice, and made certain all three goats were safe and sound before they left my yard. Yesterday morning before 6:00 a.m., I fed the three goats and failed to open the barn door enough to eliminate the “boys” from escaping their pen. The cross-country team (or who I believe may be the cross-country team), en- countered my three “boys” running around my yard, and trying to join them on their practice run. Two young men specifically took the extra time to put the “boys” back in their pen but sadly the goats

    escaped once again before the two gen- tlemen left my yard. The two then put my goats securely in our chicken pen. I arrived home right after they se- cured the goats in the chicken pen and thanked them for their help, but I wanted to follow up with a note not only to you, Sue, ( Jaques)but their coach, and their parents. These two boys were obviously raised right, they saw something out of place and they did something, and if it was not for these two young men I could have potentially been looking for my three goats all evening. With any luck, you can find the two young men who helped me greatly yesterday by be- ing great Samaritans. I cannot thank them enough for their time and efforts. Their coach and parents should be extremely proud of the two of them! Warm regards, Jamie Kneeshaw (proud owner of three baby goats on the farm north of the high school)

    A Huge Tip of Thanks

    For four years in a row, the Mat- tawan Marching Band trumpet section gathered at Main Street Pub in Mat- tawan to eat a meal before their Satur- day competitions. This four year tradi- tion always included their faithful server, Kara Nicholson. Mattawan senior Em- ily Kraft asked her peers if they’d like to pitch in and honor Nicholson with a final tip of thanks for her four years of service to them. The students gath- ered $340 and gave it to Nicholson in a card, thanking her for everything, at the end of their final meal of the season in October. Their kind gesture prompted Nicholson to write:

    Feeling loved! This amazing act of kind- ness happened to me today at work and I had to share. This is why I chose to drive the extra miles to work in the town of Mattawan for the amazing people that live there.

    With tears in my eyes, I read the hand-written card that went along with it (the money) and was at a loss for words. These kids have been such a blessing to serve. Hands down the coolest kids I know. Mat- tawan should be so proud to have them rep- resent them. These kids’ love and kindness can truly change the world! I cannot wait to see what their future holds!

    continued on page 3

    From the Desk of the Superintendent

    The Wildcat Connection is a quarterly Mattawan Consolidated School publication

    MCS District Contacts:

    District Telephone: 269-668-3361

    Superintendent, Dr. Robin K. Buchler rbuchler@mattawanschools.org

    Board of Education President, Alan Koenig akoenig@mattawanschools.org

    Early Elementary Principal, Becky Moore bmoore@mattawanschools.org

    Later Elementary Principal, John Berlin jberlin@mattawanschools.org

    Middle School Principal, Chip Schuman cschuman@mattawanschools.org

    High School Principal, Tim Eastman teastman@mattawanschools.org

    Wildcat Connection Editor & Photographer, Carolyn Greer; cgreer@mattawanschools.org Three baby goats belonging to Mattawan resident Jamie Knee-

    shaw are safely returned to their pen thanks to two high school students.

    From left to right are Lauren Hart, Sam Beeson, Justin Streeter, Maggie Jonker, Mason Berchiatti, Emily Kraft (trumpet section members), and Kara Nicholson (Main Street Pub server).

    What Defines Success?

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    A Shout Out to the Football Team

    The Mattawan Varsity Football Team competed in district playoffs in October against the Western High School Pan- thers, at Western. The Wildcats lost in overtime to the Panthers, however, the team left such a positive impression on Western’s athletic director, he felt com- pelled to write the following note to Mat- tawan High School:

    Good Morning, I am reaching out today to simply say

    thank you for the way everyone I interacted with at Mattawan represented themselves and your community with class. Chad Yag- er and Sue Jacques were first class through- out the busy week. What stood out to me and multiple indi- viduals wi


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