In a world where people thrive off of coffee and the beatnik culture is revamping with coffee-shop hangouts, I had always looked for such a place in my small town of Charlotte. As I walked in the downtown area on Cochran Ave., I noticed a place where the people seemed to keep walking in on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Continue reading Evelyn Bay Coffee Company
With the 2008 Presidential Election quickly approaching, Eaton Rapids residents are gathering information about the candidates and preparing to vote in a decision that could result in a dramatic leadership change for the United States.
As the primary elections continue in individual states, the probability of having the first black president or the first female president is being discussed throughout the country, as well as in Eaton Rapids and the surrounding area.
As a child, my parents always taught me to never accept a ride from a stranger.
But what do you do when a stranger asks you for a ride?
In January, a friend and I went to cover an event in Lansing for a campus publication. I was taking pictures at a mixed martial arts fight, while my friend wrote about the fight. After the event, we called our editor to see if she would come pick us up, since the buses were not running. We said we would meet her at a parking lot of a church.
Then along came Samson.
Waverly Community Schools 2006-2007 Strategic Planning Update, presented to the board of education in June of 2007 shows that the Waverly school district has progressed in the past year in curriculum, communication but falls short in their plan of increasing diversity throughout the school system.
The Strategic Plan started in 1995 as a five-year project in order to improve the education of students in the school district. After the first phase, the Strategic Plan was adopted in May of 2006.
Wavlery Board of Education Treasurer Calvin Jones feels that the Strategic Plan will help members of the community see how the school is developing. Jones feels that the Strategic Plan makes the Waverly district unique.
“All of the community had a different vision of why we were unique,” said Jones. “This puts everybody on a level playing field.”
Mary Ann Martin, a Waverly school district board of education trustee, said that she thought the Strategic Plan was very effective. “It’s a wonderful thing,” said Martin. “It offers us a guide to help direct the district.”
Waverly Superintendent Tom Pillar said that the goal of the Strategic Plan is to develop systems throughout the district that will help students learn and faculty teach.
The Strategic Plan outlines a plan to help students to “achieve personally challenging educational goals… demonstrate the ability to think, problem solve, communicate and apply social and technological skills… [And] the percentage of students who meet or exceed the state standard on all areas tested in the Michigan Educational Assessment will increase annually.”
The plan outlines a four-step strategy to achieve the goals of the plan: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment; Communications; Diversity and Character Development.
“We don’t want to establish one plan,” said Pillar, “and establish another. Then we would make more [plans] and it would never end. The goal is to see four overall strategies acculturated in the organization so that they are automatic.”
The Curriculum Instruction and Assessment focuses on improving students’ performance on the MEAP test through online practice tests provided by Study Island, a company focused on developing educational computer programs that prepare students for standardized tests.
The Communications step will work to improve communication throughout the school districts. According to the plan, schools will implement an online system called Study Buddy. By improving communication through a Waverly Intranet system, the district will increase efficiency between officials.
The school district will also work to increase awareness and respect for diversity throughout the district in the third step of the Strategic Plan. The plan will offer diversity celebrations, as well as hiring a more diverse staff.
The final step is Character Development, which focuses on the evaluation of individual students traits, encouraging members of the community to support these character traits and hold faculty members to that standard. The plan calls for creating Student code of conduct, a Relay for Life team and a non violent crisis prevention program.
Halfway through the project, Waverly Community Schools has seen a great improvement to their educational programs. According to the Strategic Planning Update for the 2006-07 school year, the district has met all their goals for curriculum, diversity and character development. But they have not been able to reach their goals for communication. The report also says that they are working to increase diverse representation in Waverly’s staff.
Pillar said that the Strategic Plan helps the school district control their future. Pillar believes that more schools will develop their own strategic plans. “The environment for education is very unstable right now,” said Pillar. “And that comes from the state, because of necessary cuts that are unforeseen.”
Assistant Superintendent Jacklin Blodgett feels that overall the plan is successful. With only two and a half years completed, the plan “helps bring together the community to work on improving school. It gives us a direction.”
As the blissful summer breeze blows amid an afternoon in June, classic cars roll by, shiny and ready for show. Overhead, planes fly about, showcasing their skills, while you eat a stack of pancakes. It must be time to Celebrate Charlotte.
“We think it’s important to celebrate our community,” said Ann Garvey, the executive director of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, who is predominately responsible for putting on the festival this year.
Celebrate Charlotte began 10 years ago as a one-day event intended to bring together the community. In 2004, it expanded to become a weekend celebration of the city, and it now begins the Thursday before and ends the Sunday of Father’s Day. Garvey said that the inclusion of Father’s Day started four years ago. With the change came more music, more shopping and more activities for the community to take part in. Continue reading City of Charlotte shows off hometown pride in annual festival
After riding horses for 15 years, I have most of the lingo down pretty well. I have no problem talking to another horse person about the ‘mare that ran out at the oxer on course at an Event’, but I’m well aware than not everyone in the general public is quite as fluid in equine jargon as I am. And that’s totally fine with me. To help those people become a bit more ‘horse savvy’, I’ve put together a quick equine vocabulary lesson which, in theory, will make my articles easier to understand.
When news broke that Barbaro had been euthanized after an eight month long fight for his life, my world cam crashing down. But before you label me a crazy psycho because I cried over a horse I’d never met, let me explain myself. This cold had an impact on me that very few horses before him had. Continue reading Barbaro: More Than “Just A Horse”