Monthly Archives: November 2014

Nominate Alumni for the Allendale Hall of Fame

Earlier this month, four individuals were inducted into the Allendale Alumni Hall of Fame.  The Fund Advisory Committee of the Allendale Public School Foundation began this Hall of Fame as a way to showcase the accomplishments of Allendale Alumni and staff whose contributions either at Allendale Public Schools or beyond serve as positive “points of light” for today’s students.

2014 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees Jim & Helen VanLaar (representing their daughter, Gina (VanLaar) Lanser; Symantha Reenders (representing her father, Jay Reenders); Jason Coffey, and Gary Torno

2014 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees
Jim & Helen VanLaar (representing their daughter, Gina (VanLaar) Lanser; Dr. Symantha Reenders (representing her father, Jay Reenders); Jason Coffey, and Gary Torno

This year one long-time staff member, Jay Reenders, and three alumni, Gina VanLaar Lanser, Jason Coffey, and Gary Torno were honored at an induction dinner.  Their commemorative plaques hang in the Ceglarek Fine Arts Center.  The ceremony, emceed by Principal Dan Remenap, gave the audience an opportunity to hear a little of their remarkable stories.

Gina VanLaar Lanser was honored for her athletic achievements and leadership both at Allendale and Hillsdale College.  Jason Coffey was honored for his accomplishments as a professional opera singer now based in New York City.  Gary Torno was honored for his contributions to Allendale Public Schools not only as an all-state athlete but as the Director of Operations during the construction of Allendale’s elementary, intermediate, and middle school buildings.  Jay Reenders was an influential teacher, coach, and administrator for the district over his many years of service.

If you would like to nominate a worthy alumnus for the 2015 Hall of Fame induction class, go to the Allendale Public School website at and click on the Allendale Alumni Hall of Fame spotlight on the front page.  All you need to do is provide the name of the nominee and any contact information you might have and click submit.  The Fund Advisory Committee will work with the nominee to complete the application process.  There are many more great stories to tell!

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Allendale Middle School participates in Project Healthy Schools Program


As we move intphs 1o the holiday season, there is always a danger to eat too much or over snack on all the holiday treats.  Our middle school students are working to change that thinking.

Last Spring, Allendale Middle School was awarded a Project Health Schools Grant to promote healthier lifestyles for students, staff, and their families.  A kick-off assembly was held last month.  A middle school wellness team is preparing to identify strengths and weaknesses in healthy habits within the school.  Ms. Kelly Merrill, AMS Health Teacher, is the coordinator for this effort.  We appreciate the sponsorship of Blue Cross Blue Shield and the University of Michigan in supporting this initiative to Build Healthy Communities.

There are five healthy goals for this initiative:20141002_112952

1. Be active every day

2. Spend less time in front of a screen

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables

4. Choose less sugary foods and beverages

5. Eat less “fast” and fatty foods

Students pictured above and at the right participated in promoting the Project Healthy Schools initiative as it was launched.  As the weather outside gets colder, don’t hibernate this winter but keep active and eat healthy for better wellness!


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Elementary Students Stretch Their Thinking at Jr. Science Olympiad

How do I put straws together to create a tower?  Can I take a drawing and build a model of it?  These were some of the opportunities given to elementary students to stretch their thinking on a Saturday.  The Junior Science Olympiad Fun Day was held last weekend. There were 228 students from 2nd through 5th grades who enjoyed the challenges of working on science events such as Straw Tower, Alien CSI, Park It, and Draw It, Build It.

Val Francis said, “As a parent of a second grader who participated and a middle school student who helped out, this was a wonderful experience for all involved. The excitement and sense of accomplishment the students experienced was priceless. I was in awe of the support the children had for their friends and the interaction of the older students with the younger ones. It was a true testament to their parents and teachers. What a great community of learners to be a part of!”

Yumeng Wei and Ashley Yablonsky worked hard to build a great straw tower at the Jr. Science Olympiad!

Yumeng Wei and Ashley Yablonsky worked hard to build a great straw tower at the Jr. Science Olympiad!

Thanks to Mr. Brethauer’s high school Science Olympiad team for running the events, to all of the other student and adult volunteers who assisted, and to the Elementary PTO for providing the financial support for the materials to make this a free event for all students!

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Are You Good At Solving Mysteries?

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Reading the Last Will & Testament of Sam Westing

Do you enjoy playing the game of “Clue”?  Do you like to read mysteries?  Are you excited about word puzzles?  The Allendale High School Drama Club is performing “The Westing Game” this week at the Ceglarek Fine Arts Center. The play is an exciting mystery which provides the actors the opportunity to explore characters in a fun and intriguing way.

A book read by 5th Graders,”The Westing Game” has the audience trying to solve “Who took the life of Sam Westing?” before the characters do.  It’s about Sam Westing’s 16 heirs trying to determine “whodunnit”.

Two casts are performing in this play over the course of several performances.  Public performances are being held on Thursday, November 6 at 7 PM; Friday, November 7 at 7 PM; and two shows on Saturday, November 8 at Noon and 5 PM.  Tickets are $5, or $3 for children under age 6.

Come see the show and determine how good of a detective you are!

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