Monthly Archives: May 2016

New Options Students Have Big Plans for the Future

Seniors at New Options High School have big plans after graduation on Thursday, June 2, 2016 in the Ceglarek Fine Arts Center. In its current location for more than 20 years, New Options High School transitions next year into the Allendale High School building.  Providing individually responsive instruction and support, New Options High School plans to maintain the holistic student-centered culture that has proven powerful—and successful—to its student body

New Options May 20 2016 Seniors (L-R) New Options High School graduating seniors Aaron Aument, Tiffany, Taron Page, and Lizzy
(not pictured: Joanna)

This year, New Options is graduating 17 seniors and awarding 29 General Education Diplomas (GEDs).  We had the opportunity to speak with five New Options seniors to ask about future plans:

  • Graduating senior Aaron Aument said he has known for years that he wanted to develop a professional wrestling company. Combining his interest in wrestling with entrepreneurship, Mr. Aument is forming a start-up with several associates and plans to locate his business in Traverse City.  While Aaron felt high school was a good experience, he developed his business plans on his own, and is looking forward to northern Michigan.
  • Lizzy is a New Options senior with a clear path in mind after graduation. She will attend Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) for two years, and then transfer to Grand Valley State University (GVSU).  Drawing on her background and interests, Lizzy is entering the field of Social Work to specialize in children’s issues, or to work with military personnel diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • With a longtime interest in being a chef, Taron Page will be attending Baker College and Muskegon Community College (MCC) to advance his knowledge of culinary arts. Interested in cooking since age 11, Mr. Page was reintroduced to food and nutrition with a class at the high school.  An artist at heart, Taron plans to open or partner in a restaurant in Holland, Michigan after graduation, with an emphasis on baking and pastry products.
  • New Options senior Joanna is planning to complete general education courses through GRCC, and then transfer to the University of Michigan to study Forensic Pathology. Always interested in science, Joanna recently became intrigued by forensics after taking a chemistry class this year that sparked her curiosity.
  • Tiffany, also a graduating senior, has been aware she wanted to work with animals in some capacity since early childhood. Tiffany developed her interest through Animal Science and Veterinary Science courses she took at her former school, Petosky High School. Tiffany plans to attend MCC for general education requirements and then transfer to the Veterinary Technology Program at Michigan State University (MSU).

With transition plans well underway, Ms. Tamika Henry, Principal of New Options High School is looking forward to new opportunities for program students.

Being embedded in the high school offers sports and extracurricular activities, as well as the ability to nurture the unique learning environment at New Options that helps students succeed.  Notes Ms. Henry, the program “takes the can’t students and provides an opportunity to become who they truly are.”

Congratulations seniors!

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Allendale Graduate Selected as Top Michigan Student By Detroit News


Science: Sam Austin

High school: Allendale High School

GPA: 4.296 weighted / 4.000 unweighted

Parents/guardians: Cynthia Wallentine and David Austin

College you plan to attend: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Major: Aerospace engineering

Career plans: Aerospace engineer

Most influential teacher: Mrs. Rebecca Karnes


Acceptance to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Founder, Allendale Rocketry Club­ Club created summer of 2015 to expose middle school students to the history, physics, and physical construction of model rockets and spaceflight

National Merit Scholar

I designed and built an inertial stabilization system (vertical stabilization) for model rockets last summer.

AXA Community Achievement Award Winner AP Scholar with Honor

President, National Honor Society Captain, Varsity Cross Country All­ Conference First Team, Cross Country Robot Drive Team, FIRST Robotics

Click here to read article.

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Allendale Middle School Wins Michigan School Wellness Award



CONTACT: Jennifer Eisner, (517) 241-2112

Michigan schools taking steps to support student health

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan schools are taking the initiative to build healthier school environments as part of the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan. In recognition of these efforts, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Governor Rick Snyder are recognizing 38 Michigan schools for fostering healthy eating, physical activity habits, and tobacco-free lifestyles among students.

“Thanks to the schools recognized today, 17,000 students have been impacted by positive changes made in their school environments,” said Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS. “When Michigan schools promote healthy lifestyles, it helps reduce childhood obesity and encourages children to adapt their healthy habits that improve their future health outcomes.”

The Michigan School Wellness Award program is part of the Governor’s Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan. MDHHS, in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Education, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan Action for Healthy Kids, and the Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan Coalition today recognized Michigan’s award-winning schools at a special ceremony at the State Capitol.

The Michigan School Wellness Award program aims to engage schools statewide in creating healthy school environments by establishing School Wellness Teams, completing the Healthy School Action Tools, and implementing sustainable policy and environmental changes.

Schools that have achieved all of these elements are recognized with the top level Gold award.

This year’s winners laud such achievements as physical environment changes to encourage healthy eating, farm to school programs and school gardens, increased opportunities for physical activity and nutrition education for Staff. The winners of this year’s School Wellness Awards include:


  • Fairview STEM in Lansing
  • Fremont School in Battle Creek
  • Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills
  • Laker Middle/High School in Pigeon
  • New Haven High School
  • Prairieview School in Battle Creek
  • Reeths-Puffer Elementary School in Muskegon
  • Unionville-Sebewaing Elementary School in Unionville
  • Valley View Elementary School in Springfield
  • Vista Charter Academy in Wyoming
  • Washington Elementary School in Charlotte
  • Woodview Elementary School in Belding


  • Allendale Middle School
  • Belding Middle School
  • Clarenceville Middle School in Livonia
  • Fred W. Ritter Elementary School in Carleton
  • Roosevelt Elementary School in Keego Harbor
  • Torrey Hill Intermediate School in Fenton
  • Universal Learning Academy in Westland
  • White Pine Middle School in Saginaw


  • Atherton Elementary School in Burton
  • Bendle Senior High School in Burton
  • Carstens Elementary School in Detroit
  • Cass Elementary School in Livonia
  • Cleveland Elementary School in Livonia
  • Grayson Elementary School in Waterford
  • Holmes Elementary School in Ypsilanti
  • Hughes Elementary School in Marshall
  • Clemens Montessori Academy
  • Northwest High School in Jackson
  • Powell Middle School in Washington
  • Pullman Elementary School
  • W. Kidder Middle School in Jackson
  • Rockwell School in Warren
  • Walters Elementary in Marshall
  • Whitefish Township School in Paradise
  • Woodlands Developmental Center in Marysville
  • Yake Elementary School in Woodhaven

To apply for the program, schools provide information about nutrition, physical education/ activity, and tobacco-free practices and submit at least one success story.

To view school award winners and learn more about the School Wellness Award Program and other resources available for schools, please visit  For more information about the Michigan Health and Wellness 4×4 Plan, visit


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Allendale Seniors Planning for Tomorrow–Today

It was a three-cake day.  On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, Allendale High School staff, students, and seniors celebrated plans for the future on Decision Day. Across the country, early May means decision time as high school seniors commit to colleges, the military, travel or mission plans—or take steps to enter the workforce. At the high school, seniors were greeted on Tuesday morning by staff wearing their college colors or a shirt that reflected their workforce choices. Decision Day Posters May 3 2016

A highlight of the day was the opportunity for seniors to register their choice on Decision Day posters.  Future paths of the Class of 2016 look like this:Decision Day Cake May 3 2016 (1)

  • Military: Four students
  • Gap year (mission work, travel, etc.): Eight seniors
  • Work full-time: 14 seniors
  • Two year community college (in state): 40 seniors
  • Two year community college (out of state): Two seniors
  • Four year public university (in state): 35 seniors
  • Four year public university (out of state): One senior
  • Four year private (in state): 19 seniors
  • Four year private (out of state): Five seniors
  • Vocational school: Seven seniors

For those who completed a Senior Survey and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), drawings were held for gift cards to Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, Meijer, and more.  Other giveaways included collegiate t-shirts, a College Care basket, a $250 Amazon gift card, and a mini-refrigerator.

During the lunch hour, seniors and staff celebrated at the cake reception.  The day wound down as Principal Dan Remenap held an all-senior meeting to highlight the schedule as Graduation, on May 26, 2016, draws near.

It was a great day for looking back, and especially for looking forward. Secretary to the High School Principal and Guidance Department, Ms. Kristin DeGroot noted, “We had almost everyone participate.” And, at the end of the day—there was no cake left.  Congratulations seniors!


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APS Students Benefit from Knights of Columbus Generosity

Allendale Public Schools special education students will benefit from a gift given by the Knights of Columbus Council, St. Luke University Council 14586, Allendale. Chairman Howard Lehti, left, presented the $1,284.06 check to Dr. Daniel Jonker, the Superintendent of Allendale Public Schools this week. The Knights of   Columbus conduct a fund drive each year to help support education of those with special needs.Untitled-1

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Allendale Middle School Science Olympiad Team Receives State Honors




State Tournament

Congratulations to the middle school team on an awesome job at the State Science Olympiad competition at MSU recently. Out of the 350 schools that started out, 48 schools qualified to compete at MSU.   Allendale Middle placed 11th and received a plaque for their efforts.  The competition was extremely tough with some of the best school in the state competing.  But that did not stop this outstanding group of aca- demic achievers in performing their best.

Placing at state were: 5th Green Generation  Ryley Rawlings  Dakota Riemersma, 6th  Scramber Micalya Timmer,  Jay Francis, 6th  Crime Busters  Sarah Brumels,  Micayla Timmer, 6th  Source Code  Kaden Adams, Nick Heaton, 7th  Bio Process Lab  Tumaini Sango  Mitchell Hartz

Allendale Middle School Team

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