Posts Tagged With: Allendale High School

Thank you Allendale, From Kat Ginn

Allendale Public SchoolsMy first day of high school was full of nerves. I had just moved to Michigan a couple weeks before and I didn’t know many people. I was scared to death and had no idea what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect that the next four years would be better than I imagined, and I have the faculty and staff to thank for that.

I would like to thank the teachers at Allendale for going above and beyond for their students. They were always willing to stay after school, or come early before school, if I need extra help. I have had teachers stay after school multiple times a week for hours re-explaining lessons that I don’t understand.  Apart from teaching the curriculum, the teachers also teach us life lessons. They made sure that we are well prepared to go into the “real world” by the time we walk across the stage at graduation. I couldn’t have asked for better teachers during my high school career.

Kat Ginn, Allendale High School, Allendale Public Schools, Summer SeriesI would like to thank the administrators at Allendale for having high expectations for us. The administrative staff expects nothing less than the best from us. We are not allowed to slack off on our school work, sports, or anything else. We are expected to do our best all the time. Mr. Remenap has two rules that we go over at the beginning of every year. Don’t do what is wrong, and do what is right. Those are his only rules and we are expected to follow them all the time.

My last thank you is to the whole staff. Throughout high school everyone goes through a lot of changes and some difficult times. Whenever I needed someone to talk to I knew that I could always go to anyone on the staff. Weather it was Mr. Fogel, or any one of the teachers I always felt safe talking to them. Not a lot of kids feel comfortable enough to go to one of their teachers to talk about issues that are going on in their lives, but at Allendale, its different.

I had a wonderful experience at Allendale High School. Every teacher and administrator goes above and beyond for their students. They not only make sure we are able to graduate, but they make certain that we are well prepared to go into the “real world.” I would again like to thank everyone at Allendale High School for their commitment to all the students.


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Allendale High School Graduation 2013


The word conjures many ideas about school and the future. It means that kids have grown up and are preparing to strike out on their own. It evokes strong feelings of hope and possibilities. But most of all, it signifies the end of end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

Allendale Graduation, Allendale Public Schools, Allendale High SchoolAllendale’s 2013 graduates were sent off with heartfelt words from Principal Remenap, who began his journey four years ago with this same group of students.

“We started this trip together — your first day was my first day. Tonight we have one final time to celebrate your accomplishments and say goodbye.”

Allendale Graduation, Allendale Public Schools, Allendale High School

Mr. Remenap highlighted attitude, honor, and scholarship as being his guiding principles for students, reminding them that while their GPA matters, it’s their attitude that will open or close far more doors than grades will. Loyalty, he said, will matter far more than an ACT score. He continued:

“…Your ability to love and appreciate people and beauty around you will determine your joy far more than any amount of scholarship. … Your education matters, but let’s place it in its right order.’

Allendale Graduation, Allendale Public Schools, Allendale High School

With Memorial Day on the horizon, Superintendent Dr. Dan Jonker brought the sentiments of love and honor full circle when he asked the crowd to join him in paying tribute to our veterans and those currently serve in the military.

“Our nation has been at war for most of your school years,” he started. “This Memorial Day, we salute those who have served, are serving, or will be serving our country in the Armed Forces.”

Allendale High School, Allendale Public School

Allendale High School band performing “The Lion of Lucerne” one final time.

These graduating seniors, Dr. Jonker pointed out, have seen much already in their short lives. They were newborns when Yahoo launched. Wikipedia was born when they were in kindergarten. iPhones changed the world during their middle school years, and the internet surpassed newspaper readership their freshman year.

And while it’s true that these students have seen technology revolutionize our nation, we come back to the simple truth that nothing is quite as revolutionary as love and kindness.

Salutatorian Katherine Sauter summed it up with a quote from Minor Myers Jr:

“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.”

Allendale High School graduates of 2013, may you do just that! Embrace the past that has prepared you for this moment in history, but open your arms wide to the future and purpose to do good.

Ambition like that will change the world, and we’ll be here cheering you on as you go!

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The Future is Bright for 2013 AHS Top Ten Grads

As is our tradition, we’d like to take a moment to highlight the accomplishments of 2013’s Allendale High School Top Ten graduates. Their unstoppable effort and determination deserves our applause and admiration!

Kali Smolen, Allendale High School, Top Ten Grads 2013Kali Smolen, daughter of Colleen and Earl Smolen, is this year’s Valedictorian with an unbelievable 4.143 GPA. Kali has been on the Science Olympiad team for the past two years, competing on designer genes, forestry, and “write-it-do-it.” Kali served as vice president on our National Honor Society while also participating in student congress. She spent her entire high school career involved in 4-H, marching band, and concert band, and has also ridden for AHS’s equestrian team throughout high school.

Kali plans to pursue biomedical sciences and Spanish at GVSU’s Frederik Meijer Honor’s College in the fall.

We wish her the best as she continues to move toward her goals with diligence!

Katherine Sauter, Allendale Public Schools, Allendale High School***

Congratulations are also due to our Salutatorian, Katherine Sauter, daughter of Karl and Cristy Sauter. Katherine grabbed this lofty spot with an amazing 4.142 GPA. Her high school activities included student congress, National Honor Society, Quizbowl, Rotary Interact Club, drama club, concert, marching, and pep band, wind ensemble, volleyball, and softball (are you tired just reading this?)

Katherine plans to major in comparative cultures and politics at MSU’s James Madison College, with the hopes of one day practicing environmental law. Katherine has also offered to contribute to our summer series here on the blog; be sure to check back and read her moving letter on July 2!

Congrats, Katherine!


Rachel LaBrecque,  Allendale Public Schools, Allendale High SchoolRachel LeBrecque, daughter of Steve and Betty, snags our #3 position with a 4.109 GPA. Rachel was president of student congress during her senior year, capping off four years of heavy involvement in student government. She was also a member of NHS, marching and concert bands, and wind ensemble throughout her career.

An artist at heart, Rachel also participated in Kendall College of Art and Design’s dual enrollment program during her junior and senior years.

Rachel is interested in graphic design, advertising, and journalism, and plans to pursue her passions at Ferris State University in the fall.

We cheer her on as she continues to achieve great things!


Andrea BeitelAndrea Beitel comes in next with a stunning 4.089 GPA. Daughter of Bob and Colette, Andrea was involved in drama club, pursued music in both marching band and pep band, and was on the Quiz Bowl team. This past year she also volunteered her time on National Honor Society where she served as president.

Andrea is eager to serve others by working for human rights with organizations such as Amnesty International or in refugee centers. She will be attending Kalamazoo College in the fall with plans to study anthropology and Spanish. Congratulations, Andrea!

We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!


Smith, SamanthaSamantha Smith rounds out the top five with a 4.075 GPA. This daughter of Terry Smith and Theresa and Jeff Van Eck was a student-athlete who pole-vaulted for the Falcon’s track and field team while at Allendale High School. She also participated in band and performed at the District and State Solo Ensemble.

Samantha dreams of doing something in the medical field when she begins her career. Her plans include attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall where she would study pre-med.

We’re cheering for you, Samantha!


Michelle Austin, Allendale public Schools, Allendale High SchoolIn sixth place with a 4.069 GPA is the daughter of Robert and Hattie Austin, Michelle.  Michelle was involved in many activities during her time at Allendale High School, including four years of softball and volleyball. She additionally served on National Honor Society, the Rotary Interact Club, and the Spirit Club.

Next year, Michelle plans to serve either with Youth.With.A.Mission (YWAM), a Christian organization that impacts lives around the globe, or with 24/7 Academy Mission School on the west side of Grand Rapids. While she is still considering her long-term plans, her dreams include nursing, social work, or speech pathology with American Sign Language.

Go change the world, Michelle!


Paige Wells, Allendale Public Schools, Allendale High SchoolPaige Wells is our #7 graduate with a 4.062 GPA. Daughter of Troy and Allison Wells, Paige was involved in numerous on- and off-campus activities including Chamber Choir, National Honor Society, Rotary Interact Club, varsity track & field, volleyball, and Spirit Club. She served as captain of her volleyball team in 9th and 12th grades, and captain of her track & field team from her sophomore through senior years.

Paige is looking forward to beginning her college career at GVSU in the fall where she will study health and social sciences. While she is not certain of her vocational plans, Paige knows she wants to “work daily with people, making a difference in their lives in some way.”

We wish you the best, Paige!


Allendale Public Schools, Allendale High School, Brianna BoschComing in at #8 is Brianna Bosch, daughter of Dave and Pam Bosch.  Brianna is a member of National Honor Society and marched in the drumline for Allendale’s Marching Band. She also served on the yearbook committee this past year and is dual enrolled in two classes with Kendall College of Art and Design.

While undecided in her career plans, Brianna intends to study Spanish and hopes to be able to use the language in her future pursuits. She will attend Grand Valley State University in the fall.

Congratulations, Brianna! –Buena suerte!


Vereeke, TylerThis year’s #9 spot belongs to Tyler Vereeke, son of Douglas and Patricia Vereeke. Tyler earned a 4.052 GPA and participated in Science Olympiad, student congress, and National Honor Society while at Allendale High School.

Tyler hopes to eventually going into Neurology, and will attend Grand Valley State University next fall with a biomedical major. Upon completion, Tyler hopes of being accepted to medical school.

May all your dreams come true, Tyler!


Hoekstra, DanielDaniel Hoekstra, son of Todd and Wendy Hoekstra, rounds out our Top Ten graduates with a 4.047 GPA. Dan was the captain of the varsity hockey team and starting catcher for the Allendale High School varsity baseball team. Dan also served on National Honor Society.

This fall Dan will head to Hope College to play baseball and study pre-med. He hopes to one day become a pharmacist and live somewhere in sunny Florida.

Dan has also volunteered to join our Allendale Outlook summer blog series! Please check back on August 6 to read what Dan has to say about his time at Allendale High School.

Where ever you land, Dan, we know you’ll shine!

Please join me in applauding the hard work and tenacity of these special students and all of our graduates!

Categories: Allendale Grads/Graduation, Allendale High School, Allendale Public Schools | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Allendale Robotics Team Members Reflect on a Winning Year

Robotics Competition, Trisonic, Allendale High School, Zach Holmes, Zach Jones

(L to R): Zach Jones and Zach Holmes are sad to see their season end.

For Allendale High School Robotics Team members, success in their spring competition was gravy on top of a season of friendship and intense bonding. Senior Zach Jones and Junior Zach Holmes were teammates who say that working closely together for hundreds of hours did more than create a winning robot: it created family.

This was Zach Holmes’ first year of robotics, getting involved only because he convinced his best friend to join him. He soon realized that there were new friends to be made over a table of math problems and engineering dilemmas.

“We worked in small groups during the season — we had a “design” group, a “build” group, and a “programming” group. But even though we were clustered with specific classmates, by the end of the season we were locking arms because we had gotten so close,” said Mr. Holmes who plans to join the Marines after his 2014 graduation. He intends to study mechanical engineering.

Unique to this team is the fact that it operates in partnership with other local high schools. This year students from Jenison High School joined, forming a team of fourteen young men: 9 from APS and 5 from Jenison.

Their goal, aside from crafting a winning robot, was to branch out into the community to garner support. By including local businesses, these students were able to make solid real-world connections to their work. For instance, this year’s robot frame was built by Laser Dynamics in Allendale. They also received sponsorships from numerous others.

In no less than six weeks, the team had their robot designed, assembled, and programmed to win. They spent over seventy hours of their mid-winter break perfecting the device, and said those long days solidified their personal connections.

“We really are one big family,” said Zach Jones, who also intends to study engineering after graduation. “We try to include everyone. At all times when we were working on something, we had at least five sets of hands inside the robot … it can be chaotic, but we all held it together.”

After an initial competition in Traverse City, the 2013 Allendale Jenison TriSonics team played “Ultimate Ascent” at the fieldhouse on Grand Valley State University’s campus in late March. In “Ultimate Ascent,” robots were challenged with collecting discs resembling frisbees, and then scoring goals with them. During the first 15 seconds of the game robots functioned in autonomous mode, relying on the students’ expert programming completed over weeks of preparation time.

Allendale Public Schools, TriSonics, Allendale Robotics Team

The next 15 seconds allowed for the robot to be driven by teleoperators. Finally, in the final 30 seconds of the game, robots actually had to climb a pyramid! Points were allotted based on how high the robot climbed.

We are proud of this group for being named a Finalist and receiving the Team Spirit Award at the West Michigan District Event. But more than anything, we celebrate with them that academics and extra-curricular passions have led to wonderful friendships and a determination to pursue excellence far beyond the TriSonics competitions of high school.

Categories: Allendale High School, Allendale Public Schools, APS Celebrations, Student Award Winners | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Allendale High School Band & Choir Students Bring Music to Disney

This past Spring Break, while you were cleaning your garage or road tripping with your family, a team of over one hundred Allendale High School musicians traveled to Florida to bring music to the streets of Disney World.

photo of a tour bus of studentsThe group left their familiar surroundings on Friday, March 29 and drove straight through to Orlando, arriving the next day. Mr. Bush noted what a joy it was for him to witness so many of his students taking pictures of Indianapolis and Louisville, cities much larger than some had ever seen. Mr. Bush kept his bus engaged by turning the intercom system into a Science trivia show about the plate tectonics of Kentucky.

“It was fun to see them notice there is much more to this world than life in Allendale — the Earth is big and it’s awesome!” said Mr. Bush.

Allendale High School Choir performing in Disney World

In the planning stages for years, this trip occurs once every four years, a cycle that has been long-established in Allendale with the hopes that each student would have the opportunity to go once in their high school career. Band Director, Mr. Tony Bush, proud to continue the tradition, notes that Allendale boasts Disney trophies dating back to the 1980’s.

But getting to Orlando is not as easy as stepping on a bus: Mr. Bush and Ms. Verdonk first began the application process one year ago!

Disney officials require a daunting list of information for bands. Aside from requesting a list of all local parades the applicant has played in, theme park planners ask for a list of honors received, photos of uniforms, and videos of the band marching.

After receiving this packet of information, Disney coordinators convene to choose a parade best suited to the visiting band’s skill level. The best groups are assigned to evening parades in the Magic Kingdom which are the most high-profile. Mr. Bush was thrilled to hear this response from Florida:

“You’re the biggest and the best, that’s why you get to play in Magic Kingdom’s Electric Light Parade right before evening fireworks!”

photo of Allendale High School performing in Disney World

Allendale High School band performing in Disney WorldWith the help of fundraisers and the generosity of Allendale High School Band Boosters’ scholarships, students worked tirelessly to earn the $900 needed to make the journey. And while that may have been their biggest challenge, the concern weighing on the teachers’ minds was coordinating a safe trip.

“Anytime I have over fifty students taking a trip, I get a little anxious about making sure that everyone is getting my communications, understands the information, and stays safe. When you’re moving across several states, you depend on kids to behave. Luckily, we have perfect kids — they were great the whole time!” said Mr. Bush.

Performing in the Florida climate, even at night, proved tedious work. Students were sweating, working diligently, and concentrating on perfectly performing Louie Louie, Hey Baby, and the fall marching band tune, Magical Mystery Tour.  Mr. Bush said that seeing the group backstage after the parade was his personal highlight:

“The kids were euphoric! They wanted to do it again — or at least return next year! They knew that all their hard work was worth it. Our kids truly shined!”

Congratulations to Mr. Bush, Ms. Verdonk, and all the students who made us proud in Orlando this spring! We applaud you!

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Senior Kali Smolen Defies the Odds and Soars to Success

Allendale Public Schools, Allendale High School, Kali Smolen, Valedictorian

2013 Valedictorian Kali Smolen

When senior Kali Smolen first reported to her elementary kindergarten class, she never imagined that she would never miss even a single day of school in her entire educational career.


And she certainly could not have dreamed that her pursuit of excellence would eventually pave the way for a perfect GPA and the title “Valedictorian.”  

But in fact, that is precisely what happened.

Kali is currently taking all three advance-placement (AP) courses offered at Allendale High School: AP Calculus, AP English, and AP Biology. In addition, she is enrolled in Spanish V, Wind Ensemble, and is taking Spanish 202 at Grand Valley State University. She is additionally involved in Science Olympiad and the Equestrian Team.

 “I have been involved with equestrian and MIHA throughout high school.  At the state competition of my senior year, I was the only member on the team.  The team was one horse, one rider.  I rode in all but two events.  I rode in 15 events and placed in the top five overall in division D at state.  The sheer fact that I made it to state was amazing.” 

Kali explained that her work ethic, intrinsic motivation, and the encouragement she’s received from staff members have propelled her through her difficult class load.

“I’ve truly adored all of my teachers — they’ve been willing to help and nice to talk to. Allendale teachers really support their students,” said Kali.

Though her senior year has been the most challenging by far, Kali has no regrets, even stating that she wishes she “…would’ve taken a harder curriculum from the get-go. I’m a pretty good time manager and I think I would’ve loved the challenge!”

Ms. Smolen has plans to attend Grand Valley’s Frederik Meijer Honors College next year to study Bio-Medical Sciences and Spanish. She dreams of interning at the Van Andel Institute and diving into the world of stem cell research to get to the heart of the issues.

“I attended the Sam Rhines genetic conference with my anatomy class during my junior and senior years.  Each time, I became intrigued with genetic sciences.  These conferences interested me in stem cell research.  I proceeded to do my capstone research paper on stem cell research.  I now want to go into medicine, with research as a high possibility. Instead of just treating the disease, I’d like to find the mechanism behind it.”

Kali’s mother, Colleen, points out that while there exists a scholarship for couples going to prom in a clothes made of duct tape, there is not a scholarship for perfect attendance. Still, her pride is obvious and we join her in congratulating Kali for her amazing accomplishments!

“I am proud of Kali’s academic success, but I’m even more proud of her good personal character.” she said.

Congratulations to Kali Smolen for an unbelievable school career!! You make us “Falcon Proud”!

Categories: Allendale High School, Student Award Winners, Students in the Spotlight! | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

“Bye Bye Birdie” Opens Thursday Night at the Ceglarek Fine Arts Center

Allendale High School, Bye Bye Birdie, Spring MusicalWhat happens when Conrad Birdie, America’s biggest pop star, is drafted into the army, leaving thousands of fans swooning over his departure? Publicity stunts ensue, romance blossoms, and throngs of adoring groupies are sent into a tailspin while the world waves “Bye Bye Birdie!”

Set in 1957, this Tony Award winning musical includes songs like A Healthy, Normal, American Boy and A Lot of Livin’ to Do, and possesses all the excitement of Broadway.

This year’s cast and crew have been working diligently to overcome days lost to inclement weather that threatened to delay production. Director Cherry Peterson noted that seven rehearsals were lost to snow days and cancellations, so this team of young actors has had to focus with added diligence to master roles and prepare to sing.

“I’m still working to learn all my lines and know when I come in,” says Brock Farber, a senior.  “It’s stressful! In soccer you work hard physically, but this is all mental. I’m having a great time though–I love acting.”

Lead roles this year are filled with students ranging from 10th to 12th grade, and include: Andrea Beitel, Brock Farber, Mackenzie Emmert, Alexander Herringa, Riley Todd, Jacob Van Neuren, and Megan Stevens (pictured below, names descending the stairs and to the left)

APS, Allendale High School, Bye Bye Birdie, Spring Musical 2013

Each of these students was quick to praise the individuals involved with Bye Bye Birdie, but said that it’s the overall theater department that feels like family.

“Theater has been one of my favorite parts of high school. Other students in drama are so accepting — nobody’s weird here. After all, just because this is a drama club doesn’t mean there has to be drama! said Andrea.

Senior Megan Stevens agreed:

“It seems like drama might be one of the only places where all kinds of different people come together. We have athletes, singers, math lovers, and those who have been in drama for years. You become friends with people that you wouldn’t normally meet.”

Riley Todd, a junior, echoed these sentiments, adding:

“Drama is a family. If you ever need someone to talk to, there’s always someone there. People really care; I’ve made so many friends.”

Mackenzie, Jacob, and Alexander all agreed that there are times when the stage feels more like home than anywhere else. They’ve been involved in various productions for years, and are thrilled to have the privilege to perform again this week.

Allendale High School, Spring Musical, Bye Bye Birdie

Cast and crew warming up during practice.

Bye Bye Birdie is a theater classic that will take you back through time to leather jackets, white t-shirts, and great music. On behalf of the the Allendale High School Drama Club, we invite you to join us  this week  for Bye Bye Birdie.

Show times are:

March 21, 22, 23

7 pm

Ceglarek Fine Arts Center

All tickets are general admission

Adults $7

Students $6

5 yrs. and younger $3

Categories: Allendale High School, High School Musicals/Plays | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Allendale Seniors Take Scholastic Art Awards By Storm

APS, Allendale High School, Scholastic Art & Writing Award

(L to R) Kendra DeVrou, Rachel LaBrecque, Lauren Niergarth, Rebekah Van Slooten

For ninety years, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have been recognizing and rewarding creativity in students across the United States. With Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, and Andy Warhol among a litany of Scholastic “alumni”, these young women are in good company!

“The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards continues to be the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers.” (see link for quote credit)

Despite the clear display of talent from all four artists, each of them opened up to the fact that they didn’t expect to win! Even after submitting amazing works of art (as displayed in January’s Falcon Flier), these seniors exhibited humility and surprise. Their teacher, Erin Overmeyer, explained her difficult role in selecting pieces for consideration:

“I choose the work that I think is the strongest work thus far. I have to pay $5 per entry, so I have to act as juror here and only enter the work that I think is the strongest.”  

Besides her Silver Key and Honorable Mention, Rebekah Van Slooten was awarded two Gold Keys, which means her work will travel on to be judged nationally! For the time being, however, you can view her work and that of our other Silver Key winner Rachel LaBrecque at Kendall College of Art and Design.

In pondering the significance of this recognition, Rachel, who plans to study graphic design at Ferris State University, shared that “[It] means a lot… School and family will be proud no matter what, but it’s really nice to hear that you do good work from people outside that close group.”

Both Lauren and Kendra experimented with mediums unlike those used by their classmates: Lauren with photography and Kendra with typography. Lauren remarked that although it came as a surprise, it was the first competition she’d ever won, and that gave her great satisfaction.

Each of the artists praised the personal attention they receive in Allendale and the freedom they enjoy to create. The joy they experience while holding a paintbrush, charcoal pencil, or camera is a reminder that, while not quantifiable on a multiple choice test, these talents do have the power to change lives.

“The APS art program has been a big part of my life as long as I can remember. To me, art classes are fun, refreshing, and a great place to challenge myself and learn new skills. This love of art made me want to dual-enroll at Kendall. In those classes,  Ms. O helped me learn the techniques I used in my winning artwork,” Rachel said.

For her part, Ms. Overmeyer is proud of the success of her students and noted that these young women are attentive to more than just the canvas in front of them. They are leaders in every sense of the word.

“What really stands out with this year’s group of award winners is their dedication to their school and community.  All four of these young women are talented artists, athletes, accomplished students, class leaders, and active volunteers in their community,” said Ms. Overmeyer.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Categories: Allendale High School, Fine Arts, Student Award Winners | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honoring AHS Football & Academic All-State Honorable Mention Aaron Wickstrom

APS, Aaron Wickstom, Allendale High School footballCoach Ben Burk couldn’t be more proud of his 2012 varsity football team. Their dedication on the field (finishing 8-2 this season), and their dedication to character, integrity, and hard work off the field has gained the attention of an audience much larger than any that could fit into Allendale High School Stadium on a Friday night.

The team has been honored with the top position on the list of  Division 4 teams awarded the MHSFCA Academic All-State Award (Michigan High School Football Coaches Association). This means that their team GPA, averaged from Allendale’s eleven highest academic-achieving players, was 3.9!

As if this one award wasn’t exciting enough, senior Aaron Wickstrom (pictured left) added to the celebration with his Academic All-State Honorable Mention award.

Aaron, who plans to attend Grand Valley State University next fall to study Business & Finance, currently has a whopping 4.02 GPA thanks in part to his pursuit of AP class credits.  He shared that many of his teammates are also taking AP classes, adding that the entire group of young men under Coach Burk have a healthy respect for classroom achievement.

“Coach Burk always tells us to be leaders in the classroom and on the field. He says, ‘Do your work; school comes first because you’re student-athletes.’ I think it’s cool to be mentioned for an award that combines football and work in the classroom.”

Coach Burk returned the kind words when he was asked to describe what makes Aaron a stand out young man:

“His intelligence, personal high standards, work ethic, kind heart, team focus, the quality parenting that he received, intrinsic motivation, desire to do more, willingness to push himself, character, understanding that preparation is important, are just some of the things makes Aaron a stand-out.”

When asked about his 2012 varsity team as a whole, Coach Burk beamed:

“I am extremely impressed with the young men here at Allendale High School.  Our student-athletes are among the top in the state of Michigan for sure.  We make academics important here as a coaching staff, as a teaching staff, and as a district from k – 12th grades, and most all our students and athletes respond.  It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to work in a community like this.  GO FALCONS!!”

Congratulations to Aaron and the entire Falcon football team! We applaud your dedication to excellence!

Categories: Allendale High School, Athletics, Student Award Winners | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Savannah Coone Makes Music at the 2013 BCS Championship Game

Allendale High School, Allendale Public Schools, Savannah Coone, BCS Championship GameEarlier this month as students returned to school and teachers to their classrooms, Savannah Coone got on a plane bound for Miami. And while football fans everywhere sat eagerly watching the BCS Championship match-up between Alabama and Notre Dame, Savannah stood garbed in Falcon red, one of hundreds of other musicians chosen to represent their schools in the marching band.

With flute in hand, this Allendale senior stood soaking in the moment that was months in the making. In November 2012, Savannah’s teacher, Mr. Bush, nominated her for the All-Star Marching band and told her about the opportunity to apply for admission into the BCS Marching Band under Notre Dame director Dr. Dye.

After sending in recordings of both her marching skills and a solo music performance, Savannah waited nearly three weeks to hear whether Miami would welcome her to the 50-yard line of one of the biggest college games of the year.

When the happy news of her acceptance came, Savannah realized there remained yet another hurdle: money. She dove headlong into fundraising to cover the $1,500 expense of the trip — not including airfare. She babysat for teachers, worked extra hours at her part-time job, and thought outside-the-box to come up with creative ways to plump up her nest egg.

With money in hand and her supportive parents at her side, Savannah journeyed to Miami to do something that few others will ever have the chance to do. Upon arrival in Florida, BCS band members were up at 6 am, marched from 7 am – 12:30 pm, broke for lunch, and then hit the field again for an afternoon practice.

All her hard work paid off when the roar of the crowd swelled at the sound of the music she helped to produce. 

“Being on the field and seeing everybody in the stands was an amazing experience. Everything just clicked. One of my best memories was meeting and working with hundreds of other kids who enjoyed the same things as me — who all loved working hard musically. It was awesome.”

Congratulations to Savannah for representing Allendale High School during this terrific opportunity! We are so proud of you!

Categories: Allendale High School, Allendale Music Education | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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