Posts Tagged With: Mr. Remenap

AHS Juniors Visit Colleges, Plan for Bright Futures

Allendale High School guidance officer Liz Pellegrom had an idea: she knew the best way to prepare students for the future…was to show it to them. That’s why this spring, the guidance office organized a college visitation day for all juniors desiring to visit Muskegon Community College and Baker, Western or Central Michigan.

Allendale High School, juniors

Students Shelbi Dyke, Nate Couturier and Olivia McClure reflect on their college visits with AHS.

Buses traveled to each of these three locations with roughly 150 kids—nearly the entire junior class. Students interested in other schools had the freedom to plan visits with their parents to those colleges, while those not wanting to miss class were able to stay behind to study.

This was AHS’ first year of doing a trip like this, but Ms. Pellegrom is certain it will become a junior year right of passage. In fact, staff is considering what college visits could mean for freshmen and sophomores, too. If it would help Allendale students start to consider college from an earlier age and then plan accordingly, it could be a “win” for everyone.

“We feel it’s important for students to see what’s out there and have the chance to see a college dorm room, hear what certain colleges have to offer, learn a little bit about financial aid and scholarships, and just be on the campus for something other than just a sports game,” said Ms. Pellegrom. She continued, “It’s really important to get on campus and not apply to schools you’ve never been to.  You have to know if it’s the right fit for you.”

This is something that junior Shelbi Dyke confirmed after visiting MCC and Baker College. “I thought I wanted to go to MCC before the trip and then I was just going to transfer to Grand Valley. However, after visiting there, I actually decided against MCC because I didn’t like it. I didn’t see anyone smiling, and for some reason, this bothered me. On the other hand, I knew nothing about Baker. I was actually dreading it, but then we went there and I’m considering Baker now! I love their dorms and I think I’m going to schedule a visit.”

Olivia McClure also took note of the “happiness factor” when she visited Western Michigan. “That was my #1 thing. At Western, everyone was happy, everyone we passed said “hi”, everyone was really happy.”

She reported that the tour guide called Western a “Heads-Up” School, meaning that students aren’t walking around with the heads buried in their phones or other devices, they are interacting and engaging with each other.  Also, everyone keeps their dorm room doors open as a way to meet other people which Olivia really liked.

Several students also shared how valuable it was to talk with admissions counselors about things like overnight guests, sports opportunities, family visits, roommates and other on-campus opportunities. They realized that tapping social media for information about colleges, a common practice for some, is not all that reliable when held up against conversations had with actual students in real dorms.

Nate Couturier enjoyed getting to see what Central Michigan had to offer. “I thought CMU was pretty cool. There are a lot of different activities to do, and there’s a big student rec. center, basketball courts and swimming pool—everything you’d need to keep yourself occupied on campus.” Nate still has plans to visit U of M and Indiana University.

Juniors appreciated the effort made by the school to visit the colleges, thanking guidance counselors and Mr. Rememap for the opportunity to make  informed choices for the future.

“Mr. Remenap really cares about our education, more than the average principal, I would say. And I think I’m pretty prepared to go to college.”


Categories: Allendale High School | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

The Principals’ Podcast

Allendale Public Schools

This screenshot shows where you can find the principals’ podcast.

This past fall, as the play season approached dress rehearsals, middle school teacher and Fall Play Director Shawn McMaster had an idea: why not promote the play with a podcast?

Mr. McMaster approached Mr. Remenap and Mr. Hadden with the idea, offering to help with the technical end of things if they’d be willing to host the podcasts. They agreed, kicking off the inaugural recording by interviewing key thespians.  They soon realized they had begun something special. The podcast is now used to “highlight students who might not otherwise get the recognition they deserve,” said Mr. Remenap.

“…anytime we can recognize our students for their talents and efforts it is a good thing.  This is simply another way to “show off” our great kids,” said Mr. Remenap.

Podcasts are recorded in the office conference room with the continued help of Mr. McMasters, who is credited as the “mastermind” of the project. The team reports that reception to the weekly releases has been overwhelmingly positive by both students and parents.

“Our students shine through in these podcasts as positive, mature, and intelligent young adults. They continue to amaze us!” said Mr. Hadden.


Stay up-to-date on exciting announcements and get to know exemplary students by listening yourself! Simply go to the high school’s website and look for the icon as outlined above, or click here.
Categories: Allendale High School, Students in the Spotlight!, technology | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Meet Your Principal: Dan Remenap

Dan Remenap, Allendale Public School, Allendale High SchoolTell us about your career journey in education, including how long you’ve been in your current role at Allendale.  

I am in my 18th year in education.  I started teaching at Grandville High School in 1996, and I taught English, math, and a Leadership class.  I then took a job as the assistant principal at Spring Lake High School and was there for two-and-a-half years.  I then came to AHS as the high school principal and am starting my 5th year here.

What makes you love coming to work each day? 

I love seeing the students daily.  I love their energy, enthusiasm, and positive spirit.  I really enjoy our staff, and I love the challenge as well.

What is something you do each day that people probably don’t realize principals have to do?  

I answer -sometimes literally- hundreds of emails, and I make decisions that will make one person or group of people very happy and another very unhappy.

Name something you personally look forward to each school year.  

I love football games because they involve so many aspects of the school community; the band, the players, the students having a ball in the stands, everything, I just love it.  I love Collage because I am consistently blown away by the caliber of our students’ talent.  I love meeting the freshman class, I love Honors Convocation, and I kind of love graduation, but I hate saying good-bye.

If you had an unlimited financial and/or volunteer reserve, what would you do to improve your educational environment?  

I don’t think funds have anything to do with environment, I believe it is the attitude of the staff, and I wouldn’t change a thing in that area.  I would love to have a program, though, that would mentor those students who just do not seem to have a connection to the school.

What was the best part of your summer vacation?  

The best part of my summer was all of the time I was able to spend with my family.  During the school year there are days I do not see my kids and it stinks, so we do a TON together during the summer.

What is your favorite book? (Can be a children’s book or an adult book)  

It is very difficult for me to choose my favorite book because there are so many good ones.  I LOVE The Catcher in the Rye and feel like it should be read by all teenagers, especially those who feel at odds or confused with life and/or adults.  Raising Fences is outstanding; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Fahrenhiet 451, The Scarlet Letter, The Prophet, The Bible … the list goes on and on!  As far as professional reading, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is a life changer of a book…I could go on!  If I started on kids’ books, this list would not end because we have read to our kids every night for years and that list of books is really long!

What is one piece of advice you’d like to pass along to the students in your school?  

There is so much to learn that ONE piece of advice is tough.  That said, I would say, just be a good person, don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy your life.

Categories: Allendale High School, Allendale Public Schools | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Dress for Success Brings “Class” to Class

Dress for Success, APS, Allendale High SchoolRenowned motivational speaker and urban educator Baruti Kafele first sparked the idea within Principal Dan Remenap at a Lansing School Improvement meeting. Now, his suggestion to “Dress like education did something for you,” has swept through Allendale High school with the induction of Dress for Success days.

On December 3, the first day of the new trimester, Mr. Remenap encouraged kids to dress more business-like. Doing so, he said, would set the tone that when students are at school, they’re here to work. Dressing up has other benefits as well: looking nice on a scheduled day raises morale, instills a sense of unity, and ignites school spirit in kids while making it easier to avoid cliques centered around clothing.

“We want our appearance to reflect confidence and capability. Dressing up has a way of changing your mindset so that you want to perform up to your appearance. It really makes a difference,” said Mr. Remenap.

APS, Dress for Success, Allendale High School

One student, senior Aaron Koetje (pictured above, far left) would love to have Dress for Success days every week!

“Dressing up today gives me a good feeling about myself and about Monday. It makes me think that this will make the week nicer. I’m even thinking about doing this every week! Even if others aren’t going to do it, I’m going to be dressing up!”

APS, Dress for Success, Allendale High SchoolThese young women felt the same way, even noting that many students were kinder to each other! They shared that:

“Getting dressed up helped wake me up in the morning and made me more presentable. If you look better, you feel better,” remarked Meghan Lauritzen

“I’m finding that it’s easier to focus and that it’s actually cool to see people out of their flannel pants and yoga gear,” said Tiffani Eisen and Michelle Austin.

“Dressing up shows that we students have self-respect and that we care,” agreed Macie Visser.

Allendale High School’s first Dress for Success experience garnered a 65-70% participation rate. Mr. Remenap plans to offer more days like this throughout the year with the hopes that numbers will grow steadily and positive feedback will continue.

He also wishes to remind students that his number one goal is to be inclusive in this venture; if you do not have a dressy wardrobe at home, help is available in the office and will be kept confidential.

If you’re an AHS student who participated in Dress for Success day, what were your thoughts on the experience?

Categories: Allendale High School, Students in the Spotlight! | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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