As this season brings extended daylight and rising temperatures, I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are able to enjoy a safe, fun, and relaxing Spring Break!
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support, patience, and understanding. Together, we have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic to keep your children safe, while learning in a face-to-face environment since August. We will also continue to strive every day to provide extra-curricular activities for all of our students within the protocols given to us.
Thank you for choosing Jenison Public Schools to partner with you in the education of your children. We are committed to providing our students with a world class educational experience even in the face of a world-wide pandemic. From all the teachers, administration, and staff at Jenison Public Schools, we wish you a time of refreshment and relaxation during this well deserved break! Stay safe, and we’ll see you back in class on April 12.
Let’s join the Pinewood staff as they lead the way into Spring Break 2021!
It’s a big week as the Jenison High School Thespians proudly return to the stage to present this year’s spring musical; Mamma Mia! Last year brought much frustration and disappointment at the start of the COVID pandemic; so the students are appreciating every minute of the hard work and being rejuvenated by the sheer energy of this show.
Our new Theatre director, Ashlee DeGraaf kicked off the school year with virtual performances of the annual Festival of Plays.As we approached the spring musical season, the cast and crew were eager to get back on stage. They have tirelessly navigated ongoing challenges and changes including quarantined cast members at times. The Jenison Thespians are always a bright spot in the final months of the busy school year and I’m ecstatic that we are able to allow, not only the students to perform, but the community to safely join the fun. Tickets are still available for this weekend;we promise – you will not be disappointed!
Mamma Mia! brings so much laughter, joy, and dynamic dance numbers combined with an unforgettable line up of hit songs. Get your tickets today and let yourself be taken away to a Greek island paradise and bask in the glow of the Mediterranean sea and sun.
Many things have made this year especially challenging. In response to public health concerns, the Jenison Public School educators and our students and families, have been rockstars in navigating the twists and turns of this academic year. The constant has been the widespread positive attitudes and commitment to flexibility. Now here we are, we made it to 100 days of school!
Local Reporter, Maranda from WOTV4 recently made the most of technology for a socially distanced interview with Pinewood Elementary School Principal Dr. Rachael Postle-Brown and 5th grade teacher Michelle U’ren.
Fifth graders from Pinewood Elementary, Eliza and Collin joined the conversation as well to discuss their experiences with the different learning modes and their appreciation for being back to in-person learning and with their friends.
It’s always great to see our staff and students representing the Jenison community. I’m so proud of how the district has been navigating this really tricky year, thank you Dr. Brown and Mrs. U’ren for leading your students well!
On a snowy Friday evening in February 2009, our entire community came together to support one woman battling breast cancer. We linked arms with one family and never could have imagined where this journey would take us. None of us ever dreamed the spark that was lit that year would still be growing stronger 12 years later. It has since been an honor to broaden the support and walk alongside those in our community fighting any form of cancer.
Throughout the years, the people and businesses of Jenison have surrounded these families in a very special way and have made Pink Out an annual highlight since the beginning. The event coincided with Friday night Varsity basketball games and were often competing with a Michigan winter storm. But the snow never kept us away. We sold out of t-shirts, we ran out of parking spots and we all experienced just how hot a standing-room-only gymnasium could be. And it became the norm, year after year. It was the best, and the atmosphere was never anything short of wholehearted support for those we came to honor. Pink Out has a rich and historic tradition in the Jenison community and I swell with pride each time we gather together to celebrate life.
Yes, this year will look different, but I can emphatically say, even now during a pandemic, the spirit of Jenison Pink Out can not and will not be stopped. We are still going to encourage those fighting the battle right now, continue fighting for a cure and honor the taken!
The Pink Out volunteers work tirelessly year round to coordinate support and be the hands and feet of the community for families in the fight. They host a public Facebook page with all the information you’ll want for this year’s virtual events. Seven honorees have been chosen for 2021 and their stories will be shared in the coming week via the Jenison Pink Out Facebook Page. You will get to hear their journey and witness their courage and bravery while in their fight against cancer. We can’t wait to celebrate them! The facebook page will also be sharing how students will be participating in different activities in their classrooms/buildings. Join and follow the page to be part of a very encouraging movement this coming week!
The team is also excited to announce that there is a new Pink Out website that now receives online donations: Check it out at www.jenisonpinkout.org
We may be socially distant, but we can stand together in support of our neighbors.
Jill Johnson Barnes
Jeanine Decker Jannereth
We are so thankful for the sponsors that have come alongside us this year. Pink Out could not exist without the support of the community business in this way. While you’re out and about, please take a moment to thank them for their support! Below, you’ll also see web links for each sponsor.
The Tech Center mirrors the commitment of Jenison High School, promoting personal success and lifelong learning while preparing students for tomorrow’s workforce. Providing career and technical education in 28 different programs opens doors for employment and post-secondary opportunities.
Recognizing that all students learn differently and have goals that are as unique as they are, we are proud to partner with the Tech Center; this year over 100 Jenison High School students are participating. Jenison High School Juniors and Seniors take advantage of work-based learning opportunities and earn college credit in program pathways such as Arts & Communication, Business, Management, Marketing & Technology, Construction, Engineering/Manufacturing, Health Sciences, Human Services and Transportation.
Meet three seniors who have discovered – and furthered a passion that has them excited about the future. I couldn’t be more proud to have these Wildcats representing Jenison as they expand their education beyond our halls.
At first, Jaden wasn’t sure which program to choose for his first year at the Tech Center; however, he was sure that he wanted to minimize his time in a traditional classroom. Welding turned out to be a perfect fit. Along with learning the basic methods of welding, the class studies design, layout, cutting and fabricating of metals. He is pleasantly surprised with how much he is retaining as they study properties of metals and alloys. Jaden really appreciates the hands-on learning environment, and immediate feedback from his instructors as he works to hone his skills.
During the recent pause for in-person education, the Tech Center welding instructors took the opportunity to lead the class through online instruction to obtain OSHA certifications for the students. Following graduation, he is anticipating further education in the field of Welding. Jaden is feeling very positive about the future knowing that career prospects are plentiful.
The salon services industry is something that piqued Cierra’s interest long ago. When school dances and other events come around, she can be found helping multiple friends achieve their special look. She spent her early high school years anxiously awaiting this senior-only class. The cosmetology program is offered through Tulip City Beauty College in Holland and prepares the students to work toward their Cosmetology license. Cierra loves meeting new people through the program and is so excited to be getting practical application.
At the conclusion of the school year, she will have learned all the services that will be offered in a salon: hair shaping and styling, manicures, facials, waxing, and chemical services. She will also have gained 300 hours of instruction and knowledge to put toward the requirement for the State of Michigan license exam. Thanks to this program and the experience she received, Cierra has a very positive outlook for continuing her Cosmetology education after high school graduation.
Participating in the Diesel/Heavy Equipment Mechanics program last year, Brandon is now studying Automotive Technology. This program focuses on Steering and Suspension, Electrical Systems, Engine Performance and Heating/AC. Students put their classroom knowledge to work by servicing customer cars, which are brought into the auto mechanics lab. He enjoys this hands-on type of work and likes getting the feel for the variety of problems and types of cars.
The program is accredited and instructors are certified. Through the duration of the program, Brandon will be given the opportunity to take a number of tests to gain State of Michigan certifications. He is grateful that he has found something he loves. Following completion of the Tech Center Automotive Tech program, Brandon likes the idea of pursuing the field further with more formal education following graduation.
I hope these past several weeks have provided you many opportunities to experience quality family time and relaxation in spite of the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am looking forward to coming back together with my team of Jenison administrators, teachers, and support staff as we face the coming year and continue our commitment to being Champions of Children in the days and months ahead.
Best wishes for this new year, may it be full of love, joy, friends and family!
On the original date scheduled for commencement this year, the Class of 2020 took their turn in the spotlight and was able to close the chapter on their high school career. However, it looked very different than any of us had imagined and they weren’t walking across a stage that night. As the closures of COVID-19 threatened to cancel every event, the Class of 2020 Senior Planning Committee sprang into action. Typically this parent-led volunteer committee spends about a year working on plans to celebrate the accomplishment of their students with a safe night of fun following graduation. With a true resilient spirit, they quickly shifted gears and pulled off an amazing community celebration in the form of a ‘Senior Parade’.
Seniors were driven through a parade route that was like taking them down memory lane. They first encountered the jubilant cheers from their elementary teachers, then the junior high and high school teachers and staff.
I’d like to extend a big thank you to Mike Schwartz and his son, Matthew (8th grader at JJHS) for putting together this awesome drone video! There was such a great turnout of seniors and supporters!
I had the best seat in the house as I waved each of them my best and sent them off to the last leg of the journey where their community and family members waited to celebrate their accomplishments. I’m beyond proud of the way this class of students finished strong during this recent interruption in their lives. I am so grateful our amazing seniors had the opportunity for this experience and for them to know that they have an entire community standing behind them during this time. Many more smiles in the full photo gallery.
– JENISON HIGH SCHOOL – CLASS OF 2020 TOP TEN
Another date that has come and gone is the evening of our annual High School Honors ceremony. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the seniors who comprise the Jenison High School Class of 2020 Top Ten. These young people are outstanding students that have excelled in and outside of the classroom. They are great scholars, but even better people. Well done!
Drew Bobeldyk, Valedictorian
Ashley Winger, Salutatorian
Congratulations to this incredible group of young men and women! You are examples of what hard work can achieve and we are so proud of you. The future is yours for the taking!
In the midst of a challenging spring, it is refreshing and uplifting to receive word that Jenison Public Schools has received recognition for multiple awards. I’m so grateful for everyone in the JPS family who has employed a relentless attitude and taken ownership to push our district to be the best it can be. Way to go Wildcats!
The Jenison Music department has earned our district the NAMM 2020 Best Communities for Music Education.
Our Tradition of Excellence continues because of outstanding building leadership, exemplary teaching, a terrific student body, supportive parents, and a generous community! The outstanding work being done by our K-12 students, teachers, and support from our Jenison community truly make Jenison High School an exceptional place to learn – it also placed us in top 95% of the country.
Capturing Kids’ Hearts is the foundation on which Jenison Public Schools is built. It is about building relational capacity with our students and with each other. It is a terrific tribute to Bauerwood Elementary School to be recognized as a Capturing Kids’ Hearts Showcase School for the 3rd year in a row. Being a showcase school means every adult makes student relationships a priority not only in their words but through their actions. Bauerwood is in very select company across the nation. I am very proud of Principal Crystal Morse and her staff.
The NAMM Foundation Music award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education an important part of a well-rounded education. This definitely applies to high school directors Grant Carmichael, Dan Scott and Dave Zamborsky; they also represent a team of hardworking music educators we have at Jenison Public Schools. From parents to teachers, students to administration, all have worked together to make beautiful music and achieve this acknowledgment.
*COMMUNITY FOOD DISTRIBUTION INFORMATION*
Hudsonville: Grace Community Church – 3500 New Holland Street Tuesday & Thursday, 4 – 7 pm
As of Monday, May 4, all Jenison School lunch program distribution will be done at the Jenison High School – 2140 Bauer Road, Jenison. Stop by the West Parking Lot on Monday for Monday and Tuesday meals, or on Wednesday for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday meals.
After the first week of COVID-19 school closures, minds everywhere quickly began seeking creativity and stimulation. Our rock-star Jenison High School music directors even went to work on a fun, challenging project to engage their student musicians from afar. Dave Zamborsky, JHS Band Director and Dan Scott, JHS Orchestra director decided now was the time to perform the Jenison High School fight song – virtual edition.
The first challenge of this project was that the music had never been created with vocal parts – or violin, viola and cello parts for that matter. Mr. Zamborsky wasted no time in creating the parts needed and had them ready for the kids within 24 hours.
The next challenge would be to create virtual ensembles; getting the band, choir or string musicians to perform music “together” when they are indeed not together. With no director standing in front of them to provide instructional cues, a tool called a ‘click track’ was needed. A click track is a series of digital audio cues used to synchronize sound recordings. Senior percussionist, Jarod VanderVeen agreed to record the track for the fight song to accompany the students’ digital performance. He recorded his part while listening to a metronome to stay perfectly in tempo. If you have a metronome in your house you can set it to 150 beats per minute and you’ll notice that Jarod is right on.
The instrumentalists were now set, but the vocalists needed a harmonic reference for their performance. Mr. Scott tapped into the talents of his wife, Diane for the recorded piano part. The students now had what they needed to perfect their individual parts. You’ll notice in the video that they all have some sort of headphone in their ear. This is the click track of either the drummer or the piano player. Each student recorded their performance as they listened to the track. This gave them a rhythmic or harmonic reference for their performance.
The performance itself came as another challenge. None of the orchestra and choir students had even performed the fight song before and some band students were performing on instruments that they don’t use during marching season. After practicing their part, each student recorded their portion and emailed the file to Mr. Scott. There were about 75 video submissions and all of them are included in the video.
Mr. Scott expanded his resume to include “video editor” as he used GarageBand and Final Cut Pro X software programs to compile each performance submission to give us this amazing final product.
Life has been dealing us all a rhythm of unpredictable change these last three weeks. But I want to remind you that TOGETHER – WE ARE JENISON! And together, we march to the beat of a strong community that prides itself in supporting one another.
Click on the video below to check it out…May the performance of these fine musicians brighten your day as we move onward and upward!
(To the tune of “On Wisconsin”)
Onward Wildcats, ever onward, fight to victory!
Green & White, forever fighting, here’s our cheer for thee! Rah! Rah! Rah!
Fighting Wildcats, loyal boosters, here’s to do or die.
All for the fame of our school, Jenison High.
Food distribution is available at the following locations and times:
*COMMUNITY FOOD DISTRIBUTION INFORMATION*
Grace Community Church – 3500 New Holland Street Tuesday & Thursday, 4 – 7 pm
The Jenison community is full of many amazing people creating newsworthy moments year round! If you happen to have missed some of these incredible stories in the local news, I encourage you to check out the links and get inspired. These stories represent the #JPSBeRelentless attitude through commitment, ingenuity, compassion and perseverance.
Sandy Tetro has been impacting friends, family members, students, co-workers and community members for as long as anyone can remember. Her enormous heart and boundless energy propelled a 20+ year career in special education at Jenison Public Schools and 15+ years coaching for Special Olympics. She is also currently recovering from a massive right ischemic stroke. She has been recognized as a top finalist for West Michigan’s Woman of the Year through local news WOTV4. While her recovery is amazing – it just makes her even more remarkable in our eyes!
Audrey (Tetro) Mitchell nominated her mother, Sandy Tetro as a ‘Remarkable Woman of West Michigan’, for the impact she has had on countless lives.
Andrew Medley, Senior Kidney Recipient
Andrew Medley is a Jenison High School football and basketball player who has lived with a kidney failure diagnosis for 8 years. He recently underwent surgery to receive a kidney from mother. Andrew’s energy may have waned over time but commitment to his teams never has; he has been a leader on and off the field.
We’re so happy to receive a great report on Andrew’s improving health since the surgery two weeks ago. Andrew is anxious to be back to school but will have to wait a few more weeks until the doctor gives the approval. His mother Susan is also healing well and has expressed amazement at the amount of support they have received from the community.
Tej Kothari is the first Jenison High School Student to receive the Congressional Bronze Medal.
Jack Carrier, Student Law Changer
Jenison High School senior, Jack Carrier was born with a vision impairment that would ultimately make getting his drivers’s license a little tricky. Jack knew he had run into some pretty restrictive obstacles. Jack and his father reached out to Senator Roger Victory for assistance. Sen. Victory helped Jack raise awareness for and get the law changed for others with similar visual challenges.