December 31 2009

Education Blackboard — December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009 // 0 Comments

School Beat Bucket ‘fill-osophy’ helps children develop healthy self-concept by BLAKE R. BOWMAN Principal, Lakes Elementary School When I was growing up, some of my most powerful memories came each summer from the one week that I attended a church camp. I remember sitting around a campfire singing, “Fill my cup; let it overflow. Let it overflow with love.” Now I don’t sing as much anymore (and most people with ears are grateful for that), but some things never change. I still need love, encouragement, praise and affirmation as much as ever. So do the kids at Lakes Elementary. That’s why I’m thrilled that our staff at Lakes has inducted a new initiative this year inspired by the children’s book entitled “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud. A bucket represents a person’s mental and emotional health or self-concept. Many children have empty buckets through no fault of their own. Young children are dependent on others to fill their buckets. Every time you do something kind or considerate for someone, you “fill their bucket.” Lakes has become a school community defined by “bucket-filling.” Don’t take my word for it. First-grader Hailey Mize said, “Bucket-filling makes kids feel great because they have helped others!” A fifth-grader named Edward Hassebrock added, “It makes you feel good when you do something good for somebody.” Many buildings define their behavior/discipline code with a list of offenses and penalties. At Lakes, we also have a positive interaction initiative that helps us celebrate those countless kind things that we do for each other every day. Lakes students and staff will have opportunities to write, “Today, Sawyer filled my bucket by…” or, “I want to thank Jersey for filling my bucket when she…” Our halls ring every day as we champion these random acts of kindness. We all know that most behaviors are driven by a need for attention. If we pour our energies and accolades into recognizing the positive things, we are sending a clear message to our entire Lakes family: “If you want our attention, you should do something kind for someone else. You should fill their bucket!” Our staff has noticed a significant change in the building culture. “Spilling or dropping things used to result in a […]

Words on Weather & Climate — December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009 // 0 Comments

Is weather more severe? by CRAIG JAMES I had a good laugh a couple of months ago when the mayor of Moscow promised there would be no snow in that city this winter because he was going to have the clouds seeded, causing all of the snow to fall somewhere else. Well, his plan hasn’t worked too well so far. As of Christmas, about 20 inches had fallen on Moscow this season, with more to come. The first heavy snowfall was apparently way under forecast by meteorologists, which prompted one city official to demand “serious consequences” for the head of the city’s weather service. Sounds like a trip to Siberia to me. By the way, 63% of the United States had an inch or more of snow on the ground this past Christmas Day. The only states that didn’t have any snow were Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Oklahoma City received its biggest snowfall of record with 14.1 inches. There was apparently a problem with the article I wrote for the December 24 issue of this paper; half of it didn’t get printed. So here, hopefully, is the entire section where I take a look at whether tropical storms have become more numerous and more intense. Complete coverage of tropical storm activity across the globe has only been possible since 1979 when satellites began monitoring these storms. Between 1944 and 1978, in order for there to be an estimate of a tropical storm’s strength, a reconnaissance aircraft had to fly into the storm or a ship had to be near the center. Prior to 1944, there were no aircraft flights into storms, so the only reports came from ships or when a storm made landfall. The National Hurricane Center believes many storms were not recorded prior to these aircraft flights, and the peak intensity of storms out over ocean waters may well have been missed if there was not an aircraft or ship in the immediate vicinity at the time of the peak. Since we have been able to monitor these storms nearly continuously since 1979, we now have a 30-year very reliable record of whether there has been a trend up or down in tropical cyclone frequency or intensity. Ryan Maue from Florida State […]

Rams hockey wins big against Reeths Puffer

December 31, 2009 // 0 Comments

On Wednesday evening, Dec. 23, the Rams varsity hockey team traveled to Lake Shore Arena in Muskegon to take on Reeths Puffer High School. Coming off two very close conference losses, the Rams were looking for a little revenge and they got it, pounding Reeths Puffer with 51 shots on goal for a decisive and solid 8-2 win. Reeths Puffer managed only 15 shots on Ram goalie Christian Van Portfliet. This was another true Ram team effort, as 11 of 15 skaters contributed either a goal, assist or both. A big game was had by sophomore forward Ben Glass as he racked up two goals and two assists for the night. Right on his heels with a great performance came senior forward Alex Fox with two goals and an assist. Also contributing in both scoring and passing was senior forward Noah Greco with a goal and an assist.   Scoring continued to pour in from more Rams as senior forward and team captain Jake Chaffee, senior forward Jon Miller and senior forward Eric Conroy all found the Reeths Puffer net open for scoring with one goal apiece. Skaters setting up goals with nice assists had senior forward and team captain Robert Perry giving two, and junior forward Eric Datema contributing two as well. Rounding out the assists with one apiece and great efforts were senior defensemen Drake Veitenheimer and Geoff Garman and junior forward Thomas Soupal. The Rams’ next contest was a holiday tournament in Big Rapids at Ferris State University. The Rams faced off against Jackson Lumen Christi on Tuesday, Dec.29, followed by Big Rapids on Wednesday, Dec. 30. Watch the Squire for results of these games. As always, the Rams varsity hockey team would like to thank everyone for their continued support.

Rockford takes close second in West Michigan Relays

December 31, 2009 // 0 Comments

31 medals, one state-qualifying time by DENISE WEBB At the beginning of the season, Rockford Head Coach Tom Parks commented that it was going to be a tough OK Red conference season for Rockford’s swim/dive team. The truth of this statement became evident on December 19 at the West Michigan Relays held at the Holland Aquatic Center. Of the 14 participating high school teams, the top three were from the OK Red conference, and the final scores revealed the intense competitiveness between these teams. Grandville won with 318 points, followed by Rockford (314) and West Ottawa (306). “Even though we lost by four points,” said Rockford senior co-captain Brian Ginebaugh, “we are happy with the results. Several teammates swam personal bests. Also, the entire team was exhausted, coming off of several weeks of tough training, so we actually performed better than we thought we would.” The tough training Ginebaugh mentioned includes one-hour practices before school and intense two-and-a-half-hour practices after school. All this water time equates to more than 6,000 miles swam collectively by the team within the first 20 days of practice. The meet provided ongoing excitement with more than 400 swimmers and divers performing in front of packed bleachers and a two-deep standing crowd. Rockford placed first in three of the 11 events: the 200-yard breaststroke (Derik Bothma, Ginebaugh, Jared Martella and Brian Wasberg; 1:56.56), the 200-yard butterfly (Alex Devries, Ben Fredrickson, Josh Travis and Wasberg; 1:40.47), and the 200-yard medley relay (Bothma, Devries, Ginebaugh and Connor Thelen; 1:42.45). The 200-yard medley relay team swam an impressive state-qualifying time, which was more than two seconds faster than the required 1:45.19. This event was the second state-qualifying time for Devries and the third for Bothma. During the diving portion of the meet, Rockford’s team of senior Tyler Johnson and juniors LJ McCauley and Kurt Plaggemars placed second with a combined score of 311.20 points. Once the meet ended, Rockford had earned 31 medals and one state-qualifying time. The medals earned include: •   200-yard breaststroke—first place, 1:56.56, seniors Bothma and Ginebaugh, junior Martella, sophomore Wasberg. •  200-yard butterfly—first place, 1:40.47, senior Devries, junior Fredrickson, and sophomores Travis and Wasberg. •  200-yard medley relay—first place, 1:42.45 (state-qualifying), seniors Bothma, Devries, Ginebaugh and Thelen. •  Diving—second […]

Rockford girls off to a strong start in bowling

December 31, 2009 // 0 Comments

After graduating eight seniors over the last two seasons and rebuilding their team, the Lady Rams bowling team got off to a strong start in December by taking fourth place at the Lowell Invitational, second at the Traverse City Invitational, and being 2-0 in the OK Red conference.   While not bowling very well at Lowell, the girls did manage to qualify and make it to the second round of the semifinals, where they lost to eventual winner Kellogsville by just 14 pins. “We held our own on a very tough shot and stuck with Kellogsville through to the final baker frames of the second baker game of the roll-offs, where we missed a couple of spares,” said Coach Lynn Farrance. “I was very encouraged overall by how well the girls handled themselves.” The next weekend had the Rams going to Traverse City and the girls capturing second place. “The girls are really surprising me on how fast they are learning,” said Coach Farrance. Senior Katie Schmock and junior Megan Wood made the All-Tournament team with 474 and 473 series. The girls started the beginning of conference play 2-0 by defeating East Kentwood 20-10 and winning a nail-biter over Grandville 16-14. “What a great match. We came in missing senior starter Christina Miller and pulled off a huge victory,” said Coach Farrance. Senior bowler and anchor Katie Schmock was key to the victory. The boys team qualified in the Lowell invitational, but lost in the first round, and took fourth in Traverse City behind senior Nick VanDrunen, who also made the All-Tournament team. The boys are also starting off the OK Red conference season 2-0 with victories over East Kentwood and Grandville 29-1 and 23-7.

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