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OPS Connection August 2012

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District Newsletter containing information and articles about Otsego Public Schools

Text of OPS Connection August 2012

  • A Publication of Otsego Public SchoolsAugust 2012 District NewsletterVolume II Issue 1

    Linking Students to the World...

    In This Issue: Spotlight On... p. 2 Otsegos Band - Tradition and Success

    Community Connection p. 3 Purple Community Event Planned

    Mr. Fuller Returns p. 4 His road to recovery

    New Teachers p. 5 New Faces in Technology, Kindergarten

    Tech Talk p. 8 $100,000 investment for 2012-13

  • Spotlight On... 2

    The Otsego Marching Band performs in the SpectroMagic nighttime parade at the Magic Kingdom during their last trip to Disney in 2008. The band is hoping to be in the nighttime

    parade again, but wont find out until at least October.

    Otsego Band Program It was a standard set back in the 50s by Director Dick swinsick; he created a band that was good, very good. That set a level of expectation that not only lives on, but thrives in the hearts and minds of students who sign up for a tough, but rewarding spot in this program. I feel like Im carrying on the tradition; its now

    my turn to make it good, says Drum Major Kaylee Campbell, oHs Junior.

    or better, adds another Drum Major, senior Brittany McCuller. I feel so proud, she says to be a part of such a good band, whenever I put that uniform on, I feel like beast, she laughs. The otsego Band not only carries a reputation of having great performances, but has the scores to back it up. Band Directors Brent Morrisson and Mitch Piersma say otsego is in the top 5 bands in the area; other bands look up to them, we have other directors or section leaders come to our camps to see how we do things, Morrisson says. A decision to up the challenge and compete against Class A schools the last couple years, still earned them a 1st place at gull Lake as well as overall grand Champion and 2nd place in Jenison. students know the expectations as soon as they enter the program in 6th grade, And they try to beat our expecta-tions, Morrisson says, Its a tough program for the kids; were strict, but were strict for a reason. we care about what we put out to the public, he says. But behind the impressive public performances, is a lot of hard work, the kids work extremely hard, Piersma says, They practice a lot. two-a-days arent just for athletics; thats the schedule for the week-long band camp, too. Kids get their marching band music in June; they practice over the summer and bring it all together at camp. They practice from

    9am-1pm and 4-9pm learn-ing five music selections and 65 formation charts their movements on the field. while this is serious stuff, dont think for a moment these kids are serious all the time. The first day of band camp brought a lot of laughs, jokes, fun times and new friends. But they are also a family. we fight like sisters and brothers, Campbell says, but we all get along. You have a special bond, explains McCuller. Piersma and Morrisson bond with them like family, too. They have these kids for seven years, You really do get to know the kids, get close to them, Morrisson says. when you see their face coming off the field, when theyve nailed a performance, their emotions, youre feeling it with them, he adds. This is Morrissons 14th year in otsego. Piersma is starting his 19th year. every four years, the band takes a major trip; a tradition started in 1984. They played at Bowl games and Disney, but now stick with Disney for all thats involved in the trip. They head to Florida this winter, and cant wait. Im just looking forward to spending time with my friends and sharing the experience with them, McCuller says. The marching band will go through Disney in one of the parades and there is a performance for both the concert band and symphonic band. In addition, they get behind-the-scenes tours of Disney world and attend a workshop called Youre Instrumental where a professional musician at Dis-ney works with them and teaches them a Disney song. There are many educational components to this trip, but the experience is one of the big reasons behind it, it gives kids an opportunity of a lifetime they probably wont get oth-erwise, Piersma says. The students will hit the beach and a couple Disney parks in their free time. That trip also supports the overall goal of the program, were about educating the kids, Morrisson says, we want them to have a finer appreciation of the arts. He says the public sees the parades and performances, but wants them to know that this program goes a lot deeper, we have a lot of kids whose lives have changed because of music; weve had kids move into otsego because of our program, he says. And that feeling of pride, is evident being around this group, Its really awesome, Campbell says of being a Drum Major, I feel so honored.

  • CONNECTIONCommunity


    Purple Game ReturnsRivals Team Up in Purple Community Event

    The otsego-Plainwell rivalry is deep-rooted and brings out big crowds, but when the two face off this fall in volleyball and football, another element to the big game will be added - a sense of community as they come together for otsegos second Purple Community event. It takes place on Friday, september 14. A regulation outdoor Varsity Volleyball game kicks off the festivities at 4pm; the

    football game follows at 7pm with a presentation to the Van Andel Institute before the game; and were excited to have grandville native and up-and-coming country star Nikki Boon sing the National Anthem. Bulldog stadium will be a sea of purple. oHs sophomore Josh Mayes created the t-shirt design which reads, two towns, two rivals, two games, one cause. He created that design into two shirts, one for each school. (see more below.) This year, you can order and pay online for your t-shirts, bracelets and purple beads. You designate where you would like to pick up your shirt. while there will be some merchandise available to purchase at the game, we encourage you to pre-order your items to make sure you get the right size and quantity. order here: we will have tables set up at parent orientations for you to place your order as well as at home volleyball and football games prior to the main event. All the details can be found at

    Performer was Dr. Pepper Tuition Winner If Nikki Boon looks familiar, it might be because shes from Grandville; because she is cranking out new singles from Nashville, or it might be a flashback to the SEC Championship Game half-time show where she won the Dr. Pepper football throw contest and a $123,000 scholarship to a prestigious

    music school in Music City, Within weeks of making the move to Nashville, opportunities came to me so quickly, she writes in her online biography, The opportunity and privilege to write, create and share my music with you brings my dream to life. Like many aspiring music stars, she had a love for music since she was little and took advantage of every opportunity to sing - in church, school talent shows and musicals. A chance meeting with an NFL player at Ruths Chris Steak House where she worked gave her the tip she needed to score big in the Dr. Pepper Challenge; he told her to do a chest pass when she threw the football. See the Dr. Pepper video, hear her new single and learn more about Nikki at Nikki will sing the National Anthem ahead of the football game and sign autographs during the Purple Community Event.

    Honor a Loved One... Know someone who took on the cancer fight? or is cur-rently in the battle? You can honor them by sponsoring a jersey. Football and volleyball players and cheerleaders will be wearing specially ordered uniform shirts in honor of peo-ple who have been affected by cancer. You can purchase a shirt and have a name printed on the back and enjoy recognition during the game while a player or cheerleader wears the shirt; you receive that shirt after that event.

    Football jerseys are $100Volleyball jerseys are $75

    Cheerleading fitted shirts are $30 to sponsor a shirt, call Holly McCaw at 692-6073 from August 16-21. These quantities are limited and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. (Calls will be taken in the order in which they are received.)

    Link up with us!Get to all the links in our articles by going to the

    newsletter online! You can flip through it like a maga-zine and click on any web address and extras posted.

    Its all at

    Behind the Design... When Sophomore Josh Mayes was asked to create a design for the Purple Game t-shirt, he exceeded expectations, He is a very talented student, says Matt Grile, his Graphic Arts teacher, I went right to him when the request came in for a design. Last year was his first in Otsego. His words captured the community feel of the event, It was the first thing that came to mind, he says, I wanted to put something together that showed both schools coming together for one cause. To be the designer behind the shirts, he says, is a nice honor.

  • From the Superintendent Dennis M. Patzer 4

    strategic Plan reviewwelcome Back! everything we do as a school district falls under a strategic Plan; it guides the Board

    and Administrations decision making process as we evaluate, modify or implement new programs. we review progress toward the goals annually, but the effectiveness of the entire Plan is reviewed every 3 years. our Board is currently in the total review stage so I want to provide an update on a couple of key

    changes for the future.The Vision statement remains the same Linking Students to the World. This statement was adopted 3 years ago, but is

    even more pertinent today. The Mission statement is changing