AcAdemic club helps students for 25 yeArs
MANISTIQUE – For 25 years, the Manistique Area Schools Academic Booster Club has had one goal: to recognize and reward students for their achievements in the classroom.
Over the years, the club has seen many membership changes, ups and downs, near dissolution several years ago, and a rebirth in 2002.
The club originally started through comments area residents were hearing from teachers. They felt there was not enough incentive for students to do better on grades. So much emphasis was placed on athletics and other programs, but it was the general consensus that equal importance should be given to encouraging all students to do well academically.
The 1989 founding board included Betty LaPointe, Ron Ford, Mark Hughes, Mike Jarski, Jon Johnson, Robin McLeod and Leanne Trebilcock.
Over the years, the booster club developed a number of programs across all grade levels, from elementary to high school. They conducted student of the month programs, initiated a scholarship, provided movie passes for honor students, implemented a “BUG” Roll to recognize students who “Brought Up One Grade,” sponsored the high school and junior high quiz bowl teams, and gave mini-grants to teachers for special classroom projects.
They also launched one of the club’s most visible activities: the annual academic awards banquet at which students in grades 10-12 receive letters, medals and plaques to reward their achievement.
Students who have a 3.67 or above grade point average for the first three high school semesters receive an academic E for excellence. Those with five semesters with a 3.33 GPA or above receive a medal or an academic E if they did not already receive that award. After seven semesters, a student is eligible for a plaque if they have received the two previous awards and maintain a 3.0 GPA Seven semesters of 3.0 GPA can also earn an academic E if not awarded before.
Through the years, some of the programs have gone to the wayside, with only the banquet and scholarships surviving. During the senior night awards assembly, they present as many $500 nonrenewable scholarships as funds allow.
Funds for the program are derived from holding junior high dances, 50/50 raffles at junior high basketball games when possible and community donations. To start off their 2014 campaign, they will be conducting a door to door bottle drive on April 12.
As with most organizations, finding volunteers is a struggle to keep programs going. The current officers are Rae Birr and Tammy Lindemuth.
“Our list of officers is short,” said Rae Birr. “I fill the role as chairman and Tammy Lindemuth is our treasurer. We do have a few volunteers that are active but do not what to have a titled role.
As with all groups, in order to continue, we need to have more parents and community members become involved,” she continued. “We will be having an organization meeting at the end of summer before school starts and hope to have more individuals join us.”
Birr also noted that the booster club would never have lasted as long as it has without the continued support of the community.
The organization recently presented the 2014 awards during their annual spring banquet.
Sophomore letter recipients include: Emily Bauman, Nicole Brock, Allison Casey, Machela Hinkson, Anthony Hoholik, Jodi Kleeman, Lindsay Knuth, Logan Kraatz, Kelsey LaLonde, Michael Lee, Mason Matchinski, Syrea McDonald, Ashley Menominee, Allie Nagy, Josephine Price, Madison Russell, Rachel Ryan, Alycia Stoll, Ashlyn Thill, Megan Weber and Amanda Ziminski.
Junior letter recipients include: Travis Bolm, Michael Brock, Shelby Carlson, Linnea Peterson, Zachary Powers, Amber Smith and Cody Taylor.
Juniors receiving their second year medal include: Zachary Blaess, Olivia Holmberg, Garrett Knuth, Maggie Morrison, Shelbey Saffer, Erick Troyer, Emily Weber and Brittany Zellar.
Seniors receiving their Academic letter include: Leah Cook, Logan Hayward, Tyler Kangas, Veronica Norbotten, Cameron Page, Ryan Ramey and Tanner Watson.
Seniors presented with their third year plaque include: Parker Birr, Joseph Block, Breanna Bosanic, Victoria Bosen, Colby Brazda, Joseph Brazda, Haleigh Chagnon, Abby Edwards, Madison Floyd, Morgan Kangas, Elisabeth MacGregor, Vanessa McNamara, Jacob Milavec, Brandi Minor, Genna Rice, Corban Ryan, Mandy Swayer, Theresa Weber, Courtney Williams and Sabrina Wing.