End of Year Celebration & Retiring Buck Staff
by Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer
We celebrate these retirees and thank them for their many years of service to our students, our staff, and our community!
Thank you to our staff, our students, our parents, and our community members for your contributions to Buchanan Community Schools!
BUCHANAN HAS HEART!
The District had so many great accomplishments this year:
- Launched the new Buchanan Community Schools website.
- Over 150 guest readers volunteered their time to come into Ottawa Elementary and share the love of reading with students during March is Reading Month, along with a local author, the mayor, and our Superintendent.
- According to a Tiered Fidelity Inventory conducted by Berrien RESA, 100% of Ottawa staff and students knew the building expectations and have given or received acknowledgment for teaching and following our PBIS expectations.
- In our continued community partnership with Buchanan Library, we were able to provide tutoring to 2nd-grade students in need of reading support.
- From grants and a renewed community partnership with the YMCA, 2nd graders were able to take swimming lessons, learning valuable lessons living so close to Lake Michigan.
- As we were working through and coming out of the pandemic, Moccasin continued to see high achievement growth in their NWEA scores. Buchanan was one of eight school districts in the state who had shown high growth.
- Staff work with Solution Tree allowed all subject departments to fine-tune their essential standards, level-up assessments, and develop protocols for discussing student data in Professional Learning Communities.
- Students, community members, and staff helped to plant over 50 trees at Ottawa and Buchanan Middle School.
- Buchanan 7th Grade MSTEP-English scores ranked #1 in Berrien County.
- Over 20 BMS students participated in Rake a Difference raking and cleaning gutters of a few homes in Buchanan.
- BMS donated 198 pairs of socks, 30 winter hats, and 28 pairs of gloves to RAM.
- BMS Athletics continues to have strong numbers (a 36% increase) and saw success from our student-athletes both in competition and in the classroom. We ended the athletic year with over 80 students on the track team!
- Upgraded classroom audio for all middle and high school teachers and interventionists.
- Buchanan High School ranked #4 in Berrien County on SAT – English, Reading & Writing.
- BHS Robotics team took 2nd place at the St. Joseph district event.
- BHS competed in Berrien County’s 35th Annual Science Olympiad Regional competition on March 11, 2022. Buchanan was well represented by 8th-12th grade students on two teams. Our middle school and high school teams placed 3rd in the county.
- In two blood drives, our BHS students donated 88 units of blood that could potentially benefit 258 people in our community.
- The BHS Rocket League Esports team has had another successful season this semester in the SW Michigan Esports League. The team finished with a perfect 7-0 record in the regular season (2nd time in the last 3 seasons).
- Expanded Chromebook 1:1 program to all students K-12.
- Provided an average of 473 breakfasts and 1,031 lunches to students every school day.
- Began using electronic cafeteria menu boards in all 4 schools.
- Buchanan High School received a fresh coat of paint inside.
- Empty Bowls raised over $4,000 in donations to support Redbud Area Ministries who help local families in need.
- Buchanan Virtual Academy has improved its state testing model to better serve all students 3rd-12th grade. BVA has also worked with the high school to ensure its 16 graduates will have the same graduation as the BHS students, coordinating caps, gowns, and communication with graduates.
- Buchanan CTE received 100% on the national CTE Follow-up Report, took a group of 5 students and an instructor to represent Buchanan CTE to the state capital to lobby CTE and CTE funding with politicians, expanded the School to Work program to 9 students, earned two 61C Grants to pay for Russ Philip and Reggie Curtis’ computer labs, and had 6 new auto engines donated through corporate and district partnerships.
- Among many accomplishments, BCS Athletics has hosted the first home cross country and track meets in the past 8 years, replaced the missing banners in the competition gym, hosted 6 District Championships, trained over 150 athletes in the All-Sport Summer Lifting Program, set up a discount physical program with Redbud Fitness for our student-athletes to get cheaper athletic physicals, ran power out to the soccer press box and updated the stereo system earning the district bid, and hosted a Title IX night that recognized the first women’s volleyball, basketball, and softball teams.
Thank you to all who assisted with our successful efforts to support our kids and our community!
WELCOME BUCK STAFF
These new staff members have contributed their talents to Buchanan programs and services:
|Jill Petcu||5th Grade Teacher|
|Tara Mabry||Kindergarten Teacher|
|David Kenyon||Van Driver|
|Melissa Prestine||Elementary Music Teacher|
|Matt Schlutt||Elementary Art Teacher|
|Stephen Schaefer||Bus Mechanic|
|Nate Will||Transportation Supervisor|
|David Griswold||Operations Utility Staff|
|Jennifer Templeton||Administrative Assistant to Transportation, Operations & Food Service|
|Riley Ruelle||Operations Utility Staff|
|Jacob Robles||Operations Utility Staff|
|Jensen Ruelle||Operations Utility Staff|
|Brittney Gmeiner||ESCE Teacher|
|Paula Tucek||6th Grade ELA Teacher|
|Heather Farmer||Operations Utility Staff|
|Lacey Chase||Bus Driver|
|Robert Kleca||Operations Utility Staff|
|Anizbeth Contreras||Speech & Language Pathologist|
|Tammy Holmer||BMS Administrative Assistant & District Registrar|
|Jessica Elliott||BHS ELA Teacher|
|Carrie Brunsting||Business Office Specialist|
|April Lee||Mental Health Liaison|
|Eric Munyon||BHS Spanish Teacher|
|Jane Mitchell||Outdoor Education Coordinator|
|Casey Fitzpatrick||Instrumental Music Aide|
|Justin Ropp||Operations Utility Staff|
|Amanda Horton||BHS Kitchen Manager|
|Jason Paturalski||Boys Varsity Tennis|
|Lucie Behrle||8th Grade Volleyball|
|Tony Holt||BMS Wrestling|
|Ian Bossert||Varsity Golf|
|Pete Greaves||Varsity Boys Track|
|Krista Greaves||Varsity Girls Track|
|Phil LaBounty||7th Grade Girls Basketball|
|Jim DeVlaminck||Assistant Track|
|Madison Bailey||JV Tennis|