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In Celebration of Georgetown Teachers

spotlightGeorgetown Elementary is well into it’s fifth year of operation. We opened in September of 2006 and we are just one of SEVEN outstanding Hudsonville Public school elementary buildings.   This year, we have 591 students, ages 3-11 and in grades ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education) through fifth grade.  There are 35 teachers and over 20 specialists and paraprofessionals who support children in learning each day.  In addition, our two building secretaries (Mrs. Ripley and Mrs. Nurenberg) and our head custodian (Mr. Rob) and his three assistant custodians keep the building managed, clean and secure.

Often, the main stream media creates ripple sof negativity by saturating the news with articles focused on failing schools, ineffective teachers and poorly maintained and operating schools.  I want to use this post to highlight some POSITIVE work we are doing at Georgetown, which is just one of the successful Hudsonville Public Schools…a truly incredible district!

I have worked several schools throughout Michigan during my 25+ career in education—with hundreds of teachers, administrators and specialists.   With this broad perspective, I want you to know that at Georgetown, your children are working daily with an outstanding group of gifted educators.  Not only do they work as a team model and guide the most progressive instructional strategies, they collaborate before, during and after school to plan lessons that extend learning.  Throughout the year, they pursue advanced studies for their teaching degrees in reading, math, technology, specialized learning courses, at one of six local colleges, universities and several online sites.

The teacher’s blogs are designed to highlight student learning and celebrations of events that take place throughout the year.  I would like to encourage you to visit these and see examples of the great work being done in our many classroom.  All the blogs are listed in the sidebar to the left.  I have selected one from each area to highlight below.

Thank you for all you do to support us as educators and most importantly, to support your child as as learner!  We could not do our important work without your support.

Mrs. Reagan

Mrs. Estefan’s recent post shares how she and her students welcomed a consultant from our local intermediate to share the work they are doing as kindergarten writers.  The consultant, Mrs. Reimbold, shared a strategy that will help the kindergarteners add more details to their personal narrative stories.

Miss Taber, a first grade teacher, celebrates the great progress her students have made in working together to create a climate where all learners can listen and problem solve together.

Mrs. Kuieck,  a second grade teacher, provides an example of how she updates parents on assessments and events in her classroom.

Mrs. Flory, a third grade teacher, shares photos from a science field trip to the Outdoor Discover Center.

Mr. Kooiker, a fourth grade teacher, has posted curriculum maps for the fourth grade curriculum.

Mrs. Bouwens, a fifth grade teacher, created a video highlighting the work her students are doing to understand the core democratic values in social studies.

Did you know that we have specialized programs at our school?  These students are an equal part of our school.  To learn more about them, visit the Mrs. Van and Mrs. Murphy’s ECSE Blog and Mrs. Kok’s Blog

All of our specialists have blogs that serve as resources to help you with tips for reading , speech and language ,  art, music and PE.

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Introducing our New Teachers

Library Check

Our new teaching staff came to open library on Wednesday.   Many of our staff, students and parents came to welcome them to Georgetown.  It was a wonderful opportunity for the team to see the building and learn about all the great people at our school.

We had well over 40 parents and children visit…and more than 70 books checked out of our library.   Each week the library is staffed with teachers who love reading as much as they love seeing kids on summer vacation.  If you have not been to open library yet, try to visit before summer ends!

Mr. Jurewicz (1st Grade), Miss Taber (1st Grade), Mr. Bialochowski (3rd Grade)

toby, all, ryan

Mrs. Wert (Resource Room) and Mrs. Boes (Pre-Kindergarten)

Maegan and Mandy

Mrs. Jabaay (Kindergarten)


Mr. Kooiker (4th Grade)

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Drum Roll, Please!

I am very excited to announce to you that our staff hiring is complete!  As I mentioned in aDrum roll blog posting on June 16,  some of our staff members took open positions in other buildings.  This created openings, allowing for movement within our building—and when all was said and done, we had six positions to fill for the coming school year.

On  July 1st, I posted a blog article announcing  four positions had been filled  as follows:  Miss Taber-1st Grade, Mrs. Wert, Resource Room, Mr. Kooiker-4th grade and Mr. Bialochowski -3rd grade, were joining our team.

With the help of several teachers from our building, we found three additional outstanding teachers to help us carry on our important mission of BE NICE • WORK HARD • LEARN WELL. They are each from neighboring districts and are as follows:

Mrs. Mandy Boes will be teaching pre-kindergarten (PK).   Mrs. Boes comes to us from Fruitport and has experience with PK and K children.  Mrs. Boes has a daughter Lucy who will be helping her set up the classroom —or maybe taking down what her momma has already put up!

Mrs. Lisa Jabaay will be teaching kindergarten.   Mrs. Jabaay comes to us from Kellogsville with experience in K and first grades.  She has two young children at home–and they may be seen helping set up their momma’s classroom.

Mr. Toby Jurewicz will be teaching 1st Grade.  He will join Miss Taber, Mrs. Woodring and Mrs. Stadt as the first grade team.   Mr. Jurewicz comes to us from Comstock Park where his wife is a kindergarten teacher.  I am sure that you will see both of them at school setting up his classroom!

All of our new teachers are busy setting up class blogs and getting acquainted with the school and their colleagues.  As soon as they have their blogs set up, an email alert will go out.

Thank you for your patience while we worked extra hard to find the just right teachers for our wonderful school!

Mrs. Reagan

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New Teachers at Georgetown!

I know that many of you have been anxiously waiting to hear news of the new teachers for our school.  As of today, I have finished filling three positions.  I will be interviewing through July 7 for the remainder of the positions and post a blog announcement once those are filled.

Our open Resource Room position will be held by Mrs. Maegan Wert.  Mrs. Wert was our reading teacher in 2007 and then moved to full time reading at Alward.  She has been waiting for a full time resource position to open.  Since moving to Alward, she has become a momma so you may see her unpacking boxes and chasing her handsome boy, Henry at the same time!)

Our fourth grade position will be held by Mr. Kooiker!  He will be joining Mr. Bowen and Mrs. Huizenga.  Mr. Kooiker is so very excited to be a fourth grade teacher at our school….and for those of you who are wondering if he will still play basketball, soccer and football on the playground…YES!   He can now teach and play sports on the playground—just not at the same time.

The 3rd grade position will be held by Mr. Ryan Bialochowski. (PRONUNCIATION TIP:  BELL-O-HOUSE-KEY)He is currently working as a pharmacy tech for DeVos Children’s Hospital.  Many of our students have met him in the past two years because he completed his seminar teaching experience in Mr. Gort’s classroom and has also served as a substitute teacher throughout the building.  Mr. Bialochowski comes to use with a passion for working with children–all ages, abilities and a strong desire to team and teach with all of you.  He will be busy setting up room 201 in the coming weeks.

Again, as soon as I know the teachers for grades PK, K and First,  I will let you know.  Thank you for your patience as I work to find the best people to teach your children.

Mrs. Reagan

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Blog Spotlight

This week, I would like to highlight our two reading teacher blogs.  Mrs. Bast and Mrs. Iwema work with studens in grades K-2 by providing more intensive and specialized reading instruction.  In addition, our reading teachers work closely with classroom teachers to make sure that our core reading instruction is focused on best practice.  Both teachers also work closely with our other specialists, Mrs. Sinke, Mrs. Reifschneider and Mrs. Speidel.

Mrs. Bast and Mrs. Iwema have many helpful links on their blogs for readers of ALL ABILITIES.  Their passion is reading–all levels, all genres, and promoting the joys of reading at all ages.

I encourage you to visit their blogs today!  Mrs. Reagan