08-24-2017 Coloma Schools kick off year with new Principals and freshman orientation; Senior Day at

Coloma Schools kick off year with new Principals and freshman orientation

By Annette Christie

High School

Coloma High School will be holding their Freshman Orientation on August 28, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.  They start the evening in the high school auditorium so parents are encouraged to park in the west lot and use entrance #10.  Administrators start with an informational briefing and then the freshmen are split into groups and assigned a Teen Mentor (a senior) who gives guided tours and talks about Coloma High School (CHS).  The event is open to the Class of 2021 and any students new to CHS.

John Klien


Wendy Tremblay


Coloma students start their day a little different in that on their first day, all students report to the auditorium for a brief welcome back.  Students then rotate by class through four stations where they will get issued lockers (and purchase parking passes), be issued their Chromebook, have their picture taken by our photography company (Lifetouch), and receive their rules briefing over high school rules, procedures, and the student handbook.  All high school students should be prepared to have their photos taken on the first day of school.

Elementary and Intermediate schools

Open Houses for the Elementary and Intermediate schools are scheduled for August 30, 2017 from 4-6 p.m. for the Elementary and 5-7 p.m. for the Intermediate. Families will be able to check out the buildings, see classrooms, and meet the staff. The PTO will host an Ice Cream Social and a have a bounce house for kids to play in. “We’re excited to welcome our families in kicking off a great year,” stated new Elementary Principal John Klein.

Klein is originally from Ohio but has lived in Michigan since 2000. He has served as a principal previously in both Kalamazoo and Three Rivers, all at the elementary level. He has a masters’ degree in elementary education as well as a masters’ degree in educational leadership. He and his wife have two children, one in college and one attending Kalamazoo Public Schools. He looks forward to getting to know the Coloma Elementary staff and building a strong team during the upcoming school year.

Coloma Community Schools is also excited to be opening a regional Early Childhood Developmental Delays (ECDD) classroom. This classroom will be located at Coloma Elementary School and will service students ages 3-7 throughout Berrien County.  Those interested in this program should contact school administration.

Junior High

The Sixth Grade Orientation at the Coloma Junior High will be held on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.

This will be an opportunity for incoming sixth graders and their parents to learn about the expectations and opportunities at Coloma Junior High School.  Students will be provided with schedules and have an opportunity to practice locker combinations and tour the building.  “We look forward to welcoming all of our 6th grade families,” stated new Junior High Principal Wendy Tremblay.

Tremblay and her family reside in Coloma. She is a former counselor and principal from Bangor Schools. She holds masters’ degrees in social work, school counseling, and educational leadership. She and her husband have three children. “I’m really excited to be a part of what they are doing here in Coloma and hope to make a positive impact,” Tremblay said.

The “Meet the Teacher Night” for the Junior High will be held on Thursday, September 7, 2017 from 6-7 p.m. That event is an opportunity for all students in grades 6-8 to bring their families to meet their teachers for the 2017-18 school year.  Teachers will be available in their classrooms to greet parents and showcase some of the opportunities that students will have over the course of this school year.

Senior Day at the Berrien County “Youth” Fair offers them a chance to shine

By Annette Christie

The Berrien County Youth Fair, which lasts for six days, sets aside one day to let those that are 60 and older have an opportunity to show off their talents.  On Friday of fair week, the North Berrien Senior Center brought 61 items from their talented “seniors” to be judged.

NATALIE KNIGHT… of Hartford, won Grand Champion for Gymkhana Events, and is shown with the Dan Stacy Fam-ily Trophy. Knight, 15, is a member of the North Branch Riders Club. She is a freshman at Watervliet High School. She also got 3rd place in Halter Champion and 4th place in Showmanship. She is the daughter of Eric ad Heidi Knight.


Many categories of talent are available including painting with oils, acrylics, and water color; wood working; mixed media; drawing; photography; basket making; ceramics; sewing; quilting; and knitting.

BARBARA BRADY… of Benton Harbor exhibited her crafts through the North Berrien Senior Center during Senior Day at the Berrien County Youth Fair. She won Reserve Champion for this sewn comforter that she has worked on for a year and a half. She also participated in the line dancing exhibit that day. (TCR photo by Annette Christie)


The entertainment scheduled during Senior Day in the USA Building is aimed at them with exhibits and demonstrations.  Line Dancing, Tai Chi, drumming, Hawaiian dancing are just a few of the items on the entertainment schedule for that day.

With seven senior centers located in Berrien County, almost every center is represented at the event which is organized by Jan Medlin of the Central County Senior Center.

Paulette Lynch received 3rd place for her acrylic painting entitled the “Four Seasons.” She has been painting for 6-7 years and first began through an art class offered at the senior center.  While she has tried many types of painting, she has found acrylic to be her favorite.  Her husband Jim placed 2nd with his photography, a hobby that was self-taught.

ELLA SHUNKWILER, 12, won Champion for her Garden Flower Arrangement. Ella is entering the 7th grade this year at Watervliet Middle School. She is the daughter of Todd Shunkwiler and Christine Shunkwiler.


Barbara Brady won Reserve Champion for her “YoYo Coverlet,” a project she has been working on for a year and a half. She and her husband spend a couple of days a week at senior centers taking part in the various activities available.  She finished up the project the day before it was due and while she has been sewing for a long time, she was pleasantly surprised at the award she was given.

Each senior who enters a project in the fair receives a one-day pass for entrance.

Other North Berrien seniors receiving awards include: Bill Cubbage, 2nd place for oil marina; Merye Wine, 1st place for basket making; Susan Plee, 1st place for a pastel of a horse; Eva Baumeister, 3rd place for basket making; Erica Hensel, 1st place for an oil painting of a bird on a branch; Doris Atherton, 3rd place for her afghan; Jan Kiser, 1st place for her sunflower; Mary Gentile, Champion for her pencil drawing of a flower and 3rd place for her etching of an eagle; Judi White, 2nd place for her charcoal drawing of a man; Pam Spica, Reserve Champion for her oil painting of a barn; Bud Price, 1st place for a storm; Barbara Schoene, Reserve Champion and 1st place for her ocean wave in blue; Mary Martin, 2nd place for her round basket; Shirley Bergstrem, Ingenuity Award for her sewing bag; Carol Cook, 1st place for her hand pieced king quilt; Hal Bundy, Ingenuity Award for his red, white, and blue basket; and Theresa Jenkins, Ingenuity Award for her “Cousin It” display.

Final numbers for the overall fair turnout were not available at press time.

NATALIE KNIGHT… of Hartford, won Grand Champion for Gymkhana Events, and is shown with the Dan Stacy Family Trophy. Knight, 15, is a member of the North Branch Riders Club. She is a freshman at Watervliet High School. She also got 3rd place in Halter Champion and 4th place in Showmanship. She is the daughter of Eric ad Heidi Knight.


NATALIE HART, 11, won Grand Champion in the Sheep Costume class. She also won 3rd place for her Market Lamb. The daughter of Grant and Wendy Hart, she is a 6th grader at Watervliet Middle School.


TYLER KUEHL, 10, placed in 3rd and 6th place with his horse “Lenny.” He also placed with his two goats. The son of Elden and Stacy Kuehl, he is a 5th grader at Watervliet Public Schools.


HANNAH HART, 13, won Grand Champion overall in Pig Showmanship and is Champion Jr. Showman. She received Grand Champion Overall Bar-row for her 288-pound pig named “Titan”. She also got Champion Heavyweight Bar-row. The daughter of Grant and Wendy Hart, she attends Wa-tervliet Schools.


KYRA KRIEGER, 10, of Coloma received 4th place in this rabbit costume contest where she is a flower pot and her rabbit is a bee. She also won Champion for her fair themed gourd project entitled “Fairidice.” She received Best Opposite for her Holland Lop named “Faith.” Kyra showed jams and flowers for the first time this year. She attends Lake Michigan Catholic Middle School. She is the daughter of Christian and Valerie Krieger.


KATHLEEN KRIEGER, 14, of Coloma won Reserve Champion for her original oil painting. She attends Lake Michigan Catholic High School and is the daughter of Christian and Valerie Krieger.


TAYLOR KRIEGER, 20, of Watervliet, received Honorable Mention for her poetry collec-tion. In addition, she showed in the categories of report writing, photography, recycled articles, home decoration, woodcrafts, and personalization. A graduate of Watervliet High School, she is entering her junior year at Grand Valley State University. She is the daughter of Annette Christie and Kurt Krieger.


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