11-14-2019 School news & calendars

LMC presents Ike Holter play “Exit Strategy” at The GhostLight with special post-show community panel discussion on Nov. 17

The Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Department presents “Exit Strategy,” Ike Holter’s play about a struggling Chicago high school facing imminent extinction. The production, with help from Ernie Hudson of “Ghostbusters” fame, will be staged at The GhostLight Theatre, 101 Hinkley St., in the Benton Harbor Arts District. Six performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16; 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22-23; and 3 p.m. Nov. 24. “Exit Strategy” was inspired by real-life events in 2013, when 49 Chicago schools were closed in predominately poor and African-American neighborhoods. It was the largest mass school closure in U.S. history. “This play is exhilaratingly poignant and relevant to the discussions already taking place in our community,” said LMC Theatre Coordinator and GhostLight Artistic Director Paul Mow, a Coloma native who is directing the production. The story centers on a group of educators from fictional Tumbldn High School, who show up for the kids that nobody else does. So, when the school is slated for closure at the end of the year, and the weight bears down on the community, students and teachers alike discover their breaking points. Ricky, the vice-principal, has stayed on the sidelines for the teachers’ previous battles, but now in the eleventh hour, he’s compelled to step up with a plan to save the school. But does he have any idea what he’s doing? A special post-show Q&A panel discussion will take place at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, to explore the play’s themes and its community relevance. The panel features Sandy Feldman (M.S.W., Author, Building Bridges Across the Racial Divide); Bob Harrison (former Lake Michigan College President); Reedell Holmes (Principal, Benton Harbor High School); Marcus Robinson (Collaboraction Theatre, Chicago); Patricia Robinson (Interim Superintendent, Benton Harbor Area Schools); and Charmae Sanders (Operations Manager, Start to Finish, Lake Michigan College). “This has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me as a stage director. The cast and crew have all taken on such ownership of this piece and the relevance of its themes. I can’t wait for our community to embrace their efforts and feel their struggle as they tell this cautionary tale,” Mow said. The cast features Ray Ulrich (Ricky), Kendra Ann (Pam), Shane Blair (Arnold), Audiel Perez Jr. (Luce), Brenda Matthews (Sadie), Linnea Martinez and Isabella LeClaire (Jania), and Landon Horne and Martel Burton (Donnie). In addition to Mow, the production team includes LMC Theatre Lecturer Les Rorick (Set Construction), Susan Salas Graham (Assistant Director), Daniel Breen and Landon Horne (Stage Managers), Julie Smiy (Costume Designer) and Andy Sawyer (Set Designer). Benton Harbor native, actor and producer Ernie Hudson (“Ghostbusters,” “Oz,” “Grace and Frankie”) serves as Associate Artistic Producer. He has worked with the cast via Skype, giving them notes throughout the rehearsal process. Tickets are $18, $12 for seniors, and free for all students with ID as well as LMC faculty and staff. To purchase tickets, visit ghostlightbh.com or call (269) 252-5222. For more information about the Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Department, call (269) 927-8876 or visit www.lakemichigancollege.edu/perf-arts.

STUDENTS OF THE MONTH… Watervliet Middle School has selected the following students of the month for October 2019: (from the left) 6th grader Jonah Thon, 7th grader Marleigh Schultz, 8th grader Alex Wilder. Congratulations to these “Students of the Month” and keep up the great work!

Watervliet Middle School October students

Jonah Thon Watervliet Middle School 6th Grade is proud to announce Jonah Thon as their October Student of the Month. Jonah is the son of Sarah Cray and Jason Thon. He is the youngest; he has an older brother, Jacob and sister, Jordan. Jonah has three dogs: Greta, Boo and Corcky and a cat named Fred. He is also fish sitting for a friend. Jonah loves band and plays the trombone. He also loves reading and especially enjoys graphic novels and mystery books. Jonah loves to hang out with his brother and enjoys relaxing or running around outside. He also loves video games. The sixth grade team chose Jonah because he is always pleasant and cheerful, is respectful and responsible, and is very conscientious about his work.

Alex Wilder The seventh grade is proud to announce Alex Wilder as the October Student of the Month. Alex is the son of Carrie and Nick Wilder. He has a younger brother named Lucas. Alex enjoys Mr. Oetjens’ history class the most because “Coach 0 is hilarious!” Mr. Oetjens says, “Alex is a great contributor to our class. He frequently is looked upon as a leader when we are doing group projects, and comes up with some great ideas. He is quite humorous, and always engaged in our class stories and conversations!” Alex is a member of the WMS Cross Country team. Mrs. Hickman, his coach, says that Alex always has a positive attitude at practice and meets. He is one of the kids on the team who gets along with everyone and has many friends on the team. Outside of school, Alex spends his time fishing, riding 4-wheelers, and just hanging out with his friends. His good friend Camdyn says that Alex is trustworthy, helpful, nice, and cheers him up when he is sad. In the future, Alex would like to attend the University of Michigan and eventually become a DNR officer.

Marleigh Schultz The eighth grade is proud to announce Marleigh Schultz as Student of the Month for October. Marleigh is the daughter of Andrea Shunkwiler and Paul Schultz and is sister to three brothers and three sisters. In her free time Marleigh enjoys participating in volleyball and basketball. She also likes to spend time with her friends and family and especially enjoys family movie nights! In school Marleigh’s favorite subject is English Language Arts. Marleigh enjoys being in ELA because of how much she loves to read. After high school Marleigh wishes to attend college to pursue a career in nursing. She wants to begin her career as a general nurse then continue her career as a nurse in the military! The eighth grade team agrees that Marleigh is a hard worker, is focused, and is engaged in the classroom. Marleigh is always willing to help others in need and goes above and beyond expectations.