A pair of three-star athletes – one a senior at Sturgis High School and the other a senior at Mendon – have been named St. Joseph County’s male and female prep athletes of the year for 2013.
The honor, bestowed by the Sturgis Journal sports department, went to Chance Stewart and Brooke Howard.
Stewart, whose high school career has seen him excel in football, basketball and baseball, will continue his football career at Western Michigan University. The four-star quarterback committed to the Broncos last year.
Howard has been an integral part of volleyball, basketball and track teams during her career at Mendon. With Howard as its leader, Mendon’s volleyball team made back-to-back Final Four appearances in the Class C volleyball finals in 2012 and 2013.
Howard, who scored her 1,000th career basketball point as a junior last season, plans to attend Grand Valley State University.
A Sturgis Middle School math teacher has been named the winner of the 2013 John E. Oster Award.
Cynthia Sprowl, a district employee of more than 30 years, was announced as the recipient during a recent luncheon sponsored by the Sturgis Rotary Club.
The award is presented on behalf of the John Oster Memorial Fund, established in 1981 by Jo Ellen Oster. It recognizes a Sturgis Public Schools teacher for teaching excellence and community involvement.
Prior to his death, Oster discussed implementing a fund to provide an endowment to be given each year to a teacher for his or her contribution to the Sturgis community and to the education of students in the district.
The Sturgis Area Community Foundation holds and administrates the fund that carries Oster’s vision of proper teacher recognition.
Ann Bird has been appointed to head the Sturgis Public Schools Board of Education.
Bird will serve as board president, filling the void left by Tom Robertson. Robertson resigned last month after accepting a job as juvenile court director, a position Robertson said could create a conflict of interest.
With Bird sworn in as president, Ray Sterling was appointed vice president, Frank Kalasky secretary and Kerri Millett treasurer.
On a related note, Paul Gorsuch was sworn in Monday as a new board member.
Sturgis Public Schools officials this week decided to keep its transportation services in-house rather than contract bus-driving services.
During Monday’s board of education meeting, members acted on a recommendation of a committee to retain its own staff and employees. The measure was a relief to several bus drivers who attended the meeting, according to Superintendent Tom Langdon.
Committee members studied a bid from MV Transportation, whose figures were comparable to the $350,000 annual cost the district spends for its own bus-driving staff.
Board members agreed the district is well served by the current roster of drivers. The bid for services was sought at the request of the state.
Seven area high school girls were named to the all-state volleyball squad.
Members of the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association named Brooke Howard of Mendon to its Class C first-team. Her teammate, Alexis Russell, was named to the second team, while fellow Lady Hornet Jordan VanOss made the third team.
In Class B, first team honors went to Rachel Anderson of Sturgis, while Three Rivers’ Teagan Reeves was named to the second team. Kelsey Metzger of Sturgis was named to the third team and Hannah Landis was an honorable mention recipient.
A Sturgis Hospital employee is spearheading a fundraising effort to benefit a rural Filipino community devastated by this month’s typhoon.
Noel Fontanilla, a native of the Philippines, is hoping his effort will help the village of Cangumbang. The community is where a pair of Sturgis High School graduates, Elsa Thomasma and Carter Brown was working on a community/evacuation center.
Fontanilla, whose wife works at Thurston Woods, said the Sturgis High School Student Senate is also planning a fundraiser to support rebuilding efforts in the Philippines.
More information about the effort to help rebuild Cangubang may be obtained from Fontanilla between 4 and 5 p.m. daily at 651-1793.