Terrific Tigers recognized at November Cape School Board meeting

The Cape Girardeau Public Schools Board of Education, during its November meeting, recognized several outstanding students for their leadership, scholarship and service to others.  Recipients of the Terrific Tiger Award are pictured above with School Board Vice President Kyle McDonald, left, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jim Welker, right.  Standing next to Kyle McDonald is Central High School Senior Aaron Mehner, and next to Dr. Welker is Central High School Senior Alex Mehner.

In the front row, from the left , are Clippard Elementary 4th Grader Ty Powers; Jefferson Elementary 2nd Grader B.J. Webb; Jefferson Elementary 3rd Grader Gema Figueroa; Blanchard Elementary 2nd Grader Gabriella Knupp; Franklin Elementary 4th grader Elyse Sumner; Alma Schrader Elementary 3rd Grader Monty Williams; Clippard Elementary  4th Grader Alex Neikirk; and Central Middle School 5th Grader Hannah Horrell.  

Two Cape Central High School students named to Missouri All-State Choir

Two Cape Central High School students were named to the 2013-2014 Missouri All-State Choir during the Southeast All-District Choir event hosted by Cape Central High School in the Richard D. Kinder Performance Hall. Zach Reece and Abby Addleman (alternate) are pictured posing with CHS Director of Vocal Music Jordan Cox. The prestigious honor and will take the students to rehearse for three days at Osage Beach, MO, January 22-25, with Dr. Besty Cook Weber, professor of choral studies at University of Houston. They will perform an afternoon concert with 200 of the finest high school singers in Missouri at the Tan-Tar-A Resort, Osage, MO.

CHS’s Kadie Orenstein will attend Truman State on a softball athletic scholarship

Cape Central High School Senior Kadie Orenstein, pictured signing her letter of intent to play softball for Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, is surrounded by her parents, Wendi and Gary Orenstein.  Standing behind her are Hitting Coach Bruce Qualls, CHS Softball Coach Amy Blattel, and Summer Coach Ryan Medlin.

Kadie is a 4-year varsity softball letterman and starter.  Her athletic honors are numerous, including Academic All-State, 2012; Southeast Missouri Softball Player of the Year, 2012; First Team All-Region, 2012 & ‘13; All-Southeast Missourian Softball Team 2011, ‘12 & ‘13;  First Team All-District and All-Conference 2010, ’11, ’12 & ’13; Team Player of the Year, 2013; Team-voted Offensive MVP 2011 &’12; 3-year varsity basketball letterman; All-Tournament Basketball Team for SEMO Kelso Supply Christmas Tournament, 2012.  She also pitched her team to District Championship in 2012 and District Runner-Up in 2013.  Kadie is also a scholar, having earned spots on the A Honor Roll for six consecutive semesters.  She is a participant in the A+ program and is the English Department Student of the Month for 2012.  In 2012 she was awarded the Courtesy Award, and in 2010 earned the Teacher’s Choice Award.  She is ranked #5 in the Senior Class of 2014.

United Way campaign exceeds expectations at Cape Girardeau Public School District

Cape Public School District officials today announced that the district raised $27,272 for the 2013 United Way campaign through its efforts with faculty, staff and students.

This is $3,727.03 above our goal of $24, 000,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jim Welker.  “I am extremely proud of our students and staff for contributing to this very worthy cause.  Their generosity and hard work is a tribute to Cape Girardeau Public Schools.”

 Theresa Haubold, United Way coordinator for Cape Girardeau Public Schools, said, “The United Way does so much for the District.  This is our way of giving back.”  She cited the READ to Succeed program, Backpack for Fridays, LIFE Initiative, and Children’s Fund as examples of UW efforts to enhance the learning opportunities at Cape Public Schools.  “These are worthy projects which touch the lives of students at every grade level,” Haubold said.  She credited the efforts of building coordinators who worked creatively and tirelessly on the campaign:  Brandelin Frazier and Amanda Drilling at Alma Schrader Elementary; Holly Hall at Blanchard;  Amber Beard and Janel Pind at Clippard; Debra Rau, Christi Fryman and Mara Uhls at Franklin; Rebecca Wright at Jefferson; Paula Pletcher at CMS; Michelle Cook at Central Junior High; Josh Crowell at Central Junior High; Darin Stageberg at Alternative Education Center; David Papendick at Career and Technology Center and Dixie Crites at Cottonwood Residential Treatment Center.

 “I have been so moved and impressed by the giving of our students and staff this year.  This type of giving and caring shows our community just how much we do care about them,” Haubold reflected.  “The creativity was evident at every level!  Space doesn’t permit me to describe every effort, but one example is ‘Awesome Audie the super-dog’ (pictured above) who visited Clippard Elementary.  The top three fundraising classes were rewarded with a special recess with Audie.  Those types of creative efforts really made a difference in our campaign, and make all of us very proud to be part of Cape Public Schools.”

Lowe’s Heroes donate time and materials to enhance Clippard Elementary School

It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes dedicated volunteers to build a school, such as the “Lowe’s Heroes,” posing at Clippard Elementary School on Hopper Road. Clippard is the recipient of an “outdoor makeover,” courtesy of the Lowe’s Heroes program.

Tom Young (back row, far right) and his crew recently worked an entire day installing two picnic tables and five new benches. “We also have about 20 new trees planted around our new classroom addition and along the blacktop,” according to Clippard Principal Dr. Sydney Herbst. “They added more bushes and plants and mulch. They even mowed, weeded and raked. Our rock garden area looks better than ever,” Dr. Herbst added. She said that during two previous projects, the Lowe’s Heroes donated more than $2400 in plants and material, in addition to all of their time and labor.

Pictured, front row, left to right, are Felicity Kuehle, Julie Slinkard, Tina Chase, and Regina Dobson. Back row: Shane Murdock, Casey Seabaugh, Mark Hendrickson, Gary Kester and Tom Young. Not Pictured: Jay Williams, Jason Smith, and Tyler Davis. The Lowe’s Heroes volunteer program encourages employees to team together, adopt a volunteer project with a local nonprofit organization or K-12 public school, and make a difference in their community.

Hollywood lighting expert shares skills at Cape Career & Technology Center

It’s rare that a major Hollywood production team visits the Heartland, and even more rare when one of the staff is willing to share techniques.

“We invited Tim Hawn, lighting technician from Gone Girl, to present a seminar at the Cape Career and Technology Center about professional, Hollywood-style lighting tips and tricks –wow, did he deliver,” said Digital Media Instructor Randy McWilson, who organized the event.

The free and open-to-the-public seminar was held last week. In addition to McWilson’s students, Stan Cook, digital media instructor at Perryville Career Center, brought his entire 19-student class to the event, and commented that his students were very impressed.

Hawn, whose resume includes well-known films such as Django Unchained, GI Joe: Retaliation, Looper, and Secretariat, covered the fundamentals of three-point lighting and demonstrated how relatively inexpensive solutions for complex lighting can be found at the local hardware store. The students were shown sample clips from productions that Hawn contributed to, as well as behind-the-scenes footage highlighting advanced lighting techniques.

Many consider that the impact of the movie will mostly be an economic one, but McWilson is more excited about the educational aspect. “Students getting the opportunity to interface with key professionals like Tim Hawn, and observing the actual film-making process, is truly priceless,” he said.

One-to-One initiative nears reality: parental meetings scheduled at Central High School

Cape Public School District’s initiative to put one laptop computer in the hands of each one of its students, known as “One-to-One” (1:1) will move a step closer to reality this evening as parents assemble at Cape Central High School to learn the details of the program’s roll-out. 

The first meeting will be this evening (Tuesday), Nov. 5, 7:00-8:30 P.M. The second meeting will be Wednesday, November 6, 4:00-5:30 P.M.  Parents of students whose last names begin with letters A-M will gather in Richard D. Kinder Performance Hall on the campus of Cape Central High School, and those whose last names begin with letters N-Z will assemble in the High School Commons.  Both groups will be provided the same information– those in Kinder Hall will be introduced to the rationale of the 1:1 initiative and those in Commons will be introduced to the student device, how it works and how it can be used in daily instruction, both at school and at home.  After the first session the two groups will exchange places.

 “We are excited to introduce 1:1 to the parents and show them how technology will enhance the learning experiences of our students,” said Dr. Sherry Copeland, assistant superintendent for academic services.  She said high school teachers will receive their devices in the weeks before the December holiday vacation.  High school students will receive their devices when they return from the holidays on Jan 7, 2014.  Lower grades will receive devices beginning in the 2014-15 school year, starting with the 8th grade, and moving throughout the District over time.

Gone Girl production impacts Cape students

(Story and photo by Randy McWilson)

The last official Cape Girardeau shots for Gone Girl ended at 1:00 A.M. last Thursday morning, but less than 9 hours later, the impact of the filming was still being felt by students at the Cape Career & Technology Center.  Eric Williams, production assistant (PA) for 20th Century Fox, visited the CTC and presented a two-hour discussion and Q&A about his experiences in film and television.

Williams, whose resume is packed with well-known productions such as Gone Girl, the Walking Dead, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and dozens of popular music videos, spoke to a packed house Thursday, October 24, in the Digital Media studio.

“Not only was it great to see the movie being produced in town, but it is even better to actually talk to someone from the set who has been involved with so many great films,” observed Ethan Norman, 2nd-year adult student.

“It was inspiring to hear about his personal experiences in TV and film, and to learn about all the jobs and techniques that go on behind the scenes,” said Central High Student Abdul Al-Katanani. “I had no idea about all the effort and hard work that goes into a movie!” 

The seminar, which was free and open to the public, detailed the wide variety of jobs and responsibilities that are involved in a large Hollywood production. Williams shared that there are opportunities for enterprising young people who are interested in breaking into this exciting and challenging field.

Terrific Tigers recognized at October Cape School Board meeting

The Cape Girardeau Public Schools Board of Education, during its October meeting, recognized several outstanding students for their leadership, scholarship and service to others. Recipients of the Terrific Tiger Award are pictured above with School Board President Tony Smee, left, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jim Welker, right. Pictured from the left, front row, are: Grayson Davis, 6th Grade, Central Middle School; Aimee Caldwell, 1st Grade, Alma Schrader Elementary; Cooper Slye, 2nd Grade, Alma Schrader Elementary and Jacob Lutes, 3rd Grade, Blanchard Elementary. Back row: Caylon Randle, 7th Grade, Central Junior High and Jayrite Wiseman, 9th Grade, Alternative Education Center.

Twelve Cape Central High School students accepted to Honors Orchestra

Twelve Cape Central High School (CHS) students have been accepted into the Southeast Missouri District High School Honors Orchestra.   Pictured above, from the left, front row, are Jalen McDowell, Vikas Rudrappa, Aaron Mehner and Alex Mehner.  Back row: Orchestra Director Michael Hanf, Cadie Crites, Noah Smentkowski, Alex Gentle, Rachel Williams and Josie Young.  Not pictured: Maddie Siefert, Emily Diamond and Sophia Wilson.

“I am proud of these students who are representing the Cape Central Orchestra in the Southeast Missouri District High School Honors Orchestra,” said Orchestra Director Michael Hanf. “They have sacrificed their time and energy and pursued music for music’s sake.”  The Honors Orchestra will perform Saturday, Nov. 2, 4:00 P.M., at Richard D. Kinder Performance Hall on the Cape Central High School campus, under the direction of Mr. John Mazar of St. Louis, MO.

CHS Principal Dr. Mike Cowan said, “We are so very pleased to see this year’s orchestra students sustain the tradition of musical excellence we have enjoyed in our Cape Central Orchestra program for many years.   Without doubt, our orchestra is one of our oldest and most consistently successful co-curricular programs on our campus.”