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Bessemer School Board Signs On

Bessemer - December 32, 2009

The Bessemer School Board met Monday evening for its Regularly scheduled December Meeting. The board members were confronted with the "Race to the Top" Memorandum of Agreement required by the State of Michigan and the Federal Government.

The Federal Government is going to give out Grant money to school districts meeting certain criteria. The intent is to provide the funding that the previous administration omitted for its "No School Left Behind" mandate; which remained an unfunded mandate for eight years.

The current plan could provide the Bessemer District with approximately $35,000 in addition funding. The problem is up to today no one really knows what they are signing on too. In its usual ways of doing things the inept state legislature has let every thing run to the last moment.

Now, local school boards must make uninformed decisions and sign the agreement by January 6th. And have the Memorandum to Lansing by January 7th.

There now is an opt out clause available to the school districts, but that too is vague and untested. The school districts must agree to the state extortion or risk losing the funding "IF" it ever materialized.

The whole thing could be for naught as the Memorandum of agreement must also be signed by the school district’s union. So far there is no indication that the MEA will agree to the scheme. They too are being asked to make severe concessions without any compensation.

The plan was approved by the Bessemer School Board in a 6-1 vote. Bill McDonald was the lone "no" vote. Bill voted no after providing several reasons for the vote. The other board members voted yes, believing that the Opt Out provision was a valid argument to move forward.



Holiday Concert CD Now Available

The 2009 A.D. Johnson Christmas Concert was professionally recorded to a music CD.

The album includes songs performed by the Choir, the Elementary Band, the Jr. High Band and the High School Band.

The terrific concert recording was pre-sold on the evening of the concert. However, there are a few CDs still available. In addition to the great music, the CD liner contains photos of the concert performers.

The C.D. Would make a great last minute Christmas gift and only costs $10.

You can order one through the School Office or Mrs. Mykkanen, Music Director. 667-0413

Click to hear "A Christmas festival"  a track from the C.D.


A. D. Johnson High School
Performs Christmas Concert

Bessemer - December 10, 2009

The A.D. Johnson High School presented its annual Christmas Concert this past Tuesday evening.  Once again the school musicians and singers gave a stellar performance. Something we've come to expect from this well directed music department. The bands and the high school choir were all directed by their excellent music director, Mary Jo Mykkanen. Mrs Mykkanen's husband, Dan Mykkanen accompanied the Choir and provided the music for the dance performance which was the opening act for the concert.  

The evening began with a dance presentation "Winter Song" arranged by Brianna Mykkanen.
above Jake Zielinski, U.P. Honors Band, First Trumpet Part, fourth chair. Also gaining a spot on the U.P. Honors Band: Brianna Mykkanen, Rebecca Gerovac,  and
Dan Trudgeon


Fun 'N' Frolic

@ Washington School

Bessemer - November 2, 2009

It was Halloween Evening in Bessemer and kids in costumes could e seen trick or treating from house to house. However, the real action for the little children was occurring in the Gymnasium at the Washington School.



Walmart helps A.D. Johnston students be winners!

By Lori Hendges,

Walmart is a true partner in education! On Wednesday, September 2nd A.D. Johnston Jr/Sr High School held its annual Open House for new students. The entire faculty greeted record numbers of students and parents. The evening began with a fun scavenger hunt that had students getting acquainted with the building and their teachers and staff. Mark Johnson, Principal & District Administrator, familiarized families with policies, rules, & expectations and the evening ended with a drawing for prizes donated by our local Walmart store. General manager Jeremy Pralle very generously agreed to donate school supplies to be raffled off at the event and night manager Donna Frello assisted in putting everything together. All students who attended the open house were eligible to win a variety of school supplies. Many students left with some type of school supply and 4 grand prize winners left with backpacks full of binders, folders, pens, pencils, and other supplies.

From L to R : 7th grade students Catalina Palm, Taylor Appner, Solomon Drifka, & Justin Wheeler each won a backpack full of school supplies donated by Walmart in Ironwood.

B-W-M Split Double Header with Ashland

Wakefield – October 2, 2009

Last night the Bessemer-Wakefield-Marenisco Jr. High School 7th and 8th grade football teams played their counterparts from Ashland. The games were played at Wakefield. The two schools split the double header with the B-W-M 7th graders handily defeating Ashland 16-0 in the opening game.

It was quite a different story in the second game. In spite of some really good play calling, missed blocks and tackles by the B-W-M 8th graders gave Ashland an easy victory. The game was called due to darkness in third quarter, with Ashland ahead 20-6.


Washington School Wins Blue Ribbon

Bessemer - August 23, 2009

The Bessemer Washington School took home a Blue Ribbon in the Youth Class. The school won the ribbon for single group entry by an organization.



Bessemer School District
Announces Fourth Quarter Honor Roll

  12th Grade    
Ahnen, Maria E  
Berwald, Brooke E
Clemo, Jessica L
Fabbri, Cassandra M
Hendges, Richard L  
Kapugia, Benjamin J  
Kapugia, Patrick J  
Maki, Monica A   
Reil, Maggie L 
Rodvold, Katelyn S  
Sprague, Sasha A  
11th Grade  
Dean, Brittany M  
Foster, Timothy D
Gerovac, Rebecca J  
Hoeft, Christina  
Jendrusina, Joseph A   
Kolesar, Samuel J 
Laukka, Nicholas S  
Longhini, Samantha J  
Marchello, Carissa L  
Martell, Megan M  
Martinson, Eric R  
Mattson, Lilly A  
Noren, Benjamin E  
Novascone, Theresa K  
Sackmann, Daniel G  
Wilczewski, Simon R  
10th Grade  
Ahnen, Sarah C  
Chiapuzio, Jordy 
Jacobson, Jessie S   
Janczak, Megan M   
Kuchinski, Chelsea A  
Mykkanen, Brianna L 
Pelissero, Taylor A  
Reil, Molly L  
Ahnen, Megan F  
Berwald, Paige L  
Demaray, Blake A  
Drews, Taylor  
Hautala, Jennifer M   
Heinz, Jacob F  
Hellman, Jackson R  
Hendges, Rachael L  
Hoeft, Alison  
Jackson, Avery J
Jacobson, Alexandria M  
Jacobson, Haley J 
Johnson, Ashley R   
Maleitzke, Molly  
Sackmann, Amelia M  
Samardich, Abby N   
Selin, Heather M  
Siirila, Aspen N  
Trudgeon, Daniel W  
Turula, Jory D   
Verbos, Rudolph  
Zielinski, Jake T  
Colberg, Cheyenne M   
8th Grade  
Gheller, Derek L  
Johnson, Stephanie A   
Jokela, Darian C  
Meinke, Jeffrey T 
Meinke, Kelsey A  
Menghini, Devvin J  
Osborn, Harmony R  
Piehl, Mikayle E  
Pikka, Nissa N  
Richardson, Emily
Smith, Taylor
Tesch, Shawna L
7th Grade  
Ahnen, Jonathon C
Ahnen, Julie K
Baker, Hunter A
Bennetts, Drew M
Bogaczyk, Brenna R
Carpenedo, Kaitlyn M 
Carver, Kimberly 
Cossi, Nicholas R 
France, Maxwell M 
Gerovac, Kevin T  
Hansen, Allyson P 
Heinz, Casey W  
Helgestad, Ian M  
Hellman, Josie  
Karling, Kate J  
Lackman, Emma M   
Laukka, Jenika D  
Lillie, Francesca M 
Marchello, Miah C  
Montonati, Mark W 
Olson, Nova R 
Quade, Trent A
Rand, Sarah A 
Sampson, Mikhayla M  
Schwartz, Brittany A  
Taivalmaa, Zachary M  
Tourville, Claire E  
Trudgeon, Sarah E  
Wanden, Tristen O  
Zielinski, Ben M 

Congratulations to  All the Honor Roll Students
and to the 12th Grade Honor Roll Students
Great Job and Good Luck in your future pursuits!


Bessemer, Wakefield-Marenisco
Begin New Football Era in Local Football

August 4, 2009

The Bessemer Area School District and the Wakefield - Marenisco School District will begin the school year with a new co=op football program. The joint venture will make it possible for more students to enjoy playing both Varsity and Jr. Varsity football this coming season.

The Varsity team will play three home games in Bessemer and one home game in Wakefield. The Jr. Varsity team will play two home games in Bessemer and three home games in Wakefield.


The varsity season will open Friday, August 21st in a scrimmage game against the E-TC Panthers in a match that will be played in Ewen. The Jr. varsity team will open its season in Eagle River, where it will play Northland Pines.

The Varsity squad will close out it season October 23rd against the Red Devils in Ironwood. The Jr. Varsity team will finish its season a day earlier, October 22nd against Ironwood, in a game to be played in Bessemer.

View Full Schedule...


Small Class Sizes and Enrichment Classes are the Recipe for Success in the Bessemer Area School District

July 8, 2009

A personalized education has long been a staple in the Bessemer Area School District and that reputation will remain as we look into 2009-2010. Even as we see nationwide budget crunches, state deficits and declining enrollment in many Michigan school districts, Bessemer will continue to provide a high quality education to its students based on small group settings, attention to the needs of the individual student and differentiated instruction to better fit the student’s educational needs and goals.

During the course of the 2008-2009 school year we were fortunate enough to be able to experiment with running an all-day, everyday kindergarten program. At year’s end, I believe that this program was a huge success for the District. Test scores show students coming from this year’s kindergarten class will enter first grade at a very high academic level. Due to the tireless efforts of Mrs. Lekies, Mrs. Adams and Mrs. Barbacovi our kindergarten students are well on their way to a successful academic career as they have been provided the finest of educational foundations in which to build upon in their upcoming school years.

Due to the fact that we have seen such a dramatic effect of moving to the all-day, everyday kindergarten program, we have opted to run two sections of our all-day, everyday kindergarten program for the 2009-2010 school year. We will provide two full-time teachers to our kindergarten program to once again build the academic foundations of our students to better prepare them for the rigors of years to come. With these supports in place our students will be given every tool needed to succeed in tomorrow’s world.

The Bessemer Area School District are not only making a commitment to smaller class sizes at the kindergarten level for the fall of 2009, but also at every early elementary level up through grade 3. In the fall, we are anticipating that we will be hosting two first grades with approximately 15 students per section, two second grades with approximately 13 students per grade level, and two third grades with approximately 18 students per grade level. These smaller class sizes are being put into place to better enable teachers and staff to reach every student and meet their educational needs.

In addition to smaller class sizes, our elementary students also enjoy a full compliment of enrichment classes throughout their day. Each elementary student will have the opportunity to participate is art, music, physical education, computers, and band in their years at Washington School. In the 2008-2009 school year each student had the opportunity to spend approximately seven 35-minute class periods a week in one of our enrichment classes. Along with those enrichment classes students in grades 5 and 6 have the opportunity to participate in elementary band program which meets every day. In addition, our students are fortunate enough to have access to the Washington School swimming pool during the winter months to participate in various water activities and swimming lessons. Mrs. Janet Hellman, along with Mr. Tim France and Mrs. Mary Ahnen, do a terrific job in teaching various water skills to our students. It is a real asset to our district that we have the opportunity to house our own pool.

We are looking forward to another successful year in the Bessemer Area School District and look forward to helping each of our students reach their individual goals.

Mark Johnson
Bessemer Area Schools


"Four Year Old" Pre K to Continue at B.A.S

Bessemer - July 28, 2009

The Bessemer School Board held its July meeting last evening. The newest board member, William Mc Donald, was in attendance for this, his first regular monthly meeting. Mark Johnson District Administrator, introduced this year's changes to both the2009-2010 Athletic Handbook and the 2009 - 2010 Junior - Senior. High School Student/Parent Handbooks. There were few changes, however, one the more interesting things discussed was the banning of high energy drinks on campus. Mostly due to the fact that many of these drinks are the caffeine equivalent of four cups of coffee. Worse yet, it was discovered that one such drink actually had small traces of cocaine in it. Another change contemplated for this year will be to linking class grades to Driver's Ed eligibility. It seems that Driver's Ed is the carrot, that is most likely to get the students attention.

Mr. Johnson told the board that accident insurance will be available to purchase by the parents of student athletes.

Board member, August Simmerling addressed the need for fiscal prowess after the 2009-2010 school year. He suggested that Mark Johnson and Chris Bergquist seek ways to conserve the surplus in the future, and that the board support their fiscal decisions relating to surplus conservation.

The bad news from Lansing was that the funding for the "four year old" program may be cut. Other state spending items were on a day to day basis --- yes one day maybe the next and no the following day. The Governor and State Legislature have yet to make their spending plans known to the people who need to the most. Go figure! Chris told the board members, that the four year old program has gone through this before. One year the funds were cut, only to be restored in March. The program will be offered once again with or without the state funding.

Enrollment numbers for the new year are mixed, but certainly not bad. Jr and Senior High will remain about the same as last year. However, there may be a very small decrease in enrollment in the Washington School.

In other matters, Mr. Simmerling presented the building and grounds report. He listed the myriad of projects that are being worked on. It seems that most are on track for their expected completion.


Bessemer School Board Adds Second Kindergarten Teacher

Bessemer - June 23, 2009

The Bessemer School Board approved the hiring of a second Kindergarten teacher for the 2009/2010 school year. Monday night at its regular monthly meeting , the board unanimously approved the hiring of Theresa Guiliano as teacher for its second  full day Kindergarten class. Miss Guiliano worked for the district as a part-time Title One teacher.

The board considered dividing the current one kindergarten class into two class in the fall. The decision was reached after analyzing the success of its current full day program.

At the April board meeting, School Superintendent Mark Johnson told the board that the Bessemer All Day Kindergarten program is paying big dividends. The students entering the first grade after attending full day Kindergarten class are showing an amazing improvement in reading skills.

By reducing the kindergarten class size it is believed that the students will benefit even more from the additional time available to each student.

Before the full day program students entering first grade showed only a 35% reading proficiency. Since then the students entering the first grade have shown continued improvement in reading proficiency. The proficiency level rose to 48% in 2007/2008 and to a reading proficiency of 76% in 2008/2009.

In other personnel moves the district has approved the hiring of Tyler Hubbard as the 50% Industrial Technology Instructor at ADJ.

The board also approved hiring Jim Partanen as the ADJ summer school instructor.


Bessemer School Board
Approves Summer School Program

Bessemer - April 29, 2009

The Bessemer School Board unanimously approved the 2009 Elementary Summer School Program which will consist of a four week split session with two teachers teaching three hours and 15 minutes per day 4 days per week.  The action was taken at the Board's monthly meeting. 

The board approved increasing the per student fee for driver's ed to $350. The prior charge was $325 per student. There 38 students signed up for the program.

The board approved the payment of debt retirement in the amount of $186,167.50

The GOISD Budget resolution was rejected by the board in a unanimous vote.


The board unanimously approved the evaluation report of Mark Johnson local Administrator.
The board withdrew the pink slip for Theresa Giuliano a part-time Title -1 teacher and in other personnel  action regrettably accepted the resignation of Miss Sabrina Gheller as Varsity-Jr. Varsity Cheerleading advisor. The board approved the immediate posting of the vacant position.

With respect to athletics:

The board also approved four bus trips for the baseball team to Baraga Rockland Hancock and Ewen.

The board  approved the hiring of three coaches  for the co-op football teams. Bruce Mahler was hired as the assistant varsity football coach. Patrick Libertoski and Jim Dahlin were hired as junior high football coaches.

Approximately 50  kids have indicated  an interest in fall football. On the varsity level there is one coach for each ten students. There are only two coaches for the fifty Jr. High  students, which creates a need for more coaches.

The school board also approved the list of students eligible for this year's graduation.

Gene Goss Head Teacher at the Washington School gave his monthly report to the board.

Gene advised the board of the events of the last month and also the upcoming Spring Concert on May 7th and the upcoming 6th grade venture to Camp Superior.

Pink Slips - Just for Barbie ?

Ironwood - April 21, 2009

The Ironwood School Board held its monthly meeting last evening. At the meeting Superintendent Rayner reported that school enrollment was down to 943 pupils. Although the numbers continue to drop and the district is facing an expected deficit, the district voted to recall twelve of the twenty-two teachers previously laid off. The recall was previously predicted by IronwoodInfo. Regrettably, for teachers, students and parents, the pink slip notices given earlier in the school year are simply maneuvers between the school district and the union. On any given year you find that approximately half those employees pink slipped will be recalled. 

This year 86 students will graduate from the IASD. One less than previously thought. One student who will not be in the graduating class has moved to Florida as their family sought employment. The 86 graduating Seniors will be replaced by 68 kindergarten students expected this fall. The number includes 17 pre-K students.
pictured above Will Andresen thanks the board for their support for Soccer. Will resigned from his coaching position and the board accepted his resignation with thanks for his past services.
pictured above - Steve Boyd, IASD Music Director thanked the board for their support of the music program.



Bessemer 2009 Awards Ceremony

By Lori Hendges
May 13, 2009

Congratulations to the 18 seniors from A.D. Johnston High School, in Bessemer, who were awarded scholarships during the annual awards ceremony Wednesday, May 13th. In order to qualify for scholarships, students must demonstrate leadership, a commitment to community service, academic excellence, and meet various requirements. Students receiving scholarships (and their college of choice) are Maggie Reil (Univ. of Mich), Brian Contos (GCC), Tony Giackino (Nicolet Tech), Brooke Berwald (Central Mich Univ), Maria Ahnen (GCC), Monica Maki (U-W Eau-Claire), Louis Hendges (Mich Tech), Ben Kapugia (GCC), Pat Kapugia (GCC), Casey Fabbri (Lake State Univ), Miles Mykkanen (the Juilliard School), Christian Brunelle (Nicolet Tech), Katelyn Rodvold (GCC), Dan Watkins (GCC), Zach Kuchinski (GCC), Logan Ballone (WITC), Jessica Clemo (GCC), and Corey Fabbri (GCC).  A total of $146,000 in scholarship money was awarded to the class of 2009.
In addition to senior scholarships, many students in grades 9-12 were presented with academic, music, and club awards.  New Inductees for National Honor Society were also announced. They are: Sophomores - Sarah Ahnen, Jessie Jacobson, Megan Janczak, Brianna Mykkanen, Taylor Pelissero, and Molly Reil; Juniors – Brittany Dean, Tim Foster, Sam Kolesar, Samantha Longhini, Carissa Marchello, and Dan Sackmann.

Following is a list of specific scholarships & recipients:
Scholarship Recipient
Gogebic County Community Role Model Scholarship………………….……Maggie Reil
Paisano Scholarship………………………………………………Brian Contos
A.D. Johnston Alumni Scholarship…………………………Anthony Giackino
Sartoris Scholarships…Brooke Berwald, Maria Ahnen, Monica Maki, & Maggie Reil
Wakefield-Bessemer roatary Scholarship……………….Louis Hendges
Harry B. Sutter Scholarship………………………….Maria Ahnen
Paul & Dorothy Steiger Memorial Scholarship…….Maria Ahnen
Bill & Beth Steiger Scholarship……………..Ben Kapugia & Pat Kapugia
Steiger’s Home Center Scholarships…..Cassandra Fabbri & Louis Hendges
Bessemer Chamber Scholarship…………..Pat Kapugia
Bessemer Chamber Arion Music Scholarship…………………..Maggie Reil
Ken Wiele Memorial Music Scholarship…………………….Miles Mykkanen
Esia Frello Safely Home Scholarships…Maria Ahnen & Miles Mykkanen
Al Gaiss Scholarship…………………………….Christian Brunelle
Bessemer Lion’s Club Scholarship…………..Katelyn Rodvold
Erwin Community Club Scholarship……………..Monica Maki
Bessemer friends & Alumni Scholarship……….Daniel Watkins
Abelman Scholarship………………………..Zach Kuchinski
R Anonymous Scholarships……..Maria Ahnen, Brooke Berwald, & Louis Hendges
Bessemer Woman’s Club Scholarship………………..Zach Kuchinski
Peter Fusi Athletic Scholarship…………….Louis Hendges
Marcy L. Brackett Scholarship…………………….Maria Ahnen
Grandview Health Foundation Scholarship………Pat Kapugia
Marenisco Scholarship………………………Logan Ballone
AFCSME local #992 Scholarship…………….Maria Ahnen
Michigan tech Presidential Distinction Scholarship…Louis Hendges
GCC Scholarships..Jessica Clemo, Corey Fabbri, & Ben & Pat Kapugia
Orvana Educational Scholarship……Casey fabbri & Louis Hendges
DalPra Trust Scholarships…..M. Reil, B. Kapugia, Z. Kuchinski, B.Contos, & C. Fabbri
Air Force Officer Reserve Scholarship……….Louis Hendges



Some Things Never Change

Bessemer - June 5, 2009

While the Washington School fifth graders were planting flowers at city Hall Tuesday, Mrs Maki and Mrs. Mickelson were taking their second grade student to the Bluff Valley Park. The kids were excited as the school year was nearing an end!



Bessemer Students
Decorate Sophie Street

Bessemer - June 3, 2009

The fifth grade students of Washington School went to Bessemer City Hall yesterday. There they teamed up with members of the Range Master Gardeners and set out to beautify Sophie Street for the summer months. Mrs.Malmberg students filled 18 large planter boxes with red, white and blue flowers and planted flowers in three gardens outside city hall.



Bessemer Students
Study Ages of Trees

Bessemer - June 1,  2009

Students at Bessemer's Washington received a visit from Jaman Pakanen last Thursday. Jaman is an employee of the Gogebic County Forestry and Parks Commission and he came to teach the young students instructions on how to age and identify local trees.

Jamen had the students examine sample cross sections of various species of trees. He showed them how to count the tree rings as a method of calculating a tree's age. He also taught them how to estimate the age of a tree by counting the layers of tree branches.
The students were able to take turns boring into a tree to get a core specimen which provides the same information that you would get from a cross section of the tree.

The class was very informative and the kids were very interested in what Jaman had to say to them.


.Washington School Students Plant Spring Flowers

Bessemer - May 30, 2009

Thursday morning Washington School fourth graders ventured outdoors to plant flowers in front of their school building. Mrs. Beal's students had been scheduled to do the planting Wednesday, however cold and wet weather required a rescheduling.


Marko Visits Washington School

Bessemer - May 29, 2009

The students of Mrs. Beal's fourth grade class received a canine visitor yesterday. Marko an 8 1/2 year old German Sheppard came along with Deputy Sheriff Cory Aijala to meet the students of Washington School in Bessemer.
Deputy Aijala spoke to the students about the county's K-9 unit. Marko is now 8 1/2 years old and is good health. This means that Marko still has a lot of work days still ahead. Marko weighs in at 67 lbs. and is a strong dog capable of controlling criminals.
Marko came from the Netherlands and understand the Dutch language. Deputy Aijala knows approximately 11 command words in the Dutch Language. Marko has been a member of the Gogebic Sheriff's Department for seven years. When he first came to the United States, he flew into Detroit. Deputy Aijala flew to Detroit to meet Marko and to initiate his training. Cory spent 4 weeks in Detroit training his new partner.
Cory, explained to the students that Marko is dual purpose dog. He is used to sniff out all kinds of drugs. He is also trained for and used to find people and things. He also protects Cory.

Mrs. Beal's class was one of several classes that got to meet Marko and Deputy Aijala yesterday. The kids really enjoyed the experience. In addition to being a very capable dog handler, Cory Aijala is a terrific liaison for local students.

An Evening of Art and Music

Bessemer - May 14, 2009

Tuesday evening family and friends were once again treated to an evening of Arts and Music. The Bessemer Area Schools presented the Annual Band and Choir Concert, directed by Mary Jo Mykkanen, and an Art Exhibit under the guidance of Jennifer Werner.

The evening began with an Art Exhibit which displayed the creativity and skills of many talented art students in the Bessemer School District. 

The evening progressed to the Music portion of the event. Once again Mary Jo Mykkanen, demonstrated her musical talent and that of her students. Mrs. Mykkanen has the ability to choose musical pieces that make her 45 piece band sound as though there were a hundred musicians playing. She also has trained her students to be fine young musicians. Whether it be in a concert or a parade Bessemer residents have much reason to be proud of their school bands.

The ever popular B.A.S. High School Band took the stage and performed sevral  songs including a rousing finale

Read More


Music In The Air at
Washington Elementary

Bessemer - May 8, 2009

The students of Washington Elementary School played to a full house yesterday, even though the spring concert took place at 1:00 pm on a Thursday afternoon. Family and friends filled the elementary school gymnasium for the annual spring concert which featured the students from grades P-K through Sixth. Through the efforts of the teaching and support staffs and the leadership of music teacher  L J. Roderick, the concert was a great success. The songs were well chosen and the choreography added a great deal of enjoyment to the presentation

Guest were welcomed upon arrival by a team of "Student Greeters" consisting of Samantha Peite, Ann DahIim, Jordan Koski, Whitney Treka, Kris Behrendt, and
Hunter Reed
pictured above the man responsible for the great performance music teacher,  L.J. Ruderick
above - Molly Wieringa, a sixth grade student who entertained the audience with a violin solo "Gavotte from "Mignon"
above Jimmy Jendrusina who also performed a solo. Jimmy  played "Jimmy's Boogie"

Other soloist were fourth grader Tia Webber who performed "Do Re, Me" an acappella solo, Via Triggiano a first grader who played a piano solo  "Air" from the Surprise Symphony,  fourth grade student, Ciara Novascone who played a piano solo "Wig Wam",  Racheal Emery a forth grade student who performed Knight's Tale, Sixth grade student, Valerie Rowe played the Piano solo "Sonata in "G", Jess Mazzon a sixth grade student played a piano solo "Pette Tarentelle" Dennis Ian Aspinwall a sixth grade student performed a piano solo "Il Penseroso"  and Lilly Wieringa played a violin solo "The Crawdag Song"


The Decoration crew did a really good job. They students responsible for the great decorating were: Solomon Drifka, Nicholu Shemer, Joshua Suzik, Andrew Peterson,
Josh Westeen, Valerie Rowe, and Molly Wieringa. The decoration crew support staff consisted of: Taylor Appner, Rachel Hoeft, Jes Mazzon, Rachel Moon, Dan Trekas,
Riley Vukusich, Dennis Ian Aspinwall, Grace Findley, Emily Jacobson, Nicole Lekies,
Cataliaa Palm, Scott Selin, and David Anderson.
The stage crew consisted of Nick Matonich and  Ben Jacobson.Members of the stage set crew were: Big Jim Favero,  Nick Matonich, Ben Jacobson, David Anderson, and
Josh Suzik.
Rounding out the members of the production were: Anna Wacker and  Kristen Hogaette, classroom runners and Video Cameraman Zachary Mazurek.
View More photos

Bessemer School District
Says "YES" to Literacy

Bessemer - March 24, 2009

Monday evening the Bessemer School watched the Power point presentation by Jean Massie from the G.O.I.S.D. This the same presentation on a Literacy Program previously given to the Ironwood and Wakefield-Marenisco school districts.

After many questions and much deliberations the Bessemer Board joined Wakefield-Marenisco in approving the program that will provide for reading coaches to the school district. Like W-M the vote was contingent on the cost of the program remaining at or below the $40,000 projected costs. Also, Bessemer's vote is contingent upon receiving the Grant Money that is suppose to be available to the district.

You may recall that the Ironwood School District voted no to Literacy last month, when board chairman Steve Thomas stated he didn't understand the program.

Read more information about to the Literacy Program


Spring Has Sprung at Washington School

Bessemer - March 25, 2009

It's a  sure sign of spring when Master Gardeners and  Washington School fourth graders get together to plant flower seeds for the school grounds. Above Mrs. Beals and Range Master Gardener Gordon Frese prepare the students for this annual event. The kids will plant and care for the seedlings until May when the class will go outside with the Master Gardeners and transplant the flowers. During the summer months student volunteers will care for the flower beds by deadheading, weeding and watering.

above Volunteers from Mrs. Beals' class standby to assist Master Gardeners in carrying supplies to an from the classroom.
above fourth graders filling the seed trays with a potting mix. The student learned the proper techniques for filling the trays and planting the Marigold and Petunia seeds.
Range Master Gardeners are local Michigan and Wisconsin Master Gardeners who volunteer their gardening experience and know how in many community projects. The Range Master Gardeners will duplicate yesterday's class again in Ironwood' Norrie School and again at the Hurley School. The Silver Street and Sophie Street plantings are also Master Gardener projects. Larger projects include the Community Garden, the Ironwood Pocket Park and Grandview Hospital projects.

View more of the Washington School project at


Bessemer Students Compete
in Science Olympiad

Photos by David and Tracy Rowe

February 23, 2003

On Valentines Day, Middle School and Senior High students from Bessemer competed in the regional Science Olympiad competition at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.  According to High School advisor David Rowe, “this year’s competition was a big success.  We had 28 students compete in problems covering the whole spectrum of science disciplines.  In addition to traditional question and answer problems, our students built rubber band powered planes, elevated balsa wood bridges, electric cars, rockets, catapults and time keeping devices.” 

The students from Bessemer placed well with 17 of the students earning at least one medal.  Junior Nick Laukka, who placed second in “egg-o-naut” with sophomore team partner Ron Richardson, summed up the feelings of many students when he said, “Science Olympiad is great.  There is so much fun involved in building and preparing for the problems that you really don’t care if you medal.”  Sixth grader Valerie Rowe, who placed third in Meteorology with fellow sixth grader Jess Mazzon said, “I really get nervous before a problem but I am also very excited.  At the awards assembly I really wanted to do well and when I got a medal I was really glad that I competed.”  Freshman, Jake Zielinski who helped junior Joe Jendrusina construct a 60 gram balsa bridge that easily held the required 15 kg of sand commented that, “Science Olympiad is fun for many reasons.  You get to explore the world of science in a fun way.  You get to meet people and you could even find a career.  For example: I’m into engineering.”  Sixth grader Jimmy Jendrusina, who helped construct the “Wright Stuff” plane with seventh grader Kate Karling, commented that, “the best part of Science Olympiad is competing with my friends and working together.  The most challenging part was building the plane knowing that we would have to practice flying it and not wanting it to crash.”

This year the High School team placed eighth and the junior high team placed seventh, each in a field of 12 teams.  Earning medals this year in the High School competition were: Danny Trudgeon and Jenn Hautala, third place in Forensic Lab, Nick Laukka and Ron Richardson, second place in egg-o-naut, Tim Foster and Lilly Mattson, third in Disease Detectives and Dan Sackmann and Tim Foster, first place in electric car.

Earning medals in the Junior High division were: Harmony Osborn and Stephanie Johnson, second place in Write it Do it and second place in Amphibians and Reptiles., Nick Cossi and Zach Taivalmaa, second place in Robo Cross and third place in Reach for the Stars, Jimmy Jendrusina and Kate Karling, second place in Wright Stuff, Jess Mazzon and Valerie Rowe, third place in Meteorology, Danny Trekas and Sarah Trudgeon, third place in Dynamic Planet.

When reflecting on this year’s competition, Rowe commented that, “in addition to the hard work of the students, there were many “behind the scenes” things that helped the Bessemer teams become so successful.  This year we were fortunate to have the help of a volunteer coach, Bruce Jendrusina and a new Junior High coach, wife and fellow teacher Tracy Rowe”.   Rowe also added that with the large team and the expenses of constructing things for competition that it was very gratifying to have so many financial sponsors.  In addition to the community coming out to support the pancake breakfast, Ironwood Plastics, Floor Plans of Bessemer, Big Powderhorn Mountain, Steiger’s Home Center and Tamarack Retreat Therapeutic Massage all financially supported our efforts and helped make our successful competition possible.  

As a final thought, both Dave and Tracy Rowe agreed that they were both proud of their teams and they both feel that the experience and exposure to high pressure and out of the box problem solving will help their students as they continue to explore the world of math and science.


Washington School to Hold Wellness Night

Bessemer - February 24, 2009

The Bessemer School Board held it regularly scheduled meeting last night. The agenda was short as was the meeting. The school district has seen an increase in revenues and a decrease in expenses for the school lunch program this year. The all day kindergarten program is credited with the fiscal changes. When asked how the kindergarten program was going Mr. Goss stated that it was going very well. There were however, some changes that he would like to institute next year.

The board approved the posting of four football coaching positions for the co-op football program with Wakefield-Meranisco. The positions will be open to both Bessemer and Wakefield coaches. Two positions currently held by Bessemer coaches will not be posted. There will be a total of six coaching positions; two Varsity, two
Jr. Varsity and two Jr. High School positions.

The new program will be submitted to MHSAA for approval. Mark Johnson told the board that he expected to hear from the athletic association before the school year ends.

The board was told that the school district has one new student that will require an additional aide for 16 1/2 hours per week.

In his Washington School Report, Gene Goss reminded the Board of the PTO's Silent Auction that is coming up March 7th. The silent auction is for the purpose of buying additional playground equipment at Washington School. The event will be held at the VFW hall. There is a small admission charge of $10. which will provide music and HOR D'OEUVRES. Mr. Goss told the board that there will be very nice items to bid on. Tickets for the fundraiser are on sale at the school's office.
Mr. Goss told the board that Picture Day will take place March 9th and on March 23rd there will be the third annual "Wellness Night" program. Mrs. Helman is in charge and will be bringing speakers from the hospital.
Pictured above - Four Students from Jim Partanen's Civic Class sit on the board meeting.  is a Michigan, Non-Profit Media Corporation


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