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New superintendent named for Sparta Area Schools

New superintendent named for Sparta Area Schools

SPARTA, Mich.— Sparta Area Schools have a new superintendent.

Tuesday night, the school board unanimously voted in Gordon “Gordie” Nickels.  Nickels comes from Byron Center Public Schools, were he served as assistant superintendent.  Before coming to Byron Center, Nickels was a building administrator and curriculum director in Caledonia.  He earned both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in education from Western Michigan University.

Board President Warren Hill says the Sparta board felt Nickels “had his finger on Sparta's pulse,” and board member Amanda VanStrien says “he has a heart for kids.”

Nickels beat out four other finalists for the position.  He was selected following a series of interviews with community members and the school board on Tuesday.

Search for a Superintendent: Final interviews June 18

Search for a Superintendent: Final interviews June 18

SPARTA, Mich.—The public is invited for  the final round of interviews in the search for Sparta Area Schools' next superintendent.

The district’s board of education has narrowed the pool of five finalists down to two: Phillip Freeman and Gordie Nickels.

Administrators of the Sparta Area Schools website posted this information about both candidates:

Freeman was principal and assistant principal at Pioneer Middle School in Plymouth Canton before being named assistant superintendent for operations and facilities in 2011. He began his education career as a special education teacher in Garden City.

Sparta Area Schools begin superintendent interviews June 11

Sparta Area Schools begin superintendent interviews June 11

SPARTA, Mich.—Sparta Area Schools Board of Education will begin interviewing finalists for district superintendent on June 11.

The school board whittled down a pool of  18 candidates to five people, who will be interviewed next week.  The first round interviews will take place at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Bowling for a Cure, Sunday, April 28th

Bowling for a Cure, Sunday, April 28th

Westgate Bowl is the place to be on Sunday, April 28th if you would like to participate in the Comstock Park Relay for Life/American Cancer Society fundraising event called “Bowling for a Cure.”

The event, located at 4486 Alpine Ave NW, begins at 5:00pm on Sunday. The fee to participate is $10.00 per person and it includes two games of bowling, shoe rental and pizza.

A portion of all proceeds will go toward Relay for Life of Comstock Park.

For additional information on this event and other fundraisers, go to the organizations Facebook page or visit the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org

Seeking Artists & Musicians

Seeking Artists & Musicians

The new Third Thursday Street Festival is scheduled for June 20 & August 15 from 5 to 8pm in downtown Sparta. This Festival will showcase new amenities & merchants through art booths, sidewalk sales, along with street entertainment like, artists, performers & musicians. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) office encourages musicians, artists and street talent to participate in these Festival dates by visiting www.spartami.org for an application or by calling at (616)887-2454.

For more information on the Third Thursday Street Festival, go to www.spartachamber.com.

Vietnam Wall Replica May Return To Sparta

Vietnam Wall Replica May Return To Sparta
In 2008, The Moving Wall came to Sparta. Now, the community is working to bring it back five years later. Many businesses and community members are contributing to the effort so the replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. can return to Sparta on August 29th and leave September 3rd , 2013. If you're interested in helping bring the wall to Sparta for a second time, the next community meeting is April 16 at 6:00pm at the Sparta Fire House. You can also like the Facebook page around the effort called "Sparta Vietnam Moving Wall."

Local Rotarians Help Provide Clean Water by Drilling a Well

Local Rotarians Help Provide Clean Water by Drilling a Well

Rotarians believe in "Service Above Self" and that service is not restricted to the local communities but extends world wide.  That was recently demonstrated when the Cedar Springs, Comstock Park and Sparta Rotaries paid for a clean water well for residents in a small community near Aca Jutla, El Salvador. They also helped sponsor a team of local Rotarians to help with the installation of the well and the training of hygiene a few weeks ago. 

Comstock Park Rotarians Todd Vanden Toorn, wife Patti, Dan Clark, wife Ellen and Sparta Rotarian Lou Knooihuizen  were on hand Thursday to give a first hand account of their experiences.  The group worked through an organization called "Living Water International" which has completed more than 10,000 water projects for communities in 26 countries. 783 million people lack access to an improved source of drinking water.