Women in academia battling gendered expectations

According to the American Council on Education, women in academia make up more than half of college students, but less than one-third of full professors. They continue to see a salary gap — in 2015, women in academia made only 83 percent of what their male counterparts earned.

Schools of choice option gains popularity in Michigan, benefits Meridian

By Katie Dudlets
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

In Michigan, the number of students in schools of choice increased from 66,560 in 2005-06 to 115,209 in 2012-13, an upsurge of 73 percent. Schools of choice enrollment also made up a larger percentage of the state’s overall student population, rising from 3.7 percent of 1.8 million students in 2005-06, to 7.1 percent of 1.6 million students in 2012-13. Administrators in Meridian Township are seeing a similar trend. “We do have many students that are interested and go ahead and make applications for schools of choice for Haslett [High School], and not only Haslett, but for Haslett Public Schools,” said Haslett High School Principal Bart Wegenke. “I think we’re probably about 18 to 20 percent schools of choice [students] for this district.”

According to Joshua Cowen, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University, this increase in the program’s popularity is not only a trend in Michigan, but in the nation as well.

Want to recycle a mattress or clean up a park? April 23 is your day

By Katie Dudlets
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

April 23 is a big day for the environment in Meridian Township. Upcoming Spring Clean and Go Green! and Love-A-Park Day events are giving volunteers a chance to participate in a community-wide effort to recycle items they have at home and to beautify the natural areas all over the township. Chippewa Middle School’s parking lot will be filled with volunteers accepting recyclable items at the annual recycling event, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. that Saturday. “This recycling event is a convenient way to recycle or reuse items that you may not be able to recycle curbside or even at your local recycling center,” said Recycling and Energy Coordinator LeRoy Harvey.

Seven of 10 top property tax payers in Meridian Township last year were apartment properties

By Katie Dudlets
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Sitting in the food court of Meridian Mall, mall-goer Tim Cunningham guessed correctly when he said that the very building he was sitting in was one of the biggest taxpayers in Meridian Township. As a matter of fact, it is the biggest taxpayer in Meridian, with a total taxable value of $29,387,161 in 2015. Cunningham didn’t guess, however, that apartment properties made up seven of the top ten taxpayers in Meridian last year. “Wow, I’m surprised at that,” Cunningham said. “But I guess they do cover a lot of ground and they’re [made up of] a bunch of units.

Are you reading this while driving? Well, stop.

By Katie Dudlets
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Meridian Township resident Lexi Lambdin has continuously seen distracted drivers while on the road. “There’s so many careless drivers out there with the texting and driving,” Lambdin said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’m on the road and I look over and the person next to me has their phone in their hand, and they’re not even looking at the road.”

Police see lots of the same thing, even though it’s against the law. “Even though there’s a law against texting and driving, we still see it,” Meridian Township Police Chief David Hall said. “I have a tendency to think that people think ‘well, it’s a risk worth taking – I don’t see any police officers, so … ’ You still see [phones] out a lot.

"A lot of pride" in Meridian's new Central Fire Station

By Katie Dudlets
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

OKEMOS — The new Central Fire Station located at the corner of Okemos Road and Central Park Drive comes in a larger context of infrastructure redevelopment for Meridian Township. It has been fully-operational and providing emergency services since January. Fire Chief Fred Cowper believes this move from the antiquated station on Clinton Street to the new one was entirely necessary. “The [Clinton Street] fire station that we closed was built in 1957, and in 1957 there weren’t females in the fire service in our country,” said Cowper. “So it lacked separate bathrooms, showers and dormitories.

Multi-tiered system of supports at Haslett High School keeps students on track

By Katie Dudlets
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

HASLETT — Haslett High School follows a unique framework for monitoring student activity that has led to continued academic success in an effort to minimize the number of students falling under state proficiency levels. Haslett High School’s Principal Bart Wegenke said that the school follows a framework called multi-tiered system of supports. This framework separates the student body into three different tiers. Tier one is the core group, in which 80 percent of the students are at or above grade level. Tier two consists of the students just outside the core, due to things like minor absences or not doing all of their homework.

Highly-rated teachers + hard-working students = high graduation rate at Haslett High

By Katie Dudlets
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

HASLETT — Teachers at Haslett High School will go to any length to assure that the students in their classrooms are engaged and have the highest potential of meeting academic success. “I do a lot of pop culture references. I have Bart Simpson in the room for Simpson’s Rule in [calculus],” said Haslett High School teacher and Michigan Teacher of the Year recipient Kevin Tobe, pointing at a drawing of the popular cartoon character next to his math notes. “I’ve even convinced my classes that I love Kesha.”

With a graduation rate over 10 percent higher than the national average and a dropout rate of less than 5 percent, Haslett High School’s Principal Bart Wegenke accredits the school’s academic success to student engagement. “One of the expectations here is 100 percent engagement of students 100 percent of the time,” said Wegenke.