DeWitt community convincingly passes $66 million school bond

The  $66 million bond approved for DeWitt Public Schools Nov. 2 means work can begin next year. 

The six-year bond is a renewal of the previous bond, meaning there will be no tax rate increase in the 2021 levy. It will cover district needs such as addressing aged buildings, updating educational technology, and improving athletics, arts, and extracurriculars. The vote passed overwhelmingly with 70.9% of the 3,354 voters in favor of the bond. 

“What an amazing day to be a DeWitt Panther! Thank you to the community for supporting the bond proposal.

On stage: DeWitt High School performs Les Misérables musical

DeWitt High School students have been working since August to stage the intricate musical Les Misérables. On Nov. 4, DeWitt High School performing arts took the stage for its production of Les Misérables. Seventy cast and crew members are took on the powerful and moving plot. Senior Bryce Debri is playing the main role of Jean Valjean.

DeWitt schools panther print

DeWitt citizens call for clarity as $66 million bond vote nears

While community members are excited to see the district take steps to improve schools with its Nov. 2 bond issue, it does not come without concern. Some DeWitt citizens want to know exactly how much and where the money will be spent. “I think it’s critical to the community to know that we’re going to commit and support $66 million to the school district and that we know it’s going to be spent in appropriate political way to specific items,” Scot Ellsworth said at the Oct. 11 school board meeting.

Dr. Shanna Spickard

DeWitt schools’ proposal comes to a vote

DeWitt schoolsWhen Dr. Shanna Spickard became DeWitt schools superintendent in May, the district’s $66 million bond proposal was already on the to-do list. On Nov. 2, DeWitt school district voters will decide on a $66 million bond issue that would address aged building systems, updating educational technology, and improving athletics arts and extracurriculars. A renewal, the 6-year proposal would maintain current taxing levels. Even before Dr. Shanna Spickard became superintendent in May, the proposal was on its way to time he ballot. Language was approved in June.

DeWitt community members express displeasure in DeWitt Public Schools mask mandate

For more than a year, the debate over face coverings in public spaces has been a hot topic. And with vaccinations for younger children only recently approved, the debate is in schools. DeWitt Superintendent Dr. Shanna Spickard began work in July andwas immediately tasked with making one of the hardest decisions superintendents across the country are facing: should staff members and children be required to wear face masks in school? Ultimately, the district decided to go with a tiered approach based on transmission levels in Clinton County. At a high transmission risk, masks are required inside for all students and staff.

DeWitt Farmers Market closes 2021 season

Ellie BednarzVendors line North Bridge street for the last DeWitt Farmers Market of 2021. The leaves are changing, the temperature is cooling down, and the DeWitt Farmers Market has officially come to season’s end with trick-or-treating and booths selling products. From 4-7 p.m. Oct. 12, 22 vendors set up their shops on North Bridge Street for the last market of the season. Kids in Halloween costumes went booth to booth getting candy from vendors. 

What is special about this market is the variety of vendors.

DeWitt takes the field for its football team

The 2020 Division III state champion DeWitt Football team is leading the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue Division. DeWitt is hoping to make it back into the playoffs this year, after an extraordinary finish in 2020.  The DeWitt team is special for its  tight connection to the community. Having local people showing up to support the team is one thing, but the stadium is packed every single home game.

Sports carry DeWitt High School students through pandemic

As the athletic trainer at DeWitt High School for 10 years, Steve Jenkins saw firsthand how an athletic program can do its part in helping student-athletes play safely and successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This commitment level to COVID-19 guidelines helped DeWitt’s football team win a Division 3 State Championship in 2020, the first in school history. In an effort to control the spread of the virus, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a series of pauses for partial shutdowns throughout the season. Throughout this time, many players remained locked in to what they needed to do to not only play well, but safely.

Bath and DeWitt experiencing continued growth

Much like a flower needs water and sunlight to grow, a city needs certain things to flourish as well. Developing neighborhoods, thriving businesses, and exceptional school districts help the communities of Bath and DeWitt to grow. Both these townships are in periods of growth and development according to their planning and building commissions. Bath’s Planning Director and Zoning Administrator Brian Shorkey said from a project perspective it’s been a slow year, but there are big plans for the township. Building new houses and businesses

There’s been an uptick in housing developments including apartments, duplexes and senior housing.

DeWitt’s Family Barber Shop: what’s all the buzz about?

Bill Sermak, owner of DeWitt’s Family Barber Shop and Family Barber Shop II, said it can be a challenge to keep up with his regular clients’ lives, but it’s also a joy. For Bill Sermak, owner of downtown DeWitt’s Family Barber Shop and Family Barber Shop II, cutting hair was, somewhat ironically, not the family business. There were no uncles, grandpas or fathers to pass down the family clippers; it was a curiosity he took up all his own. That’s not to say, however, that he doesn’t have a story to tell. Sermak distinctly remembers a guy in high school, his brother’s buddy, who would have the basketball team over at his house to cut their hair.