Highland Games Contestant

Although he lives and works in Charlevoix as the editor of the Courier, Jeremy McBain covers Beaver Island news and sometimes is a part of it, for example on St. Patrick's Day he has become our official piper, marching down Main Street in full Scottish costume.  It comes as no surprise that he also takes part in one of the largest Scottish festivals in the midwest - the Alma Highland Festival and Games which is noted for his Piping and Drumming competitions.  Besides piping, McBain took part in the 2003 athletic competition this year on May 24 and 25 on the Alma College campus.

caber2.jpg (72092 bytes)In the event shown, McBain is taking part in the caber toss which involves lifting a 17 foot pole and attempting to throw it end over end so that it lands at the twelve o'clock position.  He was able to pick up the caber and balance it for about 10 seconds but unfortunately that wasn't enough to get a toss out of it.  Just being able to lift the caber deserves applause, let alone being able to balance it for any amount of time.  Next year, Jeremy!

Other games at the festival included a 56 pound weight toss for distance (he scored 16 feet); a 28 pound weight toss for distance (he managed 29 feet),  a 56 pound weight toss for height, a 25 pound shef toss for height - which is like throwing a bag filled with straw over a high jump bar (McBain hit the bar at 12 feet with the shef and the bar at 9 feet for weight), a 22 pound stone put - similar to shot put but using a boulder (he made 51 feet with this throw).  While he didn't take first place in the events, he also wasn't in last place.

Correction and addition: Jeremy threw 26 feet on the stone put.  He just learned that he ranked 161 out of 175 in the nation.  Way to go!!    

Now that we've seen how the Scottish play their games maybe the organizers of the St. Pat's games here should find some historical Irish games - just so we don't let those Scots get one up on us.  Congratulations, Jeremy, on all your events at the Highland Games!

Beaver Island Community School Receives LEADing the Future Palm Handheld Grant Award

The Beaver Island Community School has received notification that it was selected from seventeen applicants to receive the LEADing the Future grant for 60 Palm handheld computers.

The application was completed by Superintendent/Principal Kathleen McNamara and the handhelds will be used by all students in grades 5-12.   In her application, Kathleen cites the following as the potential benefit to students:
"The students at the Beaver Island Community School will benefit in many ways from access to handheld computers. There will be equity in their access to technology to support their work in core curriculum areas, no longer will the student without home access to the internet be hindered in completing research assignments at home. Students will use the handheld for note taking in certain classes and the cooperative work that is already being done in core curriculum areas will become more efficient and collaborative as students share data more easily. Students will learn to replace their current paper agendas/calendars with the Date Book and organizers in the handheld computer. All high school students take advanced math classes and equipping the handhelds with graphing software will eliminate the need for students to purchase expensive graphing calculators. Student will have the benefit of increased motivation in their challenging academic classes as teachers use innovative technology and software and integrating parts of the curriculum."

McNamara received the word of the award from Marion Ginopolis, Director of the Michigan Gates Project; LEADing the Future.

Congratulations to the school on being chosen for this grant that will benefit all of the island students.

Beaver Island was the recipient of another Gates award when the District Library received a computer system from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation two years ago.

Page Two of the News on the 'Net