Montabella Community Schools solar project anticipated to save money, educate students

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Montabella Community Schools has entered into a 25-year agreement for a solar energy project on school property, which result in an estimated savings of nearly $1 million over 30 years.

The school board voted in April to contract with Sun FundED LLC, an education services company based in Carmel, Indiana, via a program called Solar-as-a-Service. A technical review of the project is underway and construction is anticipated to begin sometime in 2023.

Montabella Community Schools awarded $75,000 safety grant

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Montabella Community Schools has been awarded a Michigan State Police School Safety grant worth $75,000.

Montabella Superintendent Shelly Millis applied for the grant, which also required signatures from local law enforcement and county emergency management. Millis applied for three different projects and was awarded a grant for one: The replacement of exterior doors at the school.

Leaving it all on the line

Seven of nine local wrestlers in blood rounds finish with victories at state finals, six place in top five

The odds were stacked against Tristin Almanza from a young age.

As a middle schooler, Almanza was over 300 pounds and wasn’t even close to the athlete or person he is today. As a sophomore, Almanza took up wrestling and it changed his life.

Roaring toward the podium

11 of 18 area wrestlers qualify to day two of MHSAA individual finals, two advance to state championship

Belding’s Jack Ward trotted off the mat at Ford Field in Detroit and found his head coach waiting to celebrate — more importantly, his father, Art Ward, was there to share a moment of pride.

The two Wards, who have their names littered all over the Belding wrestling record books, embraced one another in a moment of joy and excitement. Jack had just earned All-State recognition for the second year in a row after finishing sixth in the state last season. 

Montabella gets new curriculum director, Tri County gets new middle school principal

The longtime Tri County Middle School principal is the new curriculum director/systems coordinator for Montabella Community Schools.

Steve Johnson began his new job with the Montabella school district on Sept. 7.

Mustangs’ fresh start

After struggling last year in winless season, low numbers force Montabella to transition to 8-man football

Tim Webb smiled as he counted his varsity players in attendance at Wednesday’s football practice.

Webb counted 15 — a number he was happy to see. While it’s not much for a varsity football team, it was the first time in Webb’s two seasons as head coach where he saw full varsity attendance at a practice.

Montabella grad Kim Proctor wins track national championship for Grace Christian University

Last summer, after the cancellation of her track season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kim (Buskirk) Proctor was leaning toward forgoing her final year of eligibility on the Grace Christian University track team.

“It’s been a long eight years of running and a lot of ups and downs,” Proctor told the Daily News.

Montabella student in Boston for STEM camp

Hayden Helmer to take part in Envision's National Youth Leadership Forum

This summer, Hayden Helmer of Edmore will join outstanding middle school students from across the nation to take part in a unique academic and career oriented development experience, National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Explore STEM, taking place next week at Babson College in Boston.

Explore STEM is one of the Envision by WorldStrides family of programs ( that enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom.

34 area athletes accumulate 25 All-State finishes at track state finals

Of the 34 individual area athletes who qualified for the MHSAA track state finals this past weekend, 16 of them were named All-State.

All-State finishers are the top eight in any given event. With some athletes in multiple events throughout the state finals, many left with multiple All-State medals and, in total, the area finished with a whopping 25 All-State finishes.

Graduation Review 2021: Montabella grads inspired to teach

For some, teaching is more than just a job. It’s a vocation, a career to which one is called. It is a career requiring patience, understanding and inspiration in equal measure.