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Grass Lake Alumni Association
Welcome to the web page for the Grass Lake Alumni Association. We are looking for features to add to the page that will be informative about Grass Lake alumni. If you have ideas about what to add to the site, contact Doug Moeckel ('74) by phone at 517-867-5544, or by e-mail at We look forward to hearing from you!

Grass Lake Alumni Association Board of Directors Officers
President - Judy Dorr VanPoperin
Vice President - Cindy Clark Payne
Secretary - Anna Loveland
Treasurer - Jim Howe

P.O Box 374
Grass Lake, MI 49240

E-Mail Address:

“Working together to support Grass Lake students
of the past, the present, and the future.”

Grass Lake Alumni Announcements
GLHS Alumni & Friends Updates
1929 Grass Lake Yearbook Offered for Viewing
Click here to find a PDF slideshow of the 1929 Grass Lake Schools yearbook. The yearbook was graciously loaned to us by Bill White and belonged to Bill's mother's sister, Clara Hewlett. It is definitely a treasure. Thank you to Bill and the White family for the loan. (Note that it is quite a large file, but after having opened it, you can scroll through it by hitting the down arrow on your keyboard.)
GLAA Logo Created
The Grass Lake Alumni Association would like to announce that the winner of their logo creation contest is Senior Carlie Murdock. Carlie received a $50 check for her effort. The GLAA wishes to thank everyone who made submissions to the contest.
GLHS 1999 Grad Named Assistant Professor
Congratulations to 1999 Grass Lake High School graduate Bill Shaltis who was recently named as Assistant Professor of Percussion at ​the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis. He will begin his assignment this fall. Bill received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance from the University Missouri at Kansas City, and has been the principal timpanist for the Boise Philharmonic, as well as the New Hampshire Music Festival, while also serving as adjunct percussion instructor Missouri Southern State University. Congratulations Bill!

Aerial Photo Of Howard Stoker Memorial Field
This photo showed up in the School District’s Facebook feeds today. So many of us have so many memories at this wonderful location! This shot shows our Varsity Soccer Girls team playing a game in the past couple of weeks. Thanks to Jeff Gauntlett for sharing it with us.

Sioma and Kulwicki Continue to Succeed
Congratulations to 2012 GLHS graduate Emily Sioma, who was recently crowned Miss Stateline. Emily will graduate this year from the University of Michigan with a degree in Women’s Studies. Her platform that she advocates is organ donations. Emily has won the honor of competing in the Miss Michigan pageant after winning the Miss Jackson Crossroads Pageant.

Congratulations to 2010 GLHS graduate Ben Kulwicki, who recently received his Doctorate of Pharmacy degree with high distinction from Ferris State University. He will begin a pharmacy residency at St. Mary’s Health in Grand Rapids (part of the Mercy Health system) in July as he waits for his wife to graduate in December of this year with her Physician Assistant degree.

Best wishes to both of these individuals as they pursue their next endeavors.
Mailing Addresses for Grass Lake Scholarship Funds
P.O Box 374
Grass Lake, MI 49240
The Grass Lake Alumni Scholarship Fund receives donations to fund scholarships for Grass Lake High School students specifically for the purpose of advancing their education. These funds are directed to specific scholarship funds. The Alumni Association Board annually reviews scholarship applications and works to attribute the scholarship awards to the individual for whom the funds were donated.
Sandy Bromley

PO Box 795
Grass Lake, MI 49240
The Grass Lake Community Scholarship receives donations and uses investments to fund 8-10 scholarships ranging from $500 to $1000 to graduating high school seniors. The scholarship committee acknowledges the donor and the family of the person for whom the money was donated. Scholarship applications are reviewed each spring and the committee receives input from the High School Counselor. They are announced, in memory or in honor of the person, at senior awards night and also at graduation. Awards are printed in the The Grass Lake Times, as well as the Jackson Citizen Patriot.
Sandy Wolfinger

PO Box 394
Grass Lake, MI 49240
The Grass Lake Educational Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational resource founded in 1985. It is separate from the Grass Lake Community Schools and the Grass Lake Board of Education. The GLEF exists to provide additional sources of support for the students and staff of Grass Lake Community Schools. Gifts are acknowledged on our Foundation’s web page at and in our quarterly school district newsletters.
Dr. Ryle Kiser
Grass Lake Celebrates Homecoming 2015
MLive reported on the 2015 Grass Lake High School Homecoming held on Friday, October 16, during which Alison Compton and Tom Coppernoll were named King and Queen and the Seniors won the float competition. Go to for the story.
GLHS Class of 1977 Planning Begins
Matt White has posted the following and shared a new Facebook page for those of you interested in keeping track of planning for this event.

From Matt: “As promised I am starting to launch a page/message board for the class of 1977. I have invited people from classes of 1972-1982. I thought it would add people that we were more connected to and hopefully locate other class members. I will be posting comments and trivia and other crazy stuff. I look forward to everyone's participation. Looking forward to interacting with all of you! Let the countdown begin!” Facebook Page:
GLHS Class of 1960 Reunion Planned
The GLHS Class of 1960 is planning its 55th class reunion for Friday, October 16th starting with meeting at the 7:00 PM Homecoming football game. (Al Kaiser being honored) The reunion itself will be at Mike Coppernoll's house on Saturday, October 17th starting at 4:00pm. Please contact Arlene Ferris at 734 323-1525 and/or for details.
John and Karen White Featured in MLive Story
GLHS graduate John White and his wife, Karen, are featured in a story about their return to the Jackson County Fair after a 40 year absence.
Notice to the GLHS Class of 1977
Following is a note from Matt White regarding upcoming preparations for a 40th year reunion for the GLHS Class of 1977. Please forward your thoughts, feedback, and suggestions to Matt at

From Matt on Monday, June 27 –
“Ok, after being at the being Glinsky Farm on Saturday and reconnecting with some classmates from the Class of 77. I have decided to take the lead and start planning our 40th reunion for 2017. I encourage all fellow classmates feedback and suggestions. We need to locate as many classmates as possible, along with ones that may not have graduated with us, as well as former teachers. Anyway, I feel compelled to initiate this and am looking forward to your support.”
Emily Takes Miss Michigan Second Runner-Up
Congratulations to 2012 GLHS alumnus Emily Sioma for her 2nd runner-up finish at the Miss Michigan Pageant held in Muskegon on Saturday, June 20. Well done Emily!
Emily Sioma Headed for Miss Michigan Competition
We wish good luck to 2012 GLHS alumnus Emily Sioma as she prepares for the Miss Michigan competition this week after winning the Miss Jackson Crossroads 2015 title earlier this year. Go to​ for the story.
Emily Sioma Wins Pageant
Congratulations to 2012 Grass Lake High School alumnus Emily Sioma for winning the 2015 Miss Jackson Crossroads Scholarship Pageant. Well done Emily. View more than 50 photos here:
Donation Made for Athletic Improvements
We are proud to announce that through a very sizable, anonymous donation to Grass Lake High’s Warrior Club (athletic boosters) we will be embarking on completing the following projects. We express our most sincere appreciation to the donor for supporting our student-athletes, as well as the yeoman’s work done by our Warrior Club, and assure them that the money is being put to good use toward items that have been on our “wish list” for a long time. Thank you!!

List of Items being purchased:
Free Standing scores table for high school
2 volleyball systems
Wrestling mat
Annual equipment needs donated $8,000
Warrior Club Coaches Choice Scholarship
Replacement of weight room floor in high school
Middle gym upgrade (including 6 baskets and retractable curtain)
A contribution to the refinishing of high school gym floor
A contribution to help restore the playing surface on Stoker Field.
Bunny Leach Appears On "The Doctors" To Support Family
Recently 1971 GLHS graduate and author Bunny Leach appeared on “The Doctors” to announce her foundation’s donation and efforts to support a family stricken by cancer. The foundation is called the “Nicki Leach Foundation” for Bunny’s daughter, who tragically passed away due to cancer. Thank you to Bunny for her efforts to help this family, and others. You can see this particular “The Doctors” episode at You can find Bunny’s Facebook page at Bunny’s website is at
Bill Shaltis - Boise Philharmonic Soloist
William DeBilzan Update, GLHS Class of 1974
1974 Grass Lake High School Graduate William DeBilzan continues to make his mark on the art world by painting five floors of murals on New York City’s newest hotel, a new Marriott Courtyard Hotel, which is now the tallest hotel in North America. The first link below talks about the hotel and mentions William in the article. The second link will take you to a YouTube clip describing Bill’s work at the hotel. The third link is Bill’s website, and the fourth link is Bill’s Facebook page. Congratulations to Bill on his fabulous work. Most recently he was able to attend the grand opening of the hotel and his work with family members that included his mother, Fran, and sisters Diane and Debbie.
“Throughout the property is original artwork, which includes sculptures and full wall murals by abstract expressionist artist, William DeBilzan. The artwork traverses five floors of the hotel and is inspired by New York City, as well as themes of love and life.”
William’s website:
William’s Facebook page: 

Michael Palmer Update, GLHS Class of 1972
Congratulations to GLHS alumnus Michael Palmer, Class of 1972, whose artwork has been accepted for inclusion and representation by the online Xanadu Gallery at The Xanadu Gallery is in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Female Leaders Make Their Mark in GL Government
Grass Lake has a history of strong female leadership as early as 1947, as reported in the Jackson Citizen Patriot and the Grass Lake News. Despite no hot-button issues, voters propelled the Young Women’s Party of Grass Lake into power in Grass Lake Village in 1947-48. And it made national news. See the link for to see the entire story.
Emily Sioma on a Mission for Organ Donations
Emily Sioma, a 2012 GLHS graduate and newly crowned 2013 Jackson County RoseQueen, is a heavily involved advocate for organ donations. MLive featured her in a story August 21. We applaud Emily for her passion of this mission and wish her success.
Emily Sioma Wins 2013 RoseQueen Pageant
Congratulations to Emily Sioma, 19, a Grass Lake High School graduate and current University of Michigan student. Emily finished in the top three a year ago. Emily's platform was "Organ Donation: Pass It On".

As the new RoseQueen, Emily will receive a $3,000 cash scholarship. More than $30,000 in scholarship money is also available to Baker College, Jackson College and Spring Arbor University. She also receives numerous gifts and donations from area businesses as part of the package. Also, Emily earns a spot in the Miss Michigan USA Pageant in Port Huron in September 2014.

Emily is the 2nd GLHS graduate in four years to be named RoseQueen following Casey McKay, who won the pageant in 2010. Best of luck to Emily as she proceeds through her reign. Click here to see the MLive story.

Mrs. Cooper to Celebrate Her 100th Birthday

We were very pleased to hear from Tom Cooper of the GLHS Class of 1959. He informed us that his mother, former Jr. High Science Teacher Mrs. Eileen Cooper, will celebrate her 100th birthday on September 26, 2013. Mrs. Cooper was very active in the community and enjoyed playing her violin. We wish Mrs. Cooper all the best and a very happy birthday. If you would like to send her birthday wishes, you can inquire about her address by e-mailing Doug Moeckel at, or calling 517-522-5544.

2012 Festival of Tables Slideshow
Click here to see a slideshow of photos from the 2012 Grass Lake Educational Foundation's "Festival of Tables" fundraiser. We look forward to our next "Festival of Tables", which will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2013, at Grass Lake High School.

Kris Hitchcock Continues His Success in Music
Grass Lake High School graduate Kris Hitchcock has been named to the American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers (ASCAP) GPS Class of 2013 along with 11 others. This program puts emphasis on getting the best of Nashville’s unsigned ASCAP songwriters in front of the city’s vibrant publishing community. These twelve writers are paired with twelve publishers for one meeting a month, along with a follow-up meeting to help develop the writer and solidify the relationship. Congratulations Kris! We wish you continued success with your songwriting and with your band, "Small Town Son". Go to for the rest of the story.
Grass Lake Alum, Kris Hitchcock, Making Name in Country Music
Kris Hitchcock and his country music band, Small Town Son, have been working hard on the tour circuit throughout the Midwest, including Nashville, to make a name for themselves and it is now paying off. They are now on show cards with several country music stars and are preparing to sign with a music publishing company. Congratulations to Kris and we wish him well. We look forward to seeing him in Grass Lake on August 3 and 4 as he headlines the Grass Lake Traffic Jam'In Festival. Go to to see a great story in the Citizen Patriot.
Nice Seeing Everyone at the All-Class Reunion!
Thank you to everyone who attended our Grass Lake all-class alumni banquet last night at George Long Elementary school. We all had a wonderful time. We enjoyed a wonderful meal, provided by Davis Catering, our entertainment, provided by Megan Stark, a trip down memory lane, provided by John White, and the opportunity to re-new relationships. Also, a special thank you to Marge Wahl Clark, Judy Dorr VanPoperin, and Sandy Wolfinger Bromley for all of your work advertising the event, planning it, and implementing your plan. Also, thank you to Grass Lake Community Schools for the donation of the space, and to our custodians for volunteering their time after the event. Our next all-class reunion will be in 2014.

2011 GLHS Graduate Taryn Goodge Successful in Photography

Grass Lake native Taryn Goodge recently won American Photo magazine’s “Go Pro” student photography contest, which came with a brand-new Canon EOS 60D camera with a 70-200mm zoom lens. Goodge, 18, a 2011 Grass Lake High School graduate, just started her third semester at Harrington College of Design in Chicago. Her photo of a Lake Michigan beach from atop the John Hancock Center was named the winning shot out of 3,352 entries in the contest. She called it “Boating and Bumming.” Congratulations Taryn. Click here to see the Citizen Patriot story, which includes her winning submission.

2007 Grass Lake High School Alumnus Kristina Green Wins Award
This 2012 Grand Valley State University graduate was named "Student of the Year" by the West Michigan Public Relations Society of America. The award is given to one student each year who represents the best in public relations and contributes to the professsion on campus. Kristina graduated from Grand Valley on April 28 with a degree in advertising and public relations.
Grass Lake Alumni Registration Form
We are interested in knowing where you are at and what you are doing. Click here to fill out a registration form that will allow us to update our database and more easily contact you with alumni news and notifications of alumni activities. If you ever have questions, comments, or ideas, please contact Doug Moeckel ('74) at 517-522-5544, or at

William Shaltis Continues to Impress on the Timpani
The Idaho Statesman newspaper reviewed the Boise Philharmonic's performance of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10, calling it a "spirited performance". Among the musicians in the performance, Grass Lake High School graduate William Shaltis was acclaimed for his performance on the timpani. "The percussion ensemble - especially Bill Shaltis on timpani - did an amazing job throughout." William continues to impress critics with his abilities as he shares his talents with orchestras across the country. Well done William!
Grass Lake Grad Carl Carmoney Promoted
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has announced that Grass Lake graduate Lt. Carl Carmoney has been promoted to Captain as part of a restructuring plan that eliminates a spot within the office's Emergency Management Division. Congratulations Carl!
Nate Schuiling Designs Important Poster
A poster design (shown at right) created by GLHS grad Nate Schuiling was handpicked by Chris Cornell (of Soundgarden fame) to be the promotional poster for Chris' upcoming show at Carnegie Hall in New York. Congratulations Nate. Great Job! Click here for a better view of the final poster.
William Shaltis Featured in Philharmonic Orchestra
1999 GLHS graduate William Shaltis was featured in the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra’s presentation of “Raise the Roof with Rachmaninoff” on Saturday, November 19, 2011. William is the Principal Percussionist for the orchestra. William is the son of Larry and Barb Shaltis of Grass Lake. Congratulations to William on his accomplishments. Click here for more concert information.

1996 Graduate Justin Klavon Building Success One Slice At A Time
Beating the trend of a slow economy, Grass Lake graduate Justin Klavon has his pizza and sub business flourishing. Starting out with Justin Tyme Pizza in Grass Lake and expanding to three locations, he sold those businesses to build Klavon's Pizzeria and Pub on M-50 northwest of Jackson. Because of his abundant success, plans are in place to build another Klavon's next to Steak's Eatery in Vandercook. Click here to read about Justin's success in a CitPat series called "Thriving in Jackson". Well done Justin!
2005 Grass Lake HS Graduate Successful Playing Professional Basketball
Published: Friday, January 14, 2011, 8:00 AM
By Gary Kalahar | Jackson Citizen Patriot
Evan Browne knew he could score more points than he did playing basketball in high school or college. “I just needed a coach to let me go,” the 2005 Grass Lake High School graduate said with a laugh. Browne found all the points he wanted and a fantastic international experience as well by traveling to Australia to play in a low-level professional league.
Browne ended the season last month tied for the Darwin Basketball Association lead with 27.7 points per game — more than his combined averages at Grass Lake and Durham College in Canada. He set a league record with 147 free throws made in an 18-game season for the Lightning, who finished fifth in their division and missed the playoffs. Video of Browne playing in Australia shows the 6-foot-2 point guard was usually the quickest player on the floor. “When I have the ball, it’s very, very hard for someone to stay in front of me,” he said. “I wanted to use that to my advantage. In college, I was mostly a 3-point shooter. This season I tried to attack the basket a lot more and draw more fouls. The second half of the season, I shot more 3s because people were playing off.”
The highlight of Browne’s season came in a week when he tallied a season-high 41 points in back-to-back games and won both of them with last-second shots. Playing in the league also entailed a job teaching basketball at schools and coaching a youth team. Since the season ended, Browne has traveled and continued to work out in hopes of moving up and landing a contract with a team in the Australian Basketball Association, where play begins in February. “I know it’s coming,” he said. “I have to keep working out and keep my options open. I’m very confident in my abilities.”

Grass Lake High School Transcripts Now Easy to Access
Applying to college, transferring to another school, or confirming your education for employers is hard enough. So we've made it easy to send your official High School transcript to any college or organization. Now you can make a request through and they obtain approval from Grass Lake High School, format your information, confirm that the transcript was sent using postal mail or secure electronic delivery and, for institutions that accept electronic records, provide verification that your transcript arrived.
Freysingers Head Up the 4th of July Parade
Bud, Skip, Craig, and Deral Freysinger led the Grass Lake 4th of July Parade in military uniform. We are extremely proud of these gentleman for their service to our country and grateful that they agreed to be a part of this patriotic day at Grass Lake. Click here to see the Citizen Patriot story and a picture of these gentlemen.
Graduation Composite Photos Now Available
Through the work of Sandy Bromley, Susan Solo, Brian Thompson, John Sullivan of Aireal Associaties, Jim Howe, and James Dameron, and others, a project to preserve Grass Lake High School's senior composite photos has been in progess. Many of the photos are displayed in the Schoolhouse Apartments and can be seen by appointment only by contacting Dick or Marlene Clark. More composites are stored at Grass Lake High School waiting for re-framing. 65 years of composite photos have been digitized and are ready to be made public. Click here to access a slide presentation of these photos, which begin with the graduating class of 1912. Click here to read about this project and find out what needs to be done yet. If you have suggestions, please contact Doug Moeckel at 517-522-5544, or by e-mail at

2008 Grass Lake Graduate Named Jackson County Rosequeen
2008 Grass Lake graduate Casey McKay was named the 2010 Jackson County Rosequeen at the pageant held Saturday, September 25. Along with her new responsibilities locally, Casey will be preparing for the upcoming Miss Michigan competition. Congratulations Casey! Click here to read the Citizen Patriot's follow-up story.
Grass Lake Educational Foundation Supporting Students
The Grass Lake Educational Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational resource founded in 1985. It is separate from the Grass Lake Community Schools and the Grass Lake Board of Education. The GLEF exists to provide additional sources of support for the students and staff of Grass Lake Community Schools. The GLEF Board meets monthly to discuss fundraising opportunities, current business, and to award mini-grants to staff members. If you have questions, or would like to make a donation, please call Superintendent Brad Hamilton at 517-522-5545. Please remember that the Grass Lake Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and, as such, donations qualify as charitable contributions on both the Michigan and Federal income tax returns. Click here to see a printable informational flyer for the Foundation.

GLHS Alumni Files
 GLHS Connections Obituaries
This service is provided to current and former Grass Lakers who may be interested in being informed of the passing of folks with connections to Grass Lake Schools.
Alumni Contacts
+ (Dorr) Van Poperin, Judy
+ Moeckel, Doug
Click on name to see details.

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