East China School District News

Every Child.Every Day

April 26, 2021

Upcoming Important Dates

April 26 Board of Education meeting 6:00 p.m.

May 12 PLC Early Release for elementary students

May 24 Board of Education meeting 6:00 p.m.

May 31 Memorial Day - No School

Message from the Superintendent

Dear ECSD Families,

We had a great week back with our students. As the county positivity rate continues to show a steady decline and with the increased vaccine availability our goal is to complete the school year in our current learning model.

As we enter the busy final stretch of the year, we have many spring athletic events and we are hoping to schedule other events in the coming weeks as restrictions will allow. Each day allows us the opportunity to connect with our students and create learning opportunities. Our elementary students will be finishing up M-Step testing this week and our secondary students will be completing their state testing next week.

In order for us to continue on this path ECSD will maintain our strict safety protocols and we will also continue to assist the St. Clair County Health Department with contact tracing procedures as needed.

Thank you to our school community for their support.

Suzanne Cybulla

Free Covid Vaccine Clinic

Please click on the link below to pre-register for your free Pfizer vaccine. Residents 16 years and older are eligible!


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ECVA is now enrolling!

ECSD is excited to offer a virtual opportunity for our students with the launch of East China Virtual Academy (ECVA) in the Fall of 2021. This option for all K-12 students district-wide was designed to meet the needs of learners in our ever-changing world. Courses will be taught and mentored by ECSD teachers and ECVA will offer a full K-12 course catalog. For more information on ECVA, please visit the district website at https://eastchinaschools.org/schools/ecva/.

You can also contact the ECVA by email ecva@ecsd.us or phone 810-676-1300.

Belle River Elementary News


The Belle River Sailors enjoyed a special Read-A-Thon sponsored by our PTO on March 19th. The students collected pledges for reading to help raise funds for our school. They are working hard to raise money for a Water Bottle Filling Station and other special events like field trips and assemblies. The students raised over $5000.00 during this READ-A-THON! Way to go Sailors!!! Take a look at some of the awesome prizes our students won!

Thank you so much to our PTO for sponsoring this fun event for our students and adding a little fun to this school year! We appreciate everything you do for our Sailors. Also, a special thank you to Grandma Dorothy Smith for donating one of the bikes. We had some super excited winners!

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The students and staff at Belle River enjoyed a different kind of Book Fair this year! Scholastic went above and beyond to help us organize this wonderful event in a safe way that allowed us to follow all necessary safety protocols while still enjoying this special event during March is Reading Month. Parents provided students with E-Wallets that allowed students to purchase books with the press of a button. We set up the Fair in a safe socially distanced area in our building so students could still come and shop for their chosen books. Staff members donated time during prep hours and other times so that students could enjoy our beloved yearly Book Fair. Teachers enjoyed shopping at the Book Fair for new titles and selections for their classrooms too! This was truly a wonderful experience!

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Belle River Celebrates Our Office Team:

On April 21st we celebrated our Office Professionals at Belle. It was a day of honoring our team, Shannon Drinkwine, Sara Waelens, and Tracy Coverdill. We are so grateful for all of their hard work and dedication to our staff, students, and families at Belle River. They work together each day to make Belle a friendly, welcoming, and safe place for us all to be! Their responsibilities and daily tasks are endless, but they manage to handle it all without even wearing capes!! THANK YOU SHANNON, SARA, and TRACY! We appreciate you!

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Belle River Staff Spotlight

Diane Trout-Davidson: Kindergarten Teacher

Diane graduated from the University of Michigan in 1994. She also received her master's degree in Counseling from Oakland University. Together, with her husband Jon, they have 4 children and our crazy lovable dog, Frankie. She is also the proud grandma of two beautiful grandchildren. She loves spinning on my bike, painting, hiking, watching college basketball, and walking her pooch. Diane has taught in Texas, Flint, Lake Orion, and East China. She has taught more than 6 different grade levels in the past 25 years, and she just adores kindergarten, because she gets to witness so much growth in such a small amount of time. The best part of teaching for Diane is forming a classroom family. “By January, we have become a single unit and we know each other's strengths.”

Thank you for your love and dedication Ms. Trout! We are so lucky to have you share your magic with our Sailors!

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Sara Rymar: Kindergarten Teacher

Sara began her career at East China Schools in 2000 as a full time substitute, in first grade, at Washington Elementary. “I felt very lucky and blessed to begin my career there with the incredible staff and families. I credit the first grade teachers (they know who they are) for modeling excellent teaching for me and caring enough to show me what it meant to collaborate and be a team player. It was such a welcoming start for me.”

The next year, Sara was hired full-time and began her dream of teaching kindergarten at Pine River. She then spent many years teaching in every ECSD elementary building and teaching kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade, Academic Support, and Title I. In 2010, Sara moved to Belle River elementary, to teach Kindergarten. “I knew I was home. I have been at Belle ever since, teaching the grade that I love most. I cherish my memories and relationships that I have made with staff, students and their families here at Belle River.”

Sara lives in Chesterfield with her husband, Mike; daughter, Emma; and wonderful dog, Finnigan. She is proud to say that her daughter is a proud Sailor and that they can go to school together each day at Belle. “Together, Mike, Emma, Finnigan, and I like to travel, go camping, go for bike rides, snow ski, take walks, and spend time with our extended family and friends. In my spare time, I love to read with Emma, garden, knit, spend time at the beach, or relax near the water.”

Sara’s favorite part of teaching is watching her students grow, learn, and make their own discoveries. “I have spent many years learning about early childhood growth and development. I love teaching mindfulness to my students and it is important that they feel loved, safe, and cared for while in my class. It is the most wonderful feeling to welcome new kindergartners and then see how much they have grown, individually and as a classroom community, when the school year is over. I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity I have been given to share so many life experiences with my students and colleagues. To have had the support of my own family, my school family, and the families of my dear students within East China for these past 20+ years has truly meant the world to me.”

Thank you Mrs. Rymar for all of the wonderful experiences you share with our youngest learners. We are so fortunate to have you on our team!

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Christina Angell: Title One Teacher

Christina Angell has been with East China for almost 27 years. She started out at Palms Elementary, and over the years, has taught in every elementary building. While most of her years were spent in kindergarten and Title I, she has also taught first, second, and third grades as well as academic support. She now calls Belle River Elementary “home,” and enjoys working with Title I students there. Christina holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from Oakland University and has been trained in Reading Recovery. Her passion lies in teaching reading to our youngest learners, and she enjoys studying the research about how children learn. Christina lives in St. Clair with her husband, Joe, and her children, Ben, who is in his second year of college, and Elizabeth, a senior at St. Clair High School. She enjoys reading, scrapbooking, and time with friends and family. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing the aha! moment on children’s faces when they start making connections and really begin to fly.

Thank you Mrs. Angell for bringing your passion for reading to us here at Belle River! Your love for reading is an inspiration to all!

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Karrie Mackie: School Nurse

Karrie is the School Nurse for the East China School District. She has been in the medical/dental field for 27 years. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in chemistry, and a second bachelor's degree in nursing. She also carries specialty licenses in the dental field as a certified and registered dental assistant with expanded functions. “Although I value the education that I received at the University of Detroit Mercy, I am grateful for the volunteer experience I got from going overseas four different summers. I went to Haiti and Guatemala and was able to do dental work, like teeth extractions and oral surgeries along with medical work ranging from triaging patients to minor surgeries. Working with medical and dental teams to treat needy patients all over Haiti and Guatemala was an experience I learned so much from.”

Karrie started her medical career at the VA in Detroit where she was lucky enough to serve our vets. She has worked in pediatrics at Children's Hospital in Detroit, cardiology, and labor and delivery at St. John's Main. “They have all been wonderful experiences, but the hands-on learning and knowledge that you gain in the field is what you remember the most.”

Karrie has an amazing and fun family. Her husband, James, and she are raising three beautiful daughters here in East China. Madison ,12, is in seventh grade at Marine City Middle School, Olivia is 9 in third grade at Belle River Elementary and Emma, 6, is in kindergarten also at Belle River. “It has been a great adventure with my family running our business and staying busy with our girls’ sports. Our family loves to be outdoors, going camping, and anything to do with sports. We spend most of our time at the softball fields, on a court of some kind, or in a horse arena. We love to hunt, fish, hike, and any sport that we can play together as a family. We do lots of camping all over the state throughout the summer. Our favorite place to camp is Caseville right on the water. We hope to expand our camping this summer to other states.”

Karrie does not have much spare time, but she would not want it any other way. “Spending time with my family and watching them play sports is what I love the most. Our family loves softball and all the friends it has brought into our lives. We are thankful to be able to travel and hope to start taking our girls out of state to explore the US.”

“I have to say that I have loved working as a nurse, but having that connection with the students is what keeps me coming back every day. The students in the district are amazing and teach me new things every day. There is not a day that goes by that a student doesn't touch your heart with a picture, a hug, or a nice chat which makes it all worth it. The kids remind me daily to make life a masterpiece; ‘imagine no limitations in what you can be, have or do... Brian Tracy’.”

Thank you for Karrie for your kindness and dedication to all of our students and staff! You are one AMAZING Nurse!!

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Marine City Middle School News

March is Reading Month looked a little different this year at Marine City Middle School, but we still had fun with our Wild, Wild, West theme. Student Council and Junior Honor Society students decorated the entire school with wild wild west decor. They also designed real life props that were set up in the entrance way. Students were so excited to pose for some pictures during mask breaks.

Marine City Middle School Staff Spotlight

Kathleen Fox has taught music for 17 years. Before arriving at Marine City Middle School she taught elementary music and middle school band in Port Huron for 11 years. The last 6 years she has spent here at Marine City Middle and Marine City High. The middle school is lucky to have her as the music and band teacher, while the high school is equally fortunate to have her teach piano and guitar classes.

Mrs. Fox enjoys working with kids and introducing them to something new, challenging, and fun. One of the best things about her job is watching and hearing her students grow as musicians. She finds it amazing what they are able to accomplish in such a short time. The confidence students find by participating in music is very rewarding. Besides her love for teaching music, Kathleen feels very blessed to work with a great group of colleagues.

Mrs. Fox has been married to her husband Steve (who also is a band teacher at the middle school and high school) for 21 years and they have two awesome kids, Alton and Anna, who both attend school here in Marine City. In her spare time Mrs. Fox enjoys reading, knitting, camping,walking her dog Buddy, and of course playing the piano and clarinet.

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Give Your Child A Great Start!

The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) is a state funded preschool program for eligible children who will be four years old on or before September 1st. This program covers the key areas a child needs to be ready for Kindergarten. Applications for the 2021-22 school year are now being accepted! The application and more information can be found by clicking on the links below:

Click the link below for additional information

Click the link below for an online application

For additional questions, comments, or concerns, please contact:

Chris Klecha, GSRP Enrollment Specialist
(810) 676-1010

Contact Information

Superintendent Suzanne Cybulla can be reached at scybulla@ecsd.us or by calling the East China School District at 810.676.1018.