Ridgewood Roundup

Tom Akers

Lemonade Stand Makes a DifferenceIn 2021, Deannah and Harlan McSwain ran a lemonade stand on the corner of Court Street and West Street. The two elementary students decided to split half of their proceeds with a local organization. They raised $240, choosing Braveheart, a child advocacy center in Cambridge as the recipient.The two kids set the goal of raising even more money this year for the program. They sold lemonade for fifty cents a glass over three days, July 28th, July 29th, and finishing on August 1st. When the money was counted, they had raised $1,119.77!

L to R Deannah McSwain, Third Grade, Harlan McSwain, Fourth Grade, and Preston Trussen, Pre K raised over $1,100 selling lemonade in Cambridge.

The Cambridge Elementary students donated $600 to Braveheart this week. “We are just overwhelmed with the generosity of all the people who stopped and bought lemonade! I’m so proud of these kids!” Hope Trussen commented on her kid’s efforts towards a good cause.

New Faces in Cambridge SchoolsCambridge students will see some new faces gracing the halls during and after school next week. Three new teachers will begin the year at Cambridge Jr/Sr High School and a fourth will be running the after school AIM Program.

Jessica Akers with  daughter Amelia.  Akers will be the new English teacher.

Jessica AkersJessica Akers will be teaching High School English at Cambridge High School. She is originally from Atkingson and graduated from Geneseo High School. Akers is a graduate of St. Ambrose University, Cambridge is her first teaching position.Helping students develop an appreciation for literature was a driving force for Akers to go into teaching. “I went into teaching because after having my own children, I knew I wanted to do more with my love for literature. I enjoy seeing students get excited about things they may not have otherwise known about.”As a first year teacher, Akers is very excited to get to know her students, colleagues, and begin her career. She has two children, a daughter Amelia and a son, Harrison along with two dogs, and loves sushi. In her spare time she loves to spend it with her kids, giving them as many amazing experiences as possible. She loves to travel, see new places, and of course, read! Browsing through used bookstores is one of her favorite pastimes.

New PE/Health Teacher Lauren Claus

Lauren ClausLauren Claus will be teaching Jr/Sr High School Physical Education and Health this year at Cambridge Jr/Sr High School. Claus, a Port Byron native graduated from Riverdale High School where she played golf, basketball, and ran track and field. She was also involved in the Crimestoppers program and student council.Claus attended Black Hawk Community College where she played basketball for two years for the Lady Braves. She finished her degree at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. She went into teaching to; “Be a role model and make a difference in people’s lives. It is a great feeling to know I am teaching students things they can use all their lives.”Claus is excited to get to know each of her students and to participate in the PE classes. She wants her students to know that she, first, currently holds the three point record for three pointers in a season at Riverdale High School (68), she was a three sport athlete for four years, and she is a huge Harry Potter enthusiast!She loves traveling, the outdoors including hiking, camping, and kayaking. She is a huge foodie and loves cooking and trying different foods. Finally, she loves movies, “my students need to be ready, I speak in movie quotes all day long.”

Tim SewardTim Seward will be teaching Junior High Social Studies this fall at Cambridge Jr High. Seward is a graduate of Milan/Rock Island High School where he was involved in the school newspaper. He attended Western Illinois University as well as Capella University.Seward came into the teaching profession because he enjoys working with kids and is looking forward to getting to know the community. He wants his students to know that he is passionate about history and is excited to share that passion with them. He is the teller of really bad dad jokes, is a stickler about certain rules, and has zero tolerance for bullying.Seward is a referee for four sports, is an avid music buff, attending concerts regularly and collects records.

Aim Coordinator Amy Freeman

Amy FreemanAmy Freeman will be the new Aim Coordinator for the after school program. She grew up in Ophiem and is a graduate of AlWood High School. In high school, Freeman was in FFA, cheerleading, track, and played summer softball.Freeman graduated from Western Illinois with a major in Communications and a double minor of Sociology and Psychology. She decided to pursue the AIM position because, “I love everything the program stands for, I’m looking forward to working with the staff, students, and community!”Freeman is most excited about finding creative ways to enrich the after school student’s experience as well as building on the partnership with the community. She wants her staff and students to know she is married with a beautiful five month old daughter, she enjoys helping others, and is very outgoing. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, shopping and dancing to music.