This Week in the Ann Arbor Public Schools

April 21, 2014

This Week’s Good News!

•  Huron senior Heesu Hwang qualified to take the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad  (USAMO) test.  Only about 250 students nationwide get this honor.  

•  Two Community High Juniors were awarded the Harold Eastman Outstanding Youth Achievement Award from the Ann Arbor Breakfast Optimist Club. Marianne Cowherd and Isaac Scobey-Thal were cited for outstanding academic achievement, school and community involvement. Cowherd's involvement in clinical medical research and music performance was highlighted as was Scobey-Thal's Neutral Zone leadership and recent outstanding performances in CHS Community Ensemble Theater.

•  The AAPS Art Department is very proud to have received 3 of the 4 awards given at The Ann Arbor Art Center's juried show Potential. This show exhibits some of the finest work from high school artists from Washtemaw County. Award winners are:

Sean Jacobi - Best In Show Senior Portfolio Award - Community High School - Instructor: Steve Coron
Kathryn Shivak - Best In Show 3D Art Work - Huron High School - Instructor: Darlene Tankersley
J.R. Eisma - Best In Show In Jewelry - Huron High School - Instructor: Jonathan Smigell

•  The Taubman Exhibition presents artwork by K-12th grade students in Ann Arbor Public Schools from the 2013-14 school year. Finished pieces from students in all grades will be on display in both 2-D and 3-D galleries. Work from high school and middle school students will be presented in the Gifts of Art Gallery – Taubman Health Center North Lobby, Floor 1, and artwork from grades K-5 will be in the Gifts of Art South Lobby Gallery. A variety of media and styles are represented including drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, photography and jewelry.   The Taubman Health Center is located in University Hospital, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor.   

The Taubman Center is open daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and the exhibit runs from April 14-June 9, 2014.  The opening reception is Thursday April 24th 6:00 -8:00 pm.

•  The Detroit News featured Community High School’s art show in its Entertainment Section on April 17.  To quote the story by reporter, Michael H. Hodges, “One of the pleasures of the spring art season is a blossoming of student shows around town, highlighting work by the next wave of visual artists.  If you want to get a peek at the next big thing, a good place to start would be at Ann Arbor’s WSG Gallery, which hosts the “Community High School Portrait Show” through May 3.”  The Washington Street Gallery (WSG) is located at 306 S. Main St.

•  Jamar Humphrey's third grade class from Bach Elementary was selected as the 94.7 WCSX “Best In Class” weekly contest winner last week.  Principal Hyeuo Park nominated his class for their resilience and compassion in the midst of their loss.  They have not only grown stronger together but are moving forward with some really great ideas to remember and honor their departed classmate.  The class was mentioned on April 15th on the morning show with Trudi & Jim and was displayed on the WCSX web site.

The contest is sponsored by The Michigan Educational Credit Union and the class won the following prizes:

A $50 gift certificate to Tim Horton’s
One day passes to the Michigan Science Center in Detroit for the entire class
A $100 gift certificate to Buddy’s Pizza

The class is qualified to win the Grand Prize -  One day passes to Cedar Point for the entire class and tickets for the class to attend the Detroit Tigers Home game on June 16th, 2014.

•  109 members of the Huron High School Band and Director, Stephen Roberts, returned home Friday, April 9 from a nine day trip to France to honor the soldiers who fought in the Allied Invasion of France (the D-DAY Invasion) 70 years ago this year.  The band performed a 40-minute concert on the Memorial of the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.  Included in the program was the World Premiere of James Nissen's "From Far Away," a work commissioned by Stephen Roberts and the Huron Bands for this 70th Anniversary occasion. This work and the concert were met with great applause and appreciation from those visiting the cemetery that day.  The band also participated in the Wreath Laying Ceremony on Tuesday, April 8th where students and director presented the wreath of flowers "With Gratitude From the Citizens of Ann Arbor."

The Huron Band also toured the Loire Valley (Chateau's Chambord and Chenonceau), the Giverny gardens of Claude Monet's home and the city of Paris.  While in Paris the band performed a 45 minute concert at each of the two churches La Madeleine and Eglise de la Trinite to standing ovations.  The Huron Jazz Band finalized the tour with a 40 minute concert at Square Jean XXIII in the shadows of the towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral.  The city of Ann Arbor was represented famously and with dignity by the students of the Huron High School Band.  

•  The Pioneer Symphony and Jazz Bands, directed by David Leach assisted by associate director Nancy Waring, recently visited Budapest, Vienna, Hodonin and Prague. The 116 participants on this ten day amazing and life changing tour traveled the paths of (to name only a few) Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Dvorak, Johann Strauss, Brahms, Bartok and Mahler. Repeatedly the people that they encountered told them how impressed they were with the polite and gracious students - reflecting not only on Pioneer, but the city of Ann Arbor and our country as well. One of our students shared his best memory of the tour – to actually BE in the parlor of the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna where six-year-old Mozart played his first concert for the royal family, then jumped into Empress Maria Theresa’s arms and hugged her! We attended the Czech Philharmonic’s breathtaking performance of Verdi’s Requiem.  The next morning we visited the Terezin Concentration Camp. The significance of this is an experience never to be forgotten.

Music is an international language. They were truly grateful to be able to personally connect with people both young and old, to share the stage in performances with ensembles from Central Europe. At every venue Pioneer received standing ovations. After hearing their performance one elderly official told them that they were family and would always be welcome. Professional musicians, community members and leaders of every city praised the Pioneer Band performances with: “spectacular,” “we were blown away,” “please come back,” “you performed like professionals with one distinct difference – you performed passionately – we could tell that you LOVE performing.”

•  Pioneer senior, Samuel Kidd, was chosen as the top soloist in the state of Michigan, and will perform at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival Gala Concert on May 9.  Samuel is the son of Bonnie Kidd (Huron HS, Tappan MS music teacher). This makes the fifth event in which Sam will be performing at MYAF this year.

•  John Boshoven, CHS Counselor and AAPS Counseling Department Chair, made two presentations to the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling Conference in Novi on March 28. He facilitated a roundtable for the Colleges That Change Lives with Executive Director Maria Furtato and representatives of the three Michigan Colleges in the association, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo and Hope Colleges. John also presented the advantages of a GAP Year experience, and featured Skyline graduate Celina Head and her mother, Rebecca, sharing their personal stories about the success of her GAP year experience. Ann Arbor is one of 30 sites holding an annual GAP Year Fair, scheduled again for January 22, 2015, at Pioneer High School.

•  I wan to extend a big thank you to the Pattengill community for graciously hosting State Superintendent Michael Flanagan this afternoon.  Principal Melita Alston, the staff and students prepared a wonderful afternoon for him.  I am so proud of you all for your work in demonstrating to our State Superintendent what an Exceptional school we have in Pattengill.  Great job everyone!


Jeanice K. Swift

Superintendent of Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104