This Week in the Ann Arbor Public Schools

June 9, 2014

This Week’s Good News!

•   It is hard to believe that this is the last full week of school and that this is the last edition of “This Week in the Ann Arbor Public Schools” for the 2013-2014 school year.  This has been a tremendous and exciting first year as Superintendent for me and I want to thank you all for your encouragement and support throughout the past year.

This past week has been very rewarding as we awarded diplomas to the Class of 2014.  Thank you all for your part in preparing these graduating seniors for college and career.  I know we are all proud of the Class of 2014!.

•  Burns Park Elementary School received an extraordinary gift on Tuesday from Hailey Bretzius, her family, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Hailey, a third grader in Molly Crankshaw's class, had been granted a visit from New York Times best selling author RJ Palacio for her school. Ms. Palacio is the author of the book “Wonder” which has resonated for many students in our school and across the United States. Media Specialist, Rachel Erdstein, introduced Hailey and her family to this book. 

There were two assemblies about kindness and caring.  Hailey and her classmates presented writings about acts of kindness they have experienced for the K-2 students. In the afternoon, Hailey and her dad spoke about Hailey’s journey. The students were able to meet the Make-A-Wish foundation CEO Karen Davis and RJ Palacio read from portions of her book.  It was truly a "Wonder-ful" day!

There was a wonderful MLive article about the experience as well.

•  Congratulations to all the students who were designated as winners in the Ann Arbor District Library’s 3rd-5th grade story challenge! 2014 Short Story Challenge.  Around 100 young writers turned in stories for the 2014 3-5th Grade Short Story Challenge! Below is a list of the 2014 winners.

3rd Grade Winners

1st   Kaden Thornton, "The Magical Book"
2nd  Eliza Ann Van Ee, Thurston, Save the Slaves!"
3rd   Emma Li, King, "Dragon Friends!"                

4th Grade Winners:

1st   Georgie Branch, "Pop"
2nd   Karinne Tennenbaum, Ann Arbor Open, "One Thought after Another"
3rd    Fionnuala MacKercher, Ann Arbor Open, "The White Wolf

5th Grade Winners:

1st  Marisa Redding, Thurston, "The Meadow Song"
2nd Makayla Harris, King, "Hutch McLaw: The Case of the Sparkling Torch"
3rd  Rachel Amanda Eglinton, "The Impossible"

•  Students at Logan Elementary were awarded a check for $200.00 from Farm Bureau Insurance for their participation in ACES (All Children Exercising Simultaneously)!  Logan 3rd-5th graders spent the morning dancing and working out with U of M athletes.

•  Pioneer Orchestra Director, David Leach, has been selected as a quarterfinalist for the Music Educator Award by the GRAMMY Foundation.  

A total of 222 music teachers from 208 cities across 41 states have been announced as quarterfinalists for the second annual Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. In total, more than 7,000 nominations were submitted from across 50 states.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.

View a list of Music Educator Award quarterfinalists

Ryan Seacreast, John Legend and Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow acknowledged the inaugural Music Educator Award recipient Kent Knappenberger on the 56th GRAMMY Awards telecast on Jan. 26.

One recipient will be selected from 10 finalists and will be recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students' lives. The winner will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, attend the GRAMMY Awards ceremony and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. The honorariums and grants provided to the finalists and schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Foundation's Education Champions Converse, Disney Performing Arts, Ford Motor Company Fund, and Journeys.

This special award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony and Nominees Reception honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award during GRAMMY Week 2015.


Jeanice K. Swift

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