This Week in the Ann Arbor Public Schools
October 1, 2012
This Week’s Good News!
• Ann Arbor has four Semifinalists in the 2013 National Achievement Scholarship Program. From Community High: Rianna Johnson-Levy and from Skyline: Samuel Keller, Elizabeth Kennedy and Christopher Shepherd.
These scholastically talented young men and women now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 800 Achievement Scholarship awards worth more that $2.5 million that will be offered next Spring.
• Community High School’s student newspaper “The Communicator” is one of this year’s nominees for a Pacemaker Award. If The Communicator wins the Pacemaker Award at the Scholastic Press Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas, it will be its fifth time winning the highest honor in student journalism. The paper has already earned four other Pacemakers, two in the online category and two in the newsmagazine category.
• There is an exhibit at the Clay Gallery in downtown Ann Arbor called “Echo”, and features 13 works from Ann Arbor Public Schools Art Students. The idea of the exhibit is for the 13 Clay Gallery professional artists to interpret, react, and generate a response piece, (hence the name” Echo”) of their own to the students piece they chose. This idea is not new and has been done a number of times at the Ann Arbor Art Center & Adrain College to name a few.
The opening reception is Friday October 5th from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and the artist talk is Sunday, Oct 14th at 2:00 p.m. The artist talk will be from a former Ann Arbor Student, Sami Huayhua Ortiz, who will be graduating from The Chicago Art Institute with a degree in Fine Arts. She will speak about the importance of her High School art experience in determining her career.
We hope you can attend both the opening & the artist talk to celebrate and see the magic of the creative process. Ann Arbor .com is featuring a story on this exhibit. Participating students and their school and art teacher are listed below?
Burns Park Elementary School, Art Teacher Kate Higgins
Student Artist - Freya Benson
Clay Galllery Artist - Susan Steel
Student Artist - Helena Heinonen Smith
Clay Gallery Artist - Yiu Keung Lee
King Elementary School, Art Teacher Laura Wayne
Student Artist - Zosuke Nakamura
Clay Gallery Artist - Ellie Shappiro
Student Artist - Jaylin Johnson
Clay Gallery Artist - Shirley Knudsvig
Wines Elementary School , Art Teacher Janice Hendricks
Student Artist - Aiva Zolden
Clay Gallery Artist - Donna Williams
Pittsfield Elementary School, Art Teacher Robin Mendenhall
Student Artist Ashley Figueroa
Clay Gallery Artist - Debbie Thompson
Student Artist - Anna Boerest
Clay Gallery Artist - Kris Stewart
Student Artist - Amira Zeidan
Clay Gallery Artist - Gail Dapogny
Student Artist - Rochelle Walker
Clay Gallery Artist - Craig Hinshaw
Student Artist - Jaden Leverett
Clay Gallery Artist - Marsha Polenberg
Lakewood Elementary School, Art Teacher Peg Leonard-Weir
Student Artist - Ismael Ronquillo
Clay Gallery Artist - Shirley White Black
Bach Elementary School, Art Teacher Linda Babich
Student Artist - Aliya Morioka Szutz
Clay Gallery Artist - Joe Stutz
Allen Elementary School, Art Teacher Debra Campbell
Student Artist - Ashley Abraham
Clay Gallery Artist - Susanne Stephenson
• Carpenter Elementary has received a $15,000 grant from the American Heart Association with financial support provided by St. Joseph's of Ann Arbor, to install a Teaching Garden. The Teaching Garden also includes a curriculum as well as monthly parent newsletters. The garden beds will arrive at Carpenter on October 18th with the soil to come on October 25th. Planting Day will be in April of 2013. Carpenter Art Teacher, Meredith Giltner, is also the lead teacher for the Teaching Garden.
According to the American Heart Association obesity is one of the most expensive health care problems in America. One third of U.S. children are overweight or obese putting them at higher risk of heart disease and stroke. In the fight against obesity and heart disease the American Heart Association is taking a new approach called the Teaching Garden which targets helping educate children and their parents about eating healthy as well as exercising. The American Heart Association purpose in planting Teaching Gardens in elementary schools across the country is to provide real-life learning laboratories for students to learn what it means to be healthy. Kindergardeners through fifth graders will learn through hands on involvement how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits. The garden-themed curriculum and lessons teach nutrition, math, science and other subjects such as art and music Through the lessons and student involvement the goal is to dramatically change the way children and parents thinks about and consumes food. According to AHA garden-based nutrition intervention programs can promote increased fruit and vegetable intake among children. Moreover, studies show that a healthy lifestyle positively impacts learning. Healthy students make better students.
• On Sept. 28, Logan Elementary participated with nearly 500 “HistoryMakers” schools in 77 cities and 35 states and brought in Dr. George Shirley, the first African American to perform on the Metropolitan Opera stage, to speak to the students. The HistoryMakers is the country’s largest African American video oral history archive. Its annual “Back to School with the HistoryMakers” event brings black leaders in contact with young people to tell their stories and to encourage excellence.
Dr. Shirley was the first African American to sing with the U.S. Army chorus, and in 1961, he became the first African American to be awarded a contract with the Metropolitan Opera, where he performed until 1973. He won a Grammy and is now a retired professor from the University of Michigan, where he still coaches students in vocal performance at the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
• Community Education and Recreation’s (Rec & Ed) Green Adventure Camp was honored to receive the Neighborhood Environmental Partners award from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for 2012. The award is a result of the beach clean up efforts that the campers have been involved in for all 5 years of camp. This specific award recognizes the partnership between Consumers Energy and Green Adventure Camp. The award was presented on September 19 at a ceremony held at the State Capitol Building.
Green Adventures Camp~ Environmental Stewards of the Woodtick Peninsula Park along Lake Erie~ Over the last 4 years The Green Adventures Camp campers have had the opportunity to conduct a beach combing lesson, combined with a stewardship cleanup activity on a beach front along Lake Erie as part of the Wildlife at Work program. On December 21, 2001, President Bush signed legislation establishing the first International Wildlife Refuge in North America. The refuge, which includes islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals, and riverfront lands along 48 miles of the Detroit River and western Lake Erie, will protect and restore habitat for 29 species of waterfowl, 65 kinds of fish, and 300 species of migratory birds in Michigan and Ontario, Canada. The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge has received national acclaim for its use of public-private partnerships in building and maintaining this urban refuge. In the first five years, the refuge has grown from 304 acres to 4,982 acres. The refuge is managed by staff at the refuge office in Grosse Ile, Michigan.
Green Camp's mission as an International Wildlife Refuge partner (sponsored by J.R. Whiting Plant) is to provide an opportunity for students from mid-Michigan to experience a Great Lake, and learn about the local environment. Green Camp staff teach ways students can help to improve the environment in ways appropriate for elementary students. Field trips to Lake Erie create life long memories which can often produce future adult stewards of Michigan. The Green Adventures Camp (http://www.aaps.k12.mi.us/
The J.R. Whiting Plant staff allows us access to their property as an environmental partner and sponsor to Green Camp, They provided gloves and bags for collecting trash, hand sanitizer for cleaning our hands prior to lunch. We have had very positive experiences each year. We are so happy to have the opportunity for our students to visit a Great Lake, especially in a natural beach area. We are happy that we can learn about the Great Lake environment and even more excited that Ann Arbor students can be involved in the stewardship of the Woodtick Peninsula Park beach. It would be much harder for us to accomplish our mission without the help of the Consumers Power J.R. Whiting Plant staff, a big thank you to Frank Rand and the staff at the J.R. Whiting Plant!
There is more information on Green Adventure Camp at: http://www.aareced.com/reced.
• Sophia Dubreuil, a Head Start/ GSRP teacher at the Preschool, received a very nice letter from a parent. “I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful job you and the head-start program did with my son. His teacher is still doing assessments here in Virginia but so far he is excelling and I get compliments on him nearly daily in his agenda notes. She has stated that he is above expectations of a beginning kindergartener and that is saying a lot because Virginia's academic standards are higher than Michigan's. (I am figuring this out to be true as my other child is in 2nd grade this year and he is very far behind and struggling greatly but was thought to be on track in Michigan.) My son is starting to read on his own and much of the time, he is self teaching. He is able to blend sounds and put words together pretty easily and I give full credit to your class. I can't thank you enough for what you guys have done for my child!”
• Congratulations to Art Teacher, Susan Bartman of Forsythe and Haisley, for being selected to present at this year's Michigan Art Education Association (MAEA) conference in Traverse City in October. Susan will be presenting her Elementary Humanities projects to colleagues from across the state. Susan is expert at teaching young students techniques in scientific drawing and scale construction, that coincide with classroom science units. First graders at Haisley drew and labeled insects, while third graders built solar models as a part of their astronomy unit.
• Huron swim coach Brad Huttenga was selected by his peers in the Michigan Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (MISCA) as the recipient of the Bruce Harlan Award. This is the highest award given by MISCA for continued leadership, contributions, and service to Michigan High School Diving. To be considered for this award, a person must have coached interscholastic swimming for at least five years in Michigan with above average success, and have demonstrated leadership at the Local, State, and National levels. The dedication and hard work put forth by Brad has clearly exceeded these standards. As a result, Brad has been a model to colleagues within diving and MISCA.
This award was presented at the annual MISCA instructional clinic and awards luncheon this past weekend at the McCamly Plaza Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan.