This Week In the Ann Arbor Public Schools
March 26, 2012
This Week's Good News!
- Skyline students Stacey Balter, 10th grade, and Jonah Pollens-Dempsey, 9th grade, earned 1st and 2nd place, respectively, in the Kroger “I Can Make History” for the Black History Month Contest, poetry division. The awards ceremony took place on Saturday, March 24 at the Henry Ford in Dearborn. Stacey's 1st place prize was a laptop computer and Jonah's 2nd place prize was a $50 gift card and a family pass to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Dawn Richberg is their English Teacher at Skyline High School.
- Students from Huron High School attended the MAMUN 2012 (The Mid-American Model United Nations) conference. Schools from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana were represented. Similar to the official United Nations, students are assigned a country for which they are to act as delegates on a given committee. Huron was assigned Nigeria. The students that represented Huron were Ugbaad Keynan, Clare Hiyama, Cameron Knox, James Osborne, Scott Alrigde, Ayat Amin, Ziyue Mai, and Yongsoo Shin. Congratulations to Ugbaad Keynan for getting a “Second Honors” award for serving on the “Special Political Committee.”
- Skyline students JoJo Otchere and Margo Apostolaris had their logo designs chosen as exemplary in MACUL's student logo competition. 150 Michigan high school students submitted logo designs and their designs were chosen for the top 5. The designs will be on display at the 2012 MACUL conference and one winner will be chosen this Fall. Here is a link to see their work:
- Community High senior, Alexa Carlson, was selected as the top senior visual artist in Washtenaw County at the recent "Potential Show" exhibition. Alexa's four pencil drawings represent her exceptional skills and exemplary commitment to her craft. The show was adjudicated by professor Harmut Austen from Wayne State University and will be open for viewing through April 22nd at the Ann Arbor Art Center.
- Skyline High School Seniors, 'Cat' Trager and Dara Firoozi have their Still Life Color Composition works featured in the "Potential 2012" annual Art Exhibition at the Ann Arbor Art Center.
- A team of nineteen Bach School 5th and 4th graders placed FIRST in Michigan out of eight teams, in the Knowledge Master Open Competition held on March 19, 2012. Both Burns Park and Pattengill participated in the March K.M.O as well
The K.M.O. is a team academic contest that tests students' ability to answer questions about all school subjects. The Bach School K.M.O. Team scored 642 out of a possible 1000 points. The mean nationwide was 534. Nationally, Bach placed in the top 19% of all teams.
The members of the team were:
4th graders: Molly O’Connor, Jonah Nunez, and Kenji Wagner
5th graders: Alex Easter, Noah Weiner, Pranav Suresh, Carter Phillips, Keith Kozma, Victor Oswald, Jeffrey Brooks-Conrad, Sonja Mittlestat, Robert Malcolm Jr., Jackson Roberts, Charlie Anderson, John Allen, Sam Ciesielski, Zain Smith, Kelman Wolfkostin, and Audrey Huizenga
Congratulations on a fine, cooperative effort. The Bach School Community is proud of the team. Mrs. Ezekiel is the coach of the Bach KMO team. You can learn more about the KMO at www.greatauk.com.
- A team of 21 sixth graders from Forsythe finished third in Michigan out of 12 teams in the Knowledge Master Open competition held on March 21, 2012. The KMO is a national knowledge contest that tests the ability of teams to answer questions in all subject areas quickly and accurately. You can learn more about the KMO at <greatauk.com>.
The team scored 762 out a perfect 1000 points, well above the state average of 638 and the national average of 624. Boulan Park Middle School in Troy was first in Michigan, with 779 points, followed by January champ Kinawa Middle School in Okemos, with 777.
On the national level, Forsythe placed 26th out of 272 teams. First place in the U.S. went to Black Hawk Middle School, Eagen, Minnesota, with 835 points. Coach Ezekiel said we improved in every way from our already-good first outing. A team of fifth graders at Bach, coached by Mrs. Ezekiel, was first in the state out of eight teams in the fifth grade contest.
The Forsythe KMO Club is a middle school club which meets every Tuesday after school and is open to all Forsythe students in all grades. The team is coached by Dan Ezekiel and Mike Shaw. The coaches would like to thank the team parent, Marni Arnett, as well as Mrs. Desai, for helping on the morning of competition. Mr. Ezekiel's student teacher, Bill Massey has also helped out. The last competition is in April, for 7th and 8th graders and a few 6th graders.
The members of the team were: Oscar Anderson, David Arnett, Akhil Arora, Chandra Desai, AJ Eisman, Jodie Hamilton, Bruno Herbst, Jessica Huang, James Johal-Smith, Liam Keating, Jane Keeling, Daniel Khain, Aurora Mussey, Arnav Nadgir, Nathan Pawittranon, Gemma Rybant, Praveen Samy, Rose Sproat, Jack Suber, Jordan Tirico, and Julia Walker.
- Lawton Elementary School was featured on the Community Television Network’s cable access program FYI for its placement and work with the national competition, Recycle Bowl. It is a nice interview supporting the Lawton staff and students’ effort to be a "Green" school.
- I want to thank Lawton teacher Brian Schad for his invitation to attend a presentation by Joe Georgeson, a math teacher from the Milwaukee area, who demonstrated how origami relates to mathematics.
- The Michigan State Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) District 12 Choral Festival was held at Northville High School on Thursday, March 22, where all five Pioneer High School choirs performed. Each group sang two selections before a panel of adjudicators, worked with a clinician, and sight-read before an adjudicator. As a result of their outstanding performances and sight-reading, all five choirs advanced to State Choral Festival, April 26-27, 2012 at Holt High School. Steve Lorenz is the Choir Director. The ratings for each choir are listed below.
A Cappella Choir
Overall – Superior; Performance – Superior; Sight-Reading - Superior (perfect score); Level – Advanced.
Overall – Superior; Performance - Superior; Sight-Reading - Superior (perfect score); Level - Intermediate
Overall - Excellent; Performance - Excellent; Sight-Reading - Superior; Level - Primary
Overall - Excellent; Performance: Excellent; Sight-Reading: Superior (perfect score); Level: Primary
Varsity Women's Choir
Overall - Superior; Performance - Superior; Sight-Reading - Superior; Level - Advanced
- At the Michigan State Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) State Vocal Solo & Ensemble - South Site festival, the Pioneer High School Choraliers was selected as the top large ensemble from the South Site and will be singing in the Michigan Youth Arts Festival Outstanding Vocal Solo & Ensembles Recital on May 11 at Western Michigan University.
A duet of Clare Higgins '13 & Jenny Nathans '13 was selected as the top small ensemble from the South Site and will be singing in the Michigan Youth Arts Festival Outstanding Vocal Solo & Ensembles Recital on May 11 at Western Michigan University. This is the first time MSVMA has featured small ensembles at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival.
Jenny Nathans '13 was selected as an alternate soloist for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival.
The following students participated in MSVMA State Vocal Solo & Ensemble and received Excellent ratings: Choraliers (large ensemble), Clare Higgins '13 & Jenny Nathans '13 Duet, Adriana Ellis '14 (solo), Joshua Forrest '15 (solo), Hannah Hesseltine '14 (solo), Clare Higgins '13 (solo), Saloni Jaikamal '15 (solo), Samuel Kidd '14 (solo), Carmen Mateo '15 (solo) Jenny Nathans '13 (solo), Karina Stribley '13 (solo), & Phoebe Wahlberg '14 (solo).
The following students participated in MSVMA State Vocal Solo & Ensemble and received Good ratings: A Cappella White (large ensemble), A Cappella Purple (large ensemble), Rebecca Lister '15 (solo), Elise Reichard '14 (solo), Ellen Sauer '15 (solo), Younseo Song '14 (solo), Emily Uhlmann '15 (solo), & Hunter Walrod '14 (solo).
- The Community High Jazz Program, directed by Jack Wagner, just returned from a four day music and nature camp hosted by 5-time Grammy Winning Bassist Victor Wooten. The camp was held at the 150-acre "Wooten Woods" property owned by the bassist just outside of Nashville. Mr. Wooten has been offering camps for twelve years, but this was the first time he hosted a private camp for a single school music program. Mr. Wooten has been a twenty-year member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (coming to the Michigan Theater on April 19th), and has performed and/or recorded with Chick Corea, Prince, Branford Marsalis, and Dave Matthews, just to name a few. Wooten recently appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. He is also the only three-time winner of Bass Player Magazine's Bass Player of the Year Award, winning these in three consecutive years. Mr. Wooten has been a two-time guest as part of the Community High Jazz Program Guest Artist Series in the last three years.
A highlight of the camp was when Bela Fleck (and the Flecktones) made a surprise guest appearance and gave the jazz program a private, two hour concert and Q&A session.
The staff that taught and played with the students at camp included:
The Dave Matthews Band's saxophonist Jeff Coffin
Aaron Neville's and Pharoah Sanders's guitarist Eric Struthers
Paul Simon's, Chaka Khan's and the Yellow Jackets' saxophonist Bob Franceschini
Whitney Houston's and Kenny G's background vocalist and the Steve Miller Band's pianist Joseph Wooten
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' drummer Roy (Futureman) Wooten
Dizzy Gillespie's and Willie Nelson's bassist Steve Bailey
Amy Grant's and Vince Gill's trombonist Barry Green
Chaka Khan's trombonist Roland Barber
The camp focused on finding connections between morality, relationships, nature, and music. The musical focus was on improvisation, deep listening, group dynamics and technique. Each student seemed to be completely struck by the depth and beauty of their experience, and truly enjoyed playing with all of the professional masters on staff.
- Burns Park Elementary School fifth-graders got to design and paint 12 boxcar racers to be used in the upcoming Ann Arbor Active Against ALS Boxcar Derby Race and Picnic. The fifth-graders painted the boxcars in Kate Higgins' art class and will be adding their own custom designs over the next few weeks, leading up to the derby.
Every year, Burns Park fifth-graders take part in a special art project. This year, Higgins said the students were thrilled to hear about getting to design and paint some boxcars, with the added benefit of seeing them raced at the end of the month.
The derby was held on Saturday, March 24. The goal of the event is to raise money for treatment and cure research for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal neurological condition also called Lou Gehrig's disease.
- Haisley PE Teacher Kristin Stoops wrote the following to the Haisley Community: “Thank you for your generous support for Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart! To this point, we have raised over $2,500 for the American Heart Association. ALL students participated in jump and hoops activities over the past couple of weeks during PE class. We learned about the importance of keeping our hearts healthy with exercise and healthy food choices. We learned there are people who are born with "special hearts", hearts that don't work as well as they need to. We ALL participated in Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart, whether or not students brought in donations. Thank you for your support.”
- Congratulations to Logan teacher, Katy LaCroix-Wagner on being awarded an Ann Arbor Public School Educational Foundation Great Idea Grant! The grant ($997.42) is for literature to support equity. Student books will be purchased to support Logan's Equity work.
- Congratulations to ESL Teachers Jane Taylor (Logan and Northside) and Mary-Margaret Cornish (Lakewood and Slauson) on being awarded an Ann Arbor Public School Educational Foundation Great Idea Grant! Funds from the grant will be used to make signage (Main Office, Music Room, Cafeteria, Media Center, Art Room, etc.) in multiple languages.
Patricia P. Green, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools