This Week In the Ann Arbor Public Schools
April 23, 2012
This Week's Good News!
- This week, April 23- 27, 2012 is Administrative Professionals Week.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools Office Professionals are valuable members of our educational family and contribute a great deal to our district through their dedication and conscientious professionalism. They, as a group, provide a strong foundation for the smooth operation of our offices and schools.
They have the unenviable task of being our front-line public relations ambassadors as well as the behind-the-scenes support for completing the daily tasks that are crucial to a well functioning organization. We are fortunate to have them as members of our exceptional team.
Please join me in recognizing and thanking all of our AAPS Office Professionals for all they do, year-round, for our school community.
Thank you, Office Professionals, for your hard work and dedication to our school community.
- Once again, Ann Arbor has been selected as one of the 2012 Best Communities for Music Education in the nation by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). This award is bestowed for the example set in providing quality school-based music education programs to young people in our community.
- Huron’s top students were honored at the Southeastern Conference All-Academic Recognition Luncheon at the Four Points Sheraton on Wednesday, April 18. SEC students are selected by highest GPA combined with their MME test scores. Huron is proud to announce SEC scholars: Alex Hassan, Emily Chang, Kathleen Huntzicker, Rujia Zha, and Ian Blaauw
- Pioneer 12th grade student Sherry Wan won the National 1st place award in the 2012 Emerging Artist - Saul Bell Award for her piece titled "Summer Solstice.” The event is sponsored by the Rio Grande supply company and is one of the most prestigious competitions in the metals world that features entries at both student and professional levels and is open to international competitors as well. Rio Grande will publicly announce the winners on June 2 in Las Vegas and the winning entries will be on display with the company through August. The award brings a five hundred dollar prize gift certificate for both student and school. The work "Summer Solstice" also received the 2012 National Juried High School Metals Exhibition in South Carolina and won our local competition of Best Metal in the Potential Art Show put on by Ann Arbor Art Center. Three versions of the jewelry piece were produced to compete in all the competitions. "Summer Solstice" was exhibited locally at the Ann Arbor Art Center's Potential Show March 23 - April 22, and will be at the University of Michigan Slusser Art Gallery from May 14th to June 2.
- The Ann Arbor Student Home Building Program students won their second straight State TeamWorks championship bringing the gold medal home to Ann Arbor. An all-first year student team representing four A2 high schools will go to national competition in Kansas City, Missouri from June 23rd to 28th to compete for the national title. Team members are: Grant Stadelman, Huron junior, carpenter and Team captain, William Carras, Pioneer senior and electrician, Patrick Wiesner, Skyline senior and plumber, and Jonas Gearhart-Hall, Community High junior and brick mason.
The students won the presentation portion of the two-day competition. They were given an unknown plan and 30 minutes to put together a business plan to build an addition on a fictitious existing house incorporating all the trades and the structural issues in the plans. Each student had to speak extemporaneously to explain his or her plan. The next day, they received a second new plan. Using that plan, they had five hours to build a structure, working together to complete it on time with limited materials. They were the only team to complete the project.
Ann Arbor Student Home Builders were the defending 2011 Michigan State champs. It is quite an accomplishment for these young men to repeat this and win the title for the second year in a row. John Birko is their teacher and asks for all to join him in congratulating the 2012 Skills USA TeamWorks State Champions.
- Huron Robotics advisor Michael Damron is proud to announce that his team won the State Championship last weekend for the first time ever and now are qualified to go to the National Championship in St. Louis, Missouri.
- A2 Tech senior, Gia Smith, has been recognized with the 2012 Learning Disabilities Award (LDA) Senior Achievement Award. She was nominated by her teacher, Krystie Linton-Rafko, who wrote, “Gia is an excellent student and very dedicated to learning. She has learned many life lessons that will see her steadfast when others fall away. From my knowledge, little has been handed to her. Gia has continued to persevere to attain her goals, at times when others might have thrown in the towel. She has untapped potential that is based in copious effort, persistence, and a desire to be a productive member of society.
Gia says she loves helping people and wants to make a positive impact on the world. Her career goal is to become a Registered Nurse and help teen mothers through Labor and Delivery.
Gia is a compassionate, inquisitive, genuine person. She is truly committed to helping people and enjoys supporting and encouraging everyone around her. I give her my highest recommendation and I know she will enhance the lives of others in our community.”
Gia will receive a certificate and a check for $100 at the LDA Association awards ceremony on May 7.
- Recycle Ann Arbor is pleased to announce the winner of its 2012 Earth Day Video Contest. Julien Faro, a student at Ann Arbor Open, is the grand prize winner. All four runners up also attend Ann Arbor Open. They are: Charlie Hickman, Sophie Jaworski, Erica Noble and Emmett Salzer.
The contest was open to middle school students in grades 6-8 who live in Washtenaw County. The topic was “Why I Recycle.” As the grand prizewinner, Julien Faro will receive a $500 U.S. saving bond. In addition, Julien’s classroom will receive a free recycling workshop, and Julien’s video along with the runners-up can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=
Ph7kop8IRbU&context=”. The contest’s independent judges also selected four runner-up winners who will each receive a $50 gift certificate for Nicola’s Books. This was the first year in which Recycle Ann Arbor ran a video contest for Earth Day. The change was inspired by the realization that today’s middle school students are increasingly media savvy and keen to express themselves in a format that is easy to share. C4f50395ADvjVQa1PpcFO57toE0nAI pwStnRH8C7xnQF6Eg1srKFk=
- Huron and Pioneer’s Health Sciences Technology Program has been selected to receive the 2011 A2Y Chamber E3 Award (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber Exemplary Educational Endeavors Award 2011). Huron’s instructor is Lynn Boland and Pioneer’s instructor is Cathy Malette. This award is presented to those who have accomplished one or more of the following: -provides advanced educational opportunities/experiences both inside and outside the classroom for students and/or teachers; -increases parental and community involvement in the educational process; -prepares students to enter the workforce and develop lifelong learning skills; -develops innovative initiatives, such as business partnerships or career pathways; -continues to improve the quality of Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor public schools.
- 110 Rising Scholars visited Carpenter Elementary on March 29, 2012 with the mindset to build relationships and mentor students. Twenty-five Scholars were dispersed to help with music, art, and outdoor activities while the other 85 students read to the children. Scholars helped create reading books with the kindergartners to help improve reading fluency. All had a fun and educational day.
- On Thursday, April 12th, all 240 of Slauson's 7th grade students, along with teachers and parent chaperones, traveled to Hill Auditorium for a University of Michigan Musical Society Concert. Students, staff and chaperones enjoyed a wonderful performance by Zakir Hussain and other Indian musicians as they demonstrated the classical tabla and other percussion instruments. Attendance at the concert was facilitated by the Slauson Social Studies staff to integrate cultural experiences into the World Cultures curriculum.
- Greta Barfield’s class of Special Olympians at Huron, along with families and friends, had a successful car wash April 22, which earned $839.
Thank you to the many people who helped make the day fantastic! Working alongside special education students and staff were members from Lacrosse, Volleyball, and Baseball teams as well as the Booster Club in full support of our efforts! What a great show of the Huron community supporting our students. Stay tuned for more information on how to support Special Olympics athletes from Huron. We truly appreciate your willingness to jump in when needed.
- Huron Homefront Hugs, an offshoot of the national organization Homefront Hugs USA founded by an Ann Arbor resident, reached out to support Aaron Brantley, an 86-year old World War II Air Corps veteran who was carjacked at a Detroit gas station. Students were so saddened when they heard of the ordeal he withstood; they were moved to craft handmade cards with personalized messages to send to him. The group of 30 students led by Huron Homefront Hugs founder Kimi Shah, help support veterans and their families by providing volunteer services.
- The U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team defeated Sweden, 7-0, to win the gold medal at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Under-18 Championship. Nicolas Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.) had two goals and three assists, and Collin Olson (Apple Valley, Minn.) stopped all 27 shots he faced, as Team USA captured its fourth straight gold medal in the tournament.
- Congratulations to Logan Teacher Dee Dee Combi on being nominated for the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching! Should Dee Dee receive the award, she will have the distinct honor of meeting President Obama! The Logan community is very proud of her.
- "Two AAPS artist-teachers had their artwork selected for exhibition in the MEA Art Acquisitions Show: Peggy Leonard's mixed media work, “Dream” (also awarded an Honorable Mention) and Kristin Kubacki's photomontage, “Float On.” Their works were also purchased by the MEA. The exhibit runs until April 25 at MEA Headquarters in East Lansing. The artwork is also displayed on the MEA website: “http://www.mea.org/Art”. Peggy Leonard teaches at Lakewood and Angell, and Kristin Kubacki teaches at Huron."
- John Boshoven was a presenter at the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling Conference in Lansing on Friday, 4/20. He also co-lead a session with the CEO of Colleges That Change Lives.” On 4/19, he was a part of Advocacy Day in Lansing with legislators and educational leaders from Michigan and beyond.
- John Boshoven has joined the University of Toledo’s National Counselor Advisory Committee and will be meeting with them on Friday, 4/27.
- The Pioneer Jazz Band received "Honorable Mention" at the "Essentially Ellington Regional Competition" held on the campus of MSU this past weekend. 11 of the finest Jazz Bands from throughout the state and region all descended on East Lansing to perform for a panel of 4 professional jazz musicians for comments and ranking. Every Band at the festival performed three selections and according to the panel of adjudicators all were AMAZING! To be in the top three is a stellar accomplishment, we are very proud of these young musicians!
A special congratulations to Tenor Saxophonists Eddie Codrington who was selected as an "outstanding soloist" as was Bassist Adam Olszewski. On top of Adam's recognition he was given a $1,000 scholarship to attend Interlochen Jazz Camp this coming summer.
- The Pioneer bands, under the direction of David Leach, had successful performances in New York City recently and came across a NYC Blogger's writings about their performance in NYC:
Today, the Pioneer High School Music Department from Ann Arbor, Michigan brought its award winning Concert Band and Jazz Band to the atrium at the IBM Building in New York City for an afternoon concert, and put on quite a show for an enthusiastic midtown crowd. Tomorrow night, the crown jewel of the music department, the Pioneer Symphony Band, will be performing on-stage at Carnegie Hall.
How good is the music program at Pioneer? Well, in 2006 and again in 2011, Pioneer was selected as THE National GRAMMY Signature School by the Grammy Foundation, making it the number one music program at the high school level in the United States.
While the concert band was great, my interest today was in seeing young and upcoming instrumentalists tackling some of the great pieces of jazz of the 20th century, with outstanding ensemble play as well as some terrific solos by selected members of the band. The jazz band played about a half-dozen songs, highlighted for me by "Four" by Miles Davis, "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" by Duke Ellington, and a rousing finisher in "Manteca" by Dizzy Gillespie. Even with only so-so acoustics in the atrium, it was clear how together the band was, how spirited the players were, and how outstanding were the solos. I took some video but it does not really show the quality of the music; this clip of "Manteca" from an earlier concert -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=LDCPFFilDX4-- will give you a better sense of the group.
Four soloists really jumped out during the concert -- Takeo Cauley on the baritone sax brought an incredibly mellow tone to a very difficult instrument to tame; Adam Olshevski on the bass had a full woody tone and incredible dexterity; Jesse Lemon's trumpet had great range and the strength to overcome the accoustical challenge; and Eddie Codrington took a few beautiful turns on the tenor sax.
One can only hope that the Pioneer Jazz Band represents just one of many such jazz programs throughout the country, albeit one of those at the pinnacle of success. Under the able leadership of David A. Leach, this band is demonstrating that jazz is truly America's music with its roots in the black american culture of the turn of the last century and in the works of Ellington, Gillespie, Davis and others, that its history and great compositions are still relevant today, and that this music will be in good hands going forward if people are exposed to it at an early age.
A great big thank you to you all for bringing the music to New York and entertaining us this afternoon.
- Congratulations to all the elementary scientists who participated in the Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad held at Pioneer last Saturday. There were some amazing science projects and it was wonderful to see all the enthusiasm generated by the students and their families. Many thanks to all the volunteers who worked all year to make this a well-organized and successful event. It was great to see so many staff members there on Saturday supporting their students as well. This was a great community effort.
Patricia P. Green, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools