This Week In the Ann Arbor Public Schools
May 14, 2012
This Week's Good News!
- Huron is proud to announce that senior Alexander Hassan was chosen to represent Huron High School at the 33rd annual “Brightest & Best” program sponsored by WXYZ-TV/Channel 7. Alex earned this honor by maintaining a 4.0 GPA, obtaining perfect SAT/ACT scores, and for his outstanding community service involvement. The 2012 graduate attended a videotaping and picnic day on Saturday, May 12 at the WXYZ-TV Broadcast House in Southfield. We congratulate Alexander Hassan, and look forward to seeing him in upcoming Channel 7 Brightest & Best showings that will air beginning late June.
- Congratulations to Huron senior Michael Lewis, Jr. who received a $25,000.ºº National Association of Black Suppliers (NABS) Scholarship. Mike was honored on Monday, May 7 at the 24th Annual NABS Scholarship Awards Luncheon at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center. As one of the eight honorees, Mike was asked to address the invitees in Ambassador Hall. He absolutely captivated the audience which prompted the impressed NABS committee to invite Mike Lewis, Jr. to return as a motivational speaker to speak with future graduates.
- Congratulations to CHS sophomore Leon Pescador, who earned 2nd place for his story, "When the Sky Falls" in this year's 20th Annual Teen Short Story Writing Contest. Fifty-three finalists were honored on Saturday, May 12, from a pool of 350 submissions.
Caitlin Horrocks, author of an applauded debut collection of short stories, This is Not Your City and a previous winner of the AADL contest in 1997 spoke to a packed house of teen writers, their families and friends.
- Last June, Pioneer teachers Chuck White, Steve Armstrong and Andrew Bayer heard about a project, called the IVD Challenge (Innovative Vehicle Design), in which students are given a gasoline powered vehicle and their challenge is to re-configure the car to run on electric power and then race it at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). This challenge is sponsored by Square One whose total charge is to bring more STEM projects to the students.
The teachers attended a workshop in August about the project and received the car. They managed to deliver it to Pioneer and began recruiting students on the first day of school and ended up with nine students. They did some initial testing of the gas-powered car and then began the research & conversion of the car to electric power.
Along the way, the students totally rebuilt the frame of the car and gave it the nickname of "quemar los barcos," which means, “Burn the boats.” The students made a major decision to "cut" the car they previously had operating and take the parts they needed from it and build a better car.
Last Saturday, at MIS, they won two of the three road races, the figure 8 and the slalom race. In addition, they were awarded the overall championship trophy, The Chairmen's Trophy, as the best team/car. It was a great project to be involved with. The students are already thinking about and planning next year's car. The students involved were: Jacob Winick, Mark Strite, Robert Minger, Stephen Doll, Rosanna Neuhauser, Nick Swafford, Drew Schmidt, George Evans and Michael Schicklng.
- Slauson students from Gretchen Hahn’s 6th grade classes built 2 biosand water filters with UM Engineering students as a trial run for the engineers before they left for Brazil. In Brazil, they plan to teach students and community members how to build and maintain these filters in an effort to help communities maintain a safe drinking water source. The engineering students plan to keep in touch with Ms. Hahn via email and a blog. Slauson students even learned a little Portuguese while they were constructing the biosand filters.
As part of the 6th grade curriculum, students learn about the necessity of keeping groundwater and surface water sources clean. Students had to learn why the different layers of the biosand filter are used and how they function to prepare drinking water for those who use them in rural areas without public utility service. Comparisons to our own Ann Arbor water treatment facilities are also a part of the exploration.
At Slauson, the 6th graders plan to use the biosand filters in cooperation with another UM-sponsored project through the School of Education. They will be using iPads and Zydeco software (developed through UM-SOE) to make claims about local water quality (West Park surface water, part of the Allen Creek watershed). Students will test several water sources: tap water, West Park surface water, and biosand filtered water from West Park and Slauson’s roof runoff.
Students will be gathering evidence about the effectiveness of the biosand filters at improving water quality. We will be using probes and standard water quality tests to determine the levels of dissolved oxygen, phosphates, nitrates, turbidity, and macro/micro invertebrates. In addition, students will compare the local results to water quality results from students in Detroit Public Schools who have done the same project at the Rouge River. Using the iPads and Zydeco software, students are able to photo-document their evidence, import probe results, and develop their claim-evidence-reasoning structure to develop arguments about the quality of local surface water. The Zydeco software also offers teachers a way to monitor each group’s data collection by allowing network connection to their screen activity in real-time. In addition, teachers can send instant
messages to each lab group as they work. Final projects will include presentations of their data using the iPads.
- Bryant, second graders in Mrs. Stewart's class were so inspired after watching 'Caine's Arcade' that their enthusiasm evolved into a writing project. Each 2nd grader wrote a letter to Caine Monroy, in California, and this week the class received a gracious letter in return and a care package! Below is the link, and the response from Caine's dad: “http://cainesarcade.com/”.
“Hello. This is George, Caine's Dad, I'd like to thank you and your class for writing to Caine and sending him some great ideas. For a thank you, I have sent you a package containing some goodies. I hope you and your class enjoys, and if you ever have the opportunity come check us out here in Los Angeles. Sincerely, George”
- Pioneer’s Acappella Choir, under the direction of Steve Lorenz, and Huron’s Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Timothy Krohn, were selected to perform a world-premier piece commissioned for the 50th Anniversary of the Michigan Youth Arts Festival by composer Mischa Zupko. It was a challenging piece that the students performed brilliantly, a testimony of the hard work and preparation invested in the performance. Ann Arbor Public Schools was placed in the spotlight statewide due to the excellence we continue to provide for our students in music education K-12.
- Congratulations to Huron violinist Valerie Peng and trombonist Brandon Cutler for auditioning for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival
Soloist Competition on April 13, 2012. Both students were selected as one of the 10 finalists. Only four high school students are selected each year to perform at the MYAF and making the final 10 is a huge accomplishment.
- On March 17th, the Tappan Middle School Concert Choir attended the MSVMA District 12 Choral Festival at Whitmore Lake High School. Concert Choir sang two pieces before a panel of four judges. One judge then worked with the choir as their clinician, which was a great experience for the students. The choir also had to sight-read for a different judge. Concert Choir received a Superior rating, the highest possible, for both their performance and sight-reading portions of the festival. In addition, the choir heard some wonderful middle school choirs throughout their day. Mrs. Bonnie Kidd is the director of choirs at Tappan Middle School.
- On March 20th, the Huron High School Bel Canto Choir, under the director of Mrs. Bonnie Kidd, along with the Huron High School A Cappella Choir, under the direction of Dr. Richard Ingram, participated in the MSVMA District 12 Choral Festival at Dexter High
School. Both Bel Canto and A Cappella sang two pieces before a panel of four judges and completed a sight-reading session with another judge. Both Bel Canto and A Cappella received Superior ratings at this festival in both performance and sight-reading. On April 27, both choirs traveled to Holt High School in Holt, Michigan to participate in the MSVMA State Choral Festival. Many wonderful choirs attended State Choral Festival over three days and we were able to hear many of them. It was a great experience for our students. Mrs. Kidd and Dr. Ingram are pleased to report that both Bel Canto and A Cappella received Superior ratings for their performance at this state level event. We are very proud of all of our singers at Huron High School!
- United States Marine Band Clarinetist Jonathon Troy will be performing with the Huron High School Symphony and Concert Bands at Picnic Pops on Saturday, May 19th on the front lawn of Pioneer High School at 11:15 am and 1:00 pm. Troy is a 2001 graduate of Huron High School where he played in the band and orchestra for four years. Troy is also an alumnus from Scarlett Middle School. He earned his bachelor's degree in Music Performance from the University of Michigan in 2005 and an artist's diploma from Yale University in New Haven, Conn in 2008. Troy joined "The President's Own" United States Marine Band in May 2011.
Staff Sergeant Jonathon Troy will be performing the Fantasia and Rondo by Carl Maria Von Weber and Dance of the Comedians by Bedrich Smetana with the Huron Symphony Band and the Typewriter by Leroy Anderson with the Huron Concert Band. Come hear this wonderful product of the Ann Arbor Public Schools!
- We invite you to view the superb K-12 art on display at the Slusser Art Gallery, 2000 Bonisteel Blvd., in U/M’s Art & Architecture
Building. The show is open May 12th through June 2nd, with an opening reception for students and families Monday, May 14. Join us in celebrating our visual arts students and staff.
Skyline students who have artwork in the exhibit, along with their teacher, are listed below:
Ms. Gignac's: 12th Graders: Caitlin Dooley, Dara Firoozi, Leah Keene, Christina Lovell, Ravon Patillo-Dews, Mario Russeau, Nina Shahin, Mason Sharp. Andre' Thompson, Cat Trager, and CarlosVasquez.
Ms. Hendrick's Art Students: Lizzy Barber, Rachel Blanchard, Chrissy Boyd, Carl Kershaw, Kristina Kieft, Joe Kiley, Christina Lovell, Beth Malan, Hunter Stites and Kaylan Wilkie.
Ms. Gignac's 11th Graders: Jasmine Beeman, Tom DeVine, Bobbie Kahrl, Natalie Lovell, Marquis Wesley, Ahmani Wesley-Stewart and Rachel Wilke.
Ms. Gignac's 10th Graders: Brianna DelCampo, Cecilia Gorgon, Jannis Kochs, Hannah Mabie, Kazuki Mutsuro and Cem Yanardag.
Ms. Gignac's 9th Graders: Cassie Biehler, Angie Bielby, Skylar Burkhardt, Jumanah Colvin, Leah Hess, Alexis Howell, Tre' McGuire, Lukas Meyer, Brianna Miller, David Morrow, Vanessa Ortiz, Raisa De'Andre' Reynolds, Tryn Smith, Lola Springgay, and Abigail Warburton.
- The Ann Arbor Preschool and Family Center was voted "Best Preschool with Special Needs Services, by “Ann Arbor Family” newsmagazine. They will be announcing the winners in their Family Favorites edition of Ann Arbor Family that publishes June 1st. The Preschool will receive a plaque and copies of the edition once it's printed. This contest is conducted annually and 1000's of Ann Arbor parents vote to determine the best of the best.
- Pioneer teacher Jeff Kass' debut short story collection “Knuckleheads” has been awarded the Gold Medal by Independent Publishers as the Best Short Fiction Collection of 2011. It was also awarded the Silver Medal for Best Short Fiction E-book of 2011 by E-Lit and is a Finalist for Best Short Fiction of 2011 from ForeWord Reviews.
- AAPS Counselors Kimberly Pennington (Pioneer High) and John Boshoven (Community High) presented at the Joyce Ivy Foundation's College Symposium in Ypsilanti May 11, 2012. Kim led sessions on writing counselor college recommendation letters with co-presenter, Chrissy Fulton from Princeton University's Office of Admissions. John served on a panel presentation, "Admissions Landscape: Updates From Both Sides of the Desk," with Maggie Farnsworth, Wellesley College, MA, Chrissy Fulton Princeton University, NJ, and Lori Johnston, East Grand Rapids High School, MI.
On Saturday, May 12, John gave the Keynote for the session for students and families with Maggie Farnsworth on "Putting the Pieces Together" as well as responded to questions with Elizabeth Harlow, Duke University, NC, Kweillen Ellengrud, Harvard University, MA, and Lisa Ostafin, Dartmouth College, NH.
The Joyce Ivy Foundation is a Michigan-Based foundation granting scholarships to talented young women who wish to study at highly selective east coast schools in their summer sessions. The Symposium will bring together over 100 counselors from throughout the Midwest and summer scholars and families from Michigan, Ohio and Nebraska.
Patricia P. Green, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools