This Week In the Ann Arbor Public Schools
May 7, 2012
This Week's Good News!
- This week is Teacher Appreciation Week.
Please join me during National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11, 2012) in thanking our teachers for all that they do here in Ann Arbor Public Schools. Our teachers are the backbone of all the excellence that exists in Ann Arbor Public Schools and their role cannot be overemphasized. Teachers are the single most influential factor in the educational experience of children and here in Ann Arbor, they hold high expectations for all children to succeed. Our teachers guide students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and they challenge our children to excel in the face of obstacles and challenges.
Our Ann Arbor teachers display a love of the teaching profession as they enable our children to release their creative and imaginative talents in so many multi-faceted ways. These dedicated professionals often work evenings and weekends as they create the type of 21st Century learning environment that fosters innovation and collaboration at its best. Through inspiration and motivation...through coaching and mentoring...they open young minds to all the possibilities yet to come in their lives!
In the PBS documentary, Learning in America: Schools that Work, it was stated by the host, Roger Mudd, "No calling in our society is more demanding than teaching; no calling in our society is more selfless than teaching; and no calling is more central to the vitality of a democracy than teaching." This statement is so very true. Educators in Ann Arbor Public Schools shape and influence the future of our community and our nation as they dedicate each day they teach to the preparation of their students to compete globally with excellence and integrity.
Please join me in thanking and applauding all of our teachers as we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11, 2012) and National Teacher Appreciation Day on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
- Wednesday, May 9, is National School Nurses Day.
Please join me in thanking our School Nurses and recognizing their commitment and dedication to children on National School Nurse Day, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. School Nurses advance the well-being, academic success, and life long achievements of all of our children by providing that critical safety net that links health and learning each and every day. Children today face more complex and life-threatening health challenges and our School Nurses help them have their health needs safely met while in the school setting.
Our Ann Arbor School Nurses act as a liaison to the school community, to parents, and to health care providers on behalf of children's health issues all year long. These caring individuals support the health and educational success of our children by developing programs and providing leadership in the health related fields to enable our children to reach their full potential.
School Nurses, through their dedication and commitment to the health and well being of our children, meet the needs of today's students by improving the effective delivery of health care in our schools on a regular and daily basis. Healthy children learn better and our School Nurses help to remove the barriers to academic success for them. The role of a School Nurse is vital in promoting wellness and ensuring healthy futures for all of our children. School Nurses bring to us the nursing skills that help manage potentially emergent situations as well as providing daily care in schools for students with chronic health conditions and medically complex conditions.
National School Nurse Day is a wonderful opportunity to thank these caregivers for minimizing health-related barriers to student success. Thank you for all that you do for children and their families!
- Congratulations to Skyline student Mingquan Ma for receiving the highest composite score of 36 on the ACT exam. On average, less than one-tenth of one percent of all test takers earns the top score. Among the high school graduating class of 2011, more than 1.6 million graduates took the ACT. Of that number, just 704 students earned a score of 36.
- The Forsythe Knowledge Master team saved the best for last as they finished first in the state, out of ten teams, in the Knowledge Master Open and won the gold medal. In three previous contests this year, they had finished third, second, and third in the state. The Knowledge Master Open is a contest that tests teams' ability to answer questions in all the subject areas quickly and accurately. The questions are at all levels of difficulty. The KMO is produced by Academic Hallmarks, of Durango, CO.
The Viking team of 39 6th, 7th, and 8th graders scored 1729 out of a perfect score of 2000. They finished far above the national average of 1391 and the national average of 1285. Second place in Michigan went to Dunckel Middle School, Farmington Hills, with a score of 1707, and third place went to Boulan Park Middle School, in Troy, with 1700. A team from Tappan finished 7th in Michigan, and the Vikings are glad to see their cross-town rivals return to KMO competition.
Nationally, Forsythe placed 6th out of 565 teams. First place in the country was Longfellow School, Falls Church, VA, with 1814, and second place was Kealing Middle School, Austin, TX, with 1799. The competition consisted of 200 multiple-choice questions, each with 5 answer choices. Forsythe answered 184 correctly on the first try and got 14 of the remaining 16 right on the second try, leaving only two questions answered incorrectly.
KMO is a middle school club open to all Forsythe students. The coach is Dan Ezekiel, assisted by Mike Shaw, and with parent assistance coordinated by team mom Marni Arnett. The club is now finished for the year, but will meet again next school year during Quarters 2 and 3. The members of the gold-winning April team are listed below.
6th: Oscar Anderson, Chandra Desai, James Johal-Smith, Daniel Khain, Nathan Pawittranon, Rose Sproat, Jordan Tirico,and Julia Walker.
7th: Fumiya Abe-Nornes, Miles Aikens, Navya Arigapudi, Halley Banaszak-Holl, Oshadi Caldera, Samir Chethan, Tommy Cohn, Noah Dean, Forrest Flesher, Alex Hull, Chase Hyatt, Sabir Islam, Anna Kaehr, Shreeman Nimmagadda, Micah Pollans-Dempsey, Samiksha Prakash, Jacob Schneyer, and Star Su.
8th: Katie Arnett, Janine Chouinard, Tara Dorje, Peyton Hoffman, Joshua Nacht, Anjuli Patel, Catherine Pilon, Sandy Schwartz, Rana Sharma, Deanna Shih, Kotone Tsuji, Michelle Wang, and Charlie Wertenberger.
- On April 30, the top five winning high school poets in the One Pause Poetry Emerging Writer's contest read from their work at Nicola's Bookstore in Ann Arbor. “One Pause Poetry” is a program that offers free poetry readings, conversations, and workshops in multiple settings across the southeastern Michigan region. It is a part of Copper Colored Mountain Arts, a non-profit organization founded in Ann Arbor with the mission of bringing local and nationally recognized artists, poets, musicians, artisans, and performers together. The winning poets were: Maddie Bell, senior at Community HIgh School for her poem, "I've Got Bones Beneath My Skin, Alia Persico-Shammas, senior at Community High School for, "Ekphrasis: Stropos or The Three Fates by Francisco Goya," Melanie Langa, senior at Community High School for "Renewal," Robyn Green, senior at Pioneer High School for "A Letter to the Voices in your head," and, Kristy Abraham, senior at Pioneer High School for "USA Hockey Boy Puck Slut Application 2012." These five women represented the poetic talent of the Ann Arbor Public Schools with grace, wit, and enormous skill. The judges were astounded by the voices of these high school poets, and their poems will be forthcoming on the onepausepoetry.org website. Please congratulate them and their teachers!
- Huron High School Sophomore, Hanel Baveja, is a 2012 Young Playwrights Festival finalist. High school students wrote and submitted one-act scripts to a juried competition. Scripts will be produced and performed on Sunday, May 12 at Wharton Center by the Michigan State University Theatre Department students. The performances will be preceded by a mentoring process.
- Congratulations to Huron senior running back/wide receiver Parish Thomas who was named to play in the 32nd annual MHSFC All-Star Game. Parish will represent Huron HS and Huron Football on the East Squad. The game will be played at Alma College on June 30th.
- On April 25 and 26, members of Skyline's Choir Program participated in MSVMA State Choral Festival in Holt, MI. After receiving Excellent Ratings at District Choral Festival in March, Bel Canto Women's Chorus received a Good Rating and Cantare Cantando Mixed Choir received an Excellent Rating. A Cappella Choir received a Superior Rating (perfect score in performance) at District Festival and an Excellent Rating at State Choral Festival. All three groups also participated in a clinic session with a nationally recognized Choral Adjudicator and had the opportunity to hear performances from other excellent choirs from around the state. Lindsay Ciechanski is Skyline’s choir director.
- Many Pioneer High School French students participated in the annual National French Contest exam. Voilà les résultats.
These students won medals for their top 10 ranking in the nation:
Level 1 : Genevieve Atiefu and Taeyoon Kim.
Level 2: Rebecca Bilich and Aaliyah Jihad.
Level 3: Hannah Cesnik, Marianne Cowherd, and Sofi Squatriti (#1 rank in state).
Level 4: Ruby Emberling (#1 rank in state).
These students won certificates for their top 10 ranking in the state (80th percentile and above in the nation):
Level 1: Yakun (Queena) Zhao.
Level 2: Veronika Bayer, Nile George-Nwogu, Mrittika Ghosh, Mallory Hoevet, Claire Hughes, Hakkyun (Alex) Kim, Maya Makhlouf, Anjali Nemorin, Paul Paternoster, Gillian Rafaelian, Ellen Sauer, and Avital Smotrich-Barr.
Level 3: Lillian Huang, Hoai An Pham, Giacomo Squatriti, Brinda Yarlagadda, and Jason Zhao.
Level 4: Ben Bielajew, Boris Burman, Victoria Cox, Azba Gurm, Joshua Kaplan, Yiran (Emily) Liu, Norah Rast, Alyssa (May) Skelton, Devin Vaillant, Tina Yu, and Gabrielle Zacks.
These students won certificates for scoring in the 50th-80th percentile in the nation:
Level 1: Nick Chinchak, Santiago De La Cerda-Harlow, and Larissa Myers.
Level 2: Sarah Adams, Anna Croley, Katherine Farrell, Ben Freiband, Cedric Gin, Elmi Habib, Alim Habib, Betty Hu, Julia Mouat, Emeka Nriagu, Alida Pitcher Murray, Lalita Ramirez-Lopez, Ada Seger-Brown, Hana Sinha, Alexander Sugerman, Thomas Uhler, Kathryn Wissman, Shang Zhou Xia, Daniel Xiang, Brian Xiao, and Anton Yang.
Level 3: Sophia Anderson, Rae Brigham, Jerry Chen, Lauren Hoff, Margaret Lemak, Molly Mintz, Maksymilian Muno, Remington Reackhof, Maris Reid, Kaela Van Til, Sierre Wolfkostin, and William Yang.
Level 4: Soraya Binetti, Leeland Criso, Clare Higgins, Emma Kern, Andrew Moore, Farah Selman, Michael Wilson, Enze Xing, and Lauren Zyber.
Pioneer students Alec William Hitchiner, Fiona Jayden Trumitch, and James Kyril Sazyc, attended the Michigan Chinese Quiz Bowl in April, and they received third place in the High School Division. Congratulation to their instructor Fan Wu for their excellence performance.
The Logan Community would like to congratulate 4th grader Dorrian Page on being chosen as a 2012 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Theta Zeta Lambda Chapter Esquire Scholar! Dorrian has been selected based upon his participation in the Esquire Leadership and Mentoring Program. Dorrian, along with 10th, 11th and 12th grade students from Ann Arbor Technical, Community, Huron, Pioneer, Roberto Clemente and Skyline High Schools are being honored Saturday, May 12th. at the Student Recognition Luncheon.
Congratulations to Dorrian Page and our High School students on their esteemed accomplishments!
Denise Chacon-Lontin’s 3rd/4th grade class at Ann Arbor Open School all believe that one person can make a difference. Aung San Suu Kyi is an international symbol of peaceful resistance, similar to other civil rights leaders like Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi. She is a Burmese human rights activist and Nobel Peace laureate, and she was named as the recipient of the 21st University of Michigan Wallenberg Medal. Wallenberg, a 1935 graduate of the U-M College of Architecture, was working as a Swedish diplomat during World War II. His efforts saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews near the end of World War II, before he vanished in Budapest.
One of the students in the class is of Burmese ancestry and the class began learning about Suu Kyi while studying civil rights and peaceful protest. A project that grew from their learning is a collection of poetry called Poems for Peace, an anthology of their own writing.
Suu Kyi lives in Burma, a poor country in political turmoil. She has spent well over twenty years trying to support democracy and human rights in her country. This book, and the art work the class created as part of their unit of study, will be delivered to Aung San Suu Kyi herself in May, by a University of Michigan representative. She makes a difference in the world every day, and now the students hope to make a difference too – by acknowledging her tremendous heroism, and by learning more about how to live in a mindful, peaceful way.
A group of 40 administrators from Chicago visited Huron on May 1st to hear about Huron’s Reading Apprenticeship Program and to participate in panel and open discussions with Huron’s RA coordinators, Maryan Mastey and Lori Wojtowicz. Panel presenters included: Dr. Peter Elias, Kristin Kubacki, Sarah Roldan, Christy Garrett. Participants in open discussions with the panel included: Kip Wilson, Scott Hunter, Doug Julius, Chawn Whitsitt, Anthony Stewart, Barb Schenk, Andy Smith, Dorothea Bryant, Ken Long, Michael Damron, Laura Davis, Beth Dickson, Aimee Grant, Nadine Ghawi.
Huron's Varsity Head Women's Basketball Coach Steve Vinson is the “Region 3 Coach of the Year" for women's basketball this year. Steve had another fantastic year for the River Rats as he marched the team all the way up to the Breslin Center at Michigan State University where they played in the Final Four tournament.
This year, Ann Arbor Public Schools employees donated 3,212 pounds of food to Food Gatherers through the Rotary Food Drive. Overall, the Rotary Food Drive netted 18,000 pounds of food which amounts to approximately 16,500 meals for individuals and families facing food insecurity!
A big thank you goes out to all of our staff members for helping in this effort!!
Patricia P. Green, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools