This Week In the Ann Arbor Public Schools
September 26, 2011
This Week’s Good News
- Free Books Interest Roberto’s Readers. Roberto Clemente’s students, staff and parents selected about 300 free books to start or add to their personal collections. Hundreds of books donated by the American Association of University Women were spread on tables and carts in the school’s library. Choices included picture books for young siblings, easy readers, popular young adult selections and recent best sellers. Biographies, histories, sports and cookbooks were also among the selections. Particularly popular were books by African-American authors including Maya Angelou, Terry McMillan, Walter Dean Myers, and Nobel Prize Laureate Toni Morrison.
Some students took just one book, others like Xavier Lawson carried off many. “There’s a lot of different genre here that are good,” he said selecting another for his pile. The program was good news for the students. Books collect readers and then the readers collect books.
- The Community High School Jazz program, under the direction of Jack Wagner, opened for Mavis Staples, "An Evening with Mavis Staples", at the Ark, Friday evening, September 23, 2011. Mavis Staples is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recipient and Grammy Award Winning Vocalist. The CHS Jazz Ensemble Musicians include: Daniel Sagher, Guitar, Community High School; Erez Levin, Drums, Community High School; Adam Olszewski, Bass, Pioneer High School; Eddie Codrington, Tenor Sax, Pioneer High School; Adlai Reinhart, Trumpet, Community High School; and Henry Pakela, Trombone, Pioneer High School.
- The Community High School Jazz Master Class Series began Tuesday, September 20th, with Christian Howes, jazz violinist. Nominated recently for jazz “violinist of the year” by the JJA, Christian was voted first place in the 2011 Downbeat Critics Poll (rising stars/ jazz violin). The Minneapolis tribune called Christian “arguably the most intriguing young violinist in jazz”. He performs worldwide with his own ensembles and as a guest soloist.
- Pattengill Elementary School participated in "Whirled Peace" day for world peace, an annual celebration and dedication that happens every year on September 21, in remembrance of 9/11 and continued peace around the world. Pattengill had 400 pinwheels, created by students and staff, whirling for peace around the world. More than 3.5 million pinwheels were spinning in more than forty countries around the world. The project is a part of anti-bullying and anti-violence campaign. As part of the creation process the students wrote thoughts about war and peace, tolerance, and living in harmony with others. The event was started and promoted by art educators around the world.
Many neighbors of Pattengill love the exhibit as well and stopped by the school to express their feelings to Mr. Carter. Karen McDonald/Teri Erickson are Pattengill’s Visual Art teachers.
- Logan Elementary students along with hundreds of school children from across the United States participated in the second annual “Commit” assembly sponsored by the History Makers, an online learning community of famous African-Americans. Professor George Shirley, a world-renowned, ground breaking musician from the University of Michigan School of Music and recent recipient of an Ovation award was the speaker. His focus was on the importance of staying in school, doing one’s best and aiming for a college degree. Students and staff received “Commit” stickers and teachers were awarded access to the History Makers web site along with additional resources.
- Logan 4th /5th grade teacher Katy LaCroix has advanced to the next round as one of five finalists, nation-wide, for the Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Culturally Responsive Teaching. For the next round, Ms. LaCroix will have one of her lessons video taped, which will be critiqued by a panel of judges. The Logan team is extremely proud of Katy LaCroix!
- On Sunday, September 18, the Michigan High School Coaches Association held its 53rd Annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony and Huron High School’s Track and Field coach, Kent Overbey, was one of the 15 coaches honored. Mr. Overbey has served as Huron’s men’s cross country coach since 1985 and has won two conference titles, three regional championships and eight top ten finishes at state meets. He also served as Huron’s men’s track & field coach from 1969-2009 and won 63 invitational, 17 conference championships, 10 regional titles, 13 top ten state meet finishes, and three times qualified for the MITCA Team state championships. He was named the Michigan track & field Coach of the Year in 2002.
- Financial services company, ING, has awarded Clague Middle School a grant under its “Get Kids Moving” program. ING’s “Run For Something Better” are school-based running programs to help students learn about healthy choices and take responsibility for their own fitness.
Clague will receive up to $2,500 in funding to support a minimum of an eight week running program that will conclude with a culminating running event. The school will receive $1,000 immediately, with additional funds granted based on the participation in the program. Schools can download unique running lesson plans developed by the National Standards for Physical Education to serve as the foundation of the running program or to supplement an existing school program. ING is pleased to provide grants to schools across the nation to help them engage students in healthy lifestyle choices, personal development, goal setting and group participation. Understanding the connection between student achievement and physical well being. ING is committed to making it easier for educators to empower their students to achieve a better future. In 2010, the ING Run for Something Better School Awards Program awarded 60 grants to school in 27 states providing 4,117 students the opportunity to discover running as a fun and easy way to increase physical activity and learn how to make healthy lifestyle choices. Students participating in the program ran a total of 123,580 miles – almost 41 times across the United States.
Patricia P. Green, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools