Thursday, September 19, 2013

TURN OFF THE VIOLENCE: Rotary hosts event next Thursday

NOTE: Here’s a story posted recently by Dave Komer of The News-Herald Newspapers.

TAYLOR — The 19th annual “Turn off the Violence” family picnic at Heritage Park is Thursday Sept. 26.

Hosted by the Taylor Rotary, the event begins at 4 p.m., next to the chapel, at the park, located near the corner of Pardee and North Line.

The event’s aim is letting children know that there are other activities besides watching violent television shows, movies or video games.

Members of the Taylor Fire Department with the aerial truck will be on hand to share fire safety information. Other special guests will include the Taylor Police Canine Unit, Ronald McDonald and volunteers providing support group information, among others.

Activities will include youth golf lessons, face painting and crafts, while the Taylor West Band and Chorus will perform.

The picnic will include hot dogs, chips, pop and other items.

The Rotary’s most recent event, its 19th annual golf outing, raised $30,000 last month to benefit groups in the community like the Downriver Fish & Loaves, Christy’s Legacy of Hope, the Junior League World Series and Taylor Reading Corps.

Anyone interested in being a part of the Taylor Rotary may call Dave Hamilton at 1-313-378-3842 or Michelle Matley at 1-734-362-7009.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

TAYLOR PARKS ELEMENTARY: Open house is Thursday

Taylor Parks Elementary School, 20614 Pincrest, is holding an Open House beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Everyone is welcome to drop in and see Principal Diane Downie and her staff. The Open House will run until 7 p.m.

School Open houses give parents, friends and relatives of school children a great chance to see the school that their child attends in a relaxed environment. You can tour the facilities, talk to teachers and administrators and learn more about those who will be influencing your child this year.

Taylor Parks serves about 500 students, K-5, and has 17 general education classrooms supplemented by three special education classes, two learning resource rooms, and a computer lab, music room, library and gym.

Don't miss a great chance to visit the school this Thursday!

Monday, September 16, 2013

JOINT EFFORT: TFD trains fire fighters to work on school bus accidents thanks to Board of Education

NOTE: Dave Herndon of The News-Herald Newspapers recently posted this story about a joint effort between the Taylor School District and the Taylor Fire Department.

TAYLOR — It’s rare first responders get an opportunity to train on an actual school bus.

The Taylor Public School’s Board of Education knew that, so rather than disposing of it in a more traditional manner members approved giving an old bus to the Fire Department for just such a training opportunity.

“We’re capitalizing on this opportunity,” interim Fire Chief Dan Reynolds said. “The school board was gracious enough to grant our request. They saw the merits and the purpose of this and gave us a bus.”

Reynolds said while an incident like a rollover bus is rare, the department can never be prepared enough for the situation should it ever arise.

“It is that low-frequency, high-risk type of incident that you have to train for,” he said. “I’m hopeful that we never have to use any of this, but should we have to, it’s good to be ready.”

As the training class began the department treated the bus as if it had just rolled over, and that there were children on board in various states of injury.

A large crew of fire fighters circled the bus to make sure that it was stable and wouldn’t be rolling over as again as they prepared to work on it. Then they got to work, opening the rear door, and making sure the crew from the outside would be able to cut open the roof without injuring the students inside.

“It’s a blind cut,” Reynolds reminded his crew. “We need to have a chain of people ready to give signals out. If someone yells to stop cutting, we need to actually be able to stop cutting within one second.”

The crew spent the first hour of the training learning how to lift the bus with special Kevlar airbags designed for such an occasion. After making sure they were all up to speed on that aspect, the crews began practicing on how to breach the bus from the roof. Power chisels, saws and the jaws of life were among the tools that were used in the drills.

“We just really want to thank the school board for giving us this opportunity,” Reynolds said.

Contact Herndon at 1-734-246-0867 or Follow him on Facebook and @NHDaveH on Twitter. For the NH online version of the story, including a slideshow and video, just click here.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

REMEMBER THERESA PURCELL (WHITELEY)? 1975 TCHS grad now lives in Columbus

Theresa Purcell (Whiteley), a 1975 graduate of Taylor Center High School, sends warm regards from Columbus, Ohio. Theresa is a registered nurse in the Buckeye state and, yes, is still a University of Michigan fan!

She is married to Jim Purcell, who worked for IBM as a customer engineer. The couple moved to New York in 1984 and lost touch with most of their old friends from Taylor and TCHS. She often wonders how they are doing and has plenty of fond memories of growing up in Taylor.

Theresa is doing a "Ride for Cancer" soon. Proceeds will go to the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Research Center. To support Theresa's effort, click on here.

To contact Theresa directly, email her at

"Talking Taylor Schools" welcomes information from graduates of the Taylor School District. Just email me at

TOMMIE SAYLOR: Patriotism is lived, not occasionally practiced, says Kennedy High School principal

“He who looks outside, dreams.  He who looks inside, awakens.”
Carl Jung

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

This last week we experienced the 12th anniversary of the tragedy of 9-11.  One of the results of this tragedy is that patriotism seems to be an area of focus. Before that, it was an afterthought.  

As a result many are concerned about such things as making sure every classroom has an American flag, or that every student recites the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the school day (Note: Did you know that originally the pledge was created as a way for the southern “rebels” to earn their way back to citizenship following the Civil War?).  

These things are fine, but for those of us who have served our country in the military, they are nothing more than window dressing.  Patriotism is not the occasional “saluting of the flag,” it is how you live your daily life. It is taking the time to vote, upholding the rights of other Americans regardless if you agree with them or not, paying taxes and dues and working hard at your job, making the country stronger.

Patriotism is understanding the importance of self-sacrifice, that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one, and it is living your life “right,” showing others through your example how it is done.

Simply, patriotism is a way of life. It is not an act or action taken occasionally. It becomes who you are and is expressed through your every action.

You want to see patriotism and a good old-fashioned American icon? Go to a Friday night football game. 

If you take the time to carefully observe your surroundings, you will find that the pageantry is amazing. The playing of the National Anthem while everyone stands facing the flag (players and cheerleaders from both teams lined up in respectful salute), the coin toss and shaking of hands, the smell of the freshly cut grass, the nip of winter in the air and the young couples in the stands holding hands.

You’ll notice the blankets across the laps and hot chocolate in fans’ hands, the young men on the field learning the meaning of team. It is the band finally getting to perform after practicing so very hard to put together a quality show. It is the night lights and the chants of the crowd .

This is America at its finest, and every soldier “holding the line” dreams of such things.  I can remember walking the boarder in what was West Germany, and dreaming about the day when I would be able to rejoin “the world” (what we called the U.S.) and do something as simple as attending a Friday night football game.

If you wish to show your patriotism, attend a football game, help a fellow American, work hard, pay your taxes, vote, get involved in local/state/federal politics, and be a good example to others.

OPEN HOUSE: I cannot be prouder of how our first week of school went.  The Open House at Kennedy High School was amazing and it is all due to hard work and dedication.  

Our parents were pleased as we had a good turnout, Board members and Central Office administrators were pleased, and all were impressed with the professionalism and commitment.  Kudos to all.

DISCIPLINE: Hall Sweeps and ID cards went much better than expected.  I was fully prepared to have 50 kids in ISS first period on Monday, and we only had seven.  I anticipated mass numbers of students “bucking” the system and refusing to wear their ID cards, yet only a few legitimately forgot their ID cards and were more than willing to fix the problem.

Simply, once again, it was advance preparation with our students that resulted in success. The groundwork and efforts paid off.  After 20 years in the field of education, a better first full week of school I cannot recall.  

I salute the efforts, dedication and professionalism. I am honored to have the privilege of serving on the team.

Remember, their future is in our hands. Making Kennedy High School the school of choice. Excellence by design.