Friday, September 27, 2013

KINYON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Picture day is Monday!

Kinyon Elementary School picture day for all students is scheduled on Monday!

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Fur Angels lend a big hand!

Randall Elementary School's annual fundraising program received a boost last week from the Fur Angels, which donated 435 boxtops and 303 labels to the effort.

Randall collects ink cartridges, Labels for Education, Boxtops for Education and Tyson labels in an effort to raise money each year. The school is currently in the process of fundraising.

The Fur Angels are a popular local group that offers support and compassion through pet therapy. The group was formed in November, 1998. 

For more on the Fur Angels, click on here. For more on Randall fundraising efforts, click on here.

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL: Picture day is Tuesday

West Middle School picture day is scheduled for Tuesday.

Make sure to wear your Sunday best!

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL: Spikers in action on Monday

Look for the West Middle School Volleyball Team to be in action Monday, when it hosts Lincoln Park.

Match time is scheduled for 4 p.m.

CHOPPING BLOCK: Restaurant gets ready to open

The Taylor Career Center's Chopping restaurant is preparing to open.

According to the schedule posted on its Web site, the Chopping Block will open for business on Thursdays and Fridays, beginning Oct. 10. That day, it will feature a lunch of lasagna, salad and garlic bread for just $5.

The Chopping Block is located at 9601 Westlake.

TRUMAN HIGH SCHOOL: And the band plays on ...

The Truman High School band will be on the road Saturday (Sept. 29) and Tuesday (Oct. 1) for scholastic competition events.

Saturday, the band goes to Gibraltar Carlson High School. Performances are 2, 4 and 6:15 p.m.

On Tuesday, it travels to Wyandotte Roosevelt High School for performances at 4:45, 7:15 and 8:30 p.m.

Band lovers are welcome to attend!

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL: Band and chorus rocks the house at 'Turn Off The Violence!

The West Middle School Band and Chorus was one of the featured attractions during last night's "Turn Off The Violence" event at Heritage Park, sponsored by the Taylor Rotary.

The band and chorus presented popular selections including Motown, rock and roll and marching band favorites.

"Turn Off The Violence" highlights positive activities for children, encouraging them to turn off violent video games and questionable television choices.

It's now in its 19th year, additional attractions included the Taylor Fire Department's aerial truck, the Taylor Police Department's Canine Unit, Ronald McDonald, golf lessons, face painting, crafts and more.

Talking Taylor Schools offers these photos of the West students, courtesy of our friend, Angela Reed Osbourne.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL: Band and chorus will perform at Turn Off The Violence on Thursday

The West Middle School Band and Chorus will be performing at the Taylor Rotary's "Turn Off The Violence" event Thursday at Heritage Park.

The event is free and begins at 4 p.m.

The band and chorus will present popular selections including Motown, rock and roll and marching band favorites. Following the performance, everyone is invited for food, games and activities.

"Turn Off The Violence" highlights positive activities for children, encouraging them to turn off violent video games and questionable television choices.

It's now in its 19th year, additional attractions will include the Taylor Fire Department's aerial truck, the Taylor Police Department's Canine Unit, Ronald McDonald, golf lessons, face painting, crafts and much more.

Plan on plenty of hot dogs, chips, pop and other picnic foods.

TRUMAN HIGH SCHOOL: Photos of homecoming court

The Truman High School homecoming court was announced last Thursday. 

The members include Kristen Bailey, Sarah Cordell, Chloe Herrera, Kaylee Nelson, Paige Nickowski, Tara Simpson, Miguel Andrade, Aaron Foster-Smith, Clarence Massey, Tyler Nunnery, Donavin Rubens and Quinn Wurmlinger.

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: 184 pupils now eating free breakfast thanks to healthy communities partnership!

One hundred and eighty four pupils at McDowell Elementary School are now eating a good free breakfast in their classrooms each morning, thanks to a Building Healthy Communities partnership grant.

"Research shows that school breakfast is linked with improved healthy, academic performance, attendance and classroom behavior," said Lynne Borg, McDowell principal.

Two elementary schools in the Taylor School District – Holland and McDowell – have been selected to participate in the 2013-14 Building Healthy Communities program in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Michigan Fitness Foundation, the United Diary Industry of Michigan, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

The program aims to establish healthy lifestyles among school children and create healthy environments. The program educates students through classroom lessons, creates an environment that makes healthy choice the easy choice, encourages students to practice lessons learned, provides opportunities for physical activity during and after school, and improves access to healthy food and beverages for students.

Holland Principal Sue Massucci discussed the program at length during a "Talking Taylor Schools" blog post on Sept. 13. To see that post, click here.

Participating in the program are schools from Oakland, Washtenaw, Wayne, Huron, Lapeer, Genesee, Bay and Lenawee counties. Holland and McDowell are two of 15 schools participating in Wayne County.

Poor nutrition and resulting obesity are problems in today’s America. One in three children in the nation are overweight. The rate of childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years.

“The long-term benefits of the Building Healthy Communities program cannot be overstated in term of its potential to improve the overall health of our citizens and into the future,” said Dr. Kim Eagle of the University of Michigan Health System. “(This will) reduce health care costs that will benefit all of us and help generations of Michiganders live healthier, more successful lives.”

The program is a comprehensive, school-wide effort to fight childhood obesity. Since its inception in 2009, over 35,000 students in 83 schools have been reached.

In the Taylor elementary schools, BCBS of Michigan, WSU, the fitness foundation and the dairy industry will be working together. The program will target nine areas with school-based education and environmental initiatives:
  • Principal involvement
  • Healthy breakfasts
  • Classroom education
  • Physical education
  • Active recess
  • Student leadership through Fuel Up to Play 60
  • Events for families
  • Media center education
  • Afterschool Healthy Kids Club

For more information on the program, click here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

MELISSA SKOPCZYNSKI: What a week -- outstanding band; leadership conference; homecoming court picked; football team unbeaten; and even the concession stands looks like a million bucks!

By Melissa Skopczynski
Truman High School Principal

Last week was a great week. I was able to experience many of the things that make the field of education so rewarding.  Although I didn't get home most nights until 6 or later, being able to see the students in their element, representing Truman High School in such a great manner made it all worth it.  

Let me share the week with you:

On Tuesday I was able to attend the Belleville Marching Band Review.  Our Marching Band sounded absolutely wonderful. I may be bias in saying this, but I definitely thought our band gave the best performance.  This was validated by the many compliments I received from people from other schools. If you get a chance to go see them perform, it is highly recommended.

On Thursday we sent a group of students to the Downriver League Student Athlete Leadership Conference.  They had a wonderful time and had an opportunity not only to acquire some leadership skills but also to network and build positive relationships with students from other schools. 

We also selected our 2013 Homecoming Court that day.  The students were very excited and honored to be selected to court by their classmates. The court includes Kristen Bailey, Sarah Cordell, Chloe Herrera, Kaylee Nelson, Paige Nickowski, Tara Simpson, Miquel Andrade, Aaron Foster-Smith, Clarence Massey, Tyler Nunnery, Donavin Rubens and Quinn Wurmlinger.

This time of year is always so exciting for students and is when high school memories are made.  

On Friday we played our fourth football game of the year and were a winner over the Trenton Trojans.  Our record is now 4-0.  Even though the score was quite lopsided, the players handled themselves and showed good sportsmanship – way to go Cougars!  I was also pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the game to find that our wonderful maintenance staff had painted the concession stand and it looks amazing. I am so lucky to be part of a school that is truly a community committed to students.

Finally I would like to thank the staff for being patience as we making staff adjustments.  I would like to welcome back James Ostach to our English department and welcome Claire Walthall to our Special Education Department.

Have (another) great week.

Remember: This is YOUR team, this is MY team, this is OUR team.  Together we ARE making a difference!

KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL: Homecoming game is Friday against Allen Park

Kennedy High School will host its homecoming football game and festivities this Friday.

The West Concert Band will be performing from 4 to 7:30 p.m. on Superior Road between Racho and Kennedy School.

The game, against Allen Park, is scheduled Friday evening.

PICTURE DAYS: Photo shoots are scheduled for Blair Moody, Randall

Don't forget that it's Picture Day at Blair Moody Elementary School and Randall Elementary School later this week.

Picture day is scheduled at Blair Moody Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Randall pupils in third through the fifth grade have picture day on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Kindergarteners, first and second graders will have their pictures taken on Thursday, Sept. 26.

Time to get the best outfits ... 

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL: Walking and jogging program continues this week

The West Middle School walking and jogging program continues Tuesday, Sept. 24 and Thursday, Sept. 26.

West is located at 10575 William Street.

For more information on the program, call (313) 295-5783.

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Building begins fundraising season

Randall Elementary School begins its fundraising season Tuesday, Sept. 24.

Among the things that the elementary school usually collects are box tops for education, labels for education and Tyson product labels. 

The school also recycles used batteries, paper and used link cartridges.

For more information on all the programs, click here.


McDowell Elementary School preschool sessions begin on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

For more information, call (734) 374-1240.

HOOVER-WEST MIDDLE SCHOOLS: Volleyball game today

The Hoover Middle School volleyball team travels across town to West Middle School today for a game at 4 p.m.

Fans are welcome to attendance. Let's help the girls kick off a great season.

On Wednesday, West travels to Southgate to another game at 4. 

TOMMIE SAYLOR: Be the 'hero' in some young person's life

“Think twice before you speak, because your word and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another”
-- Napoleon Hill

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

This last week the world lost a benevolent soul, Earl Buis. Earl was my ex-wife’s father. He passed away Thursday night.

He was the epitome of the everyman kind of guy – generous and hardworking, but quick to smile and offer you his hand. Back when I was a young man dating his daughter, I made an effort to get to know Earl. Where I came from it was still important to visit with your girlfriend’s father and gain his favor. So, I visited Earl several times, sitting and talking with him, getting to know each other. Then one day he took me outside to sit on the front porch, and told me to go to his personal refrigerator he kept on the porch and grab a beer.  

Earl had a house where the front porch wrapped around two sides of the rather large, old-fashioned two-story farmhouse, and on this porch Earl had a picnic table and a full sized refrigerator. In this refrigerator Earl only kept one item, Pabst Blue Ribbon. I kid you not, the entire refrigerator was packed from top to bottom with PBR. So, being the typical teenaged country boy, I walked over to the refrigerator and got a beer and brought it to Earl. He then told me to get one for myself. Not wanting to disappoint my girlfriend’s father, I got myself a beer. I sat there with Earl on his front porch and drank my very first beer, knowing that this was his way of showing his acceptance of me as a proper suitor for his daughter.

Over the years I learned a lot from this old man. I learned the importance and power of kindness. I learned that encouragement goes much further than belittlement, that praise creates paths to new forms of success while berating shuts down minds and creativity, I learned that the carrot is much more powerful than the stick.  

Earl was able to teach me that one’s job, career, or position in life was not as important as how hard one works, that effort counts. Though many years later Earl’s daughter and I divorced, he always remained kind toward me and I never forgot the lessons he taught a very young man just starting
out in life.

We are all an amalgamation of efforts from others.  As we grow and become the adults that we are, many along the way have placed great efforts into our development, into molding, prompting, and pushing us in the right direction. We did not make this journey on our own, without those who made this journey before us, we would not be who we are today.

Occasionally we can remember those who were most influential in our lives, sometimes without the person even knowing that they had such an influence. We remember our favorite teachers, pastors, friends, and those who lent a helping hand when we were down.

Be that person. Be the person that someday one of your students will remember. Be the person that inspires a student to chase their dreams. Be the hero in a future story where one of your students tells their children how a teacher changed their life. Be the person that is known to give more than they take. You have no idea how every effort, kind word or a small gesture of kindness can influence a child’s life.

The power you possess is overwhelming. You have the ability to mold the future of our society, and the clay you work with sits before you in your classroom every day. Do not take your duties lightly, the impact of your efforts is long lasting, life long, and the one thing that can change a student’s entire world can be as simple as a smile and a good morning.

I think this weekend I will go to the store and buy a couple of PBRs and have a drink with my son (don’t worry, he is 24) in Earl’s memory and in the memory of all those who have made me the man I am today.

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