Monday, December 22, 2014

SIXTH GRADE ACADEMY: Chorus rocks the house

The Sixth Grade Academy Chorus, under the direction of Mrs. Federle, performed its Winter Holiday Concert for the staff and students.

The audience enjoyed the performance with chorus members singing Frosty Hand Jive, Where are you Christmas, and many other songs.  There were solo performances highlighting a Frozen Medley with Soloists Hayley Martin, Kamari Forest and Paris Lucas.

Thank you Mrs. Federle and the Chorus for a wonderful performance!

SIXTH GRADE ACADEMY: Christmas cards for a friend

Physical Education teacher Mr. Wade had his classes at the Sixth Grade Academy making Christmas cards to send to a student who is a fifth grader in Lincoln Park, and who is battling Leukemia. The students were very creative in designing their cards and wrote kind words wishing him a Merry Christmas!

SIXTH GRADE ACADEMY: Drama Club presents The Scrooge

The students at the Sixth Grade Academy enjoyed the Drama Club's presentation of The Scrooge.

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Christmas cheer aplenty!

Here is some Christmas cheer from Ms. Bochenek's class at McDowell Elementary School. These cute little kindergarten faces definitely have the holiday spirit!

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Lots of reading going on ...

The Taylor Reading Corps has volunteers to help some students at Randall Elementary School with reading. Randall also have Kennedy High School students come on Thursdays to read. It is great seeing the high school students with the elementary students connecting with a book.

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Chorus rings in the season

On Wednesday, December 17 the Randall Elementary School Chorus sang some holiday songs and then the students and staff joined in a sing-a-long. Mr. Fulton and Mrs. McCracken got everyong singing some well-known songs and Ms. Meszaros read Clement Moore's "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS DINNER: Scheduled for noon December 25

Everyone is invited to enjoy a free Christmas dinner on Christmas Day.

The 2014 “True Meaning of Christmas” dinner is set for noon to 3 p.m. Thursday, December 25, at the City of Taylor’s William Ford Senior Activity Center.

The meal is open to everybody, especially those alone, less fortunate or hungry – and their guests.

This will be the 16th straight year that members of the Domski family pool their resources to offer the dinner. Last year, more than 300 people ate dinner and made memories. This year, volunteers will be ready to serve hundreds of meals and there is always food left over.

“There are so many people who really depend on the dinner,” said Larry Domski, a city of Taylor inspector. “Many have no other place to go. Others are financially strapped during these economic times. We welcome everyone.”

Taylor’s Ford Center is located at 6750 Troy, west of Telegraph Road and north of Ecorse Road.

This year, the delicious meal will include turkey and all the trimmings, ham, white and sweet potatoes, gravy, corn, salad, beverages and desserts.

The “True Meaning of Christmas” dinner started when the Domski family chose to end its annual gift exchange and put the money toward a meal for anyone to enjoy. More than 20 Domski family members and plenty of volunteers split up the duties, from cooking to serving to cleaning up the center at the end of the day.

“This wouldn’t be possible if not for all of the wonderful volunteers that help every year,” Domski said.

The city donates the use of the Ford Center. The Taylor Police Department helps sponsor the event.

Those who cannot arrange transportation to the Ford Center can call for a free ride in advance or on the day of the event. The telephone number is (313) 291-7740.

Local organizations and churches are asked to spread the word about the free dinner to their members and associates.

“We sincerely want to invite everyone who is in need to join us on Christmas Day,” Domski said. “No one should go hungry on Christmas.”

Sunday, December 21, 2014

TOMMIE SAYLOR: Managers manage, and leaders dream ... the choice is yours

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

Are you a manager or a leader?  A manager is one who “takes care of business” and makes sure all the reports are properly completed, following the rules because they are the rules. 

A manager does what they are told because they were told to do it. A manager is great at taking care of paperwork, developing schedules and enforcing standards.  A manager does not care why a rule was broke, just that is was and that the offender must be brought to justice.  Managers observe. They do not participate, they regulate. They are often reactive as opposed to being proactive. 

There is nothing wrong with being a manager, for managers are necessary for keeping order, insuring productivity and making sure the organization is moving in the right direction. They lead from within, surrounded by those with whom they lead. Managers are practical realists and can play a good game of “gotcha.”

Leaders are a little more radical and rebellious. They push boundaries. Leaders don’t just follow the rules because they are the rules. Leaders question the rule and want to know what purpose the rule serves.  If the rule is a bad one or is not aligned with the mission of the organization, the leader challenges the rule and works to remove it. 

A leader is not afraid to stand out front and “tilt at the dragon” alone, hoping that others will follow his lead. Where managers like what they do and are good at what they do, leaders are passionate about what they do, and try to build this passion in others.

Leaders are not always looked upon fondly. We see George Washington as a great leader, but in his time the British viewed Washington as a dirty little rebel meddling in the affairs of the King. Leaders are always trying to do what is right, not necessarily what is expected.  Leaders are honorable, ethical and place honesty and integrity above all other traits. 

Leaders put it all on the line, are often self-sacrificing and have incredible focus.

Leaders are not afraid to be wrong, accept change if it benefits the cause, and are not intimidated by others who want to lead with them. In fact, good leaders will cultivate their followers to become leaders themselves.  Essentially, leaders lead from the front, challenge ineffective rules and procedures and keep the goals of the organization in mind, build people up not break them down, they are proactive not reactive. Most of all, leaders are dreamers. 

Leaders see what can be, not just what is, and they know how to get there.

So the question remains, within your environment, are you a manager or a leader?  Or do you have traits of each, for they both have their merits. Make yourself into the image you hold in your head.

What starts here, changes the world. Making Kennedy the school of choice. Excellence by design.

KINYON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Santa makes a special visit

Santa and Mrs. Claus make a special visit to Kinyon Elementary School recently.

Santa, played by actor Mike Ross, and Mrs. Claus, played by Kinyon crossing guard Phyllis Bruer, were as happy as the children. The special guests visited each classroom, handing out pencils and notebooks to each child.

Hugs and high fives were exchanged with the children. A wish for a live horse, Monster High dolls and other toys were given to Santa who said if they were good boys and girls he would see what he could do!

KINYON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Rumohr rocks the crowd!

Kinyon Elementary School staff rock the ugly sweaters, but Mrs. Rumohr was the rock star!

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Youngsters learn their way through book

The Randall Elementary School first grade students in Mrs. Ostrowski and Ms. Schoen's class have been learning their way through the book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." 

After reading the book they made a Grinch!  Next, they counted tally marks to show that most would like to live in “Who-ville.” Then, they created a bar graph that shows the favorite part of the story was when the Grinch dressed up Max to look like a reindeer. 

Finally, the students created a “picto-graph” which showed their favorite character from the book was Max.