Friday, February 21, 2014

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Checkers bring on competition, spur good sportsmanship

Good sportsmanship is the key and the name of the game around Holland Elementary School.

Ms. Danaj's awesome second-graders held a checker tournament and it was definitely a nail biter from start to finish. Every child who wanted to participate was paired up for a first round. They played the best two out of three games with the winner moving to the last round.  

Ms. Danaj had volunteer parents who supervised each game and kept the tournament moving along. All participants received medallions and the winner and runner up received trophies. The parents were also thanked for their help with medallions and plenty of applause from the students.

Good Sportsmanship is stressed throughout the tournament.  Students were taught to congratulate winners, applaud their classmates and to remember they are winners just by participating and doing their best.

Monday, February 17, 2014

TAYLOR READING CORPS: Volunteers still needed

The Taylor Reading Corps, one of Taylor’s most successful grassroots volunteer efforts, continues to seek volunteers and/or donations. 

The TRC, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, recruits, trains and supervises adult reading mentors who aid lower-elementary school children in the Taylor School District. 

For more information, email or telephone 1-313-769-6730. Anyone interested in the program can also click on the Web site at, or write to the TRC, PO Box 276, Taylor, MI, 48180.        

TAYLOR READING CORPS: Celebrity server night to benefit organization

It’s not every evening that you can have a filling dinner, served to you by a big-name Taylor “celebrity,” and have 10 percent of the profits (plus tips) go to benefit one of the most rewarding programs in the community – the Taylor Reading Corps!

But that’s exactly what is going to happen March 31 at the Big Boy Restaurant, 10450 Telegraph Road, Taylor, when notables from around the city converge during dinnertime, all for the benefit of the Taylor Reading Corps, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that recruits, trains and supervises a network of volunteers to work in the Taylor School District.

The TRC is totally dependent on grassroots’ donations, fund-raising, and literacy and foundations grants.

Many Taylor notables will be on hand to wait tables during the fundraiser. Those committed thus far are:

Dave Gorgon, former local newspaper journalist and retired city employee who now serves in a communications position with the City of Romulus
Doug Geiss, state representative
Diane Allen, the superintendent of Taylor School District and a former longtime principal in the district
Hoon-Yung Hopgood, state senator
Ray Basham, Wayne County Commissioner
Edward Bourassa, Taylor City Treasurer
Larry Domski, City Inspector and member of the Domski family that hosts the “True Meaning of Christmas Dinner” each and every year at the William Ford Senior Activities Center in Taylor

No reservations are needed. Just show up hungry!

To volunteer or donate to the Taylor Reading Corps, email or telephone 1-313-769-6730. Anyone interested in the program can also click on the Web site at, or write to the TRC, PO Box 276, Taylor, MI, 48180.           

TAYLOR PARKS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Students take a look at presidents, from Washington to Obama

George Washington had a what?

Taylor Parks Elementary School kindergarten teacher Mrs. Ambrosia and her class did a study in celebration of Presidents Day. The class studied the first President George Washington of the United States, and our current Commander in Chief President Barack Obama.  

With their pictures strung across the classroom, each student had the opportunity to see our presidents in their own way.  Mrs. Ambrosia also discussed the lives of both, including a fact about George Washington that the students found very interesting – he had a ponytail.

TAYLOR PARKS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Look out Hemingway ... 'Future Authors' are on the way!

The late Ernest Hemingway has nothing on the Taylor Parks Elementary School “Future Authors.”

Taylor Parks’ third-grade pupils received a small taste of what is required to publish a book recently.  With the help of their teachers, Mrs. Iwaniec, Mrs. Shrewsbury and Mrs. Zirkle (along with the added support of ATA Mrs. Carroll), the children had the opportunity to submit a completed book about Michigan and to have it published.

With endless Michigan subjects to choose from – lakes, animals, islands, waterfalls, etc. – each student did hours of research using books and Internet searches to find everything related to their topic.  Using their writing and social study skills, they then put pen to paper.  

Once this was accomplished, they added art.  Beautiful and colorful drawings gave each topic a very personal touch.  Working under a deadline, everything was bundled up and submitted to National Learning Inc., to be put into print.

Each classroom will receive a published book with parents also being able to order the work of the a future Pulitzer prize winner.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

TOMMIE SAYLOR: The Kennedy staff is my Valentine!

“The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”  
Blaise Pascal

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

Valentine’s Day.

The true origins of this “Hallmark Holiday” have long since been lost to the annals of time.  Some say it began with the Romans, where an individual later identified as Saint Valentine conducted marriages between soldiers, who were forbidden to marry in ancient times, to their young maidens.  

Still others recognize the association of romantic love and Valentine’s Day with the author Geoffrey Chaucer from the Middle Ages, where courtly love entered mainstream society.  

Either way, in modern times Valentine’s Day has become a day in which we tell those with whom we care about that they are precious to us.

With this in mind, I would like to say that the entire Kennedy High School staff is my Valentine.  I care for you deeply.  Witnessing every day how you care for your students, how you fulfill their needs, how you feed them when they are hungry, clothe them when they are cold, nurture them when they are distraught and how you place their needs before your own. Or how you expand their minds and sooth their souls, and at the end of the day when you are tired and mentally drained, how you return to support your students efforts and cheer them on at the game.  

Simply, because you do what you do, your students’ lives are richer, and for this you are most precious to me, my sweet Valentines.

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

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Good behavior turns into a dance party!

There’s nothing like a dance party to get things going at McDowell Elementary School.

Lots of good behavior last month earned students the time to boogie and play. Each month every student who displayed good character traits is rewarded by a special activity.

Great music plus good kids equals excitement!

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: "Math Rapping" makes an appearance

They have been doing a little “Math Rapping” at McDowell Elementary School.

Mr. Tomassion's fifth-grade class got a visit from a "Grand Master T" today. His rap went like this:

Equivalent fractions have only one rule,

So just keep cool and don't act a fool.
To make an equivalent fraction
you must be a man of action
Divide the numerator, divide the denominator
Just be sure to use the same number
When I say equivalent you say fractions, repeat 3 times.

So just use the rule like you've been taught

You can remember cuz it's not a lot
What ever you do to the numerator
You must do to the denominator
Dividing will work or you can multiply too
Just use the same number what ever you do
When I say equivalent you say fractions, repeat 3 times.

Staff and students want to thank  "Grand Master T"  for coming today.

It's a whole new way to look at math!

KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL: Big dunk goes big time!

Charles Pritchett's slam dunk during a Kennedy High School junior varsity game is getting some big play on YouTube and even ESPN ... enjoy watching Charles lay the two-handed hammer down after trailing the fast break.

MELISSA SKOPCZYNSKI: Busy days headed into a break

By Melissa Skopczynski
Truman High School Principal

I know we have had a lot of days off but I am sure everyone is looking forward to the break. Rest up, recharge and reenergize!  Hopefully the snow days are behind us and when we return from break we can get back to some normalcy.  

I want to personally thank everyone for working so hard to keep students on track and get in the required curriculum.  I also appreciate your patience with the pre-scheduling process as well as the pre-slugging for the Michigan Merit Examinations.  I know it is difficult to get things done with so many interruptions.  

I’d like to send a big shout out to our counseling department, Teri Hanning and Rosanne Woloszyk, for making everything run so smoothly.  Please keep careful track of your count because as you know: Everyone Counts, when everyone counts!

Highlights of the week:
On Wednesday we held our first PTA meeting.  Wasn't the exactly the turnout I would of hope for, but its a start.  We were able to elect officers and I met some wonderful parents who are committed to making Truman the best it can be!

On Thursday Mr. Shawn Dunbar, a Truman parent, as well as the Great Lakes Market Manager for Circle K, came by and presented us with a check from Exxon Mobile for $500 to use to enhance our math and science programs.  Mr. Dunbar was nice enough to nominate Truman and we were selected. I can't thank him and Exxon Mobile enough!!  

When we return from break the trimester will be quickly coming to an end and we will be busy with MME testing and final exams. It is hard to believe we will be soon entering our last trimester of the year.

Have a wonderful break!

Remember this is your team, this is my team, this is our team!  Together we are making a difference!

BLAIR MOODY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Special Valentines mark the day!

Children at Blair Moody Elementary School sang Valentine songs for guests recently and created a special Valentine together.

They also did a math graphing activity using Valentine conversation hearts. The children and their special person "mailed" the class Valentine cards.

Pictures were taken to commemorate the occasion. The children will decorate a picture frame and place the picture in it as a gift to our visitors.

Everyone who attended came away with a special family memory .