Friday, June 13, 2014


McDowell Elementary School gives everyone a smile and a wave!

Summer’s here!
Another year
Of school is at an end.
We’ve learned a lot
And grown a lot
And made a lot
Of friends.
We’ll say goodbye,
Now summer’s here,
It’s time for us to part.
But we’ll remember all our friends
And keep them in our hearts.
-- Helen H. Moore

The staff wishes all families a safe and happy summer and looks forward to seeing everyone in the fall!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

KENNEDY, TRUMAN HONORED: Magazine awards two Taylor schools

Every year U.S. News and World Report selects the top high schools in the country and awards them a Gold, Silver or Bronze Badge for excellence in the face of adversity.  

They take into consideration test scores, student to teacher ratios, social economic disadvantaged students and free and reduced lunch numbers and recognizes those schools that are performing above expectations.  

Out of the 873 high schools in the State of Michigan, only 191 were honored (a mere 21.88%), of which Harry S Truman High School and John F. Kennedy High School were noted. 

Both Truman and Kennedy received a Bronze Badge for exceptional performances both locally and nationally.

Keep up the good work, keep fighting for your students, be proud and rejoice -- your efforts are being noticed not only here at home, but also on a much bigger stage.

-- Tommie Saylor, principal at KHS

BLAIR MOODY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Don't forget the sun block!

A recent week at Blair Moody Elementary School was fun, wet and wild. It was a tears and laughter kind of week.  The Field/Fun day was full of excitement for everyone.

Mr. Brinson took charge of the field day events, which included sack races, sponge relay, tug of war, bean toss, spiders and flies. Both the morning and afternoon sessions concluded with a hula-hoop contest.

Mrs. Baker provided giggles and fun with activities such as Dunk a Barbie, toilet paper toss, lawn bowling, Angry Birds, Noodle Hockey, Kurplunk, Kangaroo Relay, Javelin Throw, Golf, trash can toss and Take A Plunge -- just to name a few.

The Blair Moody PTA paid for inflatables, cotton candy, sno-cones and everyone’s favorite Dunk Tank.  Mrs. Tetreault took the plunge on more than one occasion as students hit the bull’s eye both fairly and with a little help. 
Mr. Dywer paid his dues by taking over the afternoon shift.  Students aren’t sure if poor Mr. Dwyer spent more time on his seat or in the water.

Volunteers kept things running smoothly as children tossed, ran, jumped, hopped, twisted, leaped, skipped, shrieked, yelled, screamed, giggled, belly laughed, chuckled and enjoyed being a kid. It was a day of cheers of enthusiasm and team building at its best.

Mother Nature provided her share of sunshine as kids, teachers, parents, grandparents, siblings and staff provided fun for all. Sun block was a must.


Kinyon Elementary School third-graders headed to Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum – commonly called The Henry Ford – recently. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TAYLOR SUMMER FESTIVAL: Additions are family, children friendly

In an effort to make the 2014 Taylor Summer Festival a fun event for all ages, the festival committee has added two youth-friendly features to the usual array of outstanding concert and fireworks entertainment. The festival is scheduled for Thursday, June 26, through Sunday, June 29.

While Elliott's Amusements will again return to handle the carnival midway along Pardee Road in front of the Sheridan Center, a "Family Fun Zone" will extend between the carnival location and the Heritage Park Petting Farm, thanks to the addition of MotorCity Moonwalks this year.

MotorCity Moonwalks plans to bring in at least 10 adventurous inflatable bouncies, which will be housed just north of the Petting Farm location. For the first time ever, the Heritage Park Petting Farm will be open (June 26, 27 and 28, but not on Sunday, June 29) to the public during the festival, which means mom and dad will have plenty of places to find some family fun while they attend the Taylor Summer Festival.

"It's important to have activities for everyone at city festivals, and the Taylor Summer Festival is no different," Mayor Rick Sollars said. "It never made sense to close the Heritage Park Petting Farm during our summer festivals -- after all, it's one of the biggest 'destination attractions' we have in this city. My wife and I have small children, so we know that they need a place to have fun during these types of events. We're happy to have MotorCity Moonwalks as a partner."

MotorCity Moonwalks will offer a daily armband pass. The price of the armband will be $10 on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Armbands will cost $15 on Saturday, which is the night of the Masco Fireworks Display. Meanwhile, just steps away from the moonwalks will be the Petting Farm. The carnival, moonwalks and Petting Farm will all be open on Thursday (4-11 p.m.), Friday (noon-11 p.m.) and Saturday (noon-11 p.m.). The Petting Farm will be closed on Sunday, June 29, but the carnival and moonwalks will remain open from 1-8 p.m. (June 29 is the fireworks' rain date, so those Sunday hours might change if weather becomes a problem.) 

Tickets for the Petting Farm are $5. Entry to the Petting Farm will be on the NORTH END only during the festival. The Petting Farm parking lot located at Northline and Pardee will be used during the festival as handicapped-access only, so families attending should park at any of the surrounding lots, which cost $5 per car.

Armbands for the carnival are $20, but various discounts are available through

This year's Taylor Summer Festival should be the best it has been in some time.

On opening day, Thursday, June 26, the carnival, moonwalks and Petting Farm will all open at 4 p.m. Everything will remain open until 11 p.m.

Friday, June 27, the carnival, moonwalks, Petting Farm and beer garden will open at noon. Gates open at 6 p.m. for the Friday night concert inside the Sheridan Center, which will feature The Rock Show at 7 p.m. and Satisfaction at 9 p.m. Tickets are just $5 for the concert, and can only be purchased at the gate. The Rock Show and Satisfaction are two of the better tribute bands in the country, with The Rock Show specializing in Journey and Satisfaction focusing on The Rolling Stones.

Saturday, June 28, promises to be the premiere day of the event.

Again, the carnival, moonwalks and Petting Farm will open at noon. The gates to the Sheridan Center open at 5 p.m. for the festival's main concert, which will feature country recording icon Phil Vassar, Detroit up-and-coming grassroots sensation Ty Stone and folk and Americana specialist Joe Jaber and the Last Divide. Tickets for June 28's concert are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate, and are available only through

A Lynchburg, VA, native, Vassar has released eight albums during a storied career that has seen him claim ASCAP Songwriter of the Year, Billboard County Songwriter of the Year, countless hits as both a singer and songwriter and a load of awards that enabled him to launch his own Rodeowave Entertainment label.

He’s hit the Top 5 seven times including memorable songs like “Carlene,”  “Last Day of My Life,” and “American Children.” He topped the charts with “In A Real Love” and everyone’s favorite, “Just Another Day in Paradise.” 

In addition, Tim McGraw’s “My Next Thirty Years,” Alan Jackson’s “She’s Right On The Money” and Jo Dee Messina’s “Bye, Bye” and “I’m Alright” were written by Vassar. New artist David Nail’s hit, “The Sound of a Million Dreams,” also penned by Vassar, was named the No. 1 song in Billboard’s Top 10 Country Songs of 2012.

Taste of said last year that Vassar’s knack for finding irresistible hooks is as sharp today as it was a decade ago and offered that his new song, “Love Is Alive,” finds Vassar returning to a familiar formula for success.

For Vassar, his philosophy about songs has never changed during his time spent writing hits for himself and other artists, it’s important for a song to carry a message and make the listener feel something. 

“Songs should evoke something, whether it makes you happy and puts you in a good mood, or makes you cry and feel desperation…you know, whether you’re going through a marriage, or a divorce, or you’re in love or you hate somebody, or whatever it is… songs should evoke something,” says Vassar. “And if it’s just having a drink with your friends in the hot tub, that’s just as good as any song for me! I mean, I’ve had hits with every kind of song – ballads, mid-tempos, up-tempos and silly kinds of songs.  You can’t save the whales with every song you write, that’s too heavy for me,” he adds, laughing. “I honestly don’t think I’ve written my best songs yet,” he added.

Joining Vassar on the Sheridan stage will be Stone – a self-proclaimed “powerhouse singer in an unprettified package” who combines the everyday with a chainsaw for a voice. A Detroit native, Stone motored onto the scene with “American Style,” his Top Dog/Atlantic Records debut, which was executive produced by his close friend, Kid Rock. said that “there are few singers in the music world as gifted as Ty Stone.” The opening act Saturday night will be Detroit-area rock/folk Americana band Joe Jaber and the Last Divide, famous for his wondrous new CD “Both Sides,” a savory blend of rock, folk and Americana with a dash of folk stirred in.

Saturday June 28 will be capped off by the Masco Taylor Summer Festival Fireworks Display, which promises to be bigger and better than anything in the recent past. Sponsored by the Masco Foundation, a major sponsor in the festival, Mayor Sollars remarked that the fireworks display promises to bring you out of your seat.

"Taylor has always had the reputation of great fireworks displays," he said. "At one time, we had the reputation of having the most impressive fireworks display outside of Detroit's Fourth of July performance. Frankly, I was never convinced that Detroit's were better -- and this year's Masco display will be outstanding. I promise you that."
The Taylor Summer Festival will wind down on Sunday, June 29, with the carnival and moonwalks opening at 1 p.m. Barring a fireworks rain out, the festival will close around 8 p.m. June 29.

For more information, click on the festival website; Facebook at Taylor Summer Festival; or the events' portion of the City of Taylor's Website, where all four dates offer detail.

The Taylor Summer Festival is presented by the City of Taylor, Meridian Entertainment Group and CBS Radio, which includes 99.5 WYCD Detroit’s Country and 104.3 WOMC Detroit’s Greatest Hits. Joining Masco as a sponsor of the Taylor Summer Festival thus far are The News-Herald Newspapers, Michigan CAT, Taylor Ford, Vibra Hospitals of Southeastern Michigan, Fritz Enterprises, Eastown Distributors, Taylor Chevrolet, McKinley Properties, Shwedel Dental, DTE Energy, MI Custom Signs, Trinity Transportation and Vicar's Trailer Sales.

TFT SCHOLARSHIPS: Students total $7,600 in awards

Each year the Taylor Federation of Teachers selects and highlights some outstanding students through the TFT Scholarship program.  This year, teachers of the TFT generously provided $7,600 to recognize the educational excellence in the Taylor School District and the TFT. 

Three seniors are being awarded $2,500 scholarship for academic and community excellence.  The TFT also honors two outstanding JROTC cadets, one from each high school, with a check for $50.  The cadets are selected by their Senior Army Instructors for their outstanding achievements.  In addition, Rhonda Reilly (TFT Substitute Teacher) was awarded the $1,000 TFT partial Dues Payer Scholarship.

Twenty-seven students submitted scholarship applications for the three divisions, eight from TFT member’s children, 10 from Harry S. Truman High and nine from John F. Kennedy High.

The highly achieved applicants received confirm what many already knew: Taylor teachers do an outstanding job of educating students every day.  So, thanks you to all members for always doing the best for the students!

A special thanks to the following committee members who gave so generously of their time and talents in judging these scholarships: Deborah O'Connor, chairperson   Debra Zielinski, Teresa Bartaway, Heather Roberts, Rebecca Collins and Paula Long.

Congratulations to the entire class of 2014 and thank you to teachers for always giving 100 percent. 

  • $2,500 Scholarships were awarded to:  Anna Ciarlino (top), Harry S. Truman High School; Melissa Woloszyk (at right), John F. Kennedy High School; and James A. Bergler (middle photo), son of Hoover Band Director James Bergler. 
  • $50 JROTC Achievement Awards were given to Courtney Bonneau, John F. Kennedy High School; and Delores Johnson, Harry S. Truman High School.  


June 3 was a fun day at McDowell Elementary School. The classes alternated between Fun Day activities and field day assigned times.

Grades 3-5 had field day activities from 9- 11 a.m. Grades K-2 had field day activities from 12:45-2:45 p.m. Activitiers included Tug of War, Buddy Walkers, Hula Hoops, Frisbee Golf, Freeze pop station, Basketball Relay, Bucket Brigade and the Shoe Kick.

The rest of the fun came with a bowling competition, volleyball games and the always-popular bouncies!

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Class knows how to throw a party

The McDowell Elementary School special education class had an end of the year celebration. It featured lots of excitement came with good food, visitors and a fun time for the class. The students dressed up and were on their best behavior for the party that was planned by their teachers, Ms. Santarossa and Ms. Maddox.

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Children surprised by awards ceremony

Seventeen McDowell Elementary School pupils were surprised recently by a special award ceremony just for them.

Parents were secretly invited, and the whole school was in attendance, to witness the top achieving MEAP students receive their recognition. These third, fourth and fifth graders successfully passed all of their assigned portions of the MEAP test.  Each scholar received an achievement certificate, lava lamp, dinner certificate and a raffle ticket.  

The raffle tickets were gathered and Dave Sajdak, of Karn Sitkins Payette Insurance Agency, drew the lucky ticket. Allison was the raffle winner and she received a new tablet donated by Mr. Sajdak and KSP Insurance.

A huge thank you to KSP Insurance for their support and a giant congratulations to our top MEAP achievers!

Monday, June 9, 2014

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: School is ending, but it's time to read on!

McDowell Elementary School pupils hate for library to come to an end as the school year closes, but they are always glad to get their successful completion certificates with summer reading suggestions on it.

The staff wants all of its learners to read at least four books over the summer (at their level) to maintain their good reading ability.

Everyone should remember to visit the Taylor Community Library located inside Heritage Park on Pardee Road.

Make a day of it with the “3 P's” … please -

1. Pick up a good book!
2. Picnic in the park
3. Play!

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Little ones graduate with a stunning ceremony

The end of kindergarten means moving up and moving on -- and move they did at McDowell Elementary School’s end of the year "Salute to America" concert.

Every little patriotic voice and foot lifted up during the performance. The students then received their kindergarten certificates from Mrs. Doll and Ms. Bochenek and invited their families to join them in a little reception of juice and cookies.

EUREKA HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: End of year means bowling!

Eureka Heights Elementary School fifth graders celebrate the end of the year at their bowling field trip.