Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Following are the recipients of the 2014-2015 Taylor Public Schools Foundation for Educational Excellence mini grants.

The teachers were awarded their mock checks and balloons "Publisher Clearing House style" on Friday, November 21. The Foundation had $6,100 to award. The Taylor Alumni Association also put in $2,484 toward the Arts, with a total of $8,584 going to our students through the applications of our teachers.

The following are the recipients of the Arts and Non Arts Mini Grants:
  • Randall - Donna Cahalan $1,000 for English Language Arts Tutoring/ Drama Club
  • Kennedy - Andrea Bonner $3,236 for four scholarships to go to Washington DC with the Band & Chorus
  • Truman - Susan E. Peterson $340 for Cross Curricular Visual Arts Development
  • Randall - Kara Holstein $994.13 Math Common Core
  • Hoover - Kathleen Miller and Kristine Kenzie $440 for Bringing Engineering Design into the classroom with NaSA activities
  • Randall - Pam German and Jessica Hatfield  $302.16 for Technology in the classroom
  • Taylor Parks - Debra Zielinski $1,460.28 for Daily 5 Literacy Program /Listening Center
  • Randall - Brandy McCracken $811.43 Chorus Shirts and Musical Instruments

 The Foundation of Educational Excellence would like to thank all who applied.

MYERS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Buddies get together

The Myers Elementary School third grade students in Mrs. Young’s class got together with the kindergarten buddies from Mrs. Wild’s class to make a yummy treat. 

The third graders helped their buddies make a cornucopia cookie.  After making the yummy treats the children read Thanksgiving stories and colored turkeys and cornucopias.


Eureka Heights Elementary School “fall fun!” PTA evening event and parent sessions!


Eureka Heights Elementary School fifth- and first-grade math buddies meet once a month to play math games!

TOMMIE SAYLOR: Education, like the hunt, rewards hard work

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”
Nelson Mandela

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

It is dark, so dark that I can barely make out the shadow of shapes that surround me, as the bitter cold air bites at my exposed skin causing it to become icy numb.  Wrapped in layers of cotton and cloth, and seeing my breath freeze in vaporous clouds before me, I vigilantly stand watch while Mother Nature pours her crystalline snowflakes over me as if I was standing at the edge of a waterfall. 

Slowly, and with the slightest of margins, the day breaks revealing slivers of the forest of which I sit so patiently awaiting my prize.  Just as the first rays of light begin to cut through the forest revealing the majesty of God’s creation, I hear the crunch thud of a heavy hoof.  It is not the rapid scurrying of a squirrel, the flutter of a bird or the inconsistent plop of a rabbit.

It is the most recognizable crunch thud of a much larger critter, the approach of a deer.  I twist, and slowly turn straining my eyes searching for the beast, when through its movement I spot my prey. 

A large, brown, beautiful animal cautiously swaying through the forest tilting its head this way and that way looking for danger.  He does not see me.  I become nervous, my heart pounds, though it is well below freezing I begin to sweat, my hands shake not in fear but in quiet exhilaration, my mind screams at me as I hear my father’s and grandfather’s voice giving me advice, telling me what to do. 

Slowly, without taking my eyes off the majestic beast, I bring my weapon to bear, aim with the precision of thousands of practiced shots, and squeeze the trigger.

The hunt has just begun, as dawn is near at hand;
I feel the stag a coming, floating across the land.

I wait in nervous torture, my heart begins to pound;
Blood-lust fuels my temper, the stag I’m here to hound.

I see the beast a moving, my weapon I raise to sight;
I squeeze the trigger slowly, the gun screams out its might.

My soul cries out in vengeance, the stag gets hit by lead;
My eyes begin to water, the beast is lying dead….

For as long as I can remember, from a very young age, I dreamed of being able to go on a hunting trip with my father and perhaps, God willing, my sons. 

In the last couple of years this dream has come true, as my father, my sons, my nephew and I have made it a tradition of gathering at my father’s cabin during hunting season for camaraderie, fellowship, and hunting.  For the most part, I don’t even care if I am able to harvest a deer, though I am filled with joy and pride when one of my son’s do. 

For me, it is all about just being able to be together, spending time with “the guys”, being able to see my boys enjoying my father’s company, not having to worry about work, not feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, it’s all about worry free time with those you love.

Dreams can come true, but they must be prodded along with lots of hard work, blood, sweat, and often tears; and with an unyielding strength, a sense of vigilance almost to the point of fanaticism.  We need to teach our students that things just don’t happen in life because you are lucky, because you simply want them, that their goals and dreams must be pursued, fought for, and chased with diligence.  If not anything else, the one most important thing that our students need to know upon graduation, is that hard work pays off, that no one makes it very far in life without working hard, and that not all your efforts will bear fruit.

If you want a dream to come true, make it a priority, pursue it relentlessly through, past, around, and over any obstacles, and never give up.

Until you quit, you have not failed.

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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Helping hide the turkeys!

My name is Tom Turkey and I'm as afraid as can be! I'm wearing my disguise so the farmer won't catch me!

That's the title of the wall outside Mrs. Lavender's first grade classroom at McDowell Elementary School. As you can see, the students did a great job of camouflaging their turkey friends!

SIXTH GRADE ACADEMY: Habitat research project

Ms. Brewer's students at the Sixth Grade Academy created their own Habitat Research Project. You can see by looking at their work that the student's had a great time being creative and learning about an animal and its habitat. The projects are on display in the school library.

MYERS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Learning about symmetry

Mrs. Wilds Kindergarten class at Myers Elementary School was learning about symmetry – something that has the same size and shape on both sides of a dividing line.  Students enjoyed making symmetrical paintings.

MYERS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Bitty Ball explosion!

The Myers Elementary School Mustang Bitty Ball Girls Basketball Team played their first game of the season against Randall Elementary recently and won 41-0!  Way to go Myers Mustangs!

MYERS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Staff celebrates at church

Myers Elementary School Mustang staff is all smiles at Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Party hosted by New Hope Church in Wayne on November 17.  Dinner included praise, party and plenty of delicious food!  Thank you New Hope!

MYERS ELEMENTARY SCHOL: Gloves are a welcome addition

For the past few months, The Department of Human Services in Taylor has held raffles and collected money to purchase gloves for the students at Myers Elementary School.

On November 17, Mrs. Bennett from the Department of Human Services visited Myers during the school-wide “Tribes” assembly to present the students with 115 pairs of brand new gloves. The school is very grateful for the generosity from the employees of the Taylor DHS office. Thank you for caring and helping to keep the students warm this winter!


Kara Holstein’s kindergarten class at Randall Elementary School did lots of fun activities on the 50th day of school.

They did the bunny hop, hulahoop and twist for 50 seconds. They also made predictions if the ice cream would float or sink in the cola. The kids dressed in the 1950s attire including the teacher, and had a blast!


The third grade students at Mrs. Filiccia's Myers Elementary School class were busy brainstorming ideas on how to save a turkey from being the main course for Thanksgiving Day dinner.

They attempted to persuade the reader to "Eat more pizza, nachos, chicken, tomato soup or pumpkin pie, etc." The students really enjoyed brainstorming ideas and writing their thoughts on paper, not to mention designing their own personal turkey.

"Just say NO to Turkey! Eat more pizza!"