Thursday, September 17, 2015

TRUMAN CHEER wants you to pink out on October 2

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Truman Varsity Cheerleading wants to paint the football bleachers pink with fans. Show your support for the fight against breast cancer. 

Cheerleaders will be selling pink out baked goods, and selling 50/50 raffle tickets. All proceeds will be donated to the Relay for Life, an organization the cheerleaders have supported for the last two years! 

They are the "Cheerleaders for a Cure" and will run a crew with the relay in May at Heritage Park. 

TAKE NOTE: The Junior Varsity will host it's pink out Jon October 22.

TRUMAN HIGH SCHOOL: Help out the cheerleaders by bowling on September 19

Truman Cheerleading is hosting a bowling fundraiser from 7-9 p.m. at Skore Lanes on Saturday.

Tickets are $20 a person. Includes pizza, pop, shoes, and two hours of bowling. Tickets are on sale through any Truman cheerleader. 

There will be raffle baskets, 50/50, bake sale, and lots of fun! Invite friends, family, coworkers, and anybody you can to support Truman Cheerleading.

FORMAL DRESS RESALE continues online; click on for good buys!

Truman High School Cheerleading’s “Say Yes to the Dress” formal resale day didn’t go as well as planned, but the squad still has a formal dress resale page on Facebook.  All the dresses are still posted on the site, along with who owns the dress. There are some great buys on the page – so if you’re looking for a good look at a good price, click on here.

TRUMAN AND KENNEDY cheerleading teams are photographed

Pictured are the Varsity Truman and Kennedy cheerleading teams along with the junior varsity squads
Remember, its "Taylor's Cheer" teams.

KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL: Cheer, bracelets head up suicide prevention

During National Suicide Prevention Week, Kennedy High School students were given friendship bracelets colored teal and purple, the color of the suicide prevention. 
In the photo, cheerleaders cheer with posters taped on their backs, showing their fans that they matter. Next year the squads plans even bigger and better things.


The Animal Magic Assembly visited Eureka Heights Elementary School on September 17. Everyone enjoyed the show. Here are some photos from the day's events.

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL hosts open house September 16

Holland Elementary School hosted it's Open House on Wednesday, September 16. Parents visited their child's classroom and toured the rest of the building. Here are some pictures from Mrs. Scarpace's first-grade class.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Making sure everyone knows the rules

Staff and pupils are getting the rules down at McDowell Elementary School. At the beginning of each year it is always important  to start the semester out right. In these photos Ms. Borg, our principal, is letting the boys and girls know how to be safe, respectful and responsible.

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Children 'buddy up' to learn important lessons

Fourth graders at Holland Elementary School buddied up with Kindergartens to learn about "Bucketfilling" and also to do some reading. It looks like the start of a great year and some great relationships!

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Photos from open house

McDowell Elementary School recently held an open house. The school is just a building when it's empty, but when you add our families, staff and students -- that's when we become a community! Thank you  to everyone who attended!

KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL fundraiser scheduled after pressbox fire

There will be a fundraiser held for the burned Kennedy High School football stadium pressbox from 5-9 p.m. October 3 at the Taylor Eagles.

The Eagles club is located at 23900 Goddard.

The spaghetti dinner fundraiser will cost $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

Donations are needed for raffle prizes.

Call Dennis (313) 409-5496 or Karen (313) 472-7031 for more information.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

TOMMIE SAYLOR: OK teachers, its time to lead ...

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

It’s zero dark thirty, early morning I think, but I don’t know for sure.

Leaning hard against my rucksack, a backpack holding some 60 pounds of gear, I gaze at the stars in quiet retreat. Little points of light by the millions, each an individual entity, yet together a wash of sparkling glitter upon the blackened canvas of a cold winter’s sky.

My breath comes labored and deep, spilling little clouds of crystalline vapor into the night, as I sit upon the cold December ground with my legs stretched before me. Drenched in my own sweat and exhausted almost to the point of collapse, I ponder upon the chain of events that brought me to this point in my life.

I started school a little later than most, so a few days after graduation I turned 19 years old. I set out to seek my place in life, wandering from job to job, working at McDonald’s and at a factory that made tables, chairs and other such products out of wood. I even washed dishes at a bakery.

I took a few college classes. It was nothing serious, but enough to keep my parents off my back. I did not do well in college, it was not a priority for me. I was more interested in being young and having fun.

After a few years of this, I came to the conclusion that working a minimum wage job while taking a few classes was just not for me. I wanted excitement, I wanted life to be fun. I joined the Army in hopes that I would find the fun and excitement my otherwise boring life was lacking.

Now here I sit upon the side of a road along with a Battalion of other men, on the final leg of the final test of Basic Training, a 21-mile road march in full battle gear. The distance and the gear was only part of the test. Yesterday we were jarred from our racks at zero four hundred as always, pushed through a full day of training by relentless Drill Instructors, geared up at twenty two hundred hours (10:00 p.m.) and set out on a 21-mile road march.

So, after a full 18-hour day, we were given our final test: Complete a 21-mile road march or fail Basic Training and face having to start all over again with another unit. I recycled. The march was well regulated in true Army fashion. Walk for 50 minutes, rest for 10.

This went on all night long, and now that we have been up for over 24 hours, with most of the march behind us. This was perhaps the final rest break. We all knew what lay ahead: The three most grievous hills know to man, Misery, Agony and Heartbreak, each more torturous than the last.

From out of the gloom came a mountain with arms, Drill Sergeant Cole. Well over six feet tall, wide at the shoulders, narrow at the hip, and arms the size of tree trunks, Drill Sergeant Cole barked out in his usual deep gravely voice, “On your feet, on your feet.”

Doing as instructed, one by one we climbed to our feet, checked our gear, and began placing one foot in front of the other slowly moving forward in quiet anguish.

Almost immediately the first of the three monsters appeared before me, the hill known as Misery. As I gazed upon this hill that seemed to climb into the heavens, I was startled by the sudden presence of Drill Sergeant Cole walking at my side. The Drill Sergeant looked at me and said, “Don’t fallout. As platoon leader, the eyes of the entire platoon will be upon you. If you fallout, so will they.”

I responded with the usual ,”Drill Sergeant, yes Drill Sergeant”. I don’t know why he picked me to be the platoon leader weeks ago, maybe it was because when I entered Basic Training I was much older than the normal recruit. I was 22 years old and most of the others were only around 18. Maybe it was because I was married, already had a kid, and had the most to lose.

Regardless of his reasoning, I was the platoon leader and it was up to me to get my platoon over these hills.

The ascent began in earnest, and almost immediately I could feel the effects. My breath came hard burning my lungs in the cold December air feeling as if my entire chest was on fire. My back began to spasm in pain, and my legs screamed for relief as every nerve fired with punishing vengeance.

Yet I continued to climb this hill, for there was no way that I was going to fail this test and start Basic Training all over again. As I crested the hill known as Misery, I looked back only to see the eyes of every member of my platoon looking up at me, Drill Sergeant Cole was right, they were watching me.

Though the down slope was a welcomed relief, the next hill lived up to its name in every way, Agony.

On this hill I almost lost my nerve, I almost gave up. My feet hurt so much; it felt as if I was walking barefoot on glass. I could feel the warm slipperiness of blood between my toes that comes from blisters that have burst open and were now bleeding, soaking my socks and filling my boots with a sticky slurry of blood and sweat.

My head pounded with fatigue, my shoulders rubbed raw from the constant jostling of my rucksack, my eyes blurred from the strain, as my back shuttered in anguish from little bolts of pain that would strike suddenly like lightening. As I began to justify to myself why I should just give it up, I became aware of other recruits that had fallen out of formation, and gave up the cause.

First came a few; many followed. Once again Drill Sergeant Cole was correct, when a platoon leader fell out of formation, the platoon became decimated with others who followed his lead and gave up the fight as well. I could not do this to my platoon, to my men, to my brothers who have suffered so many ills with me. I could not do this to my wife and kid at home, to my mother and father who were so proud of me for making the decision to serve my country. I could not do this to myself. So I trudged on and crested the demon hill known as Agony.

Following a very modest downward slope, we were upon the final hill, the hill that has retired more people than Social Security, the hill known as Heartbreak.

As I started up this fiend of a hill, carefully and meticulously placing one foot in front of the other, my body now prickly and numb from nerves that could no longer fire, I felt the eyes of my platoon upon me. I felt many of those eyes pushing me, shoving me forward in defiance of this hill, giving me strength and hoping that I had the fortitude to continue.

Yet just as many of those eyes were latching on to me, allowing them to be dragged up that hill by my stubbornness, secretly hoping that I would just give up so that they had a reason to do the same. With every step the tug of those eyes upon me became greater, overwhelming, almost impossible to bear.

I prayed that I would not break, but I knew my breaking point was upon me. I could not feel my feet; they were like two tubs of concrete attached to frayed sinew. A tear rolled down my check, my soul screamed in frustration, I gave this hill my final measure.

I crested Heartbreak, the devourer of dreams, and as I stood upon her shoulders I turned around to see the entire platoon, each and every man filing up to join me at the finish line.

The 2015–2016 school year is now upon us, and we have three large hills to climb, the first, second and third trimesters. Once again, I feel your eyes as teachers upon my back as the principal, some pushing and others pulling. Yet together we will stand upon the crest of the final hill in triumph, together we will make this school year the best one yet.

But keep in mind that upon your back are the eyes of your students. How and where will you lead them?

Making Kennedy the school of choice. Excellence by design.

READING CORPS holds second Oktoberfest celebration

The Taylor Reading Corps, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that recruits, trains and supervises adult reading mentors that aid Taylor School District students preschool through third grade, is hosting its second annual Oktoberfest at the Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens on October 3.
The event will run from 2-9 p.m. and is only $2 to enter. 

Food stations featuring Chicken Coop, Jay Ray's and Malek Al Kabob will be available. 

Live bands will feature the Gasoline Gypsies, Social Bandits, Mom Barley, The Tom Toms, John Bardy and the Keys to Your Heart and Jay Fry.

There will be plenty of games.

College football will also be playing on the big screen.

Sponsor packages and in-kind donations are still available. If you are interested, please contact the Reading Corps at (734) 225-1213.


The Taylor Public Schools Foundation for Educational Excellence and The Taylor Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force are holding a Taylor Comedy Night Fundraiser to be held at 7 p.m., Friday, September 25, at the Taylor Knights of Columbus Hall, 24900 Brest Road. 

The proceeds of this fundraiser will benefit the following programs:
  • The Foundation’s Project Support Program to assist the Taylor School District with high quality projects and programs for grades K-12 in Taylor schools.
  • The Taylor Summer Arts & Prevention Academy which provides art instruction, drama, dance, exercise, nutrition, gardening and substance abuse education to at-risk youth in grades 6 through 12 in Taylor.

Tickets are $20 each and will feature nationally known comedians Kevin McPeek and Sal Demilio. 

Tickets are available during regular business hours at the Taylor School District Administration Office at 23303 Northline Road, Taylor, or by calling (734) 374-1200, ext. 4 or (313) 295-7313. 

Basket raffles, a 50/50 raffle, soft drinks, beer, wine and pizza will be available. 

Doors open at 6 p.m. and show time begins at 7 p.m.

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL to host next Taylor on Watch 'Neighborhood Watch' meeting

Are you interested in fighting crime and making your neighborhood a safer place to life?

Taylor on Watch is an educational program that focuses on crime prevention and teaches residents and businesses how to make it more difficult to become the victim of crime. The next meeting is at Randall Elementary School.

Blocks and neighborhoods that want to become more invested in their immediate community can learn crime prevention and security tips via Taylor on Watch meetings. Small groups of neighborhoods can join together and learn what to watch for to protect their families and their neighborhoods.

Police Chief Mary Sclabassi held four regional meetings last year that served as a great introduction to the program. 

This year, she plans on more in-depth development of the anti-crime education. The next meeting is scheduled at Clarence Randall Elementary School at 7 p.m. on September 23. The school is located at 8699 Robert.

Crime prevention programs like these are a priority of both Chief Sclabassi and Mayor Rick Sollars.

"We can all sit down, hear about best practices when it comes to neighborhood safety efforts, and also share concerns about specific parts of our city," Mayor Sollars said about the program.

Police Chief Mary Sclabassi agreed. “The police cannot be everywhere, all the time,” she said. “We need eyes and ears in the community. We are constantly aided by what concerned residents see and hear. And, given the proper education in what to look for, they can make their own neighborhoods safer. It’s all a learning process.”

For more information, contact the Taylor Police Department at (734) 287-6611. For a complete list of upcoming meetings, see the attached schedule.

MISS DOWNRIVER SCHOLARSHIP PAGEANT scheduled for 4 p.m. September 19

The Miss Downriver Scholarship Pageant 2015 is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, September 19, at William Ford Senior Citizens Activity Center, 6750 Troy Street.

Tickets will be available at the door and reservations will be available as we get closer to the event. Admission is only $5 for our All Kids Matter Program (which begins at 10 a.m.) and only $10 for the Miss Downriver & Teen Downriver program. Proceeds from all programs will be used for the Miss Downriver Scholarship Fund.

For more information, email: or phone: (734) 716-0519. Or click on Facebook at Miss Downriver Scholarship Program

Executive Director Nancy Stahl said that title holders are available, free of charge, for public appearances. Please send requests to or call Stahl at (734) 716-0519 for more information.

MISS DOWNRIVER Special Needs Pageant set for 10 a.m. September 19

The Miss Downriver pageant's special needs pageant, the only one in Southeastern Michigan, kicks off at the William Ford Senior Activities Center at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 19. The center is located at 6750 Troy.

There is no cost for our participants with special needs and there is no limit on the number of participants.

For more about the event, email or phone (734) 716-0519. You can also click on Facebook at Miss Downriver Scholarship Program

Pageant title holders are available, free of charge, for public appearances. Please send your request to or call Nancy Stahl at (734) 716-0519 for more information.

COMMISSIONER RAY BASHAM schedules Taylor meeting to talk about Wayne County financial problems

Wayne County Commissioner Raymond Basham will hold a Town Hall meeting in Taylor to discuss county issues – especially significant financial concerns – and provide residents the opportunity to ask questions.

The meeting will be held at  6 p.m. October 1 at Taylor City Hall, 23555 Goddard Road.

“It is important that residents know what is going on with Wayne County, especially since the county is now under a state-imposed consent agreement,” Commissioner Basham said. “There are so many other important issues the county is facing, including the elimination of retirees’ health care, reorganization of services and the countywide budget. This will provide a good opportunity for residents to get information.”

The 14th District covers Brownstown Township, Flat Rock, Rockwood, Taylor and Woodhaven.

Commissioner Basham chairs the Committee on Audit, which works closely with the county’s Office of Legislative Auditor General to find ways for the county to save money and be more efficient. He also is vice-chairman of the Committee on Public Services and serves on the Committee on Public Safety, Judiciary and Homeland Security.

Contact Commissioner Basham’s office at (313) 224-0876, send him an email at or visit for more information.   


Are you interested in music? Does your child play in the school band? Here's a chance to see top-of-the-line musical talent for free.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will bring its free "DSO in Your Community" tour to the Wayne County Community College District's Downriver Campus at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 24.

The performance will be held in the Heinz Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center on the campus, located at 21000 Northline Road.

Anyone who plans to attend must reserve a free ticket by calling (313) 576-511 or by clicking on

WCCCD HOSTS Public Safety Fair and Open House September 26

Are you interested in public safety? Do you have a child who might be interested in becoming a firefighter of police officer?

Here's a great chance for you.

A Public Safety Fair and Open House will be held at the Wayne County Community College District's Downriver Campus, 21000 Northline, on Saturday, September 26.

It will take place from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

This will involve educational fun for the whole family, including activities like fire extinguisher training, home emergency preparedness and hands only CPR. Those attending can meet firefighters, EMS personnel, law enforcement officers and college EMS and fire students.

Admission is free. For more information, call (734) 946-3500 or click on

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL children put finishing touches on new gym painting

Holland Elementary School pupils put the finishing touches on the new paint job surrounding the gymnasium in the building last week.

The new fresh color and artwork were a welcome addition to the first week of school.

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL pupils bring a school day to a fitting end

Some lessons are about math, others about science. But some of the greatest lessons in school are about something even more basic than those subjects.

How about a little personaL responsibility and hard work? 

Here, Holland Elementary School physical education pupils turn into great helpers and are hard at work returning equipment at the end of the day.


Here, Holland Elementary School teachers spend some extra time to foster the professional learning community during class recess.

A professional learning community (PLC) is an extended learning opportunity to foster collaborative learning among colleagues within a particular work environment or field.

It is often used in schools as a way to organize teachers into working groups.

BLOGGER SEEKING master list of key district contact telephones numbers

For those who have visited the Talking Taylor School site and requested that we publish a list of key contact telephone numbers in the Taylor School District, take note that we are working on that with the school administration. Hopefully, we'll publish that soon. 

Pending that, this page in Taylor Today does gave general telephone numbers to various schools in the district: