Saturday, February 27, 2016

TOMMIE SAYLOR: Embrace intelligent change and unify as one

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”
Serenity Prayer, authored by Reinhold Niebuhr

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

In those quiet moments of reflection, I do not pray for wealth or health, I pray for wisdom.

Wisdom to make the best decisions that can be made in any situation, to give the best advice that one could possibly offer, to find the best course of action, or the most appropriate path in which to lead others. 

Knowing that each day others rely on me and my ability to make “the right” decision, is a burden that weighs heavy; and each decision is a lonely, mental struggle as it is filtered through years of experience, strict policies, ambiguous procedures, political ramifications and what is best for our students. 

In essence, each decision has the potential for greatness or ruin, and even if everything works out just fine, is a “land mine” waiting to go off sometime in the unforeseen future.

It is for this reason that when given the luxury of time, a great deal of forethought is placed into the decision-making process. It means reviewing data, past practices and best practices.  In short, when given the opportunity to conduct research to insure that we are doing the most good for the greatest number of people, this gift is accepted with reverence. It is not tarnished by personal agenda’s or hidden schemes.

Given the above, when change comes – and it is inevitable – let that decision come from wisdom, not from emotion. I understand that change is hard and that fear of the unknown is real, but resisting said change with illogical banter and ignorance serves no purpose.  Neither does closing one’s eyes in hopes that the conditions that are forcing a change will simply go away. This is a recipe for disaster. 

Unity is need when change begins. Divisiveness only serves the darkest of masters and makes the change that much more painful.  Only by coming together can the pains and fears of change be mitigated.  When we stand together, all manners of change can be absorbed, obstacles overcome and hardships weathered.  United, fear is but a drop in an ocean of confidence, and change nothing more than a path we have yet to traverse.

Before us lies a great change that we have seen coming for many years, a change that cannot be avoided.  Likewise, before us lies a choice: Either we can let wisdom prevail, or let fear consume us.

How and where will you lead them. Making Kennedy the school of choice. Excellence by design.


Second graders in Ms. Hutchison's reading group at McDowell Elementary School built a storyboard about "Big Al," by Andrew Clements.

The board presented the story's problem, events in Al's fish life and a solution. These students presented their board on morning announcements for the entire school.

HOOVER MIDDLE SCHOOL band members earn honors

Congratulations to the following the Hoover Middle School Band students who performed at the MSBOA District 12 Solo and Ensemble Festival earlier in February at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. 

Each student performed a solo, duet or trio for a musical judge. The judge then gave them an overall rating. Each student that received a First or Second Division Rating received a medal.

Pianist and Assistant Superintendent Teresa Winnie accompanied the soloists.

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL learns about solar system

Ms. Hutchison's third grade reading group at McDowell Elementary School has been studying the solar system.

The pupils learned that each planet has a certain number of moons, as well as the distance of each planet from the sun. The group created a large poster so that other students could learn more about space.

PARENT RESOURCE CENTER hosts Beaumont-sponsored cooking class

Cooking matters when it comes to your health and the health of your children.

The Taylor School District Parent Resource Center is partnering with Beaumont Health to offer a six-week class called “Cooking Matters.”

A certified nutritionist, as well as a chef, will host the class. During the six weeks you will learn about making healthy choices, how to prepare healthy meals on a budget, how to shop for healthy choices on a budget and more.

This is a hands-on class where you will get to help prepare and then sample new dishes.  You will also be given the ingredients to go home and make the dish for your family. You will go on a field trip to a grocery store where you will receive a challenge.  Title I Parent Facilitator Nanette Kuhn took this class and said it was great fun.

This is a free class but you must register in advance. Look for the flier (included here) to come home with your child or you can also visit the “Parents” page of the district website

KINYON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL singers rock the gym

The Kinyon Elementary School second-grade students recently rocked out in honor of Black History Month. Special thanks goes to music teacher Jessica Brady.

HOOVER MIDDLE SCHOOL Jazz Band performs at dinner

The Hoover Middle School Jazz Band performed at the Taylor Foundation for Educational Excellence Spaghetti Dinner Fund raiser held at the Ford Senior Center on Tuesday February 23.


The light table has been a unique way to explore shapes for the children in Mrs. Long’s classroom at the Johnson Early Childhood Center.

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL children love computers

Second graders from Holland Elementary School  love the computer lab.

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL has tons of fun with Ann Arbor Hands On Science Museum presentation

Wow! Pupils from Holland Elementary School had tons of fun on Family Science Night with the Ann Arbor Hands On Science Museum.

It paid a visit to the school. For two hours pupils played in slime, created watercolors, made unbelievable bubbles and launched Mentos to the ceiling. There were well over 100 participants and the atmosphere was electric.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

EUREKA HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL parenting session featured

Here are some photographs from the Eureka Heights Elementary School and Mrs. Bell's February parent session.

EUREKA HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: More photos of friendship centers

Here are some more photographs from the Eureka Heights Elementary School kindergarten friendship centers.

EUREKA HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL features friendship centers

Here are some recent photographs from the Eureka Heights Elementary School kindergarten friendship centers.