Saturday, March 18, 2017

TOMMIE SAYLOR: Doing what's best often means sacrifice

“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.”
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

It's what's best for the kids ...

Those are words we hear on a daily basis. But two different types of people often speak them.  There are those who speak these words out of convenience, a way to solicit a response, to pluck at our heartstrings and conscience.  Speaking these works like swinging a baseball bat, some people use these words for their own gain. 

But those of us who understand that these words have meaning far beyond what can be defined by Webster, doing what is best for kids are our “windmills” with whom we “tilt” at daily.  Those who truly understand these words will do what is best for kids regardless of how it affects them. 

Making the right decision may mean extra work on the part of the educator, maybe even bending a few rules because it is what is best for a specific student.  This can cause anxiety because those who live by these words often get shunned and ridiculed. 

But what others don’t understand is that it is about the student, not the rule. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for anarchy. Rules need to be enforced, but they need to be enforced with understanding. In our world, there is no black and white, only shades of gray.

Doing what is best for kids often means standing against others, against policy and against convenience.  Often it means late nights, early days and very little sleep between.  Often it means no social life, breaking appointments and disappointing your own family.  It means placing your students’ needs before your own needs.

Truly doing what is best for kids means giving them the benefit of the doubt. It means that the learning trumps process and procedure. It means you recommend to the bosses the best course of action even if it means harming you personally – even if it may mean the elimination of your own job. 

When you begin placing the needs of your students before your own needs, then you understand what it is to do what’s best for kids.

Helping students to find their greatness. Making Kennedy High School the school of choice. Excellence by design.

MALLOW DROP & BUNNY HOP scheduled for April 8 -- register now!

DECA CONTINUES success at the state level in Detroit

DECA state competition was a great success this year.

Twenty-seven Truman High School students competed at the state level in Detroit recently. The students were dressed professionally every day and represented the school with honor.

Junaid Syed, Starr Lewis and Caroline Vaughn won medals for their financial literacy promotion plan. and Amario Massey won medals for his test score, role-play score, overall highest score and a plaque as a finalist to compete at nationals in California at the end of April. His program was on hotel and lodging management.

Kirsten Collett, Junaid Syed, and Sara Sherazi were awarded the “Thrive” plaque for their chapter campaign and will also represent Truman at the national competition.

Truman high school was awarded plaques for 100-percent membership and the “Gimme Five” award.

DECA Director Carly Lundgren Barnard wants to thank all staff and community members that aided the group.

J & V Excavating donated $1,000 to help pay for the hotel bill and PizzaPapalis donated dinner on Friday night after a long day of competing.

She wants to thank Stephen Weatherholt, Melissa Skopczynski, Jennifer Cotton and John Cotton for judging events and Shayna Hale, Rita Zalewski, and Kerrie Voorheis for helping test and prepare the students for competition.

Over 10 Truman families attended the award ceremony at Detroit’s Cobo Hall and cheered for Truman. The entire Truman staff has, as always, been truly supportive of our DECA members.

EUREKA HEIGHT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL sets a trap for St. Paddy's Day

At Eureka Heights Elementary School, Mrs. Rybski's and Mrs. Risk's Third Graders presented their Leprechaun Traps. Did they catch any? That’s a big secret. Great job with the design and architecture of these traps!

TRUMAN HIGH SCHOOL group wows 'em at Youth in Government Conference

Truman High School students recently attended and had great success at the Youth in Government Conference, including crowing a feature supreme court justice along the way.

The students represented Truman High School by being on time for all their meetings, participating in all events and were well behaved.

Also, the advisors voted in each committee for a student that rose above and beyond the other students. They looked for that student who took a leadership role.

Nicolas Garcia won “Best Supreme Court Judge”! When they were announcing the award, the speaker said that Nicolas won the award the very first day of the conference as he made such a powerful impression on the advisors. This is unprecedented!

The staff would also like to give a shout out to Kerrie Voorheis for all her help getting the confirmation numbers and allotting Title I money for the trip. Everyone makes a great team here at Truman.


HOOVER MIDDLE SCHOOL band in tip-top shape

The Hoover Middle School Concert Band recently received a 1st Division rating at MSBOA Band Festival on March 15.

All three performance judges awarded the band a 1st Division rating for a unanimous score. A huge “thank you” goes out to Band Director Jim Bergler for his hard work and dedication.

The success of the Hoover MS Concert Band is a direct result of Mr. Bergler's ongoing commitment to excellence.

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Superintendent makes a visit

March is reading month and Supt. Ben Williams’ favorite book from his childhood is "Goodnight Moon".

He was fortunate to have been able to spend a few hours reading to K-3 grade classes at Randall Elementary School recently. The children enjoyed the story, and he had an absolute blast reading it to them.

Reading to young kids is so much fun!

KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL: Meadows wins state title, teams finish strong

Congratulations to Angela Meadows and the Kennedy High School Bowling Teams.

The girls’ varsity finished 11th and the boys finished 10th overall in the Michigan High School Athletic Association State Finals.

Senior Meadows won the Division 2 Girls State Bowling Championship. She is the second State Champion in singles’ competition in the 16 years of high school bowling at Kennedy High School.

In boys’ individual play, senior Jacob Brophy placed 22nd and sophomore Brandon West placed 38th.


Here's the latest weekly video from Truman High School Principal Melissa Skopczynski!

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL celebrates the green!

Welcome to St. Patrick's Day shenanigans at McDowell Elementary School!

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL class learns about Chromebooks

Mrs. Cahalan's third-grade class at Randall Elementary School learned about Chromebooks with Derek Kaunelis, the district's Elementary Technology Facilitator.

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL pupils, others enjoy benefits of research

Mrs. Cahalan’s third-grade students at Randall Elementary School spent weeks researching products made in Michigan. 

They then learned how to make slideshows in Google drive.  Every student created a slide show about their product after conducting internet research. 

They invited our loved ones to see our slideshows on March 13 and also did a taste test celebration, tasting the Michigan products we researched. 

Among the yummy treats were Faygo, Vernor's, Better Made chips, Kellogg's cereal, Vlasic pickles, Hudsonville ice cream and Mackinac fudge. 

Huge thank you goes out to Ms. Handley who donated Coney dogs with all the fixings for our group to share!

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL finds fun in fraction field

The “Equivalent Fraction Field” was a fun way for students to show off their creativity while practicing writing fractions. With the help of Mrs. Bennett-Davis, third- and fourth-grade students crafted their own unique creatures and learned different ways to come up with equivalent fractions at Randall Elementary School

MYERS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL pupils spend time at museum

Mrs. Schulte's and Mr. Bryant's class at Myers Elementary School spent time recently at The Ann Arbor Hands on Museum.