AAPS Updates

“Exceptional” profiles

Profile and photos by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Phyllis Newman was born and raised in Ann Arbor, the daughter of the late Dr. Rev. A.J. Lightfoot Jr. and Mary C. Kidd-Lightfoot. She attended Haisley, Forsythe, and Pioneer High School. After graduating from Pioneer in 1979, …

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor Amanda Houston was born in Houston, Texas, and spent her childhood in North Brunswick, New Jersey. At the age of 13, her family—including her parents, Michigan natives Donald and Julie Stolt and brother Adam—moved to Ypsilanti.   Houston, who …

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor Nathan Hatt, lifetime Ann Arbor resident, is a product of the Ann Arbor Public Schools and a University of Michigan alumnus. After five years working as a production artist, animator, graphic designer, creative director, and business owner, Hatt started …

Jacqueline Moray was born and raised in Ann Arbor, the daughter of David and Michelle Moray, and sister of Katie Moray.   Growing up on Ann Arbor’s southeast side in the Buhr Park neighborhood, she attended Allen Elementary, Tappan Middle School, and Pioneer High School. …

Creal says the name plate dubbing her “queen” is a joke from colleagues. Profile and photos by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor  Colleen Rose Creal was born in Lima, Ohio on January 13, 1966, the fifth of six children of James (a salesman) and Rosemarie …

  Profile and photos by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor Gwen Dekker Cowhy was born and raised in Ann Arbor and attended Allen Elementary, Tappan junior High and Huron High School. She and her two younger brothers were raised by her mother, a former high …

Profile and photos by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor Shaquanda Thomas grew up in  Ypsilanti, the daughter of Nolen Thomas and Shirley Love, and granddaughter of Cora A. Woods, who helped raise her.  Thomas attended Ypsilanti Public Schools K-12, where she played basketball and ran …

Alivia Maus, Dicken Elementary first grade teacher

December 15, 2017 // 3 Comments

  Profile and photos by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor Alivia Maus grew up with her two younger siblings on her parents’ small farm in Milan just south of Ann Arbor. As a child, she was involved in agricultural programs throughout the county and state. …

  Profile and photos by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor Elliot Hammarlund Wills-Begley grew up in the woods, fields, and waters of the Old Mission Peninsula in Grand Traverse County where he spent most of his free time playing music, having bonfires, sailing, hunting, or …

    By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor Pittsfield and Pattengill’s Elementary physical education teacher Darcy Knoll was recently named SHAPE Michigan’s Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.  She is very passionate about physical education and its importance in a student’s educational experience and …

Don Packard, Pioneer High School English teacher

November 8, 2017 // 2 Comments

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor Ann Arbor native Don Packard grew up on the northwest side of town and attended Newport, Forsythe, and Pioneer. Following his 1983 high school graduation, he made the long journey to West Quad as a University of Michigan freshman. …

Kyle Yenor, Logan Elementary fourth grade teacher

October 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

Photos by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor Kyle Yenor grew up in the rural town of Morenci in Lenawee County, where he attended Morenci Area Schools K-12,  was active in sports and enjoyed the simplicity of country living. After high school, Yenor moved to Ann …

Becky Gracey, King Elementary fifth grade teacher

October 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

Becky Gracey grew up in Ann Arbor and attended Lawton Elementary, Slauson Middle School, and Pioneer High School.  While she was in Marlene Milazzo’s first grade class, she decided she wanted to be a teacher.  After earning her degree at Western Michigan University, Gracey headed …

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