AAPS summer and fall Good News

We celebrate some of the teachers, students and staff that have been recognized for outstanding work over the summer and so far this fall.

Pioneer Teacher Wins Presidential Excellence Award in Science and Mathematics Teaching

Pioneer High School teacher, Mr. Ted Emch, was awarded the National Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching at a virtual ceremony held in early August this year. It is the highest award given by the U.S. Government to kindergarten through 12th grade teachers of mathematics and science, including computer science.  Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Presidential Awardees receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities and receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

Mr. Emch received his Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Eastern Michigan University, as well as his master’s in Physical Science.  He began his AAPS teaching career over 23 years ago at Community High School and Tappan Middle School. The last 13 years, Ted has been at Pioneer High School where he currently teaches computer science.

Huron Student Featured in Journalism Magazine

Clara Bowman, senior at Huron High School and Huron Emory contributor, was recently featured in the Journalism Education Today magazine for her coverage of “best practices” in COVID-19.

The Journalism Education Association supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity.

2021 National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists

Semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Program were announced on September 9, 2020.  We are happy to recognize that 63 students from the Ann Arbor Public Schools District have qualified for this honor.

The approximately 16,000 Semifinalists across the U.S. will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. The National Merit® Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 353,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Congratulations to our Ann Arbor Public Schools 2021 semi-finalists:

Community High School

Mori R. Ono

Charles C. Solomon

Huron High School

Elias M. Atkinson

Tianjian Bai

Yein Bok

August F. Bork

Arman H. Getzen

Sophie Getzen

Shivam Jha

Nathaniel D. Jiang

Ethel Kim

Alexandra M. Kukucka

Cynthia Y. Liu

Annie W. Lu

Elizabeth A. Plotner

Benjamin F. Pollitz

Marisa S. Redding

Matthew L. Riddell

Jessica Schwalb

Rita L. Seidl

Rose A. Seidl

Anthony Z. Tan

Koen M. van Nieuwstadt

Aakarsh Verma

Daniel Wang

Brian S. Wu

Verena B. Wu

Matthew T. Yeh

Angie Zhou

Pioneer High School

Adetomiwa A. Adunbi

Ananyaa V. Asthana

William D. Ballbach

Arnav Brahmasandra

Shailen Chugh

Charles W. Clynes

Sriram S. Garapati

Gregory R. Gindin

Henry R. Grimsby

Madeline A. Gupta

Zachary B. Halberstam

Helena S. Heinonen

Tapio K. Heinonen Smith

Anna R. Klinger

Garrett M. Kracht

Samuel E. Kwok

Liam R. McElroy

Jennifer Meng

Christopher W. Pui

Rowan J. Tucker-Meyer

Skyline High School

Efe Y. Akinci

Vimal Alokam

Aaron M. Belman-Wells

Victor S. Bian

Nishant K. Domala

Markey R. Freudenburg-Puricell

Kieran H. Heung

Keshav Jogaratnam

Evan E. Kattapong-Graber

Radhika G. Patel

Emma E. Pettigrew

Ian D. Steele

Susan S. Xi

Michael H. Zhou

Broadcom Masters

Two AAPS students, Anita Gaenko and Akshar Cowlagi, were top 30 Finalists in the Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) middle school competition. Anita and Akshar are both current freshmen at Huron High School and were nominated last spring as 8th grade Clague Middle School students. Competing at the Science and Engineering Fair of Metro Detroit, they won the Grand Award for their team project, “Not all that is yellow is turmeric: Designing analytical chemistry methods and photometric circuitry to detect lead chromate adulteration of turmeric”. 

The 30 finalists receive a $500 cash prize and compete in the first ever virtual finals event October 16-21, encompassing multiple team challenges where they will compete for over $100,000 total in prize money. In addition, Clague Middle School – where Anita and Akshar attended for the 2019-20 school year – will be gifted a total of $2000 to use towards STEM education.

Huron Teacher Receives Outstanding Educator Award

Huron Latin/EL teacher Mr. William (Billy) Finch has been selected to receive the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award.  He was recently nominated by a Huron alumni and class of 2024 student enrolled at the University of Chicago. 

Each year, newly admitted UChicago students have the opportunity to reflect on their time in school and nominate an educator who played a significant role in their education, made a positive impact in their lives, and whose influence has brought them to where they are today.

The University of Chicago is honored to recognize excellence in teaching and sincerely congratulates this year’s Outstanding Educator Award winners, who are exceptional in their field and role models for all students. 

District Library Director of the Year Award

Ms. Jennifer Colby, Huron High School Librarian/District Library Director, will be receiving the Michigan Association for Media in Education’s (MAME) District Library Director of the Year award.  

MAME is honored to recognize Jennifer Colby for her unwavering contributions to school librarianship and all that it strives to bring to students and school libraries. The award will be presented to her at a virtual President’s Award Gala on November 19, 2020.

2020 Michigan World Language Teacher of the Year

Erica Peplinski-Burge, 4th and 5th grade Spanish teacher in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, won the 2020 Michigan World Language Teacher of the Year award.  The award ceremony was held on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, as part of the virtual 2020 Fall Conference. 

The Michigan World Language Association is an organization for all elementary, secondary, college and university teachers, supervisors, students and friends of world languages. Each year, one elementary, one middle school and one high school teacher may be recognized with this award.

Erica will represent the state of Michigan in March at the regional conference, Central States Conference for the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and could go on to the national conference next Fall (ACTFL).

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