Good News from AAPS April 16, 2019

There are often many AAPS students and staff whose hard work and commitment are recognized in numerous ways. We’d like to start taking some time to highlight their achievements.  

Cosmetology Students Compete in State Finals

AAPS Cosmetology students, Jaz Eddins and Olivia Tikker from Skyline High School and Bre’Oine Robinson from Huron High School participated in the State SkillsUSA competition held earlier this month in Grand Rapids. Olivia Tikker was awarded First Place and will be representing the State of Michigan at the National Competition held in Louisville, Kentucky, in June.Skyline's Olivia Tikker in the center holding her first place plaque, with second and third place finishers on either side

Huron BPA Chapter Excels at State Leadership Competition

In mid-March, 72 members of the Huron Business Professionals of America (BPA) Chapter competed in the BPA State Leadership competition in Grand Rapids. Twenty-four of those students will be advancing to the National Leadership Competition which will be held in Anaheim, California, in May. The students who will be advancing to the Nationals are: Harrison Baker, Maya Baveja, Maddie Bowers, Ani Cowlagi, Sampath Eaty, Avni Guduri, Prathik Guduri, Daniel Hou, Dane Hubers, Sid Jha, Nihar Joshi, Candace Jung, Bridgit Jung, Young-Bin Kim, Catherine Kim, Anay Laddha Isaac Madhavaram, Miriam Mahmoud, Sophia Papadopoulos, Praveen Prakash, Nishita Shah, Aarnav Unadkat, Kenny Yue, and Jonathan Zou. Additionally, the Huron Chapter was awarded the State Service Project award, an honor given to the chapter with the most involvement in the BPA State Service Project, which was “Serve Those Who Serve.” The Huron Chapter completed over 50 hours of community service and raised almost $500 for veterans causes.

Pioneer Playwright Competition Finalist

Pioneer Senior, Josie Leydenfrost, has been chosen by Wharton Center Institute for Arts & Creativity and the Michigan State University Department of Theater as one of six finalists of the 23rd Annual Young Playwrights Festival for her play “Last Letter Home”. Each of the finalists will work with a professional theater mentor who will assist them with revising their one-act plays for production. Josie’s play, along with the other finalist submissions, will be performed on May 11 at the Pasant Theatre on the campus of MSU. For more information about the Young Playwrights Festival

Pathways Panthers Win State Championship

The Pathways Panthers basketball team recently won the Michigan Alternative Education Athletic Association state championships. The winning Panthers team consists of the following members: Keijuan Bell, Fred Blackmon, Al Dunson, Re’kuan Smith, Shyheim Galloway, Jamar Freeman, Greg Cullen, Chris Stevens, Dorian Page, Mondrell Brown, Darrian Fritz, Derrian Rhodes, Ira Brann, Tacuma Burbank and Cameron Donell. The team is coached by WIlliam Copeland and Shalae Page.Pathways Basketball team celebrates with state championship trophy

Pioneer Freshman Selected as 2019 Teen Artist in Residence

Adelaide Lyons has been selected as the the Isle Royale Teen Artist in Residence for 2019. The Isle Royale Teen Artist Exploration is open to all aspiring visual and performance artists, writers, and composers who are interested in developing their art through wilderness experiences. As the Artist in Residence, Adelaide will spend a week on Isle Royale where, under the guidance of a mentor, she will produce a work of art to donate to the island. For more information about the Teen Artist in Residence Program

Huron Mock Trial Team Awarded

After going undefeated at their regional competition at the Washtenaw County Courthouse in February, the Huron High School Mock Trial Team advanced to the State Finals at Veterans Memorial Courthouse in East Lansing where they were awarded second place. The Mock Trial team is comprised of the following students: Ryan Gudal, Rithvik Kodali, Abdul Kizito, Yash Manne, Lauren Zukowski, Julie Heng, Zihao Wang, Samer Yassir, and Jessie Schwalb. Huron Social Studies teacher, Andrew Face, and Janelle Krummen served as advisors to the team.Huron's Mock Trial team holding their trophy for second place in Michigan

Pioneer DECA State Champs Advance to Nationals

The Pioneer DECA chapter had a stellar showing at the State Conference in Detroit in March. A total of thirteen members were named State Champions and will compete at the International Career Development Conference which will be held in Orlando, Florida, April 27-30. DECA is an association of marketing students that conducts academic competitions and educational field trips for students interested in management, marketing and entrepreneurial careers. DECA at Pioneer is part of the marketing, sports marketing and entrepreneurship education curriculum. Pioneer’s DECA State Champions are: Yasine Baccouche, Meg Goldberg, Pranav Suresh, Riya Katial, Natalie Uytingco, Zachary Pryor, Layla Jarjoura, Grace Knorr, Cora Newman, Miles Klapthor, McKinley Garcia, Bianca Imeraj, and Mia Steinhauer.

Ann Arbor Students Earn Top Honors from Optimist Club

Three AAPS students took the top awards at the Ann Arbor Optimist Club annual oratorical competition on March 17. The contest, which was open to all Washtenaw students under age nineteen, asked participants to address the question, “Is there a fine line between optimism and reality?”  Community High sophomore, Elizabeth Shaieb, won first place. Second place was awarded to Pioneer senior, Seraphina Botero, and Pioneer sophomore, Maria Rita Fata, received third place. Shaieb will advance to the next level of competition.

Huron High School Junior Wins Young Artist Competition

Huron High School junior, Elizabeth Li, is this year’s winner of the Dexter Community Orchestra Young Artist Competition. Li, who plays the flute for Huron’s Symphony Orchestra, will perform as a guest soloist with the Dexter Community Orchestra at their spring concert on April 28. She will be performing “Ballade” by Frank Martin.

Skyline Blues Advances to National Championships

Skyline Blues, under the direction of Lindsay CieChanski and Austin Terris, won the Great Lakes Regional Round of the International Competition of High School A Cappella (ICHSA) on March 23. Skyline Blues now advances to the ICHSA National Championship at New York City’s famed Town Hall on April 26.

PiHi Samurai to Compete in Worlds Robotics Competition

The PiHi Samurai ousted 37 teams to win the First In Michigan District Robotics competition that was held in Livonia recently. They advanced to the Michigan State Regional Championship and finished with the best competition record so far this season.  This qualifies them to compete in the First Championship World Competition in Detroit on April 24-27. This competition will feature over 700 robotics teams from around the world along with educators, industry professionals, sponsors, organizations and colleges and universities. The PiHi Samurai are coached by Solomon Shurge.PiHi Samurai, Pioneer High School's robotics team celebrate with their championship banner

Huron Teacher Wins Business Professionals of America Award

Huron High School teacher Jonathan Cook was presented with the Barbara Chambers Outstanding Advisor Award by the Michigan Business Professionals of America (BPA) at their annual conference in Grand Rapids in March. The award is the highest honor for BPA advisors and recognizes those who routinely excel in their advisory role. BPA is a national career and technical student organization consisting of 25 state associations and more than 50,000 members from over 2,700 chapters.Huron BPA advisor Jonathan Cook holds his plaque while standing next to a Huron student

AAPS Home Building Program Highlighted in Magazine Feature

The Ann Arbor Student Building Industry Program was selected by the Home Builders Association of Michigan to be featured in a recent issue of Michigan Builder Magazine. The article recognizes the 49-year history of the student building program and highlights recent projects in the Kirkway subdivision in Scio Township along with quotes from Skyline student, Corynna Hampton and Community High student, Hunter Guyer. Last year’s Team 48 built a 3,500 square-foot home which sold for a record $440,000. Mark B. Valanchine II serves as the lead instructor for the program.  

Pioneer Econ Team Wins Competition

The Pioneer High School Econ Team, under the supervision of Karla Hitchcock, recently defeated fifteen other teams at the National Economics Challenge at Walsh College in Novi. This win advances the team to the regionals and, if successful, the opportunity to compete in the national finals in New York City. They will also be honored at a dinner at the Detroit Branch of the Chicago Federal Reserve in late May. Congratulations to Sujay Kulkarni, Erik Kirakosyan, Sunho Kwon, and Sriram Garapati.

Pioneer A Cappella Choir Earns High Recognition

The Ann Arbor Pioneer High School A Cappella Choir has been designated through blind audition as the Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) 2019 Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF) Outstanding Choir.  Only two choirs from across the state are given this distinction, which represents the highest level of recognition by our state organization, MSVMA. This is the third time in the past six years that they have received this distinction.

Huron Students Compete in Rocketry Challenge

Huron High School students Adam VanderMolen and Axel Avram are honing their rocket building skills as participants in the 2019 Team America Rocketry Challenge. As Civil Air Patrol cadets with the Kevin A. James Memorial Composite Squadron in Ann Arbor, Adam and Axel are teamed with six other cadets to build a rocket that, if successful, will earn them a spot in a national competition. Qualifying teams are tasked with launching a rocket carrying three raw eggs to a height of 856 feet and having it return to the ground intact within a window of 43-46 seconds.

Wines Teacher Named Blue Ribbon Educator

Wines Elementary teacher, Sarah Schemanske, has been recognized as a Blue Ribbon Educator by Tynker, an educational programming platform which promotes coding for kids. As an educator for over thirteen years with expertise in teaching robotics and coding, Ms. Schemanske is the PLTW teacher at Wines and a PLTW Master Teacher who inspires her students through rich learning experiences.

Huron Latin Teacher Recognized

Huron High School Latin teacher, WIlliam Finch, has received the 2019 Glenn M. Knudsvig Award for Outstanding Latin Teaching in Michigan Secondary Schools. Recipients of this award are nominated by UM undergraduate and graduate students, UM Latin faculty, and secondary instructors and administrators. Mr. Finch will be presented with his award at the Department of Classical Studies’ Phillips Classical Prize Ceremony on April 23.

Huron HS Nurse Wins Award

Huron High School nurse, Kate Odette, has been named the 2019 School Nurse of the Year by the Michigan Association of School Nurses. The award acknowledges excellence in school nursing practice and leadership in school health. Ms Odette, who has been the school nurse at Huron since 2003 and also serves as the lead nurse for AAPS, will receive her award in May at the Michigan Association of School Nurses Annual Conference in Kalamazoo.

Thurston Nature Center Wins Environmental Excellence Award

Thurston Nature Center received the Water Quality Protection Award at this year’s 22nd Annual Environmental Excellence Awards for protecting and improving a 20-acre nature center, including a pond, rain gardens, native plant shoreline, and prairie. The Thurston Nature Center is located adjacent to Thurston Elementary and Clague Middle School and is managed by a sub-committee of the PTO at Thurston Elementary.

AAPS Earns Music Education Designation

The National Association of Music Merchants have once again named Ann Arbor among the  2019 Best Communities for Music Education. For more than a decade, Ann Arbor Public Schools have been honored annually by NAMM with this designation. To receive this distinction, districts must demonstrate outstanding achievements in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Award criteria include funding, graduation requirements, music participation, facilities allocation and support for music programs.

Pittsfield PTO Wins Grant

The Pittsfield Elementary PTO won first place and a $1000 grant from Get Movin’ Fundraising for their video that promoted the school’s Lego Fun Run. The contest, which encouraged schools to create promotional videos that generated excitement about an event-based fundraiser, judged selected winners based on creativity and engagement. To see the winning Pittsfield video

Cruciverbalist at Huron High School

Huron High School teacher and Math Department Chair, Peter Collins, recently published his 108th crossword puzzle in the Sunday, April 7, edition of The New York Times. Peter, a veteran teacher of thirty-nine years, has been creating crossword puzzles for The Times since 2006.

The AAPS District News welcomes thoughtful comments, questions and feedback.

All comments will be screened and moderated.

In order for your comment to be approved:

  • You must use your full name
  • You must not use  profane or offensive language
  • Your comment must be on topic and relevant to the story

Please note: any comment that appears to be spam or attacks an individual will not be approved.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.