School Bells: Advocacy meeting, budget sessions scheduled

UPDATED: The Ann Arbor Public Schools PTO Council Advocacy Committee has rescheduled a meeting originally set for Thursday morning. The group will now meet on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:30 a.m. at the Balas Administration Building, 2555 S. State St., Ann Arbor.

The committee continues its work, preparing for communitywide activities to raise awareness about decreasing school funding as well as organizing meetings with key players who can make a difference at the state level.

The next meeting of the group will be Thursday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Balas Administration building, 2555 S. State St. Any parent or community member interested in advocating for better school funding is invited to attend.
The agenda includes: finalizing talking points for the group, setting a schedule for talking with current legislators and rolling out first district advocacy activity.
Details: Contact Donna Lasinski at or call her at 734-997-7265.
Related links:
Ann Arbor PTO Council
Ann Arbor Parents for Schools
Michigan Parents for Schools
SOS Michigan

2 community budget meetings this week

Two community budget meetings have been scheduled to discuss the proposed 2010-11 budget for The Ann Arbor Public Schools. Members of the community are invited to attend these meetings. The new fiscal year begins July 1 for the district. The Ann Arbor Board of Education must adopt a balanced budget by June 30, 2010.
What: Discussions  about The Ann Arbor Public Schools 2010-11 budget proposals.
Meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at these locations:
Monday, April 12 at Pioneer High School’s Little Theater, 601 W. Stadium Blvd.
Tuesday, April 13 at Huron High School’s Little Theater, 2727 Fuller.

Allen students raise dollars for reading project

On March 25, Allen Elementary School hosted a Pasta Dinner for students and families serving more than 600 people, thanks to the Pioneer High School kitchen and to Zingerman’s and Panera for their bread donations.   A subset of the “Big Ten” Jazz combo from Community High School provided complimentary entertainment and student writing was on display for families to enjoy. The event also celebrated the all-school goal of reading 500,000 minutes during March is Reading Month with the theme of “Read to Feed.”  Students raised enough money to purchase a heifer for a family in need through Heifer International.

Community High team wins at mock trial state tourney

On Saturday, March 27, Community High School’s Mock Trial Team A won the state championship in the Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament.  Ten teams competed in the state finals. Team A had finished in first place during the Michigan High School Mock Trial Eastern Regional Tournament on March 13.Community’s team defeated the defending state champions, Kalamazoo Central in the final round. They now advance to the National High School Mock Trial tournament in Philadelphia, May 6-9.

“A” team members include:  Shadi Ahmadmehrabi, Savannah Dix, Mira Fishman, Jacob Garber,  Michelle Grifka, Jack Kausch, Max Lewis,  Michael Savage, Elise Wander and Garrett Wood.

Community High School’s Team B also participated in the state finals, having placed third in the Eastern Regionals.  Team “B” members are:  Zack Bayoff, Sara Burakoff, Cooper DePriest, Isaac Fink, Rianna Johnson-Levy, Julia Karr, Leah Penner, Eli Sugerman and Kelsey Teribery.

Alternates are:  Josh Fendrick, Sonya Kotov, Nikila Lakshmanan and Matt Morehouse. Coaches are:  Cheryl Grace, Griffith Dick (attorney coach) and Billie Ochberg (drama coach).

Huron BPA chapter takes 44 awards at state

Huron’s Business Professionals of America Chapter won 10 state championships and brought home 44 awards – including 20 first-place honors – from the 2010 BPA State Leadership Conference, held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 18-21. Twenty-four Huron students qualified for the National Leadership Conference to be held in Anaheim, California May 5-9.

Staff members Diane Stocker-Bendersky, Christy Garrett, Scott Hunter, Dorothea Bryant, and student teacher Jonathan Cook led 41 Huron students through the BPA State Leadership Conference. Chapter Adviser Karen Eisley was recognized for her 25 years of dedication and service to the BPA Organization. Scott Hunter was recognized for 10 years of service and dedication.

A list of all the winners and their winning contest can be found at the Huron BPA Web site.

The Web page design team of Tom Tang, Maria Chen, Amy Liu and Bruno Postigo created a Web site advertising next year’s NLC in Washington, D.C. See it here.

Huron student team wins 4th in Web design competition

The two-man team of Bruno Postigo and Zubin Kan won fourth place in the Web Design competition on March 27, 2010 at the University of Michigan Dearborn campus in the Engineering/Computer Science Experience competition.

Teacher/adviser Diane Stocker-Bendersky and pre-student teacher David Rogggennbuck (Eastern Michigan) took four teams to participated in the day-long competitions in Engineering, Web design, and Programming. Other Huron teams and their events included:
Team No. 1 – Victoria Wu and Renee Philson participated in the Engineering Competition where students designed, built, tested and raced a small ‘robotic’ vehicle. Team No. 2 ­ – Maria Chen and Heemyung Hwang also participated in the Engineering Competition.
Team No. 3 – Daniel Yang and Tom Tang participated in the Computer Programming
Competition where they focused public attention on the next generation of computing professionals as they pursue

Art exhibit features the work of Ann Arbor students

Artwork from Ann Arbor Public Schools students in grades kindergarten through five will be showcased at the Ann Arbor District Library this spring.  Both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art in many mediums will fill the display cases and cover the walls of the library’s art display areas from April 17 through May 26. Details: 734-327-4555.

Community High jazz combo wins at invitational

Maxed Out!, a Community High School Advanced Jazz Combo was one of three combo winners at the Western Michigan University 30th Jazz Invitational in Kalamazoo on March 13. The Community High combo is made up of students Max Bowen, Max Hully, Jud Branam, Aidan Cafferty, and Spencer Johnson. All five of these students also won outstanding soloist awards at the invitation. Bowen, who plays guitar, was named runner-up for the top soloist of the entire festival.

Other CHS jazz students who won outstanding soloist awards were Kyle Morrison, Alex Patten, Ken Ball, Josh Fendrick, Will Smith, Leif Gearhart-Hall, Paul Smith, Sophie Tulip, Jake Johengen, John Schneider, Catrin Dowd, Erez Levin, Don Gozzard, Adam Olshewski, Milan Griffes, and Ben Pernick.

The Jazz Ensemble Program is under the direction of CHS faculty member Jack Wagner.

Library hosts College Night

The Ann Arbor District Library hosts College Night on April 15 at the Traverwood Branch. A special evening with three college application experts will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. Community High School counselor John Boshoven is joined by Deb Merion, founder of Essay Coaching, and Geraldine Markel who specializes in helping students attain academic success on tests and in the classroom. The three have co-authored the book “College Admissions: From Chaos to Control.”  This event will include a book signing. The Traverwood Branch is at 3333 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor.  Details: 734- 327-4200.

UNDER THE SEA – Pittsfield Elementary School hosted a special Under The Sea-themed welcome event for in-coming kindergarten students and their parents on March 24 in the school Media Center. Story time, exploratory activities, and games were hosted by kindergarten teachers Jen Duman and Cathy Babcock with help from Media Specialist Joyce Followell. Children worked at sensory tables, art stations, and technology centers using Kid Pix. The event was one of a series of welcome dates designed to help incoming kindergarteners become accustomed to their new school. Pictured is a large mural created by Babcock's kindergarten class provided a colorful reef for some imaginative play fishing. Student volunteers from the 5th grade, hidden behind the mural, attached blue, red, and yellow to fishing lines. Each fish caught entitled the fisher to a prize from blue, red, and yellow prize buckets. (Photo courtesy, Ann Farnham)

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