School Bells: P.E. teacher earns ‘Celebration’ award

Click here for more student and staff achievements in Superintendent Todd Roberts’ “This Week in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.” An archive of past achievements is also at this site.

John Fisher a physical education teacher at both Angell and Pattengill elementary schools, was recently named a Celebration of Excellence award winner by the Ann Arbor Board of Education.

He is known as a four-time All-America wrestler for the University of Michigan and holds the record for the all-time wins on the mat for the Wolverines. In addition, he’s a freestyle World Cup champion, a two-time Olympic team alternate and a U-M assistant coach for 10 years.

According to parent Martine Perreault’s nomination, Fisher is deserving of the recognition. “I have been hearing about his classes for over 10 years as my three children have made their way through Angell,” said Perreault. “I only recently learned of his Olympic heritage. He is perennially positive and smiling, and helps us all smile everyday! We now share him with Pattengill School, and his smile is still just as bright.” 

She said he places an emphasis on personal fitness and establishing a lifetime habit of health and wellness. He teaches non-competitive, cooperative games and reinforces counting and math skills. “John Fisher leads by example,” she said. “He inspires and encourages everyone, of any ability to achieve their personal best, to set and reach for their own personal goals.”

“He makes a big impression on his students, and always greats those visiting alumni with his huge smile, and by name!”

Carpenter bagel program gives $1,000 to RIF

The MultiAge Classroom at Carpenter Elementary donated another $1,000 to the Reading in Fundamental program. This equals 40 percent of the program’s total RIF budget and has allowed the school to keep the national program even though we no longer qualify for federal matching grant dollars.

Teachers Sandrea Luce and Marilyn Freeman were recognized with a special certificate and gold honor pins from RIF’s National Office as part of the 2010 Volunteers of the Year.
During the school’s book distribution, each child could choose one new, free book to keep. In addition, there will be drawings held in each classroom for extra prizes. RIF sponsored a Read Around Carpenter Elementary where all all classrooms will have a special reading time.

For more information contact Pam Powell at or call her at 528-0894.

Huron earns national BPAC honors

Huron High School’s Business Professionals of America Chapter returned in mid-May from the 2010 National Leadership Conference
in Anaheim, Calif. with top national BPA honors. 

Three of the wins were first place wins in Banking & Finance, C++ Programming, and Financial Math & Analysis. 
According to Maurice Henderson, Michigan’s BPA State Director, Huron High School received the most assessment event awards than any other school in Michigan’s Secondary Division.

There were more than 5,600 participants from 27 different states.  Michigan had 551 participants in attendance and Huron had 19 participants. 
Three staff members –Diane Stocker-Bendersky, Christy Garrett, and
Mary Winkler – took the students to the BPAC event. A total of 17 awards were given to Huron students.
Winners included: 
• Jing Chai, Third Place Extemporaneous Speech, Ambassador Torch Award  for outstanding community service.
• John Han, First Place – Banking and Finance, Top 10 Finalists – Financial Math and Analysis, Fourth Place – Management/Marketing/Human Resources Concepts, Ninth Place – Medical Office Procedures
 • Andrey Kuklev, Second Place – Computer Security,10th Place – Information Technology Concepts
• Stephanie Liu, Ambassador Torch Award for outstanding community service  
• Lanxin Liu, First Place – Financial Math and Analysis, Ninth Place – Advanced Accounting
• Stephanie Lu, Ambassador Torch Award for outstanding community service
• Teddy Perry, Eighth Place – Computerized Accounting
• Tom Tang, Ninth Place – Java Programming
• Chaturi Wijesundera, Ambassador Torch Award for outstanding community service                                  
• Daniel Yang, First Place – C++ Programming
• Stephan Zhu, Fourth Place – Computerized Accounting
Parent University program tonight

AAPS Parent University will present Dr. Patricia A. Edwards on Monday, May 24, speaking about “Capturing Your Child’s Interests With Books.”
The free event takes place from 6-8 p.m. at the Bryant Community Center, 3 West Eden Court, Ann Arbor. Details: 734.994.2318 – Ext. 52138.

Edwards continues her discussion on the benefits of reading to your child and will discuss ways parents and teachers can capture children’s interests through books. She will focus on ideas that are interesting to children; talk about how to negotiate reading with your child; and fun opportunities to start a book club . There will be a prize drawing for parents who pre-register and are present during the presentation. For child care information, email: or call 734-477-0292.

On Wednesday, June 2, Parent University presents Horacio Sanchez speaking about “What Every Parent Should Know.”

Pioneer crew team is state champ

The Pioneer Women’s Crew Team won the Women’s State Championship at the Third Scholastic Rowing Association of Michigan Championship Regatta this past Saturday.  The combined Pioneer Women’s and Men’s teams finished second in overall combined points.  The women’s varsity coach is  Suzanne Buzzell and the men’s varsity coach is Rich Griffith.   The rowers will advance to the Canadian Scholastic Championship Regatta.

Skyline artist earns first place

Sherry Zhao, Skyline High School sophomore student, won first place in her age/grade category for her drawing (among 40 works from art students across the country) that will go into the “2010 Permanent Collection” of the World Awareness Children’s Museum ( She also serves as our Integrity Skyline Student Senate Council Representative. Skyline art teacher is Corrine Gignac.

Pioneer band earns 2 top awards

The Pioneer High School Concert Band, under the direction of David A. Leach, won two top awards at the Festivals of Music/Music in the Parks national competition at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio on May 15. The 72 members of the Pioneer Concert Band competed with ensembles from throughout northeastern United States. All of the ensembles were assessed using a set of national criteria and were rated by a panel of two nationally recognized adjudicators.

The Pioneer Concert Band received a Superior rating and earned First Place in the AA High School Concert Band category, the festival’s highest band classification.  Additionally the Pioneer Concert Band was awarded the Overall High School Concert Band trophy based on earning the highest number of points of all of the competing instrumental ensembles.

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