School Bells: Skyline leader named top high school principal in state

The Michigan Association of Secondary Principals has named Skyline High School Principal Sulura Jackson the group’s 2010-11 High School Principal of the Year.

Sulura Jackson
Sulura Jackson, principal at Skyline High School

Jackson is dedicated to furthering education and maintaining the “Skyline Difference,” said information from the MASSP about the award, which is also sponsored by MetLife.

Jackson came to Ann Arbor in 2005 to serve as principal and help design the program for Skyline, the district’s newest high school which opened in 2008. The new 1,600-student high school of the future features a traditional comprehensive program as well as four magnet components.

During her time at Skyline, Jackson has diligently worked to foster relationships among teachers, parents and students alike and helped to launch the PTSO and further both staff and student development.

“Skyline’s vibrant PTSO was promoted and developed by Ms. Jackson’s effective communication with parents from long before the school opened its doors,” said Sara Duvall, lead for media and technology at Skyline who nominated her. “She is simply the most accomplished and dedicated principal with whom any of us have had the privilege to work.”

In addition to being honored as the state’s High School Principal of the Year, Jackson will also represent Michigan at the 2011 MetLife/National Association of Secondary School Principals National Principal of the Year program in Washington, D.C.

“Sulura has a vision for her school and community and works to deliver it,” said Ron Reed, MASSP president and Milan High School Principal. “She has built Skyline from the ground up, and has brought new ideas to the Ann Arbor community. It is a school of promise, and Sulura is the architect.”

The faculty of Skyline and the Skyline PTSO is hosting a reception to celebrate Jackson on Wednesday, Feb. 9 from 4-6 p.m. in the Skyline Library on the school’s third floor. The MASSP award presentation is set to occur before the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education that evening at 7 p.m. at the Ann Arbor District Library’s downtown branch, 4th floor.

Scarnecchia takes on liaison role for partnership

Broome and Scarnecchia
Kathy Scarnecchia has taken on the role coordinating the Mitchell-Scarlett partnership project and Edward Broom will become the interim principal at Mitchell.

Mitchell Elementary School Principal Kathy Scarnecchia is the new interim administrative liaison for the a proposed partnership between Mitchell, Scarlett Middle School and the University of Michigan School of Education. She took on the role beginning second semester.

She will be the key contact to work with U-M education students and staffs at Mitchell and Scarlett Middle School and U-M School of Education in preparing logistics and planning for the new K-8 Mitchell-Scarlett campus project that is proposed to begin next fall.

Organizers of the plan had proposed a balanced school calendar year, but that portion of the proposal will not be implemented in 2011-12 so it can receive further study.

Documents involving the Mitchell-Scarlett partnership can be found on the district’s website.
Scarlett Assistant Principal Edward Broom will take over as interim Principal at Mitchell and Scarlett teacher Jaye Peterson will serve in Broom’s role at Scarlett.

Pioneer Juniors sell cookie-grams for fundraiser

Juniors from Pioneer High School are selling Cookie-Grams for Valentine’s Day, as a fundraiser to support the class’s community service efforts.

Order a Valentine’s Cookie-Gram for a favorite Pioneer student, faculty or staff person for $4. A festively wrapped package of heart-shaped cookies (from Great Harvest Bread), along with a card will be delivered on Valentines Day. Mail orders to: Jane Burton, Pioneer High School, 601 W. Stadium Blvd, AA 48103 or call 734-994-2128.

Forsythe Science Fair is Sunday, Feb. 13

The Forsythe Science Fair Open House is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 13 from noon to 4 p.m. with an awards ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m. The event is the largest single school science fair in the state of Michigan and has more than 200 entries each year and features projects of experiments, models and collections by Forsythe Middle School students. Details can be found here.

The event is free and open to the public. Forsythe is at 1655 Newport Road, Ann Arbor.

Projects can be one of two types:

  • Experiments, where students design a project to answer a question based on a hypothesis, decide on variables, gather and interpret data, write an experimental report and make a display or
  • Models and Collections which could be a demonstration, a model with a detailed explanation (for example, a river watershed), or a researched description of how something works (for example, solar power, a guitar amplifier, a deadbolt lock).

Orchestra Night at Hill Auditorium is Feb. 15

Orchestra Night, a free event showcasing some 800 Ann Arbor Public Schools secondary music students, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Hill Auditorium on the University of Michigan campus.  Admission is free and open to the public.

This gala concert showcases the orchestras of all six Ann Arbor middle schools plus Skyline, Huron. and Pioneer high schools.  The annual event features the string department.

Four special guests for the evening include:

  • Christopher Kendall will conduct the Pioneer orchestras.
  • Retired Ann Arbor Public Schools teacher and director E. Daniel Long will guest conduct the Skyline and Slauson orchestras.
  • Ann Arbor Symphony cellist Sarah Cleveland will coach the Huron, Forsythe, Ann Arbor Open and Forsythe orchestras.
  • University of Michigan string education professor Dr. Michael Hopkins will coach the Tappan and Clague orchestras.

The Huron Symphony Orchestra will perform the second movement of Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 5” and excerpts from Moussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”  The Pioneer Symphony Orchestra will perform Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide” and “Danzon No. 2” by Marquez.

Hill Auditorium is at 825 N. University, Ann Arbor. Details:  734-994-2314.

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