Martell Chooses New Lunch Item

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Martell Elementary was one of the schools profiled in School Life last month for its innovative “Leader in Me” program.  Teacher Jessica Mumaw took this responsibility seriously when she taught her 4th grade students about writing persuasive letters. The students were allowed to write to anyone and on any topic they were passionate about.   Continue reading “Martell Chooses New Lunch Item”

From IA to U of D Mercy

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Yamini Vepa and Isabella dela Cruz are students at International Academy East.  Recently they were both accepted into the 5 Year Physician Assistance program at University of Detroit Mercy.  This is a rare honor.  The college only accepts 15 students per year into this program.  Congratulations!

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Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Snow Day

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February 2, 2015

Hey, kids, did you ever wonder what your school looks like on a snow day?  Our School Life photographer decided to find out.  He went to every school in Troy District and took a few pictures of each one.  (Yes, he loves Troy Schools.)

Photos:

INSTRUCTIONS
These photos are free to download.
1.  Click any small picture to enlarge it.
2.  Right-click the large picture to save it on your computer.

Athens

Baker

Barnard

Bemis

Boulan

Costello

Hamilton

Hill

IA East

Larson

Leonard

Martell

Morse

NIles

Schroeder

Smith

Troy High

Troy School District

Troy Union

Wass

Wattles

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Canvas Night at Wass

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Wass Elementary School celebrated Canvas Night recently. What is Canvas Night? It’s a huge art lesson for grades K-5 led by teacher Sarah Clos, principal Matt Jansen, and an enthusiastic team of volunteers.

The students first watched a video about the work of Brazilian artist Romero Britto. He has a bold, colorful style that has decorated everything from Porsche cars to Kennedy Airport to Super Bowl XLI. Ms. Clos then gave step-by-step instructions on how to create Britto-inspired painting, and everybody set to work.

Wass is dedicated to creativity and self-expression, and its hallways are a gallery with children’s artworks everywhere. Enjoy the photos!

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Fred Koramatsu Remembered

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A special assembly was held at Troy High School today, honoring the life and legacy of Fred Korematsu.  Students from Athens and Niles Community High School were invited, and the event was broadcast throughout the school on closed-circuit television.  Among the dignitaries in attendance were Troy mayor Dane Slater, city attorney Lori Bluhm, council member Dave Henderson, judge Kirsten Hartig, community affairs director Cindy Stewart, Troy superintendent Richard Machesky, assistant superintendent Mark Dziatczak, TSD community relations director Kerry Birmingham, and members of the Racial Equity Initiative.

To see a video of the Troy assembly, go to https://vimeo.com/118490262.

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 Who was Fred Korematsu?

To understand his story, you have to go back in time to December 7, 1941.  That was the day when Japanese aircraft attacked the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor.  World War II had begun.  Americans went on the defensive, and one thing our government did was to round up Japanese Americans and send them to detention camps.  They were legal citizens and hadn’t broken any laws, but people were panicked and afraid.  Racism also played a part.

Fred was 23.  He didn’t believe it was fair that his family should be locked up like criminals, and he refused to cooperate.  He was arrested and forced to live in a facility that was formerly a stable for horses.  His case went to trial, and eventually it went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Click to read more about him at the Fred Korematsu Institute.

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Fred stood up for his rights.  He was a quiet, humble man, but he knew that the government’s decision was illegal and unfair.  Like Rosa Parks, he taught us to fight against all forms of ignorance and bigotry.  There is still injustice in this country.  We must get to know one another — all races and cultures — so we can see people as they really are.

This is the third year that Fred Korematsu Day is being celebrated in Michigan.  It’s already a legal holiday in California, where he lived.  This is the second time that this assembly has been held at Troy High School.

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Troy Principal Remo Roncone

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Assistant Principal Dan House

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Mathew Wesaw, Director of Michigan Department of Civil Rights

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Roland Hwang, Commissioner of Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs

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Ron Aramaki, Guest Lecturer in the Department of American Culture at U of M

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Mary Kamidoi, Attorney and Former Internment Camp Detainee

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Frances Wong, Composer and Activist, NBC News Correspondent

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Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Troy High Robot

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Many kids dream of building their own robot.  Alex Jalkanen and David Yang are making that dream come true.  They are participating in the U.S. First Robotics Competition, an engineering challenge that is held every year.

They received their challenge in early January, and they have six weeks to complete it.  This picture shows the base of the robot, but there’s a lot more to come.  When it’s finished, their invention will be able to pick up objects and place them into a target with great precision.

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If you’d like to learn more details, go to usfirst.org.  Here’s a picture of last year’s entry from Troy — a robot that can shoot baskets.

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Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

The Question Man

Winter, summer, spring, or fall–
What is your favorite season of all?

The Question Man visited Morse Elementary School to find out.  He asked one 3rd grader and five 2nd graders.  Here are their responses:

question-man_001  Summer, because you get to play outside.

question-man_004  Summer, because I get to go swimming.

question-man_002  Fall, because I like going apple picking.

question-man_005  I like summer because I can ride my bike.

question-man_006  I like spring because I see flowers bloom.

question-man_003  Summer, because I can play with my friends and have some good times.

It looks like summer is popular with this group… and thumbs down to winter!

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Festival of Song 1/28

Tonight — Thursday, January 29th — is your very last chance to see the Festival of Song concert, presented by the Troy School District Vocal Music Department. This event brings together students from various Troy elementary, middle, and high schools. The performances are so great, you’ll really be glad you treated yourself to a night away from the TV to enjoy a live show with some truly talented young people. It’s at 7:00 p.m. at Troy Athens High School.

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Last night’s event began with a combined chorus from Bemis Elementary, Leonard Elementary, and Hamilton Elementary singing “Mayim,” “Skye Boat Song,” “Dry Your Tears Afrika,” and “Best Day of My Life.” Next, the Boulan Park Middle School choirs wowed the audience with “Haida,” “This Train,” and “Seize the Day.” The Troy High School combined choirs kicked it into high gear with “Ain’-A That Good News,” the A Capella group did a medley of songs by the pop band Fun, and the combined THS choirs sang a powerful medley of songs from the Broadway hit “Wicked.” At the end, students from all five schools stood and sang “Turn the World Around.” It was an entertaining and inspiring finale to a night of musical joy.

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Participating music teachers include Adrienne Covian (Troy High and Baker), Teresa Kniseley (Wass and Martell), Cara Lebryk (Hamilton), Katie Anderson (Hill and Troy Union), Libby Fitz-Gerald (Schroeder and Martell), Michele Fredericks (Athens and Smith), Andrea Moon (Wattles), Emily Pyzik (Bemis), Carrie Sekich (Baker), Rosanne Thomas (Barnard and Costello), Corrie Spurlin (Boulan and Larson), Jonathan McNurlen (Morse), and Letitia Geary and Lea Lalia (Leonard and Martell).

And of course, none of this would be possible without our fearless leaders, the Troy Board of Education, Dr. Barbara Fowler, Dr. Richard Machesky, Jan Keeling, the building principals, the parents and families, and especially Carrie Sekich, director of fine arts for the district.

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For seven years, Troy has been chosen as one of the “Best 100 Communities for Music Education in America” by the American Music Conference. The Festival of Song concerts will be broadcast on TS-TV (Comcast channel 56, WOW channel 15) on February 9th and 11th at 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Don’t miss it!

Thank you for the music.

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Festival of Song 1/26

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The Festival of Song is this week, January 26-29th, 7:00 p.m. at Troy Athens High School. Presented by the Troy School District Vocal Music Department, it brings together many schools for one grand concert. You should definitely attend if you need a heartwarming break from the cold, dark winter!  Singers from elementary, middle, and high schools will uplift your spirits and dazzle you with their musical talent.

Monday night’s performance included 4th and 5th grade students from Barnard Elementary, Morse Elementary, and Wass Elementary. The huge group was accompanied by Andrea Moon on piano, Olivia Simone on flute, and Amanda Crecilius on violin. Selections included “Mayim,” “Skye Boat Song,” “Dry Your Tears, Afrika,” and “Best Day of My Life.”

They were followed by the Baker Middle School Show Choir, who sang and danced to “Another Op’nin, Another Show,” “Child of the Universe,” “Seize the Day,” and a medley of songs by Bruno Mars.  The Athens High School Choirs performed “Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun,” “The Phantom of the Opera Medley,” and “The Lion King Medley.”  For the finale, all the students in the audience and onstage joined in singing “Turn the World Around.”

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For seven years, Troy has been chosen as one of the “Best 100 Communities for Music Education in America” by the American Music Conference. The Festival of Song concerts will be broadcast on TS-TV (Comcast channel 56, WOW channel 15) on February 9th and 11th at 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.  Don’t miss it!

Participating music teachers include Adrienne Covian (Troy High and Baker), Teresa Kniseley (Wass and Martell), Cara Lebryk (Hamilton), Katie Anderson (Hill and Troy Union), Libby Fitz-Gerald (Schroeder and Martell), Michele Fredericks (Athens and Smith), Andrea Moon (Wattles), Emily Pyzik (Bemis), Carrie Sekich (Baker), Rosanne Thomas (Barnard and Costello), Corrie Spurlin (Boulan and Larson), Jonathan McNurlen (Morse), and Letitia Geary and Lea Lalia (Leonard and Martell).

And of course, none of this would be possible without our fearless leaders, the Troy Board of Education, Dr. Barbara Fowler, Dr. Richard Machesky, Jan Keeling, the building principals, the parents and families, and especially Carrie Sekich, director of fine arts for the district.

Thank you for the music.

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Martin Luther King Day

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On January 19th, Troy School District held a celebration in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. The event was held at Troy Athens High School, and it was open to everyone from all schools K-12. The masters of ceremonies were Dr. Richard Machesky (Troy Schools Superintendent) and Brian Kischnick (Troy City Manager). The keynote speaker was Jyarland Daniels (Marketing Communications Director of Race Forward).

Following the singing of the national anthem by the Athens High School Concert Choir & Magic, the program opened with a unity walk around the grounds of the school. The event was well attended by many members of the community. There were also several dignitaries including members of the Troy City Council and Troy School Board, as well as Dave Trott (U.S. Congressman from the 11th District).

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There were readings by winners of the student essay contest and screenings of videos created by middle school and high school contest winners. Two Athens students, Isabella Warmbrunn and Christina Warmbrunn, read poems by Langston Hughes. The keynote address by Ms. Daniels centered on the questions “Who is our neighbor?” and “How will we respond to our neighbor in 2014?” She mentioned various people who had contributed to the cause of freedom and equality, and the audience responded by saying, “We speak your name.” Finally, she asked everyone to say their own name out loud to signify their part in the ongoing effort to fulfill Dr. King’s dream.

Director Michelle Fredericks and accompanist Jackie Koehler led the choir in “I Had a Dream” by Teresa Jennings and “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2, after which the entire audience joined in “We Shall Overcome.” There was also an art exhibit and a delicious breakfast. As you look at these photos, think about the question that people were asking themselves: “What am I doing to make a positive change in my community?”

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VIDEO CONTEST WINNERS – HIGH SCHOOL
1st Place: Ameen Sinaph
2nd Place: Jennie Yang, Richard Yang

VIDEO CONTEST WINNERS – MIDDLE SCHOOL
1st Place: Ava Taconelli, Dea Hodaj, Elle Etzkorn, Olivia Swider
2nd Place: Noel Rezanka, Fiona Warner
3rd Place: Zach St. Pierre, Kailee Corr, Jenna Youness
Honorable Mention: Richard Lu Li

ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS – HIGH SCHOOL
1st Place: Ellen Zhang
2nd Place: Natasha DeSouza
3rd Place: Ruchica Chandnani

ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS – MIDDLE SCHOOL
1st Place: Anjana Pisupati
2nd Place: Arushi Chandrakapure
3rd Place: Preethi Kumaran
Honorable Mention: Libby Jackson

ART CONTEST WINNERS – HIGH SCHOOL
1st Place: June Choi
2nd Place: Daeun (Dana) Lee

ART CONTEST WINNERS – MIDDLE SCHOOL
1st Place: Emily Wu
2nd Place: Adhithi Athikumar
3rd Place: Ashley Weinberg
Honorable Mention: Aimee Zheng

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Troy Wins Again

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BREAKING NEWS – Friday, January 16, 2014

Troy High’s Biology Competitions Club has been selected as the Best in Region winner for the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. Mrs. Rebecca Brewer, Troy science teacher and moderator of the club, received an email from the Verizon Foundation informing her of the news.

Back row: Jeff Guan, Sebin Choi, Vikas Sharma, and Wesley Chiu
Front row: Raahul Ravi and Johanan Isaac

As a Best in Region team, they will receive a $5,000 Verizon Foundation grant to advance or start-up their STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs. The Troy High team is now in the running to win Best in Nation. The students will present their “Thryve” app concept to a panel of judges via a webinar in the week of January 21-23.

If they are selected Best in Nation, the students will receive Samsung tablets and learn directly from the MIT Media Lab on how to code and bring their app to life. In addition, they will receive an additional $15,000 grant to advance STEM programs.

The email announcement went on to say:

“When you think about the number of app concepts received from throughout the country and your team has been selected as a Best in Region – this is quite an honor and accomplishment. You and your students should feel very very good!”

You can read more at http://appchallenge.tsaweb.org.

Photo by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Dissecting a Heart

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6th graders from Boulan Park Middle School joined with 5th graders from Schroeder Elementary School for a very special science activity: dissecting a cow’s heart. An observer could easily imagine some future doctors in that cafeteria today. The older students supervised, and the younger ones followed directions with care.

The session took lots of planning, hard work, and cooperation. Boulan science teacher Tammy Gilbert joined Schroeder 5th grade teachers Jason Cichowicz, Kaitlin Bucchare, Tammy Polena, and Shannon Kocher — along with former student teacher Amanda Marshalek — in making everything run smoothly. Also in attendance were Troy Schools superintendent Richard Machesky, principals Brian Canfield and Jo Kwasny, and teacher consultant Carolyn Szymanski.

As you can see from these photos, it was a fascinating and productive afternoon!

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Spelling Bee Championship

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A classic spelling battle took place at Boulan Park Middle School on January 15th. It was the final school round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The winner would get to move on to the regional contest at Oakland Schools in February — and then possibly to the national finals — while everyone else would have to wait until next year.

The competition was administered by April Reem and Sue Dornin, co-department heads for ELA (English Language Arts). Thirty-one students participated at the beginning; only one was left standing at the end. It took a full 10 rounds to find the winner. The words were increasingly difficult, coming first from the Scripps list and ultimately from the dictionary. Students were allowed to ask for the word’s definition, origin, part of speech, and its use in a sentence. A computer was sometimes used to repeat the pronunciation.

6th graders: Alex Xu, Pehar Rampal, Sawyer Darish, Shraddha Gatla, Irene Jung, Purvi Raj, Angela Lee, Navneet Ramadurai, Girish Kotagiri, Danielle Kurkowski, Jason Li

7th graders: Sujin Moon, Fathema Ahmed, Shruthi Sunilkumar, Gina Moy, Kevin Zhao, Ananya Bhemanadhuni

8th graders: Sribharat Koripella, Kevin Huang, Laura Nicholas, Sahaja Pinnu, Siddarth Marthi, Ashwal Shastry, Sara Stroud, Malavika Venkatesh, Yulie Wang, Jiarong (Jason) Song

As students were eliminated one by one, the teachers thanked them for their efforts and praised them for doing well. It’s no easy accomplishment to rise to the top of your class in spelling. Every competitor was a champion in his or her own way.

In the end, Malavika Venkatesh and Shannon Li were tied for third place. Irene Jung took second place. The grand prize winner was… Sribharat Koripella, who said that his victory felt “Great!” Sribharat had won 10th place two years ago, 3rd place last year, and 1st place this year. His winning word? P-S-O-R-I-A-S-I-S.

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Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Cyber Security at Boulan

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Troy police officer Gail Jasak is an expert at cyber security.  She recently addressed a group of teachers at Boulan Park Middle School about how to protect kids online.  She spoke about safety from predators, preventing identity theft, and making wise choices on the Internet.  She stressed how parents must be involved in monitoring their kids’ activities.  it’s up to all of us to keep our families and community safe.

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Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.