Schroeder Book Fair

Schroeder Elementary School had a Scholastic Book Fair recently.  There were many choices for all types of readers.  In these photos are the 4th grade students of teacher Holly Malavolti.  Books make great gifts!

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Almost $5,000 in Pennies!


Costello Elementary School teacher Brian Fahnestock organized a fundraiser called “Pennies for Pasta” to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Michigan.  He and his 5th graders from Room CE4 raised $4,963.91 last February.

Principal Tammy DiPonio shared this nice letter of thanks she received from a high school student named Deshawn Williams. (That’s him in the picture frame.  Click photo to enlarge.)

“I would like to thank everyone who supported LLS this year. Because of your donations I received a bone marrow transplant and I’m in remission.  Before the transplant I was not able to be in school full time or go over to my grandparents’ house because they have plants.  Now that I am in remission, I can go to my grandparents’ house, be in school full time, and this year I played high school football.  Keep donating to LLS, and with research, I know one day I will be cancer free.”


From left to right in the photo are Andrew Baraiac, Mr. Fahnestock, Alyssa Carnes, and Tyler Koralewski.

The teacher plans to repeat the fundraiser in February, 2015, with a goal of raising more than $5,000.

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Billy Sims BBQ Presents Gift


Billy Sims BBQ is a popular restaurant in Troy, specializing in ribs, sandwiches, and other tasty treats in a family-friendly atmosphere.  It is located at the intersection of W. South Blvd. and Crooks Rd. in the Troy North Center (map)

The owners, Mariane Harris and David Harris, are enthusiastic supporters of Troy Schools.  They recently made donations to the Troy Athens Marching Band and the Troy High Marching Band.

In the photo above, that’s Mariane on the right, presenting a check to Athens marching band president Nikki Jenkins.

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Siemens Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to Troy High School students Xinchu Tian and David Wu, who recently competed in the finals of the Siemens Foundation competition in math, science, and technology.  Their medical research focused on how to prevent strokes and help stroke victims.

From the Siemens website:

“The Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology recognizes remarkable talent early on, fostering individual growth for high school students who are willing to challenge themselves through science research. Through this competition, students have an opportunity to achieve national recognition for science research projects that they complete in high school. It is administered by Discovery Education and funded by the Siemens Foundation.”

Xinchu and David were awarded $50,000 in scholarship money for their hard work.  Click here for another photo on Facebook.

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Troy Math Club

This group, organized by Troy High School teacher Kevin Ortwine, has about 30 members.  The students love to participate in national competitions.  They recently won second place in a nationwide math contest sponsored by


Dhruv Medarametla (vice president), Sophia Kwon (president)


Mr. Ortwine and his team of mathematics champions

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Meet the Chess Master

DSC_1574bSafal Bora is a chess champion from Troy High School.  In a competition known as the Denker Tournament, he emerged as the #1 player in Michigan in the K-12 age group.  He then moved Into the national arena which featured one player from each of the 50 states.  On July 30, 2013, Safal won! He is officially the best chess player of all students in the entire country.

How did he feel when he won?  “Pretty happy,” he smiled.

What does he say about chess?  “You can never understand the beauty of the game until you play it.”

What’s next?  Safal hopes to compete in international tournaments. He is two-thirds of the way towards becoming a grand master.

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Costello Campus Life

Our SchoolLife photographer spent time at Costello Elementary School yesterday, talking to many people and taking lots of pictures.  What an awesome school!

The first nine photos show Kaity O’Riordan, the teaching & learning leader for Troy Schools, introducing the 3rd graders to their brand-new iPads.  There was a lot of excitement in the room as the kids and their teacher, Zach Rondot, explored this powerful technology.

The next four shots are of Cole VanAmberg of Cub Scout Pack 1718.  Cole is a 5th grader who organized a Toys for Tots drive for the school, even creating posters and decorating collection boxes.  The drive ends on December 8th.

Then comes Bryce Eton, a young man honored by phys-ed teacher Katherine Niedbala for his kindness to others.   He is exemplary of the values taught at Costello.

The young lady in the pink sweater is Maddison Kott,  In 2012, Maddison competed in the American Miss pageant and was crowned first out of 110 girls in Michigan.  She then went to California to compete against 49 other states… where she won!  For the year of 2013, she traveled the country as national American Miss princess.  Someday, she hopes to become Miss America.

The group of six students is the Costello News Crew, who broadcast school announcements and stories of interest every day.  They are the future of journalism.

Our special thanks to principal Tammy DiPonio for her hospitality.  Her students are bright, happy, caring, and creative!  It was fun seeing them in action at Costello Elementary.


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Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.


“Emma!” at Athens

Athens Theatre Company proudly presents “Emma!” on December 5-7 and 12-14.  This pop musical is packed with singing, dancing, comedy, and romance.   The Athens showing is the world premier performance so don’t miss it!

Directed by Krista Manfredi with musical direction by P. Jefferson McCoy and choreography by Laura Sak, “Emma!” is loosely based on Jane Austin’s novel (which also inspired the movie “Clueless”).  The songs in the play are all familiar, including Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” Katy Perry’s “Roar,” The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love,” and many more.

Here are some photos from a dress rehearsal:

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Bemis Blue Ribbon Day

Bemis Elementary School has won the Blue Ribbon award for excellence in 2014, an honor which very few schools achieve nationwide.  They celebrated with a special ceremony on December 2, 2014.

Among the dignitaries in attendance were Troy mayor Dane Slater, Troy school superintendent Dr. Richard Machesky, former Detroit Tigers pitching ace Dan Petry, and Colonel George Baker — an Army veteran who is a past Bemis, Boulan, and Troy high parent.

The program opened with a rousing performance from the Troy High School drumline.  Various speakers addressed the enthusiastic crowd of students, parents, staff members, and guests.  The message was to always do your best, keep trying and never give up.  “Success is taught by failure,” Dan Petry told the crowd.   “You can follow your dream and achieve greatness.”

Bemis Elementary lives by those words.  This is the second time the school has won the Blue Ribbon award!

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Sky Dome at Larson

The students at Larson Middle School had a unique visitor recently — an inflatable Sky Dome Planetarium.  It was presented by David Killion, science expert from Mobile Ed Productions, Inc.

The large dome was set up inside the school gym.  It contained a special projector which could show planets, galaxies, and images of the night sky over Troy, Michigan.

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Morse Principal

Stephanie Miller, principal of Morse Elementary School, would do anything for her students.  Recently they had a fundraiser to support a variety of school needs, and she offered them a prize.

Mrs. Miller told the students that if they reached their goal, she would dress up like a chicken… and she did!  Teachers soaked her with baby oil, and then students took turns covering her with feathers from head to toe.

Everyone had a great time, and all for a very worthy cause.

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.

Happy Halloween

Halloween is a favorite holiday of many kids.  These photos show the festivities at Costello Elementary, Leonard Elementary, Schroeder Elementary, and Wattles Elementary.  Trick or Treat!

Photos by Ed Morykwas, School Life Troy.