February 12: CFI Open House will give community a new look at the ‘old West’

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 2.12.19 PMCurious about what’s going at the old Lapeer West High School? You’ve seen the new sign at the road, but what’s really happening in there? The new research and development facility for Lapeer Community Schools (LCS), the Center for Innovation, will host an open house on Thursday, February 12, from 6-7:30 p.m.

This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in the full slate of academic and extra-curricular offerings, for students at all levels, housed in the facility.

During the open house, you can see demonstrations from the District’s robotics teams, peruse coursework from Project Lead The Way (STEM), learn about virtual and alternative options, Senior Capstone, College on Campus and much more. Every program housed in the facility will be represented.

“The purpose of this event is to promote the programs and provide an opportunity for parents and families involved in the programs to be able to see what’s happening,” said Matt Olson, CFI Director. “I know a lot of people out there still don’t really understand what we are all about. People need to know that the West Campus is alive and well. It’s pivotal to the long-term growth of the District.”

CFI-West opened in September 2014 and currently serves as many as 700 students per day.

For more information, visit LapeerSchools.org.

Work of Emma Somers recognized among ‘best in show’ at Michigan Thumb Region Scholastic Art and Writing Competition

Emma Somers

LHS artist Emma Somers was recognized as one of the five “Best of Show” at the 2015 Michigan Thumb Region Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. She received our region’s “American Vision Award” for the competition

Numerous LHS artists had artwork accepted into the 2015 Michigan Thumb Region Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. The following students will be honored at a ceremony on February 2 at the Macomb Center for the arts. Their artwork will be on display at the Lorenzo Cultural Center at Macomb Community College February 2-17.

Congratulations to our Lapeer High School artists!

Emma Somers’ Gold Key in drawing was recognized as one of the five “Best of Show” and received our region’s “American Vision Award” for the competition. The top five “Best of Show” also represent the region on the national level as American Vision nominees. A national panel selects one of the nominated works from each region as the American Vision Award Recipient for 2015. Those winners will be announced in the spring.

All artwork that received a Gold Key Award is eligible to be accepted into the National Scholastic Art and Writing Competition in New York City in early June.

Congratulations to the following students:

Kassy Aalbertsberg – Honorable Mention in drawing,
Erika Angoli – Honorable Mention in drawing,
Ashley Hayden – Gold Key and an Honorable Mention both in drawing,
Skyler Humphreys – Honorable Mention in drawing,
Hope McCormack – Silver Key in ceramics,
Gwenyth Reed – Honorable Mention in drawing,
Emily Rieves – Honorable Mention in ceramics,
Brenna Sabov – 2 Gold Keys in drawing,
Chase Smitterberg – Silver Key in drawing,
Emma Somers – Gold and Silver Key in drawing,
Sam Young – Gold Key for a portfolio of 8 drawings.

Congratulations to all artists who entered!

LHS 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Winners

‘First of its kind in Michigan': LHS students receive leadership training from Hero Town USA

links mentorsLAPEER, Michigan — Representatives from Hero Town USA were at Lapeer High School today to train about 40 LINKs Mentors on handling social situations across the spectrum. Founded in Flint, the Hero Round Table (HRT) is the world’s largest conference dedicated to real life heroism.

Many students in Lapeer and across the region have credited HRT Training for inspiring positive change in schools, advocacy for victims and constructive discourse.

LINKS is a peer-to-peer support system designed to aid students with autism. The program has produced far-reaching positive effects for students at all levels, and is currently being utilized in all our buildings.

“This training (for LINKs mentors) is the first of its kind for Michigan high school students,” said LHS teacher and sponsor, Aaron Romoslawski. “The LINKS mentors will be able to apply this training in school, life and, of course, LINKs.”

Students are challenged by the training to not sit idly by and wait for change to happen in their life, in their home and in their school. Instead, they are taught to be that change.

“We learn to go beyond what the norm is, what it takes to break the status quo — to make a difference,” said LHS senior Annika Grupp.

One of the most important facets of Hero Town USA training is that it has import across disciplines and demographics, categories and careers. You can be a hero today, where you are. Being a hero isn’t about having superhuman strength of body or wit. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

“Being a hero has all different kinds of qualities,” said senior Martin Flores. “You can do so much, and even a small amount can have a big effect.”

Upcoming Innovation & Information Nights

Here is a list of the upcoming Innovation & Information nights for students, parents and anyone interested in LCS programs:

Incoming 6th Grade Information Nights

  • Incoming 6th Grade Information Night: Lynch and Mayfield 5th graders

Thursday Feb. 19th from 6:00-7:30pm Rolland Warner Cafe

Who:  Lynch and Mayfield 5th graderss & their parents and any other students/parents interested in coming to Lapeer next year

  • Incoming 6th Grade Information Night: Murphy and Schickler 5th graders

Thursday Feb. 26th from 6:00-7:30pm Rolland Warner Cafe

Who:  Murphy and Schickler 5th graders & their parents and any other students/parents interested in coming to Lapeer next year

**Parents unable to make the designated night for your child’s school, may attend the other date listed.

Incoming 7th Grade Information Night

  • Incoming 7th Grade Information Night for all current 6th grade students

Tuesday, Feb. 24th 7:30-8:30pm Rolland-Warner Cafe

Who:  any students & their parents entering 7th grade in the fall who want information about scheduling

Incoming Year-Round Middle School Information Night

  • Incoming Year-Round students Information Night Grades 6-8

Tuesday, Feb. 24th 6:00-7:15pm Rolland-Warner Cafe

Who:  Turrill students & their parents and any other students/parents interested in the year-round middle school program for next year

Incoming 8th Grade Information Night

  • Incoming 8th Grade Information Night for all current 7th grade students

Tuesday Feb. 17th 6:00-7:00pm Zemmer Cafe

Who:  Current Rolland-Warner 7th grade students and their parents and any other students/parents interested in coming to Lapeer next year

Incoming 9th Grade Information Night

  • Incoming 9th Grade Information Night for all current 8th grade students

Tuesday Feb. 17th 7:30-8:30pm, Zemmer Cafe

Who:  Current Zemmer 8th grade students and their parents and any other students/parents interested in coming to Lapeer next year

Incoming 10th Grade 2015-16 Scheduling Information Night

  • Wednesday, February 11th 6 PM. Lapeer High School Auditorium

Current 9th grade students

CFI-West Innovation Night and Community Open House

  • Thursday, February 12th, 6 PM. Center For Innovation-West Campus

Interested Community Members- Come see what is happening at the new CFI-West Campus!!

Current and Prospective students and parents in grades 5-11!

Programs on Display: Project Lead the Way-Middle and HS Engineering, Senior Capstone Projects, Robotics, Ombudsman program and more!!!

Lapeer students meet French artist Jean-Louis Sauvat at historic White Horse Inn

Students pose for a photo with noted French artist Jean-Louis Savaut at the White Horse in Metamora. From the left to right  front row – Madame Clem, Kole Klebba, Madeline Melo Lily, Bourret, Hanna Schlaud,  back row – Brent Walker, Brendan Hall, Lyndsay Stickley, Merideth DeWitte, Joe Shultz, Katie Gariglio, Brooklyn George, Brianna George, Jean-Louis Sauvat, Madame Newton.

Students pose for a photo with noted French artist Jean-Louis Sauvat at the White Horse Inn in Metamora. From the left to right: front row – Madame Clem, Kole Klebba, Madeline Melo Lily, Bourret, Hanna Schlaud,
back row – Brent Walker, Brendan Hall, Lyndsay Stickley, Merideth DeWitte, Joe Shultz, Katie Gariglio, Brooklyn George, Brianna George, Jean-Louis Sauvat, Madame Newton.


Meredith DeWitt pictured with Jean-Louis Sauvat.

This post was written by Madame Newton and her talented students:

METAMORA, Michigan – This past summer, Madame Newton, LHS/Zemmer Middle School French teacher, was asked to translate for French artist Jean-Louis Sauvat during his stay in Michigan when he painted the horse murals at the White Horse Inn of Metamora. Knowing of his return to the U.S., she coordinated a French cultural “Read Like a Detective” lesson which culminated in students having the opportunity to meet and speak with Monsieur Sauvat at a private reception.

(See some of Sauvat’s work, here.)

As the lesson started, students were asked to look for details in a news text that would support/answer the question: How is it that Jean-Louis Sauvat, a famous French artist, came to paint a horse Masterpiece mural at the White Horse Inn restaurant in Metamora? This reading technique was chosen to help students gain specific reading skills helpful for ACT testing.

As a follow up, her French students were given the opportunity to meet and speak in French with Monsieur Sauvat at a private reception. Here is what happened:

As we sat around a table in the 1850’s part of the White Horse Inn, Brendan Hall asked, “when did you start painting?” Sauvat said, “I’ve painted ever since I was a young kid, so I went to an art school in Paris.” Then Kole Klebba, a Zemmer French student chimed in, “how do you get paid for your work?” “Through commissions from both government and private sources,” replied Sauvat. “For example, cities in France have an allocation in their budgets for beautifying a city, so my artwork can count toward that endeavor. Additionally, I get personal commissions. One that I’m proud of is the Horse Sculpture I made for a WWI horse burial ground to commemorate the more than 40,000 horses that were killed during the war.”

Joe Schultz and Brendan Hall with Monsier Sauvat.

Joe Schultz and Brendan Hall with Monsieur Sauvat.

As the students introduced themselves in French and shared a few things about their interests and hobbies, they were served Nutella-filled crêpes and Crêpes Suzettes made by the White Horse Inn chef.

Afterwards, everyone walked to the Grand Salon to take pictures in front of Sauvat’s horse fresco. Merideth DeWitte asked him to sign an important hat of hers and was thrilled when Sauvat drew a horse on it. Lily Bourret liked that she actually got to meet someone from France.

Brendan Hall remarked: “It’s amazing how much I could understand … I didn’t have to know all the words, but by picking up words here and there, I could communicate and understand the gist of what was said.”

“Most importantly, through the warmth and kindness of Monsieur Sauvat, this experience left the students feeling more confident than ever that they could really succeed in communicating in French,” said Madame Newton.

A special thank you to Linda Egland and Victor Dzenowagis, the owners of the White Horse who made this opportunity possible.

Life after high school: Innovation and Information Night at LHS set for January 15

  • What: Parent and Student Innovation Information Night
  • Where: LHS Auditorium
  • When: January 15 from 6-8 p.m.
  • Who: Sophomores, juniors (and their parents) and anyone else interested in advanced opportunities

The night will begin with a brief overview of the Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment College on Campus programs Lapeer Community Schools offers. Both prepare students to be both college and career ready upon graduation and students take advantage of both in their daily high school schedule. Soon, students will be selecting their courses for the 15-16 school-year, and this is a perfect opportunity to talk directly to the college advisers.

Parents and students will attend any three of their choice of the 8 scheduled presentations. Hosts will help direct families to the designated rooms.

Students who are currently juniors and sophomores are the target audience as most programs are open to juniors and seniors. All interested students and parents are encouraged to attend, including younger students, if planning for the future.

  1. Advanced Placement: 16 courses are offered to students. As early as 9th grade, students take advantage of the opportunity to earn college credit. The presenter is Dr. Michael Hobolth, Asst Principal at LHS. He will present the various programs, including the new Capstone Diploma. LHS is one of 100 schools worldwide selected to offer this prestigious program.
  2. College on Campus Dual Enrollment Programs:   Instructors and admissions administration from each of the following college partners will present programs and answer questions in a small group setting. College classes offered during the regular school day at CFI-West Campus on Millville Rd, Lapeer. District transportation is provided.

The College on Campus programs each have a particular major/career focus and yet, all assist with making critical decisions prior to graduating and entering the college of their choice. Each program becomes a springboard for the college coursework that will follow in their freshmen year of college . Prerequisites will be met, and/or general education credits will be completed. Students are encouraged to research the programs that they will eventually follow in college and determine how these programs will assist them. These programs provide the experience in a college classroom with college instructors and college credit at little to no cost to them as well as the support of their high school and family. The programs, to the traditional college freshmen, are valued at $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the school and program. With the national average for student loan debt now exceeding the credit card debt, at almost $30,000, students must seek every avenue to bring down the cost of college. Earning college credit while in high school is a great option.

  • University of Michigan-Flint Business and Humanities Programs
  • Baker Computer, Engineering and Health programs.
  • Mott Community College Business and Criminal Justice programs.

We hope to see you at Lapeer High School Thursday night as you investigate your college earning options as a high school student. The experience and savings are extremely valuable to the student making important decisions and to the parent with the cost of tuition increasing each year.

For more information, www.lapeerschools.org has the complete schedule of programs or contact Director of Transitions, Susan Wilmers, at swilmers@lapeerschools.org or 810-538-1655 or the high school counseling office at 810-667-2421.

Lightning Football: Mike Smith named SVL-Red Coach of the Year, 11 earn first team all-conference honors

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 10.32.56 AMThe 10-1 Lapeer Lightning football team, one of the top teams in the state, dominated the postseason awards much like it dominated the play on the field this season.

Team One earned 11 spots on the Saginaw Valley League-Red All-Conference Team. Mr. Mike Smith earned Coach of the Year honors after leading the Lightning to a dramatic showdown against the top division one team in the state, Clarkston (eventual state champion).

Congratulations to our student-athletes!

First Team Defense:

Jon Currie, DL

Dan Perry, DL

Hunter Andrews, DL

Jake Perry, LB

Tim Gabryel, DB

David Kray, K

First Team Offense:

Eli Hunt, QB

Brian Bach, RB

Anthony Herbert, OL

Brandon Murawa, OL

Tyler Wills, WR

Lapeer area adds seventh high school robotics team: Strike Zone

Tony Diodato of Cypress Computer Systems, center, reviews robot-building strategies with a small group of students from his new Strike Zone robotics team, along with students from Lapeer robotics Team 1684, the Chimeras.

Tony Diodato of Cypress Computer Systems, center, reviews robot-building strategies with a small group of students from his new Strike Zone robotics team, along with students from Lapeer robotics Team 1684, the Chimeras.

LAPEER, Michigan – To kick off the 2014-2015 robotics season, a new local robotics team has emerged. Known as Strike Zone, it’s the Lapeer area’s seventh high-school robotics team.

Strike Zone Team 5460 is headed up by engineer-programmer Tony Diodato of Cypress Computer Systems. Diodato, who coordinates the robotics programs based at Lapeer’s Center for Innovation, said creating a new team has enabled an influx of freshmen ─ along with a few former Chimeras from Team 1684 ─ to get more involved in building a robot than would have otherwise been possible.

Jon Uren, an original member of the Chimeras team, continues to coach the Chimeras.

Robot-building strategy will be completely separate for each team, although the teams plan to work together on off-season projects, such as the Downhill Derby which happens during Lapeer Days each summer, and the ROBO-CON robotics summer festival first launched by the Chimeras in July.

For now, the two teams are sharing the same space, the former machine shop at Lapeer’s new Center for Innovation.

The availability of state funding for rookie teams made this year an ideal time to start a new team, said Diodato, who has been considering creating a new team for some time.

The seven area high school teams are part of the international FIRST organization (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), at the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) level. Along with Strike Zone and the Chimeras teams, the Lapeer area FRC robotics roster includes Lapeer’s Ed Tech Team 3535, the Galak Tech Invaders; Team 4961 of Almont, Shock and Awe-sum; Team 5048 of Imlay City High School, the Spartronics; Team 5201 of North Branch, the Broncos; and Team 5238 of LakeVille, the Falcons.

The Chimeras and Strike Zone teams are two of five robotics teams now based at Lapeer’s Center for Innovation at the school’s West campus. The Center also serves as home base for two FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) middle school teams and a new FIRST Lego League (FLL) elementary-age team.

The FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of a varsity sport with hands-on training in science and technology to help high school students discover how rewarding a career in engineering or technology can be. Every student on a FIRST robotics team has a chance to turn pro.

Robotics team seeks mentors, year-end donations

Currently Lapeer robotics team 1684, the Chimeras, is seeking community sponsors to fund the upcoming season, which begins Jan. 3, 2015.

The cost for each high school robotics team to build and compete a robot ranges from $15,000 – $40,000 a season. Community contributions of any amount are welcome; teams also welcome in-kind donations and help from mentors with experience in science, technology, engineering, programming, electrical, machining, education and other related areas.

Chimeras robotics students work year-round to develop skills in science, technology, engineering and math, then use those skills to mentor others and contribute to the Lapeer community through events such as the annual Lapeer Days free Downhill Derby, and the new “accidentally educational” Robo-Con event, a free annual community festival introduced by the Chimeras in July.

Want to help the work of the Chimeras robotics team? Contact Tony Diodato at tony@first1684.com.

Learning ‘without noticing': LHS sophomore Hannah Graham writes about recent field trip

What follows is a letter from Lapeer High School sophomore Hannah Graham about a recent field trip she participated in with many of her classmates:

LHS Sophomore Hannah Graham

LHS Sophomore Hannah Graham

My name is Hannah Graham and I wanted to share with you my amazing biology experience along with many others. Recently I had the opportunity to go on a field trip to Turrill elementary school, Zemmer, and Ferguson retirement home and present a Mitosis presentation. If you are unaware of what Mitosis is, it is cell reproduction and replication which enables us to live every day; without Mitosis we would not be able to survive.

Mr. Jeff Haring came up with a different learning style instead of the usual lecture and notes; this learning style let all of the students in his biology class to be creative. At first it was a challenge, figuring out how to present Mitosis and each of the cells processes through acting, singing, etc; but, he allowed us to go above and beyond, and actually make up plays, or a song instead of doing the normal read off of a presentation ordeal. It wasn’t just us coming up with our own presentations and reading off of a script or memorizing lines that we weren’t going to remember in a week. We actually learned the curriculum without noticing.

There were four groups out of all of his classes that actually had to tryout to see if the presentation was presentable, and or reasonably educational of course. Luckily, both of the groups out of my class were able to go on the trip. Those in my class that went were: Baylee Thompson, Alec nusz, Patrick McNulty, Jacob Rill, Mackenzie Maxwell, Layne Price, Ashley Pomorski, Emily Kirsammer, Anthony Maasch, Basil King, Nick Osentoski, Marisol Rodriguez,Eva Walker, and myself. Our class was split into evenly separated groups, and presented a play and a visual presentation. The play my group did was a reenactment of Romeo and Juliet, in which we showed the three last phases of mitosis, Metaphase, Anaphase, and Cytokensis. The other groups that went included: Will Taylor, Gavin Beckwith, Emily Alexander, Brady Bills, Monica George, Jesse Conway, Cristen lambert, Chelsea Kroll, Allison Davis, Quinton Cesefske, Nathan Newsome, Andrea Mchugh, Lauren Frederick,Noah Hirsch, Skylar Vettesse, Griffin Hammond, Tim Cahillelis, Evan Orr, Chad stamps, Cameron Johnson, Sam Cooke, Clayton Nolley, Bella Mirza, Hayden Rock, Skylar Humphries, Johnny Seabrooks, Malek Al Ghanem ,Alexis Brazelton.

Those groups did a “that’s good, that’s bad” reenactment in which they went through all of the phases one by one comparing and contrasting the process. We saved the best for last; Noah Hirsch, or the “artist” of this phenomenal song, explained mitosis through a ‘rap’ song. But here’s the catch, the song didn’t have any words. Noah was able to write a song that explained Mitosis step by step but at the same time got everyone to listen and get a clear understanding of what he was singing about. I assume you’re thinking “A rap song at a retirement home?”  Not going to work right? Wrong. Noah sang the song in a completely different tone and transformed an educational song into a beautiful enjoyable tune.

Once all of the presentations were over at the elementary school, the children had huge smiles on their faces and asked us to present us again. The middle school thought it was interesting the way we maneuvered ourselves into visual representations of the things that they are learning at the same time. But the thing that affected me the most was how the residents at the retirement home reacted. We presented two out of the four presentations to the residents, the song and the visual presentation. We showed them the visual, and then we sang the Mitosis song, they of course did not know exactly what we were talking about, but that was not the point. Our reason to go to the retirement home was to make someone happy. The residents that stay there are barely ever visited by people other than the nurses, and it was our mission to educate and entertain.

After we presented to the residents, we mingled with as many residents as we could lay our eyes on. I met a beautiful lady by the name of Edith, and simply just asked her how her day was, and she was in tears because of how happy she was that we came. I then talked to another woman by the name of Rose, she wasn’t able to walk and had a hard time speaking, but she made it clear to me what she wanted. “SING MORE SONGS” is what Rose said to me as soon as I said hello. So all of the biology students got together and created a striking idea. We were going to sing Christmas carols, a way to make the residents feel joyous and content with the snow that lay on the ground outside of their windows. Noah, being the caring compassionate individual he is, came up with the idea of going to the residents whom weren’t able to go see us sing. He went to numerous rooms, singing requested carols that the residents wanted to hear. We then sang songs, and said our goodbye as departure time was upon us.

For me, seeing how happy the elementary school, middle school and retirement home was, it gave me an optimistic outlook on how projects can actually have great meaning and impact. Simply singing a song gave us amazing opportunities to extend ourselves beyond the high school. Mr. Haring’s ambition to show us how important it is to understand what we are getting tested on proved correct (almost all of the students aced the test we took over Mitosis). Together as sophomores we were able to bond and receive priceless interaction or experience that is vital to growing and learning.  All in all the field trip was fantastic, and made me, along with others, feel like there is actually a good reason to learn this curriculum other than that it is required. Those who went on the trip are thankful for those that made it possible, and are extremely pleased with how well everything went.

Thank you for giving me your time to read my amazing experience and summary of the field trip, for it was a widely appreciated event.
Thank you, Hannah Graham

Lapeer High School students aim to “spark” a change with anti-bullying Twitter page

LHS sparkIn the wake of numerous media reports about the controversial Afterschool app, two Lapeer High School students decided to flip the script. The students, who wish to remain anonymous, created the @lhsspark Twitter page as an alternative to the destructive, anti-social and downright nasty content found on apps likes Afterschool.

The allure of the Afterschool app, ironically, is anonymity. Students can post most anything they want about their fellow classmates without having to see how the sheer ugliness of those comments affects their intended targets. It’s cowardly and pathetic to say the least. Those who create the content are no better than those who are entertained by it.

Fortunately, two students decided not be bystanders to this negative cycle. @lhsspark is a positive twitter account that allows followers to send positive (mostly anonymous) messages out on twitter about LHS, students, and society in general. This account has already garnered a following of over 230 people, and is a positive force within our local Twitterverse.

The co-creators of the page were inspired by this fall’s Hero Round Table Conference held in Flint. The conference covers numerous topics including the Bystander Effect. This phenomenon is one we are all familiar with: humans tend to be far less likely to offer help to someone in distress when there are others around. Doing nothing ultimately changes nothing.

We all think, “surely someone will do something.” But, then there’s this: Be that someone.

“The (Hero Round Table) conference gave me the confidence to step up and speak out when I saw things that were wrong,” said one student.

The Hero Round Table, combined with the District’s OMNI forum, led these two students to decide that the only way to stop the bullying happening in and around the building, was to take action. It is their hope that this account, and the positivity it creates, only gets bigger.

These students, and the account’s followers, truly want to “spark” a change not only in Lapeer, but throughout society by ending the cycle of negativity and encouraging more people to be the positive change that will benefit everyone. These two students exemplify the character of LHS and we are proud of the stand they have taken. Let’s join them!

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