Letter to parents from Superintendent Matt Wandrie

logo no wordsThis year marks a watershed moment in the history of Lapeer Community Schools. For the first time in nearly four decades, our district will be unified behind one secondary program. Even more importantly, however, the structure of the entire district (pre K-12) has been streamlined to simplify transitions for students.

Over the course of the next two weeks, you will certainly encounter new and exciting changes that will, ultimately, be very positive for you and your student(s). Please understand that the changes coming in 2014-15 affect all of us: students, parents, staff and the entire community. There will be kinks to work out; but rest assured, this transition will ultimately offer a better, broader and more fulfilling experience for all students. In the interim, we ask that you exercise patience as we navigate through the first couple weeks of school. The start of every school year is always full of surprises but, as the dust settles, students and staff always find their rhythm.

A few important points for 2014-15:

  • The ongoing M-24 construction project will, without doubt, cause some of our buses to run late. This is a variable that is outside of our control, but I assure you our transportation department has been working diligently to ensure our buses run as efficiently as possible for the duration of this project.
  • We are opening four new (reconfigured) school buildings this year: Rolland-Warner Campus (6-7 Building), Zemmer Campus (8-9 Building), Lapeer High School (10-12) and the Center for Innovation – West Campus. Because of these new configurations, we have directed our administrative and instructional staff to identify class size disparities right away in order to best accommodate our students.
  • Many of your students will notice some long-overdue improvements to facilities in the District. Over the spring and summer, many projects have been completed including: Phase 1 of the athletic complex renovation at the West Campus, expansion of band and choir rooms at Lapeer High School (LHS), renovated gymnasium and cafeteria at LHS and security upgrades at our elementary buildings.
  • Finally, thank you for your patience throughout the registration process for students. As you are aware, at no point in our history have we offered as many new and innovative choices for students. We are thrilled to see so many students taking advantage of these new opportunities. It would have been easier to do nothing, but that’s not what’s best for our students. They deserve better.

Thank you for your support of Lapeer Community Schools. This is going to be a great year!

 

Matthew T. Wandrie – Superintendent

August 28: Ride and Drive event to take place prior to opening football game

ridedriveOn August 28, Lapeer High School and Jim Riehl’s Friendly Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram will partner for a Dodge “Ride and Drive” event prior to the start of home football opener at the LCS Athletic Complex (West Campus). For every test drive taken, $20 is given to the school — up to $5000!! The test drives will begin at 4:30 p.m.

In addition, attendees at the game have the opportunity to win some cash! Two tickets will be drawn before halftime and the winners will receive $100 each and a attempt to throw the football into the bed of a truck. If the ball lands and stays in the bed from the 20 yard line, the winners will receive an additional $300. This revenue will also be donated to Lapeer High School.

A drive simulator, which simulates the effects of texting and driving, among other driving distractions, will also be on hand courtesy of McLaren Thumb Region. The simulator is really eye-opening for teens and adults. 

We are very grateful for the generosity of Jim Riehl’s, one of the strongest supporters of our students and community!

2014 LCS Distinguished Alumni Hall of Honor inductees named

Lapeer Community Schools and the Lapeer High School Alumni Association are proud to announce inductees for the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Hall of Honor: Patrick Smith (Class of 1968), Geraldine Hammill (Class of 1968), Bill Kinzer (Class of 1986) and Jason Rogers (Class of 1994).

All of these inductees have distinguished themselves as tremendous stewards of the education and training they received from Lapeer Community Schools; they are role models for all students.

Patrick Smith, a 1968 graduate of Lapeer High School, went on to study at Michigan State University where he earned a Ph.D in Chemistry and spent two years as a research assistant. Smith worked for Dow Chemical in Midland for 30 years including three years as a lead scientist for Global Dow Analytical Sciences. Smith, a Midland resident, has served as past chair of numerous national meetings of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and has been a member of the Advisory Board of the New England Green Chemistry Consortium. He has been an adjunct professor at Central Michigan University and has received many distinctions including the ACS Award for Outstanding Achievement and Promotion of the Chemical Sciences.

Geraldine Hammill, also a 1968 graduate of Lapeer High School, spent 37 years in public education as teacher and counselor. She died in 2009 at the age of 58. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University, Hammill worked in public schools across southeast Michigan, including 23 years as a guidance counselor at Goodrich High School. She also spent 10 years teaching adult education in Lapeer. Hammill was very active in her community as a leader for the local American Cancer Society. She was also involved in numerous student-centered organizations that served the community.

Bill Kinzer, a 1987 graduate of Lapeer East High School, is a longtime teacher and coach in the District. Kinzer started his career in Lapeer in 1992. During his career he has taught and coached at White Junior High, Lapeer East and Lapeer West. He earned degrees in the Art of Teaching and History from UM-Flint, Oakland University and Marygrove College. In addition to his work as an educator, Kinzer has been the driving force behind successful sports programs in soccer and basketball. He is arguably the most successful coach in the history of Lapeer East High School, winning 15 league titles in his first 20 seasons as varsity girls’ soccer coach. Kinzer, a Lapeer Resident, has also served as an OMNI Council advisor, an assistant athletic director and a union representative.

Jason Rogers, a 1994 graduate of Lapeer East High School, is the owner of Rogers Pharmacy in downtown Lapeer. Rogers, a Metamora resident, graduated from Ferris State University College of Pharmacy in 2002. He saw the need for a service-oriented pharmacy and ultimately set up shop on West Nepessing Street in the former home of Rite Aid Pharmacy in July 2007. Rogers has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Pharmacist Association, the Michigan Society of Community Pharmacists, and the Lapeer DDA. He was honored for his relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The Distinguished Alumni Hall of Honor program is cooperatively sponsored by Lapeer Community Schools and the Lapeer High School Alumni Association.  The award was created to recognize and honor the accomplishments of the outstanding men and women who graduated from our schools.  By celebrating these role models, we inspire today’s students to move forward in their own pursuit of excellence.

A ceremony will be held in their honor at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in the Irwin Board Room at the Administration and Services Center, 250 Second St., in Lapeer. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

LCS students to receive free admission to all extra-curricular events, including athletics

lightning athletics copyStarting this fall, all students in Lapeer Community Schools will receive free admission to all district-sponsored extra-curricular events, including athletics. Students armed with their student identification card will have free access to all athletic contests, art shows and concerts. This idea came out of the District’s Transition Team and has the full support of the Board of Education and the Central Office Leadership Team.

It was a no-brainer.

“We are continually looking for ways to bring this community together under the banner of One Lapeer, and I think this is a great way to make that happen,” said LCS Superintendent. “These sorts of events instill a profound sense of pride in our community and we want more people to experience it.”

The District is just one month away from its historic unification of East and West High Schools. The schools had been separated for nearly 40 years.

As part of this new policy, younger students (grades K-7) will be required to be accompanied by an adult. As in years past, adults will still be able to take advantage of the punch card system for a reduced rate.

“This is just one of many long-overdue changes in the District to become more community-minded and family-friendly,” Wandrie said. “How we support our students is a reflection of who we are as a community, and I’m confident that our people will respond.”

For more information, visit LapeerLightning.com.

LCS Assistant Superintendent Kevin Rose accepts VP of Finance position at Spring Arbor College

At Thursday evening’s regular meeting of the Lapeer Community Schools Board of Education, members accepted the resignation of Kevin Rose, longtime Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations. Mr. Rose has been named the CFO and VP for Finance and Administration at Spring Arbor University. Mr. Rose, whose two children are graduates of the university, was recruited for the position in large part because of his role in supporting the District’s innovative strategic plan.

The resignation is effective August 31, 2014.

“This is bittersweet for our community,” said LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie. “We are thrilled for Kevin, but we also know that he leaves some big shoes to fill. He has been an integral part of the District for many years and one of the prime movers supporting the bold and innovative programs that are being introduced in our community.”

Wandrie said that because the position is critical to the ongoing financial stability of the organization, the search for Rose’s replacement is already under way.

“We will be seeking an individual who can continue to support the innovative culture that is now a part of our organization,” he said. “Interviews will be occurring later this month, with a plan to have someone in place in September.”

August 8: LCS Band Camp to culminate with large-scale performance

lightning music

After five long days of hard work and preparation, the 2014 LCS Band Camp at Rolland-Warner will wrap up on Friday with a performance featuring nearly 200 of the District’s musicians in grades 8-12.
The students will perform in their summer uniforms starting at 11 a.m. just prior to lunch. The Lapeer City Fire Department will also be on hand to provide assistance with an aerial shot of the entire band.

Thank you to all the parent volunteers and staff members who make this event happen.

Go Lightning!

LCS announces hiring of Interim Associate Principal for the Zemmer Campus

bbennettBarbara Bennett, a skilled educator and co-chair of the Special Education Department at Zemmer, has been named Interim Associate Principal for the Zemmer Campus in 2014-15. The Zemmer Campus will house the District’s eighth and ninth graders starting this fall.

Barb brings with her a strong background and experience with many of the initiatives that have launched at the middle level over the last several years. She has previous teaching experience in the Marlette Community Schools.

“We are very fortunate to have a lot of talent right here in Lapeer,” said LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie. “We are confident that Barb has the right attitude and skills to be an excellent administrator.”

Bennett earned a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching in 2012 and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education in 2009 from Saginaw Valley State University. She is currently enrolled in UM-Flint’s graduate program for Education Administration.

She has been involved in many district programs including Positive Behavior Intervention Support training, the Accelerated Adolescent Reading Initiative and Before School Intervention.

Bennett lives in Lapeer with her two sons.

Please participate in our Middle School Childcare Survey

Parents –

Please take a moment to fill out our Middle School Childcare Survey. This will help us identify ways we can better serve our school community. It’s online (via Survey Monkey) and very simple to complete.

Please follow this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/67H63BM

The District of (Advanced) Choices: LCS set to offer more advanced opportunities than ever before

This article originally appeared in the Lapeer County Press on June 13, 2014.

Gavette

Miranda Gavette

LAPEER, Michigan – Miranda Gavette is redefining sophomoric behavior.

Gavette, who graduated in the top ten in her class at Lapeer East High School this year, is just a few test results away from achieving her goal: entering Alma College this fall as a sophomore. The 18-year-old from Attica is leapfrogging numerous general education requirements at the college level thanks, in large part, to her participation in the District’s Advanced Placement (AP) program.

She is on track to earn at least 24 college credits before her first day of college as a result of an opportunity she calls a “double win” for students.

“There are really two types of students in high school,” Gavette said. “Students who are there to simply get through it and others who really want to use the experience to prepare for college. Students who participate in AP are the second type.”

Gavette started her experience in the 10th grade with AP Government and continued all the way through to the granddaddy of them all as a senior: AP Calculus B-C.

“My class load my senior year nearly killed me, but it was worth it,” she said. “It’s going to allow me to knock a whole year off of college.”

It’s a double win for dad, too.

Read the rest of this entry

Coming August 9: Lapeer Wrestling annual golf outing

lightning athletics copyThe annual Lapeer Wresting golf outing is coming to Lapeer Country Club Saturday, August 9. The four-man scramble will begin at 8 a.m. Golfers must pre-register no later than August 1. The cost is $85 per player including 18 holes, lunch and steak dinner, and numerous prizes.

Click here for the registration information.

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