Lapeer High School commencement to return to Dort Federal Event Center

PrintLAPEER, Michigan –Lapeer High School’s commencement ceremony will return to the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint in 2017. The venue, located off I-69 in Flint, hosted commencement ceremonies for Lapeer East and West before the 2015 high school consolidation. The last two ceremonies have been held at Oakland University’s O’Rena in Rochester.

Superintendent Matt Wandrie met with a group of student leaders from Lapeer High School last month to discuss their recommendation to move the ceremony back to Dort Federal. Since that meeting, Wandrie toured the facility with members of the LHS administration and the Board of Education to assess its condition. Since the District moved commencement to Oakland, the new owners of the facility have poured millions of dollars into renovations.

“Our past concerns with the condition of the facility have been alleviated, and we’re excited about once again holding our ceremony closer to home, at a larger venue,” said LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie. “We listened to the concerns of the students, took a fresh look at the facility and were impressed by what we saw.”

The Dort Federal Event Center now has state-of-the-art lighting, a high definition Jumbotron screen, upgraded seating and a renovated foyer. The facility has more seats, more space for staging graduates and a standalone parking area.

The Class of 2017 commencement ceremony will be held June 4 at 2 p.m.


French summer exchange students arrive in Lapeer


Ashleigh Wilson, Caroline and Capuchin Creche and Shelby Agnew at Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus.

Two students who take French with Madame Newton in Lapeer Schools,  Shelby Agnew from LHS and Asheigh Wilson from Zemmer, welcomed two sisters, Capucine and Charlotte Creach from Brittany, France to their homes for three weeks.  The French girls have come to Michigan to become fully immersed in the lives and the language of their host families and look forward to the many everyday activities that await them.  Some examples of activities with which they will be joining their host families include: dance competitions, going horse back riding, and attending a Tiger’s game. They also will be joining Madame Newton for a Detroit River Cruise to learn about the French history of Michigan.


Ashleigh Wilson greets Caroline after her 8 hour flight from Paris

This summer experience will help the Lapeer students to feel a sense of pride in sharing their traditions, create memories that will build lifelong friendships with someone from across the globe as well as enrich their entire family as they bring another culture into their homes along with their new French “sibling”.

What a great experience awaits them. This is a program that has been ongoing in Lapeer for the past 20 years.   Lapeer’s French teacher Madame Newton, who is responsible for finding the host families in Lapeer, said “many families find hosting a student to be an enriching opportunity that motivates them to utilize the French language skills they have spent many years studying, both in middle and high school, to travel to France and meet their new French family.  I encourage my students each year to take this opportunity and look forward to more students hosting in the future.”   

Christine Newton, a twenty-nine year veteran French teacher, who strongly believes in this authentic learning experience for her French students, helps find hosting families for Xperitas a company that provides English language immersion programs in the U.S. for students from around the world. For U.S. families, these programs offer an opportunity to bring the world to their doorstep and learn about another culture while sharing their own with an international student.

To Find out more about hosting contact Madame Newton at

Lapeer Community Schools to hold community forum on open carry issue

LAPEER, Michigan — Next month, Lapeer Community Schools (LCS) will host a community forum to inform the public on the issue of open carry in schools. The forum will be held at 6 p.m. on August 3 in the cafeteria at the Rolland-Warner 6-7 Campus, 3145 W. Genesee St., Lapeer.

This event is a great opportunity for members of the community to be informed about the laws governing the issue of open carry of firearms in schools, as well as relevant school district procedures.

“We look forward to meeting with our community to discuss an important issue facing school districts across the state,” said LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie. “Since the issue of open carry in schools is both complex and controversial, we feel it is our role as a district to provide as much information as we can to our families.”

The discussion will be led by district administrators and facilitated by members of local law enforcement agencies.

For more information, please contact Jared Field at

Lapeer Community Schools announces retirement of longtime principal

LAPEER, Michigan — Tim Zeeman, current Chief Operations Officer at Lapeer High School, will retire from Lapeer Community Schools effective June 30, 2016. Zeeman has served as teacher, coach, athletic director and principal in the District for 25 years.

“Mr. Zeeman has a long and distinguished career in the District,” said LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie. “We thank him for his service to our organization and wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Zeeman said his father told him long ago to find a job that wasn’t like a job, one full of enjoyment.  “I found that job in education,” he said. “For the last 37 years, I was able to enjoy thoroughly my job as a teacher, coach, and administrator both at North Branch and Lapeer.  I would like to thank all who have made my life such a blessed one.”

Former assistant principal at Lapeer High School, Shad Spilski, has been given a one-year temporary appointment to serve as the school’s Chief Operations Officer. Prior to Zeeman’s resignation, Spilski was assigned to a new position as associate principal at the Rolland-Warner Campus. That position, now vacant, will be filled in the near future.

For more information, please contact Jared Field at

LHS Basketball Camp coming in July

The Lapeer High School Boys Basketball Camp will be held July 11, 18, and 25 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. each day. The camp is open to 4-8th grade boys (fall of 2016).

The cost is $40 (paid on first day of camp).

For more information, e-mail coach Aaron Fisher at

Lapeer Community Schools announces administrative changes for 2016-17 school year

Lapeer Community Schools will welcome a pair of new members to its administrative team for the 2016-17 school year. Robert Downey, a former elementary principal in Dryden Community Schools, has been named principal of Turrill Elementary. Downey takes over for longtime Turrill principal Ken Janczarek, who has been named the District’s new

Robert Downey
Robert Downey

Director of Innovation. The former Director of Innovation, Matt Olson, was recently named the Superintendent of Benzie Central Schools (MI).

Downey, an Attica resident, has served as elementary principal, K-12 assistant principal and spent three years as a K-6 technology teacher in Dryden. Taken together, he has served as a public educator for 21 years.

Downey has an MA in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College as well as an Education Specialist degree from the University of Michigan conferred in 2014.

Katie Jordan.jpeg
Katie Jordan

Katie Jordan, a 14-year classroom teacher from Clarkston Community Schools, has been named the principal of Murphy Elementary. Jordan takes over for Jeff Stanton, who will become the principal of the District’s Rolland-Warner 6-7 Campus.

Jordan, a Goodrich resident, has been a classroom teacher in Clarkston for 14 years. She earned an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan – Flint and an MA in K-12 Administration from Central Michigan University. In 2011, she earned her Education Specialist degree from Oakland University.

Both new principals will start July 1, 2016.

For more information, please contact Jared Field at

Schickler Elementary students complete service learning project to benefit McLaren Hospice

Students donate “Sunshine Bags” to comfort Lapeer hospice patients and their loved ones

DAVISON, Michigan — Third grade students at Schickler Elementary School in Lapeer have worked throughout the school year raising funds and gathering items to make “Sunshine Bags” for hospice patients as part of an academic service learning (ASL) project that combines academics with service learning.

hospOn June 1, the students present their “Sunshine Bags” to representatives from McLaren Hospice. The bags will be given to McLaren Lapeer Region patients transitioning to McLaren Hospice. Each bag contains everyday items such as lip balm, lotion, socks and playing cards that patients and families may find useful to have throughout their hospice care. The bags also include inspirational messages made by the students, as well as a homemade lap quilt.

“McLaren Hospice is honored to have the support of the students, teachers and administrators at Schickler Elementary School and it’s wonderful to know young people are learning about the care and services hospice provides,” said McLaren Hospice director, Cindy Tomlinson, RN, MSN, “The students clearly put a lot of work and thought into the project and we are so thankful to receive their Sunshine Bags, as they will help lift the spirits of patients and families within the community.”

According to the student’s teacher, Kristin Colpetzer, “As educator’s we continuously work with parents and community members to create a culture of learning that brings school, community and families together for the betterment of our students,” stated Colpetzer, “With our ASL project focused on learning and giving back to the community, doing something to benefit

McLaren Hospice patients seemed like a natural fit.”

When starting this project, the students discussed the types services hospice care provides and what it means when a patient is sent home under hospice care. They held several fundraisers to raise money to purchase items for the bags including, an opportunity for children to win a book and photo with the book’s author during a school visit. They also sold “Love Grams” for Valentine’s Day and raffled off gift baskets at annual school dance. The students also received a monetary donation from Farm Bureau Insurance in Lapeer.

As a non-profit organization, McLaren Hospice relies on donations and efforts of the community to help support our mission to care for terminally ill patients, regardless of their ability to pay and support non-reimbursed services, such as music therapy and bereavement support programs. The donation of the Sunshine Bags from the Schickler Elementary students are equally as important. Not only do the items provide added comforts for patients and their loved ones, each bag comes with knowing the children learned heartfelt lessons of compassion, caring and giving for every bag made.

About McLaren Homecare Group

McLaren Homecare Group provides community-based home health care, palliative care, hospice, home medical supplies and equipment, infusion services, and pharmacy services for the McLaren Health Care system. Its divisions serve more than 375,000 patients and businesses in 25 counties throughout Michigan. McLaren Homecare Group maintains regional offices in Genesee County, Macomb County, Ingham County, Isabella County, Bay County, along with retail storefronts in 12 locations throughout southeast and mid-Michigan. For more information about McLaren Hospice, visit our website at, or call toll-free (866) 323-5974.