Western senior third baseman Anthony Gutierrez named PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Western International High senior third baseman Anthony Gutierrez was 4-for-5 with three doubles and five RBI in a 16-1 Detroit Public School League Mega Division semifinal victory against Cass Tech and has been named PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week.

2015 PSL baseball semis PSL softball finals 161“Anthony’s leadership has been vital to the success of our eighth straight PSL championship,’’ Cowboys coach Juan Sanchez said. “Anthony has had one of the best hitting careers of all the players I’ve had since I’ve been coach at Western. He’s batting well over .500 for his career with 15 home runs and over 150 RBI in his career.

“His lineage has also been important to our program with his older brother Hector, who played here, now being the shortstop at (the University of) Michigan.”

Gutierrez, who also plays first base, was a Proud Strong Learner of the Week last year and was a part of the Cowboys’ last four PSL championships, including a 4-0 victory against King in this year’s Mega Division title game at Wayne State University.

The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week award is representative of the league’s top boys’ and girls’ athletes. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and is sponsored by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators

Renaissance junior Nijah Slaughter named PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Renaissance High junior Nijah Slaughter, who struck out 10 and allowed just three hits in an 8-1 victory against Cass Tech that captured the Lady Phoenix’s 11th consecutive Detroit Public School League girls’ softball championship, has been named PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week.

nijah2Slaughter has posted an impressive 11-3 overall record with a 1.14 earned run average and 66 strikeouts to lead Renaissance’s pitching rotation this season. A third-year varsity player, she made all-tournament teams twice this season and showed her versatility by playing shortstop and nearly every other position.

“She’s gotten better and better each year,’’ Renaissance coach Garrard Taylor said. “She’s a power pitcher and she’s really worked at it. She’s a hard worker and takes a lot of pride in what she does.

“She’s just a great athlete. She really can play any position on the field, from catcher to the outfield. It’s rare that you get a player who can do that. But she wants to be the best and you can tell that by her grades. She works just as hard in the classroom as she does on the field.”

Slaughter is the only captain returning from this year’s four team co-captains and boasts a 3.97 grade point average.

The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week award is representative of the league’s top boys’ and girls’ athletes. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and is sponsored by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators

Cass Tech repeats as PSL boys’ and girls’ track and field champions

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Led by double victories from junior Savalas Morgan and senior Simonae Dismuke, Cass Tech repeated as the boys’ and girls’ team champions Saturday in the 2015 Detroit Public School League Track and Field Championship Meet at Renaissance High School.

In addition to Morgan’s gold medals in the 110 meter hurdles (15.49) and the 300 meter hurdles (41.79), Cass Tech’s boys finished first in the 4×800 meter relay (8:45.90), the 4×200 meter relay (1:29.51) and the 4×100 meter relay (42.78).

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Cass Tech — 2015 PSL boys’ track and field champions

Coach Thomas Wilcher’s Technicians finished with 127 points, more than doubling second-place Cody’s 62 points. Western took third with 55, Denby placed fourth with 48, and Renaissance and Southeastern tied for fifth with 45.

Cass Tech’s girls scored 186 points to finish ahead of second-place Renaissance 148 and third-place King 103. Denby was fourth with 35 and Northwestern fifth with 23.

Dismuke, who is headed to Central Michigan University on a track scholarship, repeated as the girls’ 200 meters (26.61) and 400 meters (57.46) champion to lead Cass Tech’s girls.

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Cass Tech — 2015 PSL girls’ track and field champions

Discus champion Tamia Morrisette threw 82-9 and senior Jahaira Maxwell high jumped 4-7 to claim two the Lady Technicians’ meet-best seven gold medals.

Coach Chris Wright’s team also earned victories in the 4×800 relay (10:38.50), the 4×200 relay (1:44.65) and 4×400 relay (4:10.64).

Boys’ gold medalists included Western senior Juan Flores, who repeated as 1600 champion (4:39.33) and also won the 3200 (10:51.59).

Southeastern’s Brandon Mitchell was also a repeat champion, earning the title of PSL’s fastest sprinter with a time of 11.08 in the 100 meters.

Denby senior Keyon Scott won the 400 (49.78); Central junior Christian Jones won the 800 (2:06.53); Cody junior Rodney Graves won the 200 (22.09); Cody senior Aaron Shambry won the long jump (20-5); Renaissance junior Mark Wilson won the high jump (5-8); Ford senior Sidney McMillan won the discus (106-2); Cody senior Semja McPherson won the shot put (44-9); and East English Village won the 4×400 relay (3:31.61).

Renaissance freshman DeShonda Johnson claimed the title of PSL’s fastest girl sprinter with a time of 12.91 in the 100.

Other girls’ gold medalists were King junior Brittany Nelson, who won the 100 hurdles (16.50); King junior Micaela Kelly, who won the shot put (35-9); Renaissance freshman Shania Shepard, who won the 1600 (5:55.15); Denby senior Catera Watts, who won the 300 hurdles (50.0); Renaissance senior Clarrisa Barksdale, who won the 800 (2:35.02); Renaissance Kara Macharia, who won the 3200 (14:38.18); Renaissance’s Taylor Gribble, who won the long jump (15-0); and Renaissance’s 4×100 relay team.

For meet results, click here: http://a2racemanagement.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/05_23_2015-DPSL-City-Championship.htm

For meet photos, click on the Detroit Public School League page on Facebook:

The champions:

The Awards stand:

Action photos:


School of the Week: Fleming Early Learning Neighborhood Center 

On a recent morning, the volume was high and energy abundant as prekindergarten students whirled from station to station in teacher Vaneece Porter’s class at Fleming Early Learning Center in northeast Detroit.

Five-year-old Lauren Kidd sat at a small table sorting small, colorful pieces of plastic fruit and then counted the number of strawberries, bananas, grapes and oranges in each group.

Myair Moore, also 5, flitted around the room in a tutu from the classroom’s career station, pretending to be a ballerina, and occasionally picked up small musical instruments, clanging them together.

Meanwhile, in the “library center,” another Prekindergarten student flipped through picture books. And across the room, two students wearing headphones tapped away on computers, trying to identify words that began with the letter “C.”

Fleming Early Learning Neighborhood Center, which houses three Pre-K classrooms and the district’s Early Childhood offices, is one of DPS’ six Early Learning Neighborhood Centers spread across the city. Using the research-based HighScope curriculum, the students’ day is built around a child-directed, high-quality learning approach with lots of hands-on experiences.

During a portion of their day, students are free to choose where they want to learn and which activities they want to explore.

The learning centers may appear to be all “play,” but at each station children are engaged in learning, Porter said.

“They have a lot of experiences they bring into the classroom, so it’s the teacher’s job to listen to the students and what they already know and to guide them in their learning,” she said, explaining that Lauren’s fruit-sorting task was helping her to work on counting and identifying colors, while Myair was developing her social skills.

Detroit Public Schools’ early childhood curriculum provides an array of engaging activities to assist Prekindergartners in learning about reading, writing, science, math and, social studies. They also explore music, painting, how things work, how things are put together, how things live, and observing changes in many areas. The focus is on supporting the students socially, emotionally, physically, mentally and academically. Students also have access to current technology and are able to utilize computers throughout the day.

A typical day in Karla Bennett’s classroom includes small group instruction guided by the teachers, two child-directed periods where students are free to choose from a variety of learning centers, and large group instruction. The students know their routine includes creating a plan for their learning, engaging in the plan and then reviewing their plan, which helps them to build their vocabulary and create a foundation for how they will learn throughout their educational career.

“We also teach them social skills,” Bennett said. “We’re teaching them how to grow up and be great citizens in the world. We also have a good rapport and make relationships with our families and we let them know how important it is that the kids get a great foundation to move on and be prepared for kindergarten.”

Including the classes at Fleming, Detroit Public Schools Foundation for Early Learners offers Universal PreK in 189 preschool classrooms in 64 DPS buildings and charter school locations through Great Start Readiness and Title I programs. Partnering with Head Start, DPS also offers 14 more sites throughout the district in order to address the needs of the communities in which they serve.

Fleming students also benefit from a partnership with PNC, Music Hall, Cranbrook Institute of Science, and Detroit Parent Network through the PNC Grow Up Great Initiative. The program provides a foundation in arts and science that includes an array of stimulating classroom materials and resources, as well as sponsored trips to some of the area’s best learning arts and cultural attractions, such as Orchestra Hall and the Michigan Science Center.  Some of the services that parents receive include Gleaners Community Food Bank “Back Packs,” Christmas Boxes, free hats and gloves and more, said Wilma Taylor-Costen, Assistant Superintendent.

To ensure students are prepared for kindergarten, they are also evaluated using online assessment called the COR, which provides a detailed developmental profile covering nine key areas of child development and learning. Learning can be tailored for each child based on the ongoing assessment results.

Fleming also includes a new Early Intervening Services Program in which early childhood educators work to identify kindergarten students who need extra support in their learning to keep them on track. The focus with all the programs is to create the foundation for a bright educational future, said Anita Totty, Director of Early Childhood.

“The earlier we start, the better it is for the children,” Totty said. “If we can catch them early, and work with them early, then we believe when they get to third and fourth grade, they will be on task and on target.”

Schulze Academy will be closed Tuesday, May 26 due to lack of power.

“See It Believe It” Staff Recognition: Clippert Academy Art Teacher Ruth Goldfaden

A new campaign recognizing our awesome staff!

Clippert Academy Art Teacher Ruth Goldfaden
Recognized by: Kim Gonzalez, Principal, Clippert Academy

Clippert Art Room 2015  IMG_1813To many, art is much more than day dreaming or splashing colors on a piece of paper. It is an outlet. Art is a way to express ourselves by bringing the imagination into reality. Ruth Goldfaden, a 30-year art teacher in Detroit, has spent the past eight years at Clippert Academy, one of Detroit Public Schools’ ‘Top K-8 Schools” ranked by Excellent Schools Detroit.

During her time at Clippert, Goldfaden and her students have received many awards, recognitions and accolades, says Principal Kim Gonzalez, who nominated her to be recognized for outstanding dedication.

“Her students have either won the grand prize or received honorable mentions in the Skillman Float Design Contest every year for the past eight years. One of her students won the grand prize in the NAACP Art and Essay contest in 2010 and two others have received honorable mentions in recent years,” says Gonzalez. “This year we had two second place winners—a 5th grader for elementary art and a 6th grader for middle school art.”

Goldfaden’s students’ work was featured on the district’s 2014 holiday card, which was distributed to all DPS families. In 2012, a former student’s work was featured on a poster for the Detroit Institute of Arts. Goldfaden and her young artists always provide amazing quality work with professionalism.

“Because of her skill, expertise, and success as an art teacher, Ms. Goldfaden was named Wayne County RESA Teacher of the Year in 2010 and truly deserves recognition for her success,” says Gonzalez.”

Gonzalez credits Clippert students’ art success to Goldfaden’s excellent teaching and learning and that she is always able to encourage her students to do their best and reach their potential as artists.

“After nearly 30 years as an art teacher in DPS, I still get excited about going to work and about having the opportunity to teach art to so many of the intelligent, talented and productive children in Detroit Public Schools,” said Goldfaden. “I am hardworking and dedicated, but so are the children, families, staff and administration here at Clippert Academy, which is why we have, and will continue to, achieve great things.”

Ruth Goldfaden, DPS thanks you for your dedication!

DC Prep students Go Green!

Detroit Collegiate Preparatory (DC Prep) High School at Northwestern students in grades 9-12, including some students who are Autistic or Cognitively Impaired, recently participated in the Go Green Initiative. Students worked in the conservatory, stacking pots on shelves, mixing soil, and planting turnip greens, peas, and herbs. The students learned how to measure and to follow instructions on the packaging for the seeds and discussed the care of the plants, including watering techniques and the type of sunlight and placement needed for plant growth.

Harms fourth grader Veronica Gonzalez annual Bookstock writing contest winner

Veronica GonzalezCongratulations to Harms Elementary School fourth grader Veronica Gonzalez, who was a top finalist in the annual Bookstock writing contest. This year’s topic was “Who is your favorite book character?”  Veronica won a trophy and a cash prize for her submission.


Hutchinson students win multiple writing and oratorical contests

Students at Hutchinson Elementary-Middle School at Howe recently participated in several writing and oratorical contests.

Contest winners included:

First Independence Bank 3rd Annual Essay Contest
1st Place- Demarcus Love, $500 Scholarship
Honorable Mention- Alondra Browning

Northwest Detroit Optimist Essay Contest
3rd Place- Kelly Knight

Northwest Detroit Oratorical Contest
1st Place- Weveney Williams-Barber
2nd Place- Ajanae Keys
2nd Place- Semaje Wills

Extraordinary Student/School/Teacher Award: Kenyia Moore ($1,000-school, $500-teacher, $100 and trophy)

Detroit School District Police Mentoring Men In action Award
Dayvion Hailey

Fuel Cell Competition Awards 

Congratulations to the DPS students who participated in the 2015 “A World in Motion” Competition on Thursday, April 23 at Cobo Center.

2015 Fuel Cell Competition category award winners include:
Third Place: Gompers Elementary-Middle School, Accuracy
Third Place: Gompers Elementary-Middle School, Endurance
Third Place: Clippert Academy, Speed
Second Place: Emerson Elementary-Middle School, Accuracy
Second Place: Munger Elementary-Middle School, Speed

Grand Champion: Emerson Elementary-Middle School