Cass Tech volleyball standout Monette Daniels named PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

With a mostly new cast of regulars, Cass Tech’s Monette Daniels was determined to make sure the Technicians continued their success as the four-time defending Detroit Public School League girls’ volleyball champions.

“Monette has emerged as the leader,’’ first-year coach Ramona Cox said of her 5-10 senior middle blocker and team captain, the PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week. “Coming into the season, she saw there was a hole in leadership and she filled it immediately.

volleyball 667“That leadership is on the court and off the court. The girls look up to her. Monette not only shows leadership with her play as a great hitter. But when she’s in the front row and I have some of my younger players come in, she often tells them where they need to be on the court. She has been very instrumental in guiding us to a successful season.”

Daniels, in her fourth season on the varsity, is coming off a week in which she led the Technicians with 23 kills, seven aces and five blocks at the University of Michigan-Dearborn tournament. She also had eight aces and five kills in a victory against DIA and seven kills and six aces in a victory against King.

The Technicians are again in the PSL finals and will face Renaissance next Thursday at Western International High for the 2014 championship. Cox, who was JV coach last year in Ed Tomlin’s final season as varsity coach, said Daniels’ leadership has kept the focus on team goals.

“She’s willing to help build the younger players’ confidence and that allows them to not be so nervous,” Cox said. “All the girls are dedicated to working hard. Monette sets the example.  I can’t be the team’s only leader. We needed a leader and she stepped up and took on that role.”

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.

Bates Academy teams up with AmeriCorps to host annual “Ride Your Bike to School Day”

Students, staff and community members, along with volunteers from the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Project at Wayne State University’s Center for Urban Studies, took part in Bates Academy’s annual Ride Your Bike to School Day on Friday, October 17.

Bates has deemed the special day “Ride, Walk, Stroll to Bates Academy” and welcomed surrounding community members to take part by bike, foot or vehicle to advocate student safety. Parents and students met at All Saints Episcopal Church on Seven Mile Road just before sunrise with patrols from the DPS Police Department, City of Detroit, Sherwood Forest and University District.

Members of Bates’ Parent Advisory Council on Student Achievement and Principal Cleo Moody also took part in the event by riding alongside students. The AmeriCorps Urban Safety Project volunteers, who work to promote safety and community awareness within Detroit’s “Bike Watch,” were also present during “Ride, Walk, Stroll to Bates Academy” day. Bates’ parents and staff agree that physical fitness has a positive effect on a child’s ability to concentrate, reduces stress, improves cognitive function, and leads to an overall increase in student achievement.

The event took place one day after AAA of Michigan presented a check for more than $200,000 to the district to keep students safe while traveling to and from school. DPS and a host of agencies unveiled a comprehensive Safe Routes to School strategy focused on keeping all students safe through coordinated Safe Zones, volunteer vehicle patrols, prioritized street light replacement, blight removal around student walking routes, signage, Eyes & Ears Patrols and more at a Community Breakfast held at the Brightmoor Community Center.


FAMILIAR FINALISTS: Cass Tech to face Renaissance in PSL girls’ volleyball title game

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Four-time defending champion Cass Tech defeated Western, 25-10, 25-13, 25-9, and Renaissance took four sets to beat King, 25-11, 25-15, 21-25, 25-15, Thursday in the Detroit Public School League girls’ volleyball semifinals at Western International High School.

It’ll be Cass Tech vs. Renaissance, as usual, for the 2014 PSL championship Thursday, Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. at Western International High. Admission is $5.

Renaissance, head coached by Louis Mitchell,  last won the league title in 2009 and has been Cass Tech’s finals opponent each year since. The Technicians are trying to extend their streak under first-year head coach Ramona Cox.

For photos of Thursday’s semifinals and much more, check out the Detroit Public School League page on Facebook and become a fan.



Cass Tech running back Mike Weber named PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Every time Cass Tech needed a big play to stay on top of Mumford in their Detroit Public School League football Game of the Week showdown last Saturday, senior Mike Weber was the Technicians’ No. 1 option.

“We rely on Mike Weber for almost 100 per cent of our rushing offense,’’ Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher said of his 5-9, 210-pound running back, the PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week.

DSC_0634“He’s one of the toughest backs we’ve had at Cass, and one of the most versatile backs we’ve had. He’s definitely one of the hardest-running backs we’ve had.”

Weber, who gained more than 1,700 yards in each of the past two seasons, was at his toughest, versatile and hardest-running best against Mumford, rushing 27 times for 148 yards, including touchdown runs of five and nine yards, in the unbeaten Technicians’ 25-15 victory.

In the process of igniting the Technicians’ offense, Weber took a beating while dishing out punishment of his own to any and all would-be tacklers. Several times, he was slow in getting up. But he got up each time and kept gaining more yardage.

“He likes to run between the tackles,’’ Wilcher said. “All he needs is a hole. A lot of times he just runs over people.”

Weber is the state’s No. 1-ranked high school running back, a U.S. Army All-American, and has verbally committed to play at the University of Michigan.

“I think making that decision early has helped him keep his focus throughout the season,’’  Wilcher said. “He’s got strength, speed and good hands. Because of that, I think he’ll be as good in college as he’s been during his four years of high school.”

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.


PSL CROSS COUNTRY: Western’s Flores, Pershing’s Seal finish unbeaten; Renaissance girls, Cass Tech boys team champs

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

On a perfect autumn afternoon for running, Western International senior Juan Flores and Pershing junior Jaishala Seal completed perfect seasons as the 2014 Detroit Public School League boys’ and girls’ cross country gold medalists.

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Western senior Juan Flores

Flores became a three-time PSL boys’ cross country champion Wednesday at Belle Isle, finishing the season unbeaten in six 5,000-meter races with a league championship meet winning time of 17:26.

Cass Tech’s Brett Dooley (17:33) was silver medalist and Western sophomore Yeray Flores, Juan’s younger brother (18:05) took the bronze.

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2014 PSL boys’ cross country champion Cass Tech

Cass Tech’s boys won a repeat team title with 42 points followed by Western 85, King 90, East English Village 105, Renaissance 178, Douglass 180, Pershing 217, Ford 256, Southeastern 303 and Osborn 336.

Western finished as the West Division boys’ champion based on its overall performance in five league Jamboree meets. East English Village won the boys’ East Division title.

Seal, competing in her first year of cross country, timed 22:06 to win her sixth consecutive race on the challenging Belle Isle course and top off her claim as the girls’ undefeated gold medalist.

DSC_0314 (2)

Pershing junior Jaishala Seal

DCP-Northwestern’s Tameisha Patton (22:11) ran strong to take the silver medal and Pershing junior Renita Williams (22:15) took the bronze.

Renaissance won the girls’ team championship for the fifth year in a row, scoring 44 points to finish ahead of DCP-Northwestern 67, Pershing 74, Western 115, Cass Tech 121, King 129 and Ford 291.

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2014 PSL girls’ cross country champion Renaissance

Renaissance also won the West Division girls’ championship based on its overall performance in the league’s five-week Jamboree meet season. Pershing, led by Seal’s victories in every meet, won the East Division girls’ title.

PSL boys XC 337

2014 PSL boys’ cross country All-City team

The top 20 finishers in the boys’ and girls’ races were accorded PSL All-City honors. 2014 PSL All-City boys’ country team 1st through 20: Western’s Juan Flores, Cass Tech’s Brett Dooley, Western’s Yeray Flores, King’s Kelly Broadus, King’s Christian Stokes, Cass Tech’s Ethan Hayden, Cass Tech’s Rico Ozuna-Harrison, Douglass’ Lawrence Turner, Westside’s Patrick Capers, CMA’s Demonte Jones, East English Village’s Lamar Neely, Douglass’ Aron Parker, Cass Tech’s Marcus Gibbs, Cass Tech’s Nathaniel Lewis, Cass Tech’s Da’Jion Whitfield, King’s Daniel Barnett, Renaissance’s Jordan Williams, Renaissance’s Lawrence Shepherd, CMA’s Dimitrius Smith, East English Village’s Christopher Rollins

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2014 PSL All-City girls’ cross country team

2014 Detroit Public School League All-City girls’ country team 1st through 20: Pershing’s Jaishala Seal, DCP-Northwestern’s Tameisha Patton, Pershing’s Renita Williams, Pershing’s Brittany Hill, Renaissance’s Clairissa Barksdale, Renaissance’s Shania Shepard, Renaissance’s Siyeh Frazier, King’s Jan-Nese King, DCP-Northwestern’s Adriana Hamilton, Cody’s Jurnee Hester, Western’s Araceli Zamudio, Renaissance’s Kara Macharia, Northwestern’s Dymonique Crawford, Renaissance’s Erin Burgess, Renaissance’s Carrington King, Cass Tech’s Nijaia Bradley, King’s Malyasia McHenry, Renaissance’s Alecia Morris, Cass Tech’s Jenelle Bedgood, DCP-Northwestern’s Sparkle Henry

AAA announces $200,000+ donation as Detroit Public Schools, Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative unveil coordinated Safe Routes to School strategy

From the door of the home to school, in school, and back home, focus is on prevention, intervention, enforcement and re-entry

DSC_0231AAA of Michigan on Thursday presented a check for more than $200,000 to Detroit Public Schools to keep students safe while traveling to and from school, as DPS and a host of agencies unveiled a comprehensive Safe Routes to School strategy focused on keeping all students safe through coordinated Safe Zones, volunteer vehicle patrols, prioritized street light replacement, blight removal around student walking routes, signage, Eyes & Ears Patrols, Student Code of Conduct/Dress Code enforcement and positive behavior intervention.

AAA/The Auto Club Group President and CEO Chuck Podowski announced the donation, which further expands a strong partnership between AAA and DPS, alongside DPS Emergency Manager Jack Martin, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, DPS Police Chief Stacy Brackens, President of the Detroit Public Schools Foundation Glenda Price, representatives from the Skillman and Kellogg foundations, and other local and state dignitaries who have all taken ownership in expanding the Safe Routes to School program city-wide.

The Safe Routes to School effort targets prevention, intervention, enforcement and re-entry. It directly supports the Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. As a city-wide effort, Safe Routes has garnered support from several independent patrol groups, parent ambassadors, community leaders, faith-based organizations, the Detroit Police Department and Michigan State Police, and other city departments including the Detroit Public Lighting Department, D-DOT Transit, Animal Control, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Wayne State Safety Authority and others.

District officials accepted the donation at the Brightmoor Community Center – located directly across from Gompers Elementary-Middle School – following a breakfast event and public presentation on extended efforts to ensure the safety and security of children and their families as they walk to and from schools and bus stops. Student safety patrollers from Gompers also attended the breakfast and press conference. Gompers is one of many DPS Safety Patrol programs supported by AAA.

In 2013, AAA donated $56,000 in support of Safe Routes to assist with patrols in 14 key school zones and an additional 14 school zones during the first quarter of 2014. With the expanded model of the Safe Routes program, the City of Detroit is defined by 34 zones. Detroit Public Schools’ 97 school campuses, Charter Schools and Independent Schools are included in the expanded model to ensure student safety city-wide.

With this year’s donation, AAA has agreed to fund expanded Safe Routes and Safe Zones for the next three years with a $70,450 annual contribution to Detroit Public Schools. The grant total is $211,350, with the first contribution made on October 16. Subsequent contributions will be made in the fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

The new grant will fund the following:

  • More than 10 new volunteer vehicle patrols;
  • Identification badges and reflective vests to make volunteers easily identifiable;
  • Two-way radios and other technology equipment;
  • Vehicle patrol gas expenses;
  • Background checks for citizen patrol volunteers;
  • Funding for staff members to manage the program and more.

This multi-year contribution reinforces the Auto Club Group’s commitment to traffic safety, education and community outreach; and supports the mission of the AAA School Safety Patrol program.

“Student safety, both in and out of school, is fundamental to educational achievement,” said Martin. “Our goal is to effectively engage all DPS stakeholders, including civic, faith, grassroots, labor, businesses and foundations in creating safe environments for our students. We can’t say thank you enough to our community partners, such as AAA, Kellogg, Skillman and others who continue to support strategic initiatives to help improve our students’ safety. I would also encourage others to support this extremely critical effort.”

The expanded Safe Routes Program offers:

  • More Safe Routes and Safe Zones
  • Volunteer Vehicle Patrols scouting key zones
  • Street light replacement (LED) and enhancements
  • Blight removal around student walking routes
  • Bus, Community and Faculty Eyes & Ears
  • Visible Safe Routes Signage
  • Neighborhood Engagement and Mobilization
  • School Enforcement Code of Conduct and Dress Code
  • Positive Behavior Intervention & Support (PBIS) and Michigan’s Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative (MiBLSi)

AAA’s commitment to DPS dates back to 1919 when the first AAA School Safety Patrol was established at Detroit’s Alger Elementary School. Today, AAA sponsors nearly 33,000 safety patrollers in 1,076 schools statewide, including Gompers Elementary-Middle School.

“AAA is proud to expand its ongoing support of the Safe Routes to School program and join forces with the organizations and individuals who are committed to this program’s success,” said Podowski. “Providing students a safe route to and from school is an important and basic part of giving each child the opportunity to achieve a good education.”

AAA’s 2013 donation was the first corporate donation received in response to the District’s “call to action” for support of the expansion of its citizen volunteer patrol programs to increase Safe Routes for Detroit children and their families going to and from school.

DPS is seeking more volunteers to assist with patrols district-wide. The volunteer patrol groups, with support from local law enforcement officers on a per school basis, are on duty before and after class, providing students greater safety and security, and allowing them to focus more on academics. Volunteers who are interested in becoming the Eyes and Ears for a safer DPS should call 313-240-4377.

About AAA Michigan
AAA Michigan has been active in traffic safety since its founding nearly a century ago, with activities including teen driving safety and road safety improvement programs. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 8.9 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories, including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.  ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 53 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

About Detroit Public Schools
Detroit Public Schools is creating Neighborhood-Centered, Quality Schools at 97 campuses with a mission to provide a comprehensive educational experience that is high-quality, challenging and inspires all students to make a positive contribution to society. DPS offers a wide variety of educational advantages to students and parents including Individualized Learning Maps for all students. New this year, arts/music and sports leagues for boys and girls are being offered at every elementary/middle school. Prekindergarten offerings have been expanded to 70 schools across the district for all qualified 4-year-olds. Twenty-one schools are now open as Community Schools, offering extended hours and services. Students in grades 8-12 enjoy take-home Netbooks and students in grades 6 and up have access to Netbooks in school. An outstanding Fine Arts program with instrumental music, vocal music and dance is also offered. Ongoing advantages include eight parent resource centers, Parent University and additional parenting programs, enhanced safety initiatives, a district-wide Customer Service focus, nine Detroit Rising College Preparatory Schools and DPS-authorized charter schools led by educators with proven track records of raising achievement. In 2014, DPS graduates earned $138 million in grants and scholarships. To learn more about Detroit Public Schools, visit or call 313-240-4DPS.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Maybury Elementary is closed today, Thurs., Oct. 16 due to water line repairs.

Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin appoints new Chief of Police

Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin today announced the appointment of Stacy Brackens to serve as Chief of the Detroit Public Schools Police Department (DPSPD), effective October 14, 2014.  Brackens has served as Acting Chief of DPSPD since July 1, 2014.

“The safety and security of Detroit Public Schools’ nearly 50,000 students and their safe passage to and from school, as well as the overall safety of the district’s more than 6,000 employees, are of the utmost importance,” Martin said today.

A native Detroiter and a graduate of Chadsey High School, Brackens has been working with DPSPD since 2010 as Deputy Chief and has been responsible for patrol operations, supervision of uniformed officers (sworn and Campus Security Police Officers), in addition to serving as the departmental liaison with the district’s private security contractor. Brackens previously served as Deputy Chief in the Detroit Police Department, where he spent 35 years protecting and serving the people of Detroit.

The Detroit Public Schools’ Police Department is comprised of Police Officers, Investigators, Campus Security Police Officers, security officers and a K-9 unit. Its mission is to provide a safe and secure environment for students and staff that is conducive for teaching and learning. The Police Department is housed in a 23,000-sq. ft. state-of-the-art Command Center and Headquarters that opened in January 2011.

“As a product of DPS, this is my way of giving back,” Brackens said. “Working at DPS is not just a vocation, but an avocation.”

Brackens said his top priorities as Chief will be:

  • Continuing the downward trend of reported incidents and crime within Detroit Public Schools;
  • Working on expanding the district’s Safe Routes to School initiative; and
  • Maximizing pertinent training for both law enforcement and academic staff as it relates to school and personal safety.

Cass Tech vs. Western, Renaissance vs. King in girls’ volleyball semifinals Thursday at Western High

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Western International defeated East English Village 25-12, 25-15, 22-25, 26-24 and four-time defending champion Cass Tech defeated DCP-Northwestern 25-6, 25-13, 25-5 Tuesday in Detroit Public School League girls’ volleyball quarterfinal games at Cass Technical High School.

volleyball 1029In the quarterfinal games Tuesday at East English Village Prep Academy, King beat CMA 25-8, 25-5, 25-5 and Renaissance defeated DIA 25-8, 25-5, 25-5.

The winners advance to the PSL semifinals Thursday, Oct. 16 at Western International High School. Western plays Cass Tech at 5 p.m. and King plays Renaissance at 7 p.m.

The PSL championship game is Thursday, Oct. 23, at Western International at 7 p.m., preceded by the 5 p.m. consolation game.  Admission to the playoffs is $5.

Renaissance wins fifth consecutive PSL JV girls’ volleyball championship; varsity playoffs start today (Oct. 14)

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Renaissance defeated Cass Tech in an exciting three-set match, 25-23, 22-25, 15-9 to capture its fifth consecutive Detroit Public School League junior varsity girls’ volleyball championship Monday at Western International High School.


Renaissance Phoenix 2014 PSL JV girls’ volleyball champions

Coach Earlander Taylor’s Phoenix advanced to the finals with a 25-6, 25-10 semifinal victory against East English Village, while Cass Tech advanced with a 25-16, 21-25, 11 5-5 semifinal victory against Western.

The 2014 PSL varsity volleyball playoffs get underway today (Tuesday, Oct. 14) with the quarterfinals at two sites.

At Cass Tech High School, Western International plays East English Village at 4 p.m., and four-time defending league champion Cass Tech plays DCP-Northwestern at 5:30 p.m.  The winners advance to Thursday’s (Oct. 16) 5 p.m. semifinal game at Western International High School.

At East English Village Prep Academy, King plays CMA at 4 p.m., and Renaissance plays DIA at 5:30 p.m. The winners advance to Thursday’s (Oct. 16) 7 p.m. semifinal game at Western International High.

The championship game is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, at Western International High, preceded by the 5 p.m. consolation game between the losing semifinalists.  The 2014 All-City PSL players will be introduced prior to the championship game. Admission to the varsity playoffs is $5.

For photos and more, check out the Detroit Public School League page on Facebook: