For the second time this season, the Kings throttled the Timberwolves, 96-36, in the first round of the Neighborhood Club basketball playoffs. It was a good sign for the Kings, who were coming off a loss in the regular season finale to the Thunder.
“We needed to get back on track,” said Alex Peters ’13 of the Kings. “We knew that we were the superior team; we just needed to get our chemistry back, which is what we’ll need for a run to the championship.”
The Kings got off to a slow start in the first few minutes, as the game was tied at six halfway through the first quarter. Then, the Kings woke up. A three pointer made by James Pye ’13 sparked the offense into a 16-2 run to end the quarter. With a 22-8 lead, this gave the Kings a chance to pull away.
“We got off to a slow start,” said Andrew Hartz ’13 of the Kings. “Our inside game took over and we pulled away big time after the sluggish first quarter.”
In the second quarter, the Kings hit the ground running. By halftime, they were leading by 30 with a score of 47-17.
Few shots fell for the Kings from beyond the three point line, but they made up for it in offensive rebounding. Once they got the rebounds, big men Carmen Benedetti and George Fishback, both ’13, didn’t miss many from close range.
Matt Geist ’13 was the lone offensive spark for the Timberwolves hitting threes and driving in the lane.
The Kings take on the Hornets in the next round of the playoffs on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Parcells Middle School.
In Student Association (S.A) sponsored canned food drive, Scott Brunner’s class pioneered the school to exceed the 4,000 can goal by bringing in 3,610 cans alone. In all, more than 13,000 cans were collected, said SA adviser Laura Distelrath.
“The purpose of the drive was to help feed hungry families this winter,” said senator Aynslie Fritz ’14, adding that the cans went to the Salvation Army.
“I saw it as an opportunity to buy myself food or give to others,” said Luke Hessburg’12.
Hessburg brought in the most cans of any other student, more than 1,600. He said he spent about $200. The reward for his effort was an I-pad.
With the prize being an I-pad, Hessburg added that it didn’t hurt the cause.
“We thought that three cans would be a reasonable number per student,” Distelrath said. “I was blown away by the results!”
In past years, Fritz said the participation has been really low.
As well as winning the I-pad, Hessburg helped his class win the class prize of a pizza or bagel party.
“I was extremely satisfied with the results,” said Brunner, a physics teacher.
Brunner participated in the event by bringing in $20 worth of cans, but he promised nothing to the class, just the incentive it would be cool to win.
“I was so happy to see what our school was able to do to help out the community,” said Distelrath.
Full Circle is hosting its second Bridal Fash Bash this year on Feb. 4 at the War Memorial, said Special Education teacher and Full Circle on-site teacher Ann Marie Bokatzian.
The Bridal Fash Bash is a fundraiser that Full Circle has so they can afford to hire job coaches and special needs students, Bokatzian said.
“Fifty students will be participating as models in a fashion show along with 15-20 other students who will be selling tickets and helping the models get in and out of the clothes,” said Bokatzian.
At the Bridal Fash Bash, students will be modeling bridal wear along with tuxedos and will be participating in a runway walk, Bokatzian said.
“Full Circle is all about our developmentally disabled students and citizens in Grosse Pointe and Harper Woods,” said Bokatzian. “We want to raise enough money so we can hire students and give them a place to work and spend extra-curricular time.”
To raise money, Full Circle is also doing a 50/50 raffle so the store can hire job coaches and special needs students to work at Full Circle, said Bokatzian. Tickets are $10 and 1,000 are being sold with the winning ticket being selected after the fashion show. Tickets can be bought at Full Circle, which is on Kerchival and Lakepointe. There will also be a silent auction and a tin can auction at the event.
Special Education teacher Carrie Halliburton is participating in the event for the first time this year as a photographer. After the Fash Bash, the photos will be posted to Halliburton’s website cghphotography.com.
“(There have been) amazing results in the past,” said Halliburton. “It’s a great event and I’m excited to be helping out.”
This is the second time that Full Circle is having a Bridal Fash Bash, Bokatzian said. The first was in 2009 and was directed by retired Grosse Pointe North art teacher Mary Fodell. Last year, Full Circle hosted a fundraiser called Raise the Roof at the Yacht Club.
This semester, Full Circle is employing 16 South students, said Bokatzian.
Just prior to the holidays, teachers were given a gift by one School Board member: He predicts salary cuts up to 20 percent are coming if the district continues to spend money at its current rate. Going from the administration down to the support staff, district employees need to realize that desperate times call for desperate measures. In the end, though, it comes down to the School Board tightening their not-so-motivated belts.
To understand the current predicted problem (which has been caused by the state’s struggling economy), one must understand that the teachers tried an experiment with their last contract. The district now uses a unique formula that will take money from employees when the district needs it.
These parties include teachers, administrators and support staff. Even though the teachers agreed to have this formula in contract, there was one fatal flaw— they thought they would be a part of process in the School Board’s decisions to spend money; so far, these checks and balances have been a little off.
As a result, a couple things are happening. The School Board has no incentive to save money, so their spending this year has not been so frugal. Teachers have gotten concerned because they see this and know that they will end up paying for the Board’s choices.
It must be said that the School Board needs to realize that their actions are affecting hundreds of people. This group is made up of parents and residents who should be advising the leadership of the school district. They are not a group of people trained in education. They get offered $30 a meeting to advise, and they should keep that in mind when they make decisions.
According to the districts website “in any school district, the role of the Board of Education includes reviewing and adopting the budget submitted by the superintendent and aligns the funding priorities with the district goals.” It’s curious that a School Board member is presenting a budget (for the next three years) before the new superintendent even took over his position.
Teachers are probably what make this district stand out. We have some of the most capable people in the world come into our building every day, but these are hard times. Our district has lost severe amounts of funding from the state, so cuts do need to be made.
Teachers in this district have been given many perks over the years, more so than other districts. So when a little bit needs to be taken away from them, they may understandably be unhappy, but this may be reality.
They need to see the bigger picture. Schools from around the country, and especially around the state, have had to make bigger cuts than imaginable. If this staff saw what other districts are going through, they would still realize that they are very well off.
There are a few places where consolidation and efficiency could help our district, such as one athletic director between the two high schools, which has been discussed in recent years. The number of counselors and administrators at a school should be proportional to the number of students. Small things like these can save hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It is unfortunate that our district will have to make cuts, but a little accountability can go a long way. Teachers need to realize it could be worse, and the Board needs to slow current spending.
In the last few years the scores on the Advanced Placement (AP) United States History (US) test have significantly dropped. From 2010 to 2011 the percent of students passing dropped from 78 percent to 65 percent. And the percent of students who received 4 and 5’s dropped 15 percent.
AP US used to be a primarily junior course but when the curriculum changed from having Civics as the social studies class for freshmen to World History more and more sophomores have been taking AP US.
Some people don’t believe that sophomores are capable of taking AP US however this is not true. There are sophomores that are capable of handling AP US and should be allowed to take this class.
While signing up for classes in freshman year the students who are considering AP US should have meetings with their current teachers to decide whether or not AP US is the right class for them.
The best way to improve these scores is to create a more personalized curriculum for the Social Studies Department similar to the way Science Department is set up.
Instead of having all freshman take World History or Honors World History there should be a choice to take that route or start with Government and Economics.
Students that take World History could then take AP Government (AP Gov), AP Microeconomics (AP Micro) and AP Macroeconomics (AP Macro) as a sophomore and students that started in Government and Economics can move into United States History and AP US.
After taking AP Gov, Micro, and Macro students will be in a better position than the current sophomores because the AP’s they have taken are all semester courses. If the workload is too intense they can drop into regular Government and Economics at the end of the semester.
Sophomores who have taken Government and Econ will have the benefit of starting off with a class that is primarily based on note taking, similar to an AP class.
AP European History should also count as a World History credit for the students who want to continue in their AP track after taking AP US. If the student realizes they cannot handle the AP work load can take World History after taking regular US history.
By having two alternate course routes, students can take classes that interest them and can better prepare them for the AP classes they take they continue through high school.
If the Social Studies Department changes to this track by the time students hit junior year they will know if they can handle an AP class or if they should stick to a regular social studies class.
The administration refused to release the amount of students who have dropped AP US so far this year.