Shout Out!

Shout Out! for WISD

Here's your chance to recognize a Washtenaw ISD employee, department, or student for being particularly helpful to you or others.  We are also looking for staff or students that have received honors, degrees, appointments to committees, or other achievements that we can post on our “Shout Out” page (located on the About Us and Visitors & Families tabs).

If you would like to submit a Shout Out, let us know by clicking on the link to the left and filling in the form.

Recent Shout Outs!

Washtenaw ISD charters Honey Creek Community School, a school that received high rankings for their academic performance. Washtenaw ISD received a letter grade of "A" for authorizing a school the consistently ranks in the top 20% of schools in the state. The link below provides information on the statewide report.

2016 Authorizer Scorecard for Charter Schools

START MEMBERS GROUP PHOTO For nine years a group of WISD staff members and other professionals from around the county have been sharing resources and training to help support students on the Autism Spectrum. They call themselves WIN4AUTISM (Washtenaw Interagency Network for Autism) RCN (Regional Collaborative Network). Many of you know us as START trainers. We recently attended the Spring START (Statewide Autism Resources and Training) RCN Conference and Leadership Day. START celebrated its 15th year in East Lansing, with great speakers, presentations and collaboration from all over the state. As you can see we take our work seriously!

I want to give Tom Wall and the T-Wall Foundation a huge shout out for awarding Garrison Hammond (student at Carpenter YA Services) a brand new bicycle. Throughout this year, Garrison has worked hard to increase his skills and independence. He has earned the reputation as a hard worker and citizen, landing two jobs this year. He is employed at the U of M Shapiro Library and recently took a second job at Zingerman's Deli. Garrison depends on city buses and riding his bike for transportation. Sometimes he rides over 10 miles, one way, to his destination. This year, he has struggled to keep his bike in working condition. After hearing Garrison's story, along with his accomplishments, Tom Wall and his Foundation partnered with Great Lakes Fitness & Cycling in Ann Arbor to fit Garrison for a brand new bike and helmet. The T-WALL Foundation works hard to raise money to support individuals with disabilities. Please take time to check out this organization and perhaps support their efforts. Thank You to the T-Wall Foundation for all they do for others in our community!

Come see a rendering of Teddy Roosevelt's teddy bear, now on display in the annual VSAarts of Michigan Touring Show. The show features over 20 works, including sculpture, by students with disabilities from all across Michigan. The show travels throughout the state and is hosted each year by our VSAarts Washtenaw group. Come see 'Teddy' in the TLC lobby now through June 2nd. For more information, contact Deb Duranczyk at or x1523.

JasonTeacher Consultant Jason DeCamillis shares his story about being legally blind and learning to fly!

A HUGE shout out to the staff at High Point School for hosting an enjoyable evening tonight at their Open House (Oct. 8, 2015). Everybody was smiling, conversing, and getting sugared up!  Thank you for tonight and all you do for us...High Point staff are my heroes! -Kiara Haeflinger

High Point A4High Point went on a community trip to Erwin Orchards & Cider Mill.  All of the students in A4 had a great time and were great High Point Heroes!

Supt. Scott Menzel was named to the Association for Educational Service Agencies (AESA) Board of Directors. This is the message that Supt. Menzel communicated on being tapped to serve on the board:

"I believe Educational Service Agencies are uniquely positioned to facilitate connections on the cradle-to-career continuum. Specifically, we are a logical bridge between the early childhood community (birth through kindergarten entry) and the traditional K-12 schools. Additionally, we are positioned to help broker relationships to expand early/middle college options, dual enrollment, and expanded CTE options in partnership with community colleges, four-year colleges and universities as well as technical trade schools."

 "During my time on the board, I hope we can establish a process for connecting colleagues from across the country who are working in these areas, particularly the early childhood focus, so we can share best practices and also advocate with one voice for increased investments and appropriate policy to ensure every child has the opportunity and supports necessary to succeed in school and in life."

Ravine IsaRavine Isa, a Young Adult student, played Lift Every Voice and Sing during the annual NAAPID@Night event, Feb. 9, 2015. She played the piano accompaniment while the audience sang along for the opening of the program. We are so proud of you Ravine!

Jason DeCamillisA Shout Out to Jason DeCamillis who was elected to the board of directors of the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Visual Impairments and Deafblindness (CEC-DVIDB). He was elected for a two-year term and will begin serving this month. Jason works in the ATAC lab, and holds a K-12 endorsement in visual impairment special education. He is working toward his M.A. in educational leadership and policy at the University of Michigan and is expected to complete his degree in July 2015. Great job Jason!

Cassandra Harmon-HigginsMary JaneThe Washtenaw ISD Executive Director of Human Resources and Legal Services, Cassandra Harmon-Higgins, and WISD Board Secretary Mary Jane Tramontin, have been appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to serve on the Task Force for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children. The appointment was announced in late December 2014.

Harmon-Higgins was hired by Washtenaw ISD in December 2014 to fill an administrative vacancy and previously served as Interim Superintendent at Howell Public Schools and also as that district’s Executive Director of Labor Relations and Personnel. She has a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, a master’s degree in justice policy and management from Florida Atlantic University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice from Florida A&M University.

Tramontin is a retired educator and has served on the Washtenaw ISD board for over 20 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in teaching from Nova Southeastern University. 

The 15-member task force is charged with providing recommendations for reducing child sexual abuse. These recommendations will help in the creation of goals and guidelines for state and school policies.

Anne Nakon

 Every day at High Point School a student is selected to be the “High Point Hero.” An announcement is made with a description of the student’s achievement related to our Positive Behavior Supports initiative.  Staff members are also recognized at staff meetings for going above and beyond to make High Point a better place.  In this spirit, the staff at High Point would like to nominate Principal Anne Nakon as our “High Point Super Hero.”  Here are some comments from staff: you can trust her.. really good listener.. has a positive vision for our school.. when classes are short-staffed (lack of subs) she has been known to show up to feed, help teach, and even help in the pool.. always makes decisions based on what’s best for students.. our backbone in a crisis.. she is an innovative collaborative leader.  Thank you Anne!


Elizabeth Taylor

Hearing Impaired Teacher Consultant, Elizabeth Taylor, presented to the entire Teacher Consultants group on Critical Friends (CF). Elizabeth held interest, presented information and walked the staff through the CF protocol. This is a great example of our staff 'stepping up' and sharing their expertise with their colleagues; one way our WISD colleagues lead and collaborate!

Scott & ScotSuperintendent Scott Menzel was named Executive of the Year by the Ann Arbor News during their annual black-tie/formal event "Deals of the Year" on November 7, 2014. The following week, he was named the Superintendent of the Year for Region 8 and the award certificate was presented during the November 11, 2014 Board of Education meeting. Supt. Menzel's accomplishments on behalf of the consolidation work for Willow Run Community Schools and Ypsilanti Public Schools (now Ypsilanti Community Schools) and his early childhood education advocacy work were the primary factors contribututing to these honors.

Alan Oman, Executive Director of Early Childhood Programs for Washtenaw Intermediate School District has recently been appointed to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) Access to Core Services Task Force. The task force will provide input and guide the development of recommendations to help ensure that access to core services such as health care facilities, employment centers, parks and recreation opportunities and education and social support facilities are part of the transportation planning process. Oman joined the Washtenaw ISD staff in July 2012.

Washtenaw ISD Superintendent Scott Menzel has been appointed to serve on the Michigan Department of Education-Office of Great Start Advisory Council. The council will help identify and define policy issues related to early childhood education. The first few council meetings will be used to build a foundation in the four early childhood outcomes identified by Governor Snyder: Children born healthy; developmentally on track, ready at kindergarten entry and, reading proficiently by grade 4.

 Congratulation to Margy Long, Director of Washtenaw Success by 6. She received the “Safe Kids Award” from the Washtenaw Area Council for Children, presented during their annual Cheers for Children fundraising event, Oct. 17. Success by 6 Great Start Collaborative brings together over 40 organizations in Washtenaw County around the vision that every child enters school healthy and ready to succeed.  The goal of the program is to work across organizations to make early childhood services better for families and their children.  Local funding partners are: Washtenaw Intermediate School District, United Way of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, and Washtenaw County.  Funding is also received through the Michigan Department of Education Office of Great Start.


Mary Pat Holst, a Special Education Admiistration Consultant, has gone above and beyond to make sure that staff are well equipped and ready to take on the newly adopted TIEnet
program.  Her kindness, patience and humor help alleviate any of the stress that often comes with learning a new program.  She is a pleasure to work with and we are so lucky to have her!

Lillian Diuble is a Manchester Middle School Student who has a rare illness that is causing loss of sight and hearing. She has courgeously rallied her family and friends to raise funds to find a cure through her participation in Michigan Walk for Vision. Her efforts ganered a Prudential Spirit of Community Award and propelled her to national attention. She has been featured on NBC Nightly News. Lillian receives services from the Washtenaw ISD Visually Impaired program and is a member of the ISD's Leo Club (a youth version of the Lion's Club). We are so proud of your accomplishments Lilly!

Congratulations to Young Adult student Aaron who successfully secured a job at a local Kroger store. He has proven to be conscientious, friendly and the WISD family is very proud of him!