Shout Out - IEP Compliance Committee
It has been a privilege and joy to work with Julie Feldkamp, Trena Tymes, Helen Harvin, Liz Westfall and Nicole Revels under the direction of Deborah Hester-Washington to create an interactive IEP document that will shortly be available to special education staff across the county. The team worked tirelessly to research and create this document to assist professionals with writing compliant IEPS. Students and staff are going to benefit from the document and the training that will accompany it. We put in many hours, several in the late evening, to get the work done. Even though the task was daunting, we were able to laugh and enjoy each other's company. I am honored to work with these wonderful ladies!
Shout Out - Nancy Blair, Lori Martin, Jeana Austin and Anne Fortunato
Nancy Blair, Lori Martin, Jeana Austin and Anne Fortunato all need to be recognized for the all the work they do behind the scenes that enriches the special education staff's lives. Recently, they worked tirelessly with me to ensure that all the staff wanting to attend the Michigan Transition Services Association's state conference would be able to by obtaining the needed signatures and processing the purchase orders. They do so much to keep the department running! Thank you ladies! I would like to additionally recognize Nancy Blair for the assistance she provides to me to keep the Statewide Autism Resources Training contract/grant going. She is always there to order items, complete purchase orders and answer my questions. Thank you Nancy!
Shout Out - Erin Swenson
I just want to give a shout out to one of the amazing psychologists I work with, Erin Swenson. She has so many responsibilities in our WISD programs. She is such a team player, collaborates with students and staff alike, and works hard to support all of her students. She is a huge asset to our teams. Her expertise and professional judgment are highly valued and she ALWAYS brings something to the table. Thank you for working so hard to support our students during their virtual learning!
Shout Out - Alex Dominow
Our team wanted to send out a sincere thank you to Alex Domino. When we call to share what we need help with he is always a good listener. He asks questions that help solve our problems and if it isn't clear over the phone he comes in to take a look firsthand. He asks us questions in a way that is helpful and while being kind and patient. Thanks, Alex for helping get our out center ready for Young Adult students to return. We really appreciate you!
Shout Out - Melissa Dubiel
Melissa took time out of her busy schedule to go through the Statewide Autism Resources and Trainings grant accounts to help me fill out the necessary paperwork for the mid-year report for the grant. She was able to explain to me how the line items worked and we worked shoulder to shoulder trying to make amounts match between the grant report and our accounting system. In addition, she has made sure that we have everything we need for our grant, fills out the endless paperwork (such as purchase orders, etc) , and is always available to answer my many questions with a smile! The special education department is lucky to have her!
Shout Out - High Point Administration Team, Technology, Maintenance Team,
I would like to give a huge shout out to the many people listed for a smooth transition from HP to WRM. I know many WISD team members worked countless hours, managed behind the scenes problems and did it all with a smile. Thank you for making sure the students and staff were well prepared for this huge undertaking.
Shout Out - Kathleen Borowski
Kathleen is an exceptional addition to the nursing staff and always amazes me with her commitment to student engagement, safety, health, and program development. Kathleen brings her amazing spark of life to our program to promote wellness, inclusion, and educational opportunities for students and staff members. Thank you for all of your hard work to bring new and innovative programming ideas!
Shout Out - Jennifer Parrelly
Jennifer Parrelly is a supportive, team building mentor and boss. She continues to amaze by going above and beyond expectations. Jennifer has been seen stepping in as a substitute when classrooms are short staffed. She even took a student swimming last week at High Point. It's clear that Jennifer cares deeply about the students she serves as well as the families and staff. It's truly an inspiration to see how dedicated she is. Thank you Jen!
Shout Out - Facilities Staff
A start of the year Shout Out to Diane Sevigny and all the Facilities staff (Shantell Gordon, Doug Miller, John Miller, Giovanni Gomez, Ken Frazier, and Kim Labay)!!! If you haven't been through the State of Michigan school building inspection and permitting process, count yourself lucky! While we wish we could start construction work on buildings when we are ready that isn't the reality we live in. The process is long and arduous requiring architectural drawings/plans and the state plan review, both which are very time consuming; also no work can be started until the plans are approved. Then it becomes a mad dash to get everything done, especially in our case with two brand new facilities! Diane and the Facilities team did a fantastic job getting multiple locations closed and moved (including returning facilities back to the owners in the same condition prior to us being there), finding lost boxes, getting us through the renovation and inspection phase, and attending to last minute details like soap dispensers over the Labor Day weekend! All while still attending to the facilities we already occupy! I also wanted to thank all the staff in our programs for their patience during this important work on behalf of students with special needs!
Shout Out - Miranda Owsley
The Michigan School Business Officials announced that Miranda Owsley has met the requirements for certification under the MSBO Voluntary Certification Program and has earned the Chief Financial Officer certification. This award reflects a high degree of academic and professional preparation established by the MSBO Board of Directors. Great job Miranda!
Shout Out - Shannon Novara, Margy Long & Althea Wilson
Tremendous thanks to Shannon, Margy, Althea & several of our new Trusted Parent Advisors who reached out to parents in the Sycamore Green community after a recent homicide to see what their needs were for our children and families. Parents reported needing guidance and materials for supporting their young children who had witnessed much of the event. Our three team members moved into action to distribute materials on signs and symptoms of trauma and how to build resilience in partnership with WCSO Interrupters and WC Community Mental Health. Kathy Wyatt from the WCSO wrote, " I have received phone messages, calls, and comments from people in the area who received the packets, heard about them from neighbors and from community members who heard about the event. They were universally positive and appreciative. Comments included “awesome” to “incredible way to reach out to the community”, “such a beautiful thing”, “great effort” and “thank you.” Thank you for swiftly moving into action!
Shout Out - Cheryl Taylor
Cheryl happily and graciously stepped in to provide outstanding technical and logistical support for a county guidance counselor's training session. She even stepped in on the day of the event to take care of last minute needs that when a ball was dropped. Thanks to both Cheryl and Jordan for your lovely teamwork. It is appreciated!
Shout Out - David Spitzley
David worked very quickly to build a PSSE report that was requested by the VI team so that we could better understand our caseload needs going into next year. David understood what we needed and came up with an excellent solution that will help us provide more efficient and appropriate service to our students, families, and community. Thanks David!
Monica Hill receives recognition at state conference
Congratulations to Monica Hill who was recognized at the May 9, 2017 Michigan Pupil Accounting and Attendance Association (MPAA) Conference in Traverse City. Monica was honored for 15 years of outstanding support, involvement and membership in MPAAA
Staff member receives award
John Rose was humbled and surprised when he was presented on March 16 with the C. David Anderson Award from the Michigan Transition Services Association. The plaque reads: “Presented each year in recognition of an individual who exemplifies support and promotion of transition through leadership, advocacy, or innovative programming.” The award was first presented in March 21, 2000, and is awarded annually at the MTSA state convention. The plaque he received will be hung in the administrative wing of the Teaching and Learning Center. Congratulations John, well deserved!
Student ID Badges
High Point staff would like to give a shout out to the HR Department. During a recent discussion with several HP parents, it was brought to the attention of our staff that students need school ID badges (this helps for guardianship and community outings). Our HR department worked to resolve this dilemma and provided our students with ID badges. High Point parents and staff appreciate this effort! Thank you!
School Improvement Work
Thank you to JT Sangsland who skillfully facilitated the school improvement and visioning work in February at Lincoln High School. One of the objectives of the session was to surface needs at the high school to help staff improve the culture and climate at the school to improve student achievement outcomes. JT did an amazing job!
Art for Board Appreciation
Thanks to High Point teacher Nancy Davis for coordinating our very special gift for the Board of Education, to mark Board Appreciation Month. Students at High Point School painted beautiful and colorful doves, symbolizing peace, to present to the board during the January 24, 2017 meeting. Each year the Board is given gifts that reflect the work of our students. Thanks Nancy for your positive, upbeat attitude and willingness to go the extra mile.
Kudos to Andrea Hayes! Andrea has taken on an especially challenging assignment, these past few months, as one of our classrooms undergoes changes in staffing and challenges with students. Andrea has worked diligently and professionally with all the support staff, classroom staff, and families to build stability and structure in the classroom. Andrea was reassigned from her regular duties as a TC to assist this classroom team. Her TC colleagues also deserve credit for helping to support her TC caseload while Andrea is on reassignment. Her leadership and collaborative efforts have improved the stability of the classroom, helped establish instructional structure, and maintained positive collegiality among the whole team. Andrea is a professional the WISD is proud to be associated with; her enduring respect for all and student focused skills are a positive reflection on the agency.
In December 2016, Aquatic Specialist Vicki Hames-Frazier attended the Hawaii International Conference on Education in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her presentation on "Swimming for the Severely Challenged Child " was well received and the enthusiasm and curiosity shown by the participants left them wanting more. She connected with education professionals from Tampa and Switzerland who are excited about looking at program comparisons. Vicki looks forward to working with them and having the opportunity to share the WISD program with others nationally and internationally.