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September 2018
First Day of School
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News & Events

Partner in Education

Superintendent's Message

Please enjoy this video message featuring Eastern Elementary School students and staff.

Superintendent's Message
Click the image to watch the message



News & Events

Partner in Education

Mexico Service

TC Patriot Game Provides Opportunity for Students to Honor Those Who Serve

For the past seven years, TCAPS Student Senators from TC West and TC Central have been the driving force behind raising over $65,000 for area non-profits that provide services for Veterans, active-duty military and first responders. Each year, students gather to hear presentations from non-profit applicants. They ask each group an impressive list of questions and when the interviews are over, they spend a significant amount of time debating on which charity should be selected.

Once selected, a plan is put in place to have a contest amongst their peers to design the commemorative t-shirt for the year. From there, the winning design is put on thousands of blue and red t-shirts and are sold, with support from area businesses, to the community. 100% of t-shirt sale proceeds go to support the benefiting non-profit.

Patriot Game

“These students put in countless hours prior to TC Patriot Game day, and then continue throughout that day volunteering under the leadership of Scott Herzberg, TC Patriot Game Chair, to do many other things,” said Partner In Education Coordinator Karyn Hertel. “For example, they decorate the stands, man the flag tunnel, participate in the presentation to the Honorary Captains, run the Bucket Blitz and more.”

The TC Patriot Game delivers the message to all who attend the importance of community and service. But most importantly, it honors those who have served, continue to serve, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. “Our students see first-hand the amount of men and women, from just our small part of the world, who put themselves in a position to protect and serve. It’s incredibly selfless and admirable and I think our students learn great things from the emotion of this annual event,” said Superintendent Paul Soma.

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Partner in Education

National Merit Program
TCAPS News & Events

Less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors make it into the semifinal round of the competition.

TCAPS Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

TCAPS is pleased to announce that six students have been selected as Semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Traverse City Central High School students Matthew Failor, Lukas Hazen-Bushbaker, Edward Roe, and Massimo Vozza, and Traverse City West Senior High School students Ian Beck and Aage Denton Grenchik, were among the 16,000 students who have been named 2019 National Merit Semifinalists. Semifinalists have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million, which will be offered next spring. Less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors make it into the semifinal round of the competition.

In addition, Central High School students Aubrey Haddix, Charles Kellogg, and Sophia Suminski, and West Senior High School students Henry Heitman, Pierson Klein and Jessica Litchfield were named Commended Students in recognition of their outstanding academic promise.

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 PSAT/NMSQT, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants. Finalists will be notified in February 2019.

Traverse City West Senior High School Presents Urinetown The Musical—Oct. 12th-20th

Traverse City West Senior High School presents “Urinetown The Musical” October 12-20, 2018 (5376 N. Long Lake Rd.). In the not-so-distant future, a terrible water shortage and 20-year drought has led to a government ban on private toilets and a proliferation of paid public toilets, owned and operated by a single megalomaniac company: the Urine Good Company. If the poor don’t obey the strict laws prohibiting free urination, they’ll be sent to the dreaded and mysterious “Urinetown.” After too long under the heel of the malevolent Caldwell B. Cladwell, the poor stage a revolt, led by a brave young hero, fighting tooth and nail for the freedom to use the restroom “wherever you like” and “whenever you like.” A brilliant satire modeled off the plays of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, Urinetown is a wickedly funny, fast-paced, and surprisingly intelligent comedic romp. Performances are October 12th, 14th, 19th and 20th. Tickets are available at


Traverse City Central High School Presents “Newsies The Musical”—November 9th-18th

Traverse City Central High School presents “Newsies The Musical” November 9-18, 2018 (1150 Milliken Dr.). Set in turn-of-the century New York City, “Newsies The Musical” is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged "newsies." When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what's right. Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, “Newsies” features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. Featuring the now classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” and “Santa Fe,” “Newsies” is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family and every audience. Tickets go on sale beginning October 5th and will be available at or by calling 1-800-836-0717. The cost is $25 for VIP tickets, $20 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens.

Evening Performances
7:00 p.m.
Fridays – Nov. 9 & 16
Saturdays – Nov. 10 & 17

Matinee Performances
2:00 p.m.
Saturdays – Nov. 10 & 17
Sundays – Nov. 11 & 18


Central High School’s Philharmonic Strings Perform Live Score for Movie Premiere

On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, the Central High School Philharmonic Strings performed a live score to a sold out audience for the premiere of the short film “Find Me Up North.” The film is billed as a “love letter to northern Michigan.” The event took place at the City Opera House.

tcapsloop weekly podcast

Willow Hill Elementary School Teacher Helps Pen Music Education Book

TCAPS’ very own Stephanie Schall-Brazee helped collaborate on a music education book this summer. She wrote a chapter of the book that is now published. Staff and families at Willow Hill Elementary School are celebrating her accomplishment with a display (pictured) in the school’s lobby. TCAPS is fortunate to have so many talented educators who share their gifts with others.  

Teacher Author

Students from Germany Visit TCAPS as Part of GAPP Exchange Program--September 10th-20th

Students visiting Traverse City from Germany have been enjoying educational and cultural experiences as part of the German American Partnership Program (GAPP) student exchange. Our guests participated in a pre-game tailgate and in the student section at the TC Patriot Game. They also visited Mackinac Island with their host families, sailed aboard the Nauticat and participated in a trail maintenance project at Timber Trail Lodge. Students from Traverse City will travel to Germany in mid-June 2019 to explore Heidelberg, Freiburg and Konstanz, among other places.

GAPP students on Mackinac Island
GAPP students at the Patriot Game

Nominations Open for Michigan Teacher of the Year 2019-2020

The Michigan Department of Education is seeking nominations for the next Michigan Teacher of the Year (MTOY). The MTOY program, sponsored by the Meemic Foundation, recognizes outstanding educational leaders across our state for their work to elevate the teaching profession. The online nomination form is open until Friday, October 12, at 11:59 p.m. Parents are invited to nominate one of our exceptional educators for this special recognition today! Click here for the MTOY Announcement.

East Extravaganza Craft Show - October 27th, Exhibitor Applications Now Being Accepted

The 27th annual East Extravaganza Craft Show will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at East Middle School (1776 Three Mile Rd. N.). The event features unique and handmade arts and crafts as well as a silent auction. Admission to the event is free and the proceeds benefit the school library. Exhibitor applications are currently being accepted. Contact Denise Olson, or Julie Nesky, to reserve your space today.

West Fall Fest

Calendar Reminders

October 3rd Student Count Day
November 2nd Half day for students, full day for staff
November 6th No school, Election Day, full day for staff

View the school year calendar here.



News & Events

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Partner in Education

"Thank you, Serra Traverse City, for helping provide support for our students with athletic and enrichment opportunities."

Welcome Serra Traverse City

Our newest Thirlby sponsor is Serra Traverse City. Sponsoring a banner at Thirlby Field supports TCAPS’ Learning, Enrichment, and Athletics Program (LEAP). Funds benefit students with free or reduced scholarships. Last year, over 5,500 students participated in LEAP with over 2,000 of those students receiving scholarships to support their participation. Thank you, Serra Traverse City, for helping provide support for our students with athletic and enrichment opportunities.

Buffalo Wild Wings Provides Food for TC Patriot Game

In addition to their annual Thirlby sponsorship, this year our local Buffalo Wild Wings provided a tailgate dinner for all Veterans, active duty and first responders. A delicious spread of chicken wraps with their signature sauces were available. A good time was had by all. The best way to thank our sponsors is to visit their locations and become a patron!

Patriot Game Sponsor

Michigan College Planning Offers Back to School College Planning Workshops

Michigan College Planning - Michigan's Top Choice for College Planning
In these free one hour sessions, packed with valuable information, parents with students of all ages will learn how to maximize their admissions, lower tuitions, increase financial aid eligibility, and lower out-of-pocket expenses from Partner In Education Michigan College Planning. It’s never too early or too late to start finding ways to save!

Tuesday, September 25 - Central High School Cafeteria 6:30 PM
Tuesday, October 23 - West Middle School Library - 6:30 PM
Tuesday, November 13 - East Middle School Library - 6:30 PM

By registering for this no-cost workshop, you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing to win a Red Ginger gift card. Must be present to win. Click here to register.

Healthy Snacks For Kids with Fox Motors - Now Through September 29

Join our Partner In Education Fox Motors by supporting their Snack Drive for Kids. A big yellow school bus will be in front of Fox Grand Traverse located at 3464 US-31, with a goal to stuff the bus so that all students will have a snack available to them when needed. Thank you, Fox Motors, for coordinating this drive for kids!

Snack Drive

Northern Michigan Walks to School Day

Norte Youth Cycling
Northern Michigan Walks to School Day is Wednesday, October 10, 2018. Last year, 700 students across the Traverse City region and beyond walked (or biked) to school. This year, the team at Norte! is aiming to reach 1,000. We know we can do it!

How do participants sign up? It's simple - One Click to Commit!

Join one of the "Walk to School Buses" at many of our TCAPS schools. Don't see one on the schedule for your school but want to start one? Let know and she can get your information posted on the Norte site.

Don't have a school that is really "walk friendly"? That's okay. Get creative. Maybe kids could walk for five minutes around their neighborhood before getting on the bus or getting in their parent's car? Or, how about a few laps around the school before the day starts? Oh, and even a five-minute walk to the bus stop counts. It's possible for EVERYONE to play along!

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Traverse City Area Public Schools
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