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December 2018
Giving Thanks
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News & Events

Partner in Education

Superintendent's Message

As we head into the holidays, I am so pleased to be able to share this video to help get you into the holiday spirit. I have gotten so much personal joy from experiencing the fruits of our music program’s labor and anyone who has seen a performance can surely relate. In fact, one of the best moments of my time as superintendent was getting to watch 500 of our students perform at the Michigan Music Conference in 2017. We are very proud to be a district that offers unforgettable music opportunities for all students and I am proud to say we have the best K-12 music program in the state!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful break and a very Happy New Year!

Paul A. Soma

Click to view the Silver Lake Video
Click the image to watch the message.

To view previous Our:TCAPS episodes, please click here.

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Partner in Education

Warm Fuzzies
The Central Grade School Student Council collected 26 boxes of non-perishable food for Father Fred.

Students, Schools and the Community Come Together to Make the Season Bright

There was so much incredible giving this holiday season. Whether giving of their time, talents or treasures, our students, families and community came together to celebrate and support each other in so many ways. The stories below are only a small sampling of the many student, classroom and team activities to spread holiday cheer.

TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis Hosts Annual Warm Fuzzies Drive

Montessori Warm Fuzzies
The TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis hosted its annual Warm Fuzzies drive from November 26th through Friday, December 14th. They accepted clean used or new mittens, gloves, hats, socks, coats, snow pants, boots and jackets of all sizes for both kids and adults. The idea of the drive is to provide an opportunity for the school’s students and families to pick out items from the cart that they need and the school donated the rest to charity.

The campaign was once again a huge success with collections of 5 large boxes of items to share. Thank you, team Mercury, for your very generous contribution to our community.

TC West and TC Central Hockey Fundraiser Produces 13 Moving Boxes of Food and Thousands of Dollars for STEP

On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, the Traverse City West Senior High School Titans played the Traverse City Central High School Trojans and admission to the game was covered with a monetary or goods donation worth $5 or more to TCAPS Students in Transition Empowerment Program (STEP). STEP is a grant and donation-based program for children from birth to 20 years old experiencing homelessness, housing instability and/or living in inadequate situations. Donations of household items, food or money will go to help the youth in the area. In total, the teams collected 13 moving boxes filled with food, toiletries, pillows, blankets, socks , and misc items. They also collected $1,136 in monetary donations at the door, $2,202 from sponsors, and $680 in gift cards. To top it all off, a private donor has agreed to match some of the contributions.

Cherry Knoll Community Partners with Samaritas Senior Living

This year Cherry Knoll Elementary School has partnered with Samaritas Senior Living to schedule gatherings throughout the year. The very first kindergarten language arts unit is the Helping Hands unit, where students learn about helping within their home, community and school. The topic of "community" continues to come up in other subject areas and throughout the school day. Mrs. Dorgan’s kindergarten class prepared for their visit to Samaritas by learning holiday songs and hearing many different versions of the story of the gingerbread man. They brought gingerbread cookies and all of the decorating supplies including icing and candies, along with their joy-filled youthful voices. While there they decorated cookies with the residents and sang some holiday favorites. “They treated us to hot cocoa with marshmallow and conversations of Christmas memories,” said Mrs. Dorgan. “It was a lovely hour spreading holiday cheer to members of our community.”

Central Grade School’s Acts of Kindness Calendar Encourages Giving Back During December

Some examples include:
  • Make a card for a soldier
  • Make cookies for a neighbor
  • Put stray grocery carts back where they belong
  • Tell silly jokes to make someone laugh
  • Make a hug coupon for someone
  • Shovel a neighbor’s driveway or be kind to your neighbors
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line
  • Tape change to a vending machine
  • Make “favor” coupons to give to your friends or family
  • Call a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while
  • Thank your teacher

Willow Hill Elementary School Hosts Annual 12 Days of Giving

In the spirit of the season of giving, Willow Hill Elementary School took part in its annual 12 Days of Giving to collect items for the Traverse City West Senior High School pantry. Each grade level and staff were assigned specific items to collect from food to toiletries. The drive began after Thanksgiving and students and staff placed their item(s) under the decorated tree in the school’s lobby. All items were delivered to the pantry on December 14th. The drive provided a great way for the school’s students to be involved with giving back to our community.

Central High School Senate Hosts Annual “Can the Principal” Food Drive

Can the Principal Food Drive
The Traverse City Central High School Student Senate held their annual “Can the Principal” food and personal care items drive from December 3-14, 2018. The goal was to fill the principal’s office with donations of non-perishable items to help stock the school’s pantry as well as other area pantries serving those in need. This year, the effort collected more than 8,300 items.

The donations will stock the school’s food pantry, provide items for Traverse City High School and go to support Father Fred. The Senior Class stepped it up at the end to provide the leadership necessary to get over the 8,000 item mark!

Westwoods and Silver Lake Students Shop With a Hero

Westwoods Elementary School and Silver Lake Elementary School students participated in the annual Shop With A Hero program at Meijer. Every year our local Meijer store donates thousands of dollars to help purchase toys for the local Toys for Tots program. This year, students partnered with local police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and military service members to shop at Meijer for area families in need this holiday season. Santa even made a special appearance at the store.

Shop with a Hero



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Partner in Education

Board Members
TCAPS News & Events

"Appreciation for outgoing Board members' service and dedication to our schools and community"

Board Members Recognized for their Service

On Monday, December 10th, outgoing TCAPS Board of Education members Erik Falconer (President), Scott Hardy (Treasurer) and Bill Smith (Interim Trustee) were recognized for their service and dedication to our schools and community. Both Falconer and Hardy were elected to two consecutive four-year terms (totally eight years of service for each) and Smith was appointed to an interim position on the Board in August 2018. Each outgoing trustee selected a book to be donated to the school of their choice and they were honored as part of the Board meeting.

TCAPS Athletic Websites - Your First Stop for Titan and Trojan Athletics

Looking for information on high school athletics? We invite you to visit the custom web pages for Traverse City West Senior High School and Traverse City Central High School to get all the latest athletic news and events! There you will also find schedules, locations, forms, photo galleries, summer camp information and a very easy to find "Upcoming Events" list. The websites are your one-stop-shop for all things Titan or Trojan athletics!

Traverse City West Athletics

Traverse City Central Athletics

TC High School Wins 3rd Prize in Holiday Movie Scene Mural Contest

Art students from Traverse City High School and Traverse City West Senior High School participated in the 2018 12 Days of Christmas display, which features eight holiday movie scenes. The displays are illuminated from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., seven days a week now through January 1, 2019. Four area artists judged the eight student-created holiday movie scenes to determine the winners, and Traverse City High School’s submission was awarded 3rd Place ($250 prize). In addition, voting for the People’s Choice Award is open now through January 2nd. Votes are submitted by texting the mural number of your choice to 484848. The winner of the People’s Choice award will receive a pizza party for their school’s art department. The scenes are displayed on S. Spruce Street between West Front Street and Sixth Street.

Traverse City High School Muppets Mural

Central High School Debate Team Competes in 101st Annual State Tournament

The Traverse City Central High School Trojan Debate team finished their season over the weekend at the 101st annual Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association state tournament for policy debate. After a successful season involving rigorous research on this year’s topic - immigration policy - and four regular season tournaments, the Trojans took home 6th place at the varsity level and 3rd place at the novice level for the state of Michigan. Over the course of the full season, team members collected nine individual speaking awards, a second place trophy, and multiple ballot wins in various debate rounds.

The program has a long history in Traverse City of incorporating high academic standards into research based discourse and argumentation. Currently, the Trojan debate team is looking to start an alumni organization consisting of previous coaches and debaters in the area who would like to be involved with the team. If you are interested in getting involved with a TCC debate alumni association, please contact Kathryn Polus at or at (231) 933-6962.

Central High School Debate Team

West Senior High School’s Titan VEX Robotics Teams Earn Tournament Awards

The Traverse City West Senior High School Titan Vex Robotics Teams – X, Y, A, and M –participated in a tournament hosted by the Grand Traverse Academy and all made it into the quarterfinals.

Team X earned the Robot Skills Champion Award, which is awarded based on the highest combined score from the Driver Skills Challenge and the Programing Skills Challenge. The award qualifies them to compete at the MSU Michigan VRC High School State Championship. They are currently ranked 3rd in the state out of 138 teams.
Titan Robotics

Team A earned the Excellence Award, which is given to the overall top team in the tournament. It is the highest honor given out in the VEX Robotics Competition. The recipient of this award is a team that exemplifies overall excellence in creating a high quality VEX robotics program. The award qualifies them to compete at the MSU Michigan VRC High School State Championship.

Next up for the Titan VEX Robotics Teams is the VEX Leagues event on January 26, 2019, and the GTACS Traverse City Tournament on February 9th.

No PFAS Detected at TCAPS Schools

Results from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) drinking water well testing shows no detectable PFAS at any TCAPS schools that were sampled. Courtade Elementary School, Long Lake Elementary School, Silver Lake Elementary School, Westwoods Elementary School, and the Interlochen and Bertha Vos buildings were tested because they are served by drinking water wells. Results showed that the schools’ drinking water wells were all “non-detect,” or no traceable amount of PFAS was found in the wells. These buildings joined Blair Elementary School, which showed that the school’s drinking water had no traceable amount of PFAS in its well over the summer. PFAS are chemicals found in fire-fighting foams, stain repellents, nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, food wrappers, and many other household products. MDEQ test results will be published on the state's PFAS Response website.

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Hagerty CARes
Partner in Education

"The Hagerty CARes program has been providing gift boxes to TCAPS schools for 14 years."

Hagerty Holiday Cares and More

  • On December 13th, very special holiday gifts were delivered to 100 TCAPS elementary school students as part of the Hagerty CARes program. The gift boxes were filled with books, crafts and more. In addition to the gift basket, a $25 gift card was included for the caregiver to further assist their families during the holiday season. The Hagerty CARes program has been providing gift boxes to TCAPS schools for 14 years.
  • Hagerty CARes
    Pictured are TCAPS’ Angel Elsenheimer, Hagerty VP of Public Relations Jonathan Klinger, Hagerty Senior Manager of Car Culture Tabetha Hammer, Senior Manager of Public Relations Andy Heller, and TCAPS’ Karyn Hertel.

  • In addition to this generosity, the Hagerty Brand team adopted a Central Grade School family and presented them with not only gifts, but also gift cards to help with groceries and other needs.
  • Hagerty CARes
    Pictured is Central Grade Social Worker Lauren Kiella and Rachel Ventimiglia from Hagerty.

  • The Downtown Traverse City Shop Your Community Day raised over $23,000 for area nonprofits. A donation of $155.83 was made to TCAPS’ Student In Transition Empowerment Program as part of the campaign. Thank you to downtown shoppers for supporting our students.

  • Century Inc, a privately held, vertically integrated precision manufacturing company headquartered in Traverse City surprised TCAPS today with 120 items of winter gear for students in need! Thank you to your generous staff!!!
    Century Inc. Gift

Last Call for adidas Discounts!

This great promotion ends December 31, 2018, so stock up on all of your favorite adidas gear today!

Earn Money For Your School

Shift Chiropractic Giving Tree

On December 20th, gifts will be delivered to 10 student families in need. Out of the kindness of their hearts, Shift Chiropractic created and promoted a Giving Tree to its patients. Together, gifts and gift cards were presented as a special surprise to these families. Thank you to Sheena Konas for coordinating the Giving Tree and reaching out to TCAPS to help some of our families experiencing a hard time during this holiday season. Special thanks to Judy Roth, parent of Traverse City Central High School graduates, for wrapping all of the gifts.
Shift Chiropractic
Pictured is Sheena Konas, Shift Chiropractic.

Bill Marsh Price Point Gives Back

For the past month, Bill Marsh Price Point has been hosting a School Lunch Payoff Fundraiser as a Price Point Cares Event. The drive ends on December 21st and will match up to $2,000.

As a bolster to the program, Traverse City Central High School graduate and author, Mandy Toomey, donated $1,000 to the cause. Toomey wrote the children’s book “Goodnight Traverse City” and has dedicated 10-percent of the proceeds from the book to the TCAPS food assistance program. “When I heard that Price Point was taking donations and matching up to $2,000, I felt this would be an opportunity for my donation to have a greater impact,” says Toomey.

“We believe students can’t get the most out of the classroom unless they have a balanced, healthy lunch,” says Price Point manager Lisa Groleau. “We’re not done yet, we still have a few days left and we’re hoping our customers, employees and people in the community see the value of supporting the fuel for our student’s education.”

Money can be dropped off at the Traverse City Price Point during regular business hours or take it to any Bill Marsh location and earmark the money for the TCAPS school lunch program. More information is available on Facebook or contact Lisa Groleau at:
Goodnight Traverse City
Mandy Toomey (left) drops off a check for the Price Point school lunch fundraiser. The check is received by Karyn Hertel (Center) TCAPS Partner In Education Coordinator and Lisa Groleau (Left) Price Point Sales Manager.(Photo credit: Bill Marsh Auto)

United Way TCAPS Employee Giving Campaign

United Way employee giving campaigns give businesses and their employees the opportunity to learn about our community’s needs and a convenient way to get involved. This year, TCAPS staff donated $5,210 to the United Way of Northwest Michigan which focuses on:
  • Ensuring area students graduate on time and are prepared for post-secondary success
  • Reducing substance use and childhood obesity rates
  • Making sure all of our neighbors have a warm home and food on the table.

Thank you, TCAPS staff, for your contribution to support our friends and neighbors most in need.

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Traverse City Area Public Schools
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