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May 2019
Sprinting for Success
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News & Events

Partner in Education

Superintendent's Message

TCAPS Families, Staff and Friends,

A little bit of sunshine goes a long way when spring sports are concerned! This month, I visited with some of our athletic programs to talk with students, parents and coaches about the important lessons and values student athletes gain by participating on teams and in sports. It is another area of excellence for our school district and if you haven’t already, I encourage you to get out to see the excitement for yourself!

Paul A. Soma

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News & Events

Partner in Education

Beards for Charity
Dean Councilor, TCAPS’ Bus Garage Technician

TCAPS Employee Cuts Off Beard for Charity

Dean Councilor, a technician at TCAPS’ bus garage, agreed to cut off his beard to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor. Dean’s co-workers held a raffle to see who would get the opportunity to make the first cut of his facial hair. Dennis Conway was the lucky winner and on April 25th, he helped Dean get a clean shave. Overall, the group raised $745.00. Ronald McDonald House helps families of sick children find comfort when they need it most, often providing a place to stay, food, support and more.

Cherry Knoll Students Participate in Kids Heart Challenge

In addition to learning about heart healthy habits in their physical education classes, students at Cherry Knoll Elementary School took it a step further and found a healthy way to raise funds for the American Heart Association (AHA) via the Kids Heart Challenge. Jump rope stations were set up for students during one half hour P.E. class time. Students who wanted to collect donations for the American Heart Association had about three weeks to do so. In total, $1,487 was donated to the AHA.

Central Grade School Donates Supplies to Cherryland Humane Society

The 5th Grade Student Council at Central Grade School spearheaded a school-wide supply drive to benefit Cherryland Humane Society. At the end of the drive, the Student Council was able to personally deliver more than $500 dollars worth of animal products including food, treats, leashes, beds, towels, toys, litter, etc. to the shelter. Students were given a tour and had a chance to meet the animals and see where their donations will be used.

Cherryland Humane Society Supply Drive
Cherryland Humane Society Supply Drive

NMC College for Kids


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Staff Appreciation
TCAPS News & Events

The Outstanding Educator Award program honors individuals who exhibit unique characteristics that represent the quintessential outstanding educator.

Staff Appreciation Week

TCAPS celebrated staff appreciation week May 6th-10th. We’d like to thank everyone who shared their appreciation and stories about how TCAPS staff are making a difference in the lives of children. Visit the staff appreciation webpage to view all comments shared during the week.
EdTech Loop Staff Appreciation
EdTech Loop Podcast Staff Appreciation

NMC Barbecue

TCAPS Staff Named 2019 Outstanding Educators

Flournoy Humphreys (West Middle School Band Teacher), Lance Morgan (Traverse City High School Principal), Stephanie Schall-Brazee (K-12 Music Teacher), and Aimee Cole (West Senior High School English Teacher) have each been selected as 2019 Outstanding Educators of the Traverse Bay Region. The regional Outstanding Educator Award program honors ten individuals who exhibit unique characteristics that represent the quintessential outstanding educator through leadership, excellence in school setting, evidence of student success, community engagement, and professional learning. Each year, nominations are submitted by public, private and parochial school administrators, colleagues, students, parents and community members throughout the five-county region. The Outstanding Educator Awards are presented by Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, and TBA Credit Union. The annual award celebration is open to the public and will take place on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, beginning with a reception at 6:15 p.m. at City Opera House (106 E. Front St.).

TCAPS Music Teacher Honored as Regional Teacher of the Year

The Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) District 2 membership has selected Flournoy Humphreys as the Teacher of the Year for 2018-19. She was selected in recognition of the significant contributions she has made and the impact she has had on students at West Middle School and West Senior High School, as well as for her contributions to MSBOA and music education in the state.

Candidates Selected for TCAPS Superintendent Interviews

The TCAPS Board of Education has selected six candidates to participate in technical interviews for the position of Superintendent of Schools. Interviews will take place on May 18, 2019, at the Boardman Administration Center (412 Boardman Ave.). Interviews will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will last approximately one hour for each candidate. Click here to learn more about the candidates to be interviewed. The Board is expected to select the next superintendent at a special board meeting on May 30, 2019. More information about the search is available at:

Superintendent Search Feedback Survey Results

As part of the search process for the new Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent, the Board of Education asked staff, students, families and community members to share their input through an anonymous survey about what qualities matter most in our next district leader. View the Superintendent Search Feedback Survey Results.

Reminder: Last Day of School is June 14th

The last day of the 2018/2019 school year will be Friday, June 14, 2019, which will be a half day for students as originally scheduled. TCAPS had a total of 11 inclement weather days this year, six of which are automatically waived, an additional three days that were requested to be waived by the Michigan Department of Education, and two days that were waived under legislation signed by the Governor due to the “State of Emergency” called in February.

TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis Wins Most Bike-Tastic School

On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, students at TCAPS schools participated in the 2019 Northern Michigan Bikes to School Day, a region-wide, multi-school celebration of National Bike to School Day. TCAPS’ own Willow Hill Elementary School won the title of “Most Bike-tastic” last year. This year, 22 area schools participated and TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis won the title of “Most Bike-tastic School” with an impressive 31% of it students participating. Learn more about the area-wide Safe Routes To School initiative here:
Bike to School Day

TCAPS 2019 Graduation Ceremony Information

Traverse City High School Commencement
May 31, 2019
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Lars Hockstad Auditorium, 301 Seventh St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Central High School Commencement
June 2, 2019
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Interlochen Center for the Arts, 4000 M-137, Interlochen, MI 49643

West Senior High School Commencement
June 2, 2019
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Interlochen Center for the Arts, 4000 M-137, Interlochen, MI 49643

Watch the Commencement Ceremonies Live here:

Golden Fowler

TCAPS Musicians Selected to Participate in the 2019 Michigan Youth Arts Festival

Musicians from Traverse City Central High School and Traverse City West Senior High School were selected to participate in the 57th Annual Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF). The festival is sponsored by Michigan Youth Arts and is held on the campus of Western Michigan University.

TCAPS students joined nearly 1,000 Michigan high school student-artists, chosen from a pool of more than 250,000 across the state, who were selected via a rigorous adjudication process adhering to exacting artistic standards. The invited scholars represented multiple artistic disciplines, including creative writing, dance, film/video, instrumental and vocal music, music composition, theatre, and visual art. It is an honor for TCAPS’ students to make it through the selection process and be considered, let alone be selected, to perform.

This three-day event featured workshops and master classes for the students, alongside more than 20 student performances and exhibitions. Michigan Youth Arts is an alliance of 11 statewide education associations that work together collaboratively to develop high quality arts education programming, recognize the contributions of valuable teachers, and provide advocacy resources for parents, educators and policymakers. The Michigan Youth Arts Festival is an annual showcase that recognizes, supports, and celebrates the artistic excellence of young artists in Michigan. For more information, please visit State organizations Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) and the Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) are sponsoring organizations for events that are held throughout the year leading up to MYAF selection. Selected soloists and ensembles performed during the festival, May 8 – 10, 2019. Click here to see the complete list.

TCAPS Community Garage Sale—May 18th

The annual TCAPS community garage sale to support the Global Service study abroad trip to Mexico and the 2020 study abroad trip to Spain will be held Saturday, May 18, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Oak Park Elementary School gymnasium. All proceeds support individual student fees. For more information, contact Kate Hansen at

Community Garage Sale

Traverse City Central High School Students to Attend MiCareerQuest Northwest—May 22nd

On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 9th grade students from Traverse City Central High School will attend MiCareerQuest Northwest from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center (1213 W. Civic Center Dr.). MiCareerQuest Northwest is a hands-on, career and college readiness event for students in Northwest Michigan. It engages students through one-on-one conversations with professionals and hands-on activities that allow students to experience and hopefully, spark an interest in, the various careers.

Upcoming Board Office Hours—May 23rd

The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education will host “Office Hours” on Thursday, May 23, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at Horizon Books (243 E. Front Street). The listening session format is intended to offer an opportunity for community members to have one-on-one conversations with board members in an informal setting.

Traverse City Music Boosters’ Annual Benefit Concert—May 23rd

Don’t miss the best concert of the year showcasing the extraordinary talent of TCAPS’ secondary students. The Traverse City Music Boosters’ annual benefit concert will be held on May 23, 2019, in the Traverse City Central High School gymnasium (1150 Milliken Dr.) at 7:00 p.m. Proceeds benefit student scholarships and music classroom mini-grants. A donation of $5 per person or $20 per family is suggested. Donations can now be made by credit card at the concert or online at:

TCAPS Board of Education to Host Employee Retirement Reception—June 6th

On Thursday, June 6, 2019, the TCAPS Board of Education will host the 2019 Retirement Reception to honor all district employees retiring this school year. The reception will include refreshments and entertainment by the West Middle School Jazz Band. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Traverse City West Middle School Little Theater (1950 Silver Lake Rd.). Please RSVP to Kelly Walter by May 24th at or 231.933.1713. View list of 2019 retirees.

TCAPS Board of Education to Host Superintendent Retirement Reception—June 24th

On Monday, June 24, 2019, the Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education will host a reception from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to honor TCAPS Superintendent Paul Soma, who will be retiring. Superintendent Soma has worked in the district for 17 years, serving as superintendent for the last five years. The event is open to the public and will include light refreshments and student performances.

TCAPS Highlights Student Spaceflight Experiment Program at Leadership Grand Traverse

Students from West Senior High School, who will have an experiment they designed performed on the International Space Station, presented as part of a panel during Leadership Grand Traverse Education Day on Friday, May 3, 2019. Hattie Holmes, Langley Nelson, Kale Cerny and Lainey Wickman, all from Mr. Howe’s 9th grade Honors Biology, discussed their experiment proposal titled, “The Growth of Bacillus Subtilis on a Substrata Material in Microgravity.” The launch date is expected to be sometime in late spring/early summer 2019. In addition, the winning student-designed mission patches, designed by West Middle School 8th grader Arianna Stallworth and West Senior High School 10th grader Lexi Radtke will also travel to the space station and were displayed for participants in the Chamber of Commerce’s leadership program.

Traverse Heights Elementary School Hosts Innovation Day

On Friday, May 10, 2019, Traverse Heights Elementary School hosted an “Innovation Day.” Innovation Day is designed to offer fun, STEM-related activities that help students explore career opportunities. The day was broken up into seven breakout times, each with multiple session options from which students could build their own, personalized schedule based on their interests.

Innovation Day News Story
9 & 10 News Innovation Day Story

Innovation Day

Innovation Day

Register Now for 2019-2020 Tuition-Based Preschool

Registrations for TCAPS’ 2019-2020 tuition-based preschool programs are still being accepted. All interested families who were not able to sign up during the early registration period are invited to sign up. Registration will be accepted April 22nd through August 1st. Families are encouraged to register early as space is limited. A registration fee of $50 per student will be assessed at a later date. Please visit for registration instructions and/or additional program information.

Please note: All schools with the exception of TCAPS Montessori will be participating in online registration. Families interested in Montessori programs should contact the school directly at 231.933.6420 to enroll their child.

TCAPS Announces Summer Explorers Club—Registration Open

Online registration for TCAPS’ Summer Explorers Club is now open. Explorers Clubs are designed for children, ages 3-12, and will be available at four locations (Cherry Knoll, Eastern, TCAPS Montessori, and Westwoods). Each week will feature different theme-based activities, field trips and/or special guests. Explorers are invited to sign up for every week or just the weekly adventures of interest. Club fees are $180 per week ($200 preschool). Fees are set for the full week and are not based on the number of days in attendance. Clubs will run June 24 - August 23, 2019, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and are open to all area students as well as summer visitors. More information:

tcapsloop weekly podcast



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TC High Food Bank
Partner in Education

"The impact of these gifts is great and will help remove non-academic barriers to learning."

Members of Grand Traverse Democratic Party Blue Tiger Program Give Back

A donation in memory of former TCAPS teacher Suzann Brooke was made to Traverse City High School (TCHS) by members of the Grand Traverse Democratic Party Blue Tiger Program.

Suzann Brooke was especially proud to support the students of TCHS. During the GT Dems Winter Rally this year when it was announced how much was raised from members ($497 in total with one personal check for $150 made specifically to the TC High Food Bank) Suzann's name was mentioned and a moment of silence was taken to remember her contributions to the community. It was decided to make the contribution in memory of her.

Additional donations of $76 and $102 were also received from members to support the students at TCHS. We are grateful for the support. The impact of these gifts is great and will help remove non-academic barriers to learning.

Students at Westwoods Elementary School Fuel Up to Play 60

Students at Westwoods Elementary School have been enjoying their physical activity play. This year, the Fuel Up to Play 60 team, with assistance from MSU Extension, chose to implement In-Class Physical Activity Breaks – Good for Mind and Body. With funding provided by the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, the team chose to purchase items that would encourage classrooms to engage in short physical activity breaks to help students focus better in class. Lillian Swan, a fifth grade teacher at Westwoods and a Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisor noted the success of this play. “My students really enjoy getting up and moving. Not only has it helped them academically, but I’ve also noticed that the breaks have physically helped my students. Their ability to balance has really progressed!”

Generations Ahead Program Receives $1,500 Grant from the Community Foundation

Generations Ahead has received a $1,500 grant from the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation for its Camp Corvela program. Generations Ahead is a support program for pregnant and parenting teenagers in the Grand Traverse region. The emphasis of the program is on helping young parents complete their high school education and begin post-secondary education. Learn more about the Generations Ahead program:

Students Enjoy Hunchback of Notre Dame

Many thanks to Partner In Education Interlochen Center for the Arts for treating some of our students to a performance of the musical Hunchback of Notre Dame. The opportunity provided students with an excellent opportunity to experience the arts first-hand and enjoy the epic story of love, acceptance, and what it means to be a hero. Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, the musical showcased the film's Academy Award-nominated score, as well as new songs by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.

Trip to IAA

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Traverse City Area Public Schools
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