view in browser

February 2022
Outstanding Staff
Top News

News & Events

Partner in Education

Top News

Traverse City West Senior High School's Erich Wangeman Named 2022 Michigan School Vocal Music Association Teacher of the Year

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) is excited to announce that Erich Wangeman has been named the 2022 Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) Teacher of the Year. Requirements for this recognition include MSVMA membership, teaching a minimum of 15 years – 10 of which must be on the secondary level in Michigan, demonstrating consistent excellence in performance, and being influential in creating a love and understanding of music for the masses. He is the current choral teacher at Traverse City West Senior High School (WSH) and Traverse City West Middle School (WMS), and has been with TCAPS for nearly 10 years.

Erich Wangeman received his B.A. in Music Education and M.A. in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University. He has enjoyed teaching vocal music to middle and high school students for over 30 years and has mentored student teachers from Alma College, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan. Choirs under his direction have earned highest ratings at MSVMA festivals and have performed at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival and the Michigan Music Conference numerous times. He has had choirs featured at both Regional and National Conventions for the American Choral Directors Association, and his programs have been recognized by receiving prestigious education grants from National Geographic and the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall.

Wangeman is a nationally recognized choral clinician and the subject of the book, “Swagger, Gentlemanliness, and Brotherhood: Explorations of Lived Experiences In a High School Men’s Chorus” by Andrea Ramsey. He is frequently asked to present interest-sessions about the developing male voice and building men's choruses, and was presented with an “Inspiration Award” from Haslett Public Schools. During his tenure in TCAPS, he was also recognized as a Michigan Department of Education (MDE) “Proud Michigan Educator'', which is a state-wide initiative that aims to acknowledge, elevate, and celebrate the work of great educators in the State of Michigan.

Erich has served as MSVMA President and continues to be an active and grateful member of the organization. Though distinction in performance remains a focus in his teaching, his greatest joy comes from the traditions built over the years by young people who are dedicated to vocal excellence, musical achievement, and the unique community created when people share their voices in song. Please join us in congratulating Mr. Erich Wangeman on this wonderful achievement.

MSVMA is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that supports and encourages vocal music educators and students through participation in district and state festivals, the Michigan Music Conference, and the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. The organization provides professional development opportunities to its members via clinics, scholarships, its clinician consultant program, and its Summer Conference which offers State Continuing Education Clock Hours, and to their students through the Student Leadership Conference. To learn more about the organization or other Teacher of the Year nominees, visit

Interlochen Arts Discovery Camp


Top News


Partner in Education

Story Walk
Story Walk location, Brilliant Books
TCAPS News & Events

We exist to educate. Education improves the quality of life for all.

Traverse City Area Public Schools Celebrate Black History Month

This month, Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) observed Black History Month, an annual celebration of African American achievements. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Today, Black History Month is a time to honor the contributions, legacy, and central role of African Americans across U.S. history and society.

TCAPS partnered with Downtown Traverse City to create weekly StoryWalks, each featuring a story about black history, culture, or experience. StoryWalks allow students and families to engage with a book in a unique way and also provides a springboard for discussion, builds positive interactions with reading, and is fun for all ages. Featured books included The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, The Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, and next week’s book I am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes.

Many TCAPS teachers, like Mrs. Rowney at Cherry Knoll Elementary, offered “Daily Inspirations”, which included a quote from a prominent African American figure, a read aloud, and a short video about that person. Schools also incorporated coloring exercises, class discussions, readings, and other educational activities to provide windows and mirrors for students as it pertains to black history. To learn more about black history month, visit

Traverse City Central High School Coach Lisa Taylor Named Finalist for National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) Coach of the Year

Traverse City Central High School girls cross country coach, Lisa Taylor, has been named a 2022 National Coach of the Year finalist. She is among seven Michigan coaches named by the National High School Coaches Association (NHSACA).
Lisa Taylor

The NHSACA is a professional organization of school coaches and athletic directors that provides resources to promote professional growth, an attitude of teamwork, sportsmanship, and healthy lifestyles for athletes, coaches, and athletic directors. Nominations for National Coach of the Year come from each coach’s sport association and then through the Michigan High School Coaches Association for national honors recommendations. Criteria for selections are based on the performance of their programs over the years and their contributions to their sport, school, and community. The National Coach of the Year selection will be announced during the NHSACA convention in Altoona, Iowa, June 18-22, 2022.

In addition to being the girls cross country coach at TC Central since 1994, Taylor is a high school cross country and track state champion herself, as well as an NCAA Division I All-American, and a member of both the TC Central and Alma High School halls of fame. She has been nominated for the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association’s (MITCA) Coach of the Year 13 times and won the award in 2008. She was also the MITCA Division I Regional Coach of the Year in 2018, and was most recently named the 2021 Michigan High School Coaches Association (MHSCA) Coach of the Year. Taylor also is the Executive Director of the Traverse City Track Club.

It is truly an honor and great accomplishment to be nominated for such a prestigious national award. Please join us in congratulating coach Lisa Taylor!

To view all of the nation’s nominees and for additional information about the 2022 National NHSACA Coach of the Year or the National Convention, visit

Thank You TCAPS Bus Drivers

February 22, 2022 was National Bus Driver Appreciation Day. Please join us in thanking our amazing bus drivers for keeping TCAPS students safe on their way to and from school. We 'wheel-y' appreciate you!

Please feel free to print these fun activities for your student to share with their bus driver this week:

Bus Driver Thank You Notes
Thank You Bus Drivers Coloring Sheet
Thank You Bus Drivers

Tech Tip of the Month for Parents from the TCAPS EdTech Loop


Even if you've talked to your kids about screen-time limits and responsible online behavior, it's still really tough to manage what they do when you're not there (and even when you are). Parental controls can support you in your efforts to keep your kids' internet experiences safe, fun, and productive. They work best when used openly and honestly in partnership with your kids -- not as a stealth spying method.

Here's everything you need to know about the wide array of parental control solutions.

Source: Common Sense Media

For more tips on Parenting Digital Kids, check out our Parenting Digital Kids Guide. We are here to share tools and resources to support our TCAPS families with digital devices in the home.

Grand Canyon University

2022/2023 TCAPS Enrollment Information

Enrollment has begun for many 2022/23 TCAPS schools and programs. TCAPS will continue to offer both LIVE and On Demand options for the 2022/23 school year. For general enrollment information, please visit, or follow the links below for more information about specific programs: TCAPS First Steps: Kindergarten Guide
Important Enrollment Dates
TCAPS Enrollment

Current 8th Grade Area Students Invited to Apply to the SCI-MA-TECH Program for 2022-23 School Year

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) is pleased to announce the application period for the district’s SCI-MA-TECH program is now open. Applications for the 2022-2023 school year will be accepted now through Friday, March 18, 2022. Any current eighth grade student within the Grand Traverse Area is invited to apply.

The SCI-MA-TECH (SMT) program offers students enhanced and accelerated opportunities in science, math, engineering and technology, and Advanced Placement coursework. Students join SCI-MA-TECH as freshmen and participate in the program for four years earning credit in AP classes, SMT Math, SMT Science and SMT choice Technology and Engineering courses. SCI-MA-TECH students also visit colleges and businesses, hear from speakers, conduct authentic research, complete an internship, and participate in extracurricular activities. The program is offered at both Traverse City Central High School and Traverse City West Senior High School. Learn more about SCI-MA-TECH at
Sci-Ma-Tech Promo

Inclement Weather Alerts and School Closures

TCAPS families will be notified of inclement weather school closures through news media and if opted-in, a district text message. Announcements will also be posted to the TCAPS website, social media, and bus hotline.

The determination is typically made by 5:00 a.m., if possible, and by 6:00 a.m. at the latest. If you do not already receive texts, you can always opt-in at any time by texting the word YES to 87569, as long as your phone number is already on file with the school. If your cell phone number is not on file with the school, you will not be able to receive text messages. Texting is limited to contact numbers tied to the district’s staff and student databases, and therefore is not available to the general public. At any time, families may also call the Bus Hotline at 231.933.1955 to hear a daily message with information about school closures or transportation delays. For additional information about inclement weather closures, alerts, and snow day FAQs, click here.

Other Closures

The district may be required to cancel school for specific buildings or cancel specific bus routes as a result of COVID-19 exposures or staff shortages. This information will be posted to the district website and social media in addition to direct communication to families impacted via phone and/or text. Communication will be made by 6:00 a.m. for all secondary schools and 7:00 a.m. for all elementary schools.

Student Breakfast and Lunch Reminder

Don’t forget! Breakfast and lunch are FREE for ALL students at all TCAPS buildings this year. Be sure to take advantage of this wonderful program and opportunity for your child(ren) to enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal every day. For more information, click here.
Free Lunch

TCAPS Superintendent Monthly Office Hours – March 15, 2022

Based on feedback from the community, Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) Superintendent, Dr. John VanWagoner, provides a monthly opportunity for community members to attend “office hours” alternating each month between in person and virtual meetings. In person office hours are held at Horizon Books, 243 E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49684. Virtual office hours will be held via Google Meet and can be accessed here or by calling +1 707-785-6547 and entering PIN: 692 435 167#. All meetings begin at 5:00 pm. The alternating schedule will be as follows:
  • Tuesday, March 15 - Horizon Books
  • Tuesday, April 19 - Google Meet
  • Tuesday, May 17 - Horizon Books
  • Tuesday, June 14 - Google Meet

2021-2022 School Year Calendars

Please review the 2021-2022 school year calendars linked below. Dates to pay special attention to include: half days, early release days, winter and spring breaks, last day of school, and potential inclement weather make-up dates.

Upcoming Events

TCAPS Media: In Case You Missed It

With so many amazing TCAPS events and performances happening, it's hard to catch them all! So, please enjoy these impressive performances again, if you’ve already seen them, and for the first time, in case you missed it…

2022 Cherish The Light Concert, featuring Traverse City West’s Bel Canto, Traverse City Central’s Vocal Majority, and Big Rapids’ Voca Lyrica
Cherish the Light Concert

TCAPS Board of Education honored the music department at the February 14 board meeting for their creativity, talent, and dedication to their art and education.
Music is Community

Want to see more amazing TCAPS performances, events, and videos? Check out TCAPS Media on Youtube!

TCAPS Hiring

This Just In….

  • Special thanks to all the TCAPS students who made beautiful Valentine’s Day cards for Munson Medical Center employees! Cards and signs were delivered to staff on the morning of February 14, 2022.
    Valentines Day Cards

  • Congratulations to Traverse City Central High School wrestling for earning their first district championship since 2007!

  • Mrs. LeBlanc and Ms. Lijewski's classes at Blair Elementary School have been staying active this winter, trying out cross country skiing with their students!
    Cross Country Skiing

  • Traverse City Central and Traverse City West Senior High School students, athletes, staff, and community members came together to participate in and organize an Oxford Strong basketball night, as part of a state-wide initiative to raise funds for the Oxford Community Memorial & Victims Fund. Together, the schools were able to raise $1,345. Great job to all who were involved in making this event a great success.

  • West Middle School students, Taylor Porter and Riley Reed will have their photography on display at the National Art Education Association’s (NAEA) Elementary and Middle School Show- K-8 State Exhibition, March 14, 2022- May 15, 2022 at The University of Michigan Taubman Gallery. Additionally, Riley’s photograph was chosen as one of the top 15 middle level works of art in the entire State of Michigan!
    Photography Exhibit

  • Traverse City West Middle School staff participated in the Grand Traverse Bay Polar Plunge on February 19, 2022. As a team, they were able to raise over $5,500 towards Special Olympics Michigan.
    Polar Plunge

  • Congratulations to Traverse City West Senior High School’s 'Bleacher Creatures' for being crowned champions of the MHSAA 2022 Battle of the Fans! Learn more about the competition and other finalists here:
    Battle of the Fans


Top News

News & Events

Partners in Education

Partner in Education
Partner in Education

“A TCAPS Partner in Education helps provide the means to effectively nurture and support students whose non-academic needs may create obstacles to high achievement.”

Become a TCAPS Partner In Education

TCAPS values the partnership we share with our community. The Partner in Education (PIE) program is designed to provide businesses/organizations an opportunity to support education in a way that is meaningful and mutually beneficial. For more information or to become a partner today, click here:
Partner in Education

Copyright (c) 2021
Traverse City Area Public Schools
Contact Us: