Shorian Nation eNews

December 12th, 2021

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Cup of Joe

A Cup of Joe December 12, 2021 with Dr. Joe DiPonio, Superintendent of Lake Shore Public School

Newsletter Overview

Within this Shorian Nation newsletter, you will hear a video message from Superintendent Dr. DiPonio, stayed informed about upcoming events, review our Positivity Project character focus strengths, and read stories that feature inspiration, innovation, and celebration.

At this time of year, it feels most appropriate to share feelings of gratitude and admiration for the daily miracles and acts of kindness that take place in our community. This year, like so many others, we have witnessed these things day in and day out. We are blessed to be a part of something bigger than all of us, that collectively, we should all take pride in.

Watching our students, parents, and staff support one another when times are tough and taking great pride in celebrating our accomplishments when things are at their best is the Lake Shore way. You don’t have to look hard to find great examples of what it means to be a part of Lake Shore.

Giving back to the community is important to the Shorian Nation. These are several examples of ways our students and staff displayed generosity during this holiday season:


  • Gratitude Letters for Believe Campaign
  • #ShinefromtheShores Tunnel of Lights Moonbeams/#OxfordStrong Messages
  • Operation Gratitude Candy Donations
  • Nonperishable Food Drive for Goodfellows
  • Management Team Collected Donations for Goodfellows
  • Holiday Community Performances
  • Seasonal Cleanup
  • Free Thanksgiving Meals Delivered by Community Effort


  • Lake Shore Community Closet


  • Toys for Tots


  • The Lighthouse Outreach Program
Lake Shore Public Schools Make A Wish Gratitude Letter Campaign

ESSER III Family/Community Survey

Lake Shore Public Schools will be receiving Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) to address learning recovery and the impact of COVID-19. These funds are designated for one-time or short-term expenditures to address the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

LSPS is seeking feedback from all district and community stakeholders to help determine how the district should best utilize these resources to address unfinished learning, ongoing COVID-19 recovery, and Federal Program grant funds. Please take time to let us know your opinion by completing the brief survey. Thank you for your feedback.
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Upcoming Holiday Events

School Security Measures and OK2SAY

While continually evolving and reviewed annually, in this document you will find a list of recent and current safety measures implemented by Lake Shore Public Schools to provide the safest environment for our students and staff.

See something? Say something.

OK2SAY is the student safety program which allows students to confidentially report tips on potential harm or criminal activities directed at school students, school employees, and schools. It uses a comprehensive communication system to facilitate tip sharing among students, parents, school personnel, community mental health service programs, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and law enforcement officials about harmful behaviors that threaten to disrupt the learning environment.

Anyone can report tips on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees, or schools. Tips can be submitted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Lake Shore has encouraged students to use this program in 2018 when an advocate for the Michigan Student Safety Program visited Kennedy Middle School and in 2019 when Don Ferguson from the Michigan Attorney General’s Cyber Safety Initiative team visited Lake Shore High School.

Please download the app today.

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Positivity Project

Under the guiding principles of our districtwide initiative, the Positivity Project, the #PositivityInAction mindset is our top priority. These past two weeks we focused on the character strengths of KINDNESS and OPM - Knowing my words and actions affect others..

People with the character strength of kindness are generous to others and never too busy to help out. They enjoy doing good deeds for other people.

Thank you to all students, families, and community members who attended the Saint Clair Shores Tunnel of Lights featuring a performance by our own Violet Elementary on Saturday, December 11th at 6:30pm located at Blossom Heath Park (24800 Jefferson).

We enjoyed seeing the return of the sky lighted up by the Shorian Nation. We appreciate your visit to our #ShinefromtheShores station, under the Tunnel of Lights, where we had our Media team record encouraging messages and take photos that were sent to pediatric patients at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak on behalf of Lake Shore Public Schools and the Saint Clair Shores community.

People with the character strength of kindness are generous to others and never too busy to help out. They enjoy doing good deeds for other people.

Thank you for stopping by 13 Mile and Harper on Saturday, December 4th to donate to Goodfellows. We are appreciative of our own Administration team for securing these contributions!

We're committed to a small move that will brighten someone's day: Motivational Kindness Cards.

Mr. Couck's student leaders at Lake Shore High School used pint-sized cards pack a powerful punch. They wrote personalized, positive messages and book recommendations on the blank side of each card. After, they were secretly placed inside elementary kids' lunchboxes and library books as extra positive boost.

Our Junior and Senior Shorians may not have actual superpowers you're familiar with like flight, telepathy, or time travel. But, they do have the ability to create instant smiles, formed by a simple act of kindness.

Speaking of upperclassmen kind deeds, National Honor Society students continue to serve as all 72 members of the NHS were deployed the elementary classrooms of LSPS to serve as mentors, leaders, role models and friends for our youngest learners.

NHS President Morgan Clausen said, "It is important to get to know our younger generation, to be role models to them. My favorite part of being in Mrs. Husek's classroom is not only being able to work with one of my favorite teachers, but helping students with math; Students are so excited when they find solutions to the problems!"

Bonus: Harrison Township Nutrition, a local business, displayed their kindness by supplying our staff at Violet Elementary 60 specialty sweet teas!

Double Bonus: Dictionaries, a gift to all 3rd graders in the district, have been sponsored by retired dentist at Whole Dental Wellness and longtime Kiwanis member Carl Papa for the past 6 years. Because of Dr. Papa's generosity, these Masonic Heights Elementary students can define and spell any word correctly on-the-go! Thank you Don White, Past Lt. Governor and Dr. Ernie Buechler, former Principal in Detroit, for your presentation. They have been a part of Kiwanis for a combined 117 years! Mrs. Reno's class even wrote thank you letters that were snail mailed to Kiwanis!

Looking forward, our upcoming character strengths are SELF-CONTROL (12/12-12/18) and OPTIMISM (1/2-1/8).

#OxfordStrong is #ShorianStrong

In our continued efforts to recognize this week's P2 #OtherPeopleMatter: Knowing My Words and Actions Affect Others, we are showing support because #OxfordStrong is #ShorianStrong.

To honor the victims of Tuesday, November 30th’s tragedy at Oxford High School, and to show our support to all who grieve, Tuesday, December 7th was Blue and Gold Day. Their grief is our grief. Their colors are our colors. Thank you for showing your support by wearing blue and gold.

Through the generosity of Evan and Brittany at The Christmas Light Specialist, trees in front of Lake Shore High School were decorated in Blue and Gold lights to shine for Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin, and Justin Shilling as well as those injured, those grieving, and the entire Oxford community. Bows also adorn our trees as a symbol of our support.

Shorian elves painted our spirit rock with Oxford Strong, sending a strong message of artistic love for our friends at Oxford High School.

Note: The group photo with our student body at Lake Shore High School wearing Blue and Gold and standing in front of the #OxfordStrong rock was posted to an Oxford closed community group; It is up to 1.7K likes with a giant list of comments from people sharing their appreciation, comments from Lake Shore graduates that now reside in Oxford. One even commented, "Proud of Lake Shore. Once a Shorian, Always a Shorian." Thank you, Lake Shore.

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Places You Should Go In Michigan

In Mrs. Fleszar, Mrs. Peacock, and Mrs. Reno's classes at Masonic Heights Elementary, 3rd graders completed the Places We Have Visited in Michigan poster presentation. The requirements were to choose a location that they have visited in Michigan, include photos and a map, share three activities you can do there, and share their work with their Tigers community to inspire others to visit places like Blake's Farm, Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground, and Caseville.

Shekinah Williams visited Blake's Farm with her sisters and tested different kinds of apples. Her favorite part was "the hayride with my family."

Gavyn Waelchi visited Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground where he experienced pools, wagon rides, mini-golf, and water slides. His favorite part was "the jumping pillows."

Christian Coffey visited Caseville and completed this assignment on this location because he recently took a day trip and learned about the Cheeseburger Festival and the beautiful beaches. His favorite part was "playing Guitar Hero on his Nintendo Wii U." #TeachTuesday

Bonus: Use this comprehensive list of musical events throughout the district to plan your next outing at one of our favorite locations in the community.

Meet our Video Productions Team

Our Video Productions class at Lake Shore High School creates live announcements, known as the Shorian Report.

Tami Blaszkowski, Media Productions teacher, supports her students while managing district video projects. Because of her breadth of knowledge and field experience, she is called upon to lead her 6 advanced students, Nathaniel Dreisbach, Gerald Kaiser, Peyton Lees, Jamie Owens, Preston Peiffer, and Kailah Shorter in community work like district advertisements, clips for events and presentations, and interviews. She creates and develops multimedia content, often with short notice and tight deadlines, to enhance overall messaging and output.

Lake Shore Class of 2018 graduate Robbie Davis joined her team this fall to fulfill his internship hours at Oakland University. He has taken a lead on many internal projects, using his time and talent to craft a total of 12 videos and a total of 500 hours on behalf of the district. His favorite was the interview with Alison Horrocks from Make a Wish Michigan. He said, "It was a different style and pushed me ask powerful questions that produced a powerful message".

In addition, these students learn how to direct, shoot, and edit with real industry level cameras and software, mastering the skills needed to launch a film career. They have the opportunity to train in all areas of the field so the fear of presenting or hesitation with technical post production won’t shy them away from the opportunity to communicate ongoing events with our entire student body. This week they collected footage at all buildings to develop Walking Tour videos.

Subscribe and like their YouTube, Tik Tok, and Instagram channels so you don’t miss a second of video content.


Holiday Readings

Strong reading skills are a critical component of future success. The foundation we build in our elementary core reading instruction prepares students for success in college and career. Our district strives to assist all students with their development of essential reading skills through a process that builds independent readers and effective communicators.

Mrs. Fergusson, Mr. Lount, Ms. Parenteau, Ms. Stanley, Mrs. Streetman, and Mrs. Warren's students from Lake Shore High School sleighed their way over to Masonic Heights Elementary, Rodgers Elementary, and Violet Elementary. Why? To read their favorite holiday stories and spread the season's cheer!

Our high school students enjoyed the chance to reminisce on their time in elementary. Thank you to Ms. Maher, Mrs. Kiefer, Ms. Domagalski, Mrs. Skelly, Ms. Habrowski, Mrs. Manor, Ms. Vizzaccaro, Mrs. Wiseman, Ms. Lynch, Mrs. Salem, and Mrs. Stasyk's classes across the district for being such good boys and girls!

The 1st grade students were able to enjoy some of their favorite books! One student, Joseph Quinn, enjoyed talking to the kids. "It was a change of pace and a chance to read my favorite holiday books." The high school and elementary students were all able to enjoy wonderful holiday stories.

Once finished, elementary students wrote the book titles on a chain to track all of the reading they were able to collectively accomplish! When the 7 members of our Board of Education meet on Monday, they will see this impressive chain!

A special thank you to District Elementary Librarian Mrs. Kraus for assisting with the organization of this annual event.

Bonus: Our 5th graders at Masonic Heights Elementary were assigned Kinder Buddies. There are so many ways to spend time together. but a favorite is to check out books from the library and read together! Even their media center door is winning contests!

Double Bonus: Did you know that we have a recovery initiative to build home libraries for students on reading plans? Owning books is a game changer for developing a love of reading.

Listen to Women Art Contest and Exhibit

Mrs. Bolen's Advanced Art class shined a light on women's issues by participating in the American Association of University Women Grosse Pointe's Listen to Women, a juried art contest and exhibit. Participation was open to artists ages 13-19, 2D and 3D works welcome. Tresa Baldas, a journalist for 33 years covering legal and social justice issues at many papers, served as the juror.

Congratulations to the following students who placed in this competition and enjoy reading through these descriptions of their pieces:

Jamisen Talanges

1st Place: Bloomers - $300 cash prize

Medium: newspaper, thread, masking tape

Description: My "Bloomers" relates to the theme as they pay homage to the suffragist and fashion advocate, Amelia Bloomer. She is the epitome of "Listen to Women" being first to own and operate a newspaper dedicated to women and adopting the "Turkish Pantaloons" in an effort to liberate women from discomfort.

Evelyn Gore

3rd Place: Education Overcomes Fear - $100 cash prize

Medium: colored pencil

Education is a key part of our society's economic and social development. Women in the Middle East are denied the right to education. Yet, some risk their lives to learn and go to school. This shows the fear these women may be experiencing and the possible consequences for seeking education.

Zella Bowers

Honorable Mention - $50 cash prize

Medium: oil poster

In my piece, I am representing the struggle of miscarriage. Women of all ages struggle with miscarriage and it is something I think every pregnant woman fears. I chose this struggle because so many women struggle with this, including a close family member of mine. I wanted to showcase how much this can affect women of all ages.

In addition, we appreciate all of the hard work from all 15 students at Lake Shore High School who had submissions: Haiden Bentley, Zella Bowers, Paul Cooksey Jr., Samantha Dietz, Alyssa Estes, Jamie Owens, Abigail Roelle, D'Jnae Sanders, Hope Tisdall, Isabella Dalecke, Mira Felczak, Evelyn Gore, Angelina Hawks, Jamisen Talanges, and Leah VanNeste. All students matted and prepared their work for competition.

Teacher Mrs. Bolen said, "I am especially proud of my students for finding an issue or accomplishment that was important to them. I may have provided the guidelines and support, but the students came up with an original idea without being pressured to go into a certain direction." She also wanted to remind the entire student body that if they have an interest in art, they should pursue it. Students do not need to be advanced, to be in Advanced Art. They take the class to advance their skills. #TeachTuesday


Staff Favorites

On this #FacesFriday, we are featuring photos of staff at Violet Elementary, but recognizing all 430 Lake Shore Public Schools staff members who are part of a strong school system that works hard everyday for the betterment of our Shorian Nation.

In the effort to meet requests from our community and to increase the overall wellness of our dedicated staff in preparation for the holiday season, we have compiled a list of staff favorites as a resource for those who would like gift giving ideas.

Disclaimer: All forms have been sorted by last name.

If you do not see a form for a specific staff member, it wasn't turned in.

Bonus: Every week during the school year, the Michigan Lottery selects one outstanding educator to receive the Excellence in Education award. The award includes a $1,500 cash prize and a $500 grant to the educator’s classroom, school or school district.

All public school employees may be nominated for the Excellence in Education awards. To nominate a public school educator for the 2021-2022 school year, please use this link.

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Tree Lighting Ceremony

Continue to enjoy our 2020 Lake Shore Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony, which was viewed by our entire Shorian Nation from the comfort of their own homes.

Please enjoy rewatching us light the tree for the holidays. There was music, holiday lights and, of course, an appearance from the merriest man of all – Santa!

Thank you, again, to the following people who assisted in making this event a reality:

-5th graders Abby Becovic, Emilia Demopoulos, Jadyn Lloyd from Masonic Heights Elementary

-5th graders Emma Bryant, Bruce O'Brien, Cameron Strzelecki from Rodgers Elementary

-5th graders Mayzie Gray, Fatme Ghandour, Delilah Beaver, Gabriella Beaver from Violet Elementary

-Choir Directors Bernadette Wischmeyer and Kim Rueger-West

-Superintendent Joe DiPonio, Lake Shore High School Principal Janelle Bross, Director of Maintenance and Operations Wayne Satterfield and the entire Lake Shore Public Schools Management Team

-Tony Zarife and Aimee Kilcher from EOS Cafe

-Special Guest Council Member Candice Rusie

-Board of Education Secretary Elizabeth Munger

-Drone Footage by Robert Stark

-Video Production by Jayden Petty, Henry Kozak, and Nick Henderson

December Slurpee Surprise Honorees

Congratulations to our December Slurpee Surprise Positivity Project Honorees:

Lake Shore Early Childhood Center

  1. Eddie Filer: Sense of Humor

Masonic Heights Elementary

  1. Mason Kurdi: Kindness

  2. Brielle Blaskowski: Kindness

  3. Madison Pate: Honesty

Rodgers Elementary

  1. Isaac Castle: Kindness
  2. Loretta Beafore: Integrity

  3. Mikayla Maher: Gratitude

Violet Elementary

  1. Cameron Adkins: Perspective

  2. Ariella Dietz: Kindness

  3. Ashton England: Kindness

Kennedy Middle School

  1. Noah Baker: Kindness

  2. Tyler Powell: Perseverance

  3. Jawan McClain: Teamwork

  4. Kim DeSandre: Kindness

Lake Shore High School

  1. Mrs. Bednarski: Positivity

  2. Taylor Hans: Smart

  3. Mr. Greg: Teamwork

  4. Kenna Kemp: Honesty

  5. Michael Bentley: Kindness

  6. Ms. McPeak: Kindness

North Lake High School

  1. Aaron Hudson: Perseverance

Thank you, building principals, for your sweet deliveries! Because of 7/11 Store Owner Virgil Johnson's generosity, these are BOGO slurpees.

Freeze Frame: Tunnel of Lights


Lake Shore Public Schools will provide an exceptional education for all 3,327 students in a safe and nurturing environment.

Our guiding principles, Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration, are woven into the fabric of everything we do and will be the focus of every update. Expect an eNews email biweekly update as a reliable way to communicate with our stakeholders.