Shorian Nation eNews

November 14th, 2021

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Cup of Joe

A Cup of Joe November 14, 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.

For the next two weeks we will focus on the character strength of GRATITUDE.

People with the character strength of gratitude are aware of and thankful for good that happen.

Every year Make a Wish Michigan #MakeAWishMI partners with Macy’s on the Believe Campaign. The Believe Campaign is a letter writing campaign where each letter brings in $2 to Make a Wish Michigan.

Enjoy this video, from 2019, which shares additional information about the project.

In effort to fundraise for Make a Wish Michigan while supporting our Positivity Project efforts, letters will focus on the character strength of gratitude. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.

Starting November 1st and lasting until November 19th, we invite all stakeholders in our community to write a brief letter to one person who has made a difference in your life at Lake Shore Public Schools.

At the end of November, we will gather all of these letters, count them, and meet with Alison Horrocks, representative for Make a Wish, to answer this question: How much money will we raise for Make a Wish Michigan?

Lake Shore Public Schools Gratitude Letter Campaign with Make-A-Wish #PositivityInAction

Upcoming Events

Lake Shore Public Schools Goodfellows Canned Food Drive 2021

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 PERSPECTIVE and BRAVERY.

People with the character strength of perspective appreciate that people see things in different ways. They have the ability to understand view.

Our Lake Shore Early Childhood Center is filled with perspective.

Let Your Child's Career with Lake Shore Begin with Us is the slogan we like to use as our youngest learners demonstrate several of these 75 easy and fun calm down strategies. These strategies are proven effective and are research-backed.

Some examples of these strategies include the following:

-Cuddle up with a cozy blanket or stuffed animal

-Draw a picture

-Call a friend

-Drink a glass or play with water

-Give a yourself or someone a hug

-Recite the alphabet backward

-Go outside

-Make a pillow fort to hide in

Social-emotional learning is the process by which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to do the following: understand and manage emotions; set and achieve positive goals; feel and show empathy for others; and make responsible decisions.

Lake Shore Public Schools understands that it is part of our responsibility to develop our students academically and socially. This is why we promise to provide regular mental health strategies and supports.

Thank you, Lake Shore Early Childhood Center students, for showing us these calming strategies.

People with the character strength of bravery act with mental, moral, or physical strength even when they know things are difficult or scary.

Lake Shore Public Schools is honoring and remembering all those who have served in the United States Armed Forces by inviting Veterans to join our students at Lunch with a Hero to pre-celebrate Veterans Day. Thank you to the following Veterans for making this day extra special for our students:

-Steven L. Lee

-Eric H. Miller

-Ray Kemner

-Edward Betlej

-James Anderson

-Alan Basner

-ET1 Ramon Rodriguez

-Leann Pritchard-Hryshko

-SSG Su H. Lee

-TSgt David Lawson

At Lake Shore High School local recruiters shared their military experiences and offered insight on opportunities available for the students in the future.

At Masonic Heights Elementary and Violet Elementary Mr. Lee, Mr. Betlej, Mrs. Pritchard-Hryshko, and Mr. Eric H. Miller ate lunch with students, answers their questions, and Mr. Miller had the additional opportunity to hear a special song from Mrs. Rueger-West's class. As a former Music teacher himself, he was very grateful for this performance.

Looking forward, our upcoming character strength is GRATITUDE (11/14-11/27).

Lake Shore Public Schools Heroes Lunches


Fire and Police

We are featuring a fundamental part of every community which lies in fire safety and law enforcement.

The St. Clair Shores Fire Department share safety tips with our elementary students at regular intervals. Although calling 911 is a natural first instinct when you hear the fire alarm or see a fire, our students learned that getting out of the house is most important. Firefighters like Adam and Sean are trained to help you in emergency, making sure you are safe, and providing care.

Officer Drulia has worked with Lake Shore Public Schools for 3 years to keep students and staff safe. Officer Drulia has been with the police department for 10 years. She wanted to go into law enforcement from a young age, yearning to help others and give back to her community in a way that interested her. Law enforcement in schools tends to focus on assisting with bullying, fights, issuing tickets for possession of vape products and issuing warrant requests.

Officer Drulia works closely with administration to ensure safety in the buildings. Officer Drulia is present in both the middle school and high school multiple days a week, with visits to the elementary schools periodically. Officer Drulia said that the favorite part of her job is getting to know students in school. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, golfing, and going to Tiger's games. She said that an important, overlooked trait in her position is humor. She enjoys working to make people laugh, which she has proved to be a helpful resource for students.

Thank you for the education on both safety and the career itself while giving brave Kindergarten students from Masonic Heights Elementary the ability to see a close-up of a fire truck and the need to feel safe in our buildings because of the presence of Officer Drulia!

Blood Drive

We are featuring the faces of our brave heroes, all 62 of them, who donated blood on Monday, November 8th.

Thank you to the National Honor Society student volunteers for holding a blood drive which included Rachel Stepanenko, Emma VanDenstorm, Connor Wandzel, and several of their peers. We appreciate Red Cross staff for checking temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and hemoglobin levels prior to the actual 8-10 minute donation.

Joe and Wanda Kacir have been donating for years. Their daughter-in-law required a blood transfusion after delivery so they have a personal reason to give; As a 1981 Lake Shore graduate, Wanda has a special connection to this donation site. She certainly exhibits the Shorian character strength of kindness and a true care for others.

Advisor Mrs. Ketelhut has organized this event as an opportunity to give back to the community. She sees it as a way to expose students to the value of donating and encourage them to become lifelong donors. "Every appointment spot was filled. This sends a strong message that people have a strong urge to help others."

Your donation served a multi-faceted purpose in our community: life-saving blood donation, demonstration of volunteerism to our students, and the opportunity for our student leaders to donate their own time in service. Thank you for choosing to donate blood to the American Red Cross.


Classroom Cribs

Welcome to Ms. Maher's classroom.

As you enter, there is a clear Sloth theme. First grade students arrive and immediately visit the morning bins where they choose a STEM activity to complete as a team. During the morning meeting, Mrs. Maher sits in her cozy rocking chair and reads aloud to her students.

The book is carefully selected based on the daily lesson. Today she described that there was a fire drill so she read Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill to help reinforce the rules of fire safety.

The calendar, day of the week, weather, and daily agenda are also discussed. Current student Aiden White smiled as he showed us the sloth the class is able to dress according to the weather that day.

The reading corner is an important part of every classroom. Current student Olivia Greenfelder eye got big as she pointed to the collection of books inside this classroom. Ms. Maher said, "Most of these books were collected from my childhood as I knew I wanted to become a teacher since Kindergarten!" She added, "The Lake Shore Foundation contributed $100 to all new teachers within the district. I am so grateful for this surprise; I purchased even more books with the grant money."

One of our favorite places inside the classroom was a clear plastic container filled to the brim with "desk buddies." A desk buddy is an eraser in animal or food form, that is used as a reward for being an exemplary student. Both Aiden and Olivia loved earning desk buddies and showing them off to their families and friends when they arrive home.

Thank you, Ms. Maher and student tour guides Olivia and Aiden, for sharing your 1st grade classroom at Rodgers Elementary with all of us!

Día de los Muertos

In Mrs. Bautista's Spanish classes, high school students participated in engaging Día de los Muertos activities, fitting as we continue to learn more strategies such as connecting learning to the real world, collaborating, brain breaks, laughing together, and getting kids moving for a captivating classroom during our district professional development day.

Students decorated masks for Day of the Dead. Día de los Muertos participants and dancers used “careteas”, or masks, to scare the dead away at the end of the festivities. Now in modern-day celebrations, people paint their faces to look like skulls/”the dead” to blending with the souls returning to visit their relatives. They decorate faces to represent a deceased loved one or as an expression of themselves.

They also made paper flowers. This is a tradition that dates back many years. People use the paper flower to decorate their houses, ofrendas, and gravesites along with real marigolds. Using bright colored tissue paper is a tradition for the holiday Día de los Muertos. This holiday is not spooky or sad. It is a happy time to celebrate the lives of your relatives and ancestors.

Bonus: Mr. Kelley and Mrs. Meldrum's Spanish classes also completed some creative projects!

Senior Painted Parking Spots

We wanted to share a tradition that began in 2018: Senior Painted Parking Spots.

Having your own parking spot is a rite of passage. For the fourth year, our Lake Shore High School student drivers had the opportunity to paint and personalize their parking space. From career goals to personal passions, our students have brought whimsical Lisa Frank-inspired colors and designs to our student lot.

Senior Alyssa Bollini's can-do spirit is reflected in her painted spot. She chose smiley faces as her theme because that is the best approach to life.

In 2021, all 42 parking spots have been claimed! Thank you for your participation, Seniors.

STEAM Challenges

In Mr. Archibald's STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Special, Mrs. Wiseman's 1st grade students at Masonic Heights Elementary listened to the read aloud "What Do You Do With an Idea?" by Kobi Yamada. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it space to grow, and to see what happens next.

Students were divided into groups of 4 and moved to build stations where they were given challenges. Examples included using traditional Legos to building something with 4 wheels using 20 pieces and using Plus Plus blocks to replicate a flag with 3 stripes. The 8-minute station intervals gave students the pressure to select an idea and build its solution quickly. But, the time limit also pushed students to use teamwork.

Mr. Archibald said, "I enjoyed watching students helping others and coming up with engaging ways to use their blocks." This was a perfect lesson to celebrate STEM/STEAM Day which took place on Monday.


Staff Veterans

On this #WellnessWednesday, we want to thank the following Lake Shore staff veterans for your service, sacrifice, and bravery. We are grateful for you today and everyday.

Lake Shore High School

Kevin Francis

Chris Hubbard

Sharon McPeak

Jeff Valken*

Kennedy Middle School

Kevin Bays*

Masonic Heights Elementary

Leann Pritchard-Hryshko

Rodgers Elementary

Shayne Trail*

Violet Elementary

Melissa Todd*

As a thank you, Mr. St. Laurent and Mr. Hubbard's Government classes sent postcards sharing their appreciation to these Veterans. Representatives from several buildings recorded a message highlighting their background and a reason why we celebrate Veterans Day. These messages, represented by a QR code, are attached to plastic military figures and were hanging on classroom doors at secondary buildings. Finders keepers!

Thank you Class of 2019 Graduate Justin Chambe for your participation in our video.

Bonus: 8th graders Brody Dennis and Hassan Ghandour volunteer every morning and afternoon to complete their flag responsibilities at Kennedy Middle School.

Our Shorian Heroes - Lake Shore Public Schools

Old and New Traditions

Lake Shore Public Schools honored and remembered our veterans, reservists and the family members of active duty military members by celebrating with the VFW Bruce Post Honor Guard and assisted by then 8th grader Connor Albert as they performed a flag ceremony which included a flag raising and flag folding demonstration at Kennedy Middle School last year. Student leaders also recited the Pledge of Allegiance and a Veteran poem.

This year Violet Elementary classes honored Veterans in our community and at our school. Their 3rd graders, 4th grade choir, and 5th graders sang at their Flag Ceremony.

Veteran singer Olivia Bunjac loved singing Thank You, Soldiers. She said, “It has a beautiful message.” Now in 4th grade, she has been singing since she was 5 years old.

Our 4th graders from Violet Voices Choir continued the singing performances at the Veterans Day Ceremony, located at the VFW Bruce Post.

Twenty-two year Army Veteran John Walus was delighted to see students in attendance. He said, “It is so nice for the kids to be here, to know what Veterans are, and to have all that energy in the room.” This was the first time he noticed students take part in their celebration.

These activities support the social and emotional wellbeing of all stakeholders while honoring #VeteransDay.

Bonus: Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Positivity Project Jeff Bryan and Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board Mike Erwin both served. Jeff is a 2004 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he served in the Army for five years, to include two tours in Iraq. Mike is a 2002 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he served in the Army on Active Duty for 13 years, to include three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves.

Since our partnership with Jeff and Mike, P2 has resulted in districtwide relationship empowerment; This is why we wanted to give these inspiring leaders a shoutout. Read more of their selflessness through this story.

Double Bonus: In honor of Bravery and Veterans Day, we asked students and staff at Kennedy Middle School to honor family and friends that have served or are currently serving in the military by adding their name to an American Flag banner. They had the opportunity to sign names at lunch yesterday!


Congratulations to Coach Jim DeLong for being honored as the Michigan High School Coaches Association Boys Bowling Coach of the Year!

Congratulations to our Varsity Swim team, Isabelle Adkins, Valerie Belleck, Angeline Cook, Blaire Hinkle, Alayna Irwin, Mariska Livingston, and Cayla Mitrowski, for their many successes at the Girls Swim Division Meet at Henry Ford II High School on Friday, November 5th which included 1st place in the 200 Free Relay, medaling in the 200 and 500 Free at Gold Divisions, double medaling in the 100 Free, medaling at the Gold Division Finals, and medaling in the 100 Breaststroke.

Freeze Frame


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.