BY SHEILA R. McAFEE
The Trenton Education Foundation (TEF) welcomed 13 new teachers to the district in a special way, providing each of them with grants of $250. (read more…)
We all know the routine. We check the calendar; get a phone call, a reminder, or some other form of communication about a late start, early release or full day of professional development from the high school. We all shift gears and think what to do with logistics such as transportation, child care, and other duties that go along with raising a family.
So the natural question that arises, and one that I have been asked in the past is, “What goes on during this time? What happens with teaching staff when they are at the high school, but without any students?”
To start to answer that question, one way I like to think of professional development is that all of our Trenton High School staff are working as professionals in a learning community, meaning working in different teams throughout the high school, as opposed to working in isolation. Like all excellent professions, such as a doctor, dentist, or attorney, educators are using professional development to improve their skills.
Would you want to go to a doctor or dentist that has not been working to improve, a doctor or dentist that never attends any type of conference or other methods to grow as a professional? A professional that feels they have all the answers and do not attend conferences? Of course not. You would want to go to a doctor or dentist that is aware of the latest forms of treatment for you and your family.
A few things we did at the recent professional development this year was establish our working agreements. Working agreements are the norms in which all staff can agree on things such as, we start/end on time, we show respect for each other, and we have an agenda to keep our meeting time valued.
We reviewed and worked on our mission for Trenton High School. We have a mission to “inspire students.” We also reviewed and revisited our vision which is to continuously improve, which is the point of this article and professional development … to continuously improve, to have the high school move from good to great, much like a good dentist or family doctor would do to improve their practice.
To help us work collaboratively, we had THS staff sit in rows face-to-face. Staff would ask each other questions like, “What is your favorite instructional strategy? What is your definition of formative assessment and, to have a little fun, what is your favorite sports team?”
Staff had three minutes to answer the questions, then they would move to a different staff member. Staff would share what instructional practice works in their classroom. Much like a doctor would share what works best for them when dealing with a students, er…I mean patients.
As a staff we worked on our goals for the year, such as the possibility of moving ahead with an International Baccalaureate program at THS, the upgrade in technology to include Chrome books or laptops, and how we document when we respond to intervene with a struggling student.
This is just a sample of how we operate (no pun intended) at Trenton High School during professional development time. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at (734) 692-4531 or email at email@example.com. You can also follow me on Twitter at @DocThs80.
Dr. Michael Doyle is principal of Trenton High School.
BY SHEILA R. McAFEE
Loyal community supporter and beloved educator Clifton B. Mace, Jr., died Oct. 29 of leukemia.
A standing-room-only memorial service was held Nov. 4 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, testament to the wide-reaching effect he had in the region.
Mace, 76, was born in Kingston, Pa., and spent most of his youth in southeast Michigan. A graduate of Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, he began a career in supermarket management before switching to education. Earning his master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University, Mace was hired by Trenton Public Schools in 1966 as a teacher at Hedke Elementary, nurturing the lives of thousands of elementary and middle school students during his 30-year career.
From Hedke, he was selected in 1971 as the first assistant principal of the new Monguagon Middle School (now Arthurs Middle School) and then principal of Taylor Elementary School. School officials said Mace also taught at Owen Elementary School for a short time, returning to Hedke as principal for his final assignment with TPS. He retired in 1999.
From the condolences posted on the Martenson Funeral Home website, it was clear that Mace impacted the lives of students, as well as their parents, and fellow educators.
Outside the classroom, he involved himself in organizations that assist children and adults living with physical disabilities as well as civic groups that promote quality of life for Trenton residents.
He was a member of the Trenton Goodfellows board for decades, instrumental in organizing the door-to-door newspaper drive and generating the manpower of fellow TPS administrators, staff and students.
Health issues forced Mace to step back from Goodfellows four years ago, and Mayor Kyle Stack, a longtime Goodfellows member, said his involvement was sorely missed.
“We could always count on Cliff to help in every aspect of our Christmas collection,” she said. “He was there for the door-to-door drive and for the packing day; his personality was always so upbeat.”
Trenton Lions Club members Steve and Norma Horvath echoed Stack’s statement.
“Whenever there was work to be done, Cliff was there,” said Norma Horvath. “Every summer he was there to help set up and take down the Lions trailer at the Festival and he was chairman of our summer golf outing.”
Mace was a longtime member of Trenton Lions, and in June had just been installed to another term as president when he learned the disease had returned.
Despite the health setback, said Steve Horvath, Mace focused his energies on mentoring Steve Williams, who had been installed as first vice president and shadows the president in preparation of taking that office the following year.
“Cliff gave Steve guidance these last few months and assurance that he could fill the role,” said Steve Horvath.
Mace is survived by his wife of 55 years, Beth Ann; their children, Mike (Pam), Michele (Jim) Mans, and Chris (Gina); five grandchildren, and a sister.
In Mace’s honor, memorial contributions are suggested for charities he supported through the Lions: Penrickton Center for Blind Children in Taylor and the Lions Hearing Center of Michigan in Detroit (of which he was a founding board member); as well as the Trenton Educational Foundation.
BY SHEILA R. McAFEE
A familiar face is back at the Trenton Board of Education table.
Former school board member Jerry Brown was selected from a field of three to fill the seat vacated by Wayne Sieloff, who moved out of the district after being named chief executive officer for Lansing’s Capital Region Airport Authority.
Following interviews in early October, Brown accepted the appointment to serve the remainder of Sieloff’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2018. His first meeting was Oct. 23. The other two residents vying for the seat were James DeRupa and Janis Marie Cox.
“After several people encouraged me to apply, I inquired about it and gave (the position) serious thought,” he said, noting that he has until next summer to decide whether he’ll seek election for a six-year term. “I’m flattered to have been picked and proud to serve the district again.”
With several meetings already under his belt, Brown enjoys being back in the role. He served on the board from 1990-2001, leaving when he was elected mayor. He was unseated in 2011 by current Mayor Kyle Stack.
Brown also had a 29-year law enforcement career with the Trenton Police Department, serving as Chief of Police from 1992 until he retired from the force in 1999. Since he left elected office, Brown has been working part-time as a facility security officer for Detroit Steel Co., which occupies the former McLouth Steel site on West Jefferson. He handles the security checks for cargo ships bringing goods from the Atlantic through the St. Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. Most ships are coming from abroad or “sailing under foreign flags,” he said, and must pass customs inspection.
It has been a fascinating job because when boarding the vessels to examine them, he gets to know the captains as he oversees the process of unloading thousands of tons of cargo, which can take several days.
As for the transition to the School Board, it has been relatively easy for Brown. Since he left the table in 2001, the district has been downsized, buildings have been sold, and policies have been modified. Technological advances brought the biggest shock, said Brown.
“Rather than getting an envelope filled with paper documents relative to an upcoming agenda, the board packet is delivered electronically,” he said. “That’s a good thing because sometimes the packets were several inches thick.”
During his last stint on the board, Brown was one of the younger members among more seasoned members like Wilbur Hass and the late Boyd Arthurs.
“They were good mentors,” said Brown. “This time, I’m more of an elder, so I’m hoping my experience helps the current board and brings some historical perspective.”
In my last article, I wrote about sailing being a journey, and how others in various types of watercraft enjoy the water around us.
I wrote how sailing can be a journey, just sail the wind. Fishing can be a mission, catch fish. Power boating can be heading to a specific destination. Public education is all three. Education is a journey as students explore the many options offered inside and outside of the classroom at Trenton High School. THS has a mission … to inspire all students. And THS has a specific destination, to graduate students as we prepare them for a successful tomorrow.
I was thinking of all of this when I recently went sailing with my wife. We were heading out to Lake Erie for an afternoon sail through the Trenton Channel when we noticed a boat signaling for help. The boat was broken down, without any power, and it appeared to be taking on water as I could see the bilge pumping at capacity. (read more…)