POINTS OF PRIDE

Elementary News:

  • Indian Hill Elementary received a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint to purchase flexible furniture for their building. Many classrooms have used donations or teacher-funded items to incorporate flexible furniture. Strategic Plan indicates district-wide implementation will likely take place.
  • McGrath Elementary library and Perry Innovation Center’s library were remodeled last summer to create flexible learning space and Maker Space for students. Remodeling is already underway this summer at Anderson, Indian Hill and Cook Elementary, which will all see new media spaces. Anderson Elementary will also see a new Tech Ex room. Some classrooms are also seeing remodeling projects this summer to accommodate technology.
Students enjoy flexible Seating at Indian Hill Elementary purchased with grant through the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
  • A “Peace Assembly” for grades 3-5 was held at Mason Elementary to celebrate our strengths and cultural differences as part of the Positivity Project.
  • 5th grade student, Hannah Mills of McGrath Elementary, made it to the top 10 in Michigan’s Best Competition. Hannah was also chosen to audition for the Michigan’s America’s Got Talent Competition.
  • McGrath Student Council were asked to be ambassadors for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Kickoff. They emceed the event in Downtown Flint on Friday, November 10th, 2017. Elementary students from various buildings participated ringing the bell at kettles in the area again this year.
  • Perry Innovation Center students tried out new tech, including Virtual Reality glasses. A comprehensive list of the technology they've incorporated can be found here. Also, check out their student-centered website here.
New McGrath Library
New Library/Media space at McGrath Elementary.
Myers Elementary 3rd Graders Desert Angels
3rd Graders at Myers Elementary pack boxes for troops stationed overseas.
Project Dad at Reid Elementary.
Students from Brendel Elementary visit the Humane Society of Genesee County.
  • Through Reading Recovery, select individual elementary students received a half-hour lesson each school day for 12 to 20 weeks with a specially trained Reading Recovery teacher. The program is an early intervention to improve reading skills.
  • 40 PIC students were selected by Kettering University to present at the annual Young Innovator's Fair in May, 2018.
  • Myers Elementary raised over $5000 for Dimes for Diapers and was the top fund raising school ever for the program. Anderson/McGrath Elementary also came in 3rd place!
  • 3rd graders at Myers Elementary packed up 100 boxes of personal care items and snacks to ship to troops overseas through the “Desert Angels” program with their teacher, Mrs. Boegner.
  • Anderson/McGrath implemented “Leader in Me”, a program that instills leadership values in students.
  • Anderson/McGrath welcomed Assistant Principal, Mrs. Alexandra Bartholomew.
  • Physical Education teacher, Mr. Jeremy Cochrane started “Project Dad” at Reid Elementary to bring father figures into the school on a daily basis. The program brought over 30 volunteers in to read, mentor and just support staff and students over the last half of the 2017-18 school year.
  • Students from Brendel Elementary were recognized for their reading achievements with a special field trip to the Humane Society of Genesee County. Student leadership sent gift bags and handmade cards with them for adoptive pet owners in London Eisenbeis’ name. Students learned about the facility and read to the animals.
  • Perry had two Odyssey of the Mind teams that qualified for state competition this year.
  • Perry Innovation's First Lego League teams earned 3rd and 4th place this year in their first competition!
  • The Bobcat Bookmobile will begin its rounds in July of this year. Gently used books will be available for elementary students to choose from as school staff drive the bookmobile to various neighborhoods on Wednesdays in July and August. Click here for times and locations!
  • Myers Elementary lost a 5th grade student, London Eisenbeis, to an undiagnosed heart condition. The Myers family came together and raised money with the Eisenbeis family, largely for the Humane Society because of London’s love of animals. London’s family continues to hold community events to raise awareness and advocate for heart testing and AED installation. A donation from Rock Bottom Stone Supply installed a memorial rock at the school, and the Eisenbeis family donated a commemorative bench in London’s honor to the grounds at Myers.
  • Cook and Mason and EMS lost student McKenna Schummer to a hard-fought battle with Osteosarcoma. Various organizations and schools raised money and collected new beauty goods for the “McKennasSquad Beauty Bar” that opened at Detroit Children’s Hospital where McKenna did much of her medical treatment. McKenna started the project while receiving treatment and the Beauty Bar opened in June 2018.
  • Tim Sneller, State of Michigan Representative, visited Indian Hill Elementary to read to students during March is Reading Month.
  • Cook and Mason Elementary held “Loving Literature with Lauren” and exceeded their goal of raising money for the Stansburry family. Lauren Stansburry is a student that has been battling kidney cancer. This Spring Lauren was declared “Cancer-Free!”
  • Reid kindergartners collected socks for the clothes closet during SOCKtober.
  • Various improvements projects are underway, including the repaving of the Perry parking lot.

Middle School News:

  • As part of the Positivity Project, students chose a service project representing the character trait of #bravery by supporting the Michigan War Dog Memorial organization that helps pay for burial expenses of canines that have served as military or police. MWDM President, Phil Weitlauf, was presented a check for $1,000 raised by the 8th grade students at WMS. P2 founder, Jeff Bryan was present, and local police demonstrated the work of the K-9 officers. The entire student body held a “silent solute” for the dogs and handlers in the hallways of the school.
  • Anti-bullying assemblies took place at WMS & EMS with reality TV star organization “Bullies Reality”.
  • 7th and 8th grade basketball teams participated in “Interscholastic” games as a fun event between the two middle school athletic programs.
  • Logan, an EMS broadcasting student, brought J.R. Kirtek to make a guest-appearance on his student-implemented weather segment of the afternoon announcements.
  • Students at EMS held a symposium on flexible seating as a project for Mrs. Kotsko.
  • WMS students held a clap-out for Special Olympics students headed to competition at CMU.
  • Perry Innovation Center established the "Upper School" for grades 6-7, with 8th grade planned for 2019-20.
  • Students at Perry Innovation Center were invited to participate in sports activities with East & West Middle School for 6-7th grade.
  • Mrs. Casper expanded the mindfulness teaching to multiple classrooms at WMS.
  • EMS embraced “Restorative Justice” training and saw a dramatic improvement in student behavior. More here.
  • WMS hosted a Human Library where students interviewed community members with widely varying backgrounds to build understanding and question preconceptions.
  • WMS held a Glow on to 9th Grade dance for their 8th graders at the end of the year.
  • EMS participated in Global Youth Day of Service by making dog toys for animals at local shelters.
J.R. Kirtek from ABC 12 visits Logan at EMS to make a guest appearance on the announcements.
EMS students participated in Global Youth Day of Service.
WMS student interviews a circus performer that volunteered to be one of the stories in the Human Library.
Video introducing Perry Innovation's Upper School.
Interscholastic Basketball between East and West Middle Schools.
Glow on to 9th Grade dance at WMS.
Bullies Reality TV stars visited both EMS and WMS with an important message.

High School News:

  • GBHS welcomed new Principal, Michael Fray.
  • 59 students in the Class of 2018 earned a 4.0 or higher GPA.
  • 64% of the Class of 2018 achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher, qualifying them for Silver or Gold gradation cords, among other honors.
  • Students took 823 Advanced Placement tests.
  • 4 GBHS students were National Merit Semi-Finalists.
  • Prom was kicked off on the Red Carpet, a tradition returned for 2018.
  • Marching Band once again ranked among the top marching bands in the State of Michigan. Scoring an 87.4, the marching band placed 8th at the MCBA STATE FINALS on Saturday, November 4th, 2017 at Ford Field.
  • Scholastic Regional A Winter Guard placed 6th and the Regional AA Winter Guard placed 8th in the 2018 MCGC State Championship.
  • The Winter Drumline placed 1st in the MCGC State Finals Competition for the first time.
  • Several soloists made their talents known through competing in District Solo and Ensemble as well as State Solo and Ensemble, earning Superior ratings.
  • Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Band each consistently receive Superior ratings at all MSBOA Festivals.
  • The Vocal Music Department performed at the Great Lakes National Cemetery, U of M-Flint Choral Invitational, and the MSU Leadership Conference, as well as numerous community functions.
  • Chorale, Girl's Glee Club, and Mixed Chorus performed at the District and State levels of the Michigan Schools Vocal Music Association’s Choir Festivals, earning Excellent scores.
  • The a capella group “Unaccompanied Minors”, as well as numerous soloists, competed in District Solo and Ensemble as well as State Solo and Ensemble, and earning Excellent ratings.
GBHS Principal, Michael Fray starts off the 2018 Senior Honors Assembly at GBHS.
  • Studio Art student, Sarah Langston, won a Silver Key Award in the Scholastic Regional Art Competition held at Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids. Student Andrew Tripp was a Runner Up.
  • Art students made greeting cards to raise funds for Family Promise of Genesee County and sold them during Parent/Teacher Conferences.
  • International Thespian Society produced three productions this year including: "Noises Off", "Our Best to You", and "The Drowsy Chaperone". At the State Thespian Festival this year all Scholarship Participants were offered Scholarships, totaling almost $300,000.
  • The Drama Department inducted 40 new members to Troupe #2517.
  • In October 2017, over 120 talented GBHS students took the Michigan Math Prize Competition test. Statewide, approximately 10,000 students took this test. Nineteen of our students qualified for Part 2 of the competition, placing them among the top 1000 math students in the state.
  • In February 2018, 39 GBHS students were invited to take part in the American Mathematics Competition. Twelve students performed exceptionally well, finishing in the top 20% nationwide.
  • In March 2018, five students competed against the top schools in Michigan at the University of Michigan-Flint Math Field Day. Our students finished 5th out of the 25 schools that participated and earned an award for 51 consecutive years of attendance and competition.
  • This year the Varsity Quiz Bowl team tied for 1st place in their division. The Junior Varsity team placed 1st in their division and achieved 1st place in the Genesee Academic League.
  • The Center for Student Success (CSS) program has a lot to be proud of this year. Many students recovered credit, graduated on time, and turned around their academic and personal lives. Students engaged in leadership training, team-building, organized a service project partnering with the Humane Society, ran multiple mentorship programs working one on one with at-risk middle school students, and participated in Law Day at the Genesee County Courthouse. Students organized and staffed Common Threads, our space for all students in need to find free clothing and toiletries. Countless awards were given to students, including CLAW awards, students of the week and students of the month. Several CSS students were nominated for the Turnaround Breakfast, and nominated for scholarships at the Senior Honors Night.
GBHS Yearbook staff show off their awards at the MIPA Spring Conference.
  • Yearbook received 48 awards at the State competition (a school record) with 15 of those awards being 1st place; the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) Spartan award; the National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker finalist award; and a Printers Industry Association Award. They were featured in our publisher's Lookbook as one of twenty top yearbooks. One senior placed top ten in NSPA’s photo of the year. The Echo yearbook program was inducted into the state press associations’ Hall of Fame.
  • The Bobcat Banner staff won 13 individual awards and a Silver rating from the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association at their spring conference. Additionally, senior and Editor-in-Chief Katelyn Stuck was named to the 2018 MIPA Student Journalist Staff and recognized as one of the top 15 student journalists in the State of Michigan.
  • Student Council remembered the “Voice of the Bobcats”, Charlie Carmody, by honoring the Carmody family as Grand Marshals in the Homecoming Parade. This year their goal has been to continue Charlie’s legacy by improving school involvement and morale. Student Council also collected over $1000 to donate to F.I.S.H. through the inaugural Charity Week activities.
  • “Spirit Rock” was dedicated in memory of Charlie Carmody and was painted for the first time by the Carmody family and community members that attended the ceremony. Spirit Rock was donated by Rock Bottom Stone Supply. The press box at the Frank was also dedicated as the "Voice of the Bobcats" Press Box.
  • United Nationalities Initiating Thinking and Equality (UNITE) sponsors the International Talent Show, multicultural student forums and student leadership training in diversity. UNITE plans these events to bring groups of diverse students together to have fun. This year they brought back the annual Black History Dinner.
  • Youth Volunteer Services Program students donated over 7,000 hours of their own time to local businesses and organizations. Students who completed over 20 hours of community service are recognized at an annual Youth Volunteer Banquet that was held April 18, 2018. Over 75 Grand Blanc High School Students were honored throughout the night with different awards.
  • Debate teams placed 2nd & 3rd in the Open Division. Many of our students also placed in Speaker Points.
  • DECA attended the International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Grand Blanc had one State Champion team in Leadership and Teamwork.
  • HOSA chapter had 116 members, which is up 67 from last year! Of the 95 that competed at the Regional level, 92 qualified for states (top 10 placers) and 27 placed top 3 (individuals and teams counted as 1) and took home medals. Of the state qualifiers, roughly 90 chose to participant in the state competition in Grand Rapids. 11 students achieve Top 10 in the State for their events of Cert, Public Service Announcement and Researched Persuasive Writing. 3 teams qualified to attend the International Leadership Conference this summer in Dallas, Texas.
  • Team #2337, The EngiNERDs, Grand Blanc Robotics brought home awards from all 3 District events as well as States and Nationals. They were District event winners at Forest Hill bringing home a Blue Banner, trophy and medals as well as the Design Award sponsored by General Motors. At the Troy event, they were Finalists receiving medals and the Excellence in Engineering Award sponsored by Delphi. The team received a Blue Banner, medals and trophy for the Chairman’s Award, which is considered the highest Award given by FIRST Robotics, at the St. Joseph District competition, in turn qualifying them to present for the Chairman’s Award at the State level. The team was Ranked #1 on the DTE Field at States and ended as a Finalist, receiving medals and the Quality Award sponsored by Motorola Solutions Foundation. The team ended the year as a Quarter Finalist in their Division on Darwin Field and received the Gracious Professionalism Award sponsored by Johnson & Johnson at the National Competition in Detroit.
Video: ENGINerds 2018 Chairman's Video.
LEAD students watched as women from the YWCA shelter were pampered at House of Beauty salon in a student-led project named "Ooo La Love".
Peer Mediation students encourage each other during their "Perseverance" breakfast.
MSP Community Service Troopers gave a presentation on Human Trafficking thru Parent Partnership.
  • The newly developed LEAD class did numerous student-developed community service projects throughout the year, advised by teacher, Todd Babiaz. Projects included a day of pampering for women from the YWCA Flint shelter, bicycle lessons with the Whaley children and bike donations, social media mentoring with middle school students, and Enchroma glasses donated to the Flint Institute of Arts for color-deficient visitors to use to view the art exhibits. (Just to name a few.)
  • Peer Mediation conducted various activities to aid the implementation of the Positivity Project at the high school, including a “Perseverance” student award breakfast, “Night at the Apollo” lunch presentation, and a P2 Student Art Competition.
  • Parent Partnership brought valuable information to our parents, including a free seminar for parents on the dangers of Human Trafficking with the local Michigan State Police Community Service Troopers.
Video: Staff having a little fun to kick off the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.

Staff News:

  • Myers Elementary teacher and Reading Recovery coach, Mrs. Aimee Torok, was selected to serve on the Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council for the Michigan Department of Education.
  • Grand Blanc Schools Dining Services was selected as the Chartwells 2017 Great Lakes Regional Account of the Year. A special dinner was held on August 21st, 2017 in recognition of this special award. (Grand Blanc also won this award in 2002 and 2009.)
  • Myers Elementary teacher, Kristine Vallimont was selected as “Teacher of the Month” by Farmer’s Insurance for the month of November. (Her husband was newly hired by Perry Innovation Center as the teacher for the 6th grade class in 2018-19.)
  • Two District Administrators were recognized as UM-Flint Distinguished Educators for 2017-2018 - Doris Goetz, Principal at Brendal Elementary & Jeremy Mitchell, Principal at Indian Hill Elementary.
  • Perry Innovation Center's 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Weiss, was selected to receive the Inspirational Leader Award from the Blueberry Ambassador program. Mrs. Weiss also received the "James T. Dover Outstanding Senior Award" at Genesee County's Children Champion program in February of 2018.

District News:

  • Enrollment at Grand Blanc was up at the beginning of the school year for the first time in 5 years.
  • The district welcomed over 80 new staff members to the district at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.
  • Administrators started “Tech Walks” sessions with Matinga Regatz to see the transformations going on during class first hand. Various visits to innovative learning environments were organized throughout the year, allowing principals to see how other schools are implementing technology and student-centered learning.
Brendel Elementary Principal, Doris Goetz, listens as a McGrath Elementary student explains what he's working on.
  • Perry Innovation Center opened Upper School, now housing students in grades 2nd-6th with a focus on technology integration and project-based learning. 7th Grade will be in place in 2018-19, with 8th planned for the following year.
  • The 2nd year of a district-wide attendance initiative in grades K-12 #schooleveryday – helped increase attendance by 3% over the previous year, Mr. Garner signed on to the Superintendent's “Call to Action” on attendanceworks.org, Prize winners were drawn from students that achieved qualifying attendance for the entry period, and winners were congratulated by school board members.
  • The music program at Grand Blanc was named “Best Community for Music Education” by NAMM.
  • Technology rolled out over 5,200 chromebooks to students in grades 5th-12th.
  • 2-1 carts will contain I-pads or touchscreen Chromebooks for K-2 in 2018-19. Instructors district-wide received mobile devices and many received new desktop computers. Outdated copiers and printers have been replaced.
  • Training with CBD Consulting continued to coach teachers in the implementation of new technology and student-centered learning.
  • Technology Exploration staff led the formation of the first-ever district-wide 5th grade Wonder Robotics competition at Perry Innovation Center. The staff at Wonder made a very special video for the students that participated, and sent prizes for the winners of the competition. “The Flippers” team from Perry Innovation Center walked away with 1st Place.
  • A Positivity Project district-wide scavenger hunt at the beginning of the school year kicked off the district-wide implementation of the Positivity Project. Indian Hill Principal, Jeremy Mitchell also brought founder Jeff Bryan to visit Nov 2, 2017. Indian Hill Elementary piloted the P2 program in 2016-17.
  • The 2018-2025 Strategic Plan was written by over 100 participants from the school and community. It was unanimously supported by the school board, and pending funding and final approval for each year, it will be implemented beginning this fall.
  • “Meet Up and Eat Up” came to Grand Blanc at Physician’s Park. Children 18 and under are invited to eat lunch for FREE at the park every weekday this summer (closed July 4th). “Fun Fridays” include prizes and activities and a nutrition bag for the weekend.
  • Dining staff paid toward “charged” lunch accounts at the holidays instead of buying gifts for one another. Several community members also donated to offset charged lunch accounts in our schools.
  • New District Nurse Consultant, Rachel O’Mara, hit the ground running and helped MERT teams win the MIHEART Safe School designation for all secondary schools at GBCS. Elementary schools are in process for 2018-19. She has already shown to be a valuable resource for the district in many ways.
  • Staff and students from many buildings were brave enough to take the PLUNGE into the icy water of Lake Fenton at the Area 13 POLAR PLUNGE and helped GBCS as a whole raise $27,000!
Video: District Nurse Consultant, Rachel O'Mara, demonstrate the use of an AED at Central Office to Superintendent Garner and staff.
  • Unified Sports is a Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program that once again brought students with and without disabilities together through education, sports and youth leadership. Activities included Unified basketball, bowling, volleyball, and cycling teams. In September 2017, 4 athletes competed in cycling at the Fall State Games in Chelsea MI. In February 2018, our Unified Champion basketball A team took 1st place at the Unified Basketball State Championship at WMU. Members participated in the Area 13 Polar Plunge, and organized a school-wide “R-word” campaign in March 2018. June 11, 2018, Unified athletes participated in the Area 13 Special Olympics bowling team to compete at the Summer State Games held at CMU. Unified Club increased its membership this year to 56 general education partners and 22 Special Olympics athletes.
  • This was Grand Blanc’s final season in the KLAA Athletic Conference, where we leave with over 100 KLAA championships over 9 years. We will join the Saginaw Valley League for 2018-19.
  • Various teams made up of students and staff participated in Bowl for Kids Sake event at Galaxy Lanes to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Grand Blanc Builders of Hope construction students with Mr. Jason Youngs deliver handmade garden beds to Catholic Charities in Flint.
Blueberry Ambassadors met for year-end celebration at Riverfront Banquet Center in Downtown Flint to share their "Blueberry Moments".

Community News:

  • Grand Blanc Schools was selected by the readers of the Grand Blanc View as the “Best of the Best”.
  • Grand Blanc kicked off the Spirit Cup Challenge with ABC 12 at the beginning of the year at the Tartoni gym.
  • Jeff Neville, Bishop Airport Officer injured in the line of duty, was honored at the homecoming parade and game.
  • Carriage Town Ministries received 2 handmade garden beds made by the Construction Trades program and Grand Blanc Builders of Hope, a non-profit founded by GBHS teacher, Jason Youngs, who hopes to inspire Construction students with the values of the Positivity Project.
  • Blueberry Ambassadors from various buildings participated in the completion of pay-it-forward random acts of kindness again this year. The program has grown to over 1600 student participants across Genesee County. Mrs. Weiss, 54-year teacher at Grand Blanc, was surprised with the “Inspirational Leader” Award at the closing ceremony this year.
  • Various students participated in projects on National Youth Day of Service with the United Way of Genesee County and Americore. Students made animal toys, cleaned up the community, and made laundry soap and stuffed animals for those in need.
  • Voters in Grand Blanc’s District approved the Renewal of the Non-Homestead Millage on May 8, 2018.
  • A Habitat for Humanity home is being planned in Grand Blanc, and students from our construction classes will be actively participating!
  • Seniors 55+ in the Grand Blanc community were offered free admission passes to most athletic events at GBCS.
  • The Ally Challenge is coming to Warwick Hills this fall. “Community Partnership Day” will be a day off for students and staff on September 14, 2018, to allow for traffic and parking.

Read the year-end newsletter, GB Shout!, for Grand Blanc Community Schools!