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September 2017
News & Events

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“Our students shine time and time again.”

TCAPS Families, Staff and Friends,

Since the start of the school year, I have had the opportunity to see our students shine time and time again. In every instance, I felt proud of our district and the accomplishments that we help students achieve. Below are snapshots that highlight a few of the special moments that have happened since the start of the school year.

Board of Education President Erik Falconer shares a first day moment with a family and staff at Silver Lake Elementary School.

Students from CHS and WSH hold flags to honor our community's veterans, active service members, and first responders.

Central High School’s Tech Girls demonstrate how to use a robot at the Women’s Council of REALTORS monthly meeting.

Keri Janicki, a student at West Middle School, her father Joe, and Superintendent Soma pose after Keri’s performance of the National Anthem to open the Michigan Association of School Administrators statewide conference at the GT Resort.

TCAPS Staff Photo

The TCAPS 2017-18 Staff Team.

Thank you to everyone who makes our schools and our community great!


Paul A. Soma
Superintendent, Traverse City Area Public Schools

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TCAPS News & Events

“Count Day helps TCAPS provide the area’s widest variety of high quality academic, athletic, and arts programs.”

TCAPS' Students Recognized in 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program

TCAPS is pleased to announce that five students have been selected as Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program and 10 were named Commended Students.

Traverse City Central High School students Rayna Archibald, Abigail Fox, Tess Mello, Abigail Puckett, and Elliott Smith were among the 16,000 students who have been named 2018 National Merit Semifinalists. Semifinalists have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million, which will be offered next spring. Less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors make it into the semifinal round of the competition.

In addition, Ryan Farese and Cole Komrska from Traverse City West Senior High School and Joseph Aulicino, Chloe Beyer, Martin Chown, Marguerite Jenkins, Theodore McKay, Maxwell Ranger, Aili Simpson, and Jolo Vandenberg from Central High School were named Commended Students. Commended students are recognized for the exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the qualifying test.

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 PSAT/NMSQT, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants. Finalists will be notified in February 2018.

West Middle School Earns Michigan Interscholastic Press Association Award

Last year, Traverse City West Middle School submitted its yearbook “Watermark” for a Spartan critique by the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) for the first time and received the highest honor, a Spartan Award. The book was submitted prior to the end of the school year and it was judged over the summer by professionals in the discipline. Typically, less than one-third of all entries will earn a Spartan Award and West Middle School was one of a small number of middle schools to earn the recognition. The book was judged against the same standard used to critique high school books.

Founded in 1921 and housed in the Michigan State University School of Journalism, the MIPA Association is a nonprofit organization composed of scholastic journalism teachers and publications advisers and their students. MIPA is committed to promoting and recognizing excellence in scholastic journalism at all levels through education, training and support of student journalists and their advisers.

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WSH’s Tim Wooer Named Detroit Lions High School Football Coach of the Week

The Detroit Lions named Traverse City West Senior High School Football Coach Tim Wooer the week three recipient of the 2017 Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan High School Football Coach of the Week Program.  Wooer is currently in his 10th season as the Titans’ head coach and has led the team to six state playoff appearances. He helped create the TC Patriot Game, which allows student-athletes and the entire community an opportunity to recognize and honor the service of area veterans, active duty service members, and first responders. Wooer and his coaching staff also make player health and safety a priority. Student-athletes are evaluated using several baseline concussion screening tests, including ImPACT, through a partnership with Munson Health System.

Each week throughout the 2017 nine-week high school football regular season, one coach who best develops their players’ character, discipline, and football skill in addition to emphasizing player health and safety in their program, is recognized for their commitment to the team, school, and community. Each winning coach receive a $2,000 donation to their school’s football program and a sideline kit, courtesy of Gatorade. The winner is selected by a panel of high school football media members—Mick McCabe (former Detroit Free Press sports writer), Hugh Bernreuter (Saginaw News), Bret Bakita (WOOD Radio-106.9 FM, ESPN 96.1 FM-Fox 17/Grand Rapids), and James Cook (Traverse City Record-Eagle).

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Student Count Day is October 4th

The first Count Day for the 2017-2018 school year is Wednesday, October 4, 2017. Schools receive funding based on student attendance numbers taken on Count Day. Having your child in school on Count Day, when possible, helps TCAPS continue to provide the area’s widest variety of high quality academic, athletic, and arts programs. 

Traverse City Walks to School Day—October 4th

The Traverse City City Commission has adopted a resolution recognizing October 4, 2017, as Traverse City Walks to School Day. It is also National Walk to School Day. The goal is to have 1,000 students participate city-wide. For more information and to find the 2017 Walking School Bus Schedule, visit:

TC West 24 Hour Basketball Fundraiser for Cancer Travels—November 24th-25th

On Friday, November 24, 2017, and Saturday, November 25, 2017, the ​Traverse ​City ​West Senior High School ​boys’ ​and ​girls’ ​basketball ​programs are hosting a 24 hour basketball fundraiser. The event is one ​basketball ​game ​that ​lasts ​24 ​hours ​with ​a ​continuous ​score. ​Last ​year’s ​score ​was ​2,617 ​to ​2,046 ​in ​favor ​of ​TC West. The event raises funds for ​Cancer Travels, ​a ​501(c)3 ​non-profit ​that ​provides ​gas ​cards and ​other ​financial ​assistance ​to ​families that are ​battling ​cancer. ​The event ​has ​raised ​and donated ​over ​$7,000 ​to date. ​Admission ​is free. Tip off begins at 12:00 p.m. on Friday and the final buzzer sounds on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. The TC West basketball programs are the purple ​team and will be playing against the white team made up of community businesses and organizations.

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October’s Harvest of the Month: Apples

Apple Bushels
It’s apple time of year in Northwest Michigan! TCAPS cafeterias are serving fresh Michigan apples while they are available. View farms and markets in the area if you would like to pick or buy fresh apples locally.

View Apple Recipes from the Michigan Apple Committee

TCAPS Offers Breakfast Meal Option

The School Breakfast Program is available to all students every weekday morning and provides a nutritious way to start the school day. You do not have to register your child in advance. Your child can eat breakfast at school every day or only occasionally. Meals include servings of fruit, whole grain-rich items, and low fat or fat free milk. These breakfasts are well balanced and follow standards backed by the best nutritional science available. Participation in the program also affords children a chance to enjoy a morning meal with their friends. School Breakfast is an ideal solution on busy mornings when kids are running late or parents have to be at work early. Whatever the reason, if breakfast at home is not convenient, please have your child take advantage of breakfast at school so that they may enjoy the numerous benefits of starting their day with a healthy meal.

MDE Begins Search For 2018-2019 Michigan Teacher Of The Year

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is asking educators, administrators, students, and parents to help it find the next Michigan Teacher of the Year (MTOY). The Michigan Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by the Meemic Foundation, recognizes outstanding educational leaders across Michigan for their work to elevate the teaching profession. MDE’s online nomination form is open until Friday, October 20, at 11:59 p.m., for people to nominate a teacher or teachers whom they feel are exceptional educators and have made substantial contributions to their profession.

Annual Notifications

TCAPS’ 2017-2018 Annual Notifications have been shared via email and are available for review online at:

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TCAPS students help in MexicoTCAPS students participated in the Global Service trip to Guanajuato, Mexico.

Westwoods Elementary School Collects School Supplies for Texas Teacher Impacted by Hurricane

After hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas, many schools were left in need of supplies. First grade teacher Jennifer Johnson saw a post on a social media page from Port Neches, Texas, where a fellow educator shared their need for school supplies. Ms. Johnson put out a call for supplies and she, along with her collegues, sent 49 pounds of school supplies to a Port Neches Independent School District teacher. The supplies and the $90 in shipping expenses were paid for by these incredible TCAPS staff members to help another school in need.

TCAPS Spanish Students Participate in Summer Global Service

This summer, 27 TCAPS students participated in the Global Service trip to Guanajuato, Mexico, where they volunteered at the Buen Pastor orphanage and the Corazon Canino dog refuge. For three weeks students studied Spanish in a language institute, participated in an exchange with high school students at La Escuela Secundaria #22 in Leon, and lived with host families to experience the Mexican culture.

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Big Dipper Cookie Dough
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“The company is seeking to help raise money for TCAPS' athletic programs.”

Big Dipper Cookie Dough Co. Begins Selling TC Central and TC West

Big Dipper Cookie Dough Co., co-founded by TC West Class of 2013 graduate Austin Groesser, sells raw egg and junk-free dough that can also be baked into cookies. Now, the company is seeking to help raise money for TCAPS athletic programs. They will be selling 4 oz. cups that are customized to support TC Central and TC West. Learn more about the company at:

Registration Open for the 10th Annual Turkey Trot 5K and 5 Mile Run/Walk on Thanksgiving Morning

The 10th Annual UpNorth Media Turkey Trot presented by 4Front Credit Union will be held on the morning of Thursday, November 23, 2017, starting at 9:00 a.m. Registration is now open. TCAPS’ Learning, Enrichment and Athletic Program (LEAP) is a beneficiary of the 2017 event. For more information, visit

UpNorth Turkey Trot

Thank you to every individual, business, and group that donated school supplies this year!

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Traverse City Area Public Schools
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