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Spirit of South Lyon Community News

Spirit of South Lyon: June 2019
District News: Preparing for the Future
District News: Alumni Spotlight: Bobby Hewlett, III, SLHS '01
Elementary News: The Annual Bartlett Family Literacy Night
Elementary News: Bartlett Elementary Students' Epic Concerts
Elementary News: The Pits Are a Hit: Brummer Elementary's New Gaga Ball Pits
Elementary News: Dolsen Elementary's Parent Literacy Workshop: “Sailing into Summer with Children’s Literature”
Elementary News: Hardy Dens Focus on Building a Stronger School Community
Elementary News: Kent Lake's Inaugural Learning Expo a Huge Success
Elementary News: Pearson Elementary's Student Social Action Committee Support School's, "Taking Care of our Earth" Theme Month
Elementary News: Introducing the Sayre Sharks
Middle School News: Centennial Middle School’s Charger Bowl
High School News: High School Seniors Win Livingston County Concert Band Scholarships
High School News: South Lyon East High School's Environmental Studies Class Genius Hour Project
High School News: South Lyon High School Student Wins National Merit Scholarship

Preparing for the Future
South Lyon middle and high school students have been busy throughout this school year exploring career opportunities. Career Development Facilitators Lauren Bedich (Millennium and Centennial Middle Schools,, Ann Couyoumjian (South Lyon East, and Jane Miloch (South Lyon High School, are always looking for ways to bring real-world experiences to students. Field trips such as MiCareerQuest, Just Build It and the Youth Law Conference provide students a chance to learn about careers through hands-on experiences. School day events such as Lunch and Learn at the middle schools, as well as Mock Interviews, Advisory/Cougar Hour Career Exploration Events and Plastivan demonstrations, at the high schools, provide students contact with career professionals. Enhancing the academic curriculum with career activities helps students make the connection between their coursework and post-secondary planning. 

As a school district, South Lyon Community Schools strives to foster industry partnerships. One way for our industry partners to connect with our students is through MI Bright Future. To learn how you can become a MI Bright Future Career Coach, source interns for open internships, offer work-based learning opportunities and help develop the talent in Michigan, visit Or, if you would like to share your career with students in middle school and high school, please contact one of the Career Development Facilitators listed above. Volunteers are always welcome!

East--careers   Centennial Middle School News Crew visits with the SLEHS TV Production students for an exciting hands-on and interactive field trip!   CAREERS2

Alumni Spotlight: Bobby Hewlett, III, SLHS '01
Born and raised in South Lyon, Bobby Hewlett earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan. During his time as a college student, he interned for the South Lyon Community Schools' Technology Department and went on to work part-time for the district.

Bobby Hewlett, IIINow the Controller for Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan, Bobby and his wife, Brooke (whom he met in 4th grade), are raising their four children in the community. Here's his story:

Name: Robert (Bobby) Hewlett III
Graduation Year: SLHS Class of 2001
College/University/Degree: University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business, BBA (2005) and MAcc (2006)
SLCS Staff Position: Technology Department Intern (1999-2001) and Part-Time Staff (2001-2005)
Current Employer and Position: Controller, Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan

My Story:

South Lyon is a very special place to me, and one that has defined so many aspects of my life.

First and foremost, I was lucky enough to meet my beautiful wife, Brooke Hewlett (Lundquist) in fourth grade at SLCS. We now have four children together, Cruz (9), Easton (7), Nash (4) and Sienna (2). We continue to call South Lyon our home, and our children attend South Lyon Schools at their various grade levels.

The community here has also had a significant impact on my family and me. There are so many different ways to become involved: our children have been active in many extracurricular activities through the schools, through various sports and at our church. Through each of these activities, we have been fortunate to meet and cultivate friendships with so many great families. It is really the people of the community that make this such a great place to live and raise a family. In fact, both Brooke and I remain friends with many of those that we went to school with, going back to even elementary school!

What I learned during my time in South Lyon Schools prepared me well to take on significant roles in my professional life as well. The classes and variety of learning opportunities offered exposed students to so many different topical areas. More than anything, however, during the course of my schooling in South Lyon, I had many great teachers who genuinely cared about their students’ success. The resources here are exceptional and help set students up for success. I am currently the Controller for Michigan Medicine’s (University of Michigan) integrated financial operations. My responsibilities include the oversight of financial reporting, strategic financial planning, budgets and forecasts, financial systems, clinical analytics and real estate. I am a member of the Michigan Dialysis Services board as well as the Chelsea Community Hospital board finance committee. I work with an outstanding team of professionals, many of whom call South Lyon home, or have roots in the community. Prior to joining Michigan Medicine, I provided professional financial services to clients at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Looking back, the experiences provided by the South Lyon Schools and the culture of the community are second to none! We look forward to being part of the growing and thriving community.

 The Annual Bartlett Family Literacy Night
Through generous donations and volunteers, Bartlett was able to feed and host activities for 495 attendees at its Annual Family Literacy Night! This year's theme was, "Going on a Reading Road Trip." Frank, the Bartlett Bear, went on a road trip powered by the number of minutes students read while at home. Throughout the month, Bartlett students followed his journey learning about different states and text features from non-fiction books. To end the month, Literacy Night finished Frank’s journey and welcomed him back home. 
Bartlett students taking a “Book Hike” through Kentucky! If the landform they stopped on was selected, students won a brand new book!

The event included eight stations of activities focused on non-fiction text features and state facts. In addition, families participated in crafts such as creating their own family license plate to represent their trip. Students also traveled through a Michigan obstacle course to learn more about their home state. The evening was an incredible night of learning, reading and working together, and a special thank you to all of the volunteers, teachers, staff, families and students who made it possible.

Bartlett Elementary Students' Epic Concerts
The students of Bartlett Elementary recently finished two nights of music performances, including an epic 3rd, 4th and 5th grade concert on May 8th at South Lyon High School auditorium with standing room only. Pieces included a melody from "The Greatest Showman," 80’s rock songs and songs with upbeat and positive messages from today’s hit music. The kids danced, sang in two-part harmony, played many instruments and featured many speakers and solos. But what they loved the most was the roar from the audience reminiscent of concerts at DTE Energy Music Theatre or Little Caesars Arena.

Not to be outdone were the Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders on April 24th in the Bartlett Elementary gym, with songs featuring some of the very best of Motown and a colorful circus theme. Students finished the evening with steel drum and percussion pieces that they created themselves and were proud to present to the community.  

Bartlett Concert  Bartlett2  Bartlett3  Bartlett4

The Pits Are a Hit: Brummer Elementary's New Gaga Ball Pits
BrummerThis spring Brummer Elementary received two new Gaga Ball pits for K-5 students to enjoy on the playground. Thank you to the volunteers for installing the equipment and to the BNC/CHEERS Board for allocating funds towards the purchase of the pits!

Learn more about Gaga Ball here.

Dolsen Elementary's Parent Literacy Workshop: “Sailing into Summer with Children’s Literature”
DolsenOn Tuesday, May 7th, Dolsen Elementary hosted a parent literacy workshop, entitled "Sailing into Summer with Children's Literature." The workshop was facilitated by Mrs. Weakland, 4th grade teacher, who shared strategies for parents on engaging their children in reading. This workshop was also presented for parents across Oakland County at the Young Authors Conference through Oakland Schools.

Thank you to the Dolsen PTO, who supported the workshop by funding books for the free “book giveaway” portion of the evening. The Dolsen team hopes to keep their students’ love of reading going over the summer months!

Hardy Dens Focus on Building a Stronger School Community
Throughout the school year, Hardy students meet in cross-grade level groups called Dens. Each Den meets once a month with a focus on building a stronger school community. To embrace themes of kindness, caring, creativity and community the Dens focused on books written by author, Peter Reynolds. Each Den meeting started with reading aloud one of his books and then followed up with a discussion and collaborative project. In April, Hardy students were actually able to Skype with Peter Reynolds and ask him questions!

Kent Lake's Inaugural Learning Expo a Huge Success
On May 3rd, Kent Lake Elementary's students, families, teachers and staff participated in the school's first Learning Expo. During the evening event, families were invited to explore classrooms and hallways to see all of the great learning that has happened at Kent Lake recently.

Students recorded explanations of their learning and had QR codes for families to scan in order to listen to students speak. Every student had at least one piece of art on display along with an artist statement/reflection, and Kent Lake's budding scientists shared their love for learning as the school's science fair was held in the main hallway with several robotics teams sharing their skills in the gym.

Kent Lake  Kent Lake  Kent Lake3

Pearson Elementary's Student Social Action Committee Support School's, "Taking Care of our Earth" Theme Month
Leading up to the month of April, the students of Pearson Elementary School's Student Social Action Committee created events to promote their monthly theme of, "Taking Care of our Earth." When planning the monthly activities, a goal of the committee was to get all students at Pearson Elementary involved. 

Pearson kicked off the month by giving each teacher and family a calendar that listed all of the activities that would be happening during the month and by introducing the optional poster contest. Students were given guidelines and were encouraged to create a poster that represented “taking care of our Earth.” The school also started a bottle cap collection that would later be used for an art piece representing Pearson.

Another project that began in the middle of the month was having the local Kroger store donate paper grocery bags for students to decorate in a way to support taking care of our Earth. Students had a week to decorate their bags, and then the bags were returned to the Kroger for their customers to use on Earth Day.

The last event that took place during the month of April was Quarter Wars. Quarter Wars is a grade-level contest where each student is encouraged to bring in as many quarters and dollars as they can. The quarters are considered positive points and the dollars are considered negative points. Students place the quarters in their own grade level jar while the dollars should go in other grade level jars since they count as negative points. Kindergarten and third grade were determined the winners of this contest. The money raised from this fundraiser was used to kick off the school's recycling program, and for a few future projects that the Student Social Action Committee has in mind to support taking care of our Earth.

To end the month, the poster contest winners were announced (one winner from each grade level). Each winner received a set of art supplies. Overall, these activities were very successful, and Pearson looks forward to Paving the Way again next year!

Pearson Grade Level Poster Contest Winners  Pearson4  Pearson Grade Level Poster Contest Winners  

Pearson2  Pearson Grade Level Poster Contest Winners  Pearson Grade Level Poster Contest Winners

Introducing the Sayre Sharks
Sayre SharksStudents at Sayre got to select the new mascot at Sayre in March. When the votes were in, the overwhelming choice was a shark! Students thought that the shark represented the school's #SayreStrong initiative of being a strong, hardworking community of learners. Students, teachers and staff are proud to be Sayre Sharks!

Centennial Middle School’s Charger Bowl
Centennial Middle School’s 13th annual Charger Bowl powder puff football game was played on May 31st. One hundred 7th and 8th grade girls battled on the gridiron for the title of Charger Bowl Champion. The goal of the Charger Bowl is to create a memorable experience for girls at CMS with a focus on teamwork, sportsmanship, competition and fun. The Charger Bowl has raised funds over the years to purchase outdoor picnic tables at CMS, athletic equipment, a scorer’s table for the gym, as well as to help fund the CMS mentor program for 6th graders called W.E.B. 

High School Seniors Win Livingston County Concert Band Scholarships
Congratulations to seniors Emma Brown (SLHS) and Ian Schmidt (East) who were each awarded a $500 scholarship from the Livingston County Concert Band (LCCB). Emma plays French Horn and is a section leader in the SLHS marching band. After graduation, she plans to attend college to study horn performance, eventually becoming a horn player in a professional orchestra.

Ian is a percussion player and a section leader in East’s marching band. Ian had the opportunity to play his audition piece at the LCCB’s winter concert in February, and has plans to study Music Education at the University of North Texas.

Emma Brown  Ian Schmidt

South Lyon East High School's Environmental Studies Class Genius Hour Project
South Lyon East Butterfly GardenSouth Lyon East High School teacher Eric Engel implemented Genius Hour Projects in his Environmental Studies Class. Students, primarily in the 11th and 12th grades, chose a project they were passionate about, developed a plan for implementation and carried out the plan on behalf of the school.

Emily Deeds, Kaylie Conley, Amber Clare, Josh Russell, Sara Tytar and Emily Taliaferro raised their own funds and then purchased and planted a butterfly garden in the circular planter in the bus loop at East. They focused on plants that would help pollinators, are low maintenance, are perennials, are drought resistant and some that are green fillers to give the garden color all year round. They will be adding some more flowers later this year.

Mr. Engel plans to adapt their garden to his environmental curriculum and continue to expand their project. Learn more about Genius Hour Projects here.

South Lyon High School Student Wins National Merit Scholarship
Savannah Hoin, a senior at South Lyon High School, was recently announced as a winner of the National Merit Scholarship, worth $2,500. The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program, and were judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. 

Savannah is an honors graduate, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and is a member of the National Honors Society. She also participated in cheerleading, both sideline and competitive, and tennis.

The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors. These scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) finances most of these single-payment National Merit $2500 Scholarships. Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees. Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

Congratulations, Savannah!

Spirit of South Lyon: February 2019

District News: In-District School of Choice
District News: MiSTEM Grant
Elementary News: Dolsen Elementary Dolphin Pods
Elementary News: Kent Lake Elementary's Star Leaders Program
Elementary News: Salem Elementary's Watch D.O.G.S. 

In-District School of Choice
In-District School of Choice applications for the 2019-2020 school year for grades K-5th will be emailed to all South Lyon Community Schools families on Friday, March 1st. Applications will also be available beginning March 1st at all elementary school building offices, at the South Lyon Schools’ Administration Building (345 South Warren) and on our website. Although the In-District School of Choice program is only available to elementary students, we will be emailing the information to all families for any middle school or high school families with in-coming elementary students.


  • Parents who would like their child(ren) to participate in the Schools of Choice Program must apply by completing an application form for each child.
  • Parents are responsible for providing transportation for students choosing to participate in School of Choice.
  • Every student who participates in the Program needs to re-apply and be accepted each year. However, we will reserve 25% of the available slots per grade, per school, for students who participated in the Program the previous year. If necessary, a random selection process will be utilized to identify these students.

An application should be completed only if you are interested in sending your child to an elementary school other than your attendance area school, which is determined by your address. To locate your school, you can use our interactive Boundary Maps available on our website or contact the SLCS Transportation Department at (248) 573-8900.

Completed applications must be returned by March 29th to:
South Lyon Community Schools Administration Building
Attention: Pupil Services
345 South Warren Street
South Lyon, MI  48178

The office phone number is (248) 573-8134.

You can also return the application to any of the elementary school offices. Applications are accepted on a first come-first served basis after the deadline. All applications received before the deadline are given equal attention.

South Lyon Community Schools Awarded $70,000 MiSTEM Advisory Council Grant

The Michigan Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (MiSTEM) Advisory Council awarded South Lyon Community Schools a grant worth $69,826 to support STEM initiatives in our district.

Created four years ago by the Michigan Legislature as a way to help Michigan become a leader in STEM education, this competitive grant makes $3 million available to schools, districts and ISDs around the state to support STEM initiatives in Michigan. These programs must be in the STEMworks database.

The funds awarded to SLCS will support the roll out of the district’s new elementary science curriculum, which is one of the database’s approved programs. The funds will go toward 2nd and 3rd grade student and teacher curricular resources, which includes new life, earth and physical science units and investigations.

A special thank you to our district K-12 Math and Science Curriculum Coordinator Dayna Britton, who wrote and applied for the grant. Learn more about the process on the Michigan Department of Education's website.

Salem Elementary's Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) Program a Huge Success

Watch D.O.G.S. is a national organization that encourages dads to take a more active role in schools. Salem Elementary has adopted this program, and to-date, it has been a hit!

Dads, grandpas, uncles and important male role models of students at Salem are encouraged to spend one day in the school working with, modeling and supporting the learning of their children and their fellow students. Oftentimes, dads struggle to find the role they can play in the school and this provides a specific way for a dad to show he is invested, engaged and supporting the learning of his children.

Salem launched its Watch D.O.G.S. program this fall and has volunteers signed up for every Friday in the school year through June. At the beginning of January, Salem began accepting volunteers for Wednesday and have filled two out of every three Wednesdays for the school year. 

Mr. Cole with his sons at Salem Elementary.Mr. Cole (pictured with his sons, Marcus and Kurtis) was the Salem Watch D.O.G. on Friday, December 21st, 2018,  starting his day off working in Marcus's third grade classroom and ending his day in Kurtis’s fifth grade classroom. Mr. Cole spent the balance of his day working on reading and math with Kindergartners, as well as second and third graders. He also read to, listened to, and played literacy and math games with the students, had lunch with his boys and helped in the cafeteria.

Mr. Travis (pictured with his children, Mason and Anna) spent time traveling around the building working with Kindergarten through fifth grade students. After playing a math fluency game with first graders from Mrs. Szymanski’s class, Mr. Travis helped out in the cafeteria and enjoyed lunch with his own children.
Mr. Travis volunteered at Salem.
Thank you to all of the fantastic Watch D.O.G.S.! If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Mr. Knapp at x8455  and/or our parent volunteer and chairperson ("Top DOG") Justin Morse at


Dolsen Elementary Dolphin Pods
Dolsen Elementary, in conjunction with the other South Lyon elementary schools, has launched a school-wide community and relationship initiative called “Dolphin Pods," building off the school mascot, the dolphin. In the wild, dolphins live in pods where they find success in numbers and learning to live and work together as a community. Dolsen has adopted this initiative mimicking the same kind of community students experience in the building.

Dolsen Elementary operates under a well established “Taking Care” initiative, where students and staff focus on taking care of themselves, each other and the school in order to be ready to learn. Building off those core values, students are now adding the following D.O.L.P.H.I.N.S. skills to their social-emotional tool belt:

Dolsen Dolphin Pods board.

Demonstrating kindness Organized
Leaders of our learning
Innovative thinkers
Needed in our community
Standing up for what is right

Students have been placed into a “pod” group encompassing students from all grade levels. For the duration of a student’s time at Dolsen, they will work with the same “pod” once a month. The purpose of the pod group is to form meaningful relationships with different students and teachers. In pods, students foster skills that change from month-to-month, with this year’s focus being on what it means to be a Dolsen Dolphin.

Students are recognized for demonstrating what it means to be a Dolsen Dolphin when they are awarded a D.O.L.P.H.I.N.S. slip where the desired behavior is demonstrated. Student slips are entered into a drawing for a trip to the “Pod Pride” celebration, where students from across the building can celebrate being a Dolsen Dolphin!

Kent Lake Elementary's Star Leaders Program
All Kent Lake Star Leaders participate in their monthly Constellation, which is a smaller focus group Madison Lukas and Carolina Mitchellcomprised of students from other classes.

January’s Star Leader Habit was “give it a try." Students had to try several ways to make a “hole” in a regular sized piece of paper in order to pass a human through it. With some flexible thinking they made it work!

Pictured to the right are Madison Lukas and Carolina Mitchell.