Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 9, 2010

Education Newsmakers: 11/09/2010


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---- — • The $9.2 million, 50,000-square-foot Long Lake Elementary School building is slated for completion in June 2011. Prep work began at the 43-acre site in May, while foundation, concrete floors and block construction activity began mid-July. The new school is located adjacent to the present Long Lake Elementary. Occupancy of the new school is slated for August 2011. Furnishing and prepping the building will occur following the anticipated June 2011 construction completion. When completed, the building will house preschool and kindergarten through fifth-grade students. Funding is provided by Traverse City Area Public Schools bond funds. The general contractor on the project is Grand Traverse Construction Co.

• The National Association for the Education of Young Children has invited Lija Ditmar, child and family therapist in Traverse City, and Renee DeMerchant, early childhood educator specialist, to present their seminar, "Brain Development and Beyond: Teacher/Child Interactions That Promote Resilience and Self-Regulation in Infants and Toddlers," at the national conference in Anaheim, Calif., this month. Ditmar is a board-certified clinical social worker who has provided consultations in Michigan and abroad for more than 30 years. DeMerchant, a native of Traverse City, is the education manager for 500 La Petite Academy Schools throughout the United States.

• Recently Traverse City Area Public Schools' Students in Transition Empowerment Program (STEP) received a $5,000 grant from the Cherryland Cares Program. The Cherryland Cares grant will help fund STEP, which is a free program offered by TCAPS that provides supportive education-related service to eligible students who have lost permanent housing due to foreclosure, eviction or reasons related to economic hardship. The Cares board is made up of five Cherryland Electric Cooperative members.

• Kirtland Community College has received a five-year, $2-million federal Title III grant. The funds will be used to address five areas, including expansion of adoption of eLearning technology; improvement of professional development for faculty and staff; upgrades of classroom technology to support more effective instructional methods; development of comprehensive online services and programs; and increasing resource development capacity.

• The following local students recently received scholarships from The Home Depot 2010 Trade Scholarship program: Harold Wilson, of Mancelona, Kirtland Community College; Kevin Kanaziz, of Mancelona, Kirtland Community College; Nicole Churchill, of Gaylord, Kirtland Community College; and Nicole Aboudib, of Traverse City, Northwestern Michigan College. Each student received $1,000 scholarships to help offset the cost of tuition, books and tools for their chosen trade.