Friday, January 8, 2016

News and Notes: Volume 2, Number 16

A Perfect Fleet

Congratulations to the WLPS Transportation Department for earning another perfect inspection this year from Michigan's State Police. This is their 12h perfect inspection in a row.

I gave an award a few years back to a graduating senior who was an excellent student but also a devoted backstage assistant for our Drama Club productions. The award the student received was a scholarship, awarded by members of the WLPS Transportation department--they do fundraisers annually in order to offer the scholarship. I made a correlation to the student's hard work as a production assistant and the hard work of our bus drivers. More specifically, I mentioned that what you see on the stage are the stars of the show, and the stars of the show are important; but without the people running the lights, sound, building sets, the actors would never make it on the stage. Without our buses, many of our stars would never make into the classroom. 

Safe transportation to school delivered by caring drivers is so critical to our success. I want to thank them, and, in particular, I want to thank Steve Wolk who maintains our fleet of buses. Steve is so well respected in our region for his skills in maintaining these vehicles, that the Michigan State Police often recommends area schools contact our facility to make needed repairs. I am proud of the entire department! Today is a great day to be a Trojan, and a great day to ride a WLPS bus.

Getting to Know Shelli Kritzman

Shelli Kritzman, the newest member of the WLPS Board of Education, was sworn in last month after being selected to replace Jim Vibbart after he resigned late fall of last year. Please join me in welcoming Shelli to the BOE and take some time to read her interview below to learn a little bit more about her, her family and motivation for serving on the WLPS BOE.

Q: What is your educational background?
A: I graduated from Atherton High School in 1989. After high school, I attended Central Michigan University for two years before transferring to Ferris State University. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology in 1993. This included a one year internship at the University of Michigan Medical Center from 1992-1993. In 2000, I completed my Master of Science in Radiological Physics from Wayne State University.

Q: What do you do professionally?
A: I am employed at Medical Physics Consultants in Ann Arbor as a Nuclear Medical Physicist. I have held this position for over 20 years. Radiation safety is extremely important in this field. I serve as the Radiation Safety Officer at multiple sites, educating patients and staff on the effects of radiation and the methods to reduce exposure. My work also entails traveling to hospitals and clinics around the state testing the nuclear medicine equipment for quality assurance and reviewing records to help maintain compliance with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Q: What other roles you do hold in the community or are there any other organizations in which you are involved?
A: I have been the Whitmore Lake representative on the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) at the WISD for over seven years. The PAC is made up of parents whose children have special needs. This position is extremely important to me because my oldest son Mark has cerebral palsy. There is currently one open position for our district on this committee.

Q: Tell us more about your family.
A: Jim and I have been married 18 years. We have three children: Mark (14 years old in 8th grade); Luke (11 years old in 6th grade) and Joey (5 years old in Kindergarten). Mark played in the marching band this year. It was great listening to the pep band at the football games. Mark is also my running buddy. We have completed multiple half marathons together, and in 2013 we completed our first marathon! You may see us training for another one in the future. Luke just completed the MS drama club’s production of "Princess Tabasco Saves the Universe." He also participates in the community recreation spring and fall soccer league. Joey is busy in Kindergarten learning everything he can! He participates in spring and fall soccer as well.

Q: How long have you lived in Whitmore Lake? What brought you to the area?
A: We moved into the area in 1996 and built our current home in 1998. Since I grew up in a small school district, I wanted that same experience for my children. I have heard many stories of children that get lost in the system of larger public schools. That is not the case in Whitmore Lake. The quality of our teaching and support staff has given all of our children a great educational experience.

Q: What motivated you to apply to fill the vacant spot on the WLPS BOE?
A: I had already decided that I would be running for one of the seats on the BOE this fall. This gave me the opportunity to come into the election with experience.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most about serving the Whitmore Lake community? Anything you are nervous or anxious about?

A: I’m looking forward to maintaining high academic standards and opportunities for extracurricular activity for all grade levels. This is a great community, and I am excited to play a role in this important responsibility. I am enthusiastic to work with the current board and Mr. DeKeyser to continue to move our district forward on a positive path. As far as being nervous, I wasn’t overly nervous until I received the first board book with 175 pages of policies! As I have learned in my career, with experience comes knowledge, so I look forward to learning the policies and procedures for our Board.

Trojans are on the Lion Chaser Team: New Strength/Conditioning Program with Blue Lion Fitness
Our Athletic Department, with support of the Touchdown Club and the Whitmore Lake Athletic Association, are helping Trojan student-athletes kick off the new year right, with a brand-new strength and conditioning program in partnership with Blue Lion Fitness.

Starting January 11 through the end of June, trainers from BLF will meet with in-season and out-of-season athletes three days a week at the WLHS weight room facilities. As part of the program, athletes will learn proper form and techniques for weightlifting and sprinting and will be challenged to improve overall strength, explosiveness and physical conditioning. Outside of strength and conditioning, the trainers will work on team building exercises to develop teamwork, inspire leadership and test mental toughness with our athletes.

We are excited to be "lion chasers," to invest in our athletes and to explore the potential the partnership with BLF brings.

Parents and community members interested in experiencing a Blue Lion Fitness workout, watch for information on fitness classes to start later this month/early February through Whitmore Lake Community Recreation. E-mail to be added to the interest list.

In addition to the partnership with WLPS and WLCR, this Ann Arbor-based company founded by Daniel Roth and Ryan Van Bergen, provides personal training, fitness classes and memberships at their facility in Ann Arbor. You can find out more about them on their website or by following them on Facebook,

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