Thursday, June 8, 2017


Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This post is a milestone for a couple of reasons. First, it is the 100th post of the Wennstrom's Weekly. Second, it is my last blog post for the Rosedale community. I really was hoping for something clever and memorable to say in my last post, but to be honest I'm at a loss for words. I have so many emotions as this year draws to a close.  I'm sad to be leaving Rosedale, but I'm also excited for new adventures at Buchanan. Over five years ago, I came to Rosedale with a vision to create a unified team of teachers and to help make this school a place where learning is fun. I hope I have done that and I hope I have helped establish traditions that will continue after I'm gone. Tom Peters said, "Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders." I believe Rosedale is filled with leaders and they will continue to grow with their new principal Mrs. Kohler. I wish all the best to the Rosedale community and this team will forever have a place in my heart.


Monday, June 12: Final Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 am
Thursday, June 15: Students dismissed at 12:10 pm
Friday, June 16: Assembly with musical performer PATO
                          4th Grade Clap Out at 11:35 am
                          Students dismissed at 12:10 pm for Summer Vacation

Wednesday, June 21: Report Cards mailed home

Some of my favorite memories from Rosedale
  • March is Reading Month 
  • Daddy Daughter Dance 
  • Trunk or Treat 
  • Celebrate Monday Assemblies 
  • Working with our Incredible Staff! 


Friday, June 2, 2017

Spring Fling

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This week marked our 6th Annual Spring Fling. When I first came to Rosedale, the PTA president told me about an idea she had for a new event. She wanted to do something in addition to the traditional ice cream social and she thought with a new principal the time was right. That was the beginning of our "Spring Fling" tradition at our school. I remember that the forecast predicted rain, but we lucked out.  In fact, we have been fortune with the weather each year so far! Each year, the event seems to grow and change a little to reflect the school and it's been wonderful to be a part of it through these years. Traditions are a great thing for a school community and I'm happy to have been a part of a new tradition at the school and to have seen it grow due to the leadership of all our PTA boards. Thanks for letting me be a part of this special tradition!!


Monday, June 5: Student of the Month Assembly for GRIT 9:05 am
Thursday, June 8: Field Day!! 

Thursday, June 15: Students dismissed at 12:10 pm
Friday, June 16: School Assembly with musical guest PATO 10:00 am
                         4th Grade Clap Out Ceremony 11:35 am (4th grade parents welcome in the gym)
                         Students dismissed at 12:10 pm for Summer Vacation!

Karen Young - Lead Administrator of Niji-Iro (Japanese Immersion School)

My name is Karen Young and I have been married for 17 years.  I have three girls who attend Cass, Riley, and Holmes Middle School.  I am a proud graduate of Stevenson High School, class of 1994.  I began working for LPS when we opened Niji-Iro in August of 2014.

I challenge my students and staff to have a growth mindset and felt that I needed to have one as well and so I have started my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction and just completed my first year.

Niji-Iro is unique, amazing, Itsumo Egao (Always Positive), diverse, exceptional.

  • Thank you to all the volunteers that helped make the Spring Fling such a great success!  A very special Thank you to all the volunteers from Churchill High School Spanish National Honor Society and Football Team!! We appreciate all your help and support for this event!! We couldn't have done it without you!! You are all AMAZING!!

  • Thank you to everyone for all the wonderful donations for the basket raffle!! Your generosity and support helped make each basket fun and exciting for everyone!!

Did you know that the PTA funds most of our field trips? Many of our grade levels take learning trips to outside venues during the last few weeks of school. This allows students to have new experiences and learning opportunities to connect the classroom to the real world. This is made possible from our active PTA sponsorship of trips. Our students and staff are fortunate to have such great partners with the PTA.  Great things are happening at Rosedale! 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Brave The Shave

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! If you've been to Rosedale in the last week, you may have noticed something my hair! Well it will certainly be cooler during the summer months, I had a bigger motive in shaving my head. Recently, I was approached to participate in the St. Baldrick's "Brave the Shave" event, where participants pledge to shave their heads to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Knowing that this year, one of the honored children was the son of a Rosedale teacher, I couldn't refuse. On Sunday, I joined dozens of other people who said goodbye to their hair in the hopes that no child will ever have do the same. Our Rosedale students do so many service projects during the year, I felt that I needed to step up and practice what I preach. My hair won't stay short for long, but the memories I made during the event will stay with me a long time.

Kellen Weakley was our honored child and our celebrity shaver! 


Monday, May 29: No School for Memorial Day
Thursday, June 1: Kindergarten Round Up
Friday, June 2: Spring Fling/Basket Raffle 6:00-8:00 pm 

Thursday, June 8: Field Day!

Thursday, June 15: Students dismissed at 12:10 pm
Friday, June 16: All School Assembly at 10:00 am
                         4th Grade Clap Out at 11:35 am
                         Students dismissed at 12:10 pm (Summer Vacation Begins)

Jennifer Keatts - Principal of Grant Elementary 
Hello LPS Families,

I am thrilled to be a new member of the Livonia Public Schools family.  While this is my first year as principal of Grant, this is my 5th year as an elementary principal.  I have spent my 15 years in education as a lower elementary teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach, intervention specialist and now principal. I have worked with many students and teachers in grades K - 8.   

When I am not at school, you can find my husband, Rob and I on the sidelines of soccer fields with our 10 year old daughter,  Katelyn and our almost 6 year old son, Brady.  We have officially come to the point where their social calendars are busier than ours.   Our kids keep us laughing and up to date on all things popular in 4th grade in kindergarten.

When I arrived at Grant this year, we were just opening our doors after the renovation.  There were certainly some changes this year.  Next school year we are very excited to watch our community grow with the addition of the center students from Buchanan Elementary.  My goal for the next school year is to lead a unified school and capitalize on the strengths of all of our students.  We will continually learn from each other.

If I had to summarize Grant in 5 words I would choose the following:

Great community supporting all students.  

Wishing you all a wonderful end to the school year and a wonderful summer ahead.

  • Spring fling is coming June 2nd (6-8) and we need your help to make it happen. Without help from volunteers, this fun-filled night will have to be reduced, or even cancelled! Please go to the sign-up genius if you can volunteer 30 minutes of your time.

Did you know that Rosedale loves our volunteers? Every year, we have a "Volunteer Tea" to honor all those people who work behind the scenes and do so much for students and staff. From room parents, to party planners, to event coordinators, our volunteers do so many things to help our students have a special experience at Rosedale. This year our theme was "You are the Stars" and we turned our library into a red carpet extravaganza. Because of our volunteers...Great things are happening at Rosedale! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Arts,Beats,Eats & Books

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! Last week, we held our annual Arts, Beats, Eats & Books event! This was my 6th one at Rosedale and I feel like it gets bigger and better every year. I'm so impressed with our student performances in music and art and the book fair and ice cream desserts from PTA gave it all a very festive feel! These are the moments that our students and parents remember for many years and where memories are made. I hope all of our students are making good memories at Rosedale and I'm grateful to all the staff and volunteers who made the event such a big success!


Wednesday, May 24: Volunteer Tea in the Library 2:45-3:45 pm
Friday, May 26: PTA Popcorn Friday (50 cents a bag)

Monday, May 29: No School for Memorial Day
Thursday, June 1: Kindergarten Round Up 
Friday, June 2: Spring Fling/Basket Raffle 6:00-8:00 pm

Sheila O'Kane - Principal of Hayes Elementary

I have four wonderful adult children, Erica, Leah, Sara and AJ. I also have a grandson named Ian, who is the center of my universe. I have a fun loving 5 month old German Short-haired Pointer named Greta that keeps me very busy! I do anything outdoors, from kayaking and mountain biking in the summer to snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter. I treasure my position at Hayes Elementary as principal because of it's amazing staff and wonderful children. 

My goal this year was to get acclimated, but next year I hope to provide more support for student learning. It's hard to choose only five words to describe LPS or Hayes. 

I have found LPS to be a collaborative and supportive district and Hayes Elementary to be the same. I find Hayes to also be dedicated, generous and above all, HAPPY!

  • The PTA would like to thank all the volunteers who helped during our Arts, Beats, Eats & Books event!! 
  • We would like to thank Masri Orthodontics for their very generous ice cream donation at our Ice cream social.

Did you know that Rosedale has a reading program called ELVs? (Early Literacy Volunteers) The program is coordinated by Tracey Jakubowski and partners up trained adults from the community (Like the Livonia Rotary Club) and matches them with students for additional reading time each week. All participants go through a background check and training process prior to starting at the school. Our students love their time with their ELVs and we recently had our end of the year celebration party. Great things are happening at Rosedale! 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Power of YET

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This week, our staff discussed the topic of Growth Mindset and the power of the word YET. In a Growth Mindset model, it is assumed that success in a project depends on one's effort and work and not on their "natural ability". We focused on our language as we talk with students who may say things like "I'm not good at math" or "I'm not good at art". By adding the word "yet" to those sentences, we are showing that with hard work and determination we CAN be good at any area we wish. When we have a Growth Mindset we are taking control of our goals and taking steps toward achieving them. That's something that can help students and adults! 

photo credit: Edutopia


Wednesday, May 17: Arts,Beats,Eats & Books event 6:00-8:00 pm (All students should report to their classrooms 15 minutes prior to their performance times - see flyer for performance times)

Monday, May 22: After School Spanish
Wednesday, May 24: Volunteer Tea in the Library 2:45-3:45 pm
Friday, May 26: PTA Popcorn Friday

Monday, May 29: No School for Memorial Day
Thursday, June 1: Kindergarten Round Up
Friday, June 2: Spring Fling/Basket Raffle 6:00-8:00 pm

Laura Carino - Principal of Buchanan Elementary
I am the proud mom of 3 awesome kiddos, Carter (age 10), Catelyn (age 8), and Courtney, (age 5). I am happily married to my husband, Chris, for the past 13 (well almost, as of Memorial Day weekend) years! Carter keeps us very busy being on a swim team and the girls are active in gymnastics. It seems like we are always running somewhere with one of them! We built our home 3 years ago in South Lyon and have a cat and 2 guinea pigs. When I'm not at work, I enjoy being outside, running, swimming in our pool, and just spending time with my family.

I have been the principal of Buchanan Elementary for the past 4 years! I truly believe that I have the best job in the world and love watching the amazing teaching and learning happening in each classroom. Prior to coming to Buchanan, I was the lead teacher at an elementary school in Ann Arbor. Next year, I will be transitioning to the 5/6 world and starting on my new professional journey as principal of Cooper Upper Elementary School. Although I will miss Buchanan, I am very eager to begin building relationships with the students, staff, and families at Cooper next year.

One of my professional goals for next year is to learn what makes the kids, staff, and parents/guardians most proud about Cooper so we can honor traditions and celebrate successes. I also hope to learn more about a few local doctoral programs and potentially enroll in one to further my own education.

5 words that represent Buchanan include: Excellence, Opportunity, Innovation, Commitment, and Passion.

  • The PTA will be serving ice cream in the court yard during our Arts,Beats,Eats & Books event on Wednesday, May 17! 
  • With much gratitude and appreciation we would like to thank On The Border and Mangia's in Westland for providing lunches for our Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. Because of their generosity we were able to provide wonderful lunches for our amazing staff at Rosedale!! THANK YOU!!

Did you know that Fidget Spinners are being restricted from the school? While they are fun devices and can keep children busy for hours (my own daughters have them), they can be a distraction to the learning environment. They also are causing many issues on the playgrounds with students fighting over lost devices. Unless your child has specific permission from their teacher, we are asking that all Fidget Spinners remain at home and not at school. Thank you for support and cooperation. Great things are happening at Rosedale!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Teacher Appreciation

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This is the time of the year that we recognize educators through Teacher Appreciation activities. I know our PTA will be providing meals and other goodies for our teachers all week long. As a child, I didn't recognize how much work my teachers put in to make sure that I succeeded. As an adult, I understand and appreciate how hard our teachers work for students every day. When the school day ends, our teachers are still hard at work creating lessons and grading assignments. During the summer months, teachers continue to plan, read educational books and attend classes. I've always said that teaching is more than a profession, it is a calling. Thank you to our teachers and ALL the dedicated workers in our school. You are making a difference!


Friday, May 12: PTA Popcorn Friday (50 cents a bag)
                          Yearbooks go home (Additional yearbooks will be on sale during the Arts, Beats, Eats & Books event)

Wednesday, May 17: Arts,Beats, Eats & Books 6:00-8:00 pm (All students will perform during their designated times - flyers go home this week)

Wednesday, May 24: Volunteer Tea in the Library 2:45-3:45 pm
Friday, May 26: PTA Popcorn Friday (50 cents a bag)

Dr. Daniel Daniels - Principal of Kennedy Elementary
First and foremost, I am a mom to three amazing daughters.  My adopted daughter, Samantha is 24 years old and lives with her husband in Westland. My two younger daughters, Chloe (10) and Ava (8), keep me busy with dance, gymnastics, swimming and piano.  We reside in Canton and the girls attend Plymouth- Canton Schools. My immediate family all live close by and we weekly have big Italian dinners at my parents' home in Plymouth.  Something fun for me is that my sister is the Interventionist at Johnson Upper Elementary, so we share a love for LPS!

I had the opportunity to teach two years in the outer banks of North Carolina before calling LPS my home...I have been honored to work in this district for 15 years. I spent my first four years at Taylor and Roosevelt Elementary, as a classroom teacher.  I then had the opportunity to coordinate and oversee the Elementary Language Arts Curriculum through Central Office.  After completing my Ph.D. that year, I received the principalship at Randolph Elementary. Randolph was my home for 5 years. From Randolph I landed at Kennedy! Kennedy has been my home for 5 years ,and it has been an amazing experience.  I have grown as a leader and educator in the halls of the Kennedy Stars!

My personal goal is to live a healthy lifestyle that involves healthy eating and fitness! I love to workout and exercise and my new favorite has been Cycle Bar in Northville.  My professional goal is to merge effectively and successfully the approximately 75 new Garfield students that will be attending Kennedy next year. 2017-2018 will be an exciting year as our school grows substantially in numbers and hearts!

Kennedy Five Words:  Leading, Learning, Growing, Loving, Supporting

  • Congratulations to our newly elected PTA executive board for the 2017-2018 school year!
President:  Krissy Bisinger
1st Vice President:  Rhonda Simko
2nd Vice President:  Cara Williams
Treasurer:  Dave Williams
Recording Secretary:  Kathy Spencer-Reister
Corresponding Secretary:  Judy Franklin

Did you know that ALL of our Rosedale students will be performing at our Arts,Beats,Eats & Books event?? Each grade level will perform a music showcase in the gym during their designated times. Also, artwork from ALL classrooms will be on display throughout the building. In addition, we will have our book fair and the PTA will be serving ice cream in the courtyard. It's guaranteed to be a fun night night for everyone. Great things are happening at Rosedale! 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Making a Difference

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This week, I had the pleasure to attend the Livonia Youth Making a Difference Ceremony. Each year, the district recognizes the service projects that students from across the district perform. At the event, there were poster boards on display showcasing the projects from our second, third, and fourth grade classrooms. Having the mayor and superintendent there showed the students how important this event was and how important service projects are. My hope is that our students find a love of service that will last a lifetime! Thank you to everyone who helped with a project and to those who model service through volunteering. Our students are watching and learning from you!


Thursday, May 4: Final PTA Meeting (Election Night) 6:30 pm (Pizza & Childcare Provided)

Friday, May 12: Yearbooks go home

Wednesday, May 17: Arts, Beats, Eats & Books 6:00 - 8:00 pm (ALL students will perform a music concert, artwork will be on display throughout the building, the PTA will be serving ice cream, and the library will be hosting a book fair)  Be watching for the flyer!!

Lora Boka - Principal of Webster Elementary
My name is Lora Boka and I have had the privilege of leading Webster Elementary for the last five years. I found my leadership role at Webster accidentally but have been forever changed by our school, it’s purpose and the students and staff that I get to partner with each day. I have an extensive background and experiences in Special Education and thought that my educational career would stay in this lane. My strong beliefs in individualization and advocacy make Webster the perfect match for my skill set. I earned my undergraduate degree in Special Education from Central Michigan University and my Master’s, Education Specialist and Special Education Director Certification from Wayne State University. I have been a proud Livonia Educator for 25 years. I met my husband of 21 years in the halls of Cooper Elementary!

I am a passionate educator but my role as a mother is my ultimate pride and joy. I am the proud mother of 3 pretty cool kids. I am a hockey mom and have raised two accomplished hockey players. Nicholas is currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan (#27 on defense for the Michigan Hockey Team) and has been drafted by the Minnesota Wild. Lucas is a senior in high school this year and lives in Windsor in order to play for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL (#61 forward). His draft year is this year. Finally, our beautiful daughter Allison is in 8th grade and enjoys many activities and sports. Her most precious gift is her voice.

My personal goal this year is to be available to the students and staff that I serve. My professional goals include being collaborative and growing in my role as an instructional coach.

Five words that describe Webster: Caring, Challenging, Unique, Community and Perseverance

  • Final PTA Meeting Thursday, May 4 at 6:30 pm in the Rosedale Library
  • The PTA will be celebrating Teacher Appreciation with fun events during the week of May 8
  • PTA Popcorn will be on sale Friday, May 12 for 50 cents a bag

Did you know that our 2nd grade students recently had their "Talking Zoo" program? It's great way for students to learn research, writing, and speaking skills all in one project. I was amazed at dedication the students showed in learning about their animals and it was fun to see them in their costumes for the final performance. Thanks to the teachers, parents, and volunteers who made the event possible. Great things are happening at Rosedale!