News & Notes - 12/21/23 Grosse Pointe Times

Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 19, 2023


Students honored for academic achievement
During an Oct. 24 Grosse Pointe Board of Education meeting, National Merit Award finalists and commended students were recognized.

Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services Roy Bishop Jr. said all high school juniors in the United States — an estimated 1.5 million — take the PSAT, or Preliminary SAT. Of those students, he said the College Board identifies roughly 34,000 students who are to be commended and 16,000 who are classified as semifinalists, which works out to equate to the top 2.2% of test-takers and the top 1.1% of test-takers, respectively. Bishop said several students from Grosse Pointe North and Grosse Pointe South high schools were among those commended: Vera Bresser, Justin Conn, Sean DeGrand, Benjamin Grand, Dagueneau Jewell, Paul Kaminski, Julia Liagre, Aakash Nagori, Liam Raether, Massimo Todesco and Cassidy Woolums. The semifinalists were Madeline Kitchen, Andres Linke and Sage Porter.

Two students were also recipients of the National African American Recognition Award, which Bishop said is “an honor for academically exceptional African American students who have scored in the top 10% of the state on the PSAT or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP exams by their junior year.” To qualify for this award, he said students also need to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Recipients of the National African American Recognition Award were Gianna Lloyd and Kaleb Overton.

While not all the recipients of these honors were able to attend the meeting, those who were present were called to the stage to be recognized by school officials and meeting attendees.


Hear talks, support art organization
The Grosse Pointe Artists Association’s lecture series, Your Old Mansion, continues with a lecture at 2 p.m. Jan. 14 at The War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Farms. Jonathan Quint, a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, will discuss important figures and events in colonial Detroit. The series is a fundraiser for the nonprofit GPAA, which provides free art programs to veterans, seniors and students. To register or for more information, visit


Nominations being accepted
Grosse Pointe Farms-based nonprofit Kevin’s Song — which is dedicated to suicide prevention and offering hope and healing to survivors — is seeking nominees for its 2024 Saving a Life award. The honor is given to an individual or an organization that has shown exceptional commitment to community service in suicide prevention.

“Our ‘Saving the Life Award’ celebrates those who are at the forefront of suicide prevention, embodying our shared commitment for a future that is free from suicide,” Kevin’s Song Executive Director Jennifer Fair Margraf said in a press release. “There are so many people across the state who go above and beyond when it comes to addressing this complex issue and its impact. We hope to learn more about their efforts and encourage Michiganders to submit a nomination for someone deserving in their community.”

Nominations will be accepted online through Jan. 4 at The winner will be recognized during the eighth annual Kevin’s Song Conference on Suicide: Continuing the Conversation Jan. 25-27 at the Saint John’s Resort in Plymouth. For more information about the conference, visit the Kevin’s Song website.


Group names officers
The Louisa St. Clair Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution recently named its officers for 2023-24. They are, from left and seated, Recording Secretary Mary “Molly” Clark, Vice Regent Patty Drury, Regent Dorothea “Dot” Martin, Chaplain Jane Turnbull and Corresponding Secretary PJ King Steeby, and, standing, from left, Financial Secretary Peggy King Scully, Registrar Rebecca von Wormer, Historian Ellisse Thompson, Treasurer Deann Newman, Organizing Secretary Barbara Davis, Past Regent Kay Burt Wilson, Director Patti Theros and Director Betty McQueen. Not pictured are Librarian Julie Thompson, Past Regent Kris Fontichiaro and Past Regent Andi Weyhing. According to a press release, the nonprofit, non-political women’s service organization DAR has served the community for more than 100 years “with a particular focus on education, historical preservation, and patriotism.”


Take a walk
The Helm at the Boll Life Center, 158 Ridge Road in Grosse Pointe Farms, is offering a six-week session of the Arthritis Foundation program, Walk with Ease, from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursdays from Jan. 18 to March 28. The program, which will be conducted indoors, is designed to get participants started on a walking program. Walking has been shown to reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness from arthritis, as well as improve overall health. Participants must be able to walk for 10 minutes at a time. This program is free, but participants must register for all six sessions. To register or for more information, call (313) 882-9600 or visit


Short plays needed
Through midnight Dec. 31, Grosse Pointe Theatre will be accepting entries for its 2024 Take Ten: Ten-Minute Play Festival, which will be staged June 13-15. This year’s theme is “What if…” All plays must incorporate this theme and, according to a press release, “show how the main character (protagonist) or the character causing conflict (antagonist) consider several well- thought-out optional solutions to the issues they’re facing, either individually or together.”

Scripts must be properly formatted and no longer than seven to 10 pages. The show should be set in contemporary times, limited to a cast of two to four people. It should feature minimal set, makeup, prop and costume needs, and there should be no scene breaks.

There’s no fee to enter, but the actors and director of selected plays must be members of GPT by the time of the performance; annual membership dues are $50. The playwright’s identifying information — name, address, email and phone number — should only appear on the email cover sheet and not anywhere on the script. Plays should be emailed to For more information, visit


Families invited
Grosse Pointe Theatre’s Youth on Stage will present the musical “Annie Jr.” at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16 and 1 p.m. Dec. 17 at Pierce Middle School on Kercheval Avenue in Grosse Pointe Park. There will also be a special sensory-friendly production at 1 p.m. Dec. 16. For tickets or more information, call (313) 881-4004 or visit