News & Blog

Family Newsletter – Jun. 3, 2016

Beat Saber Practice in Kindergarten Music

May the Beat Be With You

These kindergarten students are practicing rhythm using “beat sabers,” and working hard to become Jedi Knights of music. The beat is strong with these ones.
+ Watch the video on Facebook

Letter from the Head of School

Dear Parents,

With the school year racing toward completion, we have been busily securing some wonderful new teachers to fill positions made vacant by our retiring/relocating veterans. Hundreds have applied, giving us a robust pool of truly exceptional educators to select from. Please join me in welcoming these standouts to Emerson this fall:

  • Kara Schultz will be our new 7th gr. Language Arts teacher. Kara comes to us from A2Steam, where she taught both language arts and social studies, and she has taught in both public and charter schools in the Ann Arbor region. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from EMU, as well as a Masters in Elementary Education from the U. of M.
  • Lisa Wilson (no relation to Mike, Tim, Ruth, or Peggy) will serve as our Lower School Technology Integrator. Lisa will be moving from New Buffalo, where she has been a 4th and 5th grade teacher the past eight years. Lisa holds a Masters in Education from Walden University, with an emphasis on integrating technology in the classroom, along with a Bachelor’s in Theater from California State University. She has also been a Director of Development in Santa Monica, a 5th grade teacher in NYC, and a 4th and 5th grade teacher in Irvine, CA.
  • Wei Cao joins us as our new Chinese Teacher for grades 4-8. Wei is highly degreed, holding a Bachelor’s in Teaching English as a Second Language from Yunnan Normal University (China), a Masters in Education from Northern Kentucky University, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology and Sociology in Education from the University of Cincinnati. Wei has been a gifted and talented program instructor in Kentucky public schools, and currently she serves as Dean of Academic Affairs in the Annhua Chinese School here in Ann Arbor.
  • Matt Nolan has been selected as our 7th grade Science Teacher. Matt most recently returned from Portugal, where he taught 6th grade Science and Math at the Carlucci International American School in Lisbon. Matt has also taught science at elementary and middle school grades in California, and he also has been a naturalist in various schools on the west coast. Matt holds a Bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a Masters in Teaching from the University of San Francisco.

Additionally, I must share with you that two great teachers will not be returning at the close of this year. Jeri Elie, our incredible Middle School French teacher these past 26 years, has decided that the time is right to retire, so this will mark her last year at Emerson. I’ve had the pleasure of talking with Jeri about foreign language teaching and yearbook advising, and her deep care and great spirit have been evident in both domains. Jeri is also a tireless advocate for her students, and I have been moved by the depths of her care and attention. Au revoir, Jeri! Replacing Jeri in the Middle School will be our own Sarah Longcore, who will also continue to teach 2nd & 3rd grade French.

Finally, 6th grade Social Studies teacher Justyna Delaj has recently shared that she will be stepping down from Emerson at the end of this school year. Her husband has received a wonderful new position in NYC, and after careful consideration, she and her family have decided to make the move east. Though Justyna has only been at Emerson for two years, she’s made an incredible impact on our program and our students. We will miss you! A posting for her position will be made available soon.

Be well,

John Huber

All School News and Info

Pizza Lunch, Main Dish, and Milk End June 10

Please send a lunch with students the last week of school, June 13–16.

Your Gift Matters: New Tech for 4th Graders

Thank You for Helping Students Research, Collaborate, and Share

“The entire 4th grade is using Chromebooks in our classrooms thanks to the Annual Fund. They have been a transformative resource for Web-based research, as well as designing, writing, and presenting. Students are even using them in science, music, and Chinese classes. We’re proud—and incredibly grateful—to be part of a community that makes things like this possible.”
— Rob Bauman, Marchell Burgess, and Sarah Swiss, 4th Grade Teachers and Annual Fund donors

Just 63 More Families Participating = $25,000 Challenge Gift

Annual Fund gifts helps fill the gap between tuition and the cost of running the school. If you have already made a gift to the Annual Fund (giving to financial aid at the Auction counts) thank you very much. Your support is deeply appreciated! If you have not yet made your gift, please join the 100% of faculty, staff, and trustees who participate in the Annual Fund by giving at

Class Giving Percentages: K: 71%, 1st: 64%, 2nd: 59%, 3rd: 58%, 4th:78%, 5th: 57%, 6th: 64%, 7th: 64%, 8th: 34%

Convenient Ways to Give

  • Online: By credit card
  • Curbside drop-off: cash or check accepted from your car
  • Offices: Send cash or a check with your child to drop off
  • Call: Beth at 734.665.9005, x305


Childcare Available on June 17, Graduation Day

No School Except for Band and Orchestra Performing

The last official day of school for grades K-7 (excluding Band and Orchestra performing at graduation) will be Thursday, June 16, 2016. This day will be used for school-wide awards and events as we have done in the past. Then on Friday, June 17, our regularly scheduled graduation exercises will be held in the Arts and Innovation Center, with Band and Orchestra performing as before. Our 8th grade families (including siblings) are invited to attend graduation.

As this was a change to this year’s schedule, free childcare will be provided for Emerson students in grades K-7 on Friday, June 17 from 7:30am–12:00pm. Reservations are required.
+ Email Beth Muszkiewicz to reserve childcare for your child

Bone Marrow Drive for Jill Nolan

Pick Up a Marrow Test Kits in the Lower School Office

In March, Jill Nolan (1st Grade Teacher at Emerson School) was suddenly diagnosed with AML leukemia. Jill has conquered her first round of chemo and is now back in the hospital undergoing her second round of chemo. Now she needs to find a bone marrow donor.

You can find out if you are a qualified donor for Jill (age requirement is 18-44) by joining the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry, which is where the doctors are looking for Jill’s match. It is as simple as giving a saliva sample, and you can do it one of two ways:

  • Pick up a test kit in the Lower School Office. Once you complete your swab test and paperwork return it to the office, Emerson will send it back to Be The Match.
  • Online at Enter promo code “emerson16” to be associated with Jill’s drive.

+ Read the complete letter from Jill’s family here
+ Learn more about the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry and join


ESPO Positions Need Parent Volunteers

Help wanted. No experience required. Compensation: none. Benefits: the feeling that comes from volunteering and being involved with our Emerson community. There are a number of positions still available for next year’s ESPO. Particularly, we need a Co-Chair and Pizza Lunch Volunteer Chair and Co-Chair. What a great way to meet other families and to give back to the School.
+ More information and openings
+ Contact Chair Diana Rooks or Co-Chair Elizabeth for additional information


Middle School News

Summer All-School Read Options

Students Can Choose One of Five Books to Read

There are five summer book options, and students should choose at least one to read this summer. Students will join a discussion group for their book during the 2016 EPIC days in September. If they read more than one (or all five!) you can select your favorite and join that book club for the discussion. Buy the books through your favorite local or online retailer, or order one of these books through Emerson’s textbook retailer, MBS Direct at
+ See descriptions of all five books