News & Blog

Family Newsletter – May. 6, 2016

5th Graders Startled by a Dragon

4th and 5th Grade Art and Music Night

The 4th and 5th grade Art and Music Night was full of surprises and laughter, but the music and singing were still the highlight. It was an amazing performance by our students!
+ More photos


Letter from the Head of School

Dear Parents,

Lisa PsarouthakisAs promised, I’ll be sharing staffing updates with you in our weekly newsletter, and I’m delighted to write to you about another position. Lisa Psarouthakis will be Emerson’s new Director of Admissions, starting this July.

Many of you have had the pleasure of knowing Lisa as Emerson’s Assistant to the Head of School, a role she has successfully filled since 2006. This has afforded her the opportunity to observe admissions firsthand. During her interview, she impressed all of us with her deep research into enrollment trends and new initiatives, and it is clear that she is eager and ready to take on the challenges of this new position. Lisa also possesses outstanding interpersonal skills that will enable her to serve as an excellent first point of contact for new families.

Lisa has made many strong connections with our community partners and has provided numerous tours of our school. She has served as liaison for parents and secondary school representatives, helping to ensure that Emerson’s many graduates are prepared for their next steps. Additionally, Lisa has been acting secretary of the Board of Trustees during her tenure. She has also held various leadership positions at Emerson, including chair of the Health and Safety Committee, member of the Risk Task Force, and member of the Buildings and Grounds Committee. And, under her direction, Emerson has implemented ALICE protocol training for the safety of our students and employees.

Prior to Emerson, Lisa served as a substitute teacher for Ann Arbor Public Schools, as well as Research Associate for the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Legal Assistant for the offices of Miller, Canfield, Paddock, and Stone. Lisa has a Bachelors of General Studies and a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. She is active in the Ann Arbor Rowing Club, and has been a sustaining member of Junior League of Ann Arbor since 1999. Please welcome Lisa into her new role!

With Lisa’s move into the new position, we will be doing some adjusting to the available staff positions at Emerson. Please keep an eye on the Employment page of our website, and we will provide new listings soon.

Take care,

John Huber

All School News and Info

Parents living it up at the luau
Thank You Parents for the Lunch!

Sending out a very big thank you to the Emerson parents who helped with the Teacher Appreciation Luau on Tuesday. The teachers had a wonderful time together and really appreciated all of the yummy food you all provided. It was a lovely feast with pulled pork and a large variety of Hawaiian dishes as well as your own specialties. Thank you also for those who were able to volunteer. In the end, there were plenty of parents to help serve the food and all classrooms were covered so that teachers were able to eat together. We couldn’t have done it without you! Don’t forget, if you sent containers or serving utensils, please be sure to stop by the kitchen to pick them up. Mahalo! — Michelle Weaver, Chair

And a special thank you from all of the faculty and staff who felt spoiled, loved, and full after one of the favorite events of the year!

May ESPO Meeting Has Been Rescheduled

Now on Wednesday, May 11 at 8:30am (Previously on May 10)

No other changes other than the date.

Submit Yearbook Ads and Dedications by May 13

Extended From Original May 2 Deadline

In addition to getting signatures, students look forward to seeing the ads their families create for them. You can purchase space in this year’s book at the following rates:

  • Full Page (8.5”w x 11”h): $150
  • Half Page (8.5”w x 5.5”h): $80
  • Quarter Page (4.25”w x 5.5”h): $45
  • Eighth Page (4.25”w x 2.25”h, roughly business card): $25

8th Graders Offered Complimentary Farewell Ad

Every 8th grade student is offered a complimentary quarter page ad space to leave a farewell message. Students can contact for questions or help.
+ More info and resources at

Annual Alumni Dinner and Concert

Thursday, May 19 at 5:30pm in the Middle School Commons

Our entire alumni community of former students, parents, and teachers is invited to join for some food, fun, and reminiscing. We’ll provide the Q’doba, and you provide the stories and connections. If your alum played in the Band or Orchestra, they’re invited to perform on stage with the middle schoolers in their final concert of the year.
+ Learn more and RSVP

Annual Fund Goal: 75% Parent Participation

$5, $500 or $5,000, Your Participation Is What Matters

Your annual fund gift helps fill the gap between tuition and the cost of running the school, and it gets us closer to the goal of 75% family participation. Please join the 100% of faculty, staff, and trustees who participate in the Annual Fund by making your tax-deductible gift at

Parent Participation by Grade

Thank you to the 51% of families who have already given to this year’s Annual Fund. Please join them.
K: 63%, 1st: 61%, 2nd: 56%, 3rd: 56%, 4th: 73%, 5th: 52%, 6th: 59%, 7th: 58%,8th: 32%

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

Check Children for Ticks

Springtime in Michigan means many things—beautiful flowers, warm breezes, cool rain… and occasionally, ticks. During past springs, the tick typically seen in or around Emerson’s nature center has been the American Dog Tick, the most common tick found in Michigan. This is not the kind of tick that carries Lyme disease. Spring is an active time for these critters, so checking your child for ticks after they have played outdoors is always recommended this time of year.

Charitable Drives Happening at Emerson

An Emerson education includes learning about service, and many students have taken the initiative to create drives that support causes they believe in.

School Art Supplies to Heart for Art Project

May 5–20, and at all Art & Music Events

Emerson 6th Grader Gabby Taichman is collecting art supplies to give children the ability to express their creativity. Art supplies will be donated to Peace Neighborhood in Ann Arbor and Grace Girls Home in Sri Lanka (our partnering school in Sri Lanka), who in turn will distribute them to children in need. Collection bins will be in the Middle School Commons and Fish Bowl May 5–19.
+ Learn more and see items requested by grade level

Middle School News and Info

2016-2017 1st Trimester Elective Sign-Ups

Opens Friday, May 6 at 3:00pm, Closes

Students can select their 2016-2017 first trimester electives beginning today, Friday, May 6 at 3:00pm. The elective forms will close at noon on Monday, May 16.
+ Elective descriptions
+ Directions on how to sign up

Band and Orchestra Concert

Thursday, May 19, Concert at 7:00pm

This special performance will feature the premier of Simple Springtime, written by Allen Borton, the band performance of Go West and William Tell Overture, and the orchestra performing The Magical World of Pixar. Then the band and orchestra will join together to perform An American Rhapsody in the style of Aaron Copland—a challenging and beautiful piece that we hope you will enjoy.

Community News and Events

Special Story Time with Melanie Zwegers

Saturday, May 7 at 11:00am at Nicola’s Books

Alumnae Melanie Zwegers (also daughter of Jennifer Conn) will be reading fromInto the Garden, her delightful book of poetry for young and old, as part of Nicola’s Books’ Children’s Book Week. 
+ Learn more

Shoes for Love Collection at Emerson

Now Through May 13 at Emerson

Shoes of any size and shape are being requested for the Shoes for Love collection. All shoes will go to orphanages in Ecuador, Burkina, Faso, Africa, or Haiti, and can be dropped off in a bin located in the Fishbowl.
+ Learn more

What Tomorrow Brings Documentary

Monday, May 9, 7:30pm at Greenhills School

Documentary filmmaker Beth Murphy will be screening her latest film, What Tomorrow Brings, which sheds light on the social and political issues affecting girls’ education in Afghanistan. It will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker. Admission is free, and there will be a small reception afterwards with Middle Eastern appetizers and time to mingle and meet Beth Murphy.
+ Learn more

Adopted Children’s Group

Now – May 12, 6:00pm–7:30pm, at Hands Across the Water

Hands Across the Water Adoption/Foster Care agency in Ann Arbor is hosting a five week Adopted Children’s Group at its agency April 14- May 12 for children ages-8-12 who have been adopted. There is a $20 fee and group sessions are on Thursdays from 6:00-7:30 p.m., which will consist of peer discussions and fun learning activities.
+ Learn more here or contact Julie Emerine

Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI) Camp

June 20–23 and July 11–14, Free

CSI Camp is a free weeklong camp through the Washtenaw Area Council for Children that teaches middle school kids everything there is to know about cyber safety.They will learn valuable skills, like how to stay safe and respectful on the Internet, with fun activities, games, and snacks.
+ Learn more