Chemistry Class Launches Balloons

The Chemistry Class launches their home-made hot air balloons, June 02, 2003. More photos on the Science page.

The AAW Instrumental Music Department Presents:

The Cat and the Canary

A Silent film with original music composed by AAW Students Joelle Harding, Dale Mihalovich, Percy Luckett, Mark Lawrence, Philip Smith, and Ben Hastings.

Where: AAW

When: Thursday Evening, May 29, 7:00 p.m. (over by 8:45)

The AAW Instrumental Music Department Presents: $4 at the Door, AAW Students are free, Children Under 12 are free (Not recommended for younger children who cannot read.)

This is a 1927 Silent Horror/Comedy Film, with our own original music replacing the original score. This is the presentation of a project that has taken us 6 months to complete.

Dale Mihalovich wins gold at National Level Scholastic Art Competition

Earlier this year Dale received a Gold Key award in the regional level Scholastic Art Exhibition in the Colored Pencil category, grade level 7-9. (The work was done last year, when Dale was in the 9th grade.) As the top piece in that category, Dale's drawing was sent to New York for the national show. Dale has received a Gold Award in the national show.

There were 15,000 pieces from around the country that were sent to New York. Each of those pieces was the top piece in their category at the regional level. Out of that group, only 500 (including Dale's) were selected for the national show.

Congratulations, Dale!

Forming Ties with School in Ghana

Mr. Michael Alandu visited students in Ms. Bucci's second hour history class on March 12, 2003, to discuss forming a relationship with students at the high school where he studied. His high school, St. Charles Secondary School is located in Tamale, Ghana.

While visiting with the class, he talked about his own life growing up in Ghana, including describing the two mile walk with no shoes to school, then back home for lunch, back to school again, and finally back home. He also described having to fetch water for the family, and the types of meals they ate, as well as the education system in general.

Photos: Michael Alandu talks to students in history class and leads the class in an African game similar to Simon Says.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Assembly

On Thursday, February 13, 2003, a special assembly dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. took place in the auditorium. This hip and happenin' event was compiled of music, poems and speeches from the Peer Mediation Team, the Vocal Music Division, and from various students. Afterwards, a muslin banner was set out and all students had the chance to put their painty hands on it to show unity. Mr. Luedtke set out a very nice human car wash for us.

AAW Featured in Detroit News

Detroit news had a lengthy article about our school, featuring interviews with Rajae, Emilie, Benjamin, and Amanda, as well as Ms. Dickens and Mr. Walker. You can read the entire article here.*

(*Editor's note: This news article is no longer available. 5/21/13)

Student to perform on Fox2 Saturday, December 21st, 2002

This Saturday morning, Ms. Martin will be taking about 12 students from show choir to perform as the house band on the Fox 2 News Morning Show. They will perform at least 2 full songs, and will be shown as a teaser during several commercial breaks. They will actually be performing inside the studio and will be a continuing part of the whole show. If any of you feel like getting up early (or setting up a tape to record Friday night!) on your first day of the holiday break, they should be on starting around 7:30 AM!

Rockettes visit AAW

On Friday, December 20th, two of the Rockettes visited the Arts Academy.

Connected with the visit, they donated a hundred pairs of shoes to the dance and theatre departments at our school! After a break for lunch, students performed in an assembly for the rest of the afternoon.

WORD: Nov 14th 2002

On the afternoon of November 14, the Jewish Ensemble Theater (JET) performed "Word" at the Arts Academy in the Woods. "Word" was written to help students understand the dynamics and dangers of bullying. This entertaining and engaging play challenges students to avoid stereotypes and hurtful remarks and it will challenge our school community to become a "bully-free zone."

Our Peer Mediation team organized, promoted and introduced the performance. Many of the conflicts that we were asked to help resolve are based on name-calling and harassment. We hope that this play is the first of many pro-active/preventative activities that we will conduct during the year.

This presentation consisted of a performance and short follow up discussion that lasted for about an hour. It also included a short introduction by our Peer Mediators.

In Our Own Voices

On September 7th, 2002, students from the Arts Academy in the Woods loaded instruments, costumes, sound equipment and themselves into two buses headed for New York City. They took part in a youth conference at the United Nations, and watched as the Swiss flag was raised at the UN for the first time ever. They performed monologues, dances, and music at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. They saw Radio City Music Hall, the Cloisters, the Empire State Building, and Chinatown. They watched a performance of Aida, and had a spontaneous chance to perform afterwards for Simone, the female lead in the musical, in the middle of Broadway.

On September 11th, they sang at a private mass for the families of the victims of the 9/11 tragedy, in St. Peter's Cathedral. Then, while the names of each of the victims were being called out, they were led past the police barricades to Ground Zero, where they performed one last time. Students stood, singing, with tears streaming down their faces. And policemen, also in tears, stopped to listen.

This is their story.

In Our Own Voices
New York City, Sept. 2002
Updated 24 Nov 02

(Web documentary about the Art Academy's trip to Ground Zero.)

It's Up 2U: Oct 24 2002

(click the photo to launch video clip)

Student Travels with Dance Camp

Sophomore Scott Schenburn spent the month of July traveling with a dance camp. He helped major dance instructors teach different types of dances to students in Michigan, Myrtle Beach, Bronson, and Bilioxi.

"Youth Under Construction"

Sophomore Philip Smith performed earlier this summer with Mello-D's "Youth Under Construction" at the Second City Theater. This project blends pop and hip hop beats with lyrics of wisdom. (This is an all ages show - no foul language or inappropriate themes.)


Locusnovus, an online synthesis of text and motion, is one of four finalists in the art category of the FlashForward2003 Film Festival.* Graphics Instructor Audrey Mantey is a contributing artist to this website.

(*Editor's Note: This webpage is no longer available. 5/21/13)

"Blue Lake Southern Winds"

Benjamin Hastings will leave on June 6th for a week on intensive rehearsal at Blue Lake camp, in preparation for the June 13th departure of the "Blue Lake Southern Winds" on an International tour. Students will spend three weeks performing in Italy, France and Spain. They will be housed entirely by host families in the cities and towns they visit.

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Scholarship Winners

Instrumentalists Nora Wright, Katy Richardson, Laurel Fraczkowski, and Peter Pearson have all won scholarships to attend Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp this summer. Way to go - have a great time!

Windsor Symphony Orchestra

Mr. Boyd, instrumental music teacher, recently played Principal Bassoon with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra for a subscription concert, and for a family concert which included Peter and the Wolf and Schubert’s Symphony #5. He is a regular member of the Dearborn Symphony also, and they just finished their season with the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique.

Dance Competitions

Sophomore Katherine McMillan performed at two dance competitions during the last two weekends: Starpower* and Hall of Fame. She performed a solo, trio and three group numbers, all of which received Platinum or High Gold Awards. Her lyrical solo received Platinum level marks at both competitions, and she placed in the top overall levels for her solo at both competitions. She also received one of several special judges award at Starpower: "Dances on Air" for her lyrical solo performance of Paper Cup.

(*Editor's Note: This webpage is no longer available. 5/21/13)

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Scholarship Winner

Based on her art portfolio, freshman Kari Bellant has been awarded a $400 scholarship to attend Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. For two weeks in July, Kari will study a wide variety of visual arts with top instructors from across the state.

Photography Exhibit

Staff member Renee Landyut has a beautiful photography exhibit running the entire month of May at the Borders Bookstore in Grosse Pointe. The photos are in the coffee shop inside the bookstore.

Solo and Ensemble Festival: Instrumental Music

This year’s State Solo and Ensemble Festival took place at Harrison High School, in Farmington. The AAW was represented by four students this year. Freshman Laurel Fraczkowski took a “Superior” rating on the French Horn. Peter Pearson, also a Freshman, took home an “Excellent” rating for his first time out at State. Sophomores Jackie Bernat and Ben Hastings received superior ratings for their performances at the Proficiency One level, and received some great feedback from professional judges. Excellent work, folks!

Oakland Youth Symphony Concerto Competition

Congratulations to Sophomore Katy Richardson for winning the Oakland Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, in the Senior Division. Katy played the 3rd Violin Concerto of Camille Saint-Saens, and beat out “a lot of Juniors and Seniors”! Ms. Richardson played the Concerto at the Spring Instrumental Music concert on March 27, and we all know why she was chosen for this really special honor: She was fabulous! Way to go, Katy. Keep going!

Solo & Ensemble Festival: Vocal Music

On Saturday, April 12th, freshman Kirsten Peninger participated in the State level Solo & Ensemble Festival hosted by the Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) at the U of M - Flint campus. Kirsten qualified for State Solo & Ensemble in February, where she received a First Division rating at the regional level. Kirsten performed two pieces and completed the sight reading portion to earn another First Division rating!!! Congratulations Kirsten!

University of Michigan Summer Program

Amanda Pawlowicz was accepted to the University of Michigan Summer Program which takes place July 6-19, in Ann Arbor. She will be intensively studying ballet, modern, and jazz, and will be training with some of the university’s finest professors including Gay Delanghe, former chair of the University of Michigan Dance Dept. and the dance program at the Interlochen Arts Camp.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Summer Program

Whisper Bateman, Heather Romeo, Christina Pruess, Katherine McMillan and Trina Mannino were all accepted by audition to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Summer Program in New York. The program is an 8 week intensive which focuses on ballet, modern and jazz.

Miss Teen St. Clair Shores Scholarship Pageant

Christina Pruess recently entered the Miss Teen St. Clair Shores Scholarship Pageant. She competed against 8 other girls and won the title and a Scholarship. She will now go on to make appearances and represent the city of St. Clair Shores.


Samantha Shelton, AAW Dance Director, will be returning to teach for the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive* at the Detroit Opera House this summer. She has taught for the program for the past 5 years and has choreographed several pieces for them and staged several ballets from the company’s classical repertoire. This summer she has been asked to choreograph another work and to stage another ballet. The performance will be on Friday, July, 25th at the Detroit Opera House. Samantha has also been invited to Boston at the end of March to choreograph a piece for the Walnut Hill School of the Performing Arts.

(*Editor's Note: This webpage is no longer available. 5/21/13)

Dance Students accepted into Summer Programs

A number of AAW dance students have been accepted into summer programs:

Brandon Koepsell received a full scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive in New York. This is one of the most pretigious programs in the nations and one of the most difficult to be accepted.

Trina Mannino was accepted to the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive in Detroit, the Royal Winnipeg Summer Program in Canada, the Joffrey Summer Program in New York and the Joffrey Midwest program in Flint.

Katherine McMillan was accepted to the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive in Detroit, Blue Lake, the Joffrey Program in New York and received a scholarship to the Interlochen Arts Camp. She will be attending the ABT program in Detroit this summer.

Brittany Hoyles and Whisper Bateman, and Amanda Poole were all accepted to the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive at the Detroit Opera House.

Amanda Poole, Megan Smallridge, and Amy VanBaceleare were accepted to the Blue Lake Dance Program in Muskegon, Michigan.

American Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet are some of the top ballet companies in the nation/Canada and their training programs are exceptional. Many congratulations should go to these dancers.

Videoformes Festival

Graphics Instructor Audrey Mantey has had a digital media piece accepted into the Violence Online Project. As part of this, her work will be shown this spring at the Videoformes Festival in France, and at the Chiang Mai 1st New Media Art Festival (Thailand).

Melissa Hates Me at the Wired Frog

Students James Waldecker, Domenic Cam and Adam Winn will be performing with their jam rock band, Melissa Hates Me, 14 February 2003 at 6:45 at the Wired Frog,* located at 8 1/2 Mile and Gratiot.

(*Editor's Note: This webpage is no longer available. 5/21/13)

Scholastic Art Awards

Congratulations to two of our students who are award winners in the Scholastic Art Awards show! Dale Mihalovich is a Gold Key winner in the Drawing/Pencil category, and Dorian Palazzola is a Silver Key winner in the Drawing/Pastel category. More information and the winning entries can be found on the Visual Arts page of our website.

Student's Art Work accepted for St. Clair Shores Calendar

James Dylan Waldecker was one of several young people to receive a proclamation from Curt L. Dumas, Jr, Mayor of St. Clair Shores for contribution of his art work to the 2002 City Calendar.*

(*Editor's Note: This webpage is no longer available. 5/21/13)

"Once Upon A Mattress"

Kirsten Peninger has been cast as Lady Lucille in the upcoming Richmond Community Theatre production of "Once Upon A Mattress." Show dates are February 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, and 23, 2003.

Miss Junior America State Finals

Congratulations to Amanda Adams, who will be in the state finals for the Miss Junior America pageant in February, for Michigan!

"For Our Daughters"

Student Michelle Blake has been cast in the play "For Our Daughters" at The Karmano's Cancer Institute in South Field. Shows are scheduled for early may in several locations.

"The Nutcracker"

Crystal Lukowski performed in the 2002 production of "The Nutcracker" with the Cincinnati Ballet. Performances were at the Detroit Opera House, Dec 5-15, and were accompanied by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

"The Marriage of Psyche"

Sophomore Christian Walker performed as King in the Class Act production of "The Marriage of Psyche" Dec 13 &14 in Auburn Hills.

"Tour of the Mongoose"

Freshman Gia Wedyke performed as a bellydancer for Shakira's "Tour of the Mongoose" concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Nov 22nd.

Port Huron Nutcracker Ballet Theater

Student Katherine McMillan will be performing in several roles (Flower Pas de Quatre, Snowflake, Mirliton, and Arabian understudy) with the Port Huron Nutcracker Ballet Theater, Dec 13, 14, and 15 at the McMorran Place Auditorium.

"The Importance of Being Earnest"

Student Kirsten Peninger has been cast as Cecily in "The Importance of Being Earnest" at the Richmond Community Theatre. Show dates are Nov. 8,9,10, 15, 16 and 17.

"Pippi Longstocking"

Student Claire Jakubiszyn will be performing as Mrs. Prysselius in the Baldwin Theatre's production of "Pippi Longstocking". Show dates are Dec 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Students perform at DIA

The Arts Academy dance troupe performed at the DIA, performing "Hymn" in the Kresge Court for the VVIP's. They were well received by the audience.

Dearborn Youth Symphony

Student Nora Wright has been accepted into the Dearborn Youth Symphony, after auditioning on violin September 4th.

Miss Teen USA

Student Tiffany McCabe is taking part in the Miss Teen USA for Michigan. "The Arts Academy will be helping me reach my goal." Good luck Tiffany!

Michigan Renaissance Festival

Students Peggy Kittila and Claire Jakubiszyn, both participants in Mr. Boyd's Musica Antiqua group, have accepted paid positions as musicians in the Michigan Renaissance Festival.

Michigan Art Education Association Memorial Endowment Fund/Art Educator Scholarship

Art Instructor Rick Jacobi has been selected by a unanimous decision as the recipient of the 2002 Michigan Art Education Association Memorial Endowment Fund/Art Educator Scholarship. There is only one of these awarded per year.

"Le Corsaire"

Amy Van Becelaere, Emilie Lewandowski, Amanda Pawlowicz and Amanda Poole auditioned and won roles with the American Ballet Theatre's local production of the French Ballet, "Le Corsaire." They performed at the Detroit Opera House April 4th - 7th, 2002.

Lake St. Claire Symphony Orchestra

Ben Hastings auditioned and won a spot as a student apprentice with the Lake St. Claire Symphony Orchestra, playing trombone.