Russ Gibb at Random

Memory lane

September 7, 2007

Dearborn School System. The newest scam.

Reminiscing about Great Students I've had over the years.

Do you know any of these ex students of mine ? And who did I forget ?

Please let me know.

Note: I spoke of one of my students who gave his life for our country in Vietnam. I used the name Chico Fernandez, to the best of my knowledge, Chico is still with us. The name I was thinking about was John Swan, an African-American student, who I had in Romulus; better known to all of us as "Suwannee Ace", please forgive me.

NOTE: I just received this note from an old friend. How sad. Message from: Dennis Nowaczck,

Dear Russ, Chico Fernandez did indeed die in Vietnam. I think it was in 1968. His name is on the wall. I hope all is well with you. Dennis

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20 Comment(s)

Regarding the Dearborn public schools, When it comes to money, Dr Artis and his supporters know how to take the taxpayers for a real ride. Whats new ?

--by Fed up on 9/7/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Russ, what ever happened to Jeff Rohwer ? I was in one of his videos about the school of the future .

Note, Sorry I missed Jeff "chen " Rohwer he was one of my top students and graduated from the Lucas Spielberg film school at the university of Southern California. Jeff lives in California and is working in Computer web site design and recently got married. russ

--by Bill Nelson on 9/7/07   Lives: Michigan  

Hey Russ, you forgot Michael Stone, fullbright winner and entering into Chinese International Relations work. Last I heard he's getting his graduate's degree in Agriculture and Forestry Studies at MSU and gearing up for working in China protecting trees and farmland with the government there. I hear his little brother's a real scoundrel though; he'll probably end up a lawyer. God help that kid.

--by Brian on 9/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Ok, Russ you forgot my name but you got my girlfriend. "Pumpkin" She is the the important one :) And my friend John Chase as well.

One crazy thing is that I've met your ex student from Romulus High, Gen. Twitchell a few times. he and I are alumni of the same fraternity at UM, Lambda Chi Alpha.

Ethan Rein

----- Original Mess

--by Ethan on 9/9/07   Lives: Michigan  

Russ you got it mostly right. I worked for A&E not Discovery. And My new son Eamonn's pissed that his sister, Fiona got a mention and he didn't! ;)

It was great seeing you. Patty will send you the pic we took at breakfast w/ you, me and the kids.

Be well. Best to Alberta.


--by Bob Kernen on 9/9/07   Lives: USA  

School scams.
Message from: Miller

Luxury charters buses for field trips? Aren't our buses good enough?
Russ, here is my question for you and your readers. How in the world do we justify leasing luxury chartered school buses for filed trips?
It was brought to my attention that one of our elementary schools is pushing a fund raiser to lease one of these super buses to go to Lansing. With all the financial hardships we have in this city, with as many folks who are about to lose their homes, we are now going to send our kids home to ask their parents to finance leasing luxury buses to take kids to our state capitol. Isn’t this just dandy!
How out of touch are the school teachers and administrators when we endorse sending our kids home to harass their family and neighbors for money to rent a luxury bus?
We have buses here in Dearborn that belongs to us, WE PAID FOR THEM! Why are we encouraging the leasing of buses when we have buses here to use? Sure they don’t have DVD players or reclining seats but do we really need this for a school field trip?
It’s pretty clear to me that the teachers at this elementary school on Silvery Lane should really take a step back and get a reality check! I have had it with these out of touch teachers and administrators who want to travel in luxury buses while we have perfectly good buses (according to the Michigan State Police, the safest and best maintained bus fleet in the county) sitting around doing nothing and drivers who are sitting at the ready for a fraction of the cost.
Why isn't our transportation dept. grieving this kind of BS? Don’t we have enough financial hardships and challenges without funding such stupidity?

--by Miller on 9/9/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Russ, I think Miller must be a bus driver. But his point is well taken. When do they rid the district of Artis ? Wonder how he will spin the fact that Crestwood and District #7 are doing better on the state tests than Dearborn ?

--by East of Greenfield. on 9/9/07   Lives: Dearborn  

The district no longer provides buses for field trips. We have to pay for them. I recently tried to rent two buses but was told there wasn't availability.

--by Teacher on 9/9/07   Lives: Dearborn  


We have requisitioned buses to go the fire department, Police dept, The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village. Sure, it took a few months to get the $$$ but we got the bus for the whole day.

I'm not a bus driver but do give a damn about those who do drive our buses, clean our buildings and maintain our infrastructure. They all deserve just as much regard and respect as teachers and administrators do (maybe more because they actually WORK for a living).

Usually it comes down to tapping some Perkins funds or building budget money. There are a ton of sources for money including the Dearborn Public Schools Education Foundation. Why don’t you teachers who want to support fund raising for our schools get involved in the Foundation who has pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into efforts like field trips and text books. Smoke on the Grill is coming up and they would LOVE to get your classes involved in helping to raise money to support out schools and efforts like field trips.

If we are going to spend money on buses, perhaps we can start pumping that money into our own coffers instead of those of private companies who charge twice as much.

--by The View from the School Bus on 9/9/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Dearborn school scams

The third week of August the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) scores were released, the MME replaced the annual MEAP test and Dearborn scored miserably. In Dearborn, as a whole, 38 percent of students met or exceeded state standards in math; 50 percent met or exceed state standards for reading; 47 percent met or exceeded state standards for science; and 37 percent met or exceeded standards for writing.

English as a second language is the result of these abominable scores.

Dearborn is in real trouble due to all of this and it is obvious why that according to the US Census bureau, Dearborn has lost 880 residents annually since July 2000. Nobody in their right mind would subject their family to this environment, let alone to the monolithic-Islamic influenced schools.

--by Teacher on 9/10/07   Lives: Detroit area  

I think it is fair to say that Dearborn’s experiment to infest our schools with the level and expense of bilingual education has failed horribly!

The political correctness and pandering to AAPAC has caused our district to lose hundreds of the brightest and best students along with their families.

When is someone at TenEyke going to grow a set and stop playacting those outside interests who seem intent on turning our district into a Hezbollah tanning camp? Its time to teach students IN ENGLISH! Arabic should not be spoken in class at all!

I am hard pressed to ever remember having Italian or Polish spoken in class back in the 70's so why are we giving Arabic students the free pass?

Fordson is turning out illiterate students by the Escalade full and EFHS and DHS are not far behind. How does any principal justify letting a student who didn’t meet the graduation requirements walk on graduation day? There are students at FHS that were lacking 2 whole credits and walked last year. Thats 4 failed classes. There are students who have been in the Dearborn system for 5 years who can’t read or write in English. These kids are coming our of Woodworth, Unis and Salina by the buss load! This is not acceptable in any stretch of the imagination.

--by ENGLISH....CAN YOU SPEAK IT? on 9/10/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Hi, Mr Gibb
How are you doing? I saw the podcast about past students… Kurt Fenstermacher is getting married this week. Paul Ianni is in Chicago doing well. Kevin Watts is a lawyer. Joe Clear is also in Chicago and doing well. A few of us were thinking about getting together and bringing out all the old videos from class and various activities/parties.

Thanks for the great memories. Hardly a get-together goes by where we aren’t talking about someone or something that happened in your class. It was a great class but more a lesson in life. You don’t get that in text books!

--by Chris on 9/10/07   Lives: Michigan  

The elementary schools have traditionally taken charter busses to Lansing (hence the nearly $45 price tag for the trip) due to restrictions on the distances our buses are allowed to travel. (That is what I was told when I questioned this practice.) Also, district buses must be back in the district no later than 2:00 p.m. for the afternoon transport. Also, YES, kids must now pay for the bus to go on any field trip. It isn't that trips "aren't allowed" but there are restrictions on the number of drivers available during the day to take kids on these field trips. Thought you might like to know.

--by Stephen on 9/10/07   Lives: Dearborn  

The bus issue is only microchasmatic. So are the MEAP scores, the bilingual failures and how difficult it is for our fine Detroit Art Institutions to function. They matter in isolation, but together they paint a more frightening picture.

All of these things tie together. People want their kids to drill away at math and science, reading and writing, but students lose interest in that when they don't have any real world perspective on these things. Children aren't being exposed to the beauty of American Culture and Arts, the great roots of modern music in Classical, Opera and Jazz. In general, these museums and institutions are what make our area a unique and wonderful place to be. How could we expect immigrants to understand what our country stands for when so many native citizens know just as little?

When our kids are raised up like machines as a set up for getting into college and then getting a career you can only expect apathy from them to the beauty of the culture that raised them. The bilingual problems, I think, stem from this same assumption from citizens that we can do without American Culture, or that because we've made mistakes in the past that we have no successes and therefore should be ashamed of America. We are what we are as a country because of our wonderful culture. We should be exposing our children to all our tragedies, triumphs and our beauty as a society every single chance we get.

Sometimes, when I hear politicians talking about education like a few Senators or George Bush are responsible for some kid in Dearborn failing his math exam, it makes me worried. I wonder if we're devolving from a Democracy into some autocracy, whether communist or dictated, because people want the federal government to do everything for them. We rely on all these statistics but in the end they mean nothing, because true human learning is transcendent to costs or test scores. It seems like no one realizes that life is rated in more than statistics and numbers and is essentially unrateable.

It's not a good image to think of our children simply being processed through schools and institutions like an assembly line of drones so they can work aimlessly for the rest of their lives. Sadly, a few field trips for the youngsters, a push for emphasis on the liberal arts and the origins of what it means to be American: these simple things could fix the problem. The only way to give our country and our citizens purpose is to keep the art, music and culture of beauty and compassion in America alive.

--by Concerned for America on 9/10/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Hey Russ:

Thanks for posting this video. Don't know too many of the names you mentioned, but a couple did jump out at me:

Bob Korczynski is the one you struggled with on pronunciation. His older brother was Ed and their mother, Joanne, has/had a radio show over at HFCC. Last I heard, Ed was in California. I have no idea where Bob ended up.

You mentioned Gia Oei (sp?). Do you remember what year? If memory serves me right, she and her brother Andre were over at Gibson School when it was in the basement of the 1st Presbyterian Church. He was a few years behind me, and she was she would've been the class of '85 or '86? Am I thinking of the same person?

Keep posting!

--by Fred on 9/11/07   Lives: Detroit area  

Hi Sir, I recently graduated from Eastern Michigan with a degree in Networking and Information Technology Administration. I am employed by the University of Michigan, working at the Dearborn Campus. I am the UNIX Systems Administrator for the computer science and engineering department. I wanted to let you know that Matt Fanto actually lives in Dearborn again. He works for Ford as a cryptographer. Oh, and Matt and I both drive FORD Mustangs, proudly! James Turner was married this past December, is finishing up at EMU, works for Washtenaw Community College as a web programmer, and lives in Ann Arbor. I hope you and Alberta are doing well! The web site is always a treat to read.

--by Mark Stanislav on 9/12/07   Lives: Detroit area  

Darryl Miller is the other Miller. Here's some stuff he worked on

The Lucky Ones (grip) Osso Bucco(dolly grip) The Break-Up(grip) Roll Bounce (grip) Cup of My Blood (electrician) Ocean's Twelve (grip) The Book and the Rose (gaffer) Hard Ball (grip) New Port South (grip) The Rest of Your Life (gaffer) The Watcher (grip) High Fidelity (grip) Light It Up (grip) Charming Billy (gaffer) Big Canyon (gaffer) Jerry and Tom (dolly grip) The Whites (grip) Cinematographer: Collision Realization Under the City Dot

--by Billy Zakolski on 10/12/07   Lives: Detroit area  

YO Billy Z - Whats going on man. Nick Cretens here, I found this site after my mom emailed me (couple years ago) a scanned picture of us all at a city council meeting. Still don't remember being there. Although it did get me reminiscing about the ol' formative years. It is cool Russ has somewhere to jump up and down at. Hello Sir, Hope all is well with you. Go ahead and add another thank you to the list. Please pass my email on to Billy and Mac if you are still in contact with them. Also if anyone is interested please check out:

--by Nick Cretens on 11/6/07   Lives: USA  

Uncle Russ, greetings my friend. I had you as a teacher at Dearborn High in 1976,77. I live in Indian river Michigan and am married w/one son and one daughter. Just emailing you to say hello. I remember your class, mass media as one of my favorites. You taught me to read newspapers and magazines more and to look at commercials differently. I have done allot of reading over the years, I'm running out of things to read so I looked up your site,ha,ha. I remember your bmw motorcycle w/space suit to keep you warm or cold when you rode it to school,real classic man. I am an over the road trucker for a company out of Saginaw,MI. Are you still teaching at Dearborn High? Well I hope this email finds you and yours well and blessed as I am my friend. While I may not be the best or brightest of your past students, i would guarantee that if you put your problems in one bag and my problems in one bag,and asked me to pick one, I would pick mine every time. I guess I'm comfortable finely in my own skin and in this life thats good stuff.Nice to read some of your older posts.Thanks again for helping me get the gumption to read more Uncle Russ it truly helped change my life.Your friend Tom Rowett

--by tom rowett on 11/19/07   Lives: Michigan  

Mr. Gibb hope all is well. Have not talked to you in many years. 25 years out of Dearborn High and I want you to know you made a positive influence in my life. Thanks.

--by Andy on 1/15/08   Lives: Dearborn  

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