Jon LeBlanc

My name is Jon LeBlanc. I’m a senior and this is my 2nd year on staff. I have two brothers and an older sister. I enjoy sports play video games, spit 2 bars and get laughed at. I plan to go to Mizzou and study journalism. I love McDonald’s.

Chris Ryan

My name is Chris Ryan, and I’m a junior. I play football and in my free time, I also play soccer and basketball for rec. teams. I have one older brother named Paul. He just graduated from college and now has a job at Dexter High School. I also live at home with my two parents, and I love to hang out with friends.

District works to update security

After the shooting in Newtown, Conn. schools across the country have dealt with ways to make buildings safer for students. Dexter is no exception.

According to Principal Kit Moran Dexter not only focuses on shooting security but also fire and tornado safety. If there’s a fire, doors can auto-lock to stop the fire from spreading. And if there’s a shooter trying to come into the building he said the secretaries in the office looking for people who enter the building unauthorized are the first line of defense.

Moran said, “The ladies in the front office really do a great job of looking for visitors. If somebody enters the building without signing in, they’ll stop em’.”

Even if a person does get by the office, Moran said there are over 120 cameras to locate the person. Deputy Jeremy Hilobuk has two large monitors in his office that cover not only the high school, but all schools in the district.

In addition, Hilobuk said in order to upgrade district security, all teachers, counselors and administration will have to go through a safety course in case a shooter does enter the building.

“It will take a while to have all of the administration trained, but I do think it will protect the school,” he said, adding that the training will consist of alerting teachers about how to handle intruders with weapons..

But while security training to stop an outside shooter is in progress, what if a student has a weapon? Hilobuk said that now, if a staff member is concerned or know that a student is having troubles and might be violent, they let a school counselor know. The counselor will follow up with the student’s parents/guardians to see what the issue is.

But what if there are weapons in their house that the child has access to? Dexter takes full precaution to this issue, Hilobuk said. In fact Moran said Hilobuk has visited students’ houses when a concern like this is raised.

“We have had a few instances where Hilobuk had to go to the families house to check on the family,” Moran said. “The school protects its students without making them feel they have no freedom. It’s kind of a freedom-order issue. We don’t want the students feeling they’re under lockdown, but we do want them to feel safe.”

Freshmen, read our advice (and do the exact opposite)

Welcome, incoming freshmen.

Being seniors, we have already put in three years of hard work at Dexter High School. When we were freshmen, the seniors gave us some great advice and we are here to give you the same advice — and maybe even better.

We came up with this advice while we were giving Miley Cyrus her twerking lessons.

As soon as you walk into those front doors, you have to remember that there are a few unwritten rules that you have to follow in order to have the best experience possible. We are here to help with this because we will magically take the ‘un-’ away from these rules.

First of all, we all know that this is an extremely huge deal to you, and you are all probably scared out of your mind about everyone and everything in this monster of a school.

Well, the truth of the matter is that you should be scared. It’s not like you can go back to Mill Creek, though, so you just need to suck it up and pay attention.

You’re definitely going to want to stand up to any upperclassmen who crosses your path. This means that you should be totally willing to get in someone’s face or maybe even get in a fight–if that’s what it takes.

Another key part of this rule is that you should always try to stand right in the front and center of the student section. Us seniors will no doubt want you to stand right up there and get all the attention because we sure wouldn’t want it all for ourselves.

There are also a few events that you should be aware of. If you manage to uncover the secret dates you should definitely mark your calendars.

One event is Freshman Wedgie Day, and since we’re so generous we’ll even let you in on a preview of our newest freshman event for this year: The Freshman Games. If you’re confused just think of the Hunger Games… only a lot worse.

Continuing on, once you get to know the school as well as we do, you will find that there are a few secrets and tricks that are worth noting.

If you want to become friends with Custodian Maria, just go ahead and spill food all over the cafeteria floor, preferably applesauce or chocolate milk, and she will definitely clean it all up for you with a huge smile on her face.

As for Connie Agostini, getting on her good side is quite easy. All you have to do is steal the Gator and go for a joy ride.

When it comes to the hallway, always try to get as big of a group of friends as possible and create the biggest log jam you can. If strangers complain about it, just stare them down and don’t listen at all–they will probably end up as your friends.

The last rule of thumb is if you feel the urge to punch someone, never hesitate. Dean of students Ken Koenig loves to see that sort of feistiness and will definitely back you up–maybe he’ll even ask you to join the football team.

Well, we’ve already given away too many of our secrets. You’re going to have to figure out the rest on your own.

It's 2013 and we still can't …

There’s gotta be some sort of demographic out there, of unemployed Ph.Ds who aren’t quite smart enough to work on the cure for cancer, yet too smart to settle for assistant brain surgeon or something.

Instead of reading Intelligent Life or Mental Floss, maybe they should look at the inconveniences we’re dealing with as members of the middle class.

There are so many smart people out there (so I’m told).  They can’t be doing anything that important to let these dark times go on for much longer.

Thank you, unemployed scientists, for waiting for my permission.

Yes, you may get started on the Enlightenment Era of the 21st century.

Look, I even made you this list of ideas so you can get started as soon as you finish reading that article on how Ununpentium, element 115, may join the periodic table.

It’s 2013 and we still can’t …

bring our phones in the shower with us

I actually have a conspiracy theory that this is possible and there are phone cases in circulation that could make our dreams come true.  The only thing stopping their mass production is that our parents are keeping them off the shelves because they know their water bills will go through the roof.

Nonetheless, let’s take a minute to imagine how incredible this would be.  We could listen to music, watch tv, send emails, browse twitter and pinterest, facetime.  But let’s keep it clean you guys (pun intended).

warm up leftover french fries without them getting limp and soggy

On more than one occasion I’ve tried to take on this dilemma myself.  I’ve sat there in front of the microwave, watching my leftover fries turn to mush, racking my brains for a better solution.

But I’m a big enough person—probably from eating all those fries—to know when to admit defeat.  So I’m throwing this out there.  Put it on the political agenda.

We can put in artificial hearts and send a robot to Mars for pete’s sake, we should be able to figure this out.

turn left off of Shield Rd after school

If you’re unfamiliar, or bad with street names, imagine turning right out of the school parking lot and turning right again at that 3-way stop and driving aaallllll the way down to the end zone of the football field.

Still with me?  Are we all here? Yeah, we’re all here!  Every.  Single.  School.  Day. Every bus, teacher, and about half of the students.

It’s like a tailgate, except the smoke is coming from the drivers’ ears rather than the grill.  I have a simple solution: install a traffic light.  We’re a cityhood (or something) we need to step up our game.

discover a tactic to peel bananas without making the top all mushy

If I wanted bananasauce I would be shopping in the baby food aisle at Busch’s, thank you very much.  Although, now that I think about it, I really don’t have the right to be complaining about the hassle that is peeling a banana.

I’ve developed an allergy to bananas.  I’m not even kidding.  If you feed me a banana, the consequences will be dire.  Like, my ears get super super itchy.   Nonetheless, my childhood was a pain when it came to having a complete breakfast, and banana peelage is an issue that should be addressed.

pause and rewind the radio

Do you know how many times I rewound and rewatched JT’s performance at the VMAs?  Three times.  If you round down.

I’m no history buff—maybe I should pick up a copy of Mental Floss—but I’m pretty sure radio has been around longer than television.  It can’t be that complicated.  If I want to jam to Barenaked Ladies’ One Week for the duration of the car ride, I should have that frivolity.

 

 

New superintendent comes from Adrian

He smiled, shook hands with the Board of Education, embraced his wife. He had been offered–and had accepted immediately–the career opportunity that he felt he could work until retirement.

On June 12, the Dexter Community Schools hired Dr. Chris Timmis as the new district superintendent.

The position was vacated after Mary Marshall, Dexter’s superintendent of three years, left for a job at Pentwater Public Schools. Dennis Desmarais then filled in as interim superintendent until the Board of Education hired Timmis.

“I was extremely excited and continue to be quite excited by this new opportunity,” Timmis said.

Timmis, who worked as the superintendent for Adrian Public Schools before coming to Dexter, said he was drawn to the district because of its huge potential.

“There are opportunities here to take a really outstanding school district and make it one of the best school districts in the country,” he said. “This is a school district that could do it.”

Timmis said he was confident in Dexter’s ability to become the best because of the success he had at Adrian.

Much of this success was oriented around establishing programs for the students. From an interactive virtual school–which allows students to work from anywhere at anytime–to sending students to sister schools Japan and Germany to learn about the culture, Timmis said he has tried to expand the learning environment of students.

These achievements have inspired Timmis concerning Dexter’s future.

“I look at what we were able to do at Adrian, and I think about what the potential here at Dexter is,” he said. “There isn’t a ceiling for what can happen.”

And the first step for Timmis is to create a strategic plan for the district, something that will determine what direction Dexter’s future is heading.

To do this, he said he will spend the first 120 days of school meeting with different groups to get their opinions on the condition of the district, culminating in Timmis releasing a “State of the District” sometime in January.

And the most important part of his job is paying attention to the needs of the community, according to Timmis.

“There is an infinite amount of things you can do in a school system to make it an even more attractive school system to students and parents, and it just has to be whatever the community wants it to be,” he said. “As soon as you get that bold vision, that plan, my job is to get us there.”

An open gate with an open heart

In his typical purple and yellow Lions Club polo and hat, Louie Ceriani pumps up players, parents and fans of Dexter sports on a regular basis. In his 85th year of living in Dexter, Ceriani has continually supported Dexter in everything he does.

About 30 years ago the Dexter Lions Club started to raise money to offer scholarships to students and volunteer in the Dexter community, especially in athletics. The Lion’s Club was asked by the late Al Ritt to help volunteer at football games. Ceriani, a member from the start of it,  just wanted to have one, important job at the games.

“Al Ritt asked the Lions Club to help with the football and of course we agreed,” Ceriani said. “I said I wanted the gate for when the players come out and onto the field and give them a little ra ra and a smack on the butt as they roll through to wish them luck. That’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t want anything else but to just do that for the players.”

Years later, former football coach Tom Barbieri recognized Ceriani’s passion and honored him by officially naming the entrance gate for the players, “Louie’s Gate.”

“Louie is all about community,” Barbieri said. “Louie was a person you could go to if players needed money for football camps. He’s always made the players proud to play for Dexter.”

Ceriani said his passion for Dexter stems especially from the fact that he’s lived here almost his entire life. He moved to Dexter in 1928. Eighty-five years ago. He’s currently 86. Between being 18 months old and 13 years old Ceriani had 12 operations due do birth defects. While he doesn’t still have symptoms of these problems, he still has visible scars from them.

“I came to Dexter when I was 15 months old,” he said.  “I was placed in a foster home just outside of Dexter. I was separated from my family because I had health conditions where I had to go to the hospital for a series of operations. At point before the operations the doctor said I would never be able to walk. But here I am.”

When Ceriani was in high school at Dexter, he was the manager of the football, basketball and baseball teams. In 1946, Ceriani’s senior year, Dexter football went unbeaten and un-scored-upon while tying one game with Brighton 0-0. And it’s Ceriani’s passion for Dexter football that’s even more enhanced by his own experiences at DHS.

“This job means everything to me,” he said. “If I couldn’t be here, I’d be lost. Even if I don’t know the players, it just seems to be a part of me with football and basketball. The camaraderie with the players and also the people as they walk by. Maybe the biggest thrill I get is when a former player comes back and comes up and shakes my hand. They could be out of school 10 or 12 years, and they still know who I am.”

But Ceriani says the best part is just being a part of it all.

“Just being here,” he said. “Being part of the crowd and the game. Hear all that hollering and screaming and hoping we make a touchdown. That’s the best part.”

Ceriani doesn’t just support football with loads of passion. He’s shown full support to other sports including basketball. Current Athletic Director and long-time women’s basketball coach, Mike Bavineau said Ceriani is vital to his women’s basketball team and Dexter Athletics as a whole.

“He’s our super fan,” Bavineau said. “He came to every women’s game this year and before every game he came up to each girl and give them a little pep talk and to beat the opponent that they were facing. He’s really done a lot for athletics in Dexter, and that’s why he’s so looked up to and admired by our student athletes.”

And Ceriani said he loves everything about the town.

“Like football, it means everything to me,” he said. “I’ve never wanted to leave. Maybe one day my health will get bad, and I’ll have to go into a home or something. But I don’t want to think about that. I want to live today. Tomorrow will come.”

Dexter Lion’s Club, in its 34th year of operation as a volunteer and community service organization in Dexter, has also been a big part of Ceriani’s life. In fact, he’s never missed a meeting.

“One of the biggest things we’re proud of is our $1,000 scholarship that we offer to future college students at Dexter,” Ceriani said. (High school students can fill out applications for the $1,000 scholarship on dexterlions.org.)

Dexter Lion Michael Scott said that Ceriani is very dedicated to his community and it shows through his constant volunteering and selflessness.

“Louie Ceriani is known in the village of Dexter as a friend many can turn to,” Scott said.  “As part of the Dexter Lions, Lion Lou embodies all that our club and community aspires to be. His generosity, kindness and selflessness touch many yet he expects nothing in return. Whenever there needs to be a volunteer, extra set of hands, you name it, Louie’s there always with a smile on his face. He has the biggest heart than anyone I’ve known. Not many people stretch themselves as far for the health, happiness and welfare of this community.”