Mrs. Fyke Makes the Switch

After a four-year stretch of teaching at DHS, the beloved English teacher is moving back to Mill Creek


By Tessa Kipke

Jill Fyke has always loved teaching middle schoolers. She started in Dexter as an English teacher at Mill Creek, where she found the students and community of team teachers to be “pretty magical, actually.” For the next 11 years, Fyke’s signature passion was for what she was teaching, and the students she taught, became a staple in the middle school.

Then, in the fall of 2012, Fyke underwent an “involuntary transfer,” or a switch brought on by a decrease of students in the eighth grade, that sent her up to the high school.

“I didn’t really decide; it was kind of decided for me,” Fyke said of the change. Nevertheless, her impact has been huge among high schoolers.

“I really liked being in Mrs. Fyke’s classroom, because you could tell she cared so much about her students and the subject,” said Vivian Culp, an exchange student who took Fyke’s creative writing class last year.

Fyke had a good time at the high school, too, stating the impact of going with her middle schoolers and watching them flourish into young adults (“or ‘real people’ I would call them,” Fyke joked).

“Some of the deeper conversations we would have at the high school were awesome,” Fyke continued. “It’s a trade-off, for sure.”

Now, Fyke is making another change, this time voluntary. This September, a teacher many students have grown to see as an integral part of their high school careers will be taking her leave of DHS and moving back to Mill Creek.

Though many high schoolers will mourn the loss of Fyke in the halls of DHS, her former students are happy to see her return to her original post; for many, she remains a beloved middle school teacher entrenched in memories from those adolescent years.

“Mrs. Fyke was a really good teacher in the high school, but I think she was the best teacher in eighth grade. You learned from her less because she was your teacher and more because she was someone you were in a room spending time with,” said Lucas Bell, a Dexter alum who originally had Fyke in middle school.

Fyke is incredibly excited for her return to Mill Creek, where she will resume teaching middle school English.

“The only reason I took the opportunity to go back to Mill Creek is I’ve simply always considered myself a middle school teacher,” Fyke said. “I remember how hard the middle school years were for me when I was at that awkward age, and I always thought if I can make it a little easier for one or two other kids coming through, it would have been worth it.

“I’m definitely excited to be back in my old room, with my old teammates; working on my old curriculum to make it even better than it was before, and getting those eighth graders ready for DHS.”

Former Technology Director Sentenced In Embezzlement Case

By Kyle Doyle & Lucas Bell

Brian Tungl, the former Technology Director for Dexter Community Schools, was found guilty of embezzling more than $50,000 in iPads, Macbooks,cell phones, cameras, batteries, hard drives, and other pieces of technology from the district on May 23, 2016,

School officials have stated that Tungl stole somewhere close to $300,000 over the course of  four years.

The legal battle that started following the 2014 investigation into Tungl’s actions was drawn out over the course of two years, finally ending yesterday. Judge David S. Swartz, of the Washtenaw County Trial Court, sentenced Tungl to six months jail time, 500 hours of community service, two years of probation, and restitution to the district. The amount of restitution will be officially decided within the next 60 days.

“We are saddened at DHS and Dexter Schools that a former employee took advantage of their position to purchase items for their personal use,” DHS Principal Kit Moran said. “Schools are already strapped for cash and knowing this a school employee knowingly embezzled school money… That hurts. And it really hurts kids!”

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Latest SPACE Show Was a Success

By George Deljevic

On May 20th, the talented Dexter High School students of the SPACE Club performed in front of a huge audience in the high school CPA.

Acts such as Barry Megler, Stewie Weber, Jake Lamb, Zach Barnes, and singer Kate Emrich redid the hit single “Let it Be.” The talent didn’t stop there, Craig Rafail performed one of his songs and blew the crowd away with his amazing guitar skills.

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Clinton, Trump appear on collision course

By George Deljevic

The 2016 presidential election is heating up at this time of year. Primaries and Caucuses are happening left and right. In the thick of all this there are some presidential candidates that we have our eye on.

Illustrator - Christopher Gaskin
Illustrator – Christopher Gaskin

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, businessman Donald Trump, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Lately, The Democratic party favorite is Clinton, while on the right side of the spectrum Trump is keeping up his position at the top. Continue reading “Clinton, Trump appear on collision course”

Why Students are Opting for Reduced Schedules

By Jesse Linton

Senior year is a fun and exciting time for students, but also requires focus and effort to finish their high school career strong.

Something many seniors choose to do is take a reduced schedule. A reduced schedule is offered for seniors either first or sixth hour, shrinking the school day to only five periods.

There are various reasons students can have a reduced schedule.

“I recommend reduced schedules for students who are working after school, for dual enrollment purposes or if no classes are available that makes sense for student to take, or if no credit is needed,” counselor Kristie Doyle said.

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New Extended School Year

Michigan public schools feel students need more days in the school year. 
By Joe Ramey

Next year, Dexter High School, along with every other public school in Michigan will be implementing an extended school year.  

A five-day extension to the end of the school year will meet the state requirement for hours in school a year.

A state law saying public schools are not allowed to start before Labor Day has hindered the possibility of keeping the last day of school a consistent date.

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Flint Water Crisis

By Lucas Bell & Gigi Saadeldin

When the average American opens their tap, the water which comes out can be described as clean, refreshing, or clear; ever since April of 2014, the water in Flint has been anything but.

The first thing citizens of Flint noticed was the color, ranging from blues to brown. The second thing they noticed was the pungent odor.

In the mid 1980s, Flint fell into a deep economic depression after the closing of a General Motors plant, still affecting the city’s population today. In an attempt for the city to save money, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder changed Flint’s water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage (sourced from Lake Huron as well as the Detroit River) to the Flint River in order to save money. The corrosive river water caused lead from aging pipes to seep into the water supply – inducing extremely elevated levels of lead.

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A Helping Hand

A new link class where students assist other students will arrive a DHS next fall
By Joe Ramey

An all-in-one class is hard to find nowadays. A class that provides help for both sets of students, help for others, training, performing and of course counts as a class credit.

This class was created with the intent to provide a possible moral boost and a morale builder, and has the possibility to provide multiple advantages reasons to join for all parties.

The class is Peer to Peer, a class where a student follows around another Dexter High School student with special needs for one class period. They will help them with all of their needs including physical, social and mental. The students taking the class are their mentor for the hour and guide them on the right path with whatever they’re doing. They would be their “link.” Link refers to the connection between the special education student and the class by the students of the class. It sounds similar to SNAP club that already exists at DHS, but it has many differences along with academic advantages.

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High school discusses weighted grades

The Board of Education met and discussed proposed changes to the weighted grade system at the high school at its regularly-scheduled meeting on March 17. Although Dexter High School already has weighted grades for all Advanced Placement courses and International Baccalaureate Higher Level (HL) courses, the proposed change will branch out to include IB Standard Level (SL) courses as well.

IB HL classes span over the course of two years, whereas IB SL classes cover only one year. HL classes are thought to be more difficult than SL classes, but both levels are considered rigorous based on their external moderation.

During the 2012-2013 school year, a committee that included administrators, teachers and parents met to discuss the possibility of weighted grades at the high school.

“Once we decided that we would weigh grades at the high school, the next question needed to be: ‘What classes are we going to weigh?’” Principal Kit Moran said.

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Jennifer Driscoll replaces Jennifer Colby as the replacement media specialist

The Media Specialist position has been filled by a myriad of individuals this year.  After Linda Livingstone took an extended leave following family medical issues, Jennifer Colby took over the position.

Now, Jennifer Driscoll has been asked to fill Colby’s shoes after she decided to take a full-time media specialist job in Novi at Deerfield Elementary School.

Driscoll is not completely new to the job of media specialist, however.

“I have worked in the media centers all around the district for several years now, so I’m familiar with the systems and how libraries work,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll confirmed that the position is still a “temporary, substitute type of position.”  However, until Livingstone returns, Driscoll plans to be very proactive in the library.

“I’ve only just gotten started, so I’m just kind of seeing how things stand,” Driscoll said.

As her tenure continues, however, Driscoll said she plans to make changes that suit the students.

“I don’t have any specific plans quite yet for changes in the library, as I’ve only been here for a few days,” Driscoll said.  “If there are any changes that people would like to see I would be happy to hear them.”