Awards celebrate Farmington Schools academic turn arounds

Dunckel Middle School 8th grader Nicholas Adams knows how hard he has worked to improve his attitude and his grades. And now, everyone else knows, too.

Turn Around Achievement Awards
Nicholas Adams accepts his award and gifts during Tuesday’s Turn Around Achievement Awards ceremony.

Adams was among 21 Farmington Public Schools students honored during the 15th Annual Turn Around Achievement Awards ceremony, held Tuesday at Glen Oaks Country Club in Farmington Hills. The awards recognize middle and high school students who have earned academic accomplishments that often go unrecognized.

Adams said his turn around started when he realized that what he was doing in school would affect what he wanted to do in the future – become an architect. And while he is proud of his award, it’s clear he plans to keep pushing forward.

“I look at this as a half-way point,” he said. “I plan to get all As and hope opportunities keep coming my way.”

That kind of determination was also reflected in keynote speaker Zack Sklar’s message. The 2004 North Farmington High graduate is on track to own nine restaurants in several states, along with a catering company.

Sklar struggled in school, with the dual challenges of mild dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, and credits teachers who “found different ways to inspire me and reach me. The people who did that in my life, that’s what changed the game for me.” He encouraged students to do their best, avoid mediocrity, and follow their passions.

“If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to build theirs,” Sklar said.

Turn Around Awards 2016
Turn Around Award winners were honored during a Tuesday ceremony at Glen Oaks County Club in Farmington Hills.

In addition to Adams, Turn Around Award winners included:

  • Andi Ameer – 12th grade, Harrison High School
  • Raymone Bethune – 8th grade, East Middle School
  • Viktor Dedvukaj – 11th grade, Farmington High School
  • Desmond Gaskin -12th grade, Farmington High School
  • Latina Gayles – 11th grade, North Farmington High School
  • Angela Hardy – 8th grade, East Middle School
  • My’Asia Hollins – 8th grade, Dunckel Middle School
  • Alexandra (Allie) Jones – 12th grade, Harrison High School
  • Zealand Johnson – 8th grade, Dunckel Middle School
  • Sienna (Joy) Jones – 7th grade, Dunckel Middle School
  • Max McColl – 12th grade, North Farmington High School
  • Brenden Misener – 12th grade, North Farmington High School
  • Khalid Muhammad – 12th grade, Farmington High School
  • Cassidy Pakkala – 7th grade, East Middle School
  • Tracie Phillips – 11th grade, North Farmington High School
  • Taylor Reeves – 8th grade, East Middle School
  • Gabriella Riley – 11th grade, Farmington Central High School
  • Alanna Roberts – 11th grade, Farmington Central High School
  • Ethan Underwood – 10th grade, Farmington High School
  • Heaven Williams – 11th grade, Harrison High School
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