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Dexter High School Recognized on Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC) President’s Honor Roll for Inclusive Activities

“The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of children and youth with disabilities and/or gifts and talents, internationally renowned for its expertise and leadership, working collaboratively with strategic partners to ensure that all students are valued and fully participating members of society. As a diverse and vibrant professional community, CEC is a trusted voice in shaping education practice and policy.

CEC has local Units in all 50 states and Canada, as well as 18 optional Special Interest Divisions focused on a specific topic, specialty area, role, or exceptionality.”  (

The Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC)'s President Joseph DeMarsh publishes a monthly newsletter to members, and his November newsletter recognizes the work of Dexter High School staff and students for providing inclusive opportunities for all.

From DeMarsh’s Digest, November 2023:

A graphic with text reading, "DeMarsh's Honor Roll."

In November we celebrate the time of giving thanks and this month I am honoring (thanking) the students, staff, families and community members of Dexter High School for creating an inclusive school including after school activities. Most recently Dexter High School was featured in The Sun Times News (article written by Dexter Senior Mya Weiss) which covers the western part of Washtenaw County for their Silent Disco, lead by Tristan Snyder, that was held during the 2023 Homecoming Dance. A Silent Disco is a place where students of any variety, but especially those with higher needs, can have a more relaxed and sensory-friendly dance experience. 

Dexter High School has created a leadership club called SNAP (Students Need Accepting Peers) to organize inclusive after school events. SNAP is led by President Kiara Kapusansky. As most of us know a Homecoming would not be the same without building floats after school and Kiara along with Chase Biskner and Amanda Lynden organized this event.

SNAP is hard at work with other great events to promote an inclusive environment in their high school including:

  • Movie night
  • Taylor Swift Karaoke
  • Bracelet exchange
  • Unified soccer team in conjunction with NHS
  • Host a Polar Plunge
  • Host Inclusion Week
  • Whole school bowling and fun run
  • Mario Kart racing
  • Art projects
  • Kickball
  • Smile crew that sends out birthday cards to each SNAP member
  • Radio spot on the Lucy Ann Lance show
  • Press box at Unified Soccer games
  • Peer to Peer classes
  • Unified Varsity Letters

A HUGE MCEC Thank You to the following:

Kiara Kapusansky, Chase Biskner, Amanda Lynden, Paul Kratz, Tristen Synder, Madison Talsma, JT Bonilla, Zachary DeVito, Carson Chan, Ella Nelson, Amelia Shuggart, Unified Team Members lead by Mia Hillard and Elise Lu, and DHS National Honor Society members for inspiring all of us!

From One Teacher to Another:

Thank you for helping all students to learn about and understand the need for an inclusive setting. You truly are the heroes our students need during this time. The following teachers are some of the staff SNAP has partnered up with to promote inclusive learning and they are Eileen McCallum, Patricia Stinbrecher, Beth Kovarik, Angela Anderson, Annette Bowen, Lindsay Babicki and Debra Eber.

Hats off to:

The Rotary Club of Dexter paid for all of the SNAP students' dinners for Homecoming night and the Dexter Education Foundation provided a grant for the Silent Disco. Radio personality Lucy Ann Lance for having SNAP on your show. Dexter City Council for having open minds and hearts to include all in future city events. Mitten Fitness Gym donated a custom made bike that has three wheels and two seats for peers to ride together.

A collage of SNAP Club photos.

I believe Kalli Nowitzke, DHS Resource Teacher, says it best, “The goal is that by educating our students on inclusion, we will continue to develop a community where everyone feels that they belong.”

Again, thank you for being the perfect group for DeMarsh’s Honor Roll.

In addition to those mentioned above, Kalli Nowitzke would like to recognize the efforts and support of the entire High School staff, as all are involved in helping with inclusion in some way or another.  Specifically, teachers who host our peers include Coach Chris Whittaker, Coach Phil Jacobs, Jenni Davis, Matthew Caves, Laura Schultz, Kellison Kohler, Kelli Ottavani, Nolan Wolfiss, Dan Witte, Anthony Quint, Elizabeth Treppa, Eric Williams, Meghan Ford, Dennis Stockwell, Drake Reinhart, Allison Denisco, Jamie Dudash, Murphy Hansen, Krickett Chamberlain, Ryan Baese, Andrew Parker, Julie Bassett, Kathryn Luxon, and Catherine Huffman.  

  • Community Partnership
  • Dexter High School
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Kindness & Empathy
  • Peer2Peer
  • Physic
  • SNAP Club
  • Special Education
  • Unified School District
  • athletics
  • citizenship
  • collaboration