Traverse City Area Public Schools

Traverse City’s outgoing schools chief is offering to personally pay nearly $14,800 to settle a campaign finance violation with the state, stemming from a district campaign mailer from 2012.

“The responsibility for what comes from the district is ultimately mine,” says Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent Steve Cousins. “I’ve always said I would take responsibility for it. So that’s what I’m doing.”


Teachers in Traverse City have begun an advertising campaign over their union contract. The Traverse City Education Association hopes to sway public support, as negotiations continue with Traverse City Area Public Schools.

The union recently paid for a full page ad in the Traverse City Record-Eagle (pictured right). This week, those listening to a couple of select commercial radio stations could hear the voice of association President Jeff  Leonhardt.

Traverse City Schools Chief Announces Retirement

Mar 19, 2014

Traverse City Area Public Schools is in search of a new superintendent. Steve Cousins says he is retiring from public education to begin a consulting career at the end of the school year, effective July 1st.

TC Students Launch Experiment Into Space

Jan 15, 2014
Traverse City Area Public Schools

Northern Michigan high school students have had their work launched into space on Sunday. NASA astronauts will conduct their experiment on the International Space Station.

Three Traverse City West High School students won a contest.

Haley Dole, a junior, was one of the three students who created the experiment.

“It was surprising at first,” Haley said. “I didn’t expect it at all because there were a lot of kids in the contest. And then, it was really exciting.”

Linda Stephan

Traverse City school officials were surprised Tuesday when voters shot down two bond proposals. One would have paid for the reconstruction of three elementary schools. TCAPS was not alone though. Almost half the schools in Michigan were unsuccessful at passing bond proposals this election.

Linda Stephan

Schools Struggle
School districts outside of Leelanau County had a tough time with voters yesterday.

Voters in Traverse City, Kalkaska, and Elk Rapids rejected bond proposals to repair and renovate school buildings and other facilities. Unofficial results show very narrow margins. In Traverse City the main request to borrow $35 million failed by about one percent of the vote. In Kalkaska, less than 30 votes out of more than 1,000 tipped the difference against the request.

Recent deaths from drowning in Grand Traverse County have put water safety in the high school curriculum. All freshmen in Traverse City schools will spend a few hours this year learning about the dangers of water.

Such instruction is less common that you might think up north.

If you grew up downstate, you might have taken swimming lessons at school and learned some of the basic safety mantras like, “reach or throw, don’t go” if a swimmer is in trouble. But few schools up north have swimming pools. Harbor Springs is a notable exception.

Traverse City Area Public Schools ran afoul of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act during the last election, according to a letter issued Thursday by the Secretary of State. It says a district mailer advocated a “yes” vote for a school bond proposal. The district is not allowed to do that with taxpayer funds and other resources.

“We didn’t intend to violate the act or mislead folks and I think I need to apologize to Mr. Gillman, to our parents and our staff and community for any confusion the mailer caused,” says TCAPS Superintendent Steve Cousins.