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Birmingham Public Schools Alumni Association  
 

Congratulations go to the classes of 2015!

 
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The connections we make in high school can last a lifetime. Birmingham Public Schools would like to help our alumni keep in touch and reach out to fellow classmates. Browse this site for more information, and don't forget to sign up (it's free!) before you leave. 

We welcome conversations, ideas and suggestions. Our contact information is below.


Anne Cron
Birmingham Public Schools
248.203.3066
ac14bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us 

 
 
  Alumni updates  
 

Groves and Seaholm grads behind NBC’s Undateable

Adam Szytkiel, a 1996 Groves graduate, is the creator behind the NBC sitcom Undateable. Jeff Ingold, a 1986 Seaholm graduate, currently serves as president of Doozer productions and is Executive Producer for Undateable.

 

Hollywood is a long way from Birmingham, but two Birmingham Public School graduates brought their roots with them to Tinseltown. Show creator Adam Szytkiel, a 1996 graduate of Groves, and Executive Producer Jeff Ingold, a 1986 graduate of Seaholm, are behind the NBC summer sitcom, Undateable, which heavily features a Detroit locale.


“We have great love for the city of Detroit, have always wanted to set a show there, and this felt like the perfect opportunity,” Szytkiel said. “Undateable is a show about underdogs and Detroit is an underdog city. It’s a show about characters who are down on their luck and going through tough times, but are hopeful about the future, so Detroit felt like a good thematic fit.”


This isn’t the first time Szytkiel has had his work on screen. He’s also behind the movies Due Date and Made of Honor, but he got his start in the Groves High School Performing Arts Company.


“I always knew I wanted to do something in film and television,” he said. “We had an incredible theater program in the Groves Performing Arts Company which gave me the opportunity to act, write, direct, and produce for the stage. I was also lucky enough to have a group of like-minded friends who were obsessed with movies and TV – we’d religiously break down and quote Seinfeld episodes every Friday and watched Reservoir Dogs in my basement about a thousand times.”


Executive Producer Ingold didn’t quite have the same sense of direction in high school, but he credits his midwest Birmingham background and public school education for helping inform his mainstream tastes and populist approach to TV programming. He had no idea what he wanted to do while in high school and earned a history degree from Princeton.


“I landed in Hollywood after going to graduate school at USC (University of Southern California) and getting an unpaid internship at Warner Bros.,” he said. “After grad school, I took a job at NBC in research and worked my way up to head of comedy from 2006-2011.”

 

Ingold currently serves as president of Doozer, the production company behind Cougar Town, Ground Floor, and Undateable.


Set in Ferndale, Undateable follows the lives of two roommates and their friends, all searching for a relationship. There’s no mistaking their Michigan location, with an opening sequence featuring the Detroit skyline and a Woodward Ave. street sign. Among the group of friends is Shelly, a Detroit native with a passion for his hometown and penchant for clothing referencing his home state or local sports teams. Their local hang-out, the Black Eyes bar, is filled with Michigan-themed decorations as well. The cast is mostly made up of stand-up comedians, each bringing their unique comedy to the table and keeping the live audience and viewers at home entertained for the full half-hour.
 

Undateable aired on Thursday nights on NBC in June and July.


Returning to the home stage



It’s not a secret that Birmingham Public Schools helps shape some of the brightest minds and talents around. Our alumni have made an impression in a variety of fields and many serve as mentors from afar or nearby to our current student population. Nick Lang, a 2004 Groves High School graduate, recently had the opportunity to work with students in the Groves Theatre Department, his old home-away-from-home.

“Mr. Rutherford was a true mentor and helped me a lot personally,” said Lang. “So when he called me to see if I’d help out with the show (Shrek - The Musical), I had to say yes. It was also fun to do!”

Shrek: The Musical called for a dragon, and Rutherford knew Lang’s background creating puppets was just what they needed. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 2008 and spending a year with Disney as a video editor, Lang returned to Michigan to help his brother and fellow Groves alumn, Matt Lang, put on a parody, A Very Potter Musical, based on the Harry Potter book series. The parody involved a dragon puppet.

“We filmed the live performance and we posted the entire show on YouTube for friends and family to see,” Lang said. “As it turned out, a lot more than just our friends and family tuned in. The video went ‘viral’ and before we knew it, we had a pretty large online following.”

Not wanting to waste the opportunity, the Lang brothers, together with co-owners Brian Holden and Darren Criss, began StarKid Productions. Today they live in Chicago, writing and producing live theatre shows.

Lang’s recent trip to Michigan to help the students at Groves create their own dragon puppet also offered him the opportunity to give back to the program that helped prepare him for his career. But it wasn’t the first time he had given back.

I actually knew a bunch of the students in the play because a few years ago I was a camp counselor at a summer theatre camp that Mr. Rutherford runs,” Lang said. “It was kind of nice to know Groves is still so alive, and for these kids, things that I did over 10 years ago are exciting and new to them. I’d recommend working with kids to anyone.”

If you’re interested in sharing your time or talent with BPS students as well, or if you’d like to share an alumni update, contact Anne Cron at ac14bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us.

 



Discovering the beauty of Northern Michigan

 

Deborah Wyatt Fellows, a 1974 Seaholm graduate, currently runs MyNorth, a 2014 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch as selected by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.


Her greatest successes are her four children and “truly wonderful” husband, but Deborah Wyatt Fellows, a 1974 Seaholm High School graduate, has also helped celebrate and protect Northern Michigan.

 

After graduating from Seaholm, Fellows went on to Albion College, where she graduated in 1978. But she wasn’t sure what she’d do next. After extensive traveling and a few jobs that seemed to make better stories than anything else, she found herself in Northern Michigan, a place she had loved since childhood, and started Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.

 

“It has been such an honor to know that, through words, photos, ideas and tips, we are helping families and friends find themselves and each other in this incredible part of Michigan,” Fellows said. “Northern Michigan has always been a place where people come to celebrate, contemplate, grieve, explore, play and connect. We have played and continue to play a key role in insuring that Northern Michigan’s beauty and experiences live on for generations to come.”

 

Since starting Traverse in 1981 when she was 24, Fellow’s company, MyNorth, now has an audience of 1.4 million people a year and includes 11 magazines, 5 eNewsletters, MyNorth.com, MyNorthTickets and ShopMyNorth. Despite the economic downturn in 2008, Fellows was able to keep her employees, never miss a publication and add 7 new products to the company.

 

Her roots in Birmingham haven’t been forgotten. She still remembers walks to school, bike rides through the neighborhoods, playing Capture the Flag, and her friendships.

 

“It was always meaningful to me that (Birmingham had) leafy, lovely neighborhoods and a true downtown,” Fellow said. “I loved that there was a village green that hosted different events like the fair. I became very committed at an early age to the idea of real downtowns and we are so lucky that Birmingham has maintained that quality. And I’m lucky to live in a region now that features vibrant small towns.”

 

It was also in Birmingham Public Schools that Fellows first learned her love of writing. Today, she helps Leland Public School students with literacy, high school writing and the “Writing for the Web” course at the high school. Her company also welcomes interns each year in writing, photography and marketing.

 

To learn more about MyNorth, which earned a spot in the 2014 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch by Michigan Celebrates Small Business,  visit http://mynorth.com/.

 

 



In other alumni news...

In April, Grant Anderson, a Groves High School graduate and Traumatic Brain Injury survivor was featured on "Heart of Detroit" with Mitch Albom on WDIV. Anderson gave disability talks in the BPS district this year which have been well received by students and staff. The presentation he gave at BCS was filmed by the "Heart of Detroit" as well. Anderson was also interviewd by Karen Drew for “Live in the D” in April.

 

Congratulations to two BPS graduates on their NBC sitcom, Undateable. Adam Sztykiel (Groves High School) created the comedy, while and Jeff Ingold (Seaholm High School) serves as a producer. The show airs on Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m.

 

Three former students from Seaholm High School  graduated this year from West Point Military Academy. Second Lt. Calla Glavin, Second Lt. Charles Kelly and Second Lt. Cabot Howell received their diplomas from the President of the United States in June.


Giving back
Birmingham Public Schools is proud to be an exemplary school district, inspiring learners through educational excellence for a lifetime of global learners. Our students and alumni have the advantage of being part of a school district that has continuously ranked among the highest achieving in the State of Michigan and served as a Lighthouse district for others in the area.

If you're looking for a way to give back, consider:
  • Sharing your career with current students. Contact an old teacher or principal and express an interest in visiting a class or sharing information via Skype. If you're not sure whom to contact, email ac14bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us or call Anne Cron at 248.203.3066.
  • Contacting the BEF at www.supportbef.org to find out how you can directly support BPS students.
  • Showing your support to fellow BPS alumni through mentoring opportunities and networking events. Contact Anne Cron for more information.
  • Get your Seaholm or Groves gear by visiting the school stores or contacting the school directly.

Get started!
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Sign up below for the latest news and happenings with your alumni association. Contact us if you have any events you'd like to promote, or suggestions or stories to share with the association. We look forward to hearing from you!


 
     
  Upcoming events
and reunions
 
   
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Groves Class of 1966
The class is planning their
50 year reunion!
For the latest information, visit
www.grovesclassof66.com
 
Please contact Anne Cron at ac14bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us to list your upcoming reunion on our site. 


Reunion tips and tricks

  • Take a true walk down memory lane by booking a tour of your old high school. Make it earlier in the day and an optional activity so it adds to the reunion experience instead of taking time away from it.
  • Learn where your class members are today. If many of them are out of state, consider a weekend long event to offer some extra value.
  • Standing events encourage classmates to mingle and visit. Always consider seating for classmates that may need it, but don't shy away from events that encourage social connections.
  • Make name tags, and make them big! It's been years since you may have seen one another, and large nametags that can be easily seen may look funny, but they'll inspire laughs instead of awkward interactions.
  • Visit the Baldwin Public Library and check out old yearbooks and historical records. Contact the Adult Services Department at question@baldwinlib.org or 248.554.4650 for help related to your specific high school.

Get in touch with your class:

Groves High School
Class of 1963
Class of 1966
Class of 1977
Class of 1982
Class of 1984
Class of 1999
Class of 2007


Seaholm High School
Class of 1961
Class of 1962
Class of 1964
Class of 1972
Class of 1973
Class of 1974
Class of 1975
Class of 1981
Class of 1982
Class of 1984
Class of 1992
Class of 2002
Class of 2007
Class of 2012

Birmingham High School
Class of 1954

If you're looking for another class or would like to serve as a contact for your class, contact Anne at ac14bps@birmingham.k1.mi.us
 
 
     
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