Fenton Area Public Schools have benefitted immensely by three people who have dedicated many years of their lives and talents to the district.
Those three people are Joe and Nora Kryza, who will be awarded The State Bank Community Contribution to Education Award, and Lori Slaughter, who will receive the Nancy and Edward Petruska Lifetime Achievement in Education Award.
The awards will be presented at the Fenton Education Foundation (FEF) annual Black Tie Awards Dinner at The Laundry on Thursday, Sept. 6. The event begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by a seven-course dinner and program at 7:30 p.m. A live auction will begin about 10 p.m. Guests will also have a chance to sponsor safety locks for Fenton classrooms. Tickets are $250 per person. For tickets, call (810) 516-9480.
JOE AND NORA KRYZA
Joe and Nora Kryza of Fenton raised four children who all graduated from Fenton High School. Joey and Max were all-state athletes, and Nina and James were Top 10 graduates.
Nora graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a bachelor of arts degree in economics. She is employed by MasterCard as the senior consultant in Technology & Operations. She is involved in several community service efforts, including serving on the Fenton Community Orchestra Board of Directors since 2016.
Nora served on the Fenton Board of Education from 2001 to 2013.
Joe is a lifetime resident of Fenton (Class of 1977). He is the chief technology officer for Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan. His dedication to Fenton schools is evident in his volunteer work with the district. In 1996-1997, he co-led FENnet with Eric Karsten (former school board member) to deploy internet connections to Fenton schools. He also raised $150,000 and matching equipment donations for that cause.
Joe served as technology advisor to the school district from 1996 to 2006, specifically on design and technology architecture. A charter member of the Fenton Education Foundation, he served as president from September 2004 to October 2014, and started several fundraisers. His activities outside the district include serving on the board of directors for Ronald McDonald House-Ann Arbor for 12 years.
Lori Slaughter, a 40-year veteran of Fenton Area Public Schools, retired in June of 2017. She started her career teaching third grade at State Road Elementary School for three years. She then transferred to the middle school (the WOW building on Ellen Street) in 1980 where she taught a variety of things throughout the years, but mainly math. She transferred to the new building, AGS Middle School, when it opened in 2000.
In addition to teaching, Slaughter served as the cheerleading coach and class advisor. She also did the yearbook at the middle school for close to 20 years until it went digital. She served as the treasurer of the Fenton Education Association for 28 years, volunteers at her church, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, and was very active in Little League when her son played ball.
Slaughter is one of three generations of Slaughters teaching in Fenton. Her daughter, Katie Slaughter, teaches fifth grade at State Road Elementary School, and her mother-in-law, Helen Slaughter, taught gym class in 1954 at Fenton High School.
“I am very excited and humbled by being asked to do this,” said Slaughter of the award. “Last year, I was the grand marshal at the homecoming parade. I did not expect it but the kids asked me to do it. And when kids ask you to do something, you have to do it.”
About the awards
• The State Bank Community Contribution to Education Award is presented annually at the Fenton Education Foundation’s Black Tie Dinner to individuals whose efforts in the community have made a significant and lasting impact on the educational community in Fenton.
• The Nancy and Edward Petruska Award was established through a gift from the Petruska family to the Fenton Education Foundation and is presented annually at the Foundation’s Black Tie Dinner. The award recognizes the contribution that educators make to the community of Fenton. The Petruskas were part of a generation that developed the standards of excellence that have been the hallmark of the Fenton Area Public Schools. They served the school and the community with humility, generosity and leadership. Edward and Nancy Petruska devoted a combined 52 years of educational services to the Fenton Area Public Schools.