On Friday, Oct. 25 at 5 p.m., the Dexter Board of Education invites the community to participate in the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony at the Louie Ceriani Building at 8100 Shield Road, Dexter, Michigan 48130. The Louie Ceriani Building is home to the Alternative Education Program. Guests will be able to tour the new building and speak with Board members as well as building staff and the construction team.
In August, 2017, Dexter voters approved a $71.7 million dollar construction bond to address space issues by building a new elementary, upgrading facilities district-wide, purchasing buses, and making other improvements. Krull Construction completed this facility and Alternative Education students moved into their new space with the start of school, September 2019.
The Dexter Alternative Education program was started in Fall 2016. Alt Ed, as it is familiarly known, provides selected students the support they need to complete their schoolwork while learning valuable study and life skills that will help them enter the workforce, train for a skilled trade, or begin post-secondary study. This program partners with the Dexter Rotary, the Dexter Lions Club, and the Educational Foundation of Dexter to provide additional support and mentors for students.
At its April 22, 2019 meeting, the Board of Education resolved to name the new Alternative Education building after Dexter Alumnus Louis Ceriani. A long-time booster and familiar face at DHS football games and around town, Louie embodies the can-do spirit of Dexter Community Schools. He was born with medical challenges and was put into foster care at a Dexter farm at a very young age. Although life with his foster mother was harsh, Louie focused on the positive things he learned living on the farm: the value of hard work, being respectful, and resourcefulness.
Louie was a few years behind his high school peers due to several operations on his feet and hands. When he was 16, his foster mother died and he was placed with another family. By the time he turned 18, he was entirely on his own. Louie supported himself with a variety of jobs and stayed in school with the strong encouragement of Dexter coach Don Wilbur, who made Louie the manager of the football, basketball, and baseball teams. After graduating from Dexter High School at age 21, Louie forged a successful career at Dapco. Louie’s perseverance in the face of multiple challenges make him an excellent role model for the Alternative Education students whose building bears his name.
Superintendent Christopher Timmis had this to say: “Every student needs different kinds of support to help them through their educational journey. The Louie Ceriani Building and the Dexter Alternative Education Program are wonderful examples of the support a community can give to positively impact the life of a child.”