Winter In My “Hood”

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Ms. Scelzo, a 6th grade teacher, will do anything to connect with her students, especially when she is trying to get them to understand the lesson for the day. She knows her students sometimes believe that their teachers have no existence outside of the classroom and she’s found there’s no better way to get them engaged than to tell stories about her life and even some childhood shenanigans. Ms. Scelzo says to the class, “There was this one time…….” and describes to her students what happened on a cold winter day when her and her brother were told by their mother, “Find something to do! Go outside and play! You guys are driving me crazy!” One students even asks her, “Ms. Scelzo, did that really happen?”

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All the wonderful art in the book was done in water colors and created by the talented Dan Smith.This is Dan and I  meeting to collaborate on the next book in the Teacher Confession's series.  So excited I get to work with him again.  He's truly an amazing talent!  Click to check out more of Dan's amazing work!


Posted: Sunday, April 10, 2016 5:45 am | Updated: 12:26 pm, Sun Apr 10, 2016.

Library event recognizes local authors

South bend tribune

ABOVE: Local authors who attended the Niles District Library’s Local Author Day include, seated, from left: Renae Johnson, Deanna Scelzo, Patricia Strefling and Peggy McGee. Standing, from left, are Robert Schmidt, Markus Wolf (with Captain Crouton) and Brian Hess. Tribune Photo/KATHY BORLIK

Creativity, hard work and publishing issues were the focal points discussed at the Niles District Library Local Author Day. Seven authors from Michigan talked about their process, marketing and the thrill of seeing the book on a shelf.

Their characters ranged from a dragon to a superhero, a teacher to a moose. There was romance in the air, teen problems, orphans and another dragon. One author had been writing for years and another just had the first book published in November.

Brian Hess, of Dowagiac; Renae Johnson, of Niles; Peggy McGee, of Buchanan; Deanna Scelzo, of Dowagiac; Robert Schmidt, of Bridgman; Patricia Strefling, of Niles; and Markus Wolf, of Bridgman, all spoke about getting the words down on paper and their next projects.

Brian has written the three-part “The Legends of Lynquest” on finding strength, magic and a few dragons. Renae wrote the children’s book “Hidden Dragons” about the normal dragons in a small town. Peggy has written 40 books for teens, tweens and adults on adventures, romance and sleuthing.

Deanna took her skills as a teacher to write “Teacher Confessions: Winter in My Hood” to get her students interested in reading. Robert just published a story of “The Mouse and the Moose,” which is a book he first developed 25 years ago about the two unusual friends.

Patricia has been writing for 15 years in the fields of inspirational, romance and novels. Markus developed his superhero, Captain Crouton, for 8- to 12-year-olds.

The books are all available on Amazon. The authors all said they have more books to come.

Brandon Steven, community engagement team member with the Niles library, organized the event. “We’ve done these before with local authors who have their books in our library. This one has gone exceptionally well.”




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