Honoring Robert Cipriano
Photo by Sherri Kolade
Dearborn Public Schools Supt. Brian Whiston (right) watches the unveiling of a sign promoting the newly created Robert Cipriano Memorial Cross Country Meet during a news conference May 23, at Edsel Ford High School. The school district plans to keep Cipriano’s legacy alive through a the cross country meet, a scholarship and walkathons.
By SHERRI KOLADE
DEARBORN — Dearborn Public Schools wants to remember a fellow employee by letting his legacy live on through a scholarship, walkathons and a cross country meet.
Robert Cipriano, 52, of Farmington Hills, died April 16, allegedly at the hand of his son Tucker, 19, and his friend Mitchell Jordan Young 20, after the pair raided Cipriano’s house looking for money, according to published reports.
During a news conference May 23, at Edsel Ford High School’s football field and track, Cipriano’s colleagues and community leaders told a small crowd how Cipriano will be missed and what the district is doing to keep his memory alive.
DPS Supt. Brian Whiston said Cipriano was an advocate for children and encouraged participation of all types of athletic activities.
“He had a concern to get kids moving,” Whiston said. “Bob was an avid runner and running was also one of Bob’s top training tools and a key to success.”
To create a lasting memory of Cipriano, Whiston said DPS staff, students, Board of Education and community members developed an annual cross country meet, an extension of Cipriano’s earlier plan to help youth become healthier.
“Bob was working with athletic directors to create a running program in middle schools and if possible elementary students that would encourage competition and encourage lifelong fitness,” Whiston said.
The event, the Robert Cipriano Memorial Cross Country Meet, is scheduled for Oct. 19.
Whiston projects nearly 500 students in fourth through eighth grades will attend.
The district will also create the Robert Cipriano Memorial Scholarship, a $500 scholarship that will be awarded to one high school senior from each of three Dearborn public high schools who has participated in either track, cross country or baseball. Scholarship qualifications will be determined by a district committee.
A few other benefits include a Just Keep Loving People Walkathon from noon to 2p.m. June 14 at Edsel Ford High School’s fitness path. “Just keep loving people” is an expression Cipriano’s son Tanner delivered during his father’s funeral on April 25. He said in his message that his father forgave and loved people and he asked everyone to do the same.
DPS also will sell rose-colored bracelets in support of Cipriano’s wife and son who are recovering from their injuries. The $5 bracelets have the words “Just Keep Loving People” inscribed on them. Bracelets are available online at www.dearbornedfoundation.org.
Dearborn Education Foundation Executive Director Eddie Fakoury said monetary donations can be given to Comerica Bank and DFC Financial, made payable to the Dearborn Education Foundation with “Cipriano Memorial Fund” in the memo.