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Lee Students Who Stay on Track Get Trip to Check Out College

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Keeping up with the classes they need to graduate high school on time rewards Lee High School students with a celebration and a trip to check out college.

The idea was developed by Principal Kathryn Curry as she determined if students were on pace for graduation a couple of years ago. Now, ceremonies are held each trimester to celebrate the students for each grade level who are.

In December, 220 such students traveled to Central Michigan University over two days, with 110 students on each day.

“It was just really cool to be on a big school campus,” said junior, KenYa Raby. “We had a lot of fun and the food was great, too, so that made the day even better!”

Any high school student staying on track to graduate is eligible for the trip, which is about 95 percent of the high school’s students.Seniors Danny Arreola and Celestina Buentello are thinking of attending Central Michigan University and took a G.O.T. trip there with other students

Jake Manning, Godfrey-Lee administrator of student development, says showing students possibilities for what they can do after graduation – such as college – is part of an educator’s role.

“It is crucial to provide opportunities like this for our students to connect them with their future education and professional options,” said Manning.

The trips are taken as part of Lee’s College Week. The first year students checked out Western Michigan University.

A national Safe and Supportive Schools Grant, managed by the Michigan Department of Education, provides funds for the trips, which are organized by Manning and Julie Warmels.

“It’s just a really special week of the year for our kids at Lee to be able to experience what we try to prepare them for each day,” said Warmels in a press release. “And hearing some of the conversations of the students over the last two years and seeing the increase in college applications to the schools we’ve visited makes it all worth it.”

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Linda Odette
Linda Odette is a freelance writer and editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism. She’s worked primarily as an editor in feature departments at newspapers in West Michigan, including the Grand Rapids Press, the Muskegon Chronicle and the Holland Sentinel. She lives in East Grand Rapids near the Eastown edge, has a teenage son and a daughter in college. Read Linda's full bio or email Linda.

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