Sports Nut, Zamboni Driver, Dedicated Educator

Meet Your Assistant Principal: Chris Bernard

Chris Bernard with his wife, Melissa, son Camden and daughter Avery

School: Central Elementary

Other positions you have held in education: I spent the past 11 years as an English teacher at Kenowa Hills High School. During that tenure, I taught every grade level but, by far, my favorite was teaching ninth-grade English.

How about jobs outside education? My favorite job ever (outside of working in education) was driving the Zamboni at Kentwood Ice Arena.

Spouse/children: My wife, Melissa, is a guidance counselor at East Kentwood Freshman Campus. Together we have two beautiful children, Avery, 7, and Camden, 5. Avery is going into second grade, while Camden is tackling kindergarten.

Chris Bernard as a third-grader at Glenwood Elementary in Kentwood

Hobbies/Interests/Little-known talent: I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling. I love being active outside, playing golf, swimming or just enjoying our beautiful spring, summer and fall seasons. We are a University of Michigan family. Go Blue. My little known talent is I cut my own hair (LOL).

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? I had a strong love for learning and being present with my friends at school. My mom was a public school teacher for 36 years, so going to school was always something I enjoyed doing with her. I was all boy growing up: I loved sports, recess and lunch. My mother taught in East Kentwood Public Schools, which is where I attended. No doubt about it, East Kentwood made me but Kenowa Hills raised me. Professionally, I have grown up here and found my way as an educator.

The biggest lesson I have learned from students is… to smile and have fun. Education, teaching and learning is challenging and difficult but very rewarding. Having a sense of humor and not taking things too seriously is such a valuable lesson I’ve learned.

If I could go back to school I would go to … second grade, because the hardest decision I had to make each day was what sandbox to play in at recess. Furthermore, during second grade, we traveled to Disney World for the first time for spring break and I thought that was so cool.

If you walked into your new school building to theme music every day, what would the song be? I am not a big music person and never really have been. Therefore, if I could have “something” playing when I walked into school each day, it would probably be ESPN sports talk radio. However, if I had to pick a song it would probably be “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

Chris Bernard says having a sense of humor is important for both educators and students
Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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