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Students to show off their talents at regional showcase

First time for school in longtime event

We are born into a rhythm designed by the past,
Whose tune and tempo were constructed to last.
Our feet march in time with the sound of the drums,
Our thoughts fall in sync with what’s being hummed.

The first stanzas of senior Jessica Barnard’s poem “Song Inhumane” make clear how she believes humans form thoughts, but in the end, the poet concludes each person can and must find his or her own way to think.

Jessica has a way with words, has been entering her poetry in writing contests and belongs to a local writing club. Now she and four of her peers were chosen to represent Kent City High School in the West Michigan Student Showcase.

Ryan Kik shows off the drawing that she has featured at the West Michigan Showcase

The showcase, held at the Frauenthal Center in Muskegon, has been popularly attended for nearly four decades, but for the first time Kent City sent student representatives. Their work was featured last week, along with that of students from about 30 other area schools.

Since 1981, high school students from Kent, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, and Ottawa counties have been featured in performance and honored for exceptional performance. The idea is for regional schools to choose representatives in several categories to show off exceptional students and their accomplishments.

Jessica represented the school in the Literary Arts category. Joining her are Ryan Kik in Visual Arts, Rachel Gubala in Academics, and Teanna McCuaig and Fraser Wilson in Athletics.

Different Gifts Recognized

Ryan, who at one point considered becoming a doctor, demonstrates her fascination with the intricacies of the body in her artwork by creating a series of human organs in colored pencil drawings. One of that series, showing the intestines, was chosen for the showcase. It will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the center’s Visual Arts Gallery through April 29.

Rachel said she was honored to be nominated by her teachers to represent her school as as an exceptional student. While she currently has over a 4.0 grade-point average, she is particularly proud of the fact that because of Advanced Placement classes, by time she graduates she will have earned enough college credits to have one year of classes already finished.

Also attending the showcase from Kent City are representatives in the male and female athletic categories. Teanna, who has performed on the volleyball, basketball and track teams, has persevered through a number of season-ending injuries, and despite spending so much time with sports is graduating as co-valedictorian. Fraser is also an exceptional student and was on the track, football, basketball and softball teams.

“It is a blessing to represent Kent City,” said Teanna. “We have a lot of good kids here and a lot of great things happen at this school.”

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West Michigan Showcase

Jessica Barnard (left) and Rachel Gubala are two of the students who represented the best of Kent City’s student body

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Janice Holst
Janice Holst
Janice Holst has been both a teacher and a journalist. A former MLive reporter, she wrote features and covered local government and schools for Advance Newspapers for nearly two decades. She also was a recipe columnist and wrote features for Mature Life Style and occasional entertainment pieces for On The Town magazines. She lives in Sparta Township and is thrilled to spend some of her retirement hours writing the stories of the northern Kent County school districts. Read Janice's full bio or email Janice.

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