- Sponsorship -

A Bulldog’s legacy

Grandville high school students honor former principal through hallway beautification project

After Chris VanderSlice passed away from leukemia last year, the Bulldog community brainstormed ways to honor the former principal’s legacy. For several art students at Grandville High School, remembering VanderSlice came with an artistic twist.

Now, near the entrance of the school’s athletic building, a mural dedicated to the life of the principal depicts a rock climber (rock climbing was one of VanderSlice’s passions), and a collection of encouraging words. Through the artwork, students hope VanderSlice’s “Got Grit“ attitude will live on.

“This project radiates perseverance, grit and determination,” said Grandville High School art teacher Derek Johnson. “This is part of our dedication to his strength and dedication to this school.”

For one hour, three days a week, 10 students from honors art class brainstormed, created and collaborated on the art project.

“These guys are dedicated artists that have taken this project on as their own,” Johnson said. “I’m proud of the work that they have done throughout the evolution of the mural.”

An art student outlines inspirational sayings on the mural

Junior Alyssa Fahner plans to pursue forensic science after graduation, but has a special place in her heart for art.

“Art has really helped me reduce the stress levels in my life and has given me a sense of expression,” Alyssa said.

A Continuing Impact

This mural project was especially important to Alyssa because it reminds her of VanderSlice, an administrator who had a positive impact on the Grandville community, she said.

“It’s a great thing to have to remember him and all that he stood for and to have something that represents our school so well.”

Messages written on the mural also stand for the values of Grandville as a whole, Alyssa said.

“The words, they all represent something different and powerful and something that almost everyone will be able to relate to,” she said. “There’s something for everyone here and something to be reflected on as well.”

Part of the hallway beautification project was a ceramic display created by Grandville students

Junior Landyn Teachout hopes to go into graphic design, but enjoyed working on the project. “This has been a really fun project for us all and a really powerful one too,” she said. “I’m excited for everyone to see it when it is finished.”

In addition to its meaningful dedication, the mural is part of the new hallway beautification project at Grandville High School.

“The hallways were just too plain, they needed something to brighten them up,” said Deb Kreuyer, high school art teacher.

Additional projects include a ceramic tile display near the high school entrance and op art ceiling tiles throughout the halls. “We’re livening up the walls with student-driven inspiration,” Kreuyer said.

She hopes that soon, student art will be visible all across the school.

“We’ve got a lot of talent here,” she said. “It’s a great way to get the students involved in a way that you can actually see.”


Former Grandville Principal Dies After Leukemia Battle

- Sponsorship -
Hannah Lentz
Hannah Lentz
A 2017 graduate of Grand Valley State University and a lifelong teacher’s kid, Hannah Lentz has worked as a journalist in and outside the Grand Rapids area for more than five years. After serving as editor-in-chief at the GVSU student newspaper, Hannah interned at the Leelanau Enterprise where she learned a lot about community journalism. In addition to her work for School News Network, Hannah has worked as a freelance blogger in the furniture industry, focusing on design trends, and as a social media manager for World Medical Relief in Detroit.


Young constitutional scholars view current events, politics through historical lens

East Grand Rapids and East Kentwood high school We the People team members have qualified for the national competition, becoming well versed in civics and critical thinking along the way...

Rain gutter regatta showcases buoyancy, engineering skills

An annual boat race has become a highlight of sixth-grade science class. At stake: bragging rights and 'a goofy trophy'...

The Hood family: a school & community leadership dynasty

Five generations have lived within a five- to six-mile radius dating back to a government work program in the 1930s...

The sky’s the limit (or is it?) for this accomplished model builder

Creative, innovative, imaginative … Many of today’s students are all that and more in a vast variety of interest areas. This series features students with exceptional and unusual gifts...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Capitol riot gets personal in heart-sinking moment for history teacher and Michigan elector

The day after a violent mob broke into the U.S. Capitol, teacher and Michigan elector Blake Mazurek sat down with School News Network to discuss Wednesday’s events and how teachers and parents can help children navigate trauma and uncertainty in the wake of such events...

Choir teacher featured on national TV after SNN profile

A middle school choir teacher received an early holiday surprise on the television talk show, “The View,” this week, thanks to School News Network...

History geek with unique role in this year’s national election hopes to inspire students

Since 1837, fewer than 700 people have served the state of Michigan as an Electoral College elector. This year, a middle-school teacher from Grandville was one of them...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU