Two new leaders for GRPS elementaries

Maureen Capillo is principal of North Park Montessori, which uses tactile objects such as this abacus to help students learn

Steeped in Montessori, picked blueberries, likes biking to school
Meet Your Principal: Maureen Capillo

Maureen Capillo is the new North Park Montessori School principal. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet Your Principal.

Other positions you have held in education: Montessori teaching specialist at Monocacy Valley Montessori Public Charter School, Frederick, Maryland; lead lowerlementary guide, Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School, Washington, D.C; lower elementary guide, The Montessori School of Wilton, Wilton, Connecticut; teacher, fourth grade, Achievement First, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY; assistant teacher, fourth grade, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA. teacher training cohort with Shady Hill and Lesley University; AmeriCorps site coordinator, program specialist, interim regional director, Peace Games, Boston, MA.

How about jobs outside education? Farmer/blueberry picker in Maine; environmental justice organizer with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth; summer intern as assistant to the executive director, Global Exchange, San Francisco; student employee, Justice Department, Saint Mary’s College, South Bend, Indiana.

Maureen Capillo as an elementary student

Spouse:  Brett James Kempler

Hobbies/Interests/Little-known talents: quilter, biker, runner, swimmer, reader.

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? I was a hard worker and eager to learn.  I cared a lot about being the best (lawyer, doctor, or actress).  I was quiet and reserved, but with friends could get loud. I was generally respectful, but occasionally pushed back on rules that felt arbitrary or unfair.

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is … How to stay curious, engaged, and joyful.

If I could go back to school I would go … back to an infant, toddler, or primary Montessori environment (Children’s House).  I believe deeply in early childhood education and the impact it can have on the trajectory of a child’s educational journey.  I believe first through fourth grade would have been significantly easier for me if I had been exposed to the idea of purposeful work earlier in my development.

If you walked into your new school building to theme music every day, what would the song be? I do plan on biking or walking to my building most days and am not a huge music person.  I prefer silence and listening intently for bird songs, and the sound the wind makes blowing through tree leaves.

Harvey Crawley, principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy

Multi-talented educator and coach, Lego guy, Motown fan
Meet Your Principal: Harvey Crawley

Harvey Crawley is the new Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy principal. SNN gets to know him in this edition of Meet Your Principal.

Other positions you have held in education: Wow, that’s a lot. In my 20-plus years in education between Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Grand Rapids, I’ve held a multitude of positions, predominately at the secondary level, including assistant principal at City High/Middle School the past two years. I’ve taught English, reading, and in a pinch one year, computers and physical education. I’ve coached (girls basketball and volleyball, boys and co-ed track), been a curriculum coordinator and athletic director, building union rep, assistant principal and principal.

How about jobs outside education? When cable was in its infancy — back in the ‘80s — for a period in high school I was selling ON TV in Detroit. It was a cable channel that came on at 8 p.m. and went off at 12:30 a.m. No 24 hour (cycle)  like today.

Spouse/children: Not married (in a relationship); no children, but way too many nieces and nephews.

Hobbies/Interests/Little-known talent: I enjoy relaxing, working out and being active, reading various novels (graphic, mystery/spy, and non-fiction), cooking, building and collecting Legos architecture, and spending time with those closest to me. In my mind I’m an excellent singer; however, the “ears of the world” say something different.

Harvey Crawley as a kindergartner at Doty Elementary School

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this school? When I was this age, how shall I say it, I was a “respectful challenge” for teachers and sometimes students. I’d like to think I’ve matured “a little” since then, but if you ask some relatives, they might think otherwise!

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is … the importance of making caring and meaningful connections with them, listening to them, and tapping into and utilizing their creativity to ensure learning is engaging and fun.

If I could go back to school I would go to … 11th grade, when I had several of my favorite teachers that year: Mr. Greene (physics), Mr. Norde (calculus) and Mr. Cargill (aviation).

If you walked into your new school building to theme music every day, what would the song be? Too many songs come to mind; definitely not “Sesame Street.” However, being born and raised in Detroit, I better represent and say some early Motown or “Seven Nation Army” by Jack White.

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 and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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