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District grad, longtime staffer takes helm … but can he moonwalk?

Meet your principal: Jerry Klekotka

Jerry Klekotka is the new Crossroads Middle School principal. SNN gets to know him in this edition of Meet Your Principal.

Other positions you have held in education: science teacher and dean of students at Crossroads Middle; principal, East Oakview Elementary; Northview High School athletic director

Spouse/children: wife, Sara; children Alex, 20; Sydney, 17; and Brady, 13

Hobbies/Interests: Being outdoors, fishing and sports.

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school?  Note: Klekotka was a student at Crossroads when previous principal Dan Duba — who retired last year after 44 years — was at the helm. I was a good kid, but sometimes struggled making poor choices. I had a great group of friends and was supported by many families growing up. I can never thank them enough for helping me reach my potential.

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is… There is no substitute for hard work.

If I could go back to school I would go to grade … It is hard to finish this sentence because I have so many good memories from my days in school. I attended Northview since 1975 and am still in the system! There are too many great teachers, memories, friends to pick any one year.  I actually loved every year of my school experience.

If you walked into your new school building to theme music every day, what would the song be? “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. I saw him in concert at the Pontiac Silverdome when I was in the eighth grade. It’s hard not to listen when that song is played.  (For the record, Klekotka says no, he can’t moonwalk.)

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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio or email Morgan.

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