Champion for children, up-and-comer in Gaga ball

New principal Cheryl Corpus sits with kindergartners, from left, T.J. Dykstra, Da’Mari Frazier and Jacob Flores

Cheryl Corpus is the new Gladiola Elementary School principal. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet Your Principal.

What and where was your previous job? I was associate director at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning with The Education Trust-Midwest.

Degrees: I am a National Board Certified Teacher in English as a New Language. I have a bachelor of arts in English and a bachelor of arts in education; a master’s in TESOL/Applied Linguistics; and a master’s in Education Leadership. I’ve attended Central Michigan University, Cornerstone University and University of Colorado.

“Outstanding! You rocked today!” points out new Gladiola Elementary Principal Cheryl Corpus to kindergartners

Other positions you have held in education: I have worked as an adjunct instructor for Aquinas College, an instructional specialist with Godwin Heights Public Schools, a K-8 EL coordinator/assistant principal in Colorado, and a high school and adult education teacher in Flint.

How about jobs outside education? I’ve worked in retail, waitressing, and even worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken when I was young.

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? In elementary school, I was focused on reading, reading and more reading. I was also into the outdoors and animals. All three things are still true today.

Hobbies/Interests: I like being outdoors, advocating for education and being with my family.

What inspires you, both in your educational role and in your own life? People in general inspire me. You never know their story and I believe in the power of community and that education can create real change. I am driven to close achievement and opportunity gaps for students and to advocate for students and families.

What makes you laugh? A good meme and a good movie analogy to capture situations.

What would people be surprised to learn about you? That I just learned how to play Gaga ball on the playground with students, and plan on being the recess champion by the end of the year.

Tell us about a non-professional book you recommend and why: “Small Great Things” by Jodi Picoult. It challenges us to examine our assumptions/biases and explore the dynamic of race and prejudice.

Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would go to 11th grade, because I think it’s such an important year to make decisions about what you want to do after high school. I would sign up for more AP classes and push myself harder.

New Principal Cheryl Corpus is getting to know her staff, including (from left) Katherine Henry, Restorative Practices practitioner; Amy Hendrickson, social worker; and Fritz Bowerman, behavioral interventionist
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2012. Read Erin's full bio

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