- Sponsorship -

A gift fit for knights

A royal surprise from a beloved social worker

Brookwood Elementary School students were declared official Knights of the Realm for their respectfulness, responsibility, kindness and other traits that follow the Code of Chivalry, a moral system from the Middle Ages.

The declaration – for more than 50 lords and ladies in fifth grade, 15 in fourth-grade and 15 in third grade – was made during a surprise visit from a queen, knights and a lord from Medieval Times, a Schaumburg, Illinois-based dinner theater company.

Brookwood Elementary School social worker Pam Buschle arranged for Medieval Times to perform as a surprise for her students

Students learned sword maneuvers from the eloquent and honorable knights and watched sparks fly as weapons clanged during an action-packed joust.

“I was really looking forward to the red knight winning,” said fourth-grader Colette Banks.

The visit was organized by social worker Pam Buschle, who is planning to retire at the end of the school year after nearly three decades. Buschle, who lost her arms and legs to amputation while batting septic shock following routine surgery in 2014, said she wanted to thank the children for the love they’ve given her on her road to recovery and beyond.

“The students and the staff at this school and all of Kentwood have given so generously from their hearts to me. This is just a small token of my appreciation for the (Brookwood) kids because they have shown such acceptance and compassion for me throughout this journey of losing my hands and my feet.”

Buschle said she sees Kentwood students living by the knight’s Code of Chivalry. “It’s really modeling treating others with kindness and respect and that is consistent with our message at Brookwood of teaching kid to interact with each others with compassion and caring and respect for differences.”

Fifth-grader Ashtyn Coykendall puts on her Medieval Times crown

Each May, fifth-graders take a trip to Chicago for a dinner show at Medieval Times. It’s a 10-year-old tradition younger students look forward to, and a great way to bring history and language arts to life, said Principal Lorenzo Bradshaw. It also gives opportunities to students who normally would not have them.

“We find opportunities to bring curriculum to life and we have a big focus on informational text,” he said. “What better way than to simulate and give kids the opportunity to experience Medieval Times?”

Third-grader Kamryn Kruisenga offered her own words of gratitude to Buschle. “I want to thank her by giving her a hug! I know all the trouble she’s been through.”


Limbs lost, she gives back with her heart

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She 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, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.


Fourth-grade hockey fan gets a magical hour on ice: ‘I made the shot!’

Raised as a Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins hockey fan, Jackson Solow lights up while skating on an ice rink wearing his favorite hockey jersey...

‘This time it is continued learning’

One school’s switch from in-person to virtual education last week was nearly seamless, especially when compared with the forced school closure in March...

Foundation grants $28,285 in fall funding requests

Virtual phys ed and art experiences, materials to improve classroom focus and books on social issues aimed at middle-schoolers are among the grants approved this fall...

Latest school closings expand on state-ordered high school mandate

More Kent County districts continue to announce temporary school building closures, as schools contend with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County and Michigan...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Superintendent announces retirement after 33 years serving Kentwood community

Superintendent Michael Zoerhoff this week announced he will retire at the end of the school year, June 30...

Schools in nine districts announce closures as COVID cases spike

New temporary school building closures were announced by nine school districts in Kent ISD this week, as schools contend with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County and Michigan...
- 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