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25 years and counting

Board member receives highest honor from state association


David Smith was recognized by the Michigan Association of School Boards with the President’s Award of Recognition for 25 years of service on the Thornapple Kellogg Board of Education.

The award is presented to school board members who have completed seven levels of professional development and training. For Smith, that meant some 120 hours of professional development classes, for which he earned 1,383 education credits attending local, county and state educational events, plus leadership roles he would have held at the local and county levels.

“This level of dedication not only made David a better board member, but benefited the students of Thornapple Kellogg through his increased knowledge of the educational environment,” said Don Wotruba, MASB executive director.

Smith currently serves as Thornapple Kellogg’s Board vice president, and also was president for a number of years. His most memorable time on the board, he said, came in his first year, when then-Superintendent Jay Cason and he brought in a consultant to lead a school improvement project that “set the course for significant improvements.”

Since then, Smith has been proud to have been part of hiring new superintendents and strategic planning for the district.

He was also on the Board during planning and construction of the new middle school, and major renovations to the high school and the athletic stadium.

Smith said his favorite part about the work has been his colleagues.

“I work with the best people you could ask for, and we’re able to provide the district with the most we can,” he said. “We’re lucky to have such a support system in place.”

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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.

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