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Most important thing we do is ‘have a belief in our own bright future’

Meet Your Principal: Michael Gelmi

Michael Gelmi is the new principal of Central Elementary School

Other positions you have held in education:

  • Middle school math and science teacher at Hamilton Middle and High School, five years
  • Middle school and high school math and science teacher at Petoskey Middle and High School, two years
  • Middle school assistant principal and athletic director at Hamilton Middle School
  • Elementary principal at Page Elementary, Thornapple Kellogg Schools, eight years

How about jobs outside education?

  • Worked for the Marquette County Road Commission for a few summers
  • Construction builder for three summers
  • Student manager in a college dorm cafeteria at Central Michigan University
Michael Gelmi is the new principal at Central Elementary School in Grandville

Family: Married with three children. My wife is Deb, who is a former kindergarten teacher and creator of a kids yoga program called Sing Song Yoga. My daughter, Lia, is a sophomore at Zeeland East High School; and my twin boys, Everett and Emerson, are in second grade in Zeeland.

Hobbies/Interests/Little-known talent: I love baseball and I am a big Chicago Cubs fan. I also am a big Green Bay Packer fan. I enjoy time with my family and friends, including big family vacations. I love to travel, as we have owned a couple different motorhomes and have done big vacations out west, traveling sometimes up to three weeks on the road to Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, the Rockies, the Colorado River etc. I also love hanging out with my college friends at Central Michigan University homecoming and other big events. I also enjoy visiting back home in the Ishpeming area, including time at our hunting camp and on the water.

Central Elementary Principal Michael Gelmi as an elementary student

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? I was an active kid and I am sure my teachers would say I was busy, liked to talk (probably too much) and too competitive in and out of the classroom. As a student, I loved to be involved with sports and activities like cross-country skiing, baseball, football, basketball and anything that was active outside. My favorite time was recess and I loved being outside.

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is… The most important thing we do in life is to have a belief in our own bright future, and it looks different for everybody.

If I could go back to school I would go to… fifth grade, because sports and activities were becoming more of an option, and playing with friends outside and making new friends was still the norm for everyone at that age.  All things are possible at that age, as we would be shaping ourselves for our future.

If you walked into your new school building to theme music every day, what would the song be? ”Best Day of My Life” by American Authors

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Hannah Lentz
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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