State superintendent tours classrooms and new learning center

State Superintendent Michael Rice sits with student Ashleigh Triplett in Eric Nephew’s second grade classroom
Students Corabelle Martin, left, and Evy Okonoski welcome State Superintendent Michael Rice to Roguewood Elementary School

Students and staff at Roguewood Elementary School and Rockford High School recently got an encouraging visit from the top education official in Michigan, State Superintendent Michael Rice. 

Rice visited several classrooms at Roguewood and the school’s Spanish immersion program, along with a math class at the new Creative Teaching and Learning Center at Rockford High School. The Sept. 12 visit was part of Rice’s regular stops at state school districts “to observe best practices and celebrate the terrific things happening in schools around Michigan,” a press release stated. 

Roguewood Principal Teya Cotter said Rice was impressed by the school’s “connection to students” and its use of teaching technology.

State Superintendent Michael Rice meets with Rockford Superintendent Michael Shibler

“It was refreshing to have a state superintendent who was really invested in what was happening in the classroom, and he was very knowledgeable,” Cotter said. “He was also passionate about refugee students and students with special needs” getting the funding they need. “He knows we’re not getting enough … but we’re making it happen.” 

Rice was the superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools for 12 years before being hired by the State Board of Education this spring and taking office July 1. He succeeded former state schools chief Brian Whiston, who died last year of cancer.

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Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio or email Charles.

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