From digging swimming pools to stupid human tricks, this admin has a looong list of talents

Meet Your Administrator: Luke Scholten

Luke Scholten, the new Kenowa Hills Director of Special Education and Early Childhood Education, with his family: back row, from left: Alletta, 11; wife, Melissa; Wren, 4; front row, from left: Lucy, 7; Eli, 9

Luke Scholten is the new Kenowa Hills director of special education and early childhood education. SNN gets to know him in this edition of Meet Your Administrator.

Other positions you have held in education:

  • Paraprofessional in two Southeastern Pennsylvania districts
  • Behavior interventionist in Colonial School District, Pennsylvania
  • School psychologist in Iowa, multiple districts
  • GRPS, multiple buildings
  • Rockford, multiple buildings
  • Wyoming, multiple buildings

Education/degrees:

  • Master’s in education from Lehigh University
  • Educational specialist from Lehigh University
  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Grand Valley State University
  • Admin/Special Education director certification from Grand Valley State University 
Luke Scholten, the new Kenowa Hills director of special education and early childhood education, with early administrative duties

Jobs outside education: I worked at, and then managed, a greenhouse/asparagus farm in Allendale from age 12-22; banquet and snack/drink service at (what used to be) Sunnybrook Country Club in Grandville; framing houses and digging swimming pools, Allendale; and was a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska

Spouse/children: wife, Melissa Scholten, and children Aletta, 11; Eli, 9; Lucy, 7; and Wren, 4

Hobbies/interests: I enjoy hiking, fishing in all forms — I prefer fly fishing and tie most of my own flies –, strategy board games, spending time with family/friends, and any excuse to use my chainsaw. I make pizza from scratch about once a week for my family and enjoy involving the kids with making sauce, throwing dough, etc. I have some overly flexible joints so I can do a few things that (late night TV talk show host) David Letterman used to call “stupid human tricks.” Kids think my tricks are great. I can clap with one hand, dislocate one of my fingers so it seems “dead,” and wrap my left arm all the way around my head to touch my left ear, as some examples.

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? As a 3-4 year old, I just wanted to be with my parents/grandparents and do what they were doing. I thought G.I. Joe and LEGOs were the greatest toys. I learned to water ski before I rode a two-wheel bike, and thought fishing and catching frogs was the best way to spend a summer day. 

Luke Scholten at his 4th birthday party

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is… Maya Angelo’s quote is true: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Students want our positive attention and a sense that we care about them first and foremost. Only then will they want to learn from us. 

Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school, I would go to … High school (Hudsonville Unity Christian) in general. I missed some chances to be a better friend and to be kinder to some folks. I wish I could have some of those chances back again.

If you walked into your new school building to theme music every day, what would the song be? Too many to choose from, but Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Coming” is a good one to get your feet moving.

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Cris Greer
For more than three decades, Cris Greer has been a wordsmith, working in the fields of journalism, advertising and marketing. Much of the past decade, he helped grow the MLive Statewide High School Sports desk as a supervisor, editor and reporter, which included eight newspapers in Michigan and mlive.com. Cris also was a freelancer for The Grand Rapids Press, The Advance and On the Town magazine for many years. A good portion of his early career was spent building and managing the copywriting team in the advertising department at Meijer, Inc., where he oversaw copywriting for print ads, mailers, brochures, signage, several dozen in-house magazines per year and much more. Read Cris's full bio or email Cris.

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