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Sylvia James fills opening on Kent ISD School Board

At a special meeting in February, the Kent ISD School Board appointed Kentwood resident Sylvia James to fill an opening on its board created when Bill Joseph retired earlier this year.

Sylvia James (courtesy photo)

A 25-year-resident of the City of Kentwood, James currently serves as a Trustee of the Kentwood Public Schools Board of Education, a position she has held since 2017. She has extensive professional experience in operational and strategic human resources practices and management at Pridgeon & Clay, Inc., and previously with Steelcase, Spectrum Health, and Robert Bosch, LLC.

“I became interested in being a part of this board out of a desire to serve students and families beyond the Kentwood community,” James said. “I am looking forward to connecting with the Greater Grand Rapids community as I learn more about Kent ISD. I am excited about the possibility of being able to make a positive impact as we continue to serve students, educators, and our community.”

“We are pleased to welcome Sylvia to the Kent ISD School Board and look forward to enlisting her experience, passion and dedication to serve all students in the Kent County area,” Kent ISD Superintendent Ron Caniff said. “The board is grateful to Bill Joseph for his 18 years of service, countless insights and many contributions throughout the years. We look forward to continuing this important work with Sylvia’s leadership and commitment to public education.”
Kent ISD’s Board has five members who each serve six-year terms and are elected by representatives of the local districts. James will serve until the 2021 election, when she can run to serve the remainder of Joseph’s term which ends in 2025.

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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma covers Kent ISD and Godwin Heights. She was born in the Detroit area but grew up in Brighton where she attended Hartland Public Schools. The salutatorian for the Class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism and minored in photography and German. She expanded her color palette to include orange and black as both her daughters graduated from Byron Center Public Schools; maroon and white for Aquinas College where her daughter studies nursing and also brought back blue and maize for Grand Rapids Community College where her youngest daughter currently is studying music. Read Joanne's full bio


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