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Two-stepper, avid reader owes career to her first-grade teacher

Meet Your Principal: Jenn Schultz

Jenn Shultz is the new Emmons Lake Elementary School principal. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet the Principal.

Other positions in education: “I taught a variety of grade levels for 18 years at North Muskegon and, last year, I worked as the principal at New Era Elementary in Shelby Public Schools.”

Education/degrees: Bachelor’s in education and special education, Central Michigan University; master’s in early childhood education, Grand Valley State University.  

Spouse/children: Husband, Adam; and children Trevor, Dylan and Jaley

Hobbies/interests/little-known talent: “I love to read, spend time with family and friends, love being at the beach. Once, I was crazy enough to do a fun fund raiser with Muskegon’s ‘Dancing With the Local Stars’ and it was a huge stretch outside my comfort zone! The Muskegon Women’s Chamber of Commerce puts on a fund-raising event every year and for this one, I was nominated by the community and paired with a professional dancer to perform in four shows. We trained for a month, and the proceeds went toward a local food pantry.”

Jenn Schultz, here hugging very huggable Brady, is the new principal at Emmons Lake Elementary

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? “I loved to play sports, especially basketball, volleyball and softball. I have always been an avid reader. When I was a kid, (The) Baby-Sitters Club and anything from Judy Blume were my favorite books.” 

The biggest you have learned from students is… “Be kind, always.”

Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would … go back to first grade, because my teacher was amazing. I would tell her thank you, and that she was the reason I went into education.”

How has your first year as a principal during the coronavirus pandemic been so far? “It’s been amazing. The kids are so excited to be face to face. We are mostly all here every day, with a ton of safety measures in place. Massive kudos to my Emmons Lake team and the district as a whole, because the energy is high and we’re constantly learning to adjust to moving targets.”

What potentially positive change do you hope comes out of the pandemic for schools? “I am hopeful to see how our school community (staff, students, families, etc.) will come together to embrace uncertain and ever-changing times, with a positive spirit, kind hearts, more grace and immense gratitude for our amazing community! Our school theme this year is to seize every opportUNITY (Seeing challenges as opportunities to come together with a student centered focus.)”

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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter, covering Caledonia and Kenowa Hills and is a roving reporter for Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News - covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry.  Following a stint as a copywriter for a Grand Rapids area PR firm, she transitioned from communications to freelance writing and reporting for SNN.  Read Alexis' full bio or email Alexis.

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