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Principal, photographer, choreographer and more

Meet Your Administrators: Jennifer Sherman

Jennifer Sherman is the new principal at Kelloggsville’s 54th Street Academy. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet Your Administrators.

Kelloggsville – The new principal at 54th Street Academy also has her own photography studio and offers free mini senior photo sessions to her graduates.

Other positions in education

  • English language-learner teacher for 13 years at Kelloggsville High School 
  • Online English teacher at 54th Street Academy
  • Physical education teacher at Allendale High School 
  • Sherman has also coached varsity boys and varsity girls soccer and middle school track in the Kelloggsville system

How about jobs outside of education?

“I own my own photography company called JEN LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY. It allows me to be creative and capture the uniqueness of each individual. I offer free mini senior sessions when a student graduates from 54th Street Academy.” 

Family

Married, four children

Education/Degrees

  • Bachelor’s degree, English major, PE minor, Grand Valley State University;
  • Master’s degree, Literacy and Learning, Walden University; 
  • PK-12 Administration Certificate from Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals
Jennifer Sherman says that no matter the district, students yearn to be seen and to be heard

Hobbies, Interests and Little-known talent

“Photography, golf, reading and writing. But my greatest interest is in whatever our children are into. We are beginning our busy season of football, basketball and soccer! I love spending time on the water with friends and family. Live music, especially by water, brings me joy. I volunteer every summer at our church camp and that fills me up! We work for months choreographing dance moves to modern Christian music, and we each have our own persona. I’m Lady Godly (Lady Gaga). 

“Taking time over the summer to teach kids about Jesus is the ‘rest’ I need before beginning another school year. It reminds me how blessed I am to be a source of safety, love, and understanding for my staff and students. My husband and I are renovating our home, an old farmhouse, ourselves. I love spending time with him creating our vision. I’m not sure a talent of mine would be hanging drywall, but I definitely understand the process now. However, he does all the heavy lifting!”

What kind of kid were you as a high school student?

“I’m the same. I am still very outgoing and make friends with everyone around me. I have never been great at sticking to just one group. I’m passionate in connecting people. I grew up on Lake Huron, so water was and is my happy place. I played soccer from age 5, and I still enjoy playing when I can. I was a radio DJ at my high school on WORW 91.9 FM. Probably why I still love music so much.”

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is:

“Students really are the same, wherever you go, no matter the district. They yearn to be seen and to be heard. Feeling loved, safe and respected all stem from the universal need to be seen and heard. Our students feel their value in our building. We smile as soon as they open that front door. We tell them how glad we are that they showed up. These kids overcome adversity in ways you can’t imagine. They have to work harder than most to earn that high school degree, so my staff and I work harder to see them succeed. 

“I love when a student complains that I keep checking up on their progress. I always tell them, ‘That’s OK, you can be mad I’m on your case but when you’re on that graduation stage you’ll be glad I never gave up on you.’ They always smile when I say that. They know. They know I’m watching them because I care.”

Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would go to …

“I’ve been a lifelong learner and am always working on some sort of degree or new skill, so I wouldn’t go back to school. I prefer to keep growing!” 

If you walked into your new school building to theme music by a favorite artist or band, what would the song be? 

“Just set me up with a playlist of 90’s hip hop, a little Beastie Boys, some Janet Jackson and finish with some Red Hot Chili Peppers!” 

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Phil de Haan
Phil de Haan covers East Grand Rapids, Kelloggsville, is lead reporter for Grand Rapids and also is the point person for the SNN Facebook and Twitter feeds. He hails from Exeter, Ontario, but has called Grand Rapids home since 1985. He is the son of a longtime public school teacher who taught both English and machine shop! Phil took both classes at South Huron District High School, but English stuck, and at Calvin College, where he met his wife, Sue, he majored in English and minored in journalism. His background includes both freelance writing and public relations work, including teaching an advertising and PR course at the college level. In the summer of 2019, he began his own freelance writing and communications business. In his spare time, Phil plays pick-up hockey and pickleball and tries to keep tabs on his two adult children. Read Phil's full bio

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