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New Crestwood principal a familiar face in Rockford

Meet Your Administrator: Kyle Avink

Rockford — Kyle Avink is the newly appointed permanent principal at Crestwood Elementary, after spending most of the 2022-23 school year serving as the school’s interim principal. SNN gets to know him in this edition of Meet Your Administrators.

Principal Kyle Avink appreciates the fact that students like Sawyer Trotter remind him to enjoy life and not take things too seriously

Other positions you have held in education:

  • Assistant principal at East Rockford Middle School
  • Teacher and athletic director at East Rockford Middle School
  • Kindergarten and first-grade teacher in Cedar Springs

How about jobs outside education? “For many years in high school I worked on a farm detasseling corn, and I was a server for many years at various restaurants during my early years of teaching as a second job.”


  • Bachelor’s in Education, Cornerstone University
  • Master’s in Educational Leadership, Western Michigan University
  • Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in educational leadership at WMU

Hobbies/interests/little-known talent: “I enjoy CrossFit and most any outdoor activities, woodworking and creating new projects. (I also like) spending time with my family, nieces and nephews.”

Kyle Avink spends much of his free time outdoors or in his wood shop

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school?

“I loved school as an elementary student. I was always reading and often referred to as a bookworm. I was the teacher’s pet and worked hard as a student. School did not always come (easily) to me. It was something I worked hard at, but has definitely shaped who I am today as a person and an educator.” 

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is… ”Don’t take life too seriously. I am reminded of this daily with hugs, laughter, high fives, smiles and fun stories (from students). We often make life so complicated as adults. Working alongside students every day gives me an opportunity to see the world from their perspective and enjoy life.”

Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would go to grade ? because… “I loved fifth grade. I had a teacher that was so engaged in our learning, she found creative ways to connect learning. I also made some strong friendships during that year that carried over into middle school.”

If you walked into your new school building to theme music by a favorite artist or band, what would it be? Pharrell Williams, “Happy”

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Allison Poosawtsee
Allison Poosawtsee
Allison Poosawtsee is a reporter covering Rockford Public Schools and Kent City Community Schools. She has spent 15+ years working and writing in the education context, first for her alma mater, Calvin University, and then for various businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Grand Rapids area. As a student journalist, she served as editor-in-chief of Calvin’s student newspaper where she garnered several Michigan Collegiate Press Association awards for her work. Allison is a proud parent of two Grand Rapids Public Schools scholars and a passionate advocate for the value of public education.


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