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GRPS appoints interim principals

Grand Rapids — Grand Rapids Public Schools recently announced two new interim principals: Cindy Rivera Madera at Dickinson Academy, and Ben Garlets at Brookside Elementary School. 

In a release from the district, Rivera Madera, a former teacher at Dickinson, expressed excitement about her new role and optimism about what’s to come. She touted the school’s diversity and commitment to students.

“We have students from around the world here in our school,” she said. “Dickinson is an option. We are here, and they’re going to hear from us a lot of positive things.”

Rivera Madera hails from Puerto Rico, where she taught for 21 years before coming to GRPS.

In another district statement, Garlets stressed the importance of elementary school in students’ development. 

“(Students) can expect someone who has high expectations for education,” he said. “I’m fair, I’m empathetic, I care about all people, and I really desire what’s best for each and every student.”

Garlets has a background in outdoor education, and previously taught in Alaska for 10 years. 

Read more from Grand Rapids: 
‘The best feeling’: Student growth paramount for GRPS teacher
‘Funnest job I have’: Michigan Teacher of the Year visits GRPS

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Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley is a reporter covering Cedar Springs, Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids and Sparta school districts. An award-winning journalist, Riley spent eight years with the Ludington Daily News, reporting, copy editing, paginating and acting as editor for its weekly entertainment section. He also contributed to LDN’s sister publications, Oceana’s Herald-Journal and the White Lake Beacon. His reporting on issues in education and government has earned accolades from the Michigan Press Association and Michigan Associated Press Media Editors. Riley’s early work in journalism included a stint as an on-air news reporter for WMOM Radio, and work on the editorial staff of various student publications. Riley is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He originally hails from western Washington.


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