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Tom Rademacher

Tom Rademacher
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Tom Rademacher was long-time reporter and columnist for The Grand Rapids Press, where he specialized in wringing the extraordinary from the seeming ordinary. Read Tom's full bio

Lupe Ramos-Montigny: ‘Everyone Deserves to be a Part of Something’

Lupe Ramos-Montigny has done as much as anyone – and perhaps more than any Latina – to advance educational opportunities for children in Grand Rapids and beyond
Kattie Eason makes sure all traffic has stopped on Wealthy Street to make way for eighth-graders (from left) Sharkia Caldwell, Zaionna Love and Kalyce Russell

Stop, Look and Here’s Some Love

When Kattie Eason first stepped onto a Wealthy Street SE corner to serve as a school crossing guard at Henry Elementary School – now Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy -- she was 21 years old.

Can’t Keep A Can-do Man Down

It took the better part of four years for Mike Alanowski to get his foot in the door as a full-time employee in the facilities department at Kent ISD. And now that he's entrenched, it's doubtful anyone will ever be...

A Promise Made, a Promise Kept

For more than 150 years, they've been turning out heroic figures at the former Grand Rapids Central High School – now Innovation Central High. But this school season, the bar was raised when a humble soldier limped across Central's threshold...

‘Make a Place Better Than When You Got There’

It's not so much that Wyoming High School graduate Mirnes Kukic is bound for Harvard University as it is the personal qualities that surface as you chat to discover that he loves to fish, counts his grandfather as mentor,...

A Special Chair for a Special Child, Designed with Love

It's billed as a "Health Sciences Early College Academy" for area high schoolers to get their feet wet in healthcare professions, biomedical technology and science in general. But what drew me to a trio of students engaged in the program...

From Childhood Terrors to Lofty Dreams

For weeks on end, she chose to hold her tongue, and at one point, an instructor finally asked her why. With absolutely no malice, she gently replied that perhaps her classmates chose their words too carelessly. That maybe some talked...

Young Giants on the Move

You'll have to excuse Justice Shoalsand Hannibal Spencer if they appear more as a blur than standing still. It's just that these two young men have so many irons in the fire, they're not comfortable in one spot for...

There’s No Reining in This Student Leader

Once upon a time, there was a little girl of just 4 years old who lost her foot in a tragic accident involving a power lawn mower. And because of those grisly circumstances, you'd be forgiven for assuming that she...

Stepping up to Eleven

At Grandville Middle School a while back, they lifted up a beautiful bunch of Somebodys. But these six seventh- and eighth-graders weren't elevated for their grade-point average. Nor their athletic prowess. Nor how they might contribute to band or choir...
Tom Rademacher

Tom Rademacher

Tom Rademacher was long-time reporter and columnist for The Grand Rapids Press, where he specialized in wringing the extraordinary from the seeming ordinary. Read Tom's full bio

She’s a Champ, and So’s Her Guide Dog

Duncan LaGrand is a regular in Joan VanDyke's algebra class, yet on more than one occasion has been known to not only fall asleep, but snore his way through the entire lesson. He even drools a little. But nobody's kicking him...

Tony Bonofiglo: ‘We Are All Different in Some Way’

Well, kids, I hate to break it to you, but while some of you sigh your way through another summer, wondering how to occupy your time and who's going to be the next person to help you up, don't...

Shiza Shahid: Empowering Girls & Women Around the Planet

"What is it," she asked, almost in a whisper, "that you plan to do with your wild and miraculous life?" And in that moment, you could almost glean flickers of light emanating from the members of her young audience, more...

Health Advocate Jean Jilote: ‘Always Smiling, Always Available’

It's not two minutes into our interview, and already health advocate Jean Jilote is shedding tears. It's not that she's suffered some recent loss or experienced pain or trauma. She's just so in love with her kids that the thought of...

Le Tran: Teacher, Artist, Inspirer and Dragon

Le Tran is trying to arrange the start of her AP Art class when three young men bound in, seeking chocolate. Normally, there’d be some available, part of Tran’s stash that she’s peddling to benefit the National Art Honor Society,...
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Lupe Ramos-Montigny: ‘Everyone Deserves to be a Part of Something’

Lupe Ramos-Montigny has done as much as anyone – and perhaps more than any Latina – to advance educational opportunities for children in Grand Rapids and beyond
Kattie Eason makes sure all traffic has stopped on Wealthy Street to make way for eighth-graders (from left) Sharkia Caldwell, Zaionna Love and Kalyce Russell

Stop, Look and Here’s Some Love

When Kattie Eason first stepped onto a Wealthy Street SE corner to serve as a school crossing guard at Henry Elementary School – now Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy -- she was 21 years old.

Can’t Keep A Can-do Man Down

It took the better part of four years for Mike Alanowski to get his foot in the door as a full-time employee in the facilities department at Kent ISD. And now that he's entrenched, it's doubtful anyone will ever be...
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