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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 or email Tom.

A Very Special Teacher for Special Kids

Some years back on a Fourth of July, schoolteacher Sarah Bolema fielded a phone call from a distraught student's mom. To the mother's horror,...

India Stewart Dunning: Survivor and Scholar

Her clothes are arranged by color.Like Pippi Longstocking, she sleeps upside down, with her head at the footboard and her feet at the headboard. Ever...

Brightening the Lives of 4th Graders

Even though the sun has officially launched summer, I still see Stephanie Gerdes standing at the helm of her 4th-grade classroom inside Kenowa Hills'...

Sarah Waller: The Tech Center’s Iron Chef

Let it be said here and now – OK, so written here and now – that the raspberry patch in my back yard cannot...

The Supes

When there's time – and usually there's not – Dan Takens will pilot his car the 10 or 11 miles from his office at...

“Typical Kid” with Movie Credits, Agents and a Screen Actors Guild Card

By most accounts, Derek Brandon is a typical kid of 15. He's a freshman at Thornapple Kellogg High School. He's growing out of his clothes,...

Jamie Hosford: A Gentle Giant is Mourned

In the end, it was his loyalty for which he was remembered – to his faith, his family, his beloved alma maters, and to...

Placing Students with Special Needs in Real-World Jobs

You can learn only so much inside a classroom, especially if you're a young adult with special challenges. At some point, savvy educators say, you...

Giving ‘Til It Helps: Tough Upbringing Inspires a Life Devoted to Serving Children, Families

John Matias was late for our interview, but something told me to hang in there. I'm glad I did. "I'm sorry, I apologize," he said,...

Universal Forest Products Engineer John Kozal Mentors GRPS Students

When people who know John Kozal consider the touchstones of his life so far, these are the elements that rise to the surface: Driven...

Mr. Bill: From Student to Superintendent, and Everywhere In Between

Godwin Heights Superintendent Bill Fetterhoff gets it.  He knows what it’s like to be a principal, for instance, because he was one. He understands the challenges...

Chef Mo Nourishes Students with His Expertise;

I am driving home from a morning spent taking notes about the stellar food service program at East Kentwood Public Schools, and you might...

This Time Last Year: Ten-Year-Olds Start Fourth Year of Giving

Remember when you were 10? For a lot of us, life revolved around only a couple of things – simply playing outdoors, for example,...
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