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The art of using talent to do good

Jen Rykse’s second-grade art class created boldly colored pictures of women carrying water baskets on their heads, which they will sell to family and friends to help African families have access to clean wells...

Want to build cars someday? OK, let’s start with algorithms

Students in Paige Carleton’s classroom at Alpine Elementary School learned the first steps in a new effort this semester to reach all Kenowa Hills elementary students with STEM: science, technology, engineering and math

Family ties help students bring historical Americans to life

Central Elementary fifth-graders took on the roles of famous Americans for one night, and raised over $1,000 for charitable causes in the process. Students researched notable historical people, then donned period garb and emulated wax museum figures. Visitors brought them...

Students take action, lend voices to honor Florida school victims and plead for violence...

The number 17 served as a marker not only for moments of silence in honor of those killed, but for students’ thoughts on how to make schools safer and kinder

Teachers help teachers take it to the next level at Van Andel Education Institute

Mastermind is a group of West Michigan teachers, principals, social workers and other educators who have met monthly at Van Andel Education Institute this school year, working together to overcome challenges common to many of them

Michigan Teachers of the Year to speak on leadership at GVSU forum

Michigan MTOYs Luke Wilcox and Tracy Horodyski will talk about their roles as Teachers of the Year, the importance of leadership in their schools and communities, empowering fellow staff members and helping students grow

Students on #metoo Movement: ‘It Kind of Scares Me’

Freshman Ava Deschaine plays basketball and runs cross country and track for her high school. So she felt sad for the more than 150 female athletes who recently testified that Dr. Larry Nassar had abused them under the guise...
Parent volunteer Danielle Storey makes sure kindergartners Gabriel Hrycyk, pointing, and Audrina Coronado are picked up by their parents after school

Almost a Teacher, Now She Helps Them All

Danielle Storey leads a line of bundled-up kindergartners through the halls of Central Elementary School, to an exit where parents wait by their cars to pick them up. She makes eye contact with or waves to every parent to...
Hugs from students like Allison Klimek are nothing unusual for English teacher David Lyons

‘Such Good and Such Promise in Each of Them’

Fourteen students form a semicircle, discussing in detail the meaning of a poem by Pablo Neruda, "I Like When You Are Quiet." Witness the teaching of David Lyons. He lets them talk for 45 minutes, with hardly a pause, about...

Interviewing 101 Helps Students Hone Skills

Had it been a real job interview, Katlyn Siddall might well have been hired. In a practice interview in the high school library, Katlyn told Allyson Baumgard her step-by-step plan to become a pediatrician, and why she wants to be...

Mindful Students Find Calm at End of School Day

Twenty-eight students lie on the floor of a darkened classroom, cloth masks over their eyes, silently listening to the soothing murmur of ocean waves and cries of seagulls. At the end of a hard day of studying, their minds...

Students Hope to Save Lives with Honored Video

Brooke Buchanan and Molly Growney admit they sort of assumed their teacher was giving them busy work when he assigned them a project at the end of last school year. What they created took nearly four months to finish and...

‘When Trouble Came to Find Me, She Was There’

Lexis Pearson was a self-described troublemaker when she was in seventh grade. Her poor choices led her to the office of social worker Brooke Davis. But by her junior year, Pearson had turned herself around to the point of being...

Turn, Talk and Listen

Kindergartner Vincent Reatini looked up from his book, “Froggy Builds a Tree House,” which he couldn’t read much of yet. But asked for his favorite part, he promptly pointed to one page and said, “This is my favorite part,...

Sports Nut, Zamboni Driver, Dedicated Educator

School: Central Elementary Other positions you have held in education: I spent the past 11 years as an English teacher at Kenowa Hills High School. During that tenure, I taught every grade level but, by far, my favorite was teaching...

Renovated Building ‘Feels Like a Brand-New School’

Just after taking their seats in the newly renovated Alpine Elementary School, LeAnn’s Smoes’ fourth-graders piped up when she asked what they liked about it. “New clocks!” one said. “The rooms are huge,” offered another. “These desks are so new!”...

‘Be The Change’

Kenowa Hills High School senior Carlos Velazquez created a compelling and inspirational anti-bullying video titled "Be the Change." It was inspired by Carlos' belief that bullying victims often turn into perpetrators themselves, and this cycle continues until someone reaches...

Shades of Life

A morning following a gloom soaked nightI watched the sunrise take full flightand as that leading orb appearedall my sorrow disappearedI realized then what I had not before;That life is like a sunriseLife is that rosy first lighthope of...
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