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‘I Did That Too’: Child of Migrant Camps Helps Hispanic Students

Another day at Alpine Elementary is winding down when Sylvia Saucedo-DeVries looks up to see a young man come in the office. Miguel Vega, 18, attended this school as a child and wants to say hi to his former...

Four Districts Ask Voters for Help Nov. 3

Four Kent County school districts will ask voters for financial support on the election ballot next Tuesday, Nov. 3. The tax requests would pay for everything from building repair and construction to new technology and security measures. Here’s a...

Spirit of the Season: Students Give to Aid Refugees

She may only be in seventh grade, but Zoe Paskewicz is well aware of what’s going on in the world. Scenes of refugees fleeing Syria and ISIS-inflicted cruelty make her want to help others far from her West Michigan...

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...

Students Send Out Care Packages of Comfort on ‘Thoughtful Thursdays’

It has been a tough year for Linda Rairigh, ever since she was diagnosed with melanoma lung cancer at the end of June. It was both dreadful and baffling news for a woman who never smoked and had regular...

Robots Take Over Schools for State, World Qualifiers

Four Kenowa Hills students surrounded a box of wires, wheels and pulleys they called Judy, making last-minute adjustments. They had spent six weeks putting her together, after school and on weekends. Now was the time to send her out...

School Spirit Personified: ‘He Never Has a Bad Day’

Jared Scheidel ambles onto the ballfield and members of the Knights varsity baseball team greet him as they get ready for practice. “What’s up, coach Schy?” one player says, using his nickname. “Hi guys!” Jared calls back. “You ready?” As players...

Learning on the job provides students pathways to the future

Students enrolled at Kenowa Hills Pathways High School have the opportunity to take on internships in the Grand Rapids community before graduation for the first year...

Student Saves Drowning Man

For just a split second, Tiana Studebaker hesitated when she saw a man lying on the bottom of the pool. “I was like, ‘This isn’t my job. Somebody go down there and get him!’” recalls Tiana, a self-assured seventh-grader at...

Grateful Grads Get Jump on College, Cut Costs

On their way to earning tuition-free associate degrees at Davenport University, 14 Kenowa Hills High School students found an unexpected source of support: each other. The first class to graduate from the Kenowa/Davenport Middle College program – and the first...

This is Learning That’s as Real-world As it Gets

Sydney Morrow studiously draws a file over a tin can, smoothing down drilled-out holes around its perimeter. The sounds of other students drilling, filing and hammering surround her, along with the electric whirring and buzzing of the factory she’s...

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...

New Machines Aim to Reduce Injuries, Respond to Growing Concerns about Concussion

Kenowa Hills sophomore Faith Swieringa carries a fingernail-size scar above her right eye. Lacrosse? Nope, cheerleading. She got it from being accidentally whacked during Homecoming week, requiring eight stitches. She's sustained two concussions in competitive cheer, where blows from...

School Votes Push Three Districts Forward, One Back

Following Tuesday’s votes on tax requests for four Kent ISD school districts, three superintendents were smiling. The fourth was choking back tears. Voters approved multi-million-dollar bond issues for Grand Rapids Public Schools and Kentwood Public Schools, as well as a...

Youngest Board Member Wants to ‘Help Fix Things’

Eric-John Szczepaniak remembers leaving his job at the Alpine Township polling place last March with a novel idea formulating in his mind. Having completed his work at the township for the Michigan presidential primary, the 18-year-old Szczepaniak started tossing around...

How learning works here: teachers do less, students more

It’s all part of Gradual Release of Responsibility, an instruction method designed to gradually turn over more work on learning from the teacher to the student...
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‘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

Editor's note: Students in Grace Bollman's English class at Kenowa Hills High School were assigned to write a poem reflecting on the book "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom. This one was written by 10th-grader Haily Raupp. A morning following...
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