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Home Profiles of Students, Staff, Teachers Reading & Writing with Rademacher

Reading & Writing with Rademacher

Sponsored by our friends at Grand Rapids Community College

“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, sports just a hint of acne, and likes to swim and play basketball. His mother Shannon...

Ryan Colburn, MacGyver of the vet world

Ryan Colburn is the only full-time veterinarian at the John Ball Zoo, and the man behind the scenes who makes sure that some 1,500 animals are physically fit for your viewing pleasure...

‘He took the reins, and we moved forward’

Michael Shibler is in his 50th year in education, including 29 as superintendent of Rockford Public Schools. But in a profession not known for longevity, Shibler shows no signs of slowing down
Marcel Price, aka “Fable the Poet,” says he loves working with middle school students because they “are so genuine and honest”

This Fable Speaks Truth to Teens

The setting in itself is quite poetic: a frigid, snowy morning at an independent coffee house in Grand Rapids. Marcel "Fable" Price, or Fable the Poet, as he is known in the Grand Rapids poetry scene, tells his story...

Mentor Program Empowers Students and Adults Alike

Gay Van Otteren levels his 85-year-old eyes directly at you and then says this: “The greatest gift that you can give to one another is your rapt attention to their very existence.” The room grows quiet. Heads nod in agreement. And the beautiful...
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.

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...

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...

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...

Tireless Go-getter Makes Her Community a Better Place; Dreams of a Brighter Tomorrow

Maria Aguirre likes to help other people's dreams come true: making sure a child has presents wrapped under the tree on Christmas morning, doing her part to fund cancer research, helping distribute grants to organizations doing good in her...

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...

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 think my thoughts are revolving around the delicious garbanzo bean salad I ate, or the...

Friendships Break Down Barriers

I have pretty good recollection of who I sat with in the lunchroom during both my elementary and high school years, I can say with some certainty – and shame – that it wasn't any kids with special needs. So...

‘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,...

Hayley Lee: Student ‘On Fire’

Before? Well, before, Hayley Lee was, by her own admission, a little sassy, too disrespectful, and variously disconnected -- unless you include some unsavory elements that were leading her down un-righteous paths. And today? Well, you got a minute? Hayley Lee has discovered...

Dedicated educator retiring after 44-year career, during which “I knew ‘em all”

When the school bells ring and they throw open the doors at Northview Public Schools this coming autumn, it’s likely Dan Duba, principal at Crossroads Middle School, will be elsewhere. For the first time in 44 years...
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