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Sparta superintendent surprises district with retirement announcement

The Sparta Board of Education voted 7-0 to approve Superintendent Gordie Nickels’ request for retirement, and expressed appreciation for his service

Imagination, hard work turn 3,000 plastic straws into amazing lion head

Art teacher of over 30 years wowed by student art piece made from plastic straws

Spanish-language countries subject of middle school fair

The annual Study Abroad Fair is the culmination of a unit in which each seventh- and eighth-grader chooses a Spanish-speaking country to study in-depth

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

Switching to specialty classes boosts teaching energy

A move by veteran fourth-grade teachers from the classroom to specialty fields changed the Appleview atmosphere

Sparta kindergartners learn by building animal habitats

Do you ever wonder what would happen if a room full of kindergartens were officially zookeepers? Read to find out.

Banner Business Teaches Students Career Skills

When senior Melissa Bare started her last few high school classes, it seemed more like she was already on the job. After honing her skills in computer illustration at the Kent Career Tech Center during her junior year, she was...
First-grader Jordan Eshraghi enjoys it when Grandpa Dale reads with him

Tying Shoes, Zipping Coats, Giving Hugs: ‘Grandpa Dale’ Does it All

Dale Allers has three grandchildren, but more than 500 children from ages 5 through 15 who call him grandpa. Allers has worked in same two first-grade classrooms at Ridgeview Elementary for 10 years. He always looks forward to family events...

A Perfect Picture of Learning

“It is not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” These words from Henry David Thoreau sum up why middle school language arts teacher Steve Duyck wanted to add a photography class at the middle school. He...

Finding the Right Fit

How do you turn a would-be class clown into a productive student? How do you motivate a fifth-grader who just doesn't fit in or refuses to keep up with classroom assignments? Some area parents have turned to ATYP Junior --...

Education on Trial

Sometimes students learn best by trial. And in a recent unit on suspense, Leah Sajdak's eighth -grade language arts classroom took that concept very literally. One of the assigned literary works for learning about suspense was "The Tell-Tale Heart" by...

Student Suspense Story Excerpts

Leah Sajdek’s eighth -grade language arts classroom studied concepts involved in suspense writing, and found their 'inner Poe'

Special Honor for Special Program

Sparta has been named a National Unified Champion School for its dedication to establishing relationships between Special Olympics athletes and their peers without disabilities. Only three Michigan schools and 83 nationally have received this recognition, said high school Principal Matt...

Dads of Great Students Group Expanding

Four years ago, when Todd Yemc was laid off, he went "to work" volunteering every single day in his kindergarten daughter's classroom. Ridgeview's principal, Maryalyce Zerrip, asked him if he would be willing to try organizing a local chapter of...

Fred Thorne: 47 Years of Service to Children

Fred Thorne gave all but 30 of his 77 years to the children of Sparta and Kent County as a quietly competent and humble school board member who was supportive of staff and committed to creating new opportunities for...

Funky Friday Drumline Gets Students Moving & Learning

What do you get when elementary students are given a laundry basket, a big plastic ball and a couple of sticks? At Ridgeview Elementary, you get Funky Friday. The unique combination of music and physical education is based on an...

Student Suspense Story Excerpts

Leah Sajdek’s eighth -grade language arts classroom studied concepts involved in suspense writing, and found their 'inner Poe'
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