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Two Teens Learn Each Other’s Language, and More

In late June, Eryn Schell left her small community along the Thornapple River to live in Shiga Prefecture, Japan for nearly three weeks. Eryn traveled nearly 24 hours with a cohort of peers from the Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange...

Athlete, Goat Farmer, ‘Chill’ Encourager

School: Thornapple Kellogg Middle Other positions you have held in education: Health/PE teacher for 12 years. My first year was at Grand Rapids Public Schools, and every year since has been at TK High School. Spouse/children: I am married to Nathan...

A Riches of Rookies

Thornapple Kellogg Schools -- all 125 square miles of this rural district -- is feeling happy, hopeful and mostly healthy, says Superintendent Tom Enslen. With 21 new teachers, many graduating from college just months ago, Thornapple-Kellogg is bucking the...

A Heaping Harvest of Fun

Editor's note: This is a personal commentary by Linda Odette, a School News Network reporter who covers Thornapple Kellogg Schools "Hey, how did a tomato get into a cherry?" This question by a middle schooler planting cherry tomatoes at a school...

Students Make it All in Makerspace Room

The words a mother painted in big letters on the Lee Elementary makerspace room's wall told the story of the room best. "Passion. Discover. Dream. Inspire. Imagine. Explore." That's what went on this school year in the makerspace room that...

Today’s Graduates Meet Tomorrow’s Rock Stars

Graduates parading down the halls of elementary and middle schools in their district has become a tradition at some schools, and Thornapple Kellogg High School did it for the first time this year. Teachers saw former students, graduates stepped...

Dear Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Editor's note: Following is Katie Marentette's letter to Leo Tolstoy, for which she won the state award for the Library of Congress Letters About Literature contest. My dad adores bookstores. He could spend hours nursing a cup of coffee and...

A Letter to Leo Wins Library of Congress Award

Katie Marentette wrote a letter to Leo Tolstoy last fall and kind of forgot about it -- until she found out it won the state award for the Library of Congress Letters About Literature contest. For the contest, students had...

Group Collaboration Produces Surprising Sources

When innovation, collaboration, reading, language and writing all can be taught in a single project, it's a win-win for both teachers and students. That's what "A Raisin in the Sun" and Jimmy Kimmel helped teach a team of students...

‘Weeees’ Sure Are Fun, but Business is Hard

A woodshop project can be much more than making something out of wood. A recent enterprise by three students taught them a business lesson in collaboration, marketing and, as it turned out, giving. Thornapple Kellogg wood production class students were...

Mind Sports Roundup

Editor's note: Academic competition season is upon us! Each week School News Network will be running roundups of events including Odyssey of the Mind, Science Olympiad, MathCounts and robotics. The following items were submitted by Kent ISD districts and...

Sneaky Guitars, Snooty Otters Make for Good Reading

An author who visited Lee Elementary recently didn't just inspire students to put drawings of doughnuts with sprinkles on hallway walls, she made them want to read. She didn't just make them draw cute little otters, she taught them about...

‘Best Day Ever’

It's fun to send a model car down a plastic track and watch it fly off a ramp. It's even more fun to send a model car down a track and watch it fly over a classmate. That's what Matthew...

Teachers’ Turn to Learn

This year, nearly 1,000 K-12 school leaders in 45 states and 38 countries signed up to participate in Shadow a Student Challenge. It's a full school day when administrators and teachers spend a day in February alongside one of...

Little Jumpers Raise Big Bucks for Heart Health

Lee Elementary is known to Thornapple Kellogg students as "the school where you get to do Jump Rope for Heart." It's a crazy, loud, happy time where second- and third-graders jump rope in the gym all day while parents...

Coming Soon: Lessons in Thinking

Donna VonderHoff's AP computer science class learned how to solve a problem. While describing it that way may sound simplistic, it wasn't. The problem was how to help students struggling in school. The method used to solve the problem was...

‘What Makes You Proud of America’

Dylan LeClaire’s essay will move on to national competition in July...

Dear Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Editor's note: Following is Katie Marentette's letter to Leo Tolstoy, for which she won the state award for the Library of Congress Letters About Literature contest. My dad adores bookstores. He could spend hours nursing a cup of coffee and...
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