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Grand Rapids Public Schools Foundation welcomes new president, CEO

Stephanie Adams
Grand Rapids Public Schools Foundation
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Grand Rapids Public Schools Foundation welcomes new president, CEO

Stephanie Adams comes to GRPSF after serving as executive director of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, since 2017.

Stephanie Adams, a longtime nonprofit leader and community organizer, has been named President and chief executive officer of the Grand Rapids Public Schools Foundation (GRPSF), the fundraising partner of Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Adams is a 1994 graduate of Ottawa Hills High School. She joins GRPSF after serving as executive director at Friends of Grand Rapids Parks since 2017.

Adams officially started in the new role on Dec. 15 and told WGVU she has big goals for the new year ahead.

"The pandemic has opened up disparities and really highlighted disparities more than ever before so really kind of looking at what is the next wave of innovation and making sure access for all is really really addressed," Adams shared.

The foundation funds arts, sports, field trips and stem access among other programs at Grand Rapids Public Schools. Adams wants to expand upon this, digging deeper into students’ backgrounds and ensuring that every learner can find their unique gifts and talents.

“We partnered with AT&T and they made a donation to make sure that our libraries in the schools have characters that represent our student population as heroes. That’s not something we would have thought about 20 years ago.”

Inclusion and access will be at the center of Adam's plans, and it's not only students she hopes to uplift. In the midst of a both national and state-wide teaching shortage, Adams said she wants to ensure educators get the support they need to thrive as well.

"They have a sometimes thankless job, and the work they’re doing is so, so important," she said. "...We're looking at how can we make their jobs easier because not only are we here to support the students, but we need really happy and healthy teachers as well."

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