Dr. Ron Gorman photo
Grand Rapids Public Schools

Grand Rapids Board of Education has hired an interim superintendent as its search for a fulltime district leader continues.

Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal’s last day on the job is July 1st. The search to replace her has been extended after the Grand Rapids Board of Education decided neither of the two finalists for the job, were a good fit for the district. As the nationwide search continues, the board moved forward Monday with a special work session appointing an interim superintendent.

SNN: Climate change activist Mustafa Ali

May 13, 2019
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Global warming is a burning issue for many young people, including local students who recently heard from – and performed for – climate-change activist and former EPA official Mustafa Santiago Ali.

Kalil Adams loves hip-hop, but he never really connected it to global warming until he met Mustafa Santiago Ali.

SNN: Kent ISD Aviation Program

May 7, 2019
Kent Career Tech Center Aviation program
School News Network

The low unemployment rate has exposed the need for developing skilled professionals in a number of industries and aviation is one of them. School News Network visits Kent Career Tech Center where students have an interest in flight.

Kent County high school students who attend the aviation programs at the Kent Career Tech Center are getting a head start on their aviation careers by learning the fundamentals of aircraft maintenance and electronics.

SNN: Third grade Science Shift

May 6, 2019
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Teachers in Sparta, Northview, Kentwood and Wyoming are participating in a pilot science program that ties Next Generation Science Standard-aligned lessons with lessons in math and literacy.

For many third graders, the year began grappling with big questions like “Why do I see so many squirrels, but can’t find any Stegosauruses?”

Students looked for both, then tried to figure out why the squirrel survived and the dino didn’t. Adaptations of ankle bones, tails and diets seemed to make all the difference.

SNN: Angst Documentary Screening

May 2, 2019
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A new documentary explores a topic many teens can relate to, but many more don’t often talk about….anxiety.

Anxiety is one of the most common psychological complaints in the world, according to the World Health Organization. And teenagers are no stranger to it. A free film and conversation about anxiety and raising awareness around it takes place on Thursday, May 2nd at 6pm on the campus of Kent ISD.

SNN: Kent City Drones

Apr 29, 2019
Kent City 8th grader Ivan Aguilar-Duarte with teacher Jeremy Smith photo
School News Network

Migrant students in Kent City Community Schools are learning to fly drones, getting exposure to STEM fields, they otherwise may not.

Until coming to Kent City, eighth-grader Ivan Aguilar-Duarte had never seen a drone, but now has experience operating them.

Learning about drones is part of the Kent City afterschool program for students in families that travel for seasonal work.

After The Grand Rapids Board of Education narrowed down a nationwide search for the next superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools to two finalists, and after an opening round of interviews last month, Monday evening marked each candidate’s last chance to convey to the Board why they are the right person for the job.

Both candidates are men, both are African-American, and both are outsiders, having never lived or worked in West Michigan.

SNN: GRPS Vision to Learn

Mar 14, 2019
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Grand Rapids Public Schools students are receiving free eye exams and glasses thanks to a partnership that aims to help them succeed in school by improving their vision.

Seventh-grader Frederick Charles had a lot to say about how new glasses will help him at school: His grades will go up. He’ll get A’s and everything will be easier to read.

Samantha Fuentes portrait
Samantha Fuentes

A survivor of the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School visited Grand Valley State University speaking about gun violence and school safety.

Samantha Fuentes recalls Valentine’s Day 2018 when 19-year old Nicholas Cruz shot and killed 17 of her Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School classmates using an AR-15 style rifle. She remembers scrambling for cover when Cruz sprayed her classroom with a shower of bullets. She was hit in the legs and still has shrapnel lodged behind her right eye.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is guest on WGVU-TV's West Michigan Week

Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited Grand Rapids Wednesday kicking of her post-State of the State Address “Home for Opportunity Tour.” It’s a statewide 50-event tour focusing on fixing the state’s roads and preparing the 21st Century workforce. I spoke with Governor Whitmer during a recording of WGVU-TV’s “West Michigan Week.” 

“We’ve got jobs that are going unfilled today because we have a big skills gap in Michigan and it starts with the education of our kids.”