SNN: Summer Journal #1

Jul 5, 2018
School News Network logo

Ever wonder what teachers do after the last bell of the year rings? School News Network reports tracked some down to find out.

When do you see a public school teacher driving a Porsche? Most likely, when it’s somebody else’s Porsche. Lowell High School English teacher Jamie Christians has a couple summer gigs.

SNN: SmartArt Top 10

Jun 12, 2018
ArtPrize SmartArt Top 10 2018
School News Network

A $1,000 college scholarship from Consumers Energy will go to the top winner of this year’s SmartArt competition, a contest that stands for Students Making Art with a Renewable Theme. 

Watercolor wind turbines and pastel solar panels are some of the images and mediums used to create works of art with a renewal energy theme. They’re among the top ten finalists chosen in the sixth annual SmartArt competition. It’s a collaboration between Grand Rapids Public Schools, ArtPrize and Consumers Energy.

SNN: Kent City Poppy Poster Contest

Jun 5, 2018
Sixto-Pablo Ramirez
School News Network

As the school year draws to a close, students in Kent City are making connections with veterans in an annual contest that brings awareness to military service through a creative outlet.

Kent City art teacher Clare Johnson helped students prepare for the annual American Legion Post 123 poppy poster contest. It’s her way of making sure they think about those who came before them and sacrificed their lives in military service.

Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place
The Right Place

The annual Mackinac Policy Conference has come to close. During last week’s program a discussion about the state’s preparation for future economic growth.

What are the elements for economic development?

“The bedrock is really three things: Workforce talent, infrastructure and a quality of life. Okay, those are the bedrocks.”

Birgit Klohs is CEO of regional non-profit economic development organization, The Right Place.

Graduation cap

Michigan's House Democrats want the state to provide full-tuition scholarships for community college students.

Lawmakers announced the plan, titled the HirED Opportunity Act, in the Capitol on Monday. It would grant the scholarship to recent high school graduates who enroll fulltime in a community college.

They must maintain a 2.0 grade point average and participate in mentorship and community service programs. For older adults, the program would cover tuition and place them in a career training program.

Brian Whiston, State Superintendent, Michigan Department of Education
Dearborn Public Schools

Flags are being lowered Friday in honor of state Superintendent Brian Whiston, who led the Michigan Department of Education since 2015.

Gov. Rick Snyder ordered that U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff within the state capitol complex for Whiston, who died Monday at age 56. Snyder is encouraging Michigan schools to lower flags in honor of Whiston's career in education.

The Department of Education says Whiston died at his home. He had gone on long-term disability leave last week after being treated for cancer since last fall.

School News Network logo

Students in Sparta are getting green thumbs and growing their knowledge with the help of towering gardens. School News Network takes us inside the classroom for a closer look.

Educators at Appleview Elementary are teaching students about healthy lifestyles with help from indoor tower gardens that can be moved from classroom to classroom. 

Calvin College logo
Wikimedia Commons

Calvin College is changing its name to Calvin University.

The private liberal arts school in Grand Rapids says the change will occur in 2020, a century after Calvin became a four-year college.

Calvin has 3,800 students and is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church.

The school said Tuesday that the name change is being made partly to appeal to international students who are more familiar with "university" than "college."

Tuition will cost about $35,000 during the next school year, although Calvin says 99 percent of students receive financial aid.

Brian Whiston, State Superintendent, Michigan Department of Education
Dearborn Public Schools

State Superintendent Brian Whiston, who led the Michigan Department of Education since 2015, has died. He was 56.

The department said Whiston died Monday evening at his home, surrounded by family. He had gone on long-term disability leave Friday after being treated for cancer since last fall.

State education board co-presidents Casandra Ulbrich and Richard Zeile issued a statement Tuesday calling Whiston a "wonderful person who devoted his life to serving others." They say his vision to make Michigan a top 10 education state will endure.

Kent County has been selected as one of 29 communities across the country to participate in a national joint initiative focused on child development from birth to age 3. A project of the Chicago-based J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, the Pritzker Children’s Initiative will focus on increasing the number of children who are developmentally on track by kindergarten.

Annemarie Valdez is the CEO of First Steps Kent, the organization leading the local effort.