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My Town: NorthPointe Christian senior wins state art contest

My Town: NorthPointe Christian senior wins state art contest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Michigan Senator Dave Hildenbrand recently shook hands with NorthPointe Christian School senior Liz Diemer as she accepted a third-place award in a state-wide art competition.

The “In God We Trust” contest was open to juniors and seniors across the state of Michigan.  Student art pieces were created to commemorate the 150th anniversary of legislation enacted to place the motto “In God We Trust” on U.S. coinage.

Diemer’s award-winning piece incorporates a striking combination of our country’s flag and the bald eagle.  Both are included to symbolize America’s freedom and faith.  Liz’s artist statement further explains the value of our motto:

My Town: Kent Career Tech Center names first National Tech Honor Society members

My Town: Kent Career Tech Center names first National Tech Honor Society members

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—A dozen students from Kent Career Tech Center are now members of the National Technical Honor Society.

The students were inducted into the Tech Center’s inaugural NTHS class for demonstrating outstanding skills in their program and overall academic achievement.  The NTHS is similar to the National Honor Society, but with tougher requirements, including involvement in a career or technical education program, a 3.5 or higher GPA and community service hours.

My Town: Rock & roll nutrition show tours West Michigan

My Town: Rock & roll nutrition show tours West Michigan

HOLLAND, Mich.—A rock and roll nutrition show has arrived in West Michigan.

“Jump with Jill” kicked off a series of performances at five area schools Monday, with a live show at Thomas Jefferson School in Holland.  It’s one of five schools that won a statewide contest, thanks to the generosity of Michigan’s dairy farmers and milk processors and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan as part of their Fuel Up to Play 60 program. 

“Dairy is one of easiest and richest ways that kids can get the calcium they need for strong bones,” says Amy Viselli with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. “Jump with Jill has serious fun with a serious message. They even dress up a milk jug as a rapper named Calcium.”

My Town: U.S. News and World Report releases top high schools list

My Town: U.S. News and World Report releases top high schools list

KENTWOOD, Mich.—A charter school in Kentwood is the top West Michigan school on U.S. News & World Report’s latest list of Best High Schools.

The publication recently released its list of the top 500 schools nationally. The rankings are based on the student to teacher ratio, AP course involvement and math and reading proficiency scores.  The School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, TX took the top spot.

In Michigan, 60 schools made the cut, with International Academy in Bloomfield Hills taking the top spot.  Excel Charter Academy-Grand River Prep School in Kentwood ranked second among Michigan schools.  City Middle/High School and Black River Public School were the only other West Michigan schools to crack the top ten.

The list of local schools includes:

My Town: Wes Leonard Heart Team holds life-saving workshop

My Town: Wes Leonard Heart Team holds life-saving workshop

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.--  Parents, coaches, teachers and others are invited to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park next week to learn life-saving techniques for young athletes suffering from heart problems.

"Wes Leonard Sudden Cardiac Arrest Symposium: What Parents, Coaches and Educators Need To Know" will begin at 6:30 p.m. on May 1.  Pediatric electrophysiologist Christopher Ratnasamy, MD, will explain the risk factors and when students should be screened.  Visitors will also learn how to respond to a cardiac emergency, including proper CPR techniques and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

It’s been three years since Fennville High School basketball star Wes Leonard collapsed on the court after making a game-winning shot.  He died from an enlarged heart.   The Wes Leonard Heart Team, formed after his death, with a goal to save other students’ lives by ensuring all Michigan schools are equipped with AEDs.

My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  The Kent Intermediate School District is getting a federal boost to physical and nutritional education programs. 

 U.S. Department of Education has awarded 67 grants totaling more than $33 million to local education agencies and community-base organizations.  Only two groups in Michigan were awarded funding; KISD is getting $429,404 for programs to help K-12 students develop healthy lifestyles and meet state standards for physical education.

“A healthy, active lifestyle is an important ingredient of academic success,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants are a resource to help schools and communities develop programs that teach students the importance of staying active and developing healthy lifestyles. We need more states, districts, schools and communities to recognize the critically important role of physical education in improving student engagement and achievement.”

My Town: Great Lakes Cyber Academy community celebrates rapid growth of new virtual high school

My Town: Great Lakes Cyber Academy community celebrates rapid growth of new virtual high school

Students, staff and supporters of Great Lakes Cyber Academy, a tuition-free statewide online public charter school that is redefining high school for 21st Century learners, recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the rapid growth of the new virtual high school. The school, which opened in September, has seen an impressive enrollment of nearly 400 students after only one semester and growth is expected to continue.

“As the education model continues to expand with new options, it is essential for us as a new virtual school to build our community and show our appreciation for those who have supported us,” said Heather Ballien, principal.