Tag Archives: Godwin Heights High School

School News Network: College Access Network help makes higher ed a reality for Godwin students

Godwin Heights students celebrate being accepted into colleges.

By Erin Albanese

School News Network


Senior D’Nyszha Brand was accepted into six colleges: Baker College, Ferris State University, Wayne State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Aquinas College and Western Michigan University.


She’s decided to attend GRCC for her associate degree before transferring to a university, maybe Ferris, to major in business and minor in psychology. “It’s the cheapest way to go and I will save more money,” she said.


D’Nyszha said she probably wouldn’t have applied to so many colleges, or realized how to meet her postsecondary goals, if it weren’t for the Michigan College Access Network representative who helped her. Jeremy Bissett had an office at Godwin Heights for 20 hours a week until mid-spring, helping students apply, submit and complete all the other paperwork to get into college.


“It was very helpful because I would go to my mom and ask her what to do and she would say, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know,'” said D’Nyszha, who will be the first person in her family to go to college.


Bissett reminded her often about deadlines and what was required. “He helped me in so many ways. Not only did he help me with my (college) stuff, he taught me different life skills,” she said. Without him, she added, “I probably would have only applied to GRCC, honestly.”


From left, seniors Josiah Lozada and Maurie Vinson, MCAN adviser Jeremy Bissett, and seniors Mya Jordan and Mamie Hai celebrate college acceptance.

Accepted, Again and Again


At Godwin Heights, students recently gathered in the hallway wearing #accepted T-shirts to celebrate their “yes” notifications. A total of 111 of the 137 seniors, or 81 percent, were accepted at 27 colleges.


That’s a great start for students at Godwin Heights, where more than 80 percent come from financially disadvantaged families and 59 percent of seniors this year could be first-generation college-goers.


Godwin Heights received an Innovative Program Grant from MCAN to fund a dedicated college adviser, Bissett. It’s just one way the network supports Michigan schools in helping students access college.


“We are super proud of Godwin’s results,” said Sarah Anthony, MCAN deputy director for partnerships and advocacy. “We knew being in that community would be serving low-income, first-generation college students and students of color.”


The goal of Lansing-based MCAN is to increase the percentage of Michigan residents with degrees or postsecondary certificates to 60 percent by the year 2025. According to 2014 Census figures, 39.3 percent of Michigan’s 5.2 million working-age adults (ages 25-64) hold a two- or four-year college degree, an increase from the previous year’s rate of 38.4 percent. This is the sixth year in a row that Michigan’s degree attainment rate has increased.


College acceptance letters hang in the hallway of Godwin Heights High School.

But there’s work to be done. According to data from MCAN, out of every 100 ninth-graders in Michigan, 73 graduate from high school on time; 45 enroll into postsecondary education within 12 months of graduation; 32 persist from their first to their second year; and 18 graduate with a degree within six years.


According to Mischooldata.org, within six months of graduation, 55.8 percent of 2016 Godwin Heights grads were enrolled in a two- or four-year college or university.


Building a College-Prep Culture


Bissett spent much of his time meeting with students, ensuring they were on track with the application process and walking them through applications for financial aid.


“The biggest benefit I see with the MCAN partnership has been the one-on-one time,” said counselor Tish Stevenson. “An adult sitting down one-on-one is immensely important.”


Bissett said he was just a piece of the puzzle. At Godwin Heights, there’s a multi-pronged effort to prepare students. It includes college visits; work to improve literacy across all content areas; and preparing students for the workforce or college by developing communication and collaboration skills. Staff provides many opportunities to meet college representatives right at school.


“It’s putting that option in their purview,” said counselor Kristi Bonilla. “We get them in tangible contact with people and places.”


“I think they are establishing a culture there that is college prep, and are getting more students wanting to be engaged in that,” Bissett said. “They are doing great work.”


After being added to the state’s Priority Schools list in 2012, Godwin Heights also put many measures in place to boost achievement. In 2016, the high school received a five-year School Improvement Grant, approved by the Michigan Department of Education, that will include allocations of $750,000 a year for the first three years and $500,000 a year for the final two.


The work is paying off. The school was removed this year from the state’s Priority Schools list, and has climbed from a 0 percentile rank in 2012-2013 to a 27th percentile rank in 2015-2016.


Said high school data coach Kristin Haga, “We are moving in the right direction.”


Check out School News Network for more stories about students, schools, and faculty in West Michigan.

School News Network: Godwin Heights Senior goes through the storm to see the rainbow

Grand with Grit April Martinez has come along way during her high school journey.

By Erin Albanese

School News Network


April Martinez is the kind of person who asks, “Do you need anything else?” and “What more can I do?”


She’s the student who is ever-present, often helping organize events and taking part in art shows, blood drives, pancake breakfasts, powder-puff games. Others say she’s a natural at uniting people.


“I’m everywhere,” the Student Council president said with a laugh. “I love helping people. We do events that make people happy and bring our school together and that’s wonderful to me.


Senior April Martinez will graduate on May 31

“Where they need me is where I’ll be.”


April graduates on May 31 from Godwin Heights High School, and is headed to Grand Rapids Community College for her associate degree before transferring to Western Michigan University or Aquinas College to major in political science and minor in art.


April has always had big goals and a go-getter attitude, she said, but on many days during high school, there was a lot more on her mind than schoolwork.


During her freshman year, April and her three siblings, the youngest a baby, were put into foster care after being removed from a situation involving abuse. April and two siblings moved in with an aunt, and the baby was placed with a foster family.


“I remember this day so vividly,” she said, recounting arriving at KidsFirst Emergency Shelter, in Grand Rapids. “I couldn’t stop crying. I tried so hard to keep it together. I was worried about how my younger sister was doing.


“The hardest part was my little sister being gone. When they took her, it was the worst year ever.”


April and her sisters and brother remained in foster care for over a year. The usually smiling, happy April acted out at school by being mouthy and disrespectful. She became unmotivated and depressed, even suicidal at times. She would weep silently in the bathroom at school. “There’s a certain stall where I would cry,” she remembered.


She now lives with her grandmother, and with the help of school counselors, her friends and a youth minister at St. Francis Xavier church, she turned things around. “Prayer’s a powerful thing,” she said.


April Martinez gets a hug from art teacher Deanne Base

Putting Others Ahead of Herself

She’s embraced her Student Council work with steadfast commitment. “I’m a very outgoing person, so I like to think of myself as reaching out to people who others don’t always notice and making sure people feel part of school. We’re like a family here. I love it.”


Teachers say April is always thinking about others. “She’s that person who asks, ‘What else do you need me to do?’ ” said Student Council adviser Robin Carlyle. “She goes above and beyond and is kind and considerate. Life isn’t always good for her, but she doesn’t let it get her down.”


Art teacher Deanne Basse said she has “a ton of admiration” for April.


“One of her absolute strengths is to keep her composure and poise and always looking beyond herself. When she is tackling her own aspirations, she is also equally as concerned with everybody else. It makes her a very strong leader.”


April said she wanted to share her story to help other people who face similar challenges and loss. She wants to inspire them to be strong, to turn to others for help and not give up.


“What’s coming is so much better than you ever imagine, if you take the good path,” she said. “You have to go through the storm to see the rainbow.”

Madam President?

Going through the foster care process has inspired April to become more interested in politics, and in the need for social change and to address global issues like human trafficking. She hopes to become a lawyer, and then aim even higher. Yes, that high.


“I’ve always wanted to get into politics and be President of the United States,” she said confidently. “I feel like the world can be changed. I’m a believer that we can fix the world.


“I tend to see the best in the world and people, because I love people. I love the world.”


April said her experiences have shaped her life. “They’ve taught me to be more compassionate and understanding, to be there and help people and not judge them.”


Sound like qualities of a good president?


“Maybe you’ll be interviewing me when I’m in the Oval Office,” she said. “We’ll see what I’m destined to be.”


Check out School News Network for more stories about students, schools, and faculty in West Michigan.

School News Network: Godwin Heights High School Provides Room to ‘Rest, Recharge, Refocus’

The Godwin Heights Empowerment Room is a place to rest, relax and then start thing about possibilities.

By Erin Albanese

School News Network


In a room at Godwin Heights High School that formerly served as the site for in-house suspension, students now come for help in the areas of college, career and comfort.


The Empowerment Room is a recently revamped space serving a two-pronged purpose: a needed area for decompression and quiet, and a place to think big about the future.


“It’s a humongous paradigm shift,” said school counselor Kristi Bonilla, referring to it as a place of support rather than punishment. “The hope, goal, dream of this is that kids feel like they have a place to reset, recharge, refocus and be empowered.”


Juniors Dominic Donato and Mamadee Diabate take a break.

While the room is still in its infancy, Bonilla and fellow counselor Tish Stevenson envision it as a place where students can take momentary refuge. It could be during lunch, when they have time outside of class, or when the demands of teenage life bubble over and they need to reel in their emotions. They can also use it to channel their energy into preparation for what comes after graduation day.


“We wanted it to be a center for yoga, breathing and reset time,” Stevenson said. “We also wanted it to be a place for community members to meet with students.”


Meetings have already taken place between students and representatives from college, the military and the Urban League, who helped students apply for jobs.
Yoga sessions will begin soon.


Funded by a $1,000 grant from Wyoming Community Foundation, the room’s seating area has space for reclining and relaxing, comfy chairs and pillow. Yoga mats fill a corner bin, ready for poses. Students come in for the peacefulness, to talk to the counselors and eat lunch in a quiet place.


“We have a long day,” Stevenson said. “If you are a teenager mixing in with all the other teenagers in the day, you need a break.”


Equipping Students with Lifelong Skills

Bonilla and Stevenson have both completed training in cognitive behavior modification at the University of Michigan. They are using it to help students become more mindful, aware and rational in reacting to situations.


Yoga helps students deal with stress.

The end goal is to improve learning and develop lifelong skills, plus decrease detentions and suspension using a non-punitive approach. While the school still uses detentions and in-house and out-of-school suspensions, the counselors aim to be proactive in addressing behavior issues.


Common stressors in teens’ lives include test anxiety, social anxiety, family issues and relationships. Those things often manifest themselves as behavior problems.


“Being a teenager is stressful,” Stevenson said.


Juniors Mamadee Diabate and Dominic Donato juggle between classes at Godwin Heights and programs at Kent Career Technical Center, as well as working and volunteering. They both often come to the room to relax and talk with counselors.


“I feel it will be beneficial for our students because there’s a lot of stress going on,” Mamadee said. “I definitely will use it for yoga.”


“It’s kind of a relaxing place to let stuff come out,” Dominic said, “… not talk to anyone, and just be quiet.”


Check out School News Network for more stories about students, schools, and faculty in West Michigan.

Baseball, softball scheduled for WKTV’s featured high school coverage

Softball action from Godwin Heights High School will be one of the featured games on WKTV this week.

By Mike Moll

WKTV Sports


The WKTV truck and the crews will continue to bring various events to the airwaves this spring and this week we will be at South Christian for a baseball game and at Godwin Heights for a softball — and check out next week’s schedule of water polo coverage!


The tentative April schedule for WKTV coverage is:

Tuesday, April 18 Baseball, Wyoming @ South Christian

Thursday, April 20 Softball Union @ Godwin Heights

Tuesday, April 25 Water polo, Grand Haven @ East Kentwood

Thursday, April 27 Water Polo West Ottawa @ East Kentwood


Each game will be broadcast that night on Live Wire Comcast Channel 24 at 10:30 p.m. throughout the Grand Rapids Metro Area and repeat on later in the week — the Tuesday games will be rebroadcast Wednesdays at 5 p.m., and the Wednesday and Thursday games will be rebroadcast Saturdays at 11 a.m. — on  WKTV Comcast Channel 25 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99 in Wyoming & Kentwood.


For a complete schedule of all local high school sports action each week in April, and any changes to the WKTV feature game schedule, see now.wktv.org/sports/


The complete list of local high school sports events this week due to spring break is as follows:


Monday, April 17

Boys Golf

South Christian @ Forest Hills Invite – Egypt Valley

East Kentwood @ Forest Hills Invite – Egypt Valley

Girls Tennis

Wyoming @ South Christian

Kelloggsville @ Calvin Christian

East Kentwood @ Byron Center

Boys Lacrosse

Comstock Park @ South Christian

Girls Soccer

South Christian @ Wayland

Kelloggsville @ Wyoming Lee

Hopkins @ Godwin Heights

East Grand Rapids @ Wyoming

Boys Baseball 

Godwin Heights @ Calvin Christian

West Michigan Aviation @ Tri-Unity Christian – DH

Potter’s House @ Kelloggsville – DH

NorthPointe Christian @ Wyoming Lee

Girls Softball 

Godwin Heights @ Calvin Christian

NorthPointe Christian @ Wyoming Lee – DH


Tuesday April 18

Boys Baseball

Wyoming @ South Christian – DH

Holland Black River @ Potter’s House – DH

Zion Christian @ Saranac – DH

East Kentwood @ West Ottawa – DH

West Michigan Lutheran @ Three Oaks River Valley

Girls Softball

Wyoming @ South Christian – DH

East Kentwood @ West Ottawa – DH

Girls Soccer 

Godwin Heights @ Potter’s House

Wellsprings Prep @ Tri-Unity Christian

Union @ West Michigan Aviation

Zion Christian @ Calvary Christian

West Ottawa @ East Kentwood

Boys Golf

East Kentwood @ Grand Haven – OK Red Jamboree

Boys/Girls Track

East Kentwood @ Grandville

Wyoming Lee @ Belding

Girls Water Polo

East Kentwood @ Hudsonville


Wednesday April 19

Boys Golf

South Christian @ Christian – OK Gold Jamboree @ Quail Ridge

Wyoming @ Christian – OK Gold Jamboree @ Quail Ridge

Girls Tennis

Wayland @ South Christian

West Catholic @ Kelloggsville

East Grand Rapids @ Wyoming

West Ottawa @ East Kentwood

Boys/Girls Track

South Christian @ FH Eastern

Wyoming @ Middleville T-K

Girls Soccer

Christian @ South Christian

Kelloggsville @ Calvin Christian

FH Eastern @ Wyoming

Wyoming Lee @ Belding

Boys Baseball 

Belding @ Kelloggsville

NorthPointe Christian @ Godwin Heights

West Michigan Aviation @ Hopkins

Wyoming Lee @ Calvin Christian

Girls Softball 

Belding @ Kelloggsville

NorthPointe Christian @ Godwin Heights

Wyoming Lee @ Calvin Christian


Thursday April 20

Boys Golf

South Christian @ Unity Christian

Kelloggsville @ Delton-Kellogg – Delton-Kellogg Invitational

Wyoming @ Holland

East Kentwood @ Caledonia – OK Red Jamboree

Boys Baseball

South Christian @ Wyoming

Wellsprings Prep @ Tri-Unity Christian – DH

Barry County Christian @ Zion Christian

West Ottawa @ East Kentwood

Girls Softball

Unity Christian @ South Christian – DH

Union @ Godwin Heights – DH

Wyoming @ Byron Center

Hudsonville @ East Kentwood

Boys/Girls Track 

Kelloggsville @ Godwin Heights

Caledonia @ East Kentwood

Calvin Christian @ Wyoming Lee

Girls Soccer

Tri-Unity Christian @ Zion Christian

East Kentwood @ Hudsonville

Girls Tennis

Kenowa Hills @ East Kentwood

Girls Water Polo

East Kentwood @ Zeeland East


Friday April 21

Girls Softball

Byron Center @ South Christian – DH

Hastings @ Kelloggsville – DH

Ottawa Hills @ Godwin Heights

Boys Baseball

Byron Center @ South Christian – DH

Potter’s House @ Kelloggsville – DH

West Michigan Aviation @ Godwin Heights – DH

Tri-Unity Christian @ NorthPointe Christian

Boys Lacrosse

Jenison @ South Christian

Girls Soccer

South Christian @ Caledonia

Hudsonville Hornets @ Godwin Heights

Allendale @ Wyoming

Potter’s House @ Delton Kellogg

Middleville T-K @ East Kentwood

Kent City @ Wyoming Lee

Boys/Girls Track 

Wyoming @ Hastings

Girls Tennis 

Northview @ Wyoming

Girls Water Polo

@ East Kentwood – EK Invite


Saturday April 22

Girls Tennis

South Christian @ AA Greenhills – Gryphon Invite

Hastings @ Kelloggsville – Rocket Invitational

Wyoming @ Hamilton

East Kentwood @ Holt

@ Wyoming Lee – Soils Invitational

Boys/Girls Track 

Kelloggsville @ Wyoming Lee – Lee Invite

West Michigan Aviation @ Wyoming Lee – Lee Invite

Boys Baseball 

Godwin Heights @ Wyoming Lee – Rebel Invitational

Heritage Christian @ Zion Christian – DH

East Kentwood @ Catholic Central

Girls Softball 

Wyoming @ Muskegon Reeths-Puffer

East Kentwood @ Muskegon Mona Shores – DH

@ Wyoming Lee – Rebel Invitational

Girls Water Polo

@ East Kentwood – EK Invite


Monday April 24

Boys Golf

South Christian @ Middleville T-K – OK Gold Jamboree @ Yankee Springs

Wyoming @ Middleville T-K – OK Gold Jamboree @ Yankee Springs

Wellsprings Prep @ Kelloggsville

East Kentwood @ Rockford

Girls Tennis

Christian @ South Christian

Kelloggsville @ Comstock Park

Wyoming @ FH Eastern

East Kentwood @ Rockford

Girls Softball

South Christian @ Holland Christian

Calvin Christian @ Kelloggsville – DH

Godwin Heights @ Western Michigan Christian – DH

Wyoming Lee @ Belding – DH

Boys Baseball

South Christian @ Holland Christian

Calvin Christian @ Kelloggsville

West Michigan Aviation @ Holland Calvary – DH

Wyoming Lee @ Belding

Boys Lacrosse

South Christian @ Catholic Central

Girls Soccer

South Christian @ East Grand Rapids

Godwin Heights @ Kelloggsville

Wayland @ Wyoming

South Haven @ West Michigan Aviation

Crossroads Charter @ Zion Christian

Calvin Christian @ Wyoming Lee


At Wyoming and elsewhere, Huizenga’s town halls are now raucous

U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga talked to the public at Godwin Heights High School. (WKTV)

By. K.D. Norris



For about two hours, U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga, a Republican from Michigan’s Second Congressional District, stood in front of an audience of about 200 people attending a Town Hall Listening session April 11 at Godwin Heights High School.


Rep. Huizenga spent some time defending his recent congressional actions and stands on current issues such as President Donald Trump’s Syrian bombing decision, Obamacare and the Republican-led efforts to overhaul the American healthcare system, and the future of American leadership in battling climate change.


But for much of the meeting, he stood quietly and heard a mostly antagonistic, often aggressive, crowd attack him from all sides. And, Huizenga says, the scenario has become all too common since the last election.


“Absolutely,” Rep. Huizenga said to a question from WKTV. “It is, I think, a backstop that many people — who believed was there with Barack Obama at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, acting as their backstop — is now gone. And they are seeing that their political beliefs, which you could argue are maybe a bit out of step with what most of West Michigan is, doesn’t have a champion in Washington right now.


“Clearly that is why, I think, they have gotten more — aggressive is maybe one of the words, but I think it is just a level of concern that has been ramped up,” Huizenga said.


Huizenga was able to explain his stands on several topics: He supports President Donald Trump’s Syrian bombing decision. He thinks Obamacare is doomed and only new Republican-led action can save the American healthcare system. He thinks the issue of Nestle Corporation extracting more groundwater from Michigan is a state issue, not his issue, to deal with. And he thinks the United States should not go it alone in dealing with climate change and supports roll-backs of President Barack Obama’s actions on the issue.


Dorr resident Bill Keysor prefaced his question about Obamacare by saying he was “mad” that Huizenga hasn’t been doing his job. (WKTV)

But a not uncommon prelude to a question was critical remarks, including one from Dorr resident Bill Keysor, who prefaced his question about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with the statement that he was “mad you haven’t been doing your job … (that you’d) rather play politics than represent us the way we’d like to be represented.”


And the often contentious talk does it make it more difficult for the Representative to explain his actions, to define his beliefs, Huizenga said.


“There are some folks there to actually have a dialogue,” he said. “My doctor, who was there … We don’t agree politically, which is fine. But trying to have a conversation … depending on the question, trying to have a conversation (is hard). They were demanding I have an answer or demanding I be quiet and listen. Well, OK. Do you want a response or not want a response?”


But “that’s fine. I mean, I get it. This is part of the job. We will keep doing it, we have always done it before. It hasn’t always gotten quite the attention that it is receiving right now. But what I want to do is to point out that I like those times when it is productive. … Is is just unfortunate that when you have people that are somehow trying to deny other folks, from their opportunity to be a part of this. That’s just disappointing, frankly.”


The Wyoming town hall meeting was the third since the start of the new year. He talked to a crowd of about 300 people in Baldwin in February, and about 1,000 in Grand Haven in March.


For more information about the Representative’s agenda and actions, visit huizenga.house.gov


Game on: WKTV’s featured games for March 6-10

The WKTV Mobile Unit will be out covering local high school basketball playoffs this week. (WKTV)

WKTV Staff


This week in WKTV’s featured high school sport games will be determined by which local teams are advancing in the basketball tournaments, but the coverage crew will be at  Godwin Heights Monday, March 6, for the boys basketball game between Grand River Prep vs Kelloggsville at Godwin Heights. The late week game will be determined later this week, tentatively on Friday, and will be announced.


WKTV videos and broadcasts several games each week during high school sports season.


The early week game will be broadcast that night on Live Wire Comcast Channel 24 at 10:30 p.m. throughout the Grand Rapids Metro Area and repeat on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. on  WKTV Comcast Channel 25 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99 in Wyoming & Kentwood. The late week game will be aired that night on Live Wire 24 at 10:30 p.m. and repeat Saturday at 11 a.m. on WKTV 25 and AT&T U-verse 99.


For a complete schedule of all local high school sports action in January, see now.wktv.org/sports/


DVDs and Blue-Rays of each game are also available for purchase at $20 including shipping. For more information, visit WKTV.org


February brings beginning of high school winter championships

The East Kentwood High School’s boys basketball team will be one of the featured team in WKTV’s February coverage plans. (WKTV)

By Mike Moll

WKTV Sports


Some of the regular seasons of the winter schedules conclude in February leading to their respective championships late in the month as well as into March.


Girls Basketball tips off their District play Feb. 27 and into the first several days of March leading to the State Championships at The Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State on Saturday, March 18.


Boys and Girls bowling are rolling into their Regionals Feb. 24-25, with State Championships March 3-4 at various sites. Girls cheer has Districts Feb. 17-18 followed by Regionals the following weekend, on Feb. 25, and then the championships March 3-4 at The DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids.


Boys ice hockey drops the puck on Regional play between Feb. 27 and March 4. Wrestling will hold both individual and team Districts Feb. 8-11, Regionals on the Feb. 15 and 18, with team finals on Feb. 24 and 25 at Central Michigan University and individual finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills March 2-4.


WKTV will continue to bring two nights of area games each week, with the following schedule, as well as bringing March Madness basketball matchups as games are announced and teams remain in the tournament.


Wednesday, Feb. 8 —Hockey, Reeths-Puffer @ East Kentwood

Friday, Feb. 10 — Hockey, Mona Shores @ East Kentwood

Tuesday, Feb. 14 — Boys basketball, Kelloggsville @ Wyoming Lee

Friday, Feb. 17 — Hockey, Grandville @ East Kentwood

Tuesday, Feb. 21 — Girls basketball, Hudsonville @ East Kentwood

Saturday, Feb. 25 — Hockey, FH Central @ East Kentwood

Tuesday, Feb. 28 — Boys basketball, Grand Rapids Christian @ Godwin Heights


Each Tuesday game will be broadcast that night on Live Wire Comcast Channel 24 at 10:30 p.m. throughout the Grand Rapids Metro Area and repeat on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. on  WKTV Comcast Channel 25 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99 in Wyoming & Kentwood. Every Friday game will be aired that night on Live Wire 24 at 10:30 p.m. and repeat Saturday at 11 a.m. on WKTV 25 and AT&T U-verse 99.


For a complete schedule of all local high school sports action in February, see now.wktv.org/sports/


Game on: WKTV’s featured games Jan. 23-27

WKTV Staff


In WKTV’s featured high school sports games this week, the coverage crew will be at Godwin Heights for a boys basketball game against Godfrey Lee at on Tuesday, Jan. 24, and then a girls and boys basketball doubleheader at Byron Center Zion Christian against Grand River Prep on Friday, Jan. 27.


In the Tuesday game, Godwin Heights enters the week with a 10-0 record after an 81-20 win over Belding on Jan. 20 which pushed the team’s OK Silver Conference record to 4-0. Wyoming Lee enters the week with a 7-3 record (2-2 in conference).


In the Friday night games, the Zion Christian girls entered the week with a 5-3 record and Grand River Prep at 0-6.


WKTV videos and broadcasts several games each week during high school sports season.


Each Tuesday game will be broadcast that night on Live Wire Comcast Channel 24 at 10:30 p.m. throughout the Grand Rapids Metro Area and repeat on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. on  WKTV Comcast Channel 25 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99 in Wyoming & Kentwood. Every Friday game will be aired that night on Live Wire 24 at 10:30 p.m. and repeat Saturday at 11 a.m. on WKTV 25 and AT&T U-verse 99.


Check here for this week’s complete schedule for Wyoming and Kentwood area high school varsity sports teams.


DVDs of each game are also available for purchase at $20 including shipping. For more information, visit WKTV.org


A chance to have their say – finally

Eligible students cast their ballots for the presidential election and several state positions.

First-Time Voters Reflect on Presidential Election


By Erin Albanese, Charles Honey and Linda Odette

School News Network


For 18-year-old high school students, last Tuesday’s election was their first chance to cast a ballot for president. School News Network asked several students from Kent County-area public schools what their first vote for president meant to them, what they learned from it and whom they voted for. Here we share the views of three of those students, from East Kentwood, Godwin Heights and Byron Center.



Esteban Nunez

Esteban Nunez, Godwin Heights High School

“To me it was something really important, especially in society today and the way things are going. I like to show my opinion along with understanding how it feels to be part of something and knowing something I say matters,” said Estaban Nunez.


He said the electoral process was “kind of confusing at the beginning, but later on I caught on.


“I voted for Gary Johnson. Generally, I encourage the idea of moving forward instead of staying with what the Republicans and Democrats are doing.”


Gregory Perhamus (Facebook photo)

Gregory Perhamus, East Kentwood High School

“For lack of better words it was really kind of cool. My mom always took me voting with her ever since I was little. … So now, for me to add a vote to this election and to be a part in the say and do my duty as a citizen was something I found very interesting. I felt really honored and proud to be part of the population.


“My mom teaches education at Grand Valley State University, so I was always in the know, so I don’t know if I learned anything new.” He said he took time to study the local elections. “I got more education on that perspective.


“I voted for Hillary, not totally in support of Hillary, but I guess against Trump. I think a lot of people did that. It was a rough election to have as a first election. When I look back at it in 20 years and someone asks who I voted for, I won’t be proud to say either one. I don’t know if anyone will, but it is what it is. We have four years. Hopefully next election we will have someone better.”


Maria Cotts, Byron Center High School

“I really liked it because I took a government class last year and I liked how I was able to vote this year. I liked that I could get involved and exercise my right to vote after learning about it for so long.”


Maria said she felt armed with knowledge about how voting works from her Advanced Placement government class. “I know lots about it, why it works, why it was put in place. I learned about the whole voting process and how it works at the polls.”


Still, it was a new experience. “I had never seen the ballot before,” she said.


“I voted for Hillary Clinton. … It should be interesting today,” she said the day after the election.


Grant Hopes to Boost Achievement, Performance Rank

Godwin Heights High students work on science projects at the spring Science Night
Godwin Heights High students work on science projects at the spring Science Night

By: Erin Albanese — School News Network


The district’s high school will use money from a recently approved School Improvement Grant on technology, professional development and added personnel to help zero in on areas of need.


The five-year grant, approved by the Michigan Department of Education, will include allocations of $750,000 each year for the first three years and $500,000 each year for the final two years. Godwin Heights is one of 14 low-performing schools to receive the grant to increase student achievement.


The MDE is distributing the federal funds to the schools in the bottom 5 percent of the state’s annual top-to-bottom rankings, as Michigan’s last SIG recipients. It is also the final round of SIG grants nationwide.


While approval of the grant coincided with the state’s School Reform Office’s announcement that it may close some priority schools, Superintendent William Fetterhoff said there is no indication that Godwin Heights High School will be shuttered. School Reform Office officials visited the school in August, but have checked in regularly, sometimes virtually, since the school was put on the list in 2013.


“They have actually been happy with the progress they’ve seen,” Fetterhoff said. “Our growth has been received well as we’ve reported it, but more importantly we’ve been happy with the strides we’ve seen in our student progress.”


Principal Chad Conklin said students have made gains without the SIG grant and the funds will help that momentum continue. Before the state switched the required high school college-entrance assessment from the ACT to SAT, they experienced a 5 to 10 percent increase in scores on the ACT, from an overall composite score of 16.4 in 2012-2013 to 2014-2015. Scores increased in each ACT content area as well.


“I’m very proud and excited to be able to say we’ve seen an increase in our standardized test scores over the last two years and they’ve been the best that they’ve been than over the last five years,” he said.


The SIG grant will go toward include improving literacy across all content area, preparing students for the workforce or college by developing communication and collaboration skills and professional development.


It will also fund a SIG coordinator and data coach, which could be a combined or separate positions, and intervention specialists, who are like learning coaches.


The data coach will train staff to use data to find gaps in learning.


“Intervention specialists will be working right alongside our core teachers, almost in a co-teaching regard so they add more support in our classrooms,” Conklin said.


The specialists will provide after-school tutoring offered to prioritize learning based on how students do on assessments. New classroom technology will include including Chromebook carts, interactive whiteboards and digital projectors.


Godwin Heights should be removed from priority school status after this year, Conklin said.


“We need to have another good year of standardized testing and see our scores improve for that to happen, and we fully expect that to happen.”


He said they are continuing to work toward improvement goals.


“We have a fantastic staff at the high school that is working tremendously hard on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “I know they’re excited to have a little extra support now with the SIG grant to provide even more things for the students.”


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