Superintendent's Message

After last year’s harsh winter, this summer has flown by way too fast!   Hopefully you have taken some time to travel, spend time with family, take part in activities you enjoy, or simply just relaxed.  Many of you, like the district leadership team, have already been planning for the coming year.  This summer I was re-energized by reading Dr. Carol Dweck’s book on changing the way students think and engage.  In Dr. Dweck’s book Mindset,  she stresses the importance of creating a mental frame where students see themselves conquering life’s challenges using their own abilities.  Remember,  “success” comes before “work” only in the dictionary!! 

In an interview with Education World, Dr. Dweck noted, “Teachers should teach students to relish a challenge rather than praising students for doing well on easy tasks. They should transmit the joy of confronting a challenge and of struggling to find strategies that work.”

I thought she was talking about Kentwood Public Schools as I read the interview.  We work hard to equip our students to meet difficult circumstances and many of our students demonstrate the grit it takes to overcome rough life circumstances on a daily basis.  With this in mind, this coming year, please join me in highlighting three key areas for our parents and students:  

Grit:  Our students have the inner strength and intellectual capability to meet and rise above life’s challenges.

Positive relationships and high expectations: Positive relationships provide the support needed to overcome difficult life circumstances.  Positive relationships provide the strength to meet high expectations and tackle what feels like the impossible.  

Global schools focused on excellence: We succeed on an international stage because Kentwood has a global perspective with a commitment to excellence in all that we do.

It is easy to forget that Kentwood is a leader at the local, state, and national level. This was reinforced when Bridge Magazine ranked Kentwood in Michigan’s top 50 schools for the second consecutive year.  We are an outstanding educational team and together we inspire and challenge our students to grow and develop.   

On August 26, we will come together as a staff to kick off the 2014-15 school year.  On Tuesday, September 2, we welcome back our students for their first full day of school.  The opening day agenda and the professional development activities for your first week back are included with this letter.  

Kentwood Public Schools and our staff enter this year with the momentum of a GREAT 2013-14 school year at our backs.  Thank you for your contributions to making our school community welcoming and one where students and families want to succeed. Together, let’s inspire students to relish the challenges they face, both academically and socially, in the upcoming school year and for years to come. 


Michael Zoerhoff