Superintendent's Office Excellence and Equity in Education

Superintendent's Message

Dear Kentwood Families and Community Members,

On a warm evening in late spring, it was a pleasure to join several of our EKHS students at Celebration Cinema to welcome guests and community members to a special premier screening. The screening was for a video, created by our students and students from another district, and it showcased groundbreaking cancer advances that are saving lives in west Michigan and around the country.   

Just a few short weeks later, I felt a similar sense of excitement visiting a pilot summer learning lab site at Southwood Elementary. Students were behind their school in a creek, waders and goggles on, test tubes in hand, doing scientific experiments on the health of their neighborhood stream.  

In each instance, our students were guided by teachers who inspired and believed in them. Our KPS teachers use innovative opportunities to share subject material. They bring learning alive while helping students make a positive impact in our community. Seeing excellence and innovation in action is exciting for all of us to experience and observe. 

Kentwood Public Schools has a long history of excellence and innovation. Our parents and students, staff and community members take pride in our academic achievement, particularly for groups of students that have traditionally struggled. We have had schools awarded national recognition such as National Blue Ribbon Schools, Building the Hope Schools, and Beating the Odds Schools, some of the highest honors in the nation. We have several schools consistently named as Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase Schools for our commitment to building strong relationships with students as the foundation of our work. Just last year, our students won multiple state championships in academic competitions!

Excellence is not an accident; reaching these peaks of success took hard work. Building trust within our community has allowed Excellence and Equity in Education to move past being a slogan to become an ongoing reality. The hard work of our staff and partnership with our families have made a difference. 

This year, the work begins as we implement phase one of our strategic plan. We will climb that next mountain with a rapidly growing and changing community. Last year we reviewed educational trends, best practices and input from students, parents, staff, and community members. We collected more than 3,000 points of data to hear what people were proud of in Kentwood and what changes might be needed. Based upon this data, our community, staff, and school leadership identified outcomes and implementation plans for the KPS strategic plan.  

Our strategic plan has four goal areas: 1) creating a culture of excellence in all aspects of our district; 2) establishing equitable outcomes and opportunities to impact student learning and achievement; 3) focusing on whole-child environments to keep our students safe and supported in all areas; and 4) recruiting and retaining high-impact staff, in particular, staff that are reflective of our community diversity.

If we continue the tradition of excellence that defines Kentwood Public Schools, we will take our district to the next level of accomplishment. Some decisions will be difficult, and the work challenging; however, with the dedication of our staff and the continued trust and partnership with our families and community members, our students can reach new heights. Together, we will reach the next pinnacle of excellence!  

It will be an exciting year. I am thankful that you are on this journey.  

Go Falcons!


Kevin Polston





Contact Us

Kevin Polston
Sydney Hanlon
Executive Assistant