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Tag Archive | "Superintendent Laura VanDuyn"

School board recall drive suspended


By Judy Reed

A drive to recall three members of the Cedar Springs Board of Education came to a halt this week after a spokesperson for the recall team said they no longer felt it necessary to proceed.

Petitions to recall board president Heidi Reed, vice president Matt Shoffner, and treasurer Shannon Vanderhyde were filed this spring, in the aftermath of the resignation of Superintendent Laura VanDuyn.

The reasoning on the petitions for the recall had to do with public comment being limited at a board meeting. Reed apologized the day after the meeting, noting that she had erred in not letting some people speak who had not signed up ahead of time. 

However, there was more behind the recall effort than the one incident. Many of those who had demanded that the former superintendent resign also felt that the board had not been listening to the public or staff over the last few years when they complained about the former superintendent, and wanted to see them recalled. However, since that time, board members have made efforts to be more transparent, and show that they are listening to their constituents. The recent hiring of Superintendent Scott Smith had the public involved at almost every level.

Recall spokesperson Molly Nixon released this statement earlier this week: “Upon evaluation of the recent changes made by the board of education from 6-year to 4-year terms, and upon seeing that the new superintendent contract is not self-renewing, the recall team has decided that it is not necessary to continue with our efforts at this time. We would like to thank all of the citizens who assisted with the circulation of petitions. We ask all citizens to continue to watch closely the actions of elected officials. While we will continue to expect a high level of transparency we thank the board for taking these first steps in the direction of reconciliation. It is a new day indeed.” 

For more information on term lengths and what positions are up for election this fall, click here.

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From the superintendent’s desk: June 3, 2016

Superintendent Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Superintendent Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Dear Cedar Springs Public Schools Families:

As we near the end of this academic year, the members of the Board of Education, district leadership team, teaching and support staffs want to celebrate our commitment to excellence in all that we do.  This means providing an education of excellence for the children and families of Cedar Springs and that our actions and decisions in the district are driven by data and best practices.

Over the course of this academic year, we have been putting students first.  From the exemplary teaching and learning to the committed volunteerism that occurs in our classrooms – collectively – our goal is what is best for students.

From athletics to the arts, finances to facilities, academics to transportation, every area is working hard to reflect excellence and best practices.  This district is committed to being data driven in our decision making while being responsive to the needs of our students and our community.

Cedar Springs Public Schools has talented students and staff members.  As a result, whether it is a student, the superintendent, a teacher, a coach or a support staff member, we challenge and hold each other accountable for growth and achievement.

Throughout the district, students, teachers and support staff are engaged with learning projects that excite and challenge students to grow and achieve.  This is why we have pursued new innovative practices such as Responsive Classroom®, Adaptive Schools, Cognitive Coaching®, and a new math curriculum.  It is also why we established the Cedar Springs Schools Health Clinic and have pursued new buses for safer transportation.  This is also why we chose to go through the rigorous and highly detailed educational review of the AdvancED® accreditation process.  We want to push our thinking, celebrate our successes and challenge each other to limitless progress at CSPS.

To that end, we are excited by the engagement that we see across the district with our students and families and appreciate the hard work done on a daily basis in the classroom and all around our campus by administrators, teachers, support staff, and volunteers.  A prime example of CSPS engagement and hard work is Mrs. Cheryl Tacoma.  Mrs. Tacoma has taught our elementary students at Cedar Springs for 27 years and has held a deep commitment to our students, their education and their personal development.  We admire the countless individuals at CSPS who maintain a goal of doing what is best for students – just as Mrs. Tacoma has for decades!

Together we are making a difference locally with our students and making a difference globally with our graduates.  As we enter into the end of the school year and the excitement of graduation, we salute all who invest in our students to make this great district and community the very best it can be.

As always, it is an honor to serve as your CSPS superintendent.  Please do call, write or drop by for a visit at any time.  I would appreciate an opportunity to get to know you and learn how you think this great district might best serve our children as our Cedar Springs students deserve the very best!


Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools

Office:  616-696-1204 ext. 1001    Cell: 925-899-3111    Email: laura.vanduyn@csredhawks.org

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Car crashes into school bus


By Judy Reed

A crash involving a car and a school bus sent one person to the hospital on Tuesday, March 29.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, with the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit, the crash occurred on 18 Mile Rd near White Creek, in Solon Township, about 8:23 a.m.

A 68-year-old Solon Township woman was traveling east on 18 Mile behind a Cedar Springs Public Schools bus carrying elementary children, when the bus began to slow down for another bus it was following that was stopping to pick up children. The woman was reportedly blinded by the sun, and did not see the bus stopping. She then crashed into the back of the bus without braking, according to a witness.

None of the children on the bus were injured. Another bus was sent to pick up the children and transport them to school.

The bus driver, a 48-year-old woman from Spencer Township, complained of general pain. She was checked out by Rockford ambulance but was not hospitalized.

The driver of the car was sent to Butterworth Hospital by Rockford ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

“We are forever grateful for the Kent County Sheriff Department, Fire Department, paramedics and all other first responders for their prompt, caring and professional response to the needs of our school district and community,” said Cedar Springs Public Schools Superintendent Laura VanDuyn.

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Inspiring Letter


Dear Editor,

The letter in the Post from Cedar Springs School Superintendent Laura VanDuyn is outstanding! Progress achieved and plans made for the future are reassuring and inspiring!

Lyle Perry, Jr., Cedar Springs

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