KPS News

Sept. 17, 2021

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National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed nationally from Sept. 15 to Oct.15, celebrating and honoring the contributions and importance of Hispanics and Latinos to the United States and those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

The Hispanic Heritage observance began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. It was enacted into law on Aug.17, 1988, with the approval of Public Law 100-402.

Sept. 15 is a significant date, because it is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept.18, respectively.

Find more about Hispanic Heritage Month:

Gilmore Presents Pianist Nachito Herrera in Free Concert

Cuban-born pianist Nachito Herrera is returning to Kalamazoo to perform in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Herrera, who specializes in Cuban jazz, most recently played in Kalamazoo on the noontime jazz series at The Civic Theater during the 2014 Gilmore Piano Festival.

The free concert will be performed in-person in Bronson Park at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24. Please plan to bring a lawn chair or blanket, and to follow current state and local Covid-19 safety protocols. For more information, go to

It will also be livestreamed. Click here for a virtual ticket:

Presented in partnership with El Concilio, The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, and Public Media Network, and sponsored by Havirmill Foundation with additional support from Eaton Corporation, The Marvin and Rosalie Okun Foundation, and PNC, this Gilmore Community Concert is available to everyone free of charge.

A second concert is planned at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, at Leila Arboretum, presented in partnership with Battle Creek Latin American Heritage Initiative, Voces, and Leila Arboretum with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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Teachers Plant Little Free Libraries Across Kalamazoo

Congratulations to Winchell Elementary fourth-grade teacher Dionna Roberts and Kalamazoo Central High School (and KRESA) art teacher Kellen Deau on their successful Little Free Libraries project, which installed almost three dozen decorated libraries across the city this summer. They're pictured with the library that was donated to the Douglass Community Association and Douglass Executive Director Sid Ellis. An "unveiling" of all of the libraries was held at Kalamazoo College's Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. What beautiful way to promote literacy in #Kalamazoo! Check out this WWMT story on their efforts

1954 KC Alum Will Discuss Space Exploration, NASA Career

Kalamazoo native and 1954 Kalamazoo Central alumnus, Norman Haynes, once the director of Mars Exploration, Jet Propulsion Lab, is a pioneer in the remarkable history of NASA’s planetary exploration. Haynes will be the keynote speaker at the Air Zoo's Discovery Series for Adults at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 23. Tickets are $20 members and $25 nonmembers in advance, $30 at the door.

When Mariner 4 launched in November 1964, accomplishing the first flyby of Mars under his direction, Norm Haynes was just five years into what would become a four-decade career leading various elements of interplanetary exploration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calif.

Haynes became the director of Mars Exploration in 1996, a role he held until his retirement in 2000. Along the way, he received numerous honors and recognitions, culminating with the NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal, the agency’s highest honor.

He will recount the hurdles, disappointments, and ingenuity that dotted the path to the triumphant successes of two groundbreaking mission — Mariner 4, which launched in 1964 and captured the first close-up images of another planet; and Voyager 2 in 1989, the first and only flyby mission to Neptune.

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KPS Job Opportunities

High School Teacher - Special Education

Kalamazoo Central

JOB ID: 3842

Elementary Teacher - Art

Woods Lake Elementary

JOB ID: 3843

Elementary Teacher - Special Education Resource Room

Milwood Elementary School

Job ID: 3844

Middle School Teacher - Math


Job ID: 3845


Facilities Management

12-month, Full-time

Job ID: 3846

Electrical Foreman

Facilities Management

12-month, Full-time

JOB ID: 3847

Stockroom Foreman

Facilities Management

12-month, Full-time

JOB ID: 3848

Instructional Secretary

(Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development)

Instruction and Student Services

12-month, Full-time

JOB ID: 3849

Executive Personnel Specialist

Human Resources Department

12-month, Full-time

JOB ID: 3850

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