KPS News

Sept. 24, 2021

Congratulations to Emerson Wesselhoff and Matthew Salinas!

Congratulations to Emerson Wesselhoff, Loy Norrix High School, and Matthew Salinas, Kalamazoo Central High School, for winning 2021 Student Excellence Awards! The two, who are also Kalamazoo Area Mathematics & Science Center students, will be given their awards at the Science Innovation Hall of Fame Awards at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Air Zoo. For more information about this year's award winners and ticket information visit
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Department and Staff Directories

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Share Your Fun, Interesting Classroom Photos and Stories

KPS News is seeking fun content from teachers and principals. Do you have something unique going on in your classrooms? Send a few pictures and a brief note, and we can try to share it with others in the district.

Spring Valley teacher Jill Sikaundi shared this first week of school photo of her students, saying, "Our first graders are all masked up and are attentively learning during our reading block. We were working on phonics and phonemic awareness. I love how they are sitting crisscross – applesauce, hands in their lap, masks fully covering their mouths and noses and they are actively listening. I am so very proud of them!!"

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KC Hosting Cheer Clinic for PreK-8 Students

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KC Alumnus Visits Air Zoo to Recount NASA Career

Norman Haynes, Kalamazoo Central class of 1954, was at the Air Zoo last night to kick off their Adult Discovery Series. While he wasn't particularly interested in science when he was a student at Kalamazoo Central — he preferred to focus on sports and girls when he was a high schooler — he eventually studied engineering in college.

He graduated at an opportune time - just as the space race was kicking off. NASA launched in 1958, and he joined the Jet Propulsion Lab as a new college grad in 1959.

"I had no idea what we would be doing. I didn't know about the planets or spacecraft - we didn't have spacecraft in 1959."

He eventually became the director of Mars Exploration at the Jet Propulsion Lab, playing an instrumental role in the Mariner 4 mission in 1964 and the Voyager II mission in 1989.

Mariner 4 launched in November of 1964 and almost eight months later it transmitted its first picture of Mars - the first photograph ever taken of another planet. Voyager 2 conducted the first and only flyby of Neptune — and is still traveling in space.

What comes next for space exploration? He anticipates a push to collect samples from Mars, but said it will be a 10-15 year challenge requiring multiple trips and spacecraft. And, he said, scientists will be looking for life on other planets, including those outside of our solar system.

"The future will all be biology oriented. We've done the physics. We're looking for life. We don't want to be alone."

Interestingly, he mentioned that he worked for James Webb, the first director of NASA. Webb's name was just mentioned on NPR this morning.

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Walk for Warmth Coming This Weekend

The Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan will hold its annual Walk for Warmth on Saturday. The event, which provides utility assistance for those in need, will start at First Baptist Church beginning at 9:30 a.m. For more information, visit

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Join CIS Walking With Purpose

Walking With Purpose is a month-long initiative from Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo to get active, raise awareness and raise funds to support students in Kalamazoo. We walk now so that they can walk later…at graduation and into a brighter future of their own design. Learn more:

There is so many ways to participate:

Form a walk team: Become a team captain to recruit a team of walkers and fundraisers (we have a goal of 40 teams and most teams will have 5+ walkers). CIS will offer suggestions, but both the fundraising and walking goals are determined by you and your team. Working together, the 40 teams will walk a cumulative 12,000 miles over the course of October. The miles are symbolic of the 12,000 students we support. Walking officially starts Oct. 1. Team captains can register here: (select create a team)

Walk and fundraise on your own: Click here to set up your own page:

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KPS Job Listings

Middle School Teacher - Spanish

Hillside Middle School

Job ID: 3851

Assistant School Secretary - Adult Education

Community Education Center

10 Month + 20 days – Full Time

Job ID: 3852

Computer Lab Paraprofessional

Kalamazoo Central High School

10-Month, Full-time

Job ID: 3853

School Secretary II

Milwood Magnet School: A Center for Math, Science and Technology

10-month, Full-time

Job ID: 3854

Carpenter Foreman

Facilities Management

12-month, Full Time

Job ID: 3855

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