Kentwood Public Schools High School Team
February 2016 KSSN Spotlight
For the month of February, we are spotlighting Brandy Salters, Dontá Young, and Kyle Ringwald, who work out of the Kentwood Public Schools high school buildings. Brandy, who has been with KSSN for six years, works at East Kentwood High, Dontá, in his first year, works part-time at Crossroads Alternative High and part-time at Crestwood Middle School, and Kyle, in his third year with KSSN, is at the East Kentwood Freshman Campus.
As KSSN community school coordinators, the staff work in the schools and try to eliminate barriers to student and family success. This includes assisting with basic needs, building parent engagement, helping to increase access to mental and physical health services, and leveraging resources through community partnerships. However, the jobs of Brandy, Dontá, and Kyle differ even more at the high school level because their students are starting to gain independence, yet still need guidance and care. Many of their students have major decisions to make regarding their futures, and the coordinators do their best to support these decisions while giving input and assistance where needed.
And their jobs can differentiate even more because of the varying buildings they work in: Kyle, at the Freshman Campus, works with students who are entering high school and may need help acclimating to the culture and climate. Brandy works with students who are transitioning out of high school and need college and career readiness. Dontá works with students who need multiple supports in regard to academic, attendance, and familial obstacles. However, this team still works closely together in many ways. For instance, they share community partners, donations, and volunteers, and host a monthly Community School Leadership Team meeting in collaboration with the Kentwood KSSN middle school staff. This meeting brings together school and community stakeholders to discuss ways to collaborate and problem-solve on behalf of the entire Kentwood community.
When asked what this team enjoys most about their schools, Brandy says it is the diversity. She thinks it is inspiring to walk through the halls and hear all the different languages being spoken by the kids. Kyle loves that the district has a small-town feel, though it is one of the largest in the state. He also appreciates the numerous community partners who are always willing to help the schools and students overcome barriers to education. Dontá says he loves the palpable synergy throughout the community.
When this trio of coordinators is not busy in the schools, you can find them engaging in a number of pasttimes and hobbies. Brandy loves theater. She has directed, produced, and starred in a number of theater productions, and she also loves to sing. Kyle enjoys coaching and playing basketball, do-it-yourself projects around the house, and spending time with his wife and the newest member of his family, his rescue dog Zeke. Dontá, who is never shy to talk about football and his love for the Detroit Lions, enjoys coaching for the Kentwood 78ers and working with the East Kentwood varsity football program, and interestingly, he’s also a recording artist.
Thank you so much, Brandy, Kyle, and Dontá. The three of you are very dedicated community school coordinators who pour all your energy into improving the lives of the Kentwood community students and families. We are so proud to feature you as our collective KSSN Spotlight!