KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) - Calls came in to Kalamazoo Central High School on Tuesday, oneday after President Barack Obama delivered the commencement speech,from as far away as California for Principal Von Washington.
Many fellow educators offered congratulations and askedquestions: Why Kalamazoo Central? How did this school, of 1,700students, win the president's commencement challenge? What is itthat separated this school from all the others?
Part of the answer is tied to the Kalamazoo Promise -- theguarantee of money for college to students who qualify. But that'snot all, educators said.
It's a new attitude among teachers, counselors, administratorsand students. The number of people taking advanced placementclasses has doubled in three years, with about 400 students optingfor the tougher courses. As many as 90 percent of this year'sgraduating seniors will head to college.
"We're having a drum beat around college -- a drum beat aroundbeing college-ready," Washington said. "Our guidance counselors aremeeting with each and every student as they work on theirschedules. It's not just a mass production of -- this is what youget, here it is."
On Tuesday, the glow of the commencement could be felt in thehallways and classrooms after the day that included Air Force One,the Secret Service and a presidential address.
Retiring social studies teacher Rick Kahow stopped at aKalamazoo restaurant for breakfast and received a standingovation.
Six years after she vanished, detectives are still working to find out who killed Janna Kelly.
A former Grand Rapids Community College president has died.
A Kalamazoo man accused of beating another man, pouring gasoline on him and leaving him in a Dumpster now faces a murder charge.