4/21/23: KPS names superintendent candidates

KPS has named the six top candidates to become its next superintendent. Also: Portage could get a Metro bus hub. And Kalamazoo got the spotlight on the Daily Show.
NowKalamazoo.com - community news. independent and truly local.

The Daily News and Events Roundup

For those who live, work, and play in Kalamazoo County

Friday, April 21, 2023

High 61°/Low 42° Chance of rain

KPS has named the six top candidates to become its next superintendent. Also: Portage could get a Metro bus hub. And Kalamazoo got the spotlight on the Daily Show.

NowKalamazoo badge

KPS names superintendent candidates

Kalamazoo Public Schools trustees announced the names of the semi-finalists in their search for a new superintendent. The candidates come from as nearby as Portage and as far away as Texas. Just one has previous experience as a superintendent – the rest are assistant superintendents or hold other administrative positions. All but one has a doctorate – the other is working toward one. All six will be interviewed virtually by the board next week. The top two or three candidates will be invited back for in-person interviews in May.

The candidates are:

  • Johnny Edwards, assistant superintendent of operations for Portage Public Schools
  • Dr. Stephanie Jones, chief officer for the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services for Chicago Public Schools
  • Dr. Thomas D. Rogers, assistant superintendent for IZone 2.0/Priority Schools for the district office of Shelby County Schools in Tennessee
  • Dr. Darrin Slade, deputy superintendent of the Hazelwood Public School District in Missouri
  • Dr. Marcey Sorenson, chief academic officer for Fort Worth Independent School District in Texas
  • Dr. Ty Weeks, superintendent of schools for Dearborn Heights School District No. 7

More News You Need To Know

Metro considering a transit hub in Portage

Kalamazoo County’s Metro transit service is in discussions to set up a transportation hub in the city of Portage. Metro Executive Director Sean McBride mentioned the concept in a recent staff report. “The city of Portage is a key population center, a key retail center, a key job center,” he said. “How do we have supportive infrastructure in place to best provide the best public transit experience in the city of Portage?”

The concept is purely an idea at the moment. There is no indication of where it would be or how much it would cost. Portage City Manager Pat McGinnis told WOOD TV8 that there are four areas on Westnedge Avenue that could be up for consideration. One of those areas is owned by the city. McGinnis said funding could come from a mix of federal and state funds, and philanthropic agencies. [WOOD]

Mothers of Hope celebrates 25 years of helping out

Mothers of Hope has done a lot of different things in the 25 years it’s been around. It’s held massive, outdoor celebrations at Spring Valley Park and tiny card games at its headquarters on Ada Street. It’s hosted COVID vaccination drives and laundry detergent giveaways. All of it has been in the name of supporting their Northside community. Primarily, though, Mothers of Hope is a place for people struggling with addiction. Founders Delores Johnson and Gwen Lanier launched the effort in 1998 after fighting their own addictions. That gives them experience and perspective that other substance abuse organizations might not have.

“The mission of Mothers of Hope is to empower and strengthen communities, in partnership with organizations, businesses, and individuals with shared values,” Program Director Stephanie Williams told Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave. As part of that mission, the group is working to raise funds to expand its headquarters. “We’ve planned a year’s worth of fundraisers,” said Lanier. “We put them together from January through December, different kinds of ones, so that we could raise enough money this year to celebrate our 25th anniversary.” One of those fundraisers is this Saturday. The anniversary brunch will be held at 9am at the Douglass Community Association. “We’re hoping that we can obtain the lots to build on – to build a building that’s big enough for us to have a meeting space, for us to have just a lounging space when people want to come in and just talk and not feel like they’re in an office setting – to be relaxed and talk,” said Lanier. [Second Wave]

Whitmer talks beer and politics on the Daily Show

Kalamazoo was in the national spotlight this week during a special segment on the Daily Show. The popular news satire has had a rotating cast of guest hosts ever since Trevor Noah stepped down last year. This week, the show has been hosted by longtime Daily Show correspondent and Kalamazoo native Jordan Klepper. Wednesday night’s episode featured a lengthy segment filmed in Kalamazoo with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The segment was filmed largely at Bell’s Brewery. Klepper and Whitmer discussed obvious things – such as the virtue of good beer – as well as more serious subjects. Whitmer lamented the state of political discourse. That included a criticism of Michigan GOP Chair Kristina Karamo, who has compared both Democrats and popular musicians to demons. “I don’t have time for people who want to call Beyonce satanic,” she said. Klepper graduated from Kalamazoo Central and Kalamazoo College, and makes regular visits back to his hometown. You can view the full clip on YouTube. [MLive]

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

Brought to you by

Doja logo

Brought to you byDoja logo

YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo 2023 Annual Community Breakfast – Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center
7:00AM 4/21

Earth Day Clean-Up – 41st District Service Office
9:30AM 4/21

KazooPex Stamp & Cover Show – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
10am 4/21-22

Pinball at the Zoo – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
1pm 4/21, 9am 4/22

Hip Hop with Speak It Forward – Kalamazoo Public Library, Alma Powell
3:30PM 4/21

5:01 Ditch Friday – JungleBird
5:00PM 4/21

Board Game Night – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
5:00PM 4/21

Music with Steve Kamerling – Brick + Brine
6:00PM 4/21

Barrelhouse – The Distant Whistle Brewhouse
6:00PM 4/21

Joe Gatto Night of Comedy – Miller Auditorium
7:00PM 4/21

V. V. Lightbody, Saxsquatch & Bridge Band, Jessi Phillips – Rugger’s Up and Under
7:00PM 4/21

Old Man Trainwreck – Papa Pete’s
7:00PM 4/21

Chicken & Biscuits – Farmers Alley Theatre
7:30pm 4/21-22, 4/27-29, 5/4-6; 2pm 4/23, 4/30, 5/7

Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical JV – Kalamazoo Civic Theatre
7:30pm 4/21, 4/28; 1pm 4/22, 4/29; 4pm 4/22, 4/29; 2pm 4/23, 4/30; 10am 4/26-27

Mothers of Hope 25th Year Anniversary BRUNCH Fundraiser – Douglass Community Association
9:00AM 4/22

PNC Kids’ 1K – Arcadia Creek Festival Place
9:00AM 4/22

Spring Stride Outdoor Fest – Downtown Kalamazoo
9:00AM 4/22

Spring Potting Party – Wenke Greenhouses
9:00AM 4/22

Earth Day Clean Up – Galesburg-Augusta Middle School
9:30AM 4/22

Bouquet Bounce – Vicksburg
10:00AM 4/22

Drive Electric Earth Day – Kalamazoo Nature Center
10:30AM 4/22

Kalamazoo Earth Day Festival – Various parks
11:00AM 4/22

Gardening with the Cowardly Gardener – Kalamazoo Public Library, Eastwood
12:00PM 4/22

“One Earth, One Chance” Workshop with David Radcliff – Skyridge Church of the Brethren
1:00PM 4/22

Day of Kindness – Portage District Library
1:00PM 4/22

Family Discovery Concert – Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
3:00PM 4/22

The Incantations – The Distant Whistle Brewhouse
6:00PM 4/22

King Buffalo w/ Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 4/22

Zeigler Kalamazoo Marathon – Arcadia Creek Festival Place
7:30AM 4/23

Kalamazoo Record & CD Show – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
10:00AM 4/23

Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
10:00AM 4/23

Kalamazoo Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta 50th Anniversary Exhibition – Kalamazoo Valley Museum
1:00PM 4/23

Community Concert: Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band – Portage District Library
2:00PM 4/23

Southwest Michigan Makers Network meetup – Kzoo Makers
3:00PM 4/23

Dine 4 Justice – Lewis Walker Institute
3:00PM 4/23

Songs for the Journey Part 2 – The Kalamazoo Singers
3:00PM 4/23

Kalamazoo Academy of Rock – Final Gravity Brewing Co.
3:00PM 4/23

BlueBack hosts the Sunday Night Blues Jam – Old Dog Tavern
6:00PM 4/23

Kalamazoo Academy of Rock – Final Gravity Brewing Co.
6:30PM 4/23

Passafire / The Quasi Kings / Crooked Coast – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 4/23

See more upcoming events here.

Suggest something to do: tips@nowkalamazoo.org

Do you find value in our locally owned and independent news? Keep it coming with a donation.


Support NowKalamazoo for free: Forward this email to others who value community news coverage.

Thank you to the community institutions that support our work:


Sorry for this annoying banner — it's required so we stay out of Internet jail. Like most websites, we use cookies to help some features work better. Read our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top