East Kentwood High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
East Kentwood High School
6230 Kalamazoo Ave
Kentwood, Michigan, 49508
Coordinates 42°51′03″N 85°37′09″W / 42.8507°N 85.6193°W / 42.8507; -85.6193Coordinates: 42°51′03″N 85°37′09″W / 42.8507°N 85.6193°W / 42.8507; -85.6193
School type public, secondary
Motto Committed To Excellence
Opened 1969
School district Kentwood Public Schools
NCES District ID 2620340[1]
Superintendent Michael Zoerhoff[2]
NCES School ID 262034005721[1]
Principal John Keenoy[3]
Staff 146[3]
Grades 10-12
Gender coed
Enrollment 1884[1] (2009-10)
Student to teacher ratio 18.04[1]
Campus type Suburban
Color(s)      red
Athletics conference OK Conference[4]
Mascot Freddy The Falcon
Team name Falcons[4]
Newspaper The Talon
Yearbook Skyliner

East Kentwood High School (EKHS) is a public high school located just outside the city of Kentwood, Michigan, United States. It is part of the Kentwood Public Schools district, working together with the Crossroads High School, an alternative learning center.


East Kentwood High School was built in 1969. Since then it has undergone numerous renovations, including the addition of the West Wing in 1975 and the construction of the Freshman Campus in 1994. Further construction was finished in 1983, 1986, 1994, and 2006. The 1994 project included a renovation of the fieldhouse and expansion of the West Wing, which involved adding several new science classrooms. In the mid-1980s, a south corridor was completed to shelter students crossing each wing. East Kentwood is the only public school in the state of Michigan to have its own ice arena on campus, it is often referred to as the best ice arena in the state as well; East Kentwood also has its own competitive and community swimming pools, and a 1,600-seat Fine Arts Auditorium.

The original Kentwood high school, which is now Crestwood Middle School, opened in 1960. When the new site was built in 1969, the new school was named East Kentwood because there were plans to eventually build a second high school, which would have been known as West Kentwood a few years later. West Kentwood would have built on the same physical campus as East Kentwood. When the first vote for a second high school was turned down in the early 1970s it led to the construction of East Kentwood's first swimming pool as well as what was referred to as the Freshman wing. To this day, talks of building a second high school periodically resurface but have so far been turned down in favor of the economic advantages of running one large high school. Thus, East Kentwood continues to grow while West Kentwood remains the answer to a trivia question.


East Kentwood 10-12 Building during construction

In 2003, a $85.5 million bond was passed that allowed new construction at the High School Campus. A new athletic stadium was built with a capacity of over 7,500 along with a new 38-meter pool and a 75-foot community pool. Further work was done at the Freshman Campus to build it to the supportable core of 1,450 students with the moving of office and support staff to a new highly visible wing, and renovation of the previous office space with six classrooms and adding onto the existing classroom wings with 10 rooms. Additional work was done at the 10-12 main campus with the addition of more performing arts space including new practice rooms along with work at the auditorium with more dressing rooms, staging areas, and a new lighting and sound system. Furthermore, the seating was also refurnished.

Another major project was the expansion of the east wing cafeteria and renovation of classrooms in that wing. The circle drive that has been a mainstay of the school was removed with a new corridor built to link the west and east wings. The new corridor also puts a large commons area in front of the school with the pools, field house, and auditorium on each side. This hallway added 6 entrances, which is twice as many as before, along with creating two courtyards. Beyond the front of the school work the art department was given a remodel which includes a new art gallery. Along with all of this new carpeting has been placed through the school. Furthermore, a south side road was placed between the school and the practice fields along with a possible storage facility were added between the new south road and the field house. A renovation of the softball and baseball diamonds was also done then which included new home plate structures, scoreboards, and permanent bleachers.

In the summer of 2011, the library was renovated as well as the weight room, which was completely remodeled.


East Kentwood Freshman Campus

East Kentwood High School has a student population of over 2,600 students. Over 700 of them are in the Freshman Campus while sophomores, juniors, and seniors are in the 10-12 building.

Within the student body, 47.12% of students are Caucasian, 29.34% African American, 8.44% Hispanic, 9.82% Asian American, 0.57% Native American and 1.34% Multi-racial.[5] 92% of Kentwood Public Schools parents, 96% of staff, and 85% of students believe it is important to attend a school in a culturally diverse community, such as Kentwood.[6]


Private security officers patrol the halls and give out detentions to students who do not have lanyards on, and classes are dismissed on a staggered basis during lunches to prevent the overcrowding of the halls. Starting in January 2007, students and teachers were required to wear lanyards with IDs to provide better security throughout the campus. Lanyards are different colors based on which building the student mostly uses. The Freshman Campus students are required to wear a white lanyard, the High School students wear a red lanyard, and all teachers wear black lanyards. A strict security policy was instated along with the lanyards requiring students who forget their lanyard to attend detention on their second offense, Saturday school on their third offense, and suspension for subsequent offenses. Such a demanding policy has been a source of controversy over the past few years and is often seen as unnecessary by students and faculty alike.


East Kentwood offers 21 Advanced Placement courses; more than any other school district in the area.[6] Those courses include AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP Drawing, AP Chemistry, AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, AP English Language, AP US Government and Politics, AP Latin, AP Psychology, AP Physics, AP Spanish Language, AP Spanish Literature, AP Statistics, and AP U.S. History, AP English Literature, AP Studio Art, AP World History, AP Computer Programming.

Regardless of AP classes, students need 28.0 credits to graduate. This begins on day one with every trimester worth of a class contributing to this goal. Class requirements are as follows for 2001-2013: 4 credits of English and Math 3 credits of science 3 credits of social studies .5 credits activity based PE 1 credit visual or performing applied arts course.

The AP Government class offers students the opportunity to compete in We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, a program in which teams of students present and discuss issues related to the United States Constitution by delivering prepared statements on constitutional issues and citing civil law and common law to support their assertions. The EK team has won several state competitions in Michigan as well as placing in the top 10 in the country several times. The We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program is approved by Congress and funding is provided by the United States Department of Education.

In addition, EK offers a four-year debate curriculum. EK debaters have won numerous state titles, tournament championships, and speaker awards. EK competes throughout the country and at all levels (novice, junior varsity, and varsity).

The Model UN curriculum at East Kentwood High School has been offered both as a class and as an after school program. As a part of EK's model UN team, students take on the role of a United Nations member in proposing and debating resolutions at Mid-American Model United Nations (MAMUN) competitions. In 2009, the team took home the prestigious "Best Prepared School" award from their competition in Kalamazoo, Michigan.[7] East Kentwood students have also won a number of individual awards.

Performance overview of the school system[edit]

Students exposed to a variety of coursework through requirements in life skills, science, math, English, and technology. Unique classes, such as aviation technology; A+ Certification; computer networking, programming, operating systems certification; computerized accounting; a young entrepreneurs club providing real-world experience and application. Additionally, East Kentwood offers a newly built art gallery focusing on a dozen art classes from drawing to sculpturing, painting to ceramics, jewelry making to computerized graphics, photography and film development/editing, and even air-brushing under hooded workstations.

The recent Michigan graduation requirements passed by Lansing will require an updated class requirements for the 2011 class and then additional requirement for the 2016 class; although it appears they may be moving towards those goals sooner. From the 05-06 course catalog little change in requirements has occurred. English went from 3.5 years to 3 years, Math, History, Government, Economics (Social Science), and Science are still 2 years, Humanities (Art, Foreign Language, World History, Vocal and Instrumental Music, Acting, Public Speaking) and Life Skills (Business, Technology, and Life Management) are still 1 year. Physical Education, however, went from 2 years to just 1 year. Elective amounts have gone up and down as the school went from a straight 6 hours back in 1999, to the block scheduling in 2005. In 2006, the school went to trimester scheduling, allowing students to pursue electives from astronomy to wild animal care and biology, electronics and metal shop to personal finance and do-it-yourself home care and fix-it projects (plumbing, electricity, etc.), to meal-preparation for young single adults and young children nutrition and baby care.

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

EKHS has one of Michigan's largest high school marching bands and is under the direction of James Ross and James Sawyer. The band is composed of the usual marching instruments, flutes, pianos, guitars, saxophones, violins, jugging-jugglers, and marching percussion. The marching band meets for a week in the summer for band camp where they learn the half time show they will be performing for that season. They have regular Monday night rehearsals during the school year that last from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and are mandatory. The band runs on student leadership, which is the role of the drum majors and section leaders. Both of these roles are audition based and require training before the season starts. Section leaders help run the section by teaching how each section works in the band and helps keep rehearsals running smoothly. Drum majors are student conductors who not only help conduct the band but teach good marching fundamentals. The band has been a long-standing tradition at East Kentwood High School and in 2004, had the largest high school marching band in the state, with over 350 members.

EK has one of the top jazz programs in the state, frequently posting top results in area and state jazz competitions. In addition, Kentwood has a Summer Stock Theatre Program that involves children in grades kindergarten to 12. 147 students were represented in the most recent production. East Kentwood also offers a policy debate program that has done well at numerous state and national competitions.

EK also has some of the best choirs in Michigan. Kentwood Public Schools introduces students to formal vocal music groups beginning in the 6th grade. Each of Kentwood's three middle schools offers choir programs in grades six, seven and eight. After leaving middle school, our vocal music students have opportunities to perform in numerous groups as they progress in their high school years. Those groups are: Varsity Voices, Madrigal Singers, Women's Ensemble, Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, 9th Grade Mens, and 9th Grade Women's Choir. High School music classes have been show cased at the state music conference 10 times since 1993. The Varsity Voices have gone to the Michigan Youth Arts Festival twice, in the years 2010 and 2011, as one of the top 12 choirs in the state. The High School curriculum includes 7 choirs, 5 bands, and 2 orchestras that have received superior ratings at festivals for over 30 years.

EK has an amazing theater program. In the 2010-2011 school year, they presented the musical "Hairspray," being the second school in the nation to present this show. Each year there are multiple opportunities for students to participate, including the freshman play, the fall play for 10-12, Children's Performance Troupe, and the spring musical.

The dual enrollment program allows students to augment their curriculum by taking classes through local colleges and universities. In 2006, in partnership with Grand Valley State University, an introduction to nursing course has been brought on campus.

The orchestra program consists of 4 ensembles, the Philharmonic, Concert, Symphony, and Advanced Strings. Freshman are automatically put into the philharmonic orchestra, but may audition for placement in the Concert or Symphony orchestras prior to entering high school. East Kentwood has a distinctive orchestra program that is known for its musicians that venture into mediums other than the standard classical repertoire. Most notably, the Advanced Strings orchestra, known better as the ABC orchestra is an ensemble that takes on alternative styles ranging from jazz, to rock, and even international styles of music. The Symphony strings have consistently earned high marks at festivals, and have even been invited to perform at the Midwest clinic in the past.


East Kentwood offers these clubs: Amnesty International, Book Club, Chess and Board Games Club, DECA Club, Drama Club, Equestrian Club, FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America), Forensics Club, G.S.A (Gay Straight Alliance), Graphics Design Club, Latin Club, Michigan Junior Classic League, Multicultural Art Club, National Art Honor Society, National Honor Society, Photography Events Club, Shakespeare Club, Ski Club, Strive Club, Swing Dance Club, Teen Institute, Y.E.A. (Young Entrepreneur Association), Young Democrats, Young Republicans, Model United Nations, Newspaper, Yearbook, Debate, and Mock Trial.

In addition to the standard clubs East Kentwood offers, students can create their own club that is funded by the school.

Competition Teams[edit]

School colors are red and black and school mascot is the falcon. East Kentwood High School competes in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red Division. In the 2009-2010 school year, the AP Government class won the state Championship in the "We the People" state competition, and went to the National competition in Washington D.C. where the team placed in the top 10 in the country. The athletic teams have routinely won Conference titles and most sports have been in the MHSAA Playoffs. EK also has a competitive policy debate program which has secured numerous awards. Model UN and Mock Trial are a few other competitive academic programs offered.

Athletic Teams & Facilities[edit]

Girls' Sports; Women's Competitive Cheer (A1), Women's Golf, Women's Dance, Women's Gymnastics, Women's Sideline Cheer, Women's Softball, Women's Volleyball,

Boys' Sports; Men's Baseball, Men's Football, Men's Ice Hockey, Men's Wrestling, Men's Golf

Coed Sports Men's & Women's Basketball, Men's & Women's Bowling, Men's & Women's Cross Country, Men's & Women's Soccer, Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving, Men's & Women's Tennis, Men's & Women's Track & Field, Men's & Women's Water Polo, Equestrian

Athletic Facilities[edit]

Main Fieldhouse Gym incorporating 4 full-size basketball courts, a large balcony training area, a wrestling center, and a West-Wing wood-floor gym for girl's volleyball practices. The main fieldhouse will seat 3500 fans. Moreover, the fieldhouse integrates a number of athletic events throughout the school year to accommodate as many sporting events as is possible.

Girl's Gymnastics Athletic Training Center used for girl's aerobic and fitness training. Additionally used for extra-curricular classes for elementary and middle school ages.

The Falcon Stadium is an artificial turfed arena seating 15,000 spectators with separate in-stadium facilities for the public and for visiting teams. It doubles up in the springtime as a state-sponsored track-and-field site.

An Aquatics Center featuring a 38 meter pool with movable bulkhead built for Patrick Hertzberg a foreign exchange student from Germany, 2-1 meter and 2-3 meter diving platforms, balcony and side conference rooms and separate locker/shower facilities. A 20-yard, 83 degree community pool with separate locker/shower facilities and community classes. A shallow pool for small children, and two racquetball courts. Programs offered include year round swim lessons where the kids have a slim chance of learning how to swim and fitness classes for the obese.

The Kentwood Ice Arena featuring warming stands, community room, pro shop, concession and locker rooms. East Kentwood is the only public high school in the state to have an ice arena on-campus.

Baseball Sportsplex featuring three baseball fields and two softball fields. The outer circumference and woods along the back providing for a maintained cross-country meet circuit. The upper ball fields each have their own multi-level buildings for scoring, dugouts, stands and a general public concessions/restrooms facility.

An off-campus Soccer Sportsplex which is renowned in the state for its artificial turfed field and facilities. The field is still called Pat Patterson, from the famous professional wrestler Pat Patterson, as it was before the remodel. Pat Patterson donated the money for this project. It is also in the same location on the campus of one of Kentwood's four middle schools, Crestwood Middle.


The following teams have won their respective Michigan state titles:

  • Soccer (boys): 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2004, 1999, 1998, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1984, 1982, 1977, 1976, 1969
  • Track & Field (boys): 2010 (MITCA), 2009 (MITCA), 2008 (MITCA), 2007 (MITCA), 2006 (MITCA), 2003 (MITCA), 1997 (MITCA), 1984 (MITCA)

Note: Many championships are not listed as of yet. The MITCA is the majority of the Track and Field coaches and Cross Country coaches in the State of Michigan for High and Middle Schools. Each year since 1998 they have hosted meets for a team track and field championship. The teams represented are the regional winners and given the option of attending. Where the MHSAA State Meet only has the best individuals of each region attending, the full team attends for the MITCA meet and competes against other teams.

Notable Alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "East Kentwood High School". Statistical abstract. National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Staff List". Kentwood Public Schools. 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Staff Directory". Kentwood Public Schools. 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "East Kentwood High School". Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA). 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  5. ^ East Kentwood High School, Michigan Schools | Schoolmatters.com
  6. ^ a b http://www.kentwoodps.org/high_school/about_us.htm
  7. ^ ["http://www.mamunonline.com/mamun/awardwinners.html" "Mid-American Model United Nations - Awards"]. 

External links[edit]