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The West Ottawa Story: From EL to Full Ride

May 2, 2014 – We received the following story from one of our teachers at North Holland:

Dear Greg,

Last week I was talking with a parent of one of my former students. When I had him in 2nd grade at North Holland, he spoke Spanish at home and had been learning English at school. I remember recording his spelling words on a cassette tape because his mother, who spoke only Spanish, was struggling to help him. He was a hard worker and always kept a good attitude, but I know school was not always easy for him. His mother informed me that he is graduating this year with an IB diploma. He will be attending Hope College where he earned a full ride scholarship! His mother was so excited to tell me this news, and expressed appreciation and thanks for all the teachers who helped him succeed. I wanted to share this story to thank all the teachers who help students like him everyday.

– Deirdre Vriesman, North Holland Elementary K-5 Resource Room

These are the kinds of stories that remind all of us why we chose to get involved in education. Consider for a moment how bright this young man’s future will be, and know that this is a win for the entire West Ottawa team.

Have a great Friday,


Gregory D. Warsen
Asst. Supt. for Employee Relations and Marketing
West Ottawa Public Schools
Twitter: Greg Warsen@WO_Marketing