Grandville High School: A School Impacted by Diversity – By: Ejla Mujkic (11)

Grandville High School, a school that is a community with students and teachers of different backgrounds,cultures, ethnicities. Everyone is different at this school starting with Miss Konkel, a spanish teacher who has no latin roots but was willing to live, travel and learn about culture to know what their lifestyle is, what their history is all in preparation to teach it a spanish II class. Miss Konkel started to learn spanish when she was in seventh grade and then kept learning until she was in college and started learning biology. But she kept learning spanish, she was passionate and didnt wanna stop there. After she finished college she traveled and backpacked around Europe and lived in a latin household living their life everyday and experiencing their world. After her trip came to an end she started teaching here at Grandville High School. “ Being a spanish teacher offers a mix of perspectives, I have students that are not as interested or don’t really care about learning other cultures then I have the students who are more than interested in learning.” Miss Konkel wasn’t expecting the challenge of becoming a spanish teacher. One of her biggest challenges was teaching a culture that isn’t hers and being authentic when she’s not a latina or a native speaker. “ Using my resources to keep my spanish up to date and keeping the culture appropriate.” Was another challenge for Miss konkel. keep up with her spanish keeping it the best she can to teach her students and keeping the teaching appropriate. But after her first year here Miss 

Konkel realized even though she doesn’t have any latin roots she enjoys teaching her students about a different culture that is not there and showing them the differences and how eye opening it is.

But Miss Konkel isn’t the only one that had her struggles being a laughege teacher here, Miss Cers a new young lady Who is the only French II teacher here at Grandville. Miss Cers was double certified to be a math and a french teacher but she wasn’t really looking to be a french teacher at first the job position just literally fell into her lap. Her roommate at the time had an interview here at Grandville but then decided that Miss Cers should have the job interview and after that, that’s when Mr Lancto reached out and hired her. Getting offered the job was exciting but starting to teach her gave her the biggest challenge. “ It’s so hard to have such a small program because I want to make sure to make it right to my students because I am the only french II teacher.” Was something Miss Cers told me, Miss Cers has a french background but when she was younger she never really accepted it at first.  It took her a long while to represent her own culture and be proud of it but then she wondered why she didn’t do it sooner. “Cultures will always be different but people can find their own by adapting to a culture and looking for it.” was a big thing for Miss Cers, she loves people defining themselves and just being who they are no matter how different they are from their hair,height,gender and more especially the color of their skin or their ethnicity. Everyone here at grandville has an opportunity to learn about other cultures that step into the school they just need to be willing to learn and be open to trying new things to really understand the culture.

But there is one teacher here at grandville who has a different story unlike the rest. Mrs T, English wasn’t her first laughing she grew up in Bosnia most of her life then moved to germany and adapted to their lifestyle there and learned the laugh. But then she moved here to the state and english was the challenging to learn since she already spoke two laughs and learning a third was the hardest. Once she learned english she actually went to school here a christain college and learned that things were different because she wanted to learn the lifestyle and understand Americans more, But her story of becoming a teacher is something more. She started off just teaching elementary students german she never expected to become a teacher after that once she heard her students calling her name saying they miss her sparked something in Mrs T, her love of students and different cultures, Mrs T positions at Grandville High school is to teach students whose english isn’t their first laugh and for them to excel. She has students around the world from Mexico to South America to Europe, Mrs T understand how hard it is to adapt to a culture and a laugh that isn’t her own so she tells the students her story of her life back in bosnia and Germany that they are not alone that she understand what they are going through and how hard it is. “ All the students that I have ever taught here at Grandville that never knew english at first became the top students of their class.” was Mrs T biggest accomplishment seeing her students doing big things that they never thought they could do and end up achieving amazing grades, attending college and having jobs that they never have expected to do. There are a total of 29 different laughs at Granville and how Mrs T represents that is holding an open house around the world where families and students can come and see all the different cultures that are here representing Grandville not as a school but as a community. 

But out of all the students here there’s one student that stands out from the rest. Chris Palam is a student, a soccer player but as a leader. Chris represents Grandville as a hard driven student by accepting everyone being his kind self and “Allowing my ethnicity to look good.”

Chris is a hispanic student and that is something he is proud of, He believes mexicans stand out because, “ We all relate to families that are imagints to the U.S, but everyone believes the stereotype of immigrants that we are bad people when really we are a very helping community to those who struggle.” Chris only wishes to there be a change that everyone can be equal and not engorged the stereotype but through that all Chris’s highlights here at Grandville High School was being able to join the soccer team and be apart of the marching band, being a member of different clubs and becoming a community and representing as a divers student is what makes him proud that he can be apart of something and can just be himself.

But something that these teachers and students relate the most is that they wish there was more diversity representing Grandville in a way. Giving the bilingual students more of a chance to fit in and not to worry about being judged from the color of their skin and having a different background from everyone else. Having more different laughing speaking classes where people can understand the culture and be interested in living a life that is not there own and creating a community where everyone is equal.

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