Tuscan’s path to GHS

by Jake Fontaine

There’s a new face here at GHS.

You know, that bald, middle-aged man with the barrel-chested physique who comfortably struts around the halls with his sweatpants, sweatshirt, sweat-everything attire and a whistle hanging around his neck? Well, that’s him: John (Coach) Tuscan, the new Physical Education teacher at Grandville High School.

When Tuscan’s wife was offered a corporate position at the Walker Meijer, Tuscan and his family moved up here from their previous home in Charlotte, North Carolina. After several job offers, he decided that the position at Grandville was the perfect fit.

“I narrowed it down between Grandville and Jenison. I could’ve been the Dean of Students at Jenison, but I really wanted to teach PE,” says Tuscan. “Here, I get to teach gym and weight lifting classes, as well as coach on the side. It’s a great gig.” image

Tuscan currently helps coach all levels of the football and baseball teams, primarily working with running backs and hitters. While in North Carolina, he served as the head varsity baseball coach for 9 years at South Mecklenburg high school, even winning a state title in 2013.

Despite 2013 being a year of triumph for Tuscan, he was also faced with the biggest obstacle in his life thus far: testicular cancer.

In the spring of that year, Tuscan’s dog, Mick, a hound mix, jumped on his lap while he was watching television. He instantly felt a sharp pain and fell to floor.

“I felt like someone kneed me in the groin,” Tuscan recalls.

The pain continued for the next week. After seeing four different doctors, Tuscan was eventually diagnosed with testicular cancer and would need surgery and aggressive treatment immediately.

“As a 29 year old sitting in a room from 8 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon with a needle in your arm going through chemo treatment and witnessing people who aren’t going to make, it really puts things into perspective,” says Tuscan.

He is currently cancer free and is in great health, giving gratitude to his dog for this.

“If Mick wouldn’t have jumped on my lap that night, who knows when the tumor would’ve been found. He saved my life.”

Tuscan’s goal as weight-lifting teacher and coach is to provide the best athlete possible through strength training, speed training, and putting athletes in difficult situations that will replicate adversity in a big game.

Spencer Notenbaum, one of the students Tuscan has in class as well as coaches after school, praises Tuscan and his coaching ability.

“He definitely pushes me in the weightroom and on the field,” Notenbaum says. “He’s one of the funniest coaches I’ve ever had, but when it’s time to work we get down to it.”

Eric Stiegel, the head varsity football coach at GHS, has similar praise regarding Tuscan and his coaching mentality.

“I love the jobs he’s doing here,” Stiegel acclaims. “He’s definitely one of–if not the most–important assets to the [football] team’s success next year and for years to come.”

Tuscan has one piece of advice for the students of Grandville:

“Don’t take things for granted, especially at Grandville. You never know when things will change. We have great coaches and a great facility here. Kids all around America would do anything to have the things we do here, so don’t take advantage of it.”

Get to know new teacher Mr. Cook

by Pat Clark

Grandville High School has welcomed new teachers into the district this year. One of the many is Mr. Cook. Mr. Cook is married to Jackie Cook who is also a teacher in the district. Together they have a young son whose name is Braeden.  Mr. Cook used to live in Warren, Michigan and taught at Warren De La Salle High School.

Mr. Cook teaches Composition through Literature 9 (CTL9) and Composition through American Literature 10 (CTAL10) and is enjoying Grandville thus far.

When asked why he and his family came to Grandville Mr. Cook explained “it was a great opportunity and a great place to live. My wife and I were looking for a nice place to raise our son.”

Mr. Cook also explained that “this provided us for better opportunities professionally.”

Mr.Cook is also the new head coach of the varsity baseball team. When asked what he does when he’s not teaching or coaching baseball he said, “I really like hanging out with my family.”

Mr. Cook hopes to continue growing relationships with the staff and students at Grandville High School.

Before teaching Mr. Cook attended Albion College where he got his undergraduate degree in history and English. Later he attended Madonna University to get his masters degree.

Mr. Kennedy goes to the assistant principal’s office


by Megan Harrington

The news has recently been announced that Mr.Kennedy will no longer be teaching his media and AP Language classes. He has gotten an awesome opportunity to become the new GHS assistant principal, which means him giving up one of his passions: teaching.

You could feel and see the emotion when he was telling us about his difficult decision and what was to come next.

Previous students said he had such a great impact on them as readers and writers. Past student Courtney Miars said, “He was my favorite teacher!” Many students trusted him and enjoyed his presence in the classroom.

Everyone is going to miss his passion and enthusiasm in the classroom.

“I could tell that he really knew what was going on and how to get us ready for the final exam!” junior Maddie Remenap said.

Junior Anna Gelfius, expressing more concern, said, “I feel like I don’t know what to expect because everyone said that the course was hard, but he made it easy.”

Many students have been filled with concern but Mr. Kennedy assured us that there is no need to be concerned as another great teacher will take his position.

As much as we will miss him in the classroom, we are so excited to see him thrive in his new role at Grandville High School!