The Rapidian

Burton Middle School principal, staff welcome students with Red Carpet Event

The principal at Burton Middle School, Lametria Johnson-Eaddy, is rolling out the red carpet for her incoming middle schoolers to encourage the community to support its students.

/Eduardo Sanchez, Assistant Principal

Underwriting support from:
Student at Burton Middle School

Student at Burton Middle School /Courtesy of Burton Middle School

As students head back to Grand Rapids Public Schools today, Burton Middle School (2133 Buchanan Ave SW) has literally rolled out the red carpet for them.

"The Red Carpet Event was organized to encourage students to return back to school for another exciting school year. In particular, our hope is to alleviate some stress for incoming sixth graders transitioning from elementary to middle school," says Lametria Johnson-Eaddy, principal of Burton Middle School. "Community participation really affects students. Students should see and feel the positive affect of businesses can provide as partners. There is an important connection between school, family [and] community. From my perspective, as families and students live and shop from local businesses, this affords them the chance to interact with each other in a different venue as partners not just as owners and customers."

This is Johnson-Eaddy's second year at Burton and she's very excited to be here.

"I was granted an opportunity as the head principal of Burton Middle School and I jumped on it. For the last seven years, I have visited the GR area as a Ph.D. student and candidate and witnessed how local businesses and community development have evolved. To add, there are many diverse activities for my family of six to really enjoy. My kids have choices to meet their different personalities. Being a school leader, I’m not just supportive of my students, families and staff," she says. "I have to actively engage in community activities, learn the climate and culture of GR and meet local business leaders."

She emphasizes that it's really important for the community to continue to be involved in this way.

"The GRPS’ Board of Education, Superintendent Neal and her cabinet demonstrate a strong mission for each school community, which is to 'ensure that students are educated, self-directed and productive members of society.' As educators, we cannot accomplish this alone," says Johnson-Eaddy. "It is important to invite families and the community into our building to experience Burton Middle’s points of pride: partnerships with Amway and The DeVos Foundation, Grand Valley State University TRiO Program, MAP assessment & Honor Roll celebrations, Strings Program, Student Council, Burton Health Center, Robotics team, Math Acceleration Club (MAC Club), Heart & Sole Program etc. We invite our stakeholders in to see our great accomplishments."

Johnson-Eaddy emphasizes how important it is that her school, and GRPS in general, be welcoming to all students.

"I am ecstatic about Burton Middle being a Cultural Center. We support and educate students from over 12 languages and cultures. It is our goal to make our students, families and staff feel they belong at Burton. They make a conscious choice to learn about our great diversity and they focus on the growth of personal successes. Due to the large number of local partnerships Burton maintains, our partners are invited to school activities and events," she says. "Our District’s Communications Department is great with advertising events."

Johnson-Eaddy is particularly proud of the flags hanging in the school entrance that represent those countries.

"I asked the art teacher to come up with something to celebrate all the places our students are from and the students made the flags themselves," she says. "I love how that welcomes everyone."

For those in the community who want to continue to participate throughout the school year, Burton Middle School has an event calendar that outlines current happenings, along with information shared on their external and internal marquees. The school also coordinate smonthly parent meetings, Honor Roll Receptions, school attendance and academic challenges and celebrations, embraces the support of language translators, Believe 2 Become partnership, Fall and Spring Parent Conferences and more.

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