Dear Southwest Elementary School Families:  

As we round out a successful school year, we are already looking to what's ahead for the next. We are excited to share some changes to our leadership team aimed at inspiring and uplifting the achievement of our scholars across the district.

These changes are part of a larger shift in leadership throughout GRPS and we’re excited to see the new heights we can achieve.

Kelly Aponte has been promoted from assistant principal to serve as Southwest Elementary School - Academia Bilingüe Principal. Ms. Aponte has proven to be a strong and effective leader while serving as our assistant principal. She cares deeply for our scholars, has developed meaningful relationships with Southwest families, and is committed to excellence in educating our children. I would like to thank Mark Frost for coming out of retirement to serve as principal as we searched for a permanent leader. We are grateful for his committed leadership and service to our community. 

The moment I entered OUR building, I knew it was MY home. Southwest is an excellent educational institution with a diverse staff and student body… I understand the great responsibility that this position brings, however I am confident that I will be able to fulfill the requirements to complete this task in collaboration with the faculty, scholars, families, district, and the community.

–Kelly Aponte

Joseph Metts will join the Southwest Elementary team as Assistant Principal. The families at Southwest will benefit from his scholar-first mindset and his strength as a team player. Mr. Metts is always looking for ways to support our children and create new opportunities for their futures. 

These transitions go into effect next school year and are aimed at making us stronger and preparing our team to take Grand Rapids Public Schools to the next level — for our scholars, for our community, and for our future.

Please connect with Executive Director Dr. Mayda Bahamonde Gunnell if you have any questions.  

Here’s to a strong finish to a great school year! 


Leadriane Roby, Ph.D.