CSA Leadership Team

Mel Atkins , Executive Director of Community & Student AffairsMel Atkins , Executive Director of Community & Student Affairs

Mel earned a Bachelor of Science in Child Development with a ZA endorsement from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University. 
Since joining Grand Rapids Public Schools Mr. Atkins has been an elementary teacher, principal, School Reform Facilitator, and Executive Director of K-8, Middle/High Schools.
In January 2012 Mel was appointed Executive Director of Community & Student Affairs for Grand Rapids Public Schools.  In his time working for GRPS, Mel led the district in revising its parent engagement model and creating a collaborative community approach to reducing Chronic Absenteeism.

Mel has been a member of the Superintendent’s cabinet since 2010 and has furthered his studies with professional organizations including the Institute for Learning (IFL), Harvard’s Change Leadership Group and National Institute for Urban Leaders, National Equity Project, and Cambridge Leadership Associates on adaptive leadership.

Natasha Neal, Program Development Specialist Natasha Neal, Director of Community & Student Affairs

Natasha supervises and evaluates many of the programs that are considered interventions, such as PBIS, Restorative Practices, the Youth Advocate Specialist Program, and a few others. Additionally, she compiles, presents and analyzes suspension data for the District when necessary and works closely with buildings around discipline. Natasha started with the District six years ago, working for the Department of Public Safety & Security as the Emergency Management Coordinator. She also has experience working with the GRPS Department of Special Education. Natasha graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Law & Society (with a cognate in Economics). She also has a law degree from New York Law School.    

Emmanuel Armstrong, Counseling Coordinator Emmanuel Armstrong, Counseling Coordinator

Emmanuel has spent his entire professional career with the Grand Rapids Public School system.  He has held several positions within the public school system over the years.  Emmanuel has been employed a teacher, mentor, coach, counselor, assistant principal, head principal and currently serves as a counselor coordinator and the lead for the office of parental/family engagement.  He has a strong passion to assist our students and their parents by removing barriers they may face.  Emmanuel holds a Masters in Education (School Counseling) and is currently pursuing his Education Specialist degree from Grand Valley State University and intends to obtain his doctorate in education. 

Loretta English, Title I Supervisor Loretta English, Title I Supervisor

Loretta is responsible for ensuring Title I and Section 31A programs are in compliance with Federal and State Laws. She monitors building budget allocations and use of funds; provide building level training and technical assistance; assists district and school staff in understanding state and federal grant requirements and guidelines. Loretta is responsible for completing required reporting documentation as mandated from State and Federal level.  She Supervises the Nonpublic, Neglect and Delinquent Institution Programs and Elementary Family Support Specialist.  Loretta has been with GRPS for over 24 years.


Edna Stewart, Student Services Supervisor Edna Stewart, Student Services Supervisor

Edna directs the day to day operations of the Community and Student Services Department by engaging and promoting the involvement and support of parents, students and the community in the social, emotional and academic achievement of each child.  Edna has been employed by GRPS for 13 years.  Contact Edna at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at (616) 819-2150.