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Moral Focus Education Leaves a Lasting Impression on New Teacher

When Jessica Furbush was interviewing to teach at Grand River Preparatory High School, she thought back to her days as a student at Eagle Crest Charter Academy.
She asked if courage was still the Moral Focus virtue of the month for October because it made a strong impression on her. She remembered winning the award that month in fourth grade while her mother had breast cancer.

Furbush teaching
It was a win for a child in a trying time and resonated with her as she sought to become a teacher herself.
“There’s always the mentality that school is for learning things, and for data and SATs and all that testing. That’s not what matters,” she said. “In the long run, the goal of school is to make good people, and Moral Focus is what helps with that.”
Furbush got the job and is a teacher in residence at Grand River Prep, which outperforms the local district overall and in ELA and math. She teaches English, social studies, and world history, and credits the teachers she had at Eagle Crest for where she is today.

Furbush teaching
Furbush was in fourth grade when her mom was diagnosed, and she remembers the emotional support her teacher gave her through such a trying time. That guidance continued all the way through eighth grade, when the high expectations her teachers set helped prepare her for high school and beyond.
“I had a lot of fantastic teachers at Eagle Crest at the time,” she said. “I trace back to them for what I’ve done as a person and what I’m hoping to take into my teaching experience.”
Working at a National Heritage Academies (NHA) school with her foundation steeped in Moral Focus virtues has been rewarding for Furbush. It makes being the messenger that much more rewarding.
“I love it,” she said. “It’s a fantastic welcoming atmosphere from the admins and all the other teachers. I couldn’t be happier where I’m at right now.”
Keep up the excellent work, Ms. Furbush!

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About Grand River Prep
Grand River Preparatory High School is a tuition-free, public charter school in Kentwood, Michigan, serving students in ninth through twelfth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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