Mel Atkins has spent most of his life with Grand Rapids Public Schools in Michigan. He graduated from Ottawa Hills High, where he played baseball. But his real love was bowling. He says he's bowled 22 perfect games.
He's been a teacher and principal in the city's public schools. And now he works for the district, overseeing just about everything related to students.
One more thing you need to know about him: Mel Atkins is a number-cruncher.
Three years ago, the superintendent came to him with a question: Does Grand Rapids have an issue with chronic absenteeism?