Notable BHS Alumnus Paul Gross Retires After 40 years as Channel 4 Meteorologist

Paul Gross, who graduated from Andover in 1979, recently retired after serving as the WDIV Channel 4 meteorologist for 40 years. Gross will become the first ever Meteorologist Emeritus in station history.

Paul Gross: Andover Class of 1979

 What was your favorite experience as a Bloomfield Hills Schools student?  

The teachers, the teachers, the teachers. What a fabulous faculty we had. In fact, two of my Andover teachers (and one from the old Bloomfield Hills Junior High) have contacted me after learning of my retirement! I have vivid memories of my Andover teachers, some of whom I consider the best teachers I’ve had in my entire life.

What were the most important lessons you learned at Bloomfield Hills Schools?  

That you can get a great education in a fun, supportive environment.

Were there any classes that you took in high school that inspired you to become a meteorologist?  

I had already decided that I wanted to be a meteorologist at age seven. But I took both semesters of Earth Science that were offered, where Mr. Curry taught a unit about weather. Naturally, I found that class quite interesting!

Share a bit about your educational and career background. What led you to where you are now?  

After graduating from Andover, I attended the University of Michigan, where I graduated four years later with a bachelor's degree in Atmospheric Science. During my time at U of M, I did an internship at WDIV-TV, which later led to a part time job at the station. And forty years later, I get to reflect upon how blessed I was to be in the right place at the right time. 

Share a bit about yourself!

I’m a long-time Farmington Hills resident, where my wife and I raised our two sons. I’m an avid bowler, golfer (lousy, but avid), and kayaker, and love working out in my nicely equipped basement gym. I was also an avid softball player (two leagues a week) until a few years ago, but two surgeries on my throwing shoulder mean that my semi-unprofessional career is likely over, which is too bad; I was still hanging pretty well with kids half my age when I stopped playing. I love heading to our place up north, where I find lots of Petoskey stones and very much enjoy sanding and polishing them. I also have a great love for history, so I collect old stamps, coins, and maps.

What advice would you give current Bloomfield Hills Schools students or alumni?  

I have two pieces of advice. First, find a career that you absolutely love… that gets your blood boiling and you are so excited to do. If you can find a way to get paid for your hobby, then life is a bowl of cherries. Follow your heart, but use a bit of your brain, too! Second, enthusiasm will take you much farther than you can possibly dream. I was a slow learner… always staying after to ask teachers questions because I didn’t catch on as quickly as my friends in class. But I was determined to become a meteorologist, and there was going to be no stopping me. I just had to work harder. I shouldn’t have had a successful career as a TV meteorologist. I’m not good-looking, and I’m not an entertainer… I’m about as funny as a plate of Jello. But nobody was more passionate about his work or worked harder than I did. Nothing was ever handed to me. I sometimes had to do things on my own time (even on a day off or a vacation) to get the camera crew I needed or the interview subject when he or she was available. If the story was important (and pretty much every story was important to me), I wasn’t going to be stopped. I was going to get that story done. Enthusiasm can make up for deficiencies in other areas, and I’m proof of that. If you have a child struggling in school, please tell them my story. 

How important is it to give back to society?  

I am a strong believer in using your expertise or skills to benefit others. I have done a lot of community work in my life, and probably the most important thing I ever did in my career happened when I discovered that there was nothing in state law that required tornado safety drills in schools. I contacted a state representative who was respected on both sides of the aisle, and he introduced a bill – The Gross Weather Bill – that reduced the number of mandatory fire drills from ten to eight per year and added two mandatory tornado safety drills. I testified before the state house and senate education committees about the tornado threat in Michigan, and I was with Governor John Engler when my bill was signed into law on March 27, 1998. Now, every public school in Michigan is required to do tornado drills. 

Congratulations to Paul Gross on your recent retirement and a giant thank you for sharing your skills and knowledge as a meteorologist within our local community for four decades!

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