BOARD OF TRUSTEES
/ 2018-19 BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Electrical Services. A member at Ridge Point Community Church, Paul has been involved in various roles including lighting, greeting, small group leader, and electrical work. “Christian education, along with a healthy home and church, will prepare our children to enter the world with a faith and trust in the Lord. Our children need to be confident in who they are in the Lord. The school can help us as parents teach the ways God wants us all to live.”
Community Bank, David has been involved at Holland Christian as a Business and Industry Drive volunteer and Tuition Task Force member. A member of Bethany Christian Reformed Church, David has been involved on Council as Chair or the Shepherding Deacons, Cadet counselor, and member of the Praise Team. He has served as the Board President of Community Action House. “I value Christian education because it serves as the Biblical foundation for our children to grow up learning and loving the Lord and enabling them to live for Him throughout their lives.”
DR. STACY JACKSON
Stacy Jackson served on the HCS school board for six years from 2009-2015. He and his wife Stacey have five children, with both a senior
and 8th grade daughter currently at HCS, and three sons who have already graduated from HCS. Their family are members at Central Avenue CRC, and and “love the mission of Holland Christian” as well as the opportunity to “serve alongside parents and churches in the development of students.” He has worked at Hope College for the past 11 years where he is the Kenneth J. Weller ’48 Professor of Management and Economics, as well as the Chair of the Economics and Business Department.
His areas of expertise at Hope College and in his field of Business and Economics are leadership, organizational effectiveness and change, and strategy and organization design. His research focuses on leadership and strategic change, power and politics in organizations, and the role of business in society. He began his career at NASA in Houston, Texas, as an internal organization development consultant. His subsequent consulting experience includes serving as a senior manager for Ernst & Young Management Consulting and as a practice leader for Hewitt Associates.
perspective to the board as a former high school science teacher and as a previous Director of Operations here at HCS. Currently Jeff serves as the VP of Sales & Marketing at Fleetwood Group, Inc., a job he enjoys since he gets to visit schools all over the country, and gets to help educators “create learning environments that truly facilitate 21st century learning.” Jeff is also an involved member of his church, Park CRC, where he facilitates their “Renewal Lab,” has led Sunday School, plays for the praise team, and works for their international missions groups. He most values HCS’s faith development in their students, and enjoys as a board member helping HCS become “deliberate about being more missional in serving the needs of the Holland community.”
REV. CHAD PIERCE
Chad is the Pastor at Faith CRC and is also currently an adjunct professor at Calvin College. Previously he was a professor at Central
College in Iowa, served in the Marines, and also taught in Israel. He and his wife Jodi are the parents of four children, Jenna (10th ), Michael (7th , ZCS), David (3rd , ZCS) and Greta (Kindergarten, ZCS). He is
recommended to the Board of Trustees because of his skillset in faith formation as a pastor as well as serving on the RCA General Synod as Professor of the Church. He is also committed to diversity and having students think critically about a broad range of issues from a Christian Perspective. He is a team player who, because of many diverse situations he has experienced in his own life, enjoys discussing a variety of aspects to situations and brainstorming new possibilities. Chad values “raising my children in a community of faith, understanding that all the world belongs to God. More specifically, I value Holland Christian as it appears to give students the tools to think critically about a broad range of issues rather than merely indoctrinating them with a set of beliefs and ideas. Good theology is critical, but, to me, a sound reasoning faith trusts and thinks about God in all situations.”
works in corporate finance at YFAI and has previously held similar positions at Visteon and JCI. He has served on the HC Tuition Task Force Committee and on the Niekerk Pastoral Search Committee in addition to being a regular Sunday School storyteller. “I believe it is vitally important that children spend their formative years in an education environment where each subject is taught with a Christian worldview and all actions point to Jesus Christ. I pray that is how my children spend the rest of their lives and I believe Christian education is, along with our home and church, an irreplaceable component of their foundation.”
MR. CRAIG SPOELHOF
Craig is the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Holland and is a member at Christ Memorial Church. He previously spent
almost 20 years in automotive manufacturing as an engineer. He and his wife Wendy are parents to three children, Joe (a student at Calvin College), Matt (also a student at Calvin College), and Thomas (12th). He is recommended to the HC Board because he understands the “both-and” of protecting the values that have made Holland Christian unique while also growing enrollment by attracting students from families who have not formerly considered Christian education because of perceived and real barriers to entry. Craig says, “The daily investment the Holland Christian community makes in its children impacts our students for decades to come. I’ve seen this investment pay off in my life and my own children. The foundation of values that’s imparted through the staff at HCS is one of the treasures of the school. I firmly believe that Holland Christian produces ‘different’ graduates, who love the Lord and want to impact the world for Christ.”
at Central Avenue Christian Reformed Church, where Chad has been the full-time co-pastor since 2004. Besides serving in a variety of teaching and leading roles as church pastor, Chad also is the chair of the Classis Holland CRCNA Executive Team. In the past he served as president of the CRCNA Loan Fund Board, the Calvin Theological Seminary Student Senate, and was on the Holland Chamber of Commerce Small Business Committee. Chad initially worked in commercial banking for seven years, finishing as Assistant Vice President for AmeriBank before he switched careers to the ministry. He is an involved parent at Holland Christian, and has “strong leadership abilities, is reflective, patient, and is excellent at working in a team.” He brings a passion for Christian education from a Reformed perspective, and has a “passionate commitment to faith and development of the whole student.” In particular, he desires to explore how the home, church, and school can work together in more significant and effective ways for Christ’s glory.
HCHS English teacher, Deb joined the Hope College faculty in 2010 as Assistant Professor of Education, where she focuses on the areas of English education, disciplinary literacy, and adolescent literacy. She is the chair of Hope’s secondary education team, founder of Hope’s Education Department research colloquies, as well as of Hope College’s faculty-student young adult literature book club. She has been on the board of editors for Perspectives, a journal of Reformed thought, since 2012. Last spring she was honored by the Michigan Read Association (MRA) for her work as the program director of the Big Read Holland Area, the community-wide reading program that takes place each November. Deb and her family are active members of Third Reformed Church, where Deb currently serves on the worship committee. She endorses Holland Christian Schools as passionately committed to the “faith and development of the whole student,” while understanding that “the Christian faith is not just for the sanctuary, but for education culture, and the arts.”
parents to one current Holland Christian student, and one alumnus, and are members of Providence Christian Reformed Church. At Holland Christian, Susan is involved with the Education Committee. An attorney at Cunningham Dalman PC, Susan has served in leadership roles on other Boards including the Greater Holland United Way and Turning Pointe School of Dance. Susan has been involved at her church on the Women’s Ministry Team and Children’s Ministry Team. “Today, with families facing more and more challenges, and with church membership on the decline, it is more important than ever to continue providing a Christ-focused and academically rigorous education to students at Holland Christian, one of three partners in the home-school-church connection, which is why I serve on the Board of Holland Christian Schools,” Susan says.
Many have been asking about the current leadership plan. On November 19, the Executive Committee, on behalf of the Board, implemented the following leadership plan:
- Day to day operations at Holland Christian are moving forward through a team approach.
- Erin Wyma, the Director of Education, oversees all academic aspects for HC’s five campuses with the respective principal at each campus reporting directly to her.
- Dave Zimmer, the Director of Finance, oversees all operational aspects for the Central Office and staff.
- The Executive Committee (David Huisman, President; Susan Vroegop, Vice President; Paul Hoekstra, Secretary; Kurt Rigterink, Treasurer; and Deb VanDuinen, Education Committee Chair) meets regularly with Erin and Dave Zimmer to address issues as they arise.
- The Executive Committee in turn reports to the full Board.
Since November 19, the Board has been working on finding an Interim Superintendent. Many contacts have been made as the Board seeks to find the right candidate to fill this short- term position. Also, a Search Committee is being formed to begin the process of securing HC’s next Superintendent.
On behalf of the Board, I want to take this opportunity to share what so many of you already know and appreciate, namely, that God has blessed HC with amazing administrators, teachers and other staff who are diligently going about the day-to-day tasks of equipping minds and nurturing hearts to transform the World for Jesus Christ. The Board is truly thankful for their dedication and service.
As a Board, we are not only Board members, but also parents representing over two dozen students at HC’s various campuses. Many of us are also HC graduates. All of us share your passion and love for the Lord and the HC community, and each of us feels called to carry out the mission of Holland Christian Schools.
In His Service,
On November 16th the Board met at the Holland Civic Center for our annual retreat. Each year the Board takes time to review our strategic priorities or, in this case, focus on one particular priority. This year the Trustee Committee (consisting of Susan Vroegop, Chad Steenwyk, and Jennifer Lemkuil) assembled a five member panel to speak on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion and what it means to be diverse within the context of being Reformed and through the lens of the HC mission. The following provides a brief synopsis on each speaker and his or her presentation:
Febe Gomez (Spanish teacher at Pine Ridge) – Febe started from Genesis 1 – God’s creation. She shared her own experience growing up Presbyterian in Catholic Mexico and then also recently teaching at Corpus Christi. She emphasized that holding to her Presbyterian doctrine did not hinder her from being open to others. In the Q&A time she shared the experience of her older two children at HC – one thrived, one struggled in terms of relationships and enfolding. Febe said that diversity, equity and inclusion begins at home with the children.
Aaron Winkle (head of school at Living Stones Academy in Grand Rapids) – Aaron started from the Greatest Commandment –love God above all and love your neighbor as yourself. How will that love guide us? He noted how Jesus didn’t pull in the “brightest and the best” as His disciples. At Living Stones they work backwards from the vision of Revelation 7:9 (all nations around the throne of Christ) and seek to live that out. Aaron highlighted some barriers to Christian education for diverse populations: it’s not just the cost of tuition, but also transportation, breakfast/lunch offerings, clothing kids wear, vehicles in the drop-off lane, discipline policies, books in the library, ways we raise money, etc.
Sophat Duch (pastor at Cambodian Fellowship CRC and Classis Holland Diversity Team chair) – Sophat started with Colossians 1 and Ephesians 4 emphasizing that the proper state of God’s people is unity – reconciliation and tearing down the dividing wall of hostility can only happen with Christ at the center. The imperative is to maintain the unity of the Spirit. He said that the diversity spoken of in Scripture is primarily giftedness – which has the purpose to maintain unity. He said that the Reformed confessions express that unity – and then we use the diversity to maintain that unity.
Devon Scott (Bible/business teacher at HCHS) – Devon started by saying diversity simply reflects the character of God and that it humbles us by exposing our prejudices – from all corners of diversity. He said the objective view of a Reformed perspective is “so much needed” – for himself, reading Scripture led him to a Reformed perspective. He said there are two wrong ways “being Reformed” is taken at HC: (1) undervalued – just old and boring – or (2) subjective – people think being Reformed can mean anything. He shared that Christ is not just number one on a list, but central – around which everything should orbit, including diversity.
Gonzalo Venegas (pastor of La Casa de mi Padre RCA) – Gonzalo started by saying we have bought into all the different labels. When he became a Christian, he had nothing in common with the other Christians who surrounded him, except God’s love – but in spite of having nothing in common, he was lovingly invited in to others’ lives. Gonzalo shared that he has had to put a lot of things aside to get to know others. He emphasized that diversity requires listening… takes grace… takes sacrifice… not just from the majority culture or just from the minority cultures, but from all sides.
To summarize – almost all of them reiterated the goodness of HC’s Reformed underpinnings. Being Reformed is not the barrier to diversity. It seems the barrier is more relational – are we willing to let one another into our lives? The consensus among the panelists was that “Being Reformed” is not the problem… it’s more the structures or associating “Reformed” with organizations (CRC/RCA/Calvin College/etc) than with the biblical theology and worldview it presents.
In His Service,
- We welcome Stacy Jackson, Hope College Professor, and parent to HC students to the Board. Stacy will fill out the term of the seat vacated by Dr. Peter Knoester. Stacy served the HC Board well from 2009 to 2015, which made him qualified according to the Board’s policy to complete the term vacated by Dr. Knoester. Thank you, Stacy, for your willingness to serve!
- The Operations Committee recommended approval of the June 30, 2018, and June 30, 2017, financial audit as prepared by Holland Christian’s CPA firm Capin Crouse. The audit indicates an unmodified opinion of Holland Christian’s books for those fiscal year ends. This means there are no material changes made to the books maintained by Holland Christian’s finance team.
- The Operations Committee provided an update on the construction of Building #1 for HC’s Forest School as well as the ongoing development of the Forest School Strategic Plan.
- The Trustee Committee reminded the Board to nominate candidates for the next slate of trustees which will be approved at the March 2019 Board meeting for selection by lot at the annual Society meeting in April.
- The Trustee Committee discussed plans for the annual Board Retreat which will occur on November 16 at the Holland Civic Center. In addition to Trustees, Holland Christian’s Administrative Team will attend the retreat. The morning will be devoted to diversity training with a panel discussion on what it means to be diverse within the context of being Reformed and through the lens of the HC mission.
- The Education Committee reviewed proposed changes to the Media Selection Policy which will be reviewed at the December Board meeting.
- The Education Committee highlighted strategic planning objectives relating to Holland Christian’s Spanish Maintenance program at the High School.
- The Executive Committee is seeking Trustees to serve as the Board’s representatives to:
- Ditto Board;
- Holland Christian Foundation Board
In His Service,
- The Trustee Committee worked diligently over the summer to prepare a new Dignity Policy (aka Tile IX policy). This can be found in employee and student handbooks for your reference.
- The Education Committee recently kicked off another year, but with a smaller and redesigned Committee. While the work of the committee will continue to focus on educational programs and the annual reviews of all K – 12 curricula, the restructuring of the Committee makes it more aligned with other existing Board Committees. The new Committee is intended to be more strategic in focus in order to help the Board better review existing and new programs.
- Input and contribution from representative teachers from each building, who were members of the former Education Committee, will now be obtained through staff meetings at each campus, with each campus committee reporting to the Education Committee.
- The Board continues to work with the Cultural Intelligence Center on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategic priority, and we are currently going through diversity training, a program that all HC staff will complete this year. The CQC strategic road map for HC is also on our monthly agendas.
- A new ‘Smart Tuition’ program was rolled out late this summer. This program now allows parents the ability to track tuition payments online and better integrates with the school’s financial software.
- As a Board we recognize that the option to donate back all or a portion of the Ditto and Foundation Grants was not included in the new form. If you want to give back all or a portion of those grants, then please contact Terry VanderKolk in the Administrative Office at (616) 820-2805.
- Over the summer, the Board accepted the resignation of Dr. Peter Knoester. While Dr. Knoester remains committed to the mission of HC and the strategic priorities of the Board, he decided to resign for personal reasons. The Board is very disappointed to lose Dr. Knoester and the gifts and talents that he brought to the Board, but we honor his desire to move on, thank him for his time and wish him the very best.
In His Service,