and Tax Departments at Herman Miller for over 10 years, I joined the HC staff in 1995.
I have two daughters, both HC graduates, and two granddaughters. I am married to Rick Blauwkamp, HCHS cross country assistant coach, who has three daughters, all HC graduates as well, and seven grandsons. I belong to Providence CRC.
I am excited to be able to be part of a school system that glorifies God, allows me to serve others and Him on a daily basis, and where the following values are seen and taught daily: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails-And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8a and 13.
MR. TODD BRUINSMA
I originally started in the Holland Christian School system in 1998 and am now at South Side Elementary School. I am married to Michelle
and we have two daughters. I love to snowmobile, deer hunt, spend time in the woods and on the water, and take drives down back country roads. I enjoy sharing my love of the outdoors with my daughters.
I enjoy being able to help everyone in our buildings from staff to students and feel blessed to be at Holland Christian.
in Psychology. I started my professional career as a case manager for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities at a non for profit organization in 2003. I moved into an administrative role and oversaw the operations of adult day services. Additionally, I went on to obtain my Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University. In 2011, my family and I moved to Holland where I accepted the position of Program Supervisor of Intellectual/Developmental Disability Services at Ottawa County Community Mental Health.
My husband Jon and I have two sons, Oliver and Coen who both attend Rose Park. We attend Hardewyk church where we are currently pursuing membership. I am so excited to join the Holland Christian family and look forward to meeting everyone!
associates degree in business.
I am married to Terry DeRoo and we have three children who have all graduated from Holland Christian. We are blessed to have one granddaughter. We have been members of Calvary CRC for over 30 years. Being a Kid’s Hope Mentor for over ten years has been a joy and I and cherish the relationships that have been formed through this program.
I have been so blessed being a part of Holland Christian. It is a great joy to encourage and enable children to not only learn, but to also live for Jesus and made a difference in this world.
started in the accounting department of Batts, Inc. but after our children were born, my work away from home positions were part-time and varied. Before coming to Holland Christian I was employed as a waitress, bookkeeper, and church secretary. In January 2001 I began working for Holland Christian in the Administration Office in the area of Payroll and Benefits.
My husband, Don, and I have been married since 1973 and have three children who are all graduates of Holland Christian. Julie lives on the north side of Holland and works for a financial planning office. Scott lives on the south side of Holland, is married to Lori, and works for Trendway, Inc. Mike lives in Zeeland, is married to Sarah, and is employed by The Outpost. We also have three grandsons who have brought many changes and joys to our life.
I feel blessed each day to work with the staff at Holland Christian. To be able to come to work each day with people who love the Lord and want to walk in His footsteps is truly unique. There are so many ways I can see the Lord moving in my life and praise Him each day for His presence. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
MR. TROY DOKTER
DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT
I am a graduate of Holland Christian. I attended Calvin College and graduated with a degree in Economics. While at Calvin I met my wife
Julie who grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. After Julie and I lived for a number of years in Grand Rapids, we moved back to the Holland area when our oldest child was
born. We have three children and live on the north side of Holland. Our family attends Harderwyk Church.
After college I began working in the manufacturing industry, where I was involved in sales, business development, operational leadership, and mostly recently was a general manager. Throughout my years in the business industry, I have had the privilege of working for business owners who modeled the behavior of blessing others with the blessings received.
I am passionate about the mission of Holland Christian Schools “to equip minds and nurture hearts to transform the world for Christ.” Holland Christian is blessed with great people who rally behind this mission statement. I consider it an honor to work with the community in supporting and promoting Holland Christian Schools and its mission.
Continuing onward down the tech path, I graduated from Full Sail University in Florida two years later, with a B.S. in Show Production and Touring. Shortly after graduating, I was hired by Holland Christian Schools to help direct their theatre program, as well as work on the website, and any random graphic design or film projects thrown my way. Occasionally I fix the copy machine and make coffee too. Lots of coffee.
I also work with local churches and bands doing media production and tech. I’ve especially enjoyed touring the Midwest with the band Annagail, performing living room concerts and small venues around the Midwest. An aerial drone enthusiast, I’m also currently studying for my commercial sUAS licenses.
1996 in the Educational Support Services Department. I have taught students 3rd grade through 8th grade and currently teach 7th and 8th graders.
My husband, Andrew and I have appreciated living in several areas in North America and have two grown daughters. We are members of Harderwyk Ministries where I serve as a member of the Compassionate Care Team and am involved in women’s ministries.
I absolutely love being able to weave together through the day my joy and love for the Lord with my love for students and their learning. If we are honest with ourselves, we realize we all have areas of struggle, be it visible or not, or obvious in school or not. I love working with students who have learning difficulties or disabilities, advocating for them, helping them achieve, and coming alongside them to help them see the gifts God has given specifically to them. My two life verses are Philippians 4:4-9 and Ephesians 1:18-19. Both passages are filled with hope, reassurance, and power in Christ, which I want my students to see in me and have for themselves.
MRS. LEANNE HALMA
I’m graduate of Holland Christian and Dordt College. During my career I’ve had the opportunity to work with students as
an Academic Advisor at Northwest Iowa Community College, for the Campus Ministries department at Central College, and in ACT Prep and Career Assessment at a career-technical high school in Cincinnati. Our family relocated back to Holland in 2017 and we are thankful to have our three children as part of the Holland Christian community.
In my free time I enjoy being outdoors and running, including coaching Girls On The Run at Pine Ridge last spring. As a family, we enjoy travel and have spent two summers living in Hong Kong and visiting several countries in Asia. I love the beautiful diversity that God has created throughout our world and in each of us. I’m excited to be the Event Planner for HC, specifically for events to grow and maintain the Tuition Grant Fund. It’s on honor to help remove the financial barrier of Christian Education so that more children can receive an education with a Biblical foundation.
MS. RACHEL HENDERSHOT
Bio coming soon!
Holland Christian Middle School principal job in 2015. Since then, we and our three children have been working hard at getting our fresh water fix! When we’re not sneaking off to the beach, we have been attending a variety of middle school and Rose Park sports, while also trying to fit in a bike ride here and there. Our oldest son is at HC Middle School–with his dad–while our younger two are happily learning lots at Rose Park.
I originally graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in English and Secondary Education, taught both high school and middle school, then completed my Masters through the BreadLoaf School of English, out of Middlebury College, VT. In between changing diapers, I worked as adjunct faculty for both the University of New Mexico and Western New Mexico University, while also freelancing as both a writer and editor.
As both a parent and an educator, I have been extremely impressed with the caliber of education that Holland Christian offers its students. It’s one of the few places I hear teachers singing praise songs aloud while they walk down the halls, or tell me with great joy, “I can’t believe they pay me to do this!” I love getting pictures in the middle of the day of my kids learning, emailed me from their teachers. As Communications Director, I am excited to combine two of my loves–Christian education with writing and words–and to share with other parents the joy of seeing what and how their kids are learning about God’s world, and getting to do so in such a rich Christian environment.
am now full time. All three of my sons have graduated from Holland Christian, and are now either in college or are working full time. My husband Todd is also a Holland Christian graduate, and works as an accountant for Geenan and Kollean.
I really enjoy my job as HC’s Food Service Coordinator, and love working with the people in the kitchen–we are the “lunch ladies” and we have a lot of fun together! We are like our own family, though the whole Holland Christian community is great!
I used to spend a lot of time in the Holland Christian sports stands watching my sons play basketball, baseball, or tennis, but since they have graduated, now when I’m not in the kitchen I now enjoy walking, shopping, reading, or cooking at home.
Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Colorado. After working in public relations and marketing in both Chicago and Grand Rapids, I joined the HC staff in 2002. I am Holland Christian’s Admissions Director and work in the Administration Office.
My husband, Joe, and I are members of Harderwyk Ministries, where I am currently serving on Council. We have two daughters, Paige and Avery.
As my friends and family will attest, I love Holland Christian Schools! I am honored to work with prospective families and show them what Holland Christian has to offer. Our schools are able to nurture all aspects of a child’s life and show them the wonder of God’s creation (in all subjects!). One of the best parts of my job is that I work with all five of Holland Christian’s schools so I get to know almost all of the phenomenal staff we employ!
MRS. PAULA MATHENY
I moved to Holland with my family 4 years ago, from Troy, MI. My husband Brian and I have four children: Preston, Parker, Quinten and Kenzie.
We always loved camping in West Michigan, so in the summer of 2014 we decided to pack our family up and move here. We were welcomed into the Holland Christian community and have felt at home here ever since. I graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s in Accounting. I continued my graduate studies at Oakland University where I received my MBA. Before deciding to become a stay at home mom ten years ago, I was a Corporate Controller for an automotive company. Now that all my children are in school full time, I’m excited to get back into the accounting field. I love that God has opened this opportunity at Holland Christian for me to work for the organization that pours into my kids each day. My family and I attend Providence Church.
and wanting to meet new people, I took employment in the student cafeteria. During my senior year at Grand Valley, I got my first experience of Holland, while I interned in the City Manager’s office. After graduation with a B.S. in Business and Public Administration, I astounded my dad by beginning a career in college food service at Notre Dame University. I later returned back to Holland to manage food service at Hope College. My 20 years of college food service experience has stretched throughout many West Michigan colleges and has extended to sunny California, at BIOLA University. After living in California for five years, I returned to Grand Rapids to work at Aquinas College overseeing the Food Service and Conferencing department. With the demand of a 7 day operation, I choose to venture into the K-12 food service arena. With Chartwells Corporation, I oversaw Grand Haven Public Schools food service and was promoted to district manager overseeing 15 west Michigan School Districts. The most rewarding position I have managed was the journey that took me out of the workforce force for eight years to focus on being a new mother to Bailey and bringing home our daughter, Molly, from Guatemala. During that time I started a school lunch program for my children’s school, Grand Haven Christian. I have had the privilege of serving Holland Christian students and staff since 2008 in a beautiful facility. In 2012, I began a shared director position with GRCS. I enjoy the flexibility of working in both districts with excellent food service staff.
Molly and Bailey keep me busy with soccer, both children enjoy the keeper position. We attend Harvest Bible where I am involved in Children’s Ministry, Women’s Bible study, and am a small group leader with our single women group. I enjoy following collegiate and high school sports.
My passion is to serve. I feel blessed to be at Holland Christian in my role serving our students, staff, and parents. My goal is that our food service team provides the nutrition that our students desire. The nutrition may be a warm bagel from the Well, a Chef’s Choice lunch, a smile at the cashier station, or perhaps encouragement and conversation. My role is to offer support to all of our customers and to continue to keep our program evolving and fresh for our students. I am here to serve.
in English and Education and a minor in Physical Education. My teaching career began at Illiana Christian High School in Lansing, IL, where I joined the English department and coached basketball and tennis. In 2000, I moved back to San Jose and began working at Valley Christian High School as the AP English teacher and continued my coaching efforts as well. When I made the transition into school administration, I took on the roles of college counselor and AP coordinator. In 2008, I had the opportunity to return to the school I attended as a child and became the Superintendent at San Jose Christian School. In our return to the Midwest, I’ve had the opportunity to serve as the Head of Holland Christian Schools since 2014, and I’m incredibly thankful to be part of this amazing community.
My wife, Betsy, and I have two children, Juliana and Thijs, who both attend Holland Christian. We are blessed to worship at Harderwyk Christian Reformed Church in Holland where we are continually reminded of the Gospel’s centrality to our lives. It’s a reminder that informs the work we do here at HCS as well—equipping students for their roles as culture changers who are eager to transform the world for Jesus Christ.
I thrive on professional development and improvement. I attended the Van Lunen Center for Executive Management in Christian Education at Calvin College and have served on a variety of church and education boards that have exposed me to the broader context of organizational leadership. These various opportunities taught me a great deal, and I love putting that learning into practice in the field of Christian education—a calling from God that I feel very strongly in my life.
Our school is blessed with a team of people who dare to dream about what Christian education can and should be in today’s world. As we meet, strategize, explore, and push each other toward the best ideas for the future of Holland Christian Schools, I often have to pinch myself to remember that this is really happening—that I actually get to be a part of the energy and enthusiasm that marks our dynamic group. It’s easy to feel fulfilled when you’re doing what you love with people you love.
Bible College earning a B.A. in Bible and Theology. I continued my education at Cornerstone University with a major in History and a minor in Communications for high school education. Throughout my years in college I have studied overseas four times, concentrating mostly in Israel and the Middle East studying the culture, land, and language.
I have lived in Holland my whole life but in the times I have been away for an extended period of time I have always enjoyed returning. I joined the staff of the church I grew up in for three years and stepped down to focus on finishing up my education to be a teacher. In my spare time I love to be outside. As a junior at HC I started the annual Caving Expedition and I continue to enjoy caving, camping, backpacking and most everything outdoors. That is coupled with my deep passion for all aspects of the stage. I have co-written three full-length plays, directed, produced, acted and done all facets of technical theatre participating in 45 productions to date. I live my life in the hope of fulfilling the Westminster Confession which states, “What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior, my joy and my hope, and to Him I give all the glory for all the blessings he has showered down upon me as the flood gates of heaven have opened up and spilled over. I am married to my beautiful wife Nicky, and have three boys.
Growing up in the Christian Reformed Church and educated in the Reformed tradition I have always been told about “worldview.” As a History teacher with a deep passion for God and His Word I find it critical to study History in this context. As students enter my classroom they have been taught about how they should “view.” They have been given the Biblical foundation upon which to construct their own worldview. It is now they begin to put the “world” into the equation. I desire to challenge students to put their Christian perspective into the study of ancient, world, western, U.S., and current history. We want to learn how to make our “view” affect the “world” and not our “world”; affect our “view.”
Before working at Holland Christian, I worked at Holland Public Schools, OAISD and as Technical Support for Apple Inc. When I’m not working on HC computers, I like to hang out with my three dogs: a black, flat coated retriever; a beagle; and a Newfoundland mix. Or I like to play video games, most recently “No Man Sky.” I used to enjoy driving my Harley motorcycle, but now I’m selling it since I prefer driving my black Mustang. I am in the process of becoming an avid gardener, and am excited about the new hostas I just transplanted. At the Tuition Grant Fund this year, I won a huge wall clock and an iPad, though I really wanted to win the black bike and would have ridden the bike to school every day. I don’t like seafood, but I do enjoy walks on the beach.
in Math Education from Vanderbilt University. Currently, I am the Community Links Coordinator for Holland Christian Schools. In this role, I help coordinate the SOGO (Seniors Off Campus Growth Opportunity) class as well as coordinate the After school Community Enrichment (ACE) and summer enrichment classes for K-8 students. These classes are available to all children in the community. I also oversee the Holland Christian Homeschool Connections (HC)2 which is a Wednesday program especially designed for area homeschool students. Previously while living in Tennessee and North Carolina, I coached the girls varsity tennis team and taught high school science and math.
I am grateful for my husband, Chip, and 3 children. In my free time I enjoy cross country skiing, cooking, and walking our dogs along the Lake Michigan sand dunes.
In my position at HC, I strive to develop classes that inspire curiousity and amazement of God’s world in young people. Also I strive to deepen the passion of high school students to serve others. “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” Psalm 40:2-3. I want to live my everyday life in gratitude to what the Lord has done for me!
Industries for five years until our first child was born. Once our children were older, I began working at Bethany Christian Reformed Church, where I did bookkeeping for 8 years. I began working at Holland Christian in 1995.
I have been married to John, also an HC graduate, for 39 years. We have 3 children who are also HC graduates: Jeff & Laura Sharda; Brian and Liz Sharda, and Jill and Curt Redder. God has richly blessed us with six grandchildren. John and I love spending time with our family, but when not doing that, we also love to golf and play cards.
I can’t think of a better place to work than HC! I believe that I am serving my Lord by doing the best that I can in my position here. I have always been committed to a Christian education. I truly believe that a Christian education is a very important piece in the faith development of our children, along with church and home. Holland Christian teaches children not only academically, but also spiritually, and prepares them to go out and transform the world for Christ, and I am glad to be a part of this ministry.
MRS. DIANE SUIGUSSAAR
SECONDARY (HC)2 COORDINATOR
After graduating from Ferris State University with a B.S. in Human Services, I began working in college admissions with the longest time spent
as the Director of Admissions at Davenport University. During this time I earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and another in Holistic Health. While at Davenport my husband, Arnie and I were married and have since had 4 children. While raising a family I returned to school and earned a B.S. in Occupational Therapy and worked part time in a hospital setting until joining Holland Christian Schools.
It is an honor and privilege to now serve as the Middle and High School (HC)2 Coordinator, developing and overseeing this program for homeschool families in the greater Holland area. Homeschooling my children for more than a dozen years has naturally helped prepare me for this role. I am passionate about this program and its potential to benefit both the homeschool community and Holland Christian Schools. When I read the mission statement; Equipping minds and nurturing hearts to transform the world for Jesus Christ, I knew this would be a great fit. Being a part of the Holland Christian family has allowed me to see first hand the warmth, the passion, the academic excellence, and most importantly the Christ centered focus of this amazing learning environment.
taught math for a year at Chicago Christian High School. Then I moved to the south side of Grand Rapids and taught science and math for seven years at Cutlerville Christian Middle School. I received my Master’s degree from Michigan State University in Educational Leadership. I began teaching at Holland Christian in 2002.
My family enjoys living in Holland. We like to get out to Lake Michigan as often as we can. I enjoy kayaking, windsurfing, and biking.
Our world belongs to God. As I teach technology I encourage the students to be roaring lambs — informed Christian citizens who will enter their community dialogues on social and political issues (Roaring Lambs by Bob Briner). The internet, computers, TV, music, media all have a profound effect on our culture. They shape much of our culture. I want my students to use these shapers of culture to be salt and light for God in our world. As Ray VanderLaan states in his book Echoes of His Presence – If we are going to be salt and light we must bring our influence to that which shapes our culture. I want to help students see that they can use the powerful tools of technology to do just that. Matthew 5:13-14: “You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth…You’re here to be light, bring out the God-colors in the world” (The Message.)
MR. JOHN WOOD
I worked at BASF for 3.5 years in research deptartment, Potters Lawn Maintenance for 1 year, and Hollandia Gardens for 30 years
starting in 1979. I did landscape installation, lawn maintenance, retail sales, and quality control. I was also safety director for many years. I am a Master Gardener and a Michigan Certified Nurseryman and have a current pesticide and commercial drivers license.
My wife Tina, a 1975 HC graduate, and I attended Central Ave. CRC for 20 years. We met there, were married there, made profession of faith there, and all our children were baptized there. We have four children, twelve grandchildren, one cat, one Friesian mare, and a two-year-old gelding named Arie. Children are Jonathon, Elizabeth, Mary, and David. Liz and Dave both graduated from HCHS. We are currently members of Victory Point Ministries (part of the CRC.) We are active in various aspects of this ministry.
I am excited to be working at Holland Christian as the lead groundskeeper. This connects my love of creation and working outdoors with my passion for serving others. Our Mission statement at VPM is Loving God and Loving People, which I am privileged to try to do every day. So far everything has been going well and I am really enjoying each day. Hopefully the Lord will keep me healthy so that I can continue to beautify the grounds at HC. For me what makes Holland Christian such a wonderful place to work at, is the friendly and caring faculty and staff. I have never worked at a place that supports, encourages and forgives your mistakes so often. It makes coming to HC every day such a joy!
daughters: Madelyn and Elise who both attend Holland Christian. I love to read, sew, paint, decorate, watch my daughters’ soccer games, and spend time outdoors.
I graduated from Grand Valley State University in 1995 with a Major in Group Social Sciences and an emphasis in Psychology. I also received my Elementary Teaching Certificate. In 2011, I obtained a Masters of Reading Instruction/Literacy Studies and additionally a K-8 Reading Teacher Endorsement through Grand Valley State University.
For the first 18 years of my career I was called to work at Holland Public Schools where I taught grades K-5 and was also a K-7 Instructional Math Coach. My time there provided me with a wide range of educational and leadership experiences for which I have been very thankful. After much prayer, waiting on Him, and being obedient to His will, the Lord placed on my heart the clear vision to serve and teach at Holland Christian Schools. The last 2 years at Holland Christian I have served as a 3rd grade teacher at Pine Ridge and a K-8 Literacy Coach. During both of those roles, the Lord amplified my passion towards learning more about the big picture of instruction and how we are “equipping minds to transform the world for Jesus Christ” in our K-12 school system and to identify the strengths of what we are doing as well as some areas where we would like to grow. I am looking forward to this new journey in my changing roles as I move into K-12 Director of Learning. I look forward to developing relationships with our amazing staff as I walk alongside to learn from them and to encourage them to be the very best they can be.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 NIV