MR. DUANE BAKER
BUSINESS & SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
I graduated from Calvin College with a B.S. in accounting and then returned to school to pursue a history major, an economics minor, and
an earth science minor. I also hold an MBA from Grand Valley State University with an emphasis in economics and finance. Additionally, I am a Certified Flight Instructor.
I teach at Holland Christian because each year I have felt God leading me to continue my ministry here. I love seeing high school-aged faces throughout the day and playing a role, along with their Christian families, in preparing them to live for Christ, impacting a world that very much needs to feel His justice, love, and grace.
MRS. JEANETTE BARRY
I received my B.A. from Hillsdale College in 1988; I graduated with a major in English and a minor in both History and Christian Studies.
I am currently pursuing my Masters degree in Literature at Grand Valley State University.
My husband, Greg, and I were married in 1991, and we have three children: Mitchell, Avery, and Grant. We are members of Ridge Point Community Church, and we enjoy skiing, boating, and camping as a family. We especially love being “Up North” in Michigan, where we all are able to relax completely.
I am so happy to be part of the Holland Christian family, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to teach and love the kids in my classes. Each one of my students is an individual with his or her own unique gifts, and I am determined to help bring forth those gifts. I am passionate about living my life for Jesus Christ and about sharing that passion with others. I pray every day that God will show Himself to us in our class through thought-provoking literature, the structure of writing, the detail of grammar, or whatever we discuss in class; God’s blessings are everywhere, and I want our class to be a blessing.
MRS. JENNIFER BIERI
ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
I graduated from Hope College in 1984 with a business major and then married my husband
(Bob) that summer. I worked for Haworth and the Holland Area Chamber of Commerce until we moved to England for 2 1/2 years for Bob’s job in 1990. Since then I have been home raising our four children until starting at HC in the Summer of 2010.
I love to do pretty much anything in the outdoors with family or friends including running, biking, hiking, rollerblading, skiing, and working in my yard. I also enjoy reading, cooking, listening to BBC World News and watching good movies (especially Pride and Prejudice) with my daughters.
Nine years ago we were newcomers to Holland Christian and Christian schools in general. I must say, I have truly grown to love this place, and even more so now that I work here. It is very apparent to me that everyone on staff has the same goal to help students become the people God made them to be and give them the tools they need to impact the world for Christ. I am thrilled to be a small part of making HC a safe, loving, and God-centered school where students can grow and develop.
MRS. ERIKA BLOM
I graduated from Hope College in 2006 with a major in Vocal Music Education. During the summer of 2007, my husband and I moved
to Southern New Jersey to join a beginning church and help start their worship and youth programs. In 2009, the opportunity to teach at Holland Christian brought us back to Michigan. In addition to teaching choir at the high school and middle school levels, I assist with the HS theatre department as a vocal coach.
I enjoy living life with my husband, Josh, our son, Parker, and daughter, Adeline. We like to spend time playing music together, reading, cooking, enjoying a good cup of coffee, playing games, being outdoors, and exploring new places. We also love being with our family and friends.
Music is an integral part of society. It is my hope to help students grow a deeper understanding and appreciation of music through participation in choir. More importantly, I believe that each of us was created to worship the Maker of the universe. While singing is only one aspect of worship, it plays a central role in expressing praise and honor for what God has done for us. I am humbled by the opportunity to lead young hearts to connect with God by worshiping Him in song.
MR. KEITH BLYSTRA
In 2005 I graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in education and began teaching middle school Bible at Ontario Christian in Ontario, CA.
After teaching four years I decided to pursue graduate studies and in 2009 moved to Jerusalem, Israel, to study at both Jerusalem University College and at the Hebrew University with a focus on Old Testament and Modern Hebrew. After spendin five years in Israel, my wife Laura and I, along with our two young daughters, returned to the States so I could begin teaching at Holland Christian.
My wife and I are both HC graduates and are excited to be a part of the community once again. We have been married for nine years and have recently enjoyed reconnecting with family in the area upon our recent return to the States. I enjoy reading lots of different literature and being active. I have currently taken a new interest in racquetball. My goal is to get more than five points on Mr. Koeman by the end of the school year.
As a teacher of the Bible, one of my goals is to teach students how to read the Bible and be an active participant in its conversation rather than someone sitting in the audience. If we are going to take the message of God’s word seriously then a focus on its context, the land, culture, and language becomes foundational for learning the message and representing it in our daily life. Without learning these contextual elements the message of what God is communicating through the Bible can become diluted and lose its clarity. It is my hope that our study of the Bible will provoke us to take on an attitude and lifestyle that gives witness to God’s love and concern for our world.
I am excited to be teaching at a place like Holland Christian that values the study of the Bible and follows through with its appeal for social responsibility in the world around us.
MRS. ANNA BOORSMA
I graduated from Calvin College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Integrated Science and minoring in Physics
for Secondary Education. I then continued my education at Calvin College and completed my Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an Emphasis in Science in 2015. My husband, Anthony, works as an embedded systems engineer in Grand Rapids. We live in Byron Center and love spending time with our families. We also enjoy traveling, boating, reading, and playing board games together. I am very blessed by teaching at Holland Christian! In addition to teaching I have enjoyed participating as the high school Science Olympiad coach.
Science is about curiosity and answering questions about the world that God has created. The world has been created to be an intricate network of connections which models the concept of Biblical community. I believe strongly in creating a community of support and love in the classroom. Faith should be integrated into every part of a Christian’s life. This is why I love being able to teach in a Christian school where we can teach students to see Christ in the material they are taught, and also in their classroom community..
MR. JIM CASERTA
PE & HEALTH TEACHER
I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Bowling Green State University in 1980. Then in 1983, I received a M.Ed. in HPE/Athletic
Administration. I taught in Ohio for 15 years before moving to Michigan to began teaching at West Ottawa in 1996. In 2012, I was blessed with the opportunity to teach Health and P.E. at Holland Christian High School. I also currently serve as the football and baseball coach at HC. Go Maroons!
My wife, Deb is a special education teacher at Pine Creek Elementary School. We have two great sons; Justin (Hope College 2008) and Grant (2012 Saginaw Valley State University). We attend Central Wesleyan Church. We love West Michigan and our family enjoys many types of athletic activities.
I believe we are called to do two things: Love God – Love People. The rest …. details.
MRS. AMANDA CISNEROS
I graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. and K-12 teaching certificate in Spanish. After graduating I taught Spanish and English
at Holland Christian High School for six years. Then I moved to Madrid, Spain for two years where I earned my master’s degree and worked as a bilingual teacher’s aide. When I returned to Holland Christian, I taught K-8 Spanish for four years, and now I am teaching at the high school again. I am currently earning my certification to teach ESL.
I am married to my husband, Guillermo, whom I met while living in Spain. We have a toddler daughter, Lorena. We attend Engedi Church. Aside from playing with Lorena, we spend our time exploring new places, trying new food, and meeting new people! We have hosted three international students that went to Holland Christian.
God’s beauty and intelligence is so evident in the intricacies of language! He gives us language to live in community and discover the personal narratives that He has given to each person. What a gift! Just as I get to know my students, I teach them language so that they may get to know others, demonstrating Christ’s love.
I do my best to love and respect each student, model Christ, and pray with and for each student. I value being a part of the Holland Christian community and knowing that I, too, am being prayed for.
MR. CHUCK COMMERET
THEATRE & AUDITORIUM MANAGER
I am humbled and honored to join the Holland Christian community. I will be entering my
eleventh year in Christian education, most recently serving at Zeeland Christian. I have also served at Kalamazoo Christian Middle School and Trinity Christian College.
In 2010 I earned my M.A. in Educational Technology from Michigan State University. I am excited to share my passions for technology and creativity in the classroom, chapels, theatre, and beyond. I am here to serve God, the kids at HC, my colleagues, the HC community, and the broader community as well.
I have an amazing family of women! My wife, Michelle, and I have three girls. We love being together and investing in our school and church families. We are excited to be here!
MR. DAVID DEBOER
PE TEACHER &
DEAN OF STUDENTS
I graduated from Cornerstone University in 2010 with a B.A. in Physical Education and
Health Education. I am currently working towards my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership through GVSU. At Holland Christian, I serve as the Dean of Students as well as teach a couple Physical Education classes. I also coach the boys’ varsity soccer team and girls’ JV basketball team. In 2004 I participated and completed the Discipleship Training School through Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Kona, Hawaii.
My wife (Bria) and I got married in the summer of 2010 and live in Holland. Bria and I love sports, traveling, quotes, or anything outdoors. We also enjoy spending time with our families. We have 2 beautiful daughters, Jayna & Lauryn, who we adore.
There is no difference between life, as we call it, and spiritual life. All of life is spiritual; all aspects of my life are interconnected. God is the Creator of all things and since the fall He has begun redeeming all of creation. It is my responsibility as a citizen of God’s kingdom to join with Him in this redemptive process. I believe that exemplifying this belief with my own personal life is the building block to being able to reach students and help them understand this concept. Through my actions, devotions and prayer in the classroom, I reinforce that all of creation belongs to God and that we must love and serve Him and others. Also, allowing students to ask questions, be reflective, and letting them struggle with issues within a safe and facilitated environment is essential for their journey.
MR. RODRIGO DEGRAU
I graduated with a teaching degree in English from the UAQ in Queretaro, which is Holland’s sister city in Mexico. I came to Hope College
as a Spanish native assistant for 1 year in 2004. After a year of being on the staff of Vida Estudiantil (Campus Crusade for Christ in Latin America) I traveled around Mexico as an interpreter with Athletes in Action during their basketball summer tour. I taught different levels of Spanish at Western Michigan University while completing a Masters in Spanish Linguistics & Latin American Literature.
I was born in Mexico City, but I lived in Queretaro for most of my life, that is what I call “home”. My wife and I live here in Holland with dos gatos, dos perros y un conejo. We attend Maple Avenue.
Learning a second language brings people together. My challenge is to encourage students to see Spanish as an opportunity to build bridges and reach others.
MR. DARRYL DE RUITER
I graduated from Dordt College in 1986 with a B.A. in Secondary Education (P.E. & Spanish). In 2001 I earned my Masters degree in Education
graduated from Dordt College (Sioux Center, Iowa) in 1986 with a B.A. in Secondary Education (P.E. & Spanish). In 2001 I earned my Masters degree in Education Leadership from Buena Vista University (Storm Lake, Iowa). I have had teaching/coaching/
I have been married to Shelly since 1987 and we have three great kids: Derek (22), Morgan (20), and Jake (19). We enjoy sharing life together and Shelly and I are excited to support them as they pursue their dreams and callings.
I am honored and blessed to serve the excellent faculty and staff at Holland Christian. I love that HCS has a mission statement that is “alive” and truly is the filter by which all decisions are made and all work is focused. One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to work with and serve the young people that make up the Holland Christian High School student body and, along with our faculty/staff, have significant impact on their development as students and as followers of Jesus Christ.
MRS. KRISTIN DEWITT
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
Hope College is my alma mater. I graduated with a special education endorsement specializing in learning disabilities. I taught middle school
special education for several years at Byron Center and also at West Ottawa. For a number of years I worked at home raising my children.
My husband, Kelly, and I have three children, Katelyn, Ryan, and Nathan, who currently attend Holland Christian. I love to run, travel, read, camp, and spend time at the beach and with family and friends. I am also faithfully involved with my church, Calvary on 8th, and the Heights of Hope community.
Spending time with students and helping them to learn, develop and grow is my passion. I love getting to know each student and finding out what motivates them. I am so thankful for Holland Christian which is a place where we can speak openly about our faith, share the love of God and develop in and nourish our faith together.
MR. DALE EIZENGA
In the fall of 1992, I began teaching students science at HCHS after earning a B.A. in Education from Calvin College and a secondary
certification in Chemistry. In the summer of 2001, I completed my M.Ed. with an emphasis in Educational Technology from Grand Valley State University. I have also completed the Target Inquiry Program at GVSU. This 3-year program for high school chemistry teachers involves chemistry research and curriculum design/research, including presentations at national and international conferences. I have been active at HCHS having served on various committees as well as the science department chair. I have enjoyed using videos and inquiry learning to bring individualized learning into my classroom.
My wife, Heather, and I have 2 children. We are members of Calvin Christian Reformed Church where I regularly serve in the children’s programing. In addition, we have often spent our summers working or volunteering at Camp Roger in Rockford, MI.
I chose to teach in a Christian school, because I wanted to be able to show students more than just how the creation works (on a molecular level). I wanted to help them deepen their faith through that knowledge. In my Chemistry class we routinely discuss the question: “How does what you have learned enhance your view of God, His world, and your place in it?” This discussion allows us to step back and see a bigger picture, one that cannot be shown in other schools.
MR. DAVID ENGBERS
In 2001 I graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in education and started teaching K-8 physical education and directed the middle
school athletic program at Millbrook Christian School. I began teaching physical education at Holland Christian High School in the fall of 2003. I have coached JV girls basketball and the varsity boys lacrosse program. My M.A. degree in Sport Management was completed at Western Michigan University in 2010 and I am currently serving as Athletic Director.
My wife Michelle and I moved to Holland in 2007 after living in Grand Rapids since we were married in 2003. We have four children and are active members at Faith CRC in Holland. Michigan summers provide a great place for our family to enjoy the outdoors together.
It is amazing how different life looks when you view every piece of creation as God’s. We have an incredible opportunity to learn more about our Creator from studying the world around us. There is also a deep respect that is gained for ourselves and others around us by realizing we are loved by God despite of what we deserve. Working at Holland Christian gives me a chance to be open with high school students about Christ and our true purpose for living on earth. Serving coaches and athletes is a privilege for me and provides a powerful opportunity to impact people for Christ. I strive to take the opportunity I have at Holland Christian and not only promote an excellent athletic program, but promote one that glorifies God.
MR. JASON FOLKERT
SCIENCE & MATHEMATICS TEACHER
I graduated from Hope College in 2009 with a B.A. in Chemistry and teaching endorsements in Chemistry and Mathematics. That summer, God
unveiled His humorous side and led me to attend CALVIN COLLEGE (which was difficult for a Flying Dutchman). At Calvin, I received my Integrated Science endorsement (2010) and am currently working on my Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. I began my teaching career at Otsego High and Middle Schools where I taught for two years before being blessed with the opportunity to teach at Holland Christian. I have been here at HC since the 2012-2013 school year.
Currently I live in Wyoming, MI with my wife Grace. Grace and I have been married since the summer of 2015 and we attend Fellowship Reformed Church in Hudsonville. At Fellowship, we lead a small group for other young married couples. Outside of school, we enjoy attending sporting events and concerts with friends, reading a good book, cooking, learning about new things, and watching movies.
Having the opportunity to teach in a Christian school (after having attended public schools for my K-12 education) has given me a brand new perspective on the importance of allowing Christ to be at the center of all we do. In my science courses, I strive daily to help students appreciate the complex details that God has used to create us and the world and the important relationship we must play in it. Many people in our world attempt to use science as a way to prove the non-existence of a Creator. One of the things I hope students learn in my courses is how to respond as Christians to these viewpoints with a Christ-centered approach.
MR. KALEB FORR
PE TEACHER & ASSISTANT ATHLETIC DIRECTOR
I grew up in Davison, Michigan, where I graduated from Davison High School in 2009. As a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Flint,
I was involved in the youth group and youth choir. The ministry Young Life challenged and formed the relationship I have with Jesus Christ throughout high school. From Davison, I had the blessing of accepting a football scholarship at Saginaw Valley State University. After five years of education and athletics, I graduated from SVSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education. Following graduation from Saginaw Valley State University, I accepted a teaching position at Southwest Florida Christian Academy in Fort Myers, Florida. As a secondary teacher and coach at SFCA, I had the blessing of teaching Weightlifting, Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and World Religions. My parents still reside in Davison, MI. I have two older twin brothers. Sam is a government teacher and coach at Westwood Academy in Austin,Texas, and Aaron works as a airport manager for United Airlines in Laramie, Wyoming.
I am so blessed to be able to come and teach in a community that is founded on biblical truth. Also, I am excited for the possibilities of growth that I see occurring in this great district.
Growing up in the church I always knew who God was and the sacrifice He made in sending His son Jesus Christ to die for my sins. I remember being saved at a very young age but my faith wasn’t made my own until the summer after my sophomore year of high school. At Timberwolf Lake, a Young Life camp, I recommitted my heart and life to Christ. I continued to be involved in youth group and Young Life throughout high school and into college. Leading students to Christ and Young Life has helped me grow in my relationship with Him. These interactions as a leader have molded me to the teacher I am today. I love being around students as much as possible and I will enjoy every day with my students at Holland Christian.
MRS. LYDIA FRENS
WINTERIM INTERNSHIP COORDINATOR
I specialize in career development and planning, and am particularly passionate about helping individuals understand who they are and where
they might fit in the world of work. I see work as an outlet for the talents and temperaments unique to each one of us. Work is a way of creating community, too, because we can benefit from the expertise of those around us. I hold a Master’s of Education degree in Adult and Higher Education.
MR. JEFFREY GOORHOUSE
I graduated from Calvin College in 1980 with a B.A. in Mathematics and a secondary education certification. I later returned to Calvin College
and obtained my M.A.T with a concentration in teaching Mathematics. I started teaching at Holland Christian in the fall of 1980 and have been here ever since. I have coached volleyball, baseball, basketball, and presently coach both JV boys and JV girls tennis.
My wife, Karen, and I were married in 1981. We have three children. Melissa is a Spanish teacher and librarian at Brookfield Christian School in Wisconsin. Michael is married and is the president of the Holland-Zeeland Community Foundation. His wife, Rachel, is a high school Spanish teacher. Jonathan is a mechanical engineer for the Gentex Corporation. His wife, Angie, is a physical therapist. We are members of Providence Church. I enjoy all sports, both watching and participating, and love spending time with family.
I have always felt called to be a teacher. I enjoy the challenge of trying to explain the logic and procedures that are involved in doing Mathematics. I have always loved working with young people and look forward to each new school year. God has given each of our young men and women special abilities, and I feel that my job is to develop those abilities so that each student is prepared to serve God in whatever calling He has for them.
MRS. DONNA HAMBERG
In 1972, I graduated from Holland High–the “other school.” I attended Davenport College for Business at night. My previous work experience
was at BASF and Haworth for 12 1/2 years (my favorite position was customer service) before taking my current position as Administrative Assistant at HC.
My husband Jerry (a 1969 HC graduate) and I have been married over 35 years. We have two grown sons (Matt & Michael) who have graduated from HCHS. We are members of Providence Church where we are both very active at church and in a small group. Our family enjoys cross country and downhill skiing, traveling and our favorite pastime is scuba diving. When you scuba dive you get to experience God’s amazing creation and awesome imagination close up. After scuba diving in the ocean there is no way you could say there is no God, because of the way everything works together and around each other – it could never just happen!
I have been blessed to work at Holland Christian since 1992. I want to be a positive role model for young people. I feel HC is a wonderful place to use my spiritual gifts to make a difference for the next generation. One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
MR. BEN HERRMAN
I graduated from Hope College in 2009 with a degree in Math for Secondary Education. After graduating, I spent a year living in Holland
and substitute teaching. I spent the next year in South Haven as a full-time middle school math teacher and the head swim coach the men’s and women’s varsity teams. My first experience with Holland Christian was serving as Todd Smeenge’s assistant coach for the boys swim team for two seasons from 2008 to 2010. During this time, I saw all that Holland Christian has to offer its students and consider myself extremely blessed and fortunate to have been serving on the Holland Christian staff in a full-time capacity since 2011. In addition to teaching, I am also the head coach for the Holland Christian High School girls swim team.
Outside of teaching and coaching, I enjoy staying active and being outdoors amongst God’s creation. I love to camp, hike, fish, mountain bike, road bike, cross country ski, and climb. I also enjoy reading and playing a good board game (when I can find the time!) I am a member of the Providence Church family.
I am excited to be teaching in a faith-based school where students and faculty alike can openly discuss and share their experiences on their journeys toward developing a deeper relationship with Christ. I believe that looking at mathematics from a Christian perspective provides the subject a much deeper context: the formulas and proofs and equations are not happen-stance, but rather things specifically designed by God that we are still uncovering.
MR. MARK HISKES
I graduated from Calvin College in 1979 with a B.A. in English and Psychology. I received my M.A.T. from Calvin a few years later. I taught
for six years at Chicago Christian High School, and came to Holland Christian in 1989, where I have taught on and off ever since. I have taught a couple courses part time at Hope College, and taught for one year at Calvin College in 2000-2001.
I am married to Cindy and have two children, Pete and Mary. We attend Third Reformed Church of Holland and love that old place, its people and mission.
In all my years of teaching I have taught one thing, really, and that is, as a colleague of mine once said, “Mark Hiskes.” In the end, that’s all that we teachers do–teach the truth about life as by Grace we have come to know it. As much as possible I try to shape my classroom to be the kind of place I want the world to be–a community where people can be comfortable and encouraged, accepted for who they were created to be, gracious in their words and actions, challenged to think outside the box, and challenged to do good work. After about 30 years of teaching, I can say that I love students even more than I love good books and writing, and that is a lot. They will know that after leaving my class. In addition, I want my students to come from my class with the confidence to live as counter-cultural Christians: not accepting the shallow values of our American culture, with its emphasis on speed, efficiency, money, materialism, popularity, and competition. Instead, I want them to model the counter-cultural values of Christ’s Beatitudes–such as, mercy, peace, humility, compassion, righteous conviction. As long as Holland Christian values these things, I will continue to love my work.
Chemistry and other sciences at Valley Christian High School in Cerritos, California, from 1976 to 1987. In 1987, I accepted a position at Holland Christian where I have taught Chemistry and other sciences as well as having a variety of other responsibilities such as a technology coordinator, testing coordinator, and data administrator. Although I am officially retired I continue working part time as Registrar and PowerSchool administrator.
Since 1974, I have been married to Nancy, media center specialist at HCMS. I have two daughters. Sarah (HC-1996, B.A. Calvin-2000) is currently a stay-at-home mom. Amber (HC-1998, B.A. and B.S.W. Calvin-2002) is using her degrees in social work and psychology in her work at the Cancer and Hematology Center in Holland. I have one granddaughter, Sadie, and three grandsons, Liam, Micah, and Davis.
MRS. DAWN HOGUE
LIBRARY MEDIA SPECIALIST
I was very blessed to grow up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, near Seattle, Washington. After graduating from Calvin College in 1995,
I taught middle school Social Studies (primarily American History and Geography), Language Arts, and Bible, as well as directed eighth grade plays for 16 years. My teaching career began in 1995 at San Jose Christian School in California. I then moved back to Michigan to teach at Kelloggsville Christian School in Kentwood. God called me next to teach at West Side Christian School in Grand Rapids, where I would stay for 13 years. During those years, I also was involved in high school youth ministry, leading small groups, and going on mission trips. In 2005 I lived in Guatemala for six weeks working with Paradise Bound Ministries.
My husband Ty is the Youth Pastor at Harderwyk Ministries. We have two little girls, Ella and Megan, who are students at Rose Park Christian. As a family we love spending time outside — riding bikes, hiking, camping, going to Captain Sundae — as well as reading and playing games, and travelling. In my spare time, I love to read, read, and read some more! I also enjoy baking, scrapbooking, and doing crafts with my girls.
I am thankful that I was able to stay home with my girls for a few years, and now that they are starting school I am enjoying working part-time. I am blessed that God has called me to serve Him at Holland Christian. I already love my job as the HS Library Media Specialist and look forward to getting to know students and staff, as well as learn something entirely new in life. I have always had a stack of books waiting to be read, and I love that I am surrounded by great literature all day at work! It’s exciting to be able to work with students again, and I look forward to being able to assist students with research and writing, as well. “A library is not a luxury, but one of the necessities of life.” Henry Ward Beecher
MR. DALE HOMKES
APPLIED TECHNOLOGY TEACHER
I am a 1973 graduate of Holland Christian and a 1977 graduate of Calvin College with a B.A. in Economics/Business. I worked for 22 years
at Prince Corporation/JCI in various manufacturing leadership roles where I received an excellent “nuts and bolts” education in manufacturing management, mostly in the areas of business and engineering. After leaving JCI in late 2000 I formed a consulting/contract business that helps companies with manufacturing improvement. My clients include Gentex, Prince Manufacturing, Idra Prince, Great Lakes Home and Resort.
I have been married to Carrie for thirty years and we have two sons, Alex and Austin, both HC grads. We are members at Christ Memorial Church where I have served several terms on Consistory and have been Treasurer on two occasions.
In the area of Applied Technology my teaching philosophy is to come along side each student (at whatever level they may be) and work with them to learn skills that will serve them for life. Creative subject approaches, enthusiasm, encouragement, and industrial experiences can all be used to facilitate learning. I believe God has given us the incredible privilege of working along side Him as He reclaims this fallen world. I will emphasize this great truth daily as your sons and daughters learn how engineering, technology and machines can prepare them to be more productive as they work in God’s Kingdom.
MRS. JANET HOWELL
I graduated with a B.A. from Calvin College, majoring in English and minoring in psychology. I received my Master’s degree in counseling
from Michigan State University. In 1986 my husband and I moved to Holland from Florida and I began my work at Holland Christian High School. I hold a professional counselor license from the State of Michigan.
My husband Tim and I have two married daughters, Elizabeth (Justin) Boldt and Emily (Michael) Schipper, who both attended Holland Christian. Tim and I love the simple joys of life in Holland: Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning, soup at 8th Street Grille on a winter evening, bike rides to Saugatuck, Hope Summer Repertory Theater, waiting for the first tomato in our garden, and communion of and with the saints at Pillar Church.
At Holland Christian High School, I enjoy helping students with their academic concerns, college and/or career plans, and personal matters. I feel especially blessed to be able to counsel from a Christian perspective, to encourage students in their personal walk with Christ, to share God’s word with students, to discuss His love, grace and forgiveness, and to pray with them in personal matters. It is a joy to see students grow and change in the four years they attend high school and to see God working out His plan in their lives.
MR. CHRISTOPHER JACOBS
SOCIAL STUDIES & SPANISH IMMERSION
After graduating from Holland Christian High School, I never would have thought I would come back, especially not as a teacher. However,
God’s plans for our lives always seem to include frequent twists of irony. In college, I studied social studies and Spanish and studied abroad in Mexico, originally with plans of moving there permanently to teach after graduation. I graduated from Grand Valley State University in the winter of 2014 in with a degree in social studies and a minor in Spanish. After college, I worked as a para pro at Byron Center High School as well as taught Spanish at Holland High.
Last year, I married my amazing wife Kaitlyn (who is also an HC grad). We are extremely excited to once again be a part of the Holland Christian community. Some of my personal hobbies aside from Spanish and history are playing music with my wife in our band and at our church Calvary CRC, kayaking, traveling, and building guitars.
As a first year teacher, I’m humbled by the opportunity that I have to teach at Holland Christian. I am extremely excited to help students grow not only in knowledge, but in a deep, real, and authentic relationship with their Savior. Learning about history and government to me is primarily a means to figure out who we are as servants of Christ and as those charged with helping bring redemption to this world. It’s to those ends that I desire to focus students as well as my own life.
MRS. KAREN JEFTS
I graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1995 and from Western Michigan University in 2000 with a B.A. in Math and Biology Secondary
Education. From there I moved to Tulsa, OK where I attended a two-year Bible school with an emphasis on missions. In college God placed a love in my heart for Afghanistan, and in 2005 my dream of moving there came true. I taught, counseled and worked in administration at the International School of Kabul for six years. I have many stories of living in Afghanistan and if you ask me, I can talk for hours!
In 2010 I obtained my M.S. in School Counseling from Concordia University and in 2011 I moved to Grand Rapids and worked at Calvin College for two years in admissions. That experience allowed me see how things worked in college admissions from the other side of the desk. I began at Holland Christian in 2013 and sometimes I am still in awe that I work at such an amazing place.
MR. PAUL KLOKKERT
I graduated from Central Michigan University with a B.S. in Sports Management and a minor in Business Management. I continued my
my education at Appalachian State University, and subsequently graduated with a M.A. in Counseling. Since completing my studies in North Carolina, I have worked as a Residence Hall Director at Palm Beach Atlantic University, and more recently at Hope College, and also working as a School Counselor in the South. I have lived in North Carolina (two times), Florida (three times), and Texas before moving back to West Michigan. Holland Christian High School is a great place to work! We have a wonderful faculty and staff and it is a pleasure to serve alongside them. In addition to working at Holland Christian High School, I am also the co-owner of Calvary Carpet Care, which specializes in upholstery and carpet cleaning for residential and commercial facilities in West Michigan. In my spare time, I like to participate in half marathons and marathons. So far I have run in 10 states so far and I hope to keep adding to that number.
MR. JOHN KNOESTER
I graduated from South Christian High School in 1972. In 1976, I graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics from Calvin College. In 1980, I
received my M.A.T. from Calvin College. I began my teaching career at Ripon Christian High in California in the fall of 1976. I taught math, computer programming, and physics for thirteen wonderful years at RCHS. I also coached baseball, track, basketball, and tennis during that time. In 1989, I began working at Holland Christian Schools. I currently teach Calculus and Statistics and coach the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams.
I am blessed with three children (John , Tim, and Rachel) and three darling grandsons. All three children are graduates of Holland Christian Schools and Calvin College. I also have been blessed while serving as a volunteer in the Faith CRC ALPHA program.
I now have had the privilege of teaching at a Christian high school for many years. Each year I have the opportunity to work with students that exhibit a variety of unique God-given talents and gifts. My job not only includes helping young minds learn mathematics, but more importantly, it gives me an opportunity to see God at work in the lives of our students. Through daily devotions, weekly worship services, classroom conversations, and coaching tennis teams, my faith in God has been strengthened and my life enriched. For this I am truly grateful.
MR. KEVIN KOEMAN
I graduated from Holland Christian High School in the spring of 1998. From here I moved to Palos Heights, IL and attended Trinity Christian College
College. I graduated with a major in English and a minor in Philosophy. Following graduation, I taught at Chicago Christian High School in Illinois. I am so blessed to work at Holland Christian. It is humbling to be working at the place that had such a huge impact in shaping me. Hopefully God uses me each day to work in the lives of His children here.
My wife Gretchen and I have been married for 11 years and have three children, Tessa, Lleyton, and Gibson. What a blessing! I love sports and love competition, especially when the competition is done with class. I also enjoy fishing, golfing, and water sports. I wake up each day and try hard to live out Psalm 103…”The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in LOVE.”
I am so blessed to be a teacher. It is a wonderful gift not only to be able to work with young kids, but also to have the opportunity to tell them about Christ on a daily basis. I feel that God is sovereign over all things. I believe that He sent His Son into this world to redeem it, and that it is now our job to be agents of restoration. Whether that be as a lawyer, teacher, nurse, garbage collector, electrician, physician’s assistant, or a stay-at-home mom, we are each able to share the gospel. The theme in my class is “living in community.” One of my favorite questions to my students is: “Are you going to change the world; or are you going to let the world change you?” Personally, I enjoy doing this through the realm of English because there are countless avenues of connection. I look forward to being back here at Holland Christian High School, this time as a teacher.
MR. CALEB LAGERWEY
SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
I graduated with honors from Calvin College with a B.A. in History Education and in Social Studies. While there, I nurtured a love for American
History, particularly the Spanish-American War era and its parallels in current foreign policy debates.
While at Calvin, I also met my wonderful wife, Holly, a Social Worker who speaks fluent Spanish during her work with Hispanic refugee children. We currently live near extended family on the near side of Grand Rapids and attend Hillside CRC.
Holland Christian is a quintessential Christian school, and I love teaching where I can pursue my passion for Christian education with fellow educators and fellow believers. Christian education, in my opinion, starts and ends with the student, for education is less about teaching and more about learning. I also believe that faith is an integral part of every subject and that through Christian education we nurture our students as citizens of God’s Kingdom. Christianity, to me, is an all-encompassing framework that should prompt teachers to mentor and train students to be exceptional citizens of the United States, the world, and the Kingdom of God. I therefore aim to instill in my students a life-long love of learning, both for the sake of developing their God-given talents and for understanding more fully the amazing creation with which God has blessed us. As a Christian teacher, I aim to apply my faith to all areas of life, infusing my everyday teaching with faith and not merely applying a spiritual veneer of Christianity to my content. I help my students reach their greatest spiritual, academic, and social potential as they become those who transform the world for Jesus Christ using their equipped minds and nurtured hearts.
MR. BRIAN LEMMEN
Where to begin and what to include in a biography are eternal problems. I could start with my mother’s version of a breech delivery but
that would make this too long and painful. So I’ll begin with telling you about my education. In 1979, I graduated from Holland Christian High School. I then attended Calvin College, where I earned a B.A. in math. Upon graduation in 1983, it was off to sunny Southern California and Valley Christian High School, where I taught math and coached both soccer and track until 1992. While in California, I received my M. A. in math from California State University, Fullerton. I have been teaching at Holland Christian since 1992.
My wife, Jane, and I have two children. We attend Calvary Christian Reformed Church. Jane is employed by Young Life as the director of Young Lives, a ministry to teen moms.
Christian education has been an important part of my life. I never considered teaching in a public school because being able to talk about my God openly and honestly is very important to me. God is a God of order and of logic. Learning math, I believe, helps us to understand our God better.
MRS. KRISTI LOKKER
MEDIA CENTER ASSISTANT
I am a graduate of Holland Christian. After graduating I went to Cosmetology school. I still enjoy cosmetology part time out of my home.
When my kids were in Holland Christian, I volunteered for the school. One of the volunteer positions I had was in the Media Centers. I have also substituted for the Holland Public School system. I have worked with their special needs students and in their Media Centers.
I love working in the Media Center. It’s great to see and hear the excitement the kids have when they find a book they really enjoyed reading or together we have found that article they needed for a research paper. Showing Christ’s love to everyone who walks through the Media Center doors is something I strive for everyday.
MR. TIMOTHY LONT
PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER &
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
Grand Rapids Christian Schools (1975); Hope College (1979); Grand Valley State University
(1984); Holland Public Teacher/Coach (1980-1999); Holland Christian Teacher/Coach (2000-Present).
I have been married to Joyce Elaine Takens since 1984. I graduated from Hope in 1979. I have three children, Heidi, Tracy, and Jimmy. “As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord” – Joshua 24:15.
I want all my students to know that God has an exciting plan for their life. I want them to know that the educational process is an important piece in God’s plan. Using my knowledge and experience about unique learning styles and individual differences, and my care and concern for people, I want to help my students be successful doing “school.” They are uniquely gifted by God and they are very important to me. It is my responsibility as a high school teacher to make practical, applicable and real the lessons that I present. Most importantly, I want to show how these lessons are a special part of God’s plan for each student’s life. I desire all my students to feel good about themselves, their school, and their efforts. I want them to know that they have a responsibility to work up to the best of their God given abilities. I pray that they will be responsive to God’s will for their life. Finally, I dream that they will be faithful servants of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Mr. JOSE ANGEL LOPEZ
SPANISH IMMERSION BIBLE TEACHER
I was born in Chiapas, in the south of Mexico, where I was raised in the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. In 2005 I immigrated to British
Columbia, Canada, where I started my own business, and ministered alongside my wife who was the pastor of a Reformed Church in America congregation. In 2014 I graduated from Western Theological Seminary, and currently I am working as Coordinator for Multicultural Ministries for Holland Classis. I have a deep passion for the Old Testament, and spent the last year teaching Old Testament at the Instituto Bíblico Ebenezer for local Hispanic pastors in the Holland community.
My wife Janelle and I have two daughters Miriam and Lorena. I enjoy fishing, reading novels, hosting a full table of friends for dinner, and renovating houses.
MRS. KONNIE LUBBERS
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES CLASSROOM ASSISTANT
After graduating from Holland Christian I attended Trinity Christian College and earned a
BA in education. I have worked for Holland Christian for 10 years, the first 7 as a classroom teacher at Rose Park, and the last 3 in Educational Support at the high school.
My husband’s name is Brad and we were blessed with twins, Noelle and Thomas, in 2012. My husband farms with his father on their generational family farm.
I feel extremely blessed to be working at Holland Christian. Connecting with students and helping them in their educational and spiritual journey is a joy and something I give thanks to God for daily.
MRS. JANET LYNCH
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES TEACHER
In 1988, I graduated from Elmhurst College with a B.A. in Education with a Special Education
Endorsement in the areas of Learning Disabilities and Behavioral/Emotional Disorders. After graduating, I taught at Indian Trail Jr. High in Addison, Illinois as a Special Education Teacher. My family and I relocated to Holland in February of 2002. I began teaching at Holland Christian Schools in the fall of 2002.
My husband, Mike, and I have three children: Steven, Jessica and Daniel. We enjoy spending time at baseball games, miniature golfing, swimming and vacationing. We also spend a great deal of time visiting family and friends in Illinois. We are members of Ridge Point Community Church.
Teaching in a Christian School enables me to remind the students that I work with that each and every one of them was created in God’s image and was uniquely gifted to serve Him. It is very exciting to work along side students as they prepare to live for Christ in a global society.
MISS JESSICA LYNCH
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES ASSISTANT
I graduated from Holland Christian High School in 2010. Currently, I am pursuing a B.A.
in Psychology from Grand Valley State University. Following my graduation from GVSU, I plan to attend Western Michigan University’s Counseling Psychology Master’s program.
I moved to Holland, MI from Plainfeld, IL in 2002 when my dad’s job relocated our family here. I am blessed with two parents, Mike and Janet, who are loving and supportive of me in all I do. I also have two brothers, Steven and Daniel, who I am close to and enjoy spending time with. I attend Ridge Point Community Church with my family. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with friends, reading, being a middle school youth group leader, and many other things.
The opportunity to attend and now be employed by Holland Christian is a true blessing. Integration of faith into learning is something that has had a lasting impact in my life, and I find myself in awe that I have the opportunity to continue to be a part of it.
MR. AARON MECKES
In 2014 I graduated from Calvin College where I studied secondary science education. I am married to Abbie (a former Maroon!), who works
as a nurse. We live on the south side of Holland where we enjoy working around the house and spending time with our puppy, Leo.
I am blessed to call Holland Christian home, and I am convinced more and more every day that God is present within our walls. I hope that while learning science, my students also see the love I have for them, which pales in comparison to the love they receive from their Creator. God is truly good.
MR. JAY MEISTE
Bio still coming!
MRS. ELIZABETH MOGCK
I graduated from Taylor University in 2001 with a B.A. in English Education. I then completed Youth With A Mission’s Discipleship Training School,
a program with an emphasis on missions and biblical worldview, in Hawaii and Thailand. Following DTS, I moved to Delaware, where I taught seventh and ninth grade English and coached the varsity volleyball team at Red Lion Christian Academy. I also organized and led students on summer mission trips. In the summer of 2006, I moved to El Paso, Texas, to work with a border ministry, and I spent the next two years coordinating trips and working with mission teams in Mexico. As my time with the ministry drew to a close in 2008, God made it clear to me that He was calling me back to Christian education and then led me to Holland Christian. I consider teaching and coaching at HC a wonderful blessing and privilege.
My husband Matt and I enjoy living in Holland and taking advantage of its all season outdoor beauty. We attend Engedi Church in Holland.
God has given me a passion for teenagers, for excellent Christian education, and for sharing my love for God through teaching and coaching. As an English teacher, I believe it is my privilege and responsibility to teach students how to be critical thinkers and seekers of God’s truth; the studies of literature, language, and writing are wonderful ways to pursue this objective. I believe that my life is an outreach motivated by my love for God, and my prayer is that He will use me to give my students opportunities to experience the adventure of loving and serving our incredible God!
MR. DAVE MOSTERD
After graduating from Holland Christian High School in 1999 after 12 years of excellent education in the system, I went on to Reformed
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. In addition to teaching World History and U.S. History, I am also involved in the theatre program at Holland Christian as well as on the Chapel Committee.
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, who teaches at Rose Park.
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.”
MRS. ELLE NIEUWSMA
I graduated from Calvin College in 2016 with my Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Secondary English Education and minoring in Communications. It is
surreal (but exciting) to be returning to my high school to teach and direct.
This past year I married my husband, Dave, whom I met while working as a counselor at Camp Roger. He teaches 5th grade at Rose Park. We are loving our new life in Holland, and enjoy road-tripping, drinking coffee, and walking our black lab, Luna. Outside of school, I play cello and lead worship. I also love stories and can spend hours lost in a good book, movie, or play.
I pray that, in addition to intellect, students grow in compassion, courage, and creativity through my subject areas of Theatre, English, and Psychology. I am particularly thankful for the opportunity to invest in students and walk alongside them in a Christian environment as we glorify God, respond to His calling, and care for the world around us.
MRS. JULIE O’BRIEN
In 1995, I graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Science Studies and a secondary education teaching
certificate. I finished my M.Ed. with a biology emphasis in 2003 through Grand Valley State University. I began teaching science at Holland Christian in 1995 where I have served on a variety of committees and as a coach for volleyball and track. In 2000-2001, I took a leave of absence to teach at Sahel Academy, an international school in Niger, West Africa.
The more I learn about the world around me, the more amazed I am at the order and beauty in such a complex universe and the more I feel I get a glimpse of how amazing God truly is. It is exciting to expose students to this beauty, complexity and order, and it is my prayer that through a growing understanding of the world, they will see God more clearly and they will desire to become good stewards of the blessings they have been given.
MRS. ANN PAWLOSKI
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
I graduated from Calvin College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. After graduating, I taught Environmental Education at Au Sable
Institute of Environmental Education in northern Michigan. I then moved to Hawaii to teach Outdoor Education on the North Shore of Oahu. I loved teaching so I decided to go back to school to become a teacher. In 2000, I graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Secondary Education Science and Special Education. My first teaching position was at Woodland Park Middle School in Woodland Park, Colorado. I taught special education there for 4 years before accepting a position at Holland Christian High School. I am currently working on my Masters in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism.
I live in Hamilton with my husband Chuck and two step children, Luke and Kristen. We spend a lot of our time working on our small 10 acre hobby farm. We also enjoy traveling, hiking, biking, and spending time with family. We are members of Third Christian Reformed Church in Zeeland.
I believe God has given us all unique gifts and abilities. As a teacher, I hope to help each student discover these gifts and learn how to use them to glorify our Creator.
MRS. AMY PETERSON
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES ASSISTANT
I graduated from Calvin College in 1987 with a B.A. in Secondary Art Education. Prior to being in the Guided Studies room, I aided in the
Learning Center and taught Art and American Culture at Holland Christian High School.
My husband Clint and I have three children who graduated from Holland Christian. Lydia, a graduate of Calvin College, was recently married and moved to West Virginia. Isla and Luke are both currently attending Calvin. We are members of 14th Street Christian Reformed Church and have been blessed by being part of the faith community there. In my free time I enjoy reading, walking, creating liturgical art with kids at church and caring for our numerous family pets.
It’s a great privilege to be able to guide student in their learning. Students can be unsure of their strengths and abilities and I love helping them recognize, discover and build upon the gifts God has given them.
MRS. MERIDITH RIDL
I received my B.A. in Studio Art from the College of Wooster and my Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of Michigan. Prior to teaching
at Holland Christian, I was an adjunct professor for two years at various colleges including the University of Michigan, Kendall College of Art and Design, Southwestern Michigan University, and Hope College.
Each day as I enter the classroom I am newly energized by the sense of creation that surrounds me. Thanks to wonderful students, I get to see new things every single day. I believe in the artist that tucks inside all of us–that piece of us that finds delight when looking into the stars; that remembers we live in a world that shows us ancient trees, weathered walls, creeping vines, and coffee cups; that piece of us that at some point or another has felt free to pick up a crayon and add color to the world. As we create we are reminded of a larger creation and Creator. It is my hope that we can let a sense of the wonder of God’s world spill out into our daily moments, creep into our artwork, and invade our imaginations. In class we look at art, create art, and discuss art as we dive into the sometimes confusing, sometimes beautiful, sometimes frustrating, sometimes gleeful, sometimes boisterous, sometimes subtle, always mysterious, and delightfully big world that creating can open up for us. God has such open arms!…and I hope art can help encourage us to welcome this embrace.
MRS. BETSI ROELOFS
I graduated from Holland Christian High in 1993. I did my undergraduate work at Grand Valley State University over the next four years.
I received a B.A. with a double major in math and Spanish, and am certified to teach at the secondary level. I completed my Master’s degree in a math/education program at Grand Valley State University.
My husband, Mike, and I have three children. Our three children attend Zeeland Christian Schools and Holland Christian High School. Mike works as a deputy for the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department. We are members of Haven Christian Reformed Church in Zeeland, where I enjoy being a member of the praise team.
I love teaching in a Christian school because of the opportunities it gives me to share my faith in God and help young adults grow into their faith. I believe every student is a child of God, capable of wonderful things, including learning math! I am truly blessed to have this opportunity to help students learn about the ways in which God created our world, and to be able to have relationships with these students.
MRS. DIANE ROELOFS
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES ASSISTANT
I graduated from Holland Christian and love that I get to work at my alma mater in the ESS department. I have worked in the Inclusion
MRS. MARIA ROOKS
I earned a B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Calvin College, and, for the last number of years, I have been taking graduate
classes at GVSU in both English and Education. I previously taught at Holland Christian High School from 1991 to 1999.
I grew up in northwestern New Mexico but have lived in Holland for the last 20 years. My husband, Doug, and I have four daughters. We are members of Fourteenth Street Church.
I teach at a Christian School because both teachers and students can explore and share how God reveals himself to us in every subject at school and every area of our lives. We can connect elements of faith such as repentance, obedience and trust to our daily experience and work in the classroom. It is exciting to reflect on what we learn in light of Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
MR. BRIAN ROZEMA
I am a 2002 alumnus of Holland Christian. I attended Calvin College, earning a B.A. in Mathematics and Latin for Secondary Education.
I began teaching Latin at Holland Christian High School in 2006.
I married my wonderful wife, Katy, in July of 2013. We attend Haven CRC, in Zeeland.
My time as a student at Holland Christian was a great time in my life. It was a place where I was challenged to develop both mentally and spiritually. My positive experience was due largely to the teachers I had. I love that I am now able to try to help students have great experiences of their own, growing in knowledge and faith at Holland Christian.
MRS. MARY ROZENDAL
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
I grew up in Grand Rapids, and, in 1994, I graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in Elementary Education, married my college
sweetheart, Dave (a ’90 HC grad), and moved to Holland. It was quite a year! I was hired for a long-term sub position at HCMS, teaching 7th and 8th grade English and literature in the spring of 1995. The following fall, I began teaching at Beaverdam Christian School in Hudsonville, where I taught for more than five years. During that time, I earned my Masters of Education in reading at Grand Valley State University. In October of 2000, my husband was transferred to Huntsville, Alabama. Our family moved south and began what was to be a twelve year adventure. There, I worked at Westminster Christian Academy, as a librarian, secretary, a 4th grade teacher and a middle and high school tutor (not all at once). In October of 2012, my husband got a new job at Tennant Co. in Holland. Our family moved back to Holland, and, again, I got involved in school by subbing and volunteering as an in-class aide at Pine Ridge. A week after school began in the fall of 2013, I was hired as a para-professional for HCMS and HCHS. It was exactly where God wanted me to be and what He had prepared me for.
My family and I miss our friends and “family” in Alabama, but we love being back home in Holland and being part of the HC family. We are members at Park CRC. I enjoy reading and writing and I would really love to have a book published some day. I have already been rejected by lots of great publishers!
Christian education is a blessing and a privilege that I believe should be available to children of all abilities and gifts. I’m pleased to be part of the Educational Support Services to help insure that all children receive a quality Christian education.
MR. JOSH RUMPSA
SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
I graduated from Hope College in 2004 earning a B.A. with majors in both Biology and History. Following graduation, I spent a year in the
Czech Republic as a missionary where I served an American Football team as a player/coach and also taught English in a variety of settings. In 2006 I was hired into the Holland Christian family as a teacher in the Social Studies Department and have also coached football, basketball, track, and legislative debate. I enjoy historical board games or books that challenge me with how I approach the world. I have been blessed to travel, including trips to Bangladesh, South Africa, New Orleans, and Costa Rica. Three of those trips involved leading HC students.
In August of 2009 I married my love, Kim. We own a home near Washington square here in Holland and together enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, racquetball, sledding, etc… anything active. In 2013 we were licensed as foster parents and through that have adopted our five beautiful daughters: Teeyana (3), Novi (5), Dee (7), Khee (9), and Selena (12). We have a fun, loud, active home! We have also hosted four international students that attended HCHS.
Harry S. Truman often suggested that all the problems we face today could be understood if we look to the history we do not know. I believe in the importance of history and am excited to be teaching it. I believe that God has had His hand guiding all of human history and I respect and honor the people who have stood up courageously against all forms of tyranny in our world. I hope that with parents, the school, and my efforts, the students at Holland Christian will be molded into Christians who love Jesus, serve others, and are willing to go into the world as examples and leaders, showing God’s love to all. I leave you with this Anne Frank quote: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
MR. BRYANT RUSS
I have the privilege of teaching high school Bible. It is a joy being able to communicate and demonstrate God’s good heart through the
teaching of God’s Word. Seriously, this job rocks.
I graduated from Hope College in 2011 with a degree in English Education and Biblical Studies. My wonderful wife is a nurse in Zeeland (feel the zeel!) where we live with our two dogs, Annie and Piper. I have been a huge Holland Christian fan ever since college when I was blessed to learn from some excellent HC teachers while studying to be a teacher myself. It is now an honor to be part of such a wonderful team of dedicated teachers.
MISS SARA SANCHEZ
SPANISH IMMERSION TEACHER
Born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, I attended a bilingual, Christian school very similar to Holland Christian. After a couple of random
connections to Michigan, I decided to exchange the lovely tropical weather for the wintery wonderland, so I moved to Holland for college.
I graduated from Hope College in May 2014 with a B.A. in Secondary English Education and Psychology Education. At Hope, I had my own radio show—“Morning Tea with Sara Sanchez,” studied abroad in Vienna and Liverpool, led a Bible study, and formed part of the Hope College Concert Series. I had four fantastic years. During my teacher preparation, I had a field placement at HC and fell in love with the culture. I ended up doing my student teaching at Holland Christian and learning in abundance from the amazing teachers.
Honored and humbled to be part of this fantastic school, I’m looking forward to gazing at the goodness of the Lord through a beautiful passage showing glimpses of Shalom or the intricacies of the brain. I believe in education of the whole person as a means to a deeper knowledge of God because as the apostle Paul writes to the Colossian Christians, “[Christ] is before all things, and in him all things hold together” Colossians 1:17.
MR. GREG SCHEMPER
FILM & ENGLISH TEACHER
I graduated from Calvin College in 2000 with a teaching degree in English and biology and then moved to Southern California, where I
taught 2 years at Ontario Christian High in Ontario, California; three years at John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California; and earned a Masters of Professional Writing in poetry and film at USC.
In 2006, we moved here to Holland. While we miss the sunshine of Southern California, we feel blessed to be part of Holland Christian, where I teach American Literature, Communications, Film Studies, and Film Production I & II. My wife, Sarah, and I have been married since December 2002, and we have two daughters, Kate and Elia, who both attend Zeeland Christian. Our family attends Faith CRC.
In American culture, which grows ever more sophisticated and often equates truth with being nice or with whatever feels good, it’s often difficult to recognize the lives Christ would have us lead. Through studying and teaching literature, writing, communications, and film, I aim to help my students better see that Jesus calls us to the most exciting of all possible lifestyles. And that through our individual gifts–whether they be in music, art, engineering, or accounting–deep joy is found in using these gifts to be agents of change for Christ.
MRS. REBEKAH SCHIPPER
WORLD CULTURES TEACHER &
INSTRUCTIONAL & TECHNOLOGY COACH
I graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio in 2004 with a B.A. in English
and a minor in African Studies. From 2004-2006, at Freedom Village in Marketing and Sales, and from 2006-2007, I worked at Hope College as the Coordinator of Student Activities. From there I went on to pursue my Masters in Education at Aquinas College, which I received in summer of 2012. I joined the Holland Christian faculty in the fall of 2009. I teach in the English department and the History department: English 9 and World Cultures. I am also the Instructional and Technology Coach at the high school.
I have been married to my husband Nate since 2004, and we have a daughter Eva who was born in September 2010 and a son Elias who was born in January 2013. We live in Holland and are members of Third Reformed Church, where Nate serves as the Pastor of Emerging Adults, Youth, and Outreach. Being a parent has definitely redefined teaching for me, and every day I’m thankful for the parents who have entrusted their children to my hands.
I believe that God created humans to be learners, and therefore, I believe that learning is core to who we are as followers of Christ. I believe good teaching begins with intentional relationship building. I am committed to knowing the uniqueness of every student in my class; what excites them, what moves them, and how they learn best, and I strive to make my classroom a place where I step aside and let students drive the boat of learning. If you want to get me excited, start talking to me about Project Based Learning and Writer’s and Reader’s Workshop. I love teaching, I love learning, so I think I’m where God has intended me to be.
MR. MATT SCHMIDT
I’m so happy to be a teacher at Holland Christian High School, teaching my favorite subject: Bible. I grew up in Indiana, graduated from Hope
College in 2008 with a B.A. in English Literature, and attended Western Theological Seminary where I earned a Masters of Divinity. I’m ordained in the Reformed Church in America (RCA). After graduating from seminary, I taught at Chicago Christian High School, and I most recently served as the called and installed Associate Pastor of Faith Formation at the Presbyterian Church of Western Springs. My spouse, Hillary, and I are glad to be back in a place that feels like home: pure Michigan.
I love the Bible and am so excited to share that enthusiasm with the students of Holland Christian. I’m passionate about walking alongside people as they grow in their faith. Watching someone’s heart be shaped by the living God, towards love and justice, towards the grace and mercy of Jesus, is a joy beyond measure. After faith and family, I am also a big fan of Michigan Football. Go Blue!
MR. ELLIOT SLENK
ART TEACHER & ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT ASSISTANT
I received my B.A. in Art Education from Grand Valley State University. Prior to teaching at Holland Christian, I spent time volunteering
at La Escuela Cristiana El Puente, located in Quepos, Costa Rica. There I taught elementary art and physical education.
Along with teaching art, I enjoy serving as the Holland Christian Girl’s Varsity Soccer Coach in the Spring and as the Assistant Coach for the Hope College Women’s Soccer team in the Fall. My wife Jamie and I were married on July 11, 2015 and we currently reside in Graafschap, MI.
Since working at Holland Christian, I have been blessed by the community that encourages excellence alongside of Christian growth. I am excited to teach art and help students create, while encouraging them to always recognize the ultimate Creator God.
MRS. JAMIE SLENK
I graduated from Hope College in May 2012 with a B.A., certificate in K-12 Spanish Education, and a minor in Organizational Leadership
Practice from the Center for Faithful Leadership. I also am currently in pursuit of my MAT at Aquinas. During my years at Hope College, I spent time abroad in Querétaro, which is Holland’s sister city in Mexico. While there, I studied at the UAQ (Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro) and taught high school English at Vanguardia Educativa. Later, I spent some time living in Barcelona, Spain. While there, I took classes through IES Abroad and taught English for a non-profit organization that supports Latin American immigrants in Catalonia. God ignited my passion for the Spanish culture and called me to my vocation in teaching while doing mission work in Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala. I could not be more excited and blessed for the opportunity to be a part of the Holland Christian community.
I was born and raised in Naperville, Illinois, and am the youngest of a family of four. This past summer, my husband Elliot (who also teaches at the high school) and I got married in Holland and are now happily residing in Graafschap. We both love HC, coaching, and our dogs, Maya and Red.
It is my purpose and calling as a teacher to walk in faith with my students as well as my brothers and sisters in Christ. Being a part of a Christian education system allows us to pursue a learning that is ordered by Christ, where together we may realize and use our individual gifts and capacities in order to grow both the Kingdom of God and ourselves. I believe that learning a second or third language can only catalyze this process of better understanding the world and people around us in order to live well and faithfully.
MR. SAM SPORTEL
I graduated from Calvin College in December of 2007 with an Integrated Science major and Biology minor for secondary education. I then
acted as a research assistant and science instructor for an NSF program for middle school students at Calvin College. I spent the year of 2008 working at Calvin College as a research associate in science education and I spent the summers of 2007 – 2010 researching the scientific reasoning strategies of middle school students. In 2013, I completed my masters program in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in science education through Calvin College.
My wife, Katie, is currently a stay at home mother with our three children Jack, Grace, and Chloe. We enjoy hiking, camping, and just generally being outdoors. One of our goals is to visit all the national parks in the United States. We currently live on the south side of Holland and are members of Providence Church.
I have the unique opportunity to integrate my faith into teaching science. In science, we look at creation in its amazing intricacy as well as its simplicity. I believe students are all unique creations of God and need to be treated as such in and out of the classroom. I also believe that science content is not necessarily the most important thing I will be teaching them. Developing the students themselves is the ultimate goal. I am here to love my students, to be patient with them, and to help them grow in grace, knowledge of God, and knowledge of His creation.
MRS. CRYSTAL STRICKLAND
PHYSICAL EDUCATION & HEALTH TEACHER
I graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2009 with a degree in physical education and elementary education. While at Grand Valley
I was on the women’s basketball team for 4 years. I also participated in intramural volleyball, Athletes who Care, and Athletes in Action. In 2012 I got my minor in health education from Calvin College. I currently teach freshman health and physical education and I am the girls varsity basketball coach.
I got married to my husband Joel in the summer of 2012. We attend Thornapple Vally Church in Middleville, where my husband is the campus pastor. In our spare time we enjoy beach volleyball, tennis, Spikeball, pickleball, rollerblading, biking, and being active! In March, 2015 my husband and I became licensed foster parents and currently have two sons who are 1 and 2. They are very active boys and are awesome additions to our family!
It is such a blessing and privilege to teach and coach at Holland Christian. I enjoy learning how to motivate each student and finding out what each of their unique gifts and passions are. I am passionate about teaching students about their health and how to live healthy,active lifestyles now and in the future. I strive to teach students how to make a difference in their lives, the lives of others, and in their communities.
career began at Sunnyside Christian Schools in Sunnyside, Washington, where I taught band and choir for five years. Most recently, I was director of instrumental music for four years at Valley Christian High School in Cerritos, California. I have been at Holland Christian since 2007.
My wife Susan and I were married in July of 2003 and have 2 daughters, Ella and Charlotte, and a son, Abram. I am originally from Iowa where my family still lives. My wife’s family is in Kalamazoo. Aside from music, I enjoy hiking, playing tennis, and reading.
God has placed us in a world with the raw materials of music “pitch, resonance, and time” and has given each of us image-bearers the ability to create music. We respond by praising God for this wonderful gift and by using this gift to create music that is true, noble, right, pure lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Band, Jazz Band, and Orchestra are classes with the goal of creating music that meets this criteria and appreciating how others have used their creative abilities to develop and enhance music in history.
MRS. JANE VANDERBEEK
In 1994 I graduated with a B.A. in Spanish and a secondary education certification from Calvin College. In 1999 I completed a Master’s
of Teaching Languages degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, although all the coursework and studies took place over three summers in Morelia, Mexico. I began teaching at HCHS in 1994, and I have taught all four levels of Spanish over the years. I am very grateful that HC has granted me two leaves of absences. During the ’03-’04 school year my family lived for a year in Morelia, Mexico where my husband and I volunteered at Centro Victoria de la Roca, a Christian home for adolescent street girls and girls from troubled families. During the 2012-2013 school year, our family lived in Quepos, Costa Rica where my husband and I volunteered at El Puente Christian School.
My husband, George, and I have three children who are in the Spanish Immersion program at Zeeland Christian School and the SI maintenance program at HCHS. We are members of Maple Avenue Ministries in Holland.
I desire for my students to see the beauty of God’s diverse creation. I want them to grow in their awareness, knowledge, and respect for Spanish speakers and the many cultures represented throughout the Spanish-speaking world. By learning another language such as Spanish, our students can be a blessing to others who speak Spanish in our own community or as a blessing in other countries if God gives them the opportunity to travel abroad.
MRS. CHARITY VANDERLAAN
COUNSELING DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
I grew up in a large family–a loving and slightly zany Christian family. That’s why one of the things
Christian is that sense of being a part of a big Christian family: the love and support from within the Holland Christian community is unparalleled to any other educational or work setting of which I have been a part. When our daughter had her first open heart surgery, the parents of our son’s classmates sent us cards, bought her gifts, made us meals and gave us gift cards to local restaurants. When she had her second surgery, her 4th grade teacher had her classmates diligently write comforting comments online for her, sent homemade cards from the class, and visited us at home with homework so she did not fall behind. These actions were Christ-like for us in a difficult time, but what makes Holland Christian special is that these occur everyday within the HC community as an effort to live out our faith and impact the world for Christ.
I attended public school from K-12 on the east side of the state and then graduated from Calvin College (where I met my husband Jeff and in turn obtained a Dutch last name) with a degree in Classical Civilization. After being home much of the time caring for our four children, who are all currently attending HC schools, I was blessed to begin working in the counseling department at Holland Christian High School, assisting the two counselors who work hard to serve our students.
I love knowing that everything the staff does, and everything the students are learning, is bathed in the light and knowledge that we are not our own, but belong body and soul, in life and in death, to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ. There is nothing more beautiful during a work day for me than to walk down the hall and hear our high school students gathered together in the auditorium singing about our great and faithful God.
REV. RAYNARD VANDERLAAN
My wife, Esther, and I have four adult married children, all of whom have children. Three of our kids graduated from Holland Christian.
My preaching and teaching ministry has been well received because of its unique focus on the Bible in historical and cultural context. This perspective on the Bible highlights God’s call for Christians to be a transforming influence on their culture. I do not view myself first as a scholar in the area of Jewish culture and archaeology. I have established a knowledge base in this area by studying the scholarship of others. My gifts, expertise, and my calling are to link that cultural information and the Bible so that the message applies to our lives today.
MRS. MELISSA VANDERZWAAG
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES ASSISTANT
In 2007, I graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in Special Education and Elementary
at Holland Christian I was hired as the ESS Life Skills Job Coach in 2007 as well as being a Classroom Assistant. I continued job coaching for 5 years. I have since then continued working as a Classroom Assistant and Teacher Assistant. Working with students on their life skills lessons, general education class work and helping to make modifications so that they can learn to the best of their ability is a passion of mine. Since 2008 I have also enjoyed teaching a 5 week program each summer for Ready For Life at Hope College. The program works with young adults with disabilities high school age and older on having a Christ- centered, educational, and fun summer.
My husband, Jim, and I were married in 2007. We have been blessed with two sons, Levi and Elliot. We enjoy spending lots of time with family and friends as well as being outdoors. We love being involved at Ridge Point Community Church, and sharing God’s creation with our children.
I love being a part of Holland Christian. It is wonderful to be in a Christian School setting where I can share my love of Christ with others around me. I believe that God created each student in a very unique way. Each student has many abilities and gifts to share. My passion is to help students further their abilities so that each of them can find an appreciation for God’s creation and their life.
MRS. PAM VANDEVUSSE
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES JOB COACH
I went to Holland Christian followed by Calvin College and Davenport College for a business degree until I had kids. I have volunteered
in the elementary schools, and enjoy being around kids. My husband and I have 3 girls, all at HC. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and enjoying the outdoors that God has created for us.
God has given me this great opportunity to be involved with students at Holland Christian. I enjoy being able to express and live out my faith, as well as encouraging students to do the same. Encouraging kids to be themselves and be that special someone who God created them to be.
MRS. KELLI VANEERDEN
I graduated from Holland Christian High School in 1989 and Calvin College in 1993, with a major in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor
My husband Chris and I were married in 1994 and we have two children, Jordan and Cameron, who are presently in the HC school system. We are members of Providence Christian Reformed Church where I am active with praise team and am the Hospitality Coordinator for our coffee hour. As a family we love to camp, play and watch sports, and enjoy all of the beautiful Lake Michigan beaches.
I am so happy to be part of the Holland Christian family. I am often overwhelmed by the privilege of working with such quality staff, students, and an amazing facility. The students at HC continue to impress me with their incredible personalities, gifts, and their love of our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope that I can help students understand what a beautiful and important foundation Holland Christian will be in their lives. My goal is to be a positive and encouraging part of their daily experience at HC.
MR. MIKE VERKAIK
I graduated from Calvin College in 1983, with a B.A. in Math Education. I have taught in various parts of the country. My first teaching position
was teaching math and a variety of other subjects at Everett Christian School in Everett, WA. I also taught mathematics at Whitinsville Christian in Whitinsville, MA; Pine Rest Christian Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI; and Central Valley Christian in Visalia, CA before joining the HCHS staff in 1997. I received my Master’s degree from Western Michigan University in 1994, and began working for the Core Plus Mathematics Project as an editor of teacher notes.
While teaching in Massachusetts, I met my wife, Dawn. We have been married since 1989 and have four children. Our oldest daughter, Carissa, graduated from Holland Christian and is a sophomore at Calvin College. My next two daughters, Breanna (senior) and Kally (junior), both attend Holland Christian High School. Our youngest, Chad, is a 6th grader at Zeeland Christian. As a family we enjoy our time together at home, traveling or camping. We are members of Haven Christian Reformed Church in Zeeland.
I enjoy the opportunities I have to make an impact in High School students’ lives. I love teaching math and challenging kids to solve problems and become inquisitive learners. But, there is so much more that goes on in the classroom. Hearing students communicating and working together to develop and verify conjectures is something to behold. Even more sweet is how God can be glorified through student differences, ideas, and conclusions. Students get an opportunity to look not only to their own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:4). As Christians, we are called to continue to redeem the world, and we can use our data and predictions to bring help to the needy and cures for the sick and suffering. Teaching math is a joy for me, but only because it is more than numbers and symbols. It is moments that I can share my story and faith with the students I come in contact with and assist them in becoming humble servants of our Savior and Lord.
MS. BRIANNA WIMMER
SPANISH & ENGLISH TEACHER
I graduated from Calvin College in December 2012 (I loved it so much after 4 years that I decided to go back for an extra semester!) with a
certificate in 7-12 teaching, a major in Spanish and a minor in English. During my time at Calvin, I had the opportunity to spend a semester living in México, where I lived with a family and took classes at La Universidad Modelo in Mérida, Yucatán. It was there that my interest in Spanish became a passion for language and love for the people who speak it.
I was born in Casper, Wyoming, and I still have a love for wide open spaces, 80 mph speed limits, and mountains. My family ended up in Michigan by the time I was in high school, which is how I got excited about Calvin. I did my student teaching and a few long-term sub jobs at Holland Christian High School, and these experiences really confirmed my vocation to me. I have taught Spanish for four years, and I am thrilled to be teaching English as well this year. It’s so fun to get to know students in either their first or second language, and to watch inhibitions come down as we laugh and sing and tell stories and learn about not only language, but also other groups of our Father’s children.
I have recently relocated to Holland and I attend Engedi Church. In my free time, I love to run, read, eat, and get really good Chaco tan lines. In addition to teaching, I coach cross country and track at the Middle School and lead YoungLife at the High School. I love getting to know students in a variety of environments, and it’s so fun to watch God move in and through these young people in the classroom, around the track, and in life.
MR. RON WOLTERS
I have been a member of Holland Christian for 20 years serving in the maintenance department for the entire school system. Prior to working
at Holland Christian, I worked at a Used Car Lot.
After graduating from Holland High School, Class of 1973, I married my wife Sue, HC alumna Class of 1974. We have two children, both Holland Christian graduates, and have one grandchild. I enjoy hunting, fishing and golfing.
I feel blessed to work at a school where faith is fully enveloped in everything that is done.
MRS. TORI YOUNT
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES HEALTH CARE ASSISTANT
I graduated from Holland Christian in 1993 and from there went on to get my CDA
from Muskegon Community College. I began working at Holland Christian in the fall of 2010. My husband Matt and I have three children, two of which attend the high school and one attends the middle school. We belong to VictoryPoint Ministries where my husband is one of the pastors.
I loved attending Holland Christian and I love working here now. Attending chapel is a highlight of my week watching students lifting up their arms in praise to their heavenly father. I am blessed to be able to work with the students of Holland Christian and get to know them for who they are, children of God.
MR. CHRIS CASEY
TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT SPECIALIST
After graduating from high school in northern California back in the early ’90s, and loving all things mechanical, I trained to be a heavy
equipment mechanic. I planned to spend my work life repairing every elementary boy’s favorite large heavy machinery, especially the super sized dirt scrapers and front end loaders. However, when I was all set to move to North Carolina to work as a heavy machinery mechanic, while enroute, I learned that the job had dissolved. Instead I ended up in Holland, because Holland was a whole lot more exciting than my buddy’s hometown of Pullman, Michigan.
At first I worked as a manager for Valvoline, and slowly got into computers and IT. While later working at Elan Technologies in Indianapolis, I got my Apple certification (ACMF) and decided I liked working in air conditioning on computers, rather than getting hydraulic oil dripped all over me. It was there I met Charlie Piffer, and when he began working at HCS, he invited me to come along. I enjoy working with the great students at Holland Christian; after hours I hang out with my six-year-old son, and golf whenever I can!