/ MIDDLE SCHOOL STAFF
MS. MERIDETH BEUKELMAN
I grew up in the Holland Christian school system, and graduated from the high school in 2009. I then went on to Calvin College to study
secondary education, where I graduated in 2014 with a major in Earth/Space science, and a minor in Biology. During my time at Calvin, I was frequently spotted at Holland Christian High School helping coach the forensics team, leading theatre workshops, directing shows, and eventually working part-time as the theatre director during the 2013-14 school year.
After graduating from Calvin I felt God calling me to trade West Michigan for the Black Forest of Germany, where I served for two years as a middle school science teacher. Black Forest Academy is an international school geared towards serving the children of missionary families, so I had the opportunity to spend my days with some incredible kids from every corner of the world.
Once my second year at Black Forest Academy was finished I moved to Dublin, Ireland, where I attended University College Dublin to obtain my Masters degree. Over my two years in Ireland, I completed a research study on 21st century learning environments, received my M.A. in Education, fell in love with Ireland, and fell in love IN Ireland with my soon-to-be husband, Andrew.
I feel excited and incredibly blessed to be returning to Holland Christian and working with middle schoolers again! Getting the opportunity to learn and do science alongside young people, while continually encountering and learning more about the greatness and love of our Creator is the best job in the whole world, and I am humbled that I get the chance to do it every day.
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 three kids, Parker, Adeline, and Elliot. 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.
MRS. RUTH BUSSCHER
MEDIA CENTER ASSISTANT
My husband, Mark, and I have four children, Nathan, Jill, Jacob, and Abigail, all of whom have graduated from Holland Christian Schools.
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.
Christian for eight years before choosing to stay home to raise our sons. In 2009 I received my Pastoral Counseling Certification from Western Seminary and worked as a counselor at Providence CRC for three years. Most recently I have taught 2nd-6th grades for the Holland Christian Homeschool Connection.
My husband, Dave, and I met at Calvin College and married in 1989. We are the parents of six sons. Our older four have all graduated from HC, and our younger two are students at Pine Ridge. We are grateful for the HC community and how it has poured into our family over many years. I am excited to be able to pour into my students in the same way. I’ve always told my students that the two most important things to know about me are that I love Jesus, and I love teaching. My prayer is that these two things will be very evident as I spend time with students at the Middle School each day. I want my students to feel known and valued. I love working with students to help them see that they are created in God’s image, and that challenges and weaknesses can be used for His glory.
Outside of teaching I love baking, curling up with a book, drinking a good cup (or several cups!) of coffee, and cheering for the Detroit Tigers (sad, but true!). I am excited to see how God works in my life and in the lives of my students in the coming year! Zeph. 3:17: “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
MRS. SUSAN DOZEMAN
I am a Calvin graduate with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Business Administration. I have enjoyed working at various jobs in the
business community and working with my husband at our business.
My husband Mike and I have 3 daughters, Laura, Melissa, and Hannah. As of this May, all our daughters are graduates of HCHS. Our oldest daughter, Laura, is working at The Image Group in Holland, MI. Our second daughter, Melissa, is a recent graduate from Liberty University and is working in the Christian movie industry and Hannah is a freshman at Liberty University and is seeking God’s guidance for her major. We attend and volunteer at Engedi Church, helping with their hospitality, food and new mom ministries. I enjoy music, theatre, and most sports (most recently biking).
I believe that education is not just about math and science. It is so much more. I believe that having a rock solid basis in God’s Word is the best foundation for our children and I love how our Christian school system teaches and empowers our children to live every day for Christ and to change the world for Him.
MRS. DEB FEENSTRA
After serving for 30 years as a teacher and administrator with Holland Public schools, it is an honor to become part of the Holland
Christian family! I graduated from Hope College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and a teaching certificate for K-8 instruction and then continued my studies at GVSU and completed Masters Degrees in Early Childhood Education and in Educational Leadership. During my time at Holland Public my family was given the opportunity to serve as missionaries through the Reformed Church in America in Chiapas, Mexico so I took a leave of absence and we moved to Chiapas where we spent the next six years serving alongside of and learning from our Mayan Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
God has blessed me with an amazing husband! We have been married for forty years and have two wonderful daughters. Our oldest daughter is married to an amazing man and they have three wonderful children. Becoming grandparents has been the greatest joy in our lives! Our younger daughter was born with special abilities and needs and “graduated” from the ESS program at Holland Christian in 2008. We will be forever thankful for the acceptance, love and support she received from the staff and students at Holland Christian who wrapped her in Christian love.
My prayer is that as I serve at Holland Christian, with God’s help, a true sense of Christian Community is established where each staff member and student is equally valued, accepted and celebrated for the person that God created them to be as they grow both spiritually and academically. One of my favorite Bible verses is Micah 6:8 (NIV): “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
MR. SAM FOX
LANGUAGE ARTS & LITERATURE TEACHER
I graduated from Calvin College in 2012 with a degree in Secondary Education with a major in English and a minor in History. During the
end of my educational career, I had the amazing opportunity to student teach at Holland Christian High School. This experience cemented my belief that God was calling me to the field of teaching. I am incredibly excited to be teaching at Holland Christian Middle School.
I am married to the love my life, Heather. I am the youngest of four children with one older brother and two older sisters. My brother is married with children of his own. My oldest sister is a nurse here in Holland, and is recently married. My second sister is pursuing her PhD at Michigan State University. My parents live in Fremont, MI. I attend Engedi Church here in Holland. I love to read and enjoy writing. I also play guitar, and I rarely pass up the opportunity to play a wide variety of sports.
Christian education has been an integral piece of my life. From a young age, I have reaped the benefits of teachers and schools that see me not only as a student, but also as a child of God, made in His image. The opportunity to pass this blessing on to the next generation of students is a major motivating factor for me as a teacher. I want my students to be blessed and challenged as they grow as students, Christians, and human beings.
MRS. JENNY GEUDER
ART & LITERATURE TEACHER
I graduated from Unity Christian High School and from Calvin College with a B.A. in Art Education and minor in Art. I received my
Master’s in Education in 2011. I taught Art at Straight Elementary School for K-1st grades until 2004/05. I have taught Art at Rose Park Elementary and the Middle School since the 2004/2005 school year. Currently, I teach 5-8th grade Art and 8th grade Literature.
I married Mark Geuder in 2004, and we live in a little house in Zeeland with two Beagles and two Siberian cats. We had our second son in June! Exciting! We attend church at Community Reformed Church in Zeeland. I love gardening, reading, and traveling. Every other year I chaperone a group of students to Europe, expanding their world-views with new cultures, historical sites, languages, and foods.
I really hope to inspire an appreciation for the beauty of God’s creation in my students. It is impossible not to see the hand of our Creator everywhere around us. Our act of creation in the arts is a reflection of our Creator and becomes a way to praise Him and grow in our relationship with the Father. Art is also about teaching an understanding and respect for how other people see, think, and express themselves all over the globe and throughout history. I love art, and I hope my enthusiasm will be picked up by my students. I want students to succeed and I believe all students can, if they are inspired or if they find something interesting or applicable to their own lives. I hope to make art a part of their lives as they find their place in the world outside school.
MR. TIM HAIG
MATH, BIBLE, IMAGE BEARERS TEACHER
I attended Calvin College and graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics in 2004. After graduating I moved to Pittsburgh where I was on staff at West
Church as the director of Worship and the Arts and director of Children’s Ministries for five years. I have just recently finished my Masters in Teaching from Liberty University.
My wife, Christy, and I have three young children who keep us busy and laughing. We currently attend The Oasis Church in Byron Center where Christy volunteers in the nursery and I play drums and guitar (not at the same time) on the worship team. Our oldest son, Michael, and I both enjoy stacking cups competitively. Michael holds 3 world records in his age division and I hold 5 national records in my age division.
Growing up I attended Christian schools and appreciated the integration of faith and learning as a student. I believe that learning is a life-long endeavor as we seek to be life-long followers of Jesus. In the classroom I promote curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, and community as we learn to reflect the image of our Creator.
MR. DIRK HOLLEBEEK
I grew up in the area, having been born and raised in Grand Rapids before graduating from Hope College in 1995 with a B.A. in English
and Social Studies. After that time, I taught middle school for two years in Michigan before leaving the area to teach at Rehoboth Christian High School in Gallup, New Mexico. At Rehoboth, I taught English, Social Studies, Bible, Woodworking, Typing, and pretty much any course with the exclusion of Math and Science. I even subbed for Band a few times but that was less than productive. In 2007, I earned a Master of Arts in Counseling from the Western New Mexico University and choose to use that degree in the Gallup-McKinley County Schools system where I served as a middle school and elementary school counselor before becoming an administrator upon the completion of my Master of Education degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.
My wife, Stacey, and I have three children who all attend Holland Christian. Stacey and I actually met while riding bikes, so it is no surprise that our children enjoy that as well. We are looking forward to enjoying all that Western Michigan has to offer in the great outdoors–both with and without snow.
Stacey and I were active in our community of Gallup, New Mexico both professionally and personally, and we look forward to mirroring that here in Holland, MI.
I am excited to be working with a dedicated, Christ-centered staff that cares about kids. Creating environments that foster positive relationships has been a passion of mine as a teacher, counselor and now as an administrator. It is my professional privilege to be working alongside the staff and parents of the Holland Christian Middle School students as we all seek to equip and nurture them for a life of service dedicated to transforming our world for Christ.
MRS. ERIN JOHNSON
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
In 2016, I graduated from Hope College with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Special Education and Elementary Education. Originally from the
northwest suburbs of Chicago, I grew up with a younger brother who has the gift of Down syndrome. He is my best friend. From a young age, my relationship with him inspired a heart for individuals with diverse learning needs, and I am eager to share this love with my students.
My husband and I are members at Pillar Church in Holland, and we are eager to be starting our lives as a married couple in the welcoming atmosphere of West Michigan. In my free time, I love to read, paint, play board games, go to the beach, and run. I ran my first marathon this past year! I enjoy spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling. My two most favorite destinations are Disney World (fun fact: I worked there in college!) and China. I have spent several summers serving orphaned, disabled children in China, and I have fallen in love with the people and culture of the nation. I believe God’s heart beats for all the world, and I am so blessed to have family on the other side of the ocean.
I am continuously in awe of the Father’s love for us! The faithfulness of Jesus has transformed my life. He is the creator, sustainer, healer, and provider. I know that God has a purpose for each and every life He creates, and I am so excited to uncover the gifts He’s given my students. I consider it a great honor to love and serve God’s children. I do not take that honor lightly. It is my goal to meet my students’ needs so they can learn in a way that’s best geared for helping each of them reach their God-given potential. I hope to build my students up in Biblical truth and a heart of joyful service unto the Lord. As it says in Ephesians 3:17-18 – “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the Lord’s Holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ – I desire for my students to understand how deeply they are loved. With a knowledge of this love, they will do great things within the walls of Holland Christian and beyond!
MR. BOB KOOL
SOCIAL STUDIES & LITERATURE TEACHER
I graduated from South Christian High School in 1974 and attended Calvin College. I earned a B.A. in English, a minor in American History,
and a secondary education degree. In 1984 I graduated from Western Michigan University with a Master’s degree in Library Science Administration. I’ve taught at HC my entire teaching career. I have coached track, basketball, drama, and now enjoy coaching football in the middle school.
Mary and I have three daughters. We attend Park CRC.
Christian education has been a part of my life since birth. Both of my parents worked in Christian education, my father as a principal for 40 years. I can’t remember not being part of Christian education. I have always wanted to bring the story of redemption to young people, teaching to look at life through the spectacles of scripture. Christ is king over all.
MR. JOEL LEEGWATER
P.E. TEACHER & ATHLETIC DIRECTOR
I was born and raised in Holland and was blessed with an education from Holland Christian where I graduated in 1998. After one
semester at Calvin College, I decided to join the United States Marine Corps and served six years in the reserves and spent a tour in Iraq in 2003. During that time I completed my degree in Physical Education and Health from Calvin College. I also completed my Masters at Western Michigan University.
My amazing wife Leslie and I have two wonderful children, Nick and Lydia. We enjoy going outside and being active, finding fun and adventurous ways to spend time together.
The Lord has called me to be a teacher. My vision for Physical Education starts with the core understanding that our bodies are miraculous gifts from God. Physical Education is an excellent and essential way of seeing the Lord through ways that are not always attainable in a regular classroom setting. This is the student’s opportunity to see God through themselves by learning through the physical.
“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
MRS. SHELLY LEYS
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
I am an HCHS grad and attended Calvin College for Elementary Education with Math and Science minors. I married my husband, Jeff,
in 1992 while still in college and we moved to Zeeland in 1995 with our then two young children.
My husband, Jeff, and I now have six children and a daughter-in-law. We homeschooled our children for 12 years before enrolling them in ZCS and HCHS, which have both been wonderful blessings for our family. Our family calls Harderwyk Ministries our church home. We enjoy spending time with our family playing wiffle ball in the backyard, attending Cubs games at Wrigley Field, hiking in the National Parks, reading novels, and rejuvenating at the beach.
I love finding ways to help all students reach academic success. God has uniquely gifted each of us and I want students to deeply understand that “different” is not “less than.” I so often think of this quote by E. Stanley Jones, “Faith is not a belief that everything will turn out to please us; rather it is the confidence that no matter how things turn out, God will somehow use the events in our days for His glory and our good.” I believe God uses our struggles and difficulties, academic or otherwise, to shape us and to point others to Him. I enjoy walking alongside each student and watching them grow more and more into who God created them to be. I love each of the students at HCMS – they are sweet, loving, funny, and delightful children of the King. It is a joy and a privilege to work with them.
MRS. LISA LUNDY
LANGUAGE ARTS TEACHER
I graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in Secondary Education with a focus on World History, Social Studies and Religion. My
Masters work is also from Calvin in K-12 Literacy. My teaching career began in Illinois at Timothy Christian and continued at Jenison Christian when I moved back to Michigan.
My husband Eric and I have two daughters and are members at Alger Park CRC. Eric is a product design engineer at Gentex. In my spare time I love anything that has to do with our daughters, hiking with our boxer dog, playing volleyball or reading a good book.
I am most enthusiastic to meet and get to know my students, they are the best part of teaching! I can’t wait to get to know their passions and also their areas that need growth, so we can work together to prepare them properly for high school. It will be a joy to show them how to explore the world through reading, and express themselves through writing. My relationship with Jesus Christ is an ongoing journey to be more like Him. I am fully confident that my life would be incomplete without His presence with me.
There is a treasure in Jesus to be found, and I want the students I teach to experience Him. I know I am a small portion in the plan God has for the students in my life, and I feel blessed to be a part of their spiritual journey.
MRS. SHEILA MEISTE
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
I attended Holland Christian Schools and upon graduation worked as a secretary for Thermotron Corporation and Hamilton Farm
Bureau. In 1992, I was elected Heath Township Clerk and continue to be re-elected. After staying home to raise our three children, I became a Para-professional at Holland Christian Middle School.
My husband Leon and I are loving being “empty nesters”! We have a married daughter, two single sons, and one beautiful grand baby! We are members at Christ Memorial and our passion is volunteering with the youth and serving on mission trips.
I absolutely love working with pre-teens and teenagers! Their zest for life, struggles and accomplishments encourage me in my life. Daily I want to help each student see by sharing our faith, no matter how small or large, each one of us can influence others in the school, community and the world.
MR. KYLE NESTER
I graduated from Alma College in 2004 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree. After a long-term substitute teacher position
in Fremont, Michigan I taught 5th – 12th grade orchestra at Chippewa Hills School District for seven years. After my wonderful wife Andrea finished her law degree at Michigan State University, our Lord led us to live and work in West Michigan. I started teaching at Holland Christian in 2012 and Andrea is currently employed in a law firm in downtown Grand Rapids.
Andrea and I enjoy running races, enjoying nature, playing music, traveling, and spending time together. We have three “interesting” cats and a planted freshwater fish tank.
Music is one of many wonderful gifts that God has given us. In my teaching, I strive to give the students of Holland Christian the tools, guidance, and inspiration they need to become competent, complete musicians who can fully appreciate and share our Lord’s gift of music. Together we bring praise, honor, and glory to His Name.
“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” – Martin Luther
MR. DALE RIBBENS
I was born and raised in Holland, MI. I graduated from Holland Christian in 1977 and then graduated from Aquinas College with a
B.A. in 1987. I worked at Herman Miller from 1980-2000. I then came to Holland Christian High School for two years before moving to the Middle School in 2002 where I have been since.
I married my high school sweetheart, Kristie Ribbens, in June 1980. Kris works for a local daycare center, Lakeshore Little Peoples Place. We have three children. I love to spend time with my family and also enjoy any type of sports and collecting sports memorabilia.
I believe that every job has its importance, that a clean, well-maintained building is an asset to a school system. I believe that every child is important in God’s eyes and are special. Every child is entitled to love and respect from the adults that they encounter in their lives. I maintain an open door policy so students feel comfortable talking to me or just hanging out. I have the unique opportunity to not be a teacher or someone with great authority so the students feel very comfortable coming to me, sitting down and talking. I can listen, give direction or help with redirection of their lives, or even discuss solutions to solve their problems. I believe God has placed me here at the Middle School with the purpose of letting God’s love and light shine through my actions, words, and my whole being.
MISS KATELYN ROSKAMP
After growing up in Zeeland and attending Zeeland Christian for my early years, I graduated from Calvin Christian High School
in Grandville, Michigan. I then went on to attend Grand Valley State University where in 2013 I received a B.A. in Spanish and Psychology for Secondary Education. While attending GVSU I also had the opportunity to spend a semester in Sevilla, Spain where I fell in love with the Spanish language and culture. Upon graduation I began the job search not sure where God would lead me. After growing up in different Christian schools and being witness to the incredible value of Christian Education I was thrilled to begin my teaching career at Holland Christian Middle School in the Fall of 2013.
Outside of teaching I love to spending time with a people: friends, family, and students. I have a large blended family who I love to spend time with when I get a chance. I have been involved with Young Life for many years, and currently lead Wyld Life at HCMS. In addition I also enjoying coaching the JV Volleyball team here at HC, and enjoy spending hours in the gym with my team. I am also a big fan of a good book, a day at the beach, and the sunset!
The reason I enjoy teaching, coaching, and leading Wyld Life are all the same: I love students. I love getting to know them, hearing their stories, and doing life with them.
I currently have the privilege of working with Middle School students teaching them Spanish. Learning a second language can be a huge challenge, but comes with great reward! I know firsthand the time and effort it takes to learn a second language, but I have seen God work in tremendous ways through that. I am beyond excited to share that with my students.
MR. TODD SMEENGE
SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
I have a B.S. in Group Social Studies and Political Science and a Masters in Educational Leadership. I have been teaching
at Holland Christian since 2000. I am also the Boys Varsity Swimming Coach at the High School.
I am married to Ellen and we have three children, Janelle who is married to Matthew, Evan who is married to Shelby, and Annika who is a student at GVSU. Ellen works for Holland Hospital. We attend Providence Church.
I love teaching. I love teaching middle schoolers, and I love teaching Social Studies. In my class, each cultural story, each current event, each historical society gives a brief glimpse of God’s ongoing creative work in this world, our need for redemption, and a picture of what our world will look like again because Christ’s renewing work. I love giving kids the opportunity to explore the beauty and diversity of God’s creation and people.
MRS. JEANNETTE SMITH
I have a Master’s degree in Social Work from Grand Valley and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Dordt College. My experiences have
included working with adults and kids with developmental disabilities, school counseling/social work in various schools, family case-management, older-child/special needs adoption, home-based child and family counseling, outpatient counseling, and hospice social work. I am thrilled to have the privilege to work with middle school students at Holland Christian, as the 7th-8th grade school counselor!
My husband and I met at Dordt College and were married in 2005. We have lived in Southern California and in Jerusalem Israel and greatly value the experiences we’ve had in other parts of the world. We have lived in Holland for the past several years, and have two awesome, energetic little boys (Corben & Asher), who wake up running and jumping and keep going all day! We also have a lovely new born daughter, Ayla. We love our church family and have continued to be challenged in living out our love for Jesus and building intentional community with those around us. I love deep conversations, especially over a good cup of coffee (caramel latte, please!), exploring new cities, hiking, riding bikes, the farmer’s market, old houses, baking, crafting, starting all kinds of projects, gathering with friends, building community, and playing with my kids.
Christian education has been extremely influential in my own life and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at such an amazing place as Holland Christian Middle School, supporting and encouraging students. I believe that there is hope for any situation and that each student is valuable, purposefully created, and designed in the image of God. My passion is for students to understand and believe that they are seen and known by a God who cares deeply about the details of their lives. I love helping students grow to understand who they are because of who God says they are and because of who He is. I enjoy walking alongside students and listening to their hearts, praying with and for them, and equipping them with practical skills, tools, and techniques to solve problems, cope in healthy ways, and improve their ability to interact positively with others. It’s exciting for me to see students identify and live out their gifts and strengths as they learn how to make positive changes in their lives, their relationships, and the world around them. One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
MR. TOM STRIKWERDA
MATH & TECHNOLOGY TEACHER
I received my Bachelor’s degree from Calvin in 1987 and my Master’s degree from Concordia University in 1993. From 1987-1990, I taught
high school in Smithville, Ontario. I taught seventh grade at Timothy Christian School in Illinois from 1990-1995. I have taught seventh grade at Holland Christian ever since. I currently teach math at Holland Christian Middle School. I also coach boys soccer and coordinate ski club.
I am married to Karen Strikwerda, who teaches kindergarten at South Side. We have three amazing children. I love to play ice hockey, ski, bike, and camp. I’m a member of Calvary Christian Reformed Church.
I consider it an honor to teach middle school students. I enjoy their honesty, energy, and enthusiasm. I love sharing my faith in Christ with my students. In my classroom I provide a variety of activities because I believe that keeps middle school students engaged in learning. I enjoy teaching mathematics where my goal is to have each student experience success in the area of mathematics.
MRS. MICHELLE STYF
I graduated from Calvin College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology Secondary Education. In the summer of 2013, I completed
my Master’s Degree at Grand Valley State University. I taught at Valley Christian High School in California before coming to Holland Christian in 2005.
Andy and I were married in June of 2013. Our oldest son, Joel, was born in the summer of 2014, and our second son, Elijah, was born in the summer of 2017. We live in Zeeland and love spending time with family and friends. We are members of Haven Christian Reformed Church in Zeeland. I love to spend time out in God’s creation and really enjoy each of Michigan’s seasons. Some of my hobbies include gardening, hiking, and photography.
God created such an amazing world. He put us in charge of taking care of the things He created. Sadly, we often fail in the task He gave us. But, every day is a new day and we can try to do better in His strength. Hopefully, through my classes, my students can become better caretakers of God’s world by learning about how things work, from the process of photosynthesis in the smallest plants to the movement of the planets and stars. In my opinion, learning about God’s creation makes us more aware of how awesome God is and how He sustains His creation. By studying that creation, we are reminded again and again of how much He must care for us since we can see how He provides so well for the sparrow and the grass of the field.
MR. MATT VEENSTRA
I graduated from Calvin College in 1996 with a degree in Music Education for both Instrumental and Vocal Music. I taught band, choir, and
general music for the Grand Rapids Christian Schools for four years, and then moved to Ontario, California where I taught 5th through 8th grade band, choir, and general music at Ontario Christian School. I came to Holland Christian to teach 5th through 8th grade band in 2008.
Besides teaching music for various middle schools, I have been very active in the musical life of several churches over the past 20 years. I currently serve as one of the worship leaders for the Watershed congregation at Harderwyk Ministries. I am also a student at Western Theological Seminary, where I currently work as a Teaching Assistant for the Biblical languages department.
I am married to Kim Veenstra and we have two daughters, Maria and Shawna. Kim is an adjunct professor of music theory at Grand Valley State University, as well as being an accomplished pianist and piano lesson teacher.
Psalm 33:3 tells us: “Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” Music is how I love to praise God, and I am grateful for the wonderful Christian teachers who trained me to use my gifts for God’s glory and honor. I feel that it is my responsibility to use my talents to teach others to be used for service in the Kingdom of God. Music permeates our culture, and we can make a big impact aesthetically, emotionally, and spiritually by teaching students to sing new songs, play instruments with skill, and by helping them experience the joy that comes from making music for the Lord!
MRS. CHRISTA ZWIEP
I’ve always loved Holland Christian Schools and began serving as one of the Administrative Assistants in the Middle School in 2007.
After we had our second child, I felt God calling me to stay at home with my boys. However, after a little more than a year at home, God called me back to Holland Christian. I was so thankful that He opened doors and provided a job first as an Administrative Assistant at Rose Park, and currently at the Middle School.
God blessed my husband and me with two wonderfully spunky little boys, as well as a young daughter. I treasured the time I got to spend at home with them, and I love being blessed as a mom. If there is time outside of the work-hat, wife-hat, and-mom hat, I also enjoy spending time with my family, being outdoors, reading, and running (or anything health and fitness related.)
I’ve always felt that God was calling me to be in a school setting loving on kids, but to be honest, after graduating from Holland Christian, it took me a while to find the niche God was calling me to. I attended Calvin College for a few years, tried a variety of jobs, and worked as a cosmetologist for 11 years. It fills me with joy to be able to share life with the staff, students, and parents at HCS. I pray God uses me to bless a student who may be having a bad day, to befriend someone who just needs a smile, and to share joy with a student that just needs to share a high five for God. I am blessed each day I am here at HC.