I graduated with honors from GVSU with a B.S. in Group Social Studies with a Psychology emphasis and a Minor in Elementary Education. I also earned my Masters degree at GVSU in Early Childhood Education. Immediately after graduation I was hired by Jenison Public Schools where over the course of my years there, I taught Young 5’s, 1st grade, and 2nd grade.
I also served in the United States Army and the Michigan National Guard where I ended my service as an officer in the infantry.
My wife, Stacey, and I were married in 1994, and we have two children—Jesse and Julia. The happiest member of our family is Harvey, our beloved Labradoodle. Together, we attend Chapel Pointe church in Jenison. My family enjoys kayaking, boating on Lake Michigan, fishing, hiking, and the outdoors. We especially love the area around Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as a spot to do all the things we enjoy in the most beautiful place in Northern Michigan.
I like to tell people that three of my great loves are Jesus, teaching Kindergarteners, and the outdoors. That’s why Holland Christian’s Forest School Kindergarten is a perfect fit for me. I will thoroughly enjoy sharing my love of Christ in words, prayer, and praise with the students I teach, and I’ll also be showing them God’s undeniable existence in the outdoors.
At Jenison Public Schools, I wrote lots of children’s songs on my guitar, and I will be certainly be filling our outdoor classroom with music too. In addition to those songs, I’ll be writing new songs for praise, worship, and outdoor learning. I will also dress up as a character from time to time to bring more fun into our outdoor classroom, because it has been my experience that kids at this age learn best in a playful, fun environment.
Connecting with my students has always been a top priority for me. When I build relationships with the students in my class, it breeds trust, safety, and security. Under those circumstances, all management and learning can be successful. My students become like my kids as I do all I can to ensure their success, protecting their self-esteem and making them feel loved. My primary outdoor classroom management tool will be praise. When students are getting attention and praise for doing what is expected, I have found that others start to follow those expectations without having to hear negative reminders.
It is going to be incredible exploring God’s creation with Kindergarteners at Holland Christian Schools. God has been preparing me for this—my ideal job—all my life, and I lose sleep often thinking about the possibilities. Peace