/ SOUTH SIDE STAFF
I taught for one year at Pella Christian in Iowa and then moved back to Holland. God provided a job at Rose Park Christian teaching fourth and fifth grade for 11 years. During this time I earned a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. I then felt God calling me to stay home with our children for several years, and I was greatly blessed during that time. In 2010 I began aiding in a preschool class at South Side and I currently teach 4’s Preschool and Little Explorers Enrichment classes at South Side.
I am married and have 3 children. My husband teaches at Holland Christian High School and our children attend Holland Christian. We are members at Fourteenth Street CRC where I am involved with the children’s ministries and other committees. I enjoy walking, reading, scrapbooking, being outdoors, and spending time with our kids.
It is a great joy for me to teach children and an even greater joy to be able to do that in a Christian school. I love young children’s curiosity, energy, and love for life. I consider it a privilege to partner with parents in teaching their children about God’s love. I want children to know and experience God’s great love for them. In the classroom I can teach them about that, but more importantly I can model that for them in my daily interactions with them. My prayer is that my words and actions will point students to Jesus.
provided for each student. After graduating in 2007, I attended Hope College as a means for continuing my education in a Christian school environment. During my schooling at Hope College, I received certification in Elementary Education K-5 and Special Education-Learning Disabilities K-12. Throughout my college experience, I was blessed with the opportunity to work and learn in various placements across a wide range of educational age groups. After graduating in 2011, the Lord greatly blessed me with the opportunity to teach and serve as a teacher at South Side. I am thrilled to work with and teach such eager and passionate minds on a daily basis.
I grew up in Holland and I am married to Ross. We live close to both of our families and appreciate the continued love and support that we receive from them! We worship at North Holland Reformed Church where I am involved in special music, various ministry teams, and children’s ministries. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, crafting, reading, taking walks, fishing, and spending time at my grandparent’s cottage on Gun Lake!
I feel blessed and overjoyed to be able to teach in a school system that played such a significant role in my own faith formation! My role as a teacher, faith leader, and support for my students allows me to demonstrate Christ’s unconditional love and acceptance in my daily actions. As I work to touch the lives of each individual student, I strive to help each student build the foundation for a meaningful academic and faith journey. Even though I lead my students through lessons, activities, and experiences, I continue to learn and be reminded of equally important ideas from each one of them along the way!
of Reading from Western Michigan University in 1996. I taught at Cutlerville Christian (now Legacy Christian) in kindergarten and 1st grade from 1988-1995. I began teaching at Holland Christian in 1996 where I taught 11 years in preschool and am currently at South Side and Pine Ridge teaching music.
My husband, Jim, and I have 4 children. We like to debate a variety of topics over a good dinner. My hobbies include playing the piano and guitar, reading, and doing puzzles. Our family belongs to Heritage Christian Reformed Church in Byron Center where my husband is the pastor.
King David proclaims in Psalm 92, “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.” Music is a wonderful gift from God. With music we can image our Creator, praise His name, and connect with Him in a profound way. Music has been an important part of my spiritual growth beginning with piano lessons at age 8, through band and choir in middle and high school, through organ and the Oratorio Society in college, and currently as I am part of my church’s praise team. My desire is to pass along that joy and avenue of praise to the students I teach.
MS. RHEA BOSCH
FOREST SCHOOL KINDERGARTEN ASSISTANT
Bio coming soon!
MRS. MICHELLE DREYER
2ND GRADE TEACHER
I have lived in West Michigan all my life. I love this area and the people here and the beautiful places that we can enjoy. My husband, Doug
and I, and our two children, Lucas and Adrianna, live in Dorr. Doug is a self employed plumber and loves being outdoors and spending time together. Lucas attends South Christian High School and Adrianna has another year at Moline Christian School. Our family is active in 4H and we spend time at many 4H events throughout the year. We have family close by and do many activities with them. It is such a blessing to have our families so close! I love to read and enjoy going to the beach or traveling with my husband/kids when I have some down time.
I am so excited to be teaching! Working with children is so fun! Students have an excitement for learning and it is great to help them share this excitement for learning with their classmates and parents. I look forward to helping students reach their full potential and to meet their needs. I love helping students dig deeper and to challenge them to do their best and to take ownership of their learning. I am humbled that God has called me to be a part of His kingdom by serving Him in this capacity. It is exciting to work with students each day, to worship with them, to see them become part of community, and to watch them learn how they can be a part of the world for their Lord. God has great plans for each of them and I can’t wait to see what they will do!
We serve an amazing God! I am so grateful for His love for me and I look forward to the day I can glorify Him in heaven. Until then I am blessed to serve Him by teaching His children. It is wonderful to be able to share my faith and love with His special children each day at school. I am humbled to be a part of God’s plan to nurture students’ faith and to share my own faith with them. I am excited to worship, pray, and grow in our faith together. Proverbs 3:3 states “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” We are in the business of passing on our faith to the next generation and teaching them to continue the journey of faith. I look forward to helping the future generations of Holland Christian continue the gift of passing on the lessons of faith from one generation to the next. It will be exciting to see what God has planned!
MRS. MICHELLE ENGBERS
1ST GRADE TEACHER
I graduated from Calvin College in 2001 with a degree in Elementary Education and my Masters Degree in reading from Grand Valley
State University in 2009. I began my teaching career at Ada Christian School where I taught 4th grade for four years and after our first child was born worked part time as a para-professional for two years. Our family transitioned to living in Holland in 2007 and it has been my joy over the last 11 years to be at home with our 4 children. God has been preparing me to be back in the classroom and I am I am thrilled to be teaching 1st grade this school year.
My husband Dave and I, along with our children, Jackson, Will, Avery and Claire enjoy being together in God’s creation. We like to hike, go for boat rides and be active together. In my free time I enjoy reading, running and chasing sunsets. Our family attends Faith CRC. I have had the pleasure of serving as the Kids Hope director there and of being involved in the children’s programs. Kids Hope and being a mentor for Young Lives, a program for pregnant and parenting teens in the Holland area, have both been transformational in shaping my faith. They have helped me better love those who are different that I am and to better understand the beautiful, complex, diverse kingdom God has created.
Through the gift of growing up in a Christian family, attending Christian schools and my own life journey I have been overwhelmed with God’s grace. I am so grateful for the gift of Jesus and that He opens his arms to us just the way that we are. It is my desire to know him more deeply, to trust him wholly and to have my life be a reflection of Him. One of the greatest joys of teaching is to share God’s love story and to teach even the youngest of God’s children how His love is evident to us in all of creation and in all of our learning. I am looking forward to sharing this great love with my students this year.
MRS. FEBE GOMEZ
I was born and grew up in Campeche, Mexico. I came to the U.S. with my husband Enrique following a pastoral call he had from a church
in Texas, where we served for 7 years, and our two older children were born.
My educational background includes a degree from the Rio Grande Bible Institute in Edinburg, TX and in Religious Education from the Children Ministries Institute in Warrenton, MO. I have been involved in the field of education since 1999, serving in different positions in both public and private schools, mainly in Spanish Immersion programs. My passion for teaching my language was the big motivator to go back to college, and I graduated from Hope College in 2011 with a B.A. in Spanish Education. Currently, I am working toward certification in the English as a New Language (ENL) graduate program through Notre Dame University.
One of my biggest rewards as a teacher is seeing how my students successfully progress in language acquisition, and I have definitely realized that the younger the brain, the better they learn. I truly believe that learning a new language is both a challenge and a blessing; however, I’m a firm believer that every child has the potential to learn–it doesn’t matter their abilities or disabilities. I’m very excited about being part of the staff of HC this year because this institution has been an important part of academic and faith formation for our family for several years. Sam and Betsy, our two older children received their entire education at HC, and Raphie, our youngest son, is currently in the 8th grade.
My favorite Bible verse is Luke 2:52, “and Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men,”–and we are not different. Each child/person also needs to grow intellectually, physically and spiritually. We always taught this to our own children.
Some of my hobbies are walking, biking, and traveling with the family, as well as reading and listening to classical music. I’m looking forward to meeting my students and their families and seeing how the Lord is going to guide us in this new venture!
grateful. Seeing their commitment to Christian education made such an impact on me that I grew up wanting to teach in a Christian school. I attended Christian schools through high school. After graduating from Holland Christian in 1987, I went to Calvin College and received a B.A. in Elementary Education. In 1992 I started a 20 year career at Beaverdam Christian School in Hudsonville. Although God closed the doors at Beaverdam in 2013, He opened a door for me at Holland Christian that same fall. This year, I am teaching 3-School in the mornings as well as Enrichment in the afternoon- all at South Side! I am excited for this new chapter in my teaching career and look forward to what God has planned for me at Holland Christian.
I am married to Dave (a 1983 HC graduate). We have a son, Ethan and daughter, Rylea. They keep us busy with their hunting adventures and soccer weekends.
I am an advocate for Autism Awareness because Ethan has Asperger’s Syndrome. It is my hope that God will use me to be a resource for parents who have children with special needs and an advocate for their children in the classroom.
My favorite Bible verses are Philippians 4:13 and Proverbs 3:5-6. They have helped me get through the ups and downs of life and helped me focus on what God (not me) has planned for my life.
I am truly blessed to be teaching in a Christian school. I love that I can bring God into my teaching throughout the day. We can start the day with God and see Him in all that we do. I can help my students understand where they fit in God’s world. I am able to show my students how to love God and love others. My students are able to create long-lasting relationships with their peers. It is wonderful to be a part of the lives of these young children at the start of their school careers!
MRS. CHRISTY HAIG
I graduated from Calvin College in 1999 with a degree in elementary and special education. I taught in Kentwood Public Schools for 4 years
before God called my husband and me to Pittsburgh, PA. We lived there for five years and then were blessed to be able to move back to West Michigan.
My husband Tim and I have three children: Michael, Jonathan, and Becca. I was honored to stay home with them full time while they were young. When they entered school, I returned to work part time at Engedi Church, serving as the early childhood coordinator and then curriculum coordinator for their children’s ministry team. Now I’m thrilled to be teaching again. I love coming alongside students, helping them learn and grow.
In addition to teaching, I love playing board games with my family, serving in children’s ministry at church, and scrapbooking family memories on the computer. My favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:38-39 which tells us that God’s love is so big and so strong that nothing can ever separate us from it.
MR. RON HARIG
FOREST SCHOOL KINDERGARTEN TEACHER
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
MRS. MARY HOFMAN
I graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in music education and Spanish. My Master of Arts in Teaching degree, in the field of language
arts, is also from Calvin College. I did my graduate education in School Library Media at Grand Valley. My teaching background includes several years of elementary music, as well as high school and college Spanish. Since 1997, I have enjoyed my role in the Holland Christian elementary media centers at South Side, Rose Park, and Pine Ridge.
My husband, Marv, and I have five children, all of whom have attended HCS. We have lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Metro Manila, the Philippines; Raymond, Minnesota; and since 1990, Holland, Michigan. We are members of 14th Street Christian Reformed Church.
God has given us the gift of language, and revealed Himself as the Word. As elementary media specialist I strive to serve staff and students by promoting delight in language and stimulating interest in reading. The role of the media specialist is also to teach information literacy by helping students to access, evaluate and use information in all its various forms. It is a wonderful privilege to accompany students on their learning journeys and assist their growth in reading, selection, discrimination, and use of print and non-print materials.
MRS. SHERI HUNDERMAN
2ND GRADE TEACHER
Having attended HCHS myself, I learned during high school that I wanted to impact children the way that I had been impacted. I went
on to Calvin College and soon after got a teaching job at Moline Christian. I served there for 5 wonderful years until God called me to move on. That brought me to South Side in 2010 where I enjoy using my gifts and talents with the children here!
I am the youngest of four children and the only girl–you can only imagine how good life was growing up! God has continued to bless me with a wonderful husband, Brian. He is slowly turning me into his dream “country girl” in Borculo, where we live. We have two girls, Emma and Lucy, whom we adore! Teaching has changed so much for me as I have become a parent. I now try to love my students and share Jesus with them, the way that I would want my daughter to be loved and cared for each day! We are active members at Rusk CRC. In our free time we like to hang out with our families and spend time vacationing to wherever! I also spend much of my time running as there always seems to be a big race coming up to train for!
Teaching has been such a great experience for me thus far! I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me to see a child grasp a new concept, or more importantly, share a heartfelt prayer. I am such a believer in Christian education. Children are so vulnerable and it is so important that their lives are being molded in Christ Jesus. My prayer is that each day my students will see Jesus in me because I have been amazed at how much I see Him in them!
MRS. JAMIE LANSER
JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN TEACHER
I grew up on the north side of Holland and attended Rose Park Christian. I graduated from Holland Christian, received a teaching
certificate from Calvin College and taught in Holland Christian at South Side and Rose Park for 6 years in the early elementary grades. I stayed home to raise my family which included one year of home schooling during a relocation to Germany.
I am married to Bryan and have 3 boys; we attend Crosswinds Community Church and live in Borculo. I enjoy skiing, exercising, swimming, flying an airplane, and generally spending time with my family and watching my boys play sports.
I am excited to be teaching at Holland Christian where I can share God’s amazing creation with my students. I am so thankful for God’s guiding and directing in my life and I aim to help each child in my care to see how God is leading them and how He loves them so deeply.
my CDA Credential in Early Childhood Development. In addition to working with 4’s at South Side, I also work at Lakeshore Little People’s Place located at Providence Church.
I come from a family of five, including myself. I have two older siblings, and a brother in law, along with a pet cat named “Bonkers.” In my pastime, I enjoy doing things like: painting, drawing, jewelry making, photography, puzzles, and reading. I have gone on eight mission trips to various places. These mission trips really impacted my relationship with Christ, and have also allowed me to meet many new friends.
I feel honored and privileged to be working at Holland Christian, and to have attended this school as a student myself. I love working with children and watching the “gears” in their head turn as they learn, and to see them form friendships with their classmates. I am blessed to be able to teach children about things like shapes and letters, but most importantly who Jesus Christ is. I would have to say that is the most rewarding part of my job.
We settled in Holland 2 years later.
We have 3 children. Our oldest son, Nico, is a 2015 Holland Christian graduate. Our younger 2 children, Noah and Nissi, are both students at Holland Christian.
I was privileged to be able to stay home to raise our children for 10 years, but prior to that I went to nursing school while working as a Nurses Aid in geriatrics and a Medical Assistant in pediatrics.
After volunteering in various ways at Holland Christian, I was honored to take on a Para Professional position in the Educational Support Services in 2012. I feel very blessed to be part of the HC family. Everyday I get to work along the side of staff and students who love God and show it daily. Luke 18:16 states “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
MS. TINA MECKLEY
I have lived in Holland all of my life. I graduated from GVSU with a B.S. in Art and Design with a Minor in Education. After graduating college I
was immediately hired to teach elementary art at Jenison Public School, where I remained for 9 years. After nine years at JPS I was led to teach PK-8th grade art at Jenison Christian School, where I remained for 5 years. What a blessing it was to be able to bring my love and joy of art and the Lord to so many wonderful children, for 14 amazing years. In 2015, God’s plan led me in a new direction. I was called to Holland Christian School to aide for preschool-aged children where I can continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to my students daily. I am so blessed to have been given the passion and gift for loving and leading children closer to Jesus Christ. I also feel blessed to be able to be part of this community while still being able to balance being “Mom.” My husband, Joe, and I have two beautiful children Ella and Eli and both attend HCS.
MRS. PAT MEISTE
I am one of eight children (5 boys & 3 girls). There was never a lack of activity at our house growing up. I graduated from Holland High
and attended some classes between GVSU and MCC. I have held a variety of jobs most recently as a Human Resources Assistant before joining Holland Christian’s staff.
I married Jay Meiste (HC grad) and we have been blessed with four children, all HC grads like their dad. Our home church is Graafschap CRC where we stay involved in various ways. A few things I like to do is spend time with our grandchildren, be outside, read and quilt.
In my daily life I am a “list – checker.” I like to make my list and as the day progress I have a feeling of accomplishment to see how many things on my list I can “check-off.” In that same note I am very grateful that God is NOT a list checker of all the things I don’t accomplish. I am in constant awe of His unconditional love and grace bestowed on me daily; it is hard to comprehend. As a parent I think how much I love my children and to think God loves them more than a parent is amazing. Each day is a new learning experience and opportunity to serve God, even in small ways. One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 2:6 “…for the Lord gives strength and out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” Part of my knowledge and understanding is in the interaction with the children at South Side. It is a gift. It’s all about kids, it truly is! They are such a blessing to us and our future. It is pure joy to hear their voices in the halls, coming in the door with giggles and excitement eventually settling into a daily routine. As you give your children to us daily to teach them, they also teach us.
by attending Cornerstone University. I majored in Language Arts, and minored in Elementary Education. I have been teaching at Holland Christian since 2010; including a year in Kindergarten, and then moving to full time in 2nd grade. I thoroughly enjoy using my gifts and talents each day while teaching 2nd grade at South Side.
I am married to Kurtis, and I am blessed with three stepchildren. We live in Holland. and are members at Graafschap CRC. Kurtis is the youth pastor, and I help with the Middle School and High School groups as well. In my spare time I love to spend time with family and friends, traveling, reading, and spending time out in God’s beautiful Creation.
After being blessed with a wonderful Christian education, I am so blessed to take the role of teacher and spiritual leader in the lives of my students. I pray not only that I will be a great model for them, but also that they will teach me new things every year. My goal is for my students to feel loved and accepted in a Christian learning environment where they are challenged to grow in the abilities and talents that God has uniquely blessed them with. In Proverbs 16:3 it says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” I am committed to bringing glory to God, and I cannot wait to see what this year will bring while teaching at Holland Christian!
MRS. MISKA RYNSBURGER
I graduated from Hope College with a B.A. in Humanities and earned a Masters degree from Grand Valley State University in Educational
Leadership. I taught fourth grade for 8 1/2 years in the West Ottawa Public School system. I resigned my teaching position when our first child was born and began to raise our growing family at home. As our three young children are each reaching school age, I am beyond thrilled to once again begin teaching 1st grade children in the classroom setting.
My husband, TJ, and I have three children. Two will attend South Side this year. We are members at Calvary Christian Reformed Church where I am involved in the children’s ministries. In my free time, I enjoy camping, running, swimming and biking.
I count it as a true privilege and joy that God has called me to work with some of the youngest and most precious members of His kingdom. My goal is to share the love of our great God with the children in my class as they learn more about God, themselves and the amazing world around them. Each student is a dearly loved child of God. It is my prayer that God will continue to use me to be instrumental in developing a personal relationship between each child and our Heavenly Father.
MRS. KARINA SCHEBOR
1ST GRADE TEACHER
I attended and graduated from Holland Christian. I then went to Grand Valley State University for my Bachelors Degree in English
and Elementary Education. Before coming to teach at Holland Christian, I taught for 12 years at Beaverdam Christian School in Hudsonville. While there, I worked with students in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. I received my Masters Degree in Reading from Grand Valley State University in April of 2011. I am excited to be a part of the team of educators at Holland Christian!
My life has been deeply impacted by Christian Education. Having grown up in a Christian school, I was blessed to be able to read and memorize scripture at school, and to apply it to my learning and understanding of the world. Jesus is my Lord, and I feel overjoyed that I can share my love of God with my students at Holland Christian. I am married to my husband Brian, and we have three sons, Noah, Brandon, and Evan. My older two sons attend Allendale Christian School. We are active members at First Christian Reformed Church in Grand Haven.
Each child is uniquely created by God, in His image. School is a place where students grow and develop the gifts God has given them. I believe Spiritual development is of utmost importance in a Christian school. As a Christian school educator, I have the unique opportunity to foster a sense of wonder of God’s creation. I cannot imagine myself in any other career, I feel called by God to be a teacher!
MRS. TAMI SCHIPPERS
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
I graduated from Hope College in 2002 with a Language Arts Degree in Elementary Education. I spent three years working in Children’s
Ministry at Central Wesleyan Church right after college. From there I went to the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District where I worked in a variety of roles for the past 12 years. Most recently, I was a Home Visitor for Birth to Age Five with the Parents as Teachers Program.
I love working with children and am excited to be working with the amazing staff at Holland Christian. My husband Eric and I have three children. We are both graduates of Holland Christian and love that we can continue the legacy of Christian education with our kids.
I love to be outside: hiking, going to the beach, being on the lake, anything that involves God’s beautiful creation!
MRS. THEA SCHOLTEN
I graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelor of Arts degree. I have also taken some Information Technology classes at Davenport
University. Our family lives on and operates the farm in Graafschap that was settled by the Scholtens in 1849. We are members of Graafschap CRC. When our children began attending Holland Christian Schools, I began volunteering in the media centers. By the time our children graduated, I had been hired as a clerk in the media center, and I later transferred to the information technology department.
As Christians we are called to serve others and to walk humbly with our God. At Holland Christian Schools I assist staff in “equipping minds and nurturing hearts to transform the world for Jesus Christ,” and I can encourage others and be encouraged myself to become more Christ-like in “mind, body & soul.”
MS. LINDSAY SLAGER
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
I graduated from Trinity Christian College in 2013, near to where I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. From there, I used my elementary
and special education degrees to teach for a year in Oklahoma before moving slightly closer to home in Pella, Iowa where I taught for three more years. My passion lies in working in the kindergarten-3rd grade range, and I’m excited to continue my education with courses designed around reading as I earn my Literacy Studies masters degree through Western Michigan University.
Aside from teaching, I greatly enjoy extending my professional knowledge of education through book studies, extra classes, trainings, and seminars. Some of my favorites so far include: a class at the zoo learning about ecosystems; a two-day conference at the famous Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia; a fascinating book study regarding dyslexia; and my trainings as lead science teacher in the Science Writing Heuristic approach to teaching science through hands-on, inquiry-based methods.
Outside of the teaching world, I love volleyball, tubing, soccer, reading, the White Sox, escape rooms, traveling and the beach! Spending time with family and friends usually involves one (or more) of those activities. So far, I have been to Italy, Spain, and Haiti and I can’t wait to see more of God’s wonderful, wide world.
I truly believe that each child was blessed by God with the skills and talents needed to work hard to achieve success. I love the job of helping kids find their potential and to exceed even their own expectations. I think learning can and should be fun and I seek to consistently make that evident each day as we all learn to give the glory, honor, and praise to God.
MRS. RACHEL STEEN
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
I grew up in New Jersey, and graduated from Hope College with a degree in Social Work. I then went on to GVSU for my masters degree.
In 2005 I moved with my husband to Omaha, NE where he was called as a pastor. I worked as a social worker until our first child was born and then I became a stay-at-home mom. Now I love being a mom of three kids.
I did enjoy being a children’s leader at BSF in Omaha, and working with children’s ministries in my church. As a stay-at-home mom I also took advantage of opportunities to volunteer in our school and community. Then, when our youngest started kindergarten I started back as a Special Ed Early Childhood Teacher’s Assistant. This summer we moved to Holland, MI after 12 years in Omaha as my husband took a new job at Park CRC.
I believe God has given me gifts encouraging and teaching children. I am so thankful for all the work Jesus has done in my life. My hobbies include exercising, hiking, and now I’m looking forward to the many outdoor activities Michigan has to offer.
Degree in Early Childhood Education from Grand Valley State University. My teaching experience before our children were born was focused on 2nd and 3rd grade. After our children were born, I stayed at home with them, and spent those years actively involved in children’s ministry at church and substitute teaching in grades K-8. Upon returning to teaching, I taught kindergarten at Grand Haven Christian for three years. I began teaching at Holland Christian in 2006. I am currently teaching the 5-day kindergarten class.
I am married to Tom Strikwerda who teaches 7th grade at HCMS and we have three children. In my spare time, I like to spend time outdoors. I enjoy reading and walking. We are members at Calvary Christian Reformed Church.
I love teaching in a Christian school. I love being able to teach children not only all of the basic facts and skills that they need to know, but I also love teaching them about Jesus and His love for them. Both in our formal lessons and in the everyday happenings in the classroom, there are so many opportunities to let children know that they are God’s special, unique creation. It is my desire that each child in my classroom will know not only “Jesus Loves Me” as a song to sing, but that they will also know that wonderful love in their hearts.
MRS. DEE DEE THROOP
I graduated from Purdue University in 1984 with a B.A. in Elementary Education and received my M.A. in School Counseling from the
University of South Florida in 1991. I have taught 1st, 3rd and 5th grades and counseled at all levels K-12. My experience includes working in Indiana, Florida, Michigan, Georgia and now back to Michigan.
I am married to Merle and we have a daughter and a son. We have moved a lot, as Merle was a Senior Special Agent for Homeland Security. We worship at Covenant Presbyterian Church and are involved with: Youth Group, Bible Studies, and Christian Education. We like to play with our children, read, and go for walks.
My previous experience has been in public school, so I am thrilled that I can speak freely and openly of the authority of our Lord Jesus in my counseling situations. My faith enables me to show boys and girls practical and biblical solutions to their everyday problems. One of my favorite verses is 2 Tim 3:16-17. I am so happy that I can help students grow in their relationships with each other, the Lord and on their educational journey. I agree with Holland Christian that it takes the home, church, and school to raise our children. Praise the Lord for the freedom we have in His Son Jesus.
MRS. DJ VANIWAARDEN
INCLUSION CLASSROOM ASSISTANT
I was born and raised in sunny Florida where I studied Elementary Education at Palm Beach Atlantic University. I met my husband Daniel
and we lived in Chicago, Florida, and then New Hampshire where I worked in Children’s Ministry and by then had four children. In 2007, we felt God calling us to move to Holland, Daniel’s home town, to be near his family. Here, I had two more children and enjoyed staying home raising my babies as well as working part time at Beechwood Church in Children’s Ministry. All six of our children have attended Holland Christian and our oldest just graduated and will now be at Hope College this fall. Last year, when we relocated all the way from the north side of Holland to the south side, I began work in Educational Support Services as a paraprofessional. I love being able to work at South Side where I can share God’s love. I find joy in helping the little ones grow in their faith as well as academically. One of my favorite verses is Numbers 6:24-26: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
MRS. LISA VANKAMPEN
JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN TEACHER
I was born and raised in Holland, and had the privilege of attending and graduating from Holland Christian. I then graduated from Grand
Valley State University with a B.A. in Elementary Education/Psychology. I taught for 4 years at Hudsonville Public Schools until our first children (twins) were born. After our children reached school age, I loved volunteering in their classrooms and in their school. After staying at home for 16 years, I was blessed to be offered a preschool teacher assistant position at South Side.
My husband, Doug, and I have 6 children who either have graduated from or attend Holland Christian. Our family attends Central Wesleyan where I have been involved in teaching preschool Sunday school classes. When I am not busy being a “mom taxi” or attending my children’s sporting events, I love walking, scrapbooking, and playing games.
Having attended HC and sending our children to HC, I have been able to personally experience the importance of Christian education. I am thrilled to be able to share my love for Christian education with our smallest children. My prayer is that I am able to show Jesus to His little children every day whether it be by encouraging their curiosity for learning, always accepting them as one of God’s unique children, and even providing a lap to cuddle in for a child who misses mom. I am so thankful to be a part of Holland Christian’s family.
MR. GERRIT VANKLAVEREN
PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER
I am Canadian and I graduated from Calvin College in 2014 with K-12 physical education and minors in biochemistry and biology. I have
taught PE at Rehoboth Christian school in New Mexico, and Eastern Christian High School in New Jersey. Due to visa complications and love (ask me sometime), I went back for my Master’s in Physical Education Pedagogy at Western Michigan University. I recently got married to the wonderful Lauren D, now vK, who has a heart for the Lord and others that is simply contagious.
On the side, I am very active in sports, music, worship, wood projects and recreational activities. Serving, fixing things and helping others brings much joy. Every day, I like to bring an undignified atmosphere where joy and vibrant energy fills my classroom. If students see how much fun being active and moving our bodies in new and exciting ways is, then the hope is they will learn to value living a healthy and active lifestyle for a lifetime. More important, I emphasize the diversity of our bodies, which are temples of the Holy Spirit, all different, yet all made in the image of our Creator. What a gift, what a blessing it is to be able to share that with
everyone I meet and teach!
Both Lauren and I are so excited to be here in Holland, and to start a new journey in what I hear and have seen, thus far, as a vibrant, growing and loving community. I am so impressed and so thankful for everyone making this a way easier transition than I expected.
from Hope as an assistant in the Discovery Center program. I have taught kindergarten, 2nd and 4th grades in the past. Since the fall of 2006 I have been teaching 1st grade. I have served on various curriculum committees and as a member of South Side’s Building Leadership Team.
My husband, Bob, and I have two children who have graduated from Holland Christian. We are members of Providence Christian Reformed Church and enjoy helping in various aspects of worship and church life.
It is a great blessing to be able to share God’s love with children. Teaching at Holland Christian is a real joy for me because I have the opportunity to weave together my love for God with my love for children. Bible lessons are a wonderful time to hear of God’s love and forgiveness, but showing God during a science or math lesson or during Show and Tell time is just as exciting and are often moments of awe for the children. When children are ready to leave my classroom, I hope that the little seeds of faith that have been planted by their parents have been well fertilized in 1st grade so that they may seek God in all of life that surrounds them.
in Elementary Education/Language Arts. I stayed at home while my children were young and then when they entered school, I volunteered in the classroom whenever I could. I have spent the last eight years as a substitute teacher for Holland Christian, enjoying my time in classrooms from preschool to 6th grade. I have a high regard for the staff of Holland Christian and feel honored to be a member of the Holland Christian team.
I am married to Steve and we have three children, two daughters that have graduated from Holland Christian and a son who is a Senior at HCHS. We attend 14th Street Church where I have been a Children’s Worship teacher, a Sunday School teacher, and the Middle School Youth Director. In my spare time, I enjoy being in the kitchen, reading, and resale shopping.
I know the importance of Christian education, in my own education and in my children’s education. It’s a sacrifice you make but not one that you will ever regret. I know that God has uniquely made each student that attends Holland Christian and I embrace every child for what they have to offer to his/her classroom. My hope is that, in the classroom, they see me as the hands and feet of Christ.