West Michigan Christian Schools Blog

Archive for November 2019

A Testimony by Tim Annema, GHC Principal

Family, Faith & My Deepest Hope

By Tim Annema, Principal of Grand Haven Christian School

Growing up on a dairy farm, there was never a shortage of things to do; cleaning stalls, feeding calves, milking, or my personal favorite, fieldwork. My dad is one of the hardest working people I know. He was up at 4:30 am each day and often worked late into the night paying bills, working out in the fields, or monitoring the birth of a new calf in the barn.

Through all of this, my dad made sure to make time for his faith and family. He was always at the table for family dinners and made it to all of our concerts, games, and recitals. He was also involved in ministry, serving on both church council and the Christian school board. Over time, I have grown to not only appreciate and value these attributes but also emulate them in my daily walk. These attributes did not just appear one day in my father or myself, they were cultivated over time.

The prayer of Oscar Romero hangs in my office as a reminder that God is at work, whether as a farmer, principal, parent, or grandparent. This is what we are about:

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
a step along the way, an opportunity for the
Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

My deepest hope is that each child of God will experience value and love found in Jesus Christ while being equipped and called to action to live for Him. Often, we prefer to know that we have the skill-set and ability to complete a task before committing, however, many times God calls for us to act, promising He will equip us along the way. He did so through Moses as he led the Israelites out of captivity from Egypt, David as he defeated the Philistine giant, and through His Son, Jesus Christ, who endured the pain and suffering of the cross.

My deepest hope is that each child of God will experience value and love found in Jesus Christ while being equipped and called to action to live for Him.

As someone new to the role and responsibilities of a principal, I find comfort in knowing that God has called me to act and will sustain me along the way. Furthermore, as a parent of four boys, all at GHC, I am thankful
for the teachers and staff who play a significant role in my children’s lives, sowing and cultivating seeds of faith.

My prayer is that every student at Grand Haven Christian School and within all West Michigan Christian Schools will experience the call of God and respond, trusting that God will equip along the way.

Interested in more INFORMATION about Grand Haven Christian School?

This testimony was part of the WMCS Faith Matter’s Fall 2019 Newsletter. To download a PDF copy of the newsletter CLICK HERE.

WMC is the Lakeshore’s #1 Choice for Christian High School

Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School (7-12th grade) is the Secondary School Destination for Many PK-6 and PK-8th Grade Schools in the Lakeshore Area

WMC offers students and families much support as well as unique academic programs.

Here’s a snapshot below:

STUDENT GUIDANCE


Jeff Schipper, who joined WMC in 2018 as the guidance counselor, delights in helping students navigate the best path per their talents and goals.

Whether students are on the 4-year college, community college or trade school track, Mr. Schipper facilitates the discernment process by meeting with each student yearly to set and evaluate their goals.

He also is available to support students with social and emotional needs.

Guidance Questions?

ESS – EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES

WMC’s Haley Langejans (ESS
Teacher) and Dan Garland (ESS
Accommodations Coordinator).


WMC’s Educational Support Services (ESS) team includes Haley Langejans who serves as an ESS Teacher and Dan Garland, an ESS Accommodations Coordinator.

The ESS department is overseen by WMCS ESS Director Whitney Jackson, who works alongside classroom teachers (pictured right) to provide support to students with diagnosed disabilities and students with documented learning gaps.

WMC provides ancillary services (Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Evaluation Services…) to qualifying students.

ESS Questions?

SPANISH IMMERSION

WMC is now home to students who have attended kindergarten through 6th-grade in the MCS Spanish Immersion program.

Soon WMC will welcome students from the growing SI programs at both GHC and FCS. Students can continue their language studies at WMC in full immersion classes in Bible, Spanish Language Arts, and upper levels of Spanish and graduate from WMC with their college language requirements.

To be eligible to attend the SI program at WMC, students must start in the language immersion program in Kindergarten. Three of our four WMC feeders schools offer Spanish Immersion programs including, Grand Haven Christian, Muskegon Christian, and Fremont Christian.

SI Questions?

This blog post was part of the WMCS Faith Matter’s Fall 2019 Newsletter. To download a PDF copy of the newsletter CLICK HERE.

A Testimony from Dan DeKam, MCS Principal

A Grandpa’s Faithful Perspective

By Dan DeKam, Muskegon Christian School Principal

In the past year, my wife and I have had the joy of becoming grand-parents TWICE! You have probably heard the saying, “If I had known how much fun it was being a grandparent, I would have done that first!”

Well, it is corny but true.

If I had known how much fun it was being a grandparent, I would have done that first!

Becoming a grandparent has also re-affirmed my thankfulness for Christian education and the impact it has had on my family. But it also makes me aware of the necessity for making sure that these schools stay committed to the mission of serving God through our work in education. In our desire to stay relevant in a changing society, it is sometimes tempting for our schools to make excellence in academics, music or sports our primary focus or “calling card.” But that would be misplaced.

Becoming a grandparent has also re-affirmed my thankfulness for Christian education and the impact it has had on my family. But it also makes me aware of the necessity for making sure that these schools stay committed to the mission of serving God through our work in education

Our excellence lies in our desire to serve the Lord out of gratitude for what he has done for us. It lies in our passion for helping students understand everything through the clarity of Scripture. If we achieve excellence in other areas, it is a product of that desire to serve God throughout his broad and beautiful creation. It has been a blessing to me to be able to serve in
Christian Schools for the last 30 years. I am so thankful for all of the love and support that has been given to the schools and the dedication of the generations of parents and grandparents.

It has been a blessing to me to be able to serve in Christian Schools for the last 30 years. I am so thankful for all of the love and support that has been given to the schools and the dedication of the generations of parents and grandparents.

In spite of all of the changes that we have endured, I am thankful to be able to say that today we are still true to our mission. In fact, while our schools have always had the desire to serve God through the work of our schools, I would have to say that the tools we have to accomplish this are better than ever. Through our newly adopted teaching paradigm “Teaching for Transformation,” our teachers
have new tools with which to cast this vision of what Christian education is and was meant to be.

In fact, while our schools have always had the desire to serve God through the work of our schools, I would have to say that the tools we have to accomplish this are better than ever.

Thank you for your support of Christian education and for making sure it is there for our kids — and grandkids and, prayerfully, their grandkids.

Contact us for more INFORMATION about Muskegon Christian School’s PK-6th grade.

This article appeared in the West Michigan Christian Schools PK-12 Faith Matters Newsletter, Fall 2019 print edition. To read the full newsletter click here.

West Michigan Christian Schools  (WMCS), is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian (PK-6) and New Era Christian (PK-8). The WMCS system works under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality PK-12 Christian Education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs.

Fall 2019 WMCS Director’s Report from Dan DeKam

Dear friends and families of West Michigan Christian Schools,

A bounded set is a term in math used to describe a set of numbers of finite size. This set of numbers has a clear boundary. In order to fit into the set, the number must fit the definition of the set. There is also something called a centered set. These sets are not defined by a boundary, but by a direction. It is a collection of things moving toward a well-defined center.

What are we? What are you?

When applying these definitions to people, we could make boundaries based on geography, politics, socioeconomics, ethnicity, or even whether we like Chevy or Ford. We can then determine to protect our boundaries – or at least make an effort to make sure they are recognized and respected by others. Living as a bounded set could make us feel secure as we only let in those who are also part of the set, and therefore, “like us.” It can also make us feel safe in that we are working to protect what is ours.

But what if we thought of ourselves as a Centered set?

When we instead center ourselves on Jesus Christ, our “set” includes all those who share that center. Our work is to grow the set to include all of those around us.

With a shared center we can:

• Tear down the borders that restrict our association
• Gracefully support more people and be encouraged
(not threatened) by them

Working with our West Michigan Christian Schools collaborative group helps us move from bounded sets to a center. By breaking down the boundaries, we have been able to help each other improve. We have been able to encourage our colleagues and be more effective in our daily work and in advancing the cause of Christian education, which is the cause of Christ.

By breaking down the boundaries, we have been able to help each other improve. We have been able to encourage our colleagues and be more effective in our daily work and in advancing the cause of Christian education, which is the cause of Christ.

The collaborative staff works hard and smart (READ MORE about the WMCS Collaborative Staff) to benefit all schools while glorifying Him. Personally, I have been enriched by the time spent with the other WMCS principals. Our relationship has provided invaluable opportunities to share ideas, ask for advice, laugh (a lot), and occasionally vent.

The collaborative staff works hard and smart to benefit all schools while glorifying Him.

WMCS Timeline Infographic with chronological dates and logos of all five schools
WMCS has been offering Christian Education in the Lakeshore region of West Michigan for more than 100 years!

If you are reading this, you likely have been supportive of one or more of our Christian schools. Thank you so much for your encouragement and participation in this audacious project. For well over one hundred years we have, by the grace of God, been able to build and sustain these schools for the sake of training children to make Christ the center of their lives.

For well over one hundred years we have, by the grace of God, been able to build and sustain these schools for the sake of training children to make Christ the center of their lives.

Please keep us in your prayers as together we grow as a centered set!

Better together,
Dan DeKam, WMCS Collaborative Director

QUESTIONS? Ask us!

This letter was part of the WMCS Faith Matter’s Fall 2019 Newsletter. To download a PDF copy of the newsletter CLICK HERE.

BACK to SCHOOL 2017 for WEST MICHIGAN CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) are back in action!

Our five-member schools kicked off the year with a collective total of 1,129 students enrolled. During the first weeks, some WMCS students served in the community, lasting memories were made at middle schooler camp, and all PK-12 students made a beautiful noise unto the Lord at each school chapel. Our WMCS faculty are hard at work training up the students in the classroom and on the field, all while creating faith and character growth opportunities that extend “beyond academics.” It’s going to be a fantastic year!

Want to know what is going on at each WMCS member school? Check it out for yourself!

Fremont Christian School (PK-8)

Click here to read about a very special chapel on the first day of school at FCS.

Freemont Christian School First Day of School Chapel.

Grand Haven Christian School (PK-8)

Click here see the scoop (on Facebook) about how GHC kicked off this school year with a family picnic.

Grand Haven Christian School Back to School Family Picnic

Muskegon Christian School(PK-6)

Click here to find out what’s happening at MCS this Fall.

Muskegeon Christian School

New Era Christian School(PK-8)

Click here for an inside look (on Facebook) at how New Era Christian is doing chapel a little different this school year.

New Era Christian School New Chapel Format for 2017

Western Michigan Christian (7-12)

Click here to see (on Facebook) how WMC began the year with praise and service.

WMC First Day of West Michigan Christian School Praise & Worship

Praying that all WMCS families, faculty, staff, volunteers & students enjoy a wonderfully blessed 2017-18 school year! Will you consider committing to keeping our schools, faculty and students in prayer too? We would be so grateful!

Blessings to YOU, from all of us at West Michigan Christian Schools!