West Michigan Christian Schools Blog

Archive for Teacher Tuesday

WMCS Teacher Tuesday Q & A with Fremont Christian School’s Johnny Vasquez

WMCS Teachers are Extraordinary!

It takes extraordinary people, living extraordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel through their work as teachers. At WMCS we have MANY such people and we love to celebrate them!

Last year we launched, Teacher Tuesday and it was a wonderful way to highlight a very special teacher from all five West Michigan Christian Schools every week. We’re excited to start the campaign again, so be sure to check our social media every Tuesday to see who will be featured that week. Teacher Tuesday is a GREAT opportunity to encourage these PK-12 teachers, drop off their favorite drink (see blog post for what that is) and thank them for their service! Our faculty collectively use their giftedness to teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

Celebrating Johnny Vasquez of Fremont Christian School (PK-6th grade)

In the words of FCS Principal, Nick Donkersloot:

FCS’ very own superhero! Senor Johnny has created a classroom full of students who can accomplish amazing feats just like all the superheroes that plaster the walls of their classroom. When Johnny is not working tirelessly in his classroom, he can be found in the kitchen baking some delicious Puerto Rican treats for his students and colleagues to enjoy.

Enjoying a beautiful day at the park!

Q: Where are you from? 


A: I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and graduated in 2007 from the Puerto Rico Baptist College. 

We enjoy serving together at church!

Q: How long have you taught at FCS? 


A: I have taught at Fremont Christian School for 2 years. I started as the 5th-grade Spanish Immersion teacher but this year I was the 4th grade Spanish Immersion teacher. 

We enjoy going out, grabbing something to drink and take a random picture.


Q: What’s something people don’t know about you? 

A: Probably everyone knows this about me but I love movies! I even collect them. I also enjoy reading, music, and art. 

Teaching during this quarantine got us coming up with fun/crazy ideas. So we needed to put on our Grinch onesies and do some reading for our students. It has been fun.

Q: What’s your favorite drink? 

A: My favorite beverage is Dr. Pepper and passion fruit juice. 

Twinning — he picked our outfit for the day!

Q: What’s the best part of your day? 


A: The best part of my day is been around my FCS family. I surely miss that nowadays (during the pandemic shut-down). 

Having fun with my mini-me.

Q: How has God gifted you as a teacher? 


A: I believe the Lord has given me a desire and enjoyment to be around young people. I really like to interact with students and find things in common with them. 


Q: What’s your favorite teaching moment?


A: My favorite teaching moment has been to see how much my students enjoy learning about my culture. I remember last year in November we celebrated the Puerto Rico Discovery Week. They were so excited to learn our traditional music, games, famous places and food. At the end of the week, we enjoyed some Puerto Rican food. They had a blast! I also enjoy seeing how they like to pray for other people’s needs. And not only that, they show extreme joy when they know God has answered our prayers. 

Q: What are you most grateful for when it comes to your job?

A: I am really grateful to work at a place where we can count on each other. Working with people that show the love of Christ. I also like the fact that my family works/studies in FCS, my wife is the 1st-grade Spanish Immersion teacher and our 3-year-old boy goes to the preschool. 

As a beloved faculty member, Johnny is part of the heart of WMCS. We are BLESSED and FAVORED to have him as part of our school family!  

A SMALL TOKEN OF APPRECIATION

Thank you from all of your colleagues and school families at WMCS!

We have a couple of small tokens of appreciation for you, Johnny! It’s two $10 gifts from our two WMCS retail fundraising partners, DIBS! on Resale and B2 Outlet Store Muskegon.

To redeem, please check-in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this token of appreciation — $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop, Johnny!

To redeem your $10 off at our B2 Outlet Store, go shopping and then submit your B2 sales receipt to your school principal and we’ll send you a check to reimburse you!

Relocated to a new store in Muskegon in January of 2019, DIBS! On Resale proceeds benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS). In the fall of the same year, we also celebrated the opening of our second retail fundraising partner, B2 Outlet Store. Both stores exist to help raise funds for all five of our schools including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.

Curious if you should switch your kids to FCS or any of our five schools?

Do you have a toddler? Time to start thinking about a school system partner. Being a PK-12 school system, WMCS is one-stop Christian education!

LEARN MORE about us!

WMCS Teacher Tuesday Q & A with Muskegon Christian School’s Pilar Vanderstelt

WMCS Teachers are Extraordinary!

It takes extraordinary people, living extraordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel through their work as teachers. At WMCS we have MANY such people and we love to celebrate them!

Last year we launched, Teacher Tuesday and it was a wonderful way to highlight a very special teacher from all five West Michigan Christian Schools every week. We’re excited to start the campaign again, so be sure to check our social media every Tuesday to see who will be featured that week. Teacher Tuesday is a GREAT opportunity to encourage these PK-12 teachers, drop off their favorite drink (see blog post for what that is) and thank them for their service! Our faculty collectively use their giftedness to teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

Celebrating Pilar Vanderstelt of Muskegon Christian School (PK-6th grade)

In the words of MCS Principal, Dan DeKam:

Pilar Vanderstelt has been a treasure to have on staff at MCS and we are so thankful that God led her to Muskegon and to MCS.  She brought with her a wealth of knowledge about best practices in Spanish immersion and has been able to guide our program with her wisdom and insight.  She is passionate about her work and is always ‘on top of her game.’  Pilar is a pleasure to have on staff and a much loved part of the MCS staff.  

Q: How many years have you taught there?

A: This is my 8th year teaching in MCS.

Q: What classes/grades do you teach?

A:  I feel blessed to be part of Muskegon Christian School as a Spanish Immersion teacher.

I teach Spanish Immersion to 1st and  2nd  graders.

Q: Do you have kids at MCS?

A: Yes, Jacob who is in Spanish Immersion Kindergarten.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I was born in Reynosa, Mexico.  Reynosa is across the border from McAllen, Texas.  I grew up in Reynosa and I had a nice childhood there.  

Q: What is your background?

A: I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was 17 years old.  I have been involved since that time in church leadership as an elder, teacher, cell group leader, Sunday school director, VBS coordinator, and missionary ministry. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Pedagogy (the teaching/learning process) and a Master’s degree in Human Development with an emphasis in family education and orientation.  I worked for ten years in a Christian school (Integrity School) as a founder, teacher, Vice-principal and Principal. I was also a professor at Universidad Tecnologica de Tamaulipas Norte for four years.  I taught Spanish and Ethics and I tutored students earning their Technical Associate’s Degrees. 

Q: What’s something fun that most people do not know about you?

A: That I really love and enjoy playing practical jokes in my husband Jeff =)

Q: What do you love most about your job and why? 

A: What I love most about my job is the freedom to talk/teach about God and His Word. Also, that I can pray with my students at any time.

Q: What’s the best part of your day? 

A: When I get to hug my students at the end of each school day. When I listen to my students communicating with each other in Spanish.

Q: If there was anything you could change about your job, what would it be? 

A: I would update our school building and make it bigger. I would also like to have inside recess during the winter. No more recess duties in the winter. Ha,ha,ha.

Q: What’s your specific favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

A: Water, Iced Half lemonade – half tea

Q: What are you most grateful for when it comes to your job?

A: I am most grateful for the opportunity to teach my native language and culture with my first graders.

Q: What do you enjoy?

A: Reading, walking, Mexican folk dancing, warm weather, and spending time with family and friends.

Q: What is your life verse?

A: “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” -Isaiah 61:10

As a beloved faculty member, Pilar is part of the heart of WMCS. We are BLESSED and FAVORED to have her as part of our school family!  

A Small Token of Appreciation

Thank you from all of your colleagues and school families at WMCS!

We have a couple of small tokens of appreciation for you, Pilar! It’s two $10 gifts from our two WMCS retail fundraising partners, DIBS! on Resale and B2 Outlet Store Muskegon.

To redeem, please check-in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this token of appreciation — $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop, Chad!

To redeem your $10 off at our B2 Outlet Store, go shopping and then submit your B2 sales receipt to your school principal and we’ll send you a check to reimburse you!

Relocated to a new store in Muskegon in January of 2019, DIBS! On Resale proceeds benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS). In the fall of the same year, we also celebrated the opening of our second retail fundraising partner, B2 Outlet Store. Both stores exist to help raise funds for all five of our schools including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.

Curious if you should switch your kids to MCS or any of our five schools?

Do you have a toddler? Time to start thinking about a school system partner. Being a PK-12 school system, WMCS is one-stop Christian education!

LEARN MORE about us!

WMCS Teacher Tuesday Q & A with Fremont Christian School’s Ann Yonker

WMCS Teachers are Extraordinary!

It takes extraordinary people, living extraordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel through their work as teachers. At WMCS we have MANY such people and we love to celebrate them!

Last year we launched, Teacher Tuesday and it was a wonderful way to highlight a very special teacher from all five West Michigan Christian Schools every week. We’re excited to start the campaign again, so be sure to check our social media every Tuesday to see who will be featured that week. Teacher Tuesday is a GREAT opportunity to encourage these PK-12 teachers, drop off their favorite drink (see blog post for what that is) and thank them for their service! Our faculty collectively use their giftedness to teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

Ann Yonker

Celebrating Ann Yonker of Fremont Christian School (PK-8th grade)

In the words of FCS Principal, Nick Donkersloot:

Mrs. Yonker has a joy and love for her students and that is evident each and every day. A veteran teacher whom others lean on for advice and support, Ann always has time for everyone. Mrs. Yonker has the unique ability to create a whole world with just her words when she is telling a Bible story. Mrs. Yonker never settles for mediocre, both in her and her student’s work. She is constantly pushing herself and others to be the best that they can be.  

Q: How many years have you taught there?

A: I have taught at Fremont Christian for 29 years.

Field Trip to Muskegon Winter Sports Park with my 2nd graders. 


Q: What classes/grades do you teach?

A: I teach 2nd-grade Outdoor Education – it’s the best!! 

Me and my students in the classroom.

Q: Do you have kids there? Graduated from there?

A: Both of my sons graduated from FCS and WMCHS. Jonathan is 24 and Tyler is 20.

The Yonker Family: Jonathan, Ann, Steve, and Tyler.

A very proud moment – watching my son graduate from Marine Boot Camp in SanDiego, California.


Q: What’s your favorite teaching moment(s) to date?

A: It is really hard to come up with just one!  As a working mom, you sometimes feel like you are missing the time spent with your children, so it was very special for me to have both of my sons in my classroom.  It gave me a glimpse into their lives as students and I was finally able to go on field trips with my own children! 

Q: What your favorite memory of a student who came back after graduation and contacted you? 

A: I love going to High School events and having former students come up to me.  It is great hearing what is going on in their lives and it means a lot that they are willing to take the time to say hi and talk a bit. 

Q: What’s something fun that most people do not know about you?

A: I love to travel and try new things!  I have visited 48 states and toured through 27 different countries.  I’ve tried high ropes courses, white water rafting, the Muskegon Luge run, and skydiving.    

Kayaking in beautiful Glacier National Park 

A very friendly mountain goat we encountered while hiking on the Highline Trail in Glacier!
My favorite place in Yellowstone National Park – Grand Prismatic Spring!

Getting ready to ride the luge run in Muskegon.

Camping near Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. 

Q: What do you love most about your job and why? 

A: I love teaching second grade!  Second graders are excited about learning and school, but what I love the most is building relationships with students.  I get very close to my students after a whole year and really miss them when they move on (or have to be at home because of distance learning!).  Because I am in lower elementary I get to watch them grow up and move through the grades at FCS.  I love going to All-School chapels and having older students come up to me for a hug and to say hi.   

Q: What’s the best part of your day? 

A: I love prayer journal time with my class.  We gather on the floor and share what is on our minds and hearts. It is a time when I learn as much from my students as I hope they learn from me.  It is powerful to hear your students praying for you! I am so grateful to be at a school where I can share my faith and sit in a circle with my students as we pray for each other. 

Q: If there was anything you could change about your job, what would it be? 


A: Report cards!  It is impossible to give parents a good idea of what their child is like at school with the grades you give on a piece of paper.  No child can be defined by a report card!

Q: What’s your specific favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

A: Coke Zero – I’m a caffeine junky!

Q: What are you most grateful for when it comes to your job?

A: That every fall I get to start over at a job I love!  Teaching never gets boring because each year you can do things differently with a whole new group of students.  I am also very grateful for the overwhelming support of parents, fellow staff, administration, and school board.

As a beloved faculty member, Ann is part of the heart of WMCS. We are BLESSED and FAVORED to have her as part of our school family!  

A Small Token of Appreciation

Thank you from all of your colleagues and school families at WMCS!

We have a couple of small tokens of appreciation for you, Ann! It’s two $10 gifts from our two WMCS retail fundraising partners, DIBS! on Resale and B2 Outlet Store Muskegon.

To redeem, please check-in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this token of appreciation — $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop, Chad!

To redeem your $10 off at our B2 Outlet Store, go shopping and then submit your B2 sales receipt to your school principal and we’ll send you a check to reimburse you!

Relocated to a new store in Muskegon in January of 2019, DIBS! On Resale proceeds benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS). In the fall of the same year, we also celebrated the opening of our second retail fundraising partner, B2 Outlet Store. Both stores exist to help raise funds for all five of our schools including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.

Curious if you should switch your kids to FCS or any of our five schools?

Do you have a toddler? Time to start thinking about a school system partner. Being a PK-12 school system, WMCS is one-stop Christian education!

LEARN MORE about us!

WMCS Teacher Tuesday Q & A with New Era Christian School’s Erika Crawford

WMCS Teachers are Extraordinary!

It takes extraordinary people, living extraordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel through their work as teachers. At WMCS we have MANY such people and we love to celebrate them!

Last year we launched, Teacher Tuesday and it was a wonderful way to highlight a very special teacher from all five West Michigan Christian Schools every week. We’re excited to start the campaign again, so be sure to check our social media every Tuesday to see who will be featured that week. Teacher Tuesday is a GREAT opportunity to encourage these PK-12 teachers, drop off their favorite drink (see blog post for what that is) and thank them for their service! Our faculty collectively use their giftedness to teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

Celebrating Erika Crawford of New Era Christian School (PK-8th grade)

In the words of NEC Principal, Phil Morse:

Miss Crawford’s classroom is structured and predictable as well as she is tenacious about student learning.

Here I am at my brother’s wedding on Mackinaw Island.

Q: How many years have you taught there? 


A: This is my fourth year as a teacher at NECS. Prior to becoming the 1st/2nd grade teacher, I worked as an interventionist for five months at NECS.

My niece and nephew mean the world to me – Kase and Bailey Crawford.

Q: What’s your favorite teaching moment(s) to date?

A: I love this question! My all-time favorite moment teaching my students was last school year when we were in Bible time one day. We were discussing some of the verses in the Bible where Jesus laid his hands on people to heal them and it came to my mind to practice this with my students. Each student had the opportunity to say their prayer requests and then they were asked to sit in the middle of the circle. Other students gathered around and laid their precious hands-on that student. What made it so powerful was that we all prayed out loud together! Students still talk about it to this day; it was one of their favorite things to do!  

Q: What’s something fun that most people do not know about you? 

I’ve grown to love fishing. Here we are at my favorite spot – Rose Lake.

A: I have a new found love of fishing with my fiance. I am finding that being on the water is so peaceful and the scenery is breathtaking. We enjoy trying out different lakes and Michigan certainly has an abundance of them!   

My fiance Trevor and I right after we became engaged.

Q: What’s the best part of your day? 

A: I really enjoy the mornings with my students! Mornings are a great time to start each day with devotions and turn our hearts to God. Our “Daily 5” time is after devotions and I love it! This is the time where I can listen to each student read in the ‘meet with teacher’ station while other students are involved in reading with a buddy, reading in the classroom loft, reading on Kindles, and doing word work. I enjoy creating activities for my students that are engaging and keep their attention. I want to instill the love of reading in each one of my students. My hope is to create lifelong readers!  

I love my first and second grade students!

Q: What’s your specific favorite non-alcoholic beverage? 

A: I just joined the coffee drinking club this year, if there is such a thing.  I love it and drink a cup every morning! I can’t believe I waited so long. Sweet coffee is my favorite!! 

 My fiance and soon to be step-children, Brianna and Brookelynn.

As a beloved faculty member, Erika is part of the heart of WMCS. We are BLESSED and FAVORED to have her as part of our school family!  

A Small Token of Appreciation

Thank you from all of your colleagues and school families at WMCS!

We have a couple of small tokens of appreciation for you, Erika! It’s two $10 gifts from our two WMCS retail fundraising partners, DIBS! on Resale and B2 Outlet Store Muskegon.

To redeem, please check-in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this token of appreciation — $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop, Chad!

To redeem your $10 off at our B2 Outlet Store, go shopping and then submit your B2 sales receipt to your school principal and we’ll send you a check to reimburse you!

Relocated to a new store in Muskegon in January of 2019, DIBS! On Resale proceeds benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS). In the fall of the same year, we also celebrated the opening of our second retail fundraising partner, B2 Outlet Store. Both stores exist to help raise funds for all five of our schools including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.

Curious if you should switch your kids to NEC or any of our five schools?

Do you have a toddler? Time to start thinking about a school system partner. Being a PK-12 school system, WMCS is one-stop Christian education!

LEARN MORE about us!

WMCS Teacher Tuesday Q & A with Grand Haven Christian School’s Kathryn Becksvoort

WMCS Teachers are Extraordinary!

It takes extraordinary people, living extraordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel through their work as teachers. At WMCS we have MANY such people and we love to celebrate them!

Last year we launched, Teacher Tuesday and it was a wonderful way to highlight a very special teacher from all five West Michigan Christian Schools every week. We’re excited to start the campaign again, so be sure to check our social media every Tuesday to see who will be featured that week. Teacher Tuesday is a GREAT opportunity to encourage these PK-12 teachers, drop off their favorite drink (see blog post for what that is) and thank them for their service! Our faculty collectively use their giftedness to teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

Celebrating Kathryn Becksvoort of Grand Haven Christian School (PK-8th grade)

In the words of GHC Principal Tim Annema:

Kathryn is an amazingly talented musician, teacher, wife, and mother of four. She is passionate about providing ways in which students can use their voice and other musical instruments to make beautiful music in praise to God. Mrs. Becksvoort also directs the choirs at WMC, providing different music opportunities for GHC students for up 13 years of their life!

Q: How many years have you taught?

A: This is my 17th year teaching music and choir at GHC.  It is my 13th year teaching middle and high school choir at WMC.

Directing the 5th Graders at the 2019 Christmas Concert

Q: What classes/grades do you teach?

A: I teach preschool-8th grade general music and choir at GHC.  I teach 7th-12th grade choir at WMC

Selfie in music class with Kinder

Q: Do you have kids at GHC?

A: My son Jack is in 5th grade, my daughter Clara is in 2nd grade, and my daughter Louise is in Young 5’s.  My daughter Cecilia will be coming to the preschool in the fall!

Selfie with the Men’s Choir as they prepare to sing at State Choir Festival at Hope College

Q: What do you love most about your job and why?

A: I love being able to connect with my students.  Music is such a passion for many of them – being able to nurture and showcase their musical gifts is a privilege and a blessing.  I love seeing them take those gifts out into the community and into their churches to bless others as well!

Selfie with Lou on her 5th birthday, getting ice cream at Norm’s.

Q: What’s the best part of your day?

A: I love getting up early in the morning, and being greeted by my sweet three-year-old.  She’s a morning person and a very early riser.  She always has a big smile and hugs for her mama!

Selfie with Jack on our taco date at Mercury Park

Q: How specifically has the Lord gifted you as an individual and how does that help you as a teacher?

A:  I think God has blessed me with musical talents, which I love to share.  But beyond that, I think He has given me the skills of communication and empathy, so I can really reach my students where they are and help them grow.

Selfie with Dave this past summer at Silver Lake (while at Mac Woods)

Q:  If there was anything you could change about your job, what would it be?

A: I might let someone else teach fourth-grade recorders.  Just kidding – I actually love it!  Is that strange?

Selfie with the Chamber Choir, just before the Fall Concert at Orchard View.

Q: What’s your specific favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

A: Iced coffee!

Family photo from fall 2019
(from left to right) the kids’ order is Clara, Cecilia, Louise, and Jack.

Q: What are you most grateful for when it comes to your job? 

A: GHC has always strongly supported the music program.  I know that whether it’s an elementary musical, a children’s Christmas program, a middle school choir concert, or anything else, I know that the parents, administrators, and teachers always come to cheer us on and support us in the audience!  Students then feel loved and encouraged in their musical endeavors, and strive to achieve excellence!  We know that as we share our musical gifts, we are there to glorify God.  I love being able to communicate that at GHC.

Directing the Chamber Choir and the Chamber Alumni at the WMC Collage Concert (at the Frauenthal).

As a beloved faculty member, Kathryn is part of the heart of WMCS. We are BLESSED and FAVORED to have her as part of our school family!  

A Small Token of Appreciation

Thank you from all of your colleagues and school families at WMCS!

We have a couple of small tokens of appreciation for you, Kathryn! It’s two $10 gifts from our two WMCS retail fundraising partners, DIBS! on Resale and B2 Outlet Store Muskegon.

To redeem, please check-in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this token of appreciation — $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop, Chad!

To redeem your $10 off at our B2 Outlet Store, go shopping and then submit your B2 sales receipt to your school principal and we’ll send you a check to reimburse you!

Relocated to a new store in Muskegon in January of 2019, DIBS! On Resale proceeds benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS). In the fall of the same year, we also celebrated the opening of our second retail fundraising partner, B2 Outlet Store. Both stores exist to help raise funds for all five of our schools including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.

Curious if you should switch your kids to GHC or any of our five schools?

Do you have a toddler? Time to start thinking about a school system partner.

LEARN MORE about us!

WMCS Teacher Tuesday Q & A with Western Michigan Christian School’s Kevin Aardema

WMCS Teachers are Extraordinary!

It takes extraordinary people, living extraordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel through their work as teachers. At WMCS we have MANY such people and we love to celebrate them!

Last year we launched, Teacher Tuesday and it was a wonderful way to highlight a very special teacher from all five West Michigan Christian Schools every week. We’re excited to start the campaign again, so be sure to check our social media every Tuesday to see who will be featured that week. Teacher Tuesday is a GREAT opportunity to encourage these PK-12 teachers, drop off their favorite drink (see blog post for what that is) and thank them for their service! Our faculty collectively use their giftedness to teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

Celebrating Kevin Aardema of Western Michigan Christian School (7-12th grade)

In the words of Ben Garretson WMC’s Class of 2020 Valedictorian and top runner for WMCS Men’s Cross Country team:

Mr. Aardema is a great teacher and a fantastic coach. He encouraged us in the classroom and on the course. Though he sometimes employed tough love, his dedication to his students and athletes was always evident. We appreciated having him as a teacher and coach and are glad for the impact he’s had on our lives. 

In the words of Abby VanderKooi, WMC’s 2019 Footlocker National Cross Country First Team All-American:

Truthfully I don’t even know what to say, there are too many things to be said! I love Mr. Aardema very much and I have great respect for him. As a coach, he is so chill. I still remember once before a very small not-really-important-for-anything cross country meet I was freaking out about and just really nervous, Mr. Aardema told me, ‘Abby, I will tell you when you need to be nervous for a race!’ And he has proceeded to never tell me I needed to be nervous about a race — okay, maybe nationals, though. He is so calm and collected. He tells me to just go out there and run my race. Even if I am really worried about something, I know that Coach A will always be calm and there for me. He also ALWAYS thinks it’s a great day to run. Sometimes I step into his classroom and it is freezing, rainy, and windy (I HATE THE WIND!) and he says, “It’s a great day to run!” Sometimes you can only laugh at him. I really enjoy having him as a coach and teacher, and I hope he knows that he deserves to be honored on Teacher Tuesday!

Q: Where did you go to school?

A: I graduated from Grosse Pointe South HS and attended Calvin College. I have a master’s degree from the University of Detroit Mercy.  My first 9 years of teaching were in the Detroit Public School system at Denby High School followed by teaching mathematics at WMC since 2001.

Q: What classes do you teach at WMC?

A: I teach Algebra II, AP Statistics, and AP Calculus. I also coach Cross Country at WMC.

Kay, Adrienne (WMC class of 2014), Josie (WMC class of 2018) and Kevin Aardema. Both daughters were Valedictorians at WMC!

Q: What’s your favorite scripture?

A: “As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.” – Psalm 42:1

Q: What is your favorite quote?

A: As I work with kids who are under so much pressure, much of it self created, I remind them of a quote by Bill Murray, “It just doesn’t matter.”   What really matters is your relationship with your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Q: What do you love most about your job and why? 

A: I love getting to know kids.

Kevin kayaking on Lake Superior.

Q: What’s the best part of your day?

A: Cross country practice!

Q: How specifically has the Lord gifted you as an individual and how does that help you as a teacher? 

A: I have been told I am patient.

Q: If there was anything you could change about your job, what would it be? 

A: I wish I could stop giving grades to kids and just teach and learn for the love of learning.

Q: What are you most grateful for when it comes to your job?

A: The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of some great kids.

Kevin Aardema and Kyle Kempster at the Pilgrim Prance, the annual Thanksgiving race these two BFFs pioneered for local runners in 2009. Free race admittance. Silly costumes encouraged.

As you can see Kevin is a man of few words! His sparse responses to the above Q&A leave you wanting to learn more. His daughter, Adrienne Aardema, captured her father thoughtfully in her 2014 Valedictorian address so we decided to share it with you.

Enjoy!

Everything I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned From My Dad

by Adrienne Aardema

WMC Class of 2014 Valedictorian Speech

I wanted to say something fresh but true tonight, and since many of you know of my dad, Kevin Aardema, I thought I would share some things that I have learned from him.  My Dad is a math teacher and cross-country coach at WMC.  He answers almost all questions with his personal set of one-liners that cover the philosophical spectrum.  I’m sharing with you my top ten list, and I have heard these from him hundreds of times.

10 – Sometimes your best isn’t good enough.

Well, this is a callous (but true) statement for a coach/Dad to make.  It’s blunt, but it reminds me that, on my own, I’m not that great.  The real goodness in me is always God working through me.

9 – If you don’t puke, then you weren’t really trying.

My Dad usually tells us this before races.  In general, it means: “give it your all, even when it hurts or is embarrassing”.

8 – You’re my favorite.

This is my Dad’s way of saying “Good job, but you’d better keep it up because that could change.”

7 – Just go out there and have fun.

…What he told me before my last cross-country meet, and before I ran the slowest time race that I’ve ever run.

6 – It’s not how you play the game, it’s whether you win.

I find this a little bit contradictory to his last statement about “just go out there and have some fun”, but he is competitive to the core.  Obviously, there is gospel truth in this statement also, because our ultimate victory in Christ does not depend upon our deeds.

5 – The first pancake never comes out well.

My Dad says this every time we make pancakes, but he always looks directly at me, the first-born.  I’m still not sure what this means, but he always throws the first pancake in the trash.

4 – I am a pizza genius!!

…the contagious power of optimism.  My Dad makes this remark every time he makes pizza, whether or not it is burnt, or tasteless, or wonderful.

3 – You’re just a stupid kid.

This is my Dad’s off-hand way of offering grace, but it also puts me in my place.

2 – The pain is only temporary.

This is my Dad’s constant advice when he is encouraging me to finish something difficult.

1 – A bath solves everything.

I should probably say something about baptism, but I think he really means a bath

These are the Elemental Aardema Truths, and whether I want to or not, I will carry them with me as I leave my home and childhood. 

There are also Elemental Truths that WMC has offered us:  they involve hope and grace and courage and friendship.  I am grateful for them.  Thank you teachers and families and coaches for the life lessons you leave with us.

I wish my classmates well, as they carry their own legacies into adulthood.

Thank you and God bless you.

As a beloved faculty member, Kevin is part of the heart of WMCS. We are BLESSED and FAVORED to have him as part of our school family!  

A Small Token of Appreciation

Thank you from all of your colleagues and school families at WMCS!

We have a couple of small tokens of appreciation for you, Kevin! It’s two $10 gifts from our two WMCS retail fundraising partners, DIBS! on Resale and B2 Outlet Store Muskegon.

To redeem, please check-in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this token of appreciation — $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop, Chad!

To redeem your $10 off at our B2 Outlet Store, go shopping and then submit your B2 sales receipt to your school principal and we’ll send you a check to reimburse you!

Relocated to a new store in Muskegon in January of 2019, DIBS! On Resale proceeds benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS). In the fall of the same year, we also celebrated the opening of our second retail fundraising partner, B2 Outlet Store. Both stores exist to help raise funds for all five of our schools including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.

Curious if you should switch your kids to WMC or any of our five schools?

Do you have a toddler? Time to start thinking about a school system partner.

LEARN MORE about us!

WMCS Teacher Tuesday Q & A with Muskegon Christian School’s Chad Bonnema

WMCS Teachers are Extraordinary!

It takes extraordinary people, living extraordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel through their work as teachers. At WMCS we have MANY such people and we love to celebrate them!

Last year we launched, Teacher Tuesday and it was a wonderful way to highlight a very special teacher from all five West Michigan Christian Schools every week. We’re excited to start the campaign again, so be sure to check our social media every Tuesday to see who will be featured that week. Teacher Tuesday is a GREAT opportunity to encourage these PK-12 teachers, drop off their favorite drink (see blog post for what that is) and thank them for their service! Our faculty collectively use their giftedness to teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

Celebrating Chad Bonnema of Muskegon Christian School (PK-6th grade)

In the words of Dan DeKam, MCS principal:

It has been a pleasure working with Chad these last 9 years.  Chad is always willing to help and he does it with a smile! Chad has been active with our Lego league, bucket brigade, technology committee and never shies away from a new opportunity.  He brings a passion for Christian education and is always seeking ways to ‘do it better’.  

Q: How many years have you taught at MCS? 

A: I have taught at MCS for 9 years. My first MCS class graduates from high school this year!

Q: What classes/grades do you teach?    

A: I teach 5th grade at MCS.

Q: Do you have kids at MCS? 

A: I have 1 daughter to go through WMC, one daughter currently at WMC, and a daughter and a son at MCS.  

The Bonnema Family

Q: Did you graduate from MCS? 

A: Unfortunately, I did not attend West Michigan Christian Schools. I am a proud Kalamazoo Christian Schools graduate – go Comets!

Q: What’s your favorite teaching moment(s) to date? Tell us the story.

A: One of my favorite teaching moments actually was less of a teacher and more of a manager. During the 2013-2014 school year, I managed one of the MCS Destination Imagination teams. Destination Imagination is a problem-solving and creative competition that provides unique educational experiences across seven project-based Challenge types–Technical, Scientific, Engineering, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning, and Early Learning.  

Well, during the 2013-2014 season, our team was able to make it to the Global Finals (World Championships) in Knoxville, TN. Along the way, we placed 2nd at the regional competition, 2nd at the state competition, and 38th out of 75 teams at the Global Finals. MCS had never made it so far in a Destination Imagination competition before. More importantly, the memories created and the hard work from the team is something I will always cherish. 

Q:  What’s a FUN FACT that most people do not know about you?

A: I used to be a (very) amateur clown. My clown name was Boomer the Clown and I would “clown” around at civic, school, and church functions. At one time I even considered going to Clown College but decided my calling was in the classroom and not the circus. 

Q: What’s your specific favorite non-alcoholic beverage? 

A: Coffee. I even have the equipment to roast my own coffee beans, complete with my own brand name and logo. Nerdy, I know!


Q: What are you most grateful for when it comes to your job?

A: I am most grateful that I am able to work in a Christian environment. Faith is such a big part of who we are as Christian educators. I can’t imagine not being able to share it with my students. I also LOVE working with other Christian teachers.

Q: We’re in year two of Teaching for Transformation (TfT) training. Thoughts on it thus far?  

A: I am excited to implement TfT into the classroom next year. I believe it will take the Christian part of Christian education, student learning, and my teaching to a deeper level. I am excited to take the training I have received and use it in the classroom. TfT will invite, nurture, and empower our students to be a part of God’s story!

Q: Tell us about the recent field trip to WMC’s CAD class?

A: I challenged my fifth-grade math class with the question “is it possible to make disciples of Christ through the running of a taco truck?” In developing the answer to this question, the students were also asked to create a taco truck, blueprints included, and a business plan for the taco truck restaurant. They created their blueprints on graph paper and then traveled to WMC to collaborate with the high school students who currently take CAD class with Mr. Osburne, to help them create a more professional rendering of their taco truck!

To watch a video of that fun day, go to INSTAGRAM.

Chad leads the student Bucket Brigade at MCS every year.
They perform at half time at WMC every winter during boys varsity basketball game.

As a beloved faculty member, Chad is part of the heart of WMCS. We are BLESSED and FAVORED to have him as part of our school family!  

A Small Token of Appreciation

Thank you from all of your colleagues and school families at WMCS!

We have a couple of small tokens of appreciation for you, Chad! It’s two $10 gifts from our two WMCS retail fundraising partners, DIBS! on Resale and B2 Outlet Store Muskegon.

To redeem, please check-in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this token of appreciation — $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop, Chad!

To redeem your $10 off at our B2 Outlet Store, go shopping and then submit your B2 sales receipt to your school principal and we’ll send you a check to reimburse you!

Relocated to a new store in Muskegon in January of 2019, DIBS! On Resale proceeds benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS). In the fall of the same year, we also celebrated the opening of our second retail fundraising partner, B2 Outlet Store. Both stores exist to help raise funds for all five of our schools including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.

Curious if you should switch your kids to MCS or any of our five schools?

Do you have a toddler? Time to start thinking about a school system partner.

LEARN MORE about us!

WMCS Teacher Tuesday Q & A with New Era Christian School’s Chris Kelley

WMCS Teachers are Extraordinary!

It takes extraordinary people, living extraordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel through their work as teachers. At WMCS we have MANY such people and we love to celebrate them!

New Era Christian School

Last year we launched, Teacher Tuesday and it was a wonderful way to highlight a very special teacher from all five West Michigan Christian Schools every week. We’re excited to start the campaign again, so be sure to check our social media every Tuesday to see who will be featured that week. Teacher Tuesday is a GREAT opportunity to encourage these PK-12 teachers, drop off their favorite drink (see blog post for what that is) and thank them for their service! Our faculty collectively use their giftedness to teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

CELEBRATING CHRIS KELLEY OF NEW ERA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL (PK-8th):

In the words of Phil Morse, NEC Administrator:

Mrs. Kelley’s classroom is a model for an authentic, caring community where every student feels like they belong.

Q: How many years have you taught there? 

A: I am in my fifth year teaching at NECS

Q: What classes/grades do you teach?

A: I teach 7th/8th grade, all subjects.

Q: Do you have kids there? Graduated from there?

A: Three of my four sons have attended NECS.  One graduated from here in 2016 and my youngest son is currently in the 6th grade.

Lucky mom of 4 boys: Jonah (21), Ben (18), Andrew (15) and Eli (12)


Q: What’s your favorite teaching moment(s) to date?

A: Last year one of my students prayed to receive Christ as her personal Savior.  When asked what led her to choose Christ, she cited conversations with her dad, Mr. Morse and a presentation of the Spirit-Filled life we had in class. The transformation in her attitude, work ethic and general outlook on life have been significant and a joy to watch.

A wall of books behind me and great kids alongside me-I love learning, growing and pursuing Jesus with my amazing students.

Q: What’s something fun that most people do not know about you?

A: I was a member of the University of Michigan Synchronized Swim Team for a year.

Q: What do you love most about your job and why? 

A: Hands down the best part of my job is doing life together with the students in my classroom.  Growing together as compassionate Christ Followers, sharing each others’ burdens and learning alongside one another gives purpose and meaning to my days.

Q: What’s the best part of your day? 

A: Prayer time in the morning and math block are my favorites.  My students share real struggles and praises and it serves as a time of connection for all of us.  Even though my major in college was English, math is my favorite subject because I love problem-solving.

Time with friends is my favorite hobby.


Q: How specifically has the Lord gifted you as an individual and how does that help you as a teacher?

A: The Lord has allowed me the privilege of many life experiences that help in my teaching.  Academically, I have taught in the public school, I have homeschooled my own kids and now I teach at NECS.  My teaching position is also unique because I teach all subjects in middle school. I am a curious learner so I feel fortunate to be diving into subjects that may not be my “specialty”.  Divorce, foster care, and special needs parenting have all played a significant role in my life, as well, and help me in understanding people. Personally, discipleship was transformational in my own life and spiritual formation, so my heart is bent toward seeing the hand of God in people’s lives.   

Q: If there was anything you could change about your job, what would it be? 

A: Without a doubt, I would outsource GRADING!

Q: What are you most grateful for when it comes to your job?

A: I am most grateful that in my current position I have the freedom to address issues in the classroom and with students from a spiritual perspective.  On a practical level, I enjoy my co-workers, the school is close to my home and the work is flexible and family-friendly.

My husband of 25 years, Duane and me, enjoying gaining a daughter-in-law at our oldest son’s wedding in August 2019.

AS A BELOVED FACULTY MEMBER, CHRIS IS PART OF THE HEART OF WMCS. WE ARE BLESSED AND FAVORED TO HAVE HER AS PART OF OUR SCHOOL FAMILY!  

A SMALL TOKEN OF APPRECIATION

A heartfelt THANK YOU, from all of your colleagues at WMCS and the school families!

We have a couple of small tokens of appreciation for you, Chris! It’s two $10 gifts from our two WMCS retail fundraising partners, DIBS! on Resale and B2 Outlet Store Muskegon.

To redeem, please check-in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this token of appreciation — $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop!

To redeem your $10 off at our B2 Outlet Store, go shopping and then submit your B2 sales receipt to your school principal and we’ll send you a check to reimburse you!

Relocated to a new store in Muskegon in January of 2019, DIBS! On Resale proceeds benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS). In the fall of the same year, we also celebrated the opening of our second retail fundraising partner, B2 Outlet Store. Both stores exist to help raise funds for all five of our schools including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.

Curious about starting your child at NEC or any of our 5 schools?

LEARN MORE.

WMCS Teacher Tuesday Q & A with Western Michigan Christian School’s Mark Hill

WMCS Teachers are Extraordinary!

It takes extraordinary people, living extraordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel through their work as teachers. At WMCS we have MANY such people and we love to celebrate them!

Last year we launched, Teacher Tuesday and it was a wonderful way to highlight a very special teacher from all five West Michigan Christian Schools every week. We’re excited to start the campaign again, so be sure to check our social media every Tuesday to see who will be featured that week. Teacher Tuesday is a GREAT opportunity to encourage these PK-12 teachers, drop off their favorite drink (see blog post for what that is) and thank them for their service! Our faculty collectively use their giftedness to teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

In the words of Pastor Samuel Greer, WMC Administrator:

Our WMC middle school students know that they are in for a special treat under the leadership of Mr. Hill. Mark is a treasure of wisdom and knowledge. He is able to adapt to any and every situation. Science and the principles of this universe come alive under the instruction of Mr. Mark Hill.

Celebrating Mark Hill of Western Michigan Christian School (7-12th grade)

Q: How many years have you taught there?

A: I have nearly completed my first year of teaching at WMC.  Prior to coming to WMC, I taught for 21 years in the public school system.

Q: What classes/grades do you teach?

A: I teach 7th and 8th-grade science, language arts, and STEM.

Q: Do you have kids there? Graduated from there? 

A: I have two boys.  Andrew graduated from WMC last year and is currently attending Calvin University.  Ethan is in 10th grade at WMC.

Me with my sons Andrew (left) and Ethan (right).

Q: What’s your favorite teaching moment(s) to date?

A: This is going to sound weird but, the day classes resumed after finding out that Mr. Vredevoogd had passed away.  It was one of the hardest teaching days in my life. However, what turned it into a favorite moment is that we had an opportunity to come together as a community of believers and discuss our faith and how Christ has overcome death.  I have never felt so supported as a teacher than I had that day and I could feel the Holy Spirit working among us.

Q: What’s something fun that most people do not know about you?

A: My wife Rhonda (DeBoer) (WMC class of ‘92) who teaches at Muskegon Christian School, and her two sisters, Gina (WMC class of ‘86) and Marla (WMC class of ‘89) are also alumni of WMC.  Small world!

Q: What do you love most about your job and why? 

A: I love coming to work every day to be with the kids- hearing their stories and connecting with them on a more personal level.  It is why I chose the profession I did.

Q: What’s the best part of your day? 

A: Starting our day with a word of prayer.  It gives us a moment to pause and focus and thank God for the day he has set forth before us.

John 9:4, “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (NIV)

Q: How specifically has the Lord gifted you as an individual and how does that help you as a teacher? 

A: Most people would agree that you have to be a little “different” to teach middle school students.  I LOVE working with this age group! They are so full of life, energy, and questions that you have to be on your toes and ready for anything to happen during the day.

Q: What’s your specific favorite non-alcoholic beverage? 

A: Vernors!

Q:    How do you feel Teaching for Transformation will augment or re-shape your tactics/approach/perspective as a Christian educator?

A: I am excited to be an early adopter for TfT.  The ability for kids to tie their academic work to their faith is what is truly exciting.  I have been trained in Project-Based Learning (PBL) and TfT gives students the “Greater Why”- we are Servants Called to Serve! 

We are currently looking at body systems and diseases that might affect these systems. Students are in the process of choosing how we want to serve kids their age who may have a disease or medical condition.  Stay tuned to see what they choose!

AS A BELOVED FACULTY MEMBER, MARK IS PART OF THE HEART OF WMCS. WE ARE BLESSED AND FAVORED TO HAVE HIM AS PART OF OUR SCHOOL FAMILY!  

A SMALL TOKEN OF APPRECIATION

A heartfelt THANK YOU, from all of your colleagues at WMCS and the school families!

We have a couple of small tokens of appreciation for you, Mark! It’s two $10 gifts from our two WMCS retail fundraising partners, DIBS! on Resale and B2 Outlet Store Muskegon.

To redeem, please check-in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this token of appreciation — $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop!

To redeem your $10 off at our B2 Outlet Store, go shopping and then submit your B2 sales receipt to your school principal and we’ll send you a check to reimburse you!

Relocated to a new store in Muskegon in January of 2019, DIBS! On Resale proceeds benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS). In the fall of the same year, we also celebrated the opening of our second retail fundraising partner, B2 Outlet Store. Both stores exist to help raise funds for all five of our schools including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.

Curious about starting your child in WMC’s Middle School program?

LEARN MORE.

WMCS Teacher Tuesday Q & A with Grand Haven Christian School’s Hanna Cacciatore

WMCS Teachers are Extraordinary!

It takes extraordinary people, living extraordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel through their work as teachers. At WMCS we have MANY such people and we love to celebrate them!

Last year we launched, Teacher Tuesday and it was a wonderful way to highlight a very special teacher from all five West Michigan Christian Schools every week. We’re excited to start the campaign again, so be sure to check our social media every Tuesday to see who will be featured that week. Teacher Tuesday is a GREAT opportunity to encourage these PK-12 teachers, drop off their favorite drink (see blog post for what that is) and thank them for their service! Our faculty collectively use their giftedness to teach children how to SHINE and RISE UP to their God-given potential. They shepherd the WMCS students to GROW as Christians and default to leaning on ALWAYS CHRIST. It’s a teacher’s goal to encourage every student to LOVE. LEARN. LEAD.

Celebrating Hanna Cacciatore of Grand Haven Christian School (PK-8th grade)

Grand Haven Christian School

A quote from Tim Annema GHC Administrator:

Señora Cacciatore is a caring and compassionate wife, mother, and teacher. She daily demonstrates these attributes to her Spanish immersion Kindergarten students. It’s amazing to walk into her classroom after just six months of school and hear her students purely conversing in Spanish. Hanna is a valuable member of our teaching staff and is intentional about building community both before and after the school day with students, parents, and fellow staff members.

Q: How many years have you taught there?

A: This is my second year at GHC but my 10th year teaching.

Q: What classes/grades do you teach?

A: Kindergarten Spanish Immersion

Q: Do you have kids there? Graduated from there?

A: My daughter Natalie is in the Young 5’s classroom, my son Daniel will be in preschool next year!

Hanna with her daughter Natalie and son Daniel.

Q: What’s your favorite teaching moment(s) to date?

A: Last school year we read the story “Un beso en mi mano” (“The Kissing Hand”), after reading the story I had planned on having the students do a craft with a hand tracing and heart but the students really wanted to make a raccoon. Each student had different ideas on how to make a raccoon using different materials, I decided to go with it! It was a lot of fun to see their individual creativity come out, each raccoon turned out differently and it was fun to share them with one another.

Q: What’s something fun that most people do not know about you?

A: While living in Honduras, my husband and I traveled around Honduras and ventured into Guatemala and Nicaragua. We got to see Mayan ruins, hear Kaqchikel (an indigenous Mayan language), and release baby sea turtles. Before we left Honduras my husband surprised me with a trip to Roatan with our kids and a friend, this was a trip I had wanted for the longest time but didn’t think we would get to before we left Honduras.

The Cacciatore clan at the GH Pier.

Q: What do you love most about your job and why?

A: I love seeing the “Aha!” moments and watching the students’ faces light up with new knowledge and connections. I also love seeing the transformation of English to Spanish throughout the year. Most of my students enter the year not knowing any Spanish and leave at the end of the year speaking it fluently.

Q: What’s the best part of your day?

A: The best part of my day is greeting parents and students at the door in the morning. I love seeing the smiling faces and the excitement of the students as they enter the classroom. I love being able to catch up with parents for a minute or two and developing the relationship between home and school.

Q: What’s your specific favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

A: My favorite drink is a caramel macchiato from Starbucks.

Q: What are you most grateful for when it comes to your job?

A: I am most grateful for the GHC community: my fellow staff, school administrators, parents, and students. This is only my second year at GHC but it feels like I have always been here. I feel loved and supported by the community and am very blessed to be here at GHC.

As a beloved faculty member, Hanna is part of the heart of WMCS. We are BLESSED and FAVORED to have her as part of our school family!  

A SMALL TOKEN OF APPRECIATION

A heartfelt THANK YOU, from all of your colleagues at WMCS and the school families!

We have a couple of small tokens of appreciation for you, Hanna! It’s two $10 gifts from our two WMCS retail fundraising partners, DIBS! on Resale and B2 Outlet Store Muskegon.

To redeem, please check-in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this token of appreciation — $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop!

To redeem your $10 off at our B2 Outlet Store, go shopping and then submit your B2 sales receipt to your school principal and we’ll send you a check to reimburse you!

Relocated to a new store in Muskegon in January of 2019, DIBS! On Resale proceeds benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS). In the fall of the same year, we also celebrated the opening of our second retail fundraising partner, B2 Outlet Store. Both stores exist to help raise funds for all five of our schools including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian(PK-6), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), New Era Christian (PK-8) and Western Michigan Christian (7-12).

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, that work under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality, PK-12 Christian education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Benefiting from close cooperation and a seamless curriculum, our schools collaborate to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian education in West Michigan.

Curious about starting your child in GHC’s Spanish Immersion program?

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