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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 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 Muskegon Christian School’s Allison Westra

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 Allison Westra of Muskegon Christian School (PK-6th grade)

Allison Westra, MCS Preschool Director
Allison Westra, MCS Preschool Director

A quote from MCS principal, Dan DeKam:

MCS has been blessed to have Allison Westra as part of the staff for four years.  She has done an amazing job of coming into the pre-kindergarten position and taking it to the next level of excellence.  Her positive attitude, strong work ethic and love for God and his children make her an excellent colleague and a person parents can entrust with their children.

Q: How many years at MCS?

A: This is my 4th year at MCS.

Q: What classes/grades do you teach?

A: I teach 4 and 5-year-old preschool or Pre Kindergarten.

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

A: No – I have a 20-month-old and another to be born end of March 

Allison and her son Leeroy.

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

A: I love to sing!

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

A: It is so hard to just pick one thing! 

I love that I can talk about God freely and be surrounded by other believers who are dedicated to growing their faith and being kingdom builders in their daily lives. It is such a joy getting to know families here as well.  It seems the longer I work here the bigger the family I have. MCS creates a strong community. 

Preschool graduation two years ago!  It might be my favorite event of the year! (Other than having to say goodbye to the kiddos.)

What’s the best part of your day? One of my favorite parts of the day is when the students are just arriving in the morning.  I love saying “Good Morning!” and seeing faces light up or run to tell me a story, or that they fell in the parking lot (haha)

I also love ‘center time’ because all of the kids are engaged and learning in different areas of the room. It allows me to work with small groups and really get to know each student. 

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

A: Probably coffee, then water.  

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

A: The other staff and all the family support.  My first year teaching here I remember just being so overwhelmed with the amount of parent support and involvement (in a good way!).  Each year I still have that feeling. We are truly lucky as teachers here.  

Q: Share how you feel about your Teaching For Transformation (TfT) training so far:

A: I am VERY excited about TFT.  It is something that just makes sense as a Christian school. It allows us to teach project-based and through hands-on experiences all through a Christian lens.  As a teacher, what more could you ask for in Christian education? We want something that sets us apart from public schools and can help shape the whole person. 

FUN FACT: 

We own the four local Pizza Ranch restaurants in West Michigan with my father in law and Brett’s (my husband) siblings. 

Brett, Allison, and our Son Leeroy at a family engagement party.  I am also due in March with a baby girl!!

As a beloved faculty member, Allison 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, Allison, from all of your colleagues at WMCS and the school families!

We have a couple small tokens of appreciation for you, Allison! 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 if you should switch your kids to MCS or any of our five schools?

Do you have a toddler? It’s time to start thinking about a school system partner.

LEARN MORE about us!

Does Your Child Need a Fresh Start? Explore New Beginnings at West Michigan Christian Schools PK-12

New Beginnings at WMCS

Today’s youth face a barrage of influences that compete for and invade their attention, at EVERY age.

Give your child a leg up with a fresh start at West Michigan Christian Schools!

At WMCS, the seeds of Truth are sown early and consistently cultivated until the child is rooted and ready for secondary school. Backed up at home, this powerful collaboration gives your child what is needed to grow into a fruit-bearing child of God.

Fresh Take on Timeless Truth

Lakeshore parents have trusted West Michigan Christian Schools for 137 years–not a typo!

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!

Although God’s Word is timeless, how we reach students must be fresh

Our PK-12 school system provides preschoolers through high school seniors, with the fertile soil to transform and thrive spiritually, socially and academically.

The WMCS 5-School System offers:

  • Teaching for Transformation PK-12
  • Spanish Immersion and English programs PreK-6th
  • Preschool (PT and FT options)
  • Kindergarten; English or Spanish Immersion. (PT and FT options)
  • Active learning via STEM & Project-Based Learning (PBL)
  • PK-12 Christian educational experience with Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School

Our schools 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.

Come to West Michigan Christian Schools and give your child the New Beginning he/she needs to bloom!

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) is a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region of Western Michigan, 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).

Go to WMCSchools.org to LEARN MORE and to determine which school is the best match for your family.

2 Corinthians 4:16-17

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 

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.

Early Adopters Emerge in the West Michigan Christian Schools Teaching for Transformation Program

The Education of a “Peculiar People”

By Jennifer Van Hekken, WMCS PK-8 Curriculum Director & TfT Director

You may have heard the phrase “Teaching for Transformation” thrown around in various school communications and maybe you’re curious what it means.

Teaching for Transformation (TfT) is a program that is being integrated into Christian schools across the country, and we (the WMCS 5-school PK-12 system) are excited to be added to that esteemed list of schools.

The TfT model of education begins with three years of faculty training. Year one begins with eight modules, or lessons, delivered to all WMCS teachers.  In the second year of TfT, twenty-five percent of the staff emerge as early adopters of the program and begin implementing the framework into their classrooms. Year three of TfT focuses on the training of the remaining three-fourths of the staff, moving the early adopters into a training role.

Our faculty is shifting into teaching for the purpose of transformation, not just the transfer of information.

As WMCS enters our second year of training, I’m excited to observe unique teaching and learning already taking shape in our schools. Our faculty is shifting into teaching for the purpose of transformation, not just the transfer of information. Our children experience a lot of noise (literal information overload) and teachers are challenged with competing with that. TfT has a way of breaking through the clutter, creating an emotional and spiritual connection that spurs a deeper learning experience that truly sticks. I am wholeheartedly convinced that this is the right way to do Christian education in the 20th Century!   

Our children experience a lot of noise (literal information overload) and teachers are challenged with competing with that. TfT has a way of breaking through the clutter, creating an emotional and spiritual connection that spurs a deeper learning experience that truly sticks.

At WMCS it is our desire that beyond anything else, our students understand that they are a “peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9) who play an important role in God’s story and are set apart to do “good works which have been laid out for them in advance” (Ephesians 2:10).  TfT equips teachers to weave this concept into all of their lessons, making for an impactful and transformational learning environment. 

I am wholeheartedly convinced that this is the right way to do Christian education in the 20th Century!  

Our early adopters are already capturing this vision in their classrooms through the addition of their Deep Hope for their students and the creation of a Storyline for their classrooms.

WMCS TfT Early Adopters Explain it Best

Athena Findlay (GHC) has chosen the Storyline “Find Your Purpose,” and is reminding her students through all of their English Language Arts studies that, as they read others’ stories, they themselves also play a role in God’s story, and they are challenged to consider their own purpose in that story.

Athena Findley, a Teaching for Transformation early adopter, is a middle school English teacher at Grand Haven Christian School.

Jen Menefee (MCS) has chosen the Storyline “Loved by God,” and spends time in her classroom reminding her students that all of the people groups that they study in Social Studies, as well as every student in the classroom, is loved by God, which changes how they see both themselves and others.

Jen Menefee, a Teaching for Transformation early adopter, is a second-grade teacher at Muskegon Christian School.

Nick Debone (WMC/MCS) has chosen the Storyline “Created to Worship.” He reminds his students that regardless of what type of music they are playing, what instrument they have chosen, and how difficult a piece can be, their ultimate goal is to understand that they were created to worship and that they get to use Band class to live that out. 

Nick DeBone, a Teaching for Transformation early adopter, is a band director at Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School.

Believers are God’s Own Special People

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)

As a 5-school PK-12 collaborative, we are so excited about the way that the TfT framework can continue to help us intentionally integrate faith and learning in a way that not only helps our students grow but also brings about transformation in both students’ and teachers’ lives. 

For more information about the WMCS Teaching for Transformation program, please contact us!

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.

The West Michigan Christian Schools Collaborative Annual 2019 Golf Outing

The WMCS Annual Golf Outing is the only fundraising event of the year that benefits all five member schools. It’s so well-attended that the spots are selling out early!

This year we gathered at Chase Hammond Golf Course on September 14, 2019, as the sun started to rise. Our generous sponsors, partners, and supporters arrived ready for a fun day of best-ball golf while raising funds for the WMCS faculty Teaching for Transformation (TfT) program.

WMCS is excited to announce that we’ve raised $35,000 toward our $50k 3-year goal. That puts us right on track as we enter year two of the three-year faculty TfT training.

It’s due to your support and the steadfast generosity of our sponsors that allows WMCS to provide our staff with what they need to provide excellent education for children at our five schools.

We are always humbled by and so grateful for the generous support:

Platinum Sponsors: BettenBaker, Gort & Kraker and Summit Laboratory;

Gold sponsors: Advanced Printing & Graphics, Bishop Heating and Air, B2 Outlets Stores, DIBS! On Resale, and West Coast Pediatric Dentistry.

Silver sponsors: Hometown Pharmacy, B&B Designs, Independent Bank, Bornw Bear, Shelby State Bank. Don Rypma Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, Landscape Design, Country Dairy, Cedar Crest Dairy, and Cornerstone University. 


Envelope Please. And the Winners Are …

1st Place, with a score of 57:

From left to right:
Dean Johnson, Jeremiah Johnson, Daniel Rosema and Caleb Johnson.
Caleb, an all-state golfer in his days at WMC, was also a member of last year’s first-place foursome.

2nd Place, with a score of 59:

From left to right: The Rop brothers: Steve, Stan, Dave and Keith.

3rd Place, with a score of 60:

From left to right:
Kevin Kamphuis, Chad Kamphuis, Caleb Ledger and Adam Ledger.

BETTER TOGETHER: The WMCS Golf Outing is an All-School Effort

Hosted and coordinated by the WMCS Golf Committee,  the event was a collaborative effort led by a representative from each of our 5 schools.  The WMCS Golf Committee included Heidi Snyder of FCSPhil Morse of NECLisa Taylor of MCSKristin Clausing of GHC, Scott Liggett of WMC, and Kimberlee Mitchell, who reps for the WMCS 5-school collaborative.

WMCS thanks all sponsors and everyone who came out to play and help make the event such a success. Be sure to sign up early next year to secure a spot!

WHAT IS WMCS?

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.

OUR PK-12 SCHOOL FAMILY INCLUDES:

Interested in helping West Michigan Christian School reach its Teaching for Transformation fundraising goal?

Please EMAIL US! 

West Michigan Christian Schools Partner with B2 Outlet Stores to Raise Funds for Christian Education

We have Our Very Own Outlet Store ! 

West Michigan Christian Schools is excited to announce a new fundraising partnership with B2 Outlet Stores, a faith-based initiative that weaves together an emerging business model with a missional purpose.

For WMCS, that missional purpose is to support preschool through 12th-grade Christian education along the lakeshore of West Michigan at our five schools

B2 Outlet Stores serve the community by selling brand new, name-brand merchandise at reduced prices, then donating the majority of the store profits back into WMCS.

On October 9th, 2019 all five WMC Schools will come together to celebrate the B2 Outlet Store Grand Opening in Muskegon

            …and you’re ALL INVITED! 🎉

Shop, Save & Help Your School Win!

Each of the five West Michigan Christian Schools will receive a unique bar code, which is to be presented at checkout so B2 can keep a tally for sales for each school.

At the end of the academic 2019-2020 school year, the WMC School with the most cumulative sales will win a $250 shopping spree at B2! 

The bar code cards will be available in your school office as of Monday, September 16.

Already shopping at B2 and forgot your code? Tell the B2 cashier which school you are affiliated with and they will take care of it for you! 

To prepare for the Grand Opening, we need all helping hands on deck this month to get the store set up!

Volunteers Needed:

We need your help! To prepare for the Grand Opening, we need all helping hands on deck this month to get the store set up!

We are enlisting WMCS family, friends and student volunteers to get the store ready for the opening day next month.

The store layout is set, fixtures are purchased and clothing and other sale items have arrived! If you can hang items on a hanger, we need you!

Earn your annual school service hours while helping a GREAT cause!

Volunteer Info:

  • 2-8 volunteers starting Monday, September 9 through October 8
  • Volunteer Sign Up:
    1. Go to this link b2outlets.com/volunteers
    2. Choose the Muskegon store location by clicking the pull-down arrow
    3. Choose the hours you want to volunteer
      • Monday through Saturday shifts available:
      • M – F: 8am-11pm, 11am-2pm, 2pm-5pm, 5pm-8pm
      • Sat: 9-noon
      • Closed Sunday
    4. Enter your contact info and the B2 Team will be in touch

B2 Employment Opportunities:

The new store will also need to hire some full and part-time paid staff.

Where is it?

The B2 Outlet Store is located at 1638 Apple Avenue, in the commercial building behind Bob Evans off Apple Avenue, right off Highway 31. 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT of Christian Education at our West Michigan Christian Schools!

Interested in learning more about our 5-school faith-based education from preschool to 12th grade?

ASK US!

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), New Era Christian (PK-8), and Western Michigan Christian (7-12). 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.

West Michigan Christian Schools Complete Year One of Teaching for Transformation Training

TfT is Deeper Learning with a Christian Theme

Being able to share the Gospel in the classroom is a gift and a privilege, so we want to make sure our faculty achieves this to the best of their God-given ability.

TfT offers teachers expert deeper-learning tools to better instruct in a way that engages the student and creates lasting transformation. 

This requires a shift to new way of thinking and teaching. That said, year one of TfT training has been introductory. The early adopters to the training framework have already been identified and they will be given additional training.

To help explain this sophisticated program and why we chose to embark on it for WMCS, we asked our TfT Coach Amanda Albright the following questions:

  1. How does TfT already enhance what is already distinctly Christian education at WMCS?
  2. What does TfT do for teachers and schools?
  3. How do student benefit from experiencing TfT in the classroom?

What is TfT?

The TfT program, as developed by The Prairie Centre for Christian Education (PCCE), provides a framework for the development of authentic and integral Christian learning experiences that are grounded in a transformational worldview with a focus on seeing and living out God’s story. The TfT program is currently being used by over fifty schools worldwide (Canada, United States, Africa, and Central America).

TfT adeptly and strategically gives our teachers the tools, training, and knowledge to make sure their class time shares a compelling vision of the Kingdom, one that also creates a longing and desire within every student to engage and be an integral part in God’s unfolding plan.

The funds raised at the Annual WMCS Golf Outing go toward Teaching for Transformation costs. 

Interested in donating toward TfT? Become a WMCS Golf Outing 2018 Sponsor!

LEARN HOW!

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.

West Michigan Christian Schools: 2019 Year in Review

Dear WMCS Families, Alumni & Friends,

This spring, the faculty from our West Michigan Schools collaborative members reconvened for training on Teaching for Transformation.
It’s during this time when we are all together that I become the most passionate about the significant way that God is using our schools in West Michigan. 

group staff photo

Faculty from all five West Michigan Christian Schools.

It is also at these meetings that I am moved to be thankful for the tremendous people with whom I am blessed to work. 

The teachers of the WMCS collaborative are committed individuals who are striving diligently to help the children in our schools come to embody what it looks like to know and love God in our contemporary society.
The teachers of the WMCS collaborative are committed individuals who are striving diligently to help the children in our schools come to embody what it looks like to know and love God in our contemporary society. 
They truly are the heart of WMCS!
I wish all of our parents could sit in on some of these trainings and hear these educators talk about their deep love for the students.  I wish parents could hear them discuss how their love for the students instills in them a hope that all of their students can find their worth in who they are as children of the living God. And then, in turn, that they can be inspired to live a life of gratitude and work diligently to make this world more as God would have it to be – wherever God calls them.

God has blessed our schools with some tremendous educators with a passion for their students.  We could not ask for better allies in raising our children.

God has blessed our schools with some tremendous educators with a passion for their students.  We could not ask for better allies in raising our children.
This spring we launched Teacher Tuesday, a Q&A style feature of select WMCS faculty from each school designed to highlight and encourage. It’s also a great way for YOU to get to know our WMCS teachers in Fremont, New Era, Grand Haven, Muskegon, and Norton Shores!
To read all 2019 Teacher Tuesday posts, click here then go to the SELECT CATEGORY drop-down and choose Faith Matters.

A special congratulations to all the WMCS grads! Thank you all for your support of and prayers for Christian education!

Have a GREAT summer!

In His Service,

Dan DeKam
Executive Director of the WMCS Collaborative

Interested in learning more about our 5-school faith-based education from preschool to 12th grade?

ASK US!

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), New Era Christian (PK-8), and Western Michigan Christian (7-12). 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.