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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.

Muskegon Christian School Teaches Love and Respect

We Are All God’s Children

Visit Muskegon Christian School and you’ll quickly see the variety of people that we serve including single parents who work long shifts; large families struggling to get kids to every activity while balancing school and home life; families where grandparents often step into the gap to help support their grandkids.

Being a part of the MCS community means learning to relate to others and learn from one another across color, wealth and a breadth of life situations.

Being a part of the MCS community means learning to relate to others and learn from one another across color, wealth and a breadth of life situations.

In today’s world, we need to learn how to communicate with others with respect and love. Throughout this school year, our students have been challenged by biblical examples of how we can use our gifts to “Model Christ as Servants.”  Our teachers are committed to modeling Christ-like behavior to our students and expecting it from them as well.

Our teachers are committed to modeling Christ-like behavior to our students and expecting it from them as well.

When Kimora joined our school in 4th grade, she noticed a big difference compared to her former school.  “Miss Potts was the first teacher that I really liked. She wouldn’t show anger or yell at students – she’d just calmly talk.  I wasn’t used to kindness like that from a teacher.” 

Miss Potts was the first teacher that I really liked. She wouldn’t show anger or yell at students – she’d just calmly talk.  I wasn’t used to kindness like that from a teacher.

Now a soon-to-graduate sixth grader, Kimora says “I’m going to miss this school – especially Miss Potts”.  

About MCS

Located in Muskegon, Michigan, Muskegon Christian School’s mission is to provide academic excellence with a Christian worldview to engage each student in a lifetime of Christian discipleship. Each day we are looking for new and better ways to integrate the Christian faith into every aspect of the curriculum. At every level and in each area, your children will be challenged academically and encouraged spiritually to fulfill their God-given purpose.  We are focused on building character by creating opportunities for each child to deepen their commitment to Christ through service projects, praise services, family groups and more.  Scripture guides how we treat each other and know God’s world.

Please contact us to schedule a tour to learn more about MCS and our Spanish Immersion program.

Muskegon Christian School is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools  (WMCS),  a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Western Michigan Christian (7-12), 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.

If you and your children are not already a part of the WMCS family, please prayerfully consider the PK-12 private Christian education of West Michigan Christian Schools for your children!

CONTACT US today for more information!

Muskegon Christian School’s Spanish Immersion Program Prepared Her for a Mission

How This Student Learned to Love, Learn & Lead in Mexico!

The Spanish immersion program at Muskegon Christian School afforded Sydney the gift of sharing the love of Christ in Mexico — and she is forever changed!

In January 2019, the recent MCS Spanish Immersion graduate had the opportunity to use her gifts and share God’s love as her family served in Matamoros, Mexico.  Among a group of 16 volunteers, Sydney was the only one who spoke Spanish. She was able to pray for families in the squatters camp and share God’s love.

Among a group of 16 volunteers, Sydney was the only one who spoke Spanish. She was able to pray for families in the squatters camp and share God’s love.

But don’t just take our word for it.

See what Sydney (and her mom) have to say about what happened in their unique ‘cardboard diary’ video below: 

About MCS

Located in Muskegon, Michigan, Muskegon Christian School’s mission is to provide academic excellence with a Christian worldview to engage each student in a lifetime of Christian discipleship. Each day we are looking for new and better ways to integrate the Christian faith into every aspect of the curriculum. At every level and in each area, your children will be challenged academically and encouraged spiritually to fulfill their God-given purpose.  We are focused on building character by creating opportunities for each child to deepen their commitment to Christ through service projects, praise services, family groups and more.  Scripture guides how we treat each other and know God’s world.

Please contact us to schedule a tour to learn more about MCS and our Spanish Immersion program.

Muskegon Christian School is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools  (WMCS),  a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Western Michigan Christian (7-12), 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.

If you and your children are not already a part of the WMCS family, please prayerfully consider the PK-12 private Christian education of West Michigan Christian Schools for your children!

CONTACT US today for more information!

God’s Kingdom is Colorful and Muskegon Christian School Intentionally Celebrates that

Embracing Cultural and Racial Diversity

By MCS parent, Ryan Dubois

My wife and I both grew up in big cities and have lived abroad.  We wanted to be intentional about raising our kids to see that there are many cultures and perspectives in the world.  

My wife and I both grew up in big cities and have lived abroad.  We wanted to be intentional about raising our kids to see that there are many cultures and perspectives in the world.  

And the teachers at MCS have demonstrated such love and care for all of the kids that they teach. I am continually impressed with how they model Christ to the students.

MCS intentionally reflects the racial makeup of the surrounding local community, which means that our kids also have the opportunity to go to school with, become friends with, and learn from many racial minority students.

One of the Dubois boys plays games in Spanish at MCS.

One of the Dubois boys plays games in Spanish at MCS.

MCS intentionally reflects the racial makeup of the surrounding local community

Our kids will know that God’s kingdom is colorful and made up of many languages and cultures and for that, we are incredibly grateful.  

We also appreciate the focus at MCS on the importance of putting God and others first in our lives. In our increasingly independent and self-focused culture, this counter-cultural teaching has the potential to transform a generation of kids into servant-leaders, the future of the church. We are so thankful for the teachers and staff at MCS!

–  Ryan DuBois, MCS parent of SI students

About MCS

Located in Muskegon, Michigan, Muskegon Christian School’s mission is to provide academic excellence with a Christian worldview to engage each student in a lifetime of Christian discipleship. Each day we are looking for new and better ways to integrate the Christian faith into every aspect of the curriculum. At every level and in each area, your children will be challenged academically and encouraged spiritually to fulfill their God-given purpose.  We are focused on building character by creating opportunities for each child to deepen their commitment to Christ through service projects, praise services, family groups and more.  Scripture guides how we treat each other and know God’s world.

Please contact us to schedule a tour so that we can show you what makes Muskegon Christian School unique – and how we offer more.

Muskegon Christian School is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools  (WMCS),  a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Western Michigan Christian (7-12), 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.

If you and your children are not already a part of the WMCS family, please prayerfully consider the PK-12 private Christian education of West Michigan Christian Schools for your children!

CONTACT US today for more information!

Si at MCS Teaches Kids More Than Words

‘You say Pajita, I say Popote’

By MCS parent, Kelly Dubois

If you took Spanish classes in high school, you probably learned a Spanish word for straw.  Last week, as my two boys were listing all of the different words used for ‘straw’ in all of the different Spanish-speaking countries they could think of (there are at least eleven different words for ‘straw’ in Spanish), this truth struck me: they were learning much more than words.  

The Spanish immersion program at MCS was opening a window for our kids into various Spanish speaking cultures around the world.  My boys talk about what life is like in the Dominican Republic and tell me about Mexican holidays and traditions.  This is developing in them an appreciation for other cultures and ways of life that we as parents never could have instilled in them.

The Spanish immersion program at MCS was opening a window for our kids into various Spanish speaking cultures around the world.

One of the Dubois boys plays games in Spanish at MCS.

One of the Dubois boys plays games in Spanish at MCS.

We didn’t find out that Spanish immersion was available at MCS until a few weeks into our oldest son’s first year.  It’s hard to imagine now, but back then he was painfully shy and it was a big decision to have him change classes. We are so glad we did!  He survived and now thrives and is fluent in Spanish.  We’re getting ready to have our youngest join the ranks of Spanish speakers next year and soon all three of our boys will be able to talk without Daddy understanding, which was a big incentive for them to do well.

The flexibility that MCS offers in scheduling is a big blessing for us, as we both work full time.  Though it’s hard to put a price on Christian education, we appreciate that MCS works hard to keep its costs down and that gets reflected in the tuition.   

Though it’s hard to put a price on Christian education, we appreciate that MCS works hard to keep its costs down and that gets reflected in the tuition.   

–  Kelly DuBois, MCS parent of SI students

About MCS

Located in Muskegon, Michigan, Muskegon Christian School’s mission is to provide academic excellence with a Christian worldview to engage each student in a lifetime of Christian discipleship. Each day we are looking for new and better ways to integrate the Christian faith into every aspect of the curriculum. At every level and in each area, your children will be challenged academically and encouraged spiritually to fulfill their God-given purpose.  We are focused on building character by creating opportunities for each child to deepen their commitment to Christ through service projects, praise services, family groups and more.  Scripture guides how we treat each other and know God’s world.

Please contact us to schedule a tour so that we can show you what makes Muskegon Christian School unique – and how we offer more.

Muskegon Christian School is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools  (WMCS),  a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Western Michigan Christian (7-12), 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.

If you and your children are not already a part of the WMCS family, please prayerfully consider the PK-12 private Christian education of West Michigan Christian Schools for your children!

CONTACT US today for more information!

The 2019 Graduates of West Michigan Christian Schools

Congratulations to all 2019 Graduates of the WMCS School Family!

Bravo! We had a lot to celebrate this year at West Michigan Christian Schools. Below is a breakdown of 6th (MCS only), 8th, and 12th-grade graduates of each WMCS member school:

8th grade grads from Fremont Christian School on jungle gym

Fremont Christian School’s 8th Grade Graduating Class 2019:

Grace Boisvert
Kiarrah Bridges
Lydia Deters
Madelyn DeWeerd
Christa Hale
Landon Heykoop
Caleb Pell
Keagen Rich
Mia Rivera
Gary Springstead
Josie Visser
Sydney Wagenmaker
Jacob Walker
Matthew Whemple
Reis Wiersema
Morgan Woods
Landon Bartilameoli

GHC 2019 Grads

Grand Haven Christian School’s 8th Grade Graduating Class 2019:

Jaden Binnendyk
Jonathan Clausing
Makaela Crum
Ben DeGram
Meralee Detar
Ellie Dyk
Michaela Faith
Ainslie Granzetto
Casey Guthrie
Staci Krieger
Emma Leahy
Emily Matz
Austin Meiste
Libby Miedema
Olivia Roberts
Makenna Sytsma
Brianna Zuidema

MCS 6th Grade Grads 2019

Muskegon Christian School’s 6th-Grade Graduating Class 2019:

Trevor Breuker
Levi Brown
Gabriel Cook
Elisha Croff
Lexi Daggett
Maria Eenigenberg
Kennedi Flowers
Myles Foreman
Kimora Frierson
Avia Greer
Dakota Harper
Lillian Jackson
Paydon Jackson
Trezelle Jenkins
Abigail Leffring
Hallie Lindale
Jayla Lofquist
Jacob Lynn
Luke Maat
Melia Medendorp
Chandler Medendorp
Daniel Moorhead
Theodore Osterman
Talen Peterson
Levi Postema
Ryan Rogers
Josue Sandoval
Benjamin Visser
Jessica Wakefield

NEC Grads 2019 by lake

New Era Christian School’s Graduating Class of 2019:

Kayla Balder

Chase Gowell

Ani Hill

Anna Morse

Theodore Stone

GHC 2019 Grads

WMC’s Top 10 (Sarah VanderKooi not pictured): Back row left to right: Caleb Minasian, Eli Rotman, Jack Zuidema, Andrew Hill, Hayden Hubers, and Elijah Abel. Front row left to right: Rebecca TerHarr, Josian Aardema, and Emily Rosema.

Western Michigan Christian’s Senior Class of 2019, was led by WMC’s Top Ten:

Josian Aardema will graduate as the Valedictorian of the Class of 2019. She is the daughter of Kevin and Kay Aardema of Grand Haven and a member of Ferrysburg Community Church. While at WMC, Josie ran Cross Country and Track, was a coach for Girls on the Run, and a founding member of the Earth Club. In the fall she will attend Calvin College and plans to major in Environmental Science.

Elijah Abel is the son of Charissa and Kyle Abel of Norton Shores and attends Covenant Life Church in Grand Haven. While he attended WMC, he was involved with Student Council, Science Olympiad, on the Yearbook Staff and was an International Student Ambassador. In the fall he plans to major in Engineering at the University of Michigan…Go Blue!

Andrew Hill is a member of Edgewood Lutheran Church where he is a church worship musician and the son of Mark and Rhonda Hill of Norton Shores. In the fall Andrew is planning to attend Calvin College and major in Finance. While at WMC, Andrew participated in Baseball, Tennis, and Jazz Band.

Hayden Hubers is the son of Ruthie and Butch Hubers of Whitehall and attends House Church. At WMC he led worship at Chapel, played Varsity Soccer, Basketball, and sang in the Chamber Choir. He served and was involved in leading worship for local churches, served on the Youth Advisory Council, packed lunches for Feed My Starving Children, and an International Aid volunteer. He also participated in Berkley College of Music’s Summer programs and led Basketball Camps. Hayden plans to pursue something music related while taking online classes in the fall.

Caleb Minasian is the son of Michael and Kelly Minasian of Newaygo and attends First Christian Reformed Church of Fremont. While attending WMC, he has been on the Soccer and Golf Teams. Caleb also was involved in the Fall Play Tech Team, acted in the Fall Plays, and Musicals. He played in the Jazz Band, Concert Band, and sang in Chamber Choir. In the fall he plans to go to Michigan Technological University for Engineering.

Emily Rosema is the daughter of Joy and Aaron Rosema of Fruitport. She played Varsity Soccer for four years during her time at WMC. Emily plans on attending Grand Valley State University in the fall where she will major in Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Spanish.

Eli Rotman will graduate as the Salutatorian of his class. He is the son of Eric and Dawn Rotman and attends Second Christian Reformed Church of Grand Haven where he was in the Brass Ensemble. In his years at WMC, he ran Cross Country and Track, was in Science Olympiad, and played in Concert Band. In the fall he plans to attend the University of Michigan for Materials Science and Engineering.

Rebecca TerHaar was very involved in Volleyball, Softball, Chamber Choir, Jazz Band, and Chapel Leadership the four years she was at WMC. She is the daughter of Curt and Cheri TerHaar from Grand Haven. She will major in Occupational Therapy at Calvin College in the fall.

Sarah VanderKooi is planning on attending Albion College and majoring in their PreVet program next fall. She was active in Cross Country, Track, and sang in the Chamber Choir at WMC. She volunteered as an Equine Horse Therapist, helped at the local food trucks, and worked at a Mississippi Service Project. Sarah is the daughter of Ted and Dawn VanderKooi of Fremont. She is a member of Bethel Reformed OPC where she helped with the church refreshments and enjoyed playing piano at church.

Jack Zuidema is the son of Mark and Julie Zuidema of Muskegon and is a member of Harvest Bible Church. Jack was involved in Cross Country and Track. He also was a 4th-grade Basketball Coach for Grand Haven Christian School. Jack plans to attend Calvin College and major in Actuarial Science in the fall.

The complete WMC Class of 2019 includes:

In alphabetical order: Josie Aardema, Elijah Abel, Drew Andree, Delaney Bakker, McKenna Bonnema, Zachary Butkis, Allesha Cooper, Bri Curtis, Ema Davis, Chuma Dumalisile, Anika Eenigenburg, Nolan Fairfield, Elijah Faith, Libby Fisher, Travis Goodrich, Holly Gould, Noelle Gray, Joe Hain, Lex Hall-Bacon, Andrew Hill, Mon Ho, Sydney Holtvluwer, Hayden Hubers, Haeseong (Daniel) Jeung, Yubin Kim, Morgan Kinnucan, Ngoc La, Jada Love, Li Xun (Morrison) Ma, Khanya Mbutuma,  Caleb Minasian, Sarah Moorhead, Kyle Morris, Tylor Morrison, Emily Myers, Madi Pearce, Tam Pham, Andrew Rasmussen, Emily Rosema, Eli Rotman, Evan Ruiter, Zandile Skolpati, Tyler Somers, Katie Summerfield, Jared Swords, Anna Sytsema, Brandon Sytsma, Rebecca TerHaar, Paul Tyaliti, Daniel Vanbiesbrouck, Sarah VanderKooi, Elizabeth Vos, Heechan Wang, Shangfei (Sam) Wang, Steph Weesies, Kyle Wolffis, Brant Zeerip, and Jack Zuidema.

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.

Teacher Tuesday Q & A with Muskegon Christian School’s Liz Morrison

WMCS Teachers are the BEST!

Teacher Tuesday Spotlights Extraordinary Faculty

CONGRATULATIONS Liz!

Every Tuesday throughout the school year, the West Michigan Christian Schools Collaborative will highlight some of our very special teachers from all five schools.

We have so many gifted faculty members who work tirelessly to train up students at all PK-12th-grade levels. They use their giftedness and 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 Liz Morrison of Muskegon Christian School (PK-6)

Elizabeth Morrison has been an educator at Muskegon Christian School since 2002, mostly teaching English Language Arts and Computers, but also helping with paraprofessional work and the onset of the childcare program.
Liz attended Hastings High School and in 2001, she graduated with a B.A. in Education from Western Michigan University with a triple major in Science, English, and Elementary Education. She has since earned her professional certification and is close to acquiring endorsements in Math, Social Studies, and Writing. She has had the “privilege,” as she warmly explains it, of coaching Cheerleading, Girls Basketball, Girls on the Run, Middle School Track and Field, and Destination Imagination.She enjoys her sixth-grade students, especially when they expose their varied personalities and togetherness as a family, realizing the need to work hard to include everyone–even their teacher! “Talk about representing the Fellowship of Saints!” warmheartedly explains Liz.

She can her husband Brandon have a mini Dauschound named Peanut.

Weiner dog

Liz’s Sweet Dog Peanut

Enjoy getting to know Liz a little better in this Q&Q below:

Q & A w/ Liz

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

A: The Lord has gifted me to form relationships with my students in order to form a comfortable, consistent, reliable place to learn about God and His world. I try to provide non-verbal and verbal opportunities for students to tell me their likes, dislikes, struggles, strengths, hopes, prayers and anything else so they feel valued and important…which they certainly all are. Students need opportunities for me to learn as much from them as they learn from me and Project Based Learning really opens a lot of exploration/expression opportunities and discovery. Whether it is a painful or a celebratory situation, my students know they don’t need to go through it alone as I am a Servant of Christ here to show His Love and Joy and experience life as a collaboration.

Lis and her MCS Students.

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

A: If I could change one thing about my job it would be upgrades to the building in which I work, specifically, making it more sustainable and usable for the community. Upgrades such as:  1) energy efficient windows 2) wind turbine and/or solar panels to cut our energy costs and reliance on gas/fossil fuels 3) organic, farm-fresh local food in our hot lunches or food grown in our own raised garden beds at school once established 4) reduction in plastic and styrofoam waste in our lunch program 5) motion-sensor lights in community areas such as the bathrooms, hallways, lobby, outdoor parking. Also, incentives for staff to be eco-friendly such as: rewards for carpooling/biking/walking to work, packing your own cold lunch in reusable containers, a perk for going 100 days without calling in a sub due to illness, gift cards from the script office to staff who use the least amount of papers for copies per week. 6) MCS could be a community safe haven for the surrounding neighborhoods in the event of power outage: if we have power, we could open our doors as a place to keep warm and freshen up; even show a free movie or provide food that our food-service program might have as extra or that will expire due to cancellations. If we DON’T have power, purchase a generator in order to keep the lunch area powered and heated to welcome the community for a meal/chance to use the restroom or eat a simple dinner. A “Hospitality Committee” could be formed to implement this should needs arise. It would increase our outreach and constituents. 

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

A: Grateful!? Let me count the ways:

*An administrator who: clears the snow off our cars in the parking lot, shovels the snow off the porches, calls the single teachers when they’re ill and not at school to make sure they’re okay, backs up his staff sacrificially, jump-starts cars, checks tire pressures,  makes the tough phone calls, runs the dynamic meetings…Christ is His center. Trust in God trickles down to trust in his staff he believes were chosen by God.
*The teachers and other staff that: gather to pray for each other twice-weekly, will do anything for each other, aren’t afraid to hold each other accountable, will instantly apologize, give gifts or the occasional fun-prank, they love the Lord and express it in multiple languages which is beautiful to hear.
*The parents and students when: you experience an academic breakthrough or huge answer to prayer with them, they throw you a surprise birthday party, come on field trips when you know it cost them an arm and a leg to take the day(s) off AND they’re paying tuition on top of it, make little posters/pictures/signs out of the blue that you know you won’t ever be able to throw away, invite you to dinner + concerts + athletic games, show up to parent-teacher conferences which begin and end with a hug like I’m part of a family…their family.
*The Alumni continue: to recruit, serve, support, volunteer, be involved, tutor, donate, and spread the word about MCS and create a legacy with Christian Education as the center.

4. Q: We’re wrapping up year one with Teaching for Transformation. What has struck you most about TfT so far?

A: Ten years ago at a church service, the sermon my husband and I attended spoken by Bill Rudd of the Cycle of God’s Creation: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Renewal. The listeners were encouraged to think of everyone and everything as having a spot/purpose along this cycle in their own story. From then on, I started viewing the students God placed in my classroom as someone along this spectrum and it was my “Ah Hah” moment at TFT training:

*Is God Creating a new atmosphere/opportunity for this student here at MCS?
*Are they in the midst of a Fall or about to be victim of one and how do I meet their restoration needs either academically, emotionally, or spiritually?
*Are they Redemptive agents and how do I enable/equip them to do so? Am I supposed to be this role in their lives? Parent? Administrator? Pastor? Sometimes it takes the whole team.
*Renewal: all the planning, meetings, inservices, classes, studies, staff changes, life changes…God is making me new in preparation for what comes next, whatever that may be….just around the corner or 10 years from now. All I know is the last 17 years at MCS has made me who I am. A disciple who hopes to produce other disciples….’for a lifetime of Christian Discipleship.”

Liz and her husband dressed up for vintage tiki night with their camper club.

5. Q: What’s your favorite beverage?

A: My specific, favorite non-alcoholic beverage would be in a 16 oz glass: 5 ice cubes, then fill the glass half full of no-pulp, Tropicana Orange Juice, the other half with Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail, topped with a splash of Dole 100 % White Grapefruit Juice (no sugar added). Drink through a straw so the amino acids only deplete the enamel on the back molars, not the front teeth.

Feel free to show Liz LOVE & APPRECIATION by treating her! 😉

6. Q: What are some unique blessings on your life?

A. Blessings of my life are being married and involved in the happenings and growth of Nelson Neighborhood. In the past 3 years, owning a large historical home has allowed us to host 8 Muskegon Lumberjack hockey players and 3 German exchange students through Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Besides these (BIG) kids filling the house, I also enjoy keeping up with two miniature dachshunds who seem to bark at anything, even their own reflection at times! By far, the months of year that MCS is in session are my favorite times since God’s presence can be seen, heard, and felt through this wonderful community of learners, faculty, and parents.

Egor, (from Russia) Michael, (from Finland) me, and Alex (from Russia) The are Muskegon Lumberjacks who’ve lived me.

As a beloved faculty member, Liz is part of the heart of WMCS. We are so BLESSED and FAVORED to have her as part of our school family!  Join us all in celebrating Erin and the amazing Kingdom work she does at MCS.

Liz, in celebration of YOU and Teacher Tuesday, DIBS! On Resale would like to say “Thank You!” with $10 in DIBS! Dollars! Please check in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this gift!

Did you hear? GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING at DIBS! and $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop!

Recently relocated to a new store in Muskegon, DIBS! On Resale opened its doors in 2012 to benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) 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.

Teacher Tuesday Q & A with Muskegon Christian School’s Erin Studer

WMCS Teachers are the BEST!

Teacher Tuesday Spotlights Extraordinary Faculty

CONGRATULATIONS Erin!

Every Tuesday throughout the school year, the West Michigan Christian Schools Collaborative will highlight some of our very special teachers from all five schools.

We have so many gifted faculty members who work tirelessly to train up students at all PK-12th-grade levels. They use their giftedness and 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 Erin Studer of Muskegon Christian School (PK-6)

The 2018-19 school year marked Erin Studer’s second year at Muskegon Christian School as a 3rd grade Spanish Immersion teacher. She is a third generation graduate of MCS and attended MCS as a child from Pre-K through the 8th grade (before the school shifted to a PK-6th-grade model). After MCS she attended and graduated from Western Michigan Christian (WMC) High School.

She attended Calvin College as an Education and Spanish major and met her husband Nathan there as well.   In the summer before her senior year at Calvin, she lived abroad with a host family in Argentina for a month and took several excursions including one to Uruguay.  She hopes to someday travel with her husband to other countries to get more stamps in her passport!

Erin and Nathan have 4 children, three of whom attend MCS currently. Her son Kyler is in SI 4th grade, daughter Lena is in SI 1st grade, son Westin is in SI PreK and son Jax will be starting MCS preschool when he is old enough!

Q & A w/ Erin

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

A: The thing that I LOVE the MOST about my job is being able to teach through my Christian worldview!  Something that I tended to shy away from in school was talking about “my faith.” I always wanted to teach in a public school to show my student’s Christ’s love not necessarily teach it!

two-shot of Erin and her husband

Erin and her husband Nathan.

MCS-Spanish-Immersion-logo

Q: What’s the best part of your day? 

A: The absolute BEST part of my day is who I get to share it with!  I was blessed in coming to MCS (after almost giving up teaching all together) and having my oldest son in my class.  This year though I don’t have any of my own children in my class but I can still check up on them throughout the day!

Erin's-four-kids

Kari’s kids: Kyler, Jax, Lena and Westin.

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

A: The LORD has gifted me as an individual with the gift of creativity. Sometimes I have to think of on-the-spot lessons that will make connections for students, other times I spend months planning and preparing to help lead the whole school in a praise service!

The LORD has gifted me as an individual with the gift of creativity. Sometimes I have to think of on-the-spot lessons that will make connections for students, other times I spend months planning and preparing to help lead the whole school in a praise service!

Erin-and-her-son-holding-a-teddy-bear.

Erin and Westin, who is in SI Pre-K at MCS.

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

A: I love to dance!  Before we had children, my husband and I took ballroom dancing lessons for two years where we learned the tango, salsa, foxtrot, swing, waltz, rumba, bachata, cha-cha, merengue, and disco.  I would love to pick up ballroom dancing with my husband again–although that probably won’t happen for at least another 17 years!

Erin-and-her-daughter-in-matching-outfits.

Erin and her daughter Lena twinning!

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

A: Some of my most favorite teaching moments are in closing our morning/day/year in a circle prayer–it is just so powerful!  Also being able to start each day off in devotions with my students has proven pretty powerful too!

Earlier this year, I was talking in my devotion time with my students about the feeling of loneliness and how we are never really alone because we have someone who knows our deepest inner thoughts–Jesus! Later that day, I found a notecard written by one of my students that read, “You are NOT alone, you have God with you…ALWAYS!” Even as 3rd graders they just “get it!”

Later that day, I found a notecard written by one of my students that read, ‘You are NOT alone, you have God with you…ALWAYS!” Even as 3rd graders they just get it!’

Erin-and-Westin-on-a-ski-lift.

Erin and her son Westin who is in SI 4th grade at MCS.

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

A: I am MOST grateful to God in bringing me back to MCS. I started out teaching in the public school where as mentioned earlier I almost gave up after eleven years of teaching.  I was frustrated, worn out, run down, and my creativity was lacking. I also did not have as much parental support as I would have liked. God had bigger plans for me and I am just so grateful that the parents at MCS entrust me with their children for seven hours out of each day!

I am MOST grateful to God in bringing me back to MCS. I started out teaching in the public school where as mentioned earlier I almost gave up after eleven years of teaching.  I was frustrated, worn out, run down, and my creativity was lacking.

Jax-smling-for-camera.

Adorable Jax is Erin’s youngest child.

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

A: Well, seeing as how I have only been teaching a total of thirteen years, I don’t really have stories of students coming back after graduation, however students that I did have in the public school I have run into a couple in public places like Meijer or a Chinese food restaurant and they have come up to me and talked with me and reminisced about when they were in my 1st grade class and how they remembered things being fun. They always have smiles on their faces!

Q: What’s your favorite beverage?

A: Coca-Cola…both my students and I would agree I drink entirely WAY TOO MUCH!

coca-cola-can-image

Feel free to show Erin LOVE & APPRECIATION by treating her to a yummy Coke! 😉

As a beloved faculty member, Erin is part of the heart of WMCS. We are so BLESSED and FAVORED to have her as part of our school family!  Join us all in celebrating Erin and the amazing Kingdom work she does at MCS.

Erin, in celebration of YOU and Teacher Tuesday, DIBS! On Resale would like to say “Thank You!” with $10 in DIBS! Dollars! Please check in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this gift!

Did you hear? GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING at DIBS! and $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop!

Recently relocated to a new store in Muskegon, DIBS! On Resale opened its doors in 2012 to benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) 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.

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

WMCS Teachers are the BEST!

Teacher Tuesday Spotlights Extraordinary Faculty

CONGRATULATIONS Kari!

Every Tuesday throughout the school year, the West Michigan Christian Schools Collaborative will highlight some of our very special teachers from all five schools.

We have so many gifted faculty members who work tirelessly to train up students at all PK-12th-grade levels. They use their giftedness and 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 Kari Bonnema of Muskegon Christian School (PK-6)

Kari Bonnema has been at MCS for 13 years. She teaches Kindergarten and Kindergarten Explorers. Her oldest, McKenna, is a senior at WMC. Her daughter Madison is a freshman at WMC and her twins, Meredith and Mason, are 3rd graders at MCS.

FUN FACT: Kari’s husband Chad has worked at MCS teaching 5th grade since 2011 and they created a program that allows their classes to interact. “Every week we get our classes together for Book Buddies, which is where we partner up a 5th-grader and a Kindergartener to read together.  Kindergarteners read their beginning reading books to the 5th graders and then the 5th graders read a book or books to them.  They all love it and look forward to seeing each other,” explains Kari.

Every week we get our classes together for Book Buddies, which is where we partner up a 5th-grader and a Kindergartener to read together.  Kindergarteners read their beginning reading books to the 5th graders and then the 5th graders read a book or books to them.  They all love it and look forward to seeing each other

Q & A w/ Kari

Kari and her daughter McKenna.

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

Kari: I have SO many I can’t decide!!   Some of them include:

1) When a parent emailed me to say that her daughter accepted Jesus as her Savior.  She was so excited to share the news with me!

2) When I hear kids singing and humming praise songs as they work.  3) When I am called “Mom” by students and given multiple hugs daily.  I love it!

4) When I see such AMAZING growth from the beginning of the year to the end… it is a gift to share each day with them.

5) When I am called “Mom” by students and given multiple hugs daily.  I love it!

Kari, her daughter Madison, and Kari’s niece Brooke.

Q: What’s the best part of your day? 

Kari: I enjoy welcoming each child back to our class each morning.  I am thankful for another day to spend with them. It makes me happy!

When I see such AMAZING growth from the beginning of the year to the end…it is a gift to share each day with them.

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

Kari: I love to sing and am quite musical.  I enjoy singing each day with the kiddos and we learn many songs to help remember what we’re learning… from Bible stories and memory verses to fun little songs about coins or birds. I also like to be creative and make up songs, too!

McKenna, Chad, Kari, Mason, Madison and Meredith Bonnema

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

Kari: I love the support of families and our fellow MCS staff.  We are all working together for God’s glory and the growth (spiritual, academic, emotional) of the children.  It really is a team approach!

Q: What’s your favorite beverage?

Kari: Chai tea!

 

 

 

 

Feel free to SHOW KARI LOVE & APPRECIATION by treating her to a yummy Chai! 😉

As a beloved faculty member, Kari is part of the heart of WMCS. We are so BLESSED and FAVORED to have her as part of our school family!  Join us all in celebrating Kari and the amazing Kingdom work she does at MCS.

Kari, in celebration of YOU and Teacher Tuesday, DIBS! On Resale would like to say “Thank You!” with $10 in DIBS! Dollars! Please check in at the front desk at DIBS! on Resale in Muskegon so they can award you this gift!

Did you hear? GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING at DIBS! and $10 goes a long way, so enjoy the shop!

Recently relocated to a new store in Muskegon, DIBS! On Resale opened its doors in 2012 to benefit our local West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) 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.