West Michigan Christian Schools

Our Team

INTRODUCING THE TEAM BEHIND WMC SCHOOLS


The Power of Teamwork

The “Collaborative” or West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS), is a non-profit organization formed in 2012 with the goal of creating a seamless, exemplary preschool through high school Christian educational experience for local families. Together, FCS, GHC, NEC, MCS, and WMC provide excellent Christian education rooted in the Gospel to all who desire it. This “better together” teamwork is personified by a growing staff that works behind the scenes to help fulfill the goal and mission of WMCS while adding a professional level of support to each school.

Get to Know the “Better Together” Collaborative Staff

WMC Schools Team

WMCS Collaborative Staff: Top row left to right – Mary Workman, Cathy Schaaf, Kimberlee Mitchell. Bottom row – Whitney Piersma, Dan DeKam, and Jennifer VanHekken. 

 

Larry Schutt, WMCS Chief Financial Officer since in 2018 
“I love supporting the WMCS principals on the business side of school operations as much as they love supporting the teachers who are on the frontline of Christian education.”
  • Standardizing financial statement formats and budgeting to facilitate best practices through revenue and expense metric comparisons between schools.
  • Centralizing payroll and financial statement accounting with one person for the elementary schools.
  • Converting accounting software to Quick Books Online. Implementing stronger financial internal controls and providing Principals with direct report access.
  • Implementing a Simple IRA Plan for employees. Effective January 1, 2020, and replacing the discontinued CSI Pension Plans.
Mary Workman, DIBS! On Resale Store Manager since 2017 
“Working with the WMCS collaborative board has given me the opportunity to give back to the schools that have supported me and my family.”
  • Manages day-to-day store operations, volunteer and staff, and marketing
  • Editor of the ShopDibsOnResale.com blog and the monthly volunteer e-newsletter
  • Compiles monthly and annual financial sales reports for the WMCS Collaborative Board
Cathy Schaaf, WMCS Accountant since May 2019
“I am very excited to be working with the WMCS collaborative! It’s an excellent idea for all of the schools to work together to provide the best Christian education. I’ve been involved in Christian education for most of my life as a student and now as a parent with sons who were blessed by the K-12 WMCS system.”
  • Perform bookkeeping duties for WMCS
  • Develop the QuickBooks Online bookkeeping system for WMCS and schools
  • Issue accounts payable checks, payroll, taxes, monthly and quarterly tax reports
  • Support GHC, MCS, FCS with bookkeeping/accounting procedures
Kimberlee Mitchell, WMCS Director of Marketing Communications since 2016
“I enjoy working with the ‘Fab Five” principals, their support staff and the managers of DIBS! and B2 to sustain and raise the bar of excellence for transformative Christian education! It’s Kingdom work!”
  • Define best practices for marketing and communications for all schools
  • Devise and execute WMCS enrollment marketing campaigns
  • Editor of the WMCS “Faith Matters” Newsletter/e-newsletter and WMCS “The Voice” blog
  • Social Marketing/Marketing/Communications/Branding for support for schools, DIBS! and B2
  • Develop and support new WordPress websites and blogs for the schools and WMCS
Whitney Jackson, Director of Educational Support Services since 2016
“Working with the WMCS collaborative allows me to create procedures system-wide to ensure all schools share the same vision for supporting students with diverse learning needs. This helps create consistency build a community of collaboration between teams at each school that allows us to use each other as resources!”
  • Create and oversee implementation of Educational Support Plans, Accommodation Plans and Behavior Intervention Plans for students with diverse learning needs
  • Partner with the public school districts and counties to utilize necessary services and programming
  • Collaborate with classroom teachers to ensure proper intervention in place for struggling learners
  • Oversee teams of paraprofessionals at each school to ensure research-based intervention
Dan DeKam, WMCS Executive Director since 2014 
“It has been gratifying to see how the collaborative model has strengthened our Christian Schools in West Michigan.”
  • Prepare meeting agendas for the WMCS Collaborative Board
  • Make sure all legal requirements are satisfied (tax-exempt status, annual reporting…)
  • Evaluate WMCS staff along with the assistance of the other principals
  • Facilitate the meeting agenda of the Principal PLC meetings
  • Call meetings of the Development staff for the schools to coordinate calendars and share ideas.
  • Work with the manager of DIBS! and representatives from B2 to coordinate re-tail fundraising efforts.
Jenn VanHekken, WMCS Director of TfT since 2017 and K-8 Curriculum Development since 2015
“What I love most about what I do is having the ability to walk alongside our teachers to help them strengthen their understanding of integrating faith and learning in a way that is meaningful and intentional while also strengthening their curriculum and their use of best practices for learning in the classroom.”
  • Partner with the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education (CACE) to implement the TfT framework of learning for WMCS
  • Train and coach (both individually and as a whole) teachers in the Teaching for Transformation framework of learning
  • Oversee the growth and alignment of K-8 curriculum throughout the collaborative schools