West Michigan Christian Schools Blog

Archive for Faith Matters

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!

Service-Learning Means Fellowship at New Era Christian School

Peer-to-Peer: Sometimes Just Being a Friend is All Someone Needs

Every month, our 7th and 8th-grade students partner with a group of middle school students from the Oceana County area who have diverse learning abilities.

They all meet at The Ladder Community Center in Shelby. The Ladder is a friendly, intergenerational and ethnically diverse community center aimed at knowing and serving our neighbors and uniting our community around Christ so that lives are transformed. The Ladder is dedicated to impacting families by guiding people to love and follow Jesus, making the organization a great partner for NEC’s service-learning program.

 

The students of New Era Christian School come to the community center to enjoy their peers and build them up by spending quality time together and just having fun. Their activities range from old school games like pool and puzzles to getting creative with a giant game of spoons, four corners, among other things.

“My students are always so excited to be with the other kiddos!  They enjoy connecting with others just like typical kiddo!!  It has been a great experience for all.  I enjoy sitting back and watching the kids be kids!” shared Tonya Springer, of West Shore Educational Service District. West Shore ESD is a resource for all schools in the area and NEC works in partnership with them so they can all connect at The Ladder each month.

My students are always so excited to be with the other kiddos!  They enjoy connecting with others just like a typical kiddo!!  It has been a great experience for all.  I enjoy sitting back and watching the kids be kids!

This year they all performed Christmas carols using only their voices and spoons! It was a great time had by all. Nothing fancy. The key was the kids were present. No cell phones–simply face to face contact. Everyone connects and has a great time of laughter and fellowship. Being a friend to someone and playing together creates a powerful connection — for both the NEC students AND the kids that come to The Ladder. 

A few NEC students shared their reflections on their personal experiences at The Ladder this year:

“That day is a really big day for me. I usually hang out with Crystal. I don’t know what her disability is exactly, but she seems disconnected and younger than a typical fourteen-year-old. She is incredible at drawing and when we did a puzzle she did more than half the puzzle! I also was around another girl, Sharon, who is with autism. She seemed very shy and you could tell what she means by her hand motions more than her words. Overall, it has been a life changing experience to realize that everyone struggles with something but some things are more visible than others. They are still a child loved by God.” – NEC 8th grader Anna Morse.

“The Ladder is very fun. It is also very humbling because I have good social skills, I can run, and I get invited to parties. Gary and Rick struggle with those things.  I almost wanted to cry because of how humbled I was.  It makes me more sensitive to make sure all kids feel included.” -NEC 7th grader Brody Erickson.

This has been a great opportunity for our students to serve Jesus by serving others. It’s technically service-learning for NEC students but everyone is blessed in this win-win situation!

About NEC

Located in beautiful New Era, Michigan, New Era Christian School serves student preschool through 8th-grade. Of the many important decisions you’ll make in life, few are more significant than the ones that affect your children. Of these choices, selecting a school may well prove to be the most important. NEC exists to grow students in faith, academics, and personal maturity. To learn more about NEC contact us! 

New Era 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!

Fremont Christian School Says Goodbye to Principal John Barkel

To my FCS and WMCS family;

It is with excitement, but also sadness that I say farewell to Fremont Christian School and the WMCS Collaborative.

The Lord has opened a new door for my family and I and we’ll be moving to Grand Rapids where I will be the new principal of Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School.

In this process of change, I have done much reflecting on my time at FCS, and ultimately, my calling as a Christian school principal. This is a special role to play. We principals have signed up for and are given a great responsibility. The students, parent relationships, teachers, the buildings, and our school boards are all components that require our attention and love.

By letting God into our schools, we get to see first-hand His amazing work being done in the lives of students and families. As time goes on, this love grows for the people and the place. Our relationships with people grow, and we care more and more about the future of our schools. Our love grows and care deepens because we principals see the Kingdom need for these places. Our work is not a job, but a mission to fulfill our calling in God’s Kingdom. What an amazing opportunity and responsibility we have! 

Our work is not a job, but a mission to fulfill our calling in God’s Kingdom.

So saying goodbye to Fremont Christian School has been an emotional challenge as I have embraced this school as a member of my family. I think I speak for Samuel, Phil, James, and Dan (my fellow WMCS Administrators) when I say that we love our Christian schools and they hold a very special place in our hearts.

I pray for God’s richest blessings on you all and on our WMCS schools who are carrying out God’s work for His Kingdom.

Farewell, for now, and God bless!

John Barkel, FCS Principal

Fremont Christian School was blessed to have John Barkel on staff since 2000. He started as a math and science teacher and taught for six years before he moved into the administrator position in 2012. His stellar leadership has been appreciated by many and his immense contribution is priceless. WMCS Collab Exec Director Dan DeKam and principal of Muskegon Christian School said this of his colleague, “John is one of the great ones. His heart for his students was evident in how he genuinely delighted in his work. He will be missed and I wish him well on his new journey.”

Nick Donkersloot will be assuming the role of the FCS principal. Nick has served as a 5th-grade teacher for three years at FCS and Barkel shared, “Nick has Christian School leadership in his blood. He loves FCS and is eager to take the helm.” All of us at West Michigan Christian Schools wish many blessings to both John and Nick in their Kingdom work ahead. Please join us in saying a prayer for a smooth transition for each of these great men in their Christian education careers!

About FCS

Located in Fremont, Michigan, Fremont Christian School (PK-8th) is a place where you will experience love, family, Jesus, and joy.  We have been serving the greater Fremont community for 100+ years  Our teaching is rooted in the Word of God.  Our faculty strive to help students reach their fullest potential as Children of God. Whether you choose our outdoor program or our Spanish Immersion, we ensure you that your child will receive a rich experience learning about God’s world and how to live in it. For more information about FCS contact us! 
Fremon 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!

An 8th-Grade Boy’s Testimony About Being a Student at Fremont Christian School

FCS Helps Families in Providing a Safe Place for Students

Fremont Christian School prides itself on being a caring, safe, loving environment where students are free to be themselves and grow as academically, socially, mentally and spiritually as a child of Christ! We invited FCS 8th-grader Matthew Wemple to talk about his journey at FCS. He came to the FCS in search of teachers and fellow students who were kind, accepting and faithful.  What he found brought him joy and got him ready for high school!

Q: Why did you come to FCS?

A: I came to FCS for a new beginning. My parents heard a lot of good things about this school and they thought it would be a great place to learn and grow, and they thought right. On my first day here I was scared of being teased just like I was at my old school and right away if felt accepted. Everyone at this school has been great and welcoming for the past two years.”

Q: What do you like about FCS?

A: I like Fremont Christian School because there is more opportunity to grow in faith. Also in helping to show God’s light to all that we come into contact within the community. The teachers are wonderful. When you are at a rough time, the teachers are always there to help and cheer you up, which some kids never have at other schools. I also like how there are opportunities to help around the school. I help set up for chapel and help with the sound system every Friday, which is fun. There are also other opportunities like keeping the floor clean.

Q: How has FCS prepared you for high school?

A: FCS has prepared me for high school by taking us to Western Michigan Christian School to take a tour so we are more comfortable on our first day. They have told us what to expect in high school, how to take good notes, and also how to act. They also help prepare our spirit to take on the faith challenges.

About FCS

Located in Fremont, Michigan, Fremont Christian School (PK-8th) is a place where you will experience love, family, Jesus, and joy.  We have been serving the greater Fremont community for 100+ years  Our teaching is rooted in the Word of God.  Our faculty strive to help students reach their fullest potential as Children of God. Whether you choose our outdoor program or our Spanish Immersion, we ensure you that your child will receive a rich experience learning about God’s world and how to live in it. For more information about FCS contact us! 
Fremon 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!

New Era Christian is a School Family That Cares

New Era Christian School: When The Storm Hits & Community Surrounds You

We are educators. That’s why kids come to school here. To learn and prepare them for high school. Academics are important and, to be honest, we do that very well here. Our students rank at the top in the state.

But there’s so much more going on here at New Era Christian School. We are a loving community of believers who support, disciple, love, laugh, pray and even cry together, year after year.

We GROW in the Word and as a school family. How? We get real and get low and jump in when needed. That can be teachers coming to work early for group devotions, prayer time and bible study. Other times it is seen when parents pray over each other in the halls or students lift each other up in prayer. As life would have it here in this broken world, sometimes families go through difficult trials and they need the loving support of our school community. One story, in particular, comes to mind that is a beautiful example of just that.

Dion and Amy Stumpo have three kids, ages 8, 6, and 4 in grades 2nd, K and a three-year-old in preschool. As life would have it, they hit some tough times. Here’s a sweet testimony about how the love of NEC touched them amidst their trial:  

Two years ago, we found out that our two-year-old daughter, Jubilee, had a dislocated hip for an unknown amount of time. It may have been since birth and nobody caught it. She had surgery in January 2017. We were pretty new to New Era Christian School. Our oldest son, Dion, had been in four-year-old preschool and at the time of the surgery was a kindergarten student.  We weren’t really familiar with the families or staff yet.  The only reason we informed anyone at school that the surgery was happening was that our son was quite concerned about it. If it came up at school, we wanted people to be aware so they knew how to help him.

When the surgery happened, Mrs. Wolffis told us to expect an envelope coming home with our kindergarten son.  Our assumption was that it was an envelope full of get well cards that the class had made. When he got home we saw it was this big office envelope full of cards signed by the students and staff with, “We’re praying for you” AND gift cards for gas, groceries and a quick bite to eat.  

Even after the surgery, we’d run into different people and they’d ask, “Are you the one with the little girl who had the surgery?  We’ve been praying for you. How’s she doing?”  People genuinely cared.  It was a little bit overwhelming because we had never been a part of a community quite like that.

When we would come in to drop Dion or Hannah off, kids would see us in the hallway with Jubilee in her big old pink body cast and would recognize her.  It wasn’t one of those things where they say that they are praying for you but they really are not. You could tell by the reactions of the kids when they saw her that they had been praying for her because they recognized her as “the baby who we prayed for.”  

Precious little Jubilee Stumpo in her pink body cast.

It was really cool to be part of a community that was so involved in helping in any way that they could.  We even had a friend through school and church that helped us with transporting our other kids from school a lot of days just so I wouldn’t have to buckle Jubilee in the car with the whole contraption.

It is really awesome to be part of a community that rallied around us and supported us when, at the time, they didn’t know us that well.

About NEC

Located in beautiful New Era, Michigan, New Era Christian School serves student preschool through 8th-grade. Of the many important decisions you’ll make in life, few are more significant than the ones that affect your children. Of these choices, selecting a school may well prove to be the most important. NEC exists to grow students in faith, academics, and personal maturity. To learn more about NEC contact us! 

New Era 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?

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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.

Grand Haven Christian School is a Safe Haven for Students

How One Family Found Refuge in GHC: A Heartfelt Testimony

GHC is able to boast about our excellent academic program, as evident by our test scores and the success of our students beyond their time at GHC, but we are so much more to our students and families. Shaping hearts is part of our mission statement and a focus for our teachers and staff. Our desire is to create an environment where students feel safe, loved, and cared for – knowing they are a wonderful creation and child of God. The academic successes will follow, but for students to know who they are and whose they are is of utmost importance. We had a family transfer to GHC for this very reason last year and found their daughter’s life transformed by her experiences here.

Read for yourself about how God worked through GHC to create a safe and loving school experience for the Orr family:

Upon completion of fourth grade in the public school system, it was inevitable that our daughter would soon further her education at the public intermediate school in the fall. Our daughter has always been a shy, introverted child with a large tender heart. During her year in second grade, she faced a great deal of bullying. It became so intense, that the principal concluded it would be best for our daughter and all students within the classroom to remove two of the students and place them in other classrooms. As you can imagine, this type of bullying created a great deal of anxiety, inability to focus, low self-esteem and a change in her academics. Fortunately, her third and fourth-grade teachers took her under their wings and rebuilt her academic and self-confidence. By the end of her fourth grade, she was ready to take on her new adventures in the fall within the public intermediate school.

By the fourth week in the intermediate school, the phone calls began, and our daughter was in the office physically sick on a regular basis and the tears didn’t stop.  As anticipated, we felt the transition period could be rough, but believed she would work through it. We instantly became more involved at school. Weekly/daily meetings began along with regular emails to her teachers and even flowers for the secretary who stayed with her whenever she was sick and did all she could to calm her.

Homeschooling became a consistent request, along with the plea of, “Please do not make me go back, PLEASE!” Her academics began to decline, she was becoming more introverted and depressed. We were very fortunate that she was always willing to talk and share her experiences with us. While we listened and continued to encourage her to stay positive and keep the faith, we stayed involved. Our gut told us this was not where we wanted her to stay, we quietly began researching other options. The more we researched, the more defeated and confused we became.

Enter, Grand Haven Christian. We had numerous friends who had children attend and graduate from GHC. While we felt somewhat familiar with the school, we gathered more information and planned for her to do a school visit. In preparation for this visit, we found a sense of peace knowing that during this day our faith in God would be shared by the very people she would call classmates. Our daughter did not know a soul at the time of her first visit. With all she had been through you can imagine how we felt leaving her at GHC for the day. We cried when we left her and cried, even more, when we picked her up! Why? Well, she jumped in the car with a smile and said, “This is it! This is where I belong, this is where I want to be!” A year and a half later still not one tear shed and she still has a smile nearly every morning and afternoon.

Academically, she spent only six months in 5th-grade and loved every minute of it. Sixth-grade started a little rough for us, partly because we were not familiar with the routine and things came quickly at us. Tessa seemed to be getting behind and we quickly asked to meet with one teacher to talk it through. To our amazement, we walked into a meeting room where nearly EVERY teacher was present! We were in total amazement, as each sat with their computers taking notes and sharing notes, they made it clear that our daughter and her academic success mattered to more people than just us! We were able to share some history. Suddenly, the things they were seeing made sense and their input helped us tremendously!! To this day, I feel they are there for her and our family as a whole. Academically, she is proud to be an Honor Roll student and is so thankful to have supportive teachers on her side!

When we started at GHC, there was one thing that disappointed her! There wasn’t an equestrian team. That was a dream of hers all through grade school, to be a part of a school equestrian team. We simply said, “If you want it, then we will have to figure it out! Let’s see what can be done to make it happen. Complaining about it will not change the situation.” She started 5th-grade in January by mid-March, GHC had an Equestrian team. With only six weeks to prepare for their first competition, the team placed 3rd overall. This year, however, they won the competition! They returned from the equestrian meet with the championship trophy, which is currently displayed in the GHC trophy case! The support of the school, the school board, teachers and students has meant the world to her!

three girls and one of a horse

Congratulations to the GHC Equestrian team in making MIE and school history by tying for first place this weekend in the Michigan Interscholastic Equestrian competition which was held in Ludington. The team was small but mighty led by Alaina Somers and Tessa Orr, with grooming help from Kaitlin Haight, and coached by Karen Orr. We are so proud of the hard work of all of these ladies and are proud of the way they represented GHC and all of WMCS!

Tessa has always refused taking part in other sports as she is so afraid of being made fun of, it was a huge surprise when she announced she was going to play basketball this year. What a joy it was to hear that her classmates encouraged her to join the team. Her agreeing to follow through and play through to the end is a huge testament as to her feelings about the school and her classmates. We guarantee you, she would not have ever entertained the idea for even a brief moment at her previous school. So thankful!

Tessa has a younger sister graduating from fourth grade, at a public school, in just a few weeks. She has a very large network of friends that will be moving onto the public Intermediate school. We’ve talked about the fact that her sister is a different child who’s had different life experiences, with a different network of friends. Do we pull her from her friends and the public school system or do we give it a second try? Well, simply said by the 9-year-old, “Mom, Dad here’s the deal, I can call those friends at any time. I will make new friends at GHC. I want to go to school and start my day with prayer. I want to learn more about God. I want to be happy every day and I want to feel ‘safe’ like Tessa said when she started at GHC,”  She continued with, “I sure don’t want all of the craziness; I just want a good education!” Well, please look for Brylie at GHC this fall!

We truly feel GHC saved Tessa in many ways. She knows now she can feel safe at school. She can have a voice, be heard and not be made fun of or judged. She can be a part of the team and even create her own. It’s o.k. to laugh out loud while getting an education. It’s truly o.k. to believe in yourself and, in others. She’s always known, but now believes that “It’s okay to cast away your cares upon Jesus, for He cares for you!”

 About GHC

Located in beautiful Grand Haven, Michigan, Grand Haven Christian School offers the most comprehensive Christian day school program in the area. Teaching from the Reformed perspective that emphasizes Jesus as Lord of all areas of life, we offer classes for students preschool through 8th-grade in all regular academic disciplines as well as physical education, band, choir, music, visual arts, computer technology, and introductory Spanish. Contact GHC today for more information! 

Grand Haven 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!