West Michigan Christian Schools Blog

Archive for James Onderlinde

WMCS Says Goodbye to Two of the Fab Five Administrators

FCS’s John Barkel and GHC’s James Onderlinde Continue Their Christian Education Careers in GR

The end of the 2018-19 schools year brought a new beginning for two of our own.

John Barkel of Fremont Christian School will be starting as Head of School for Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School and James Onderlinde of Grand Haven Christian School will take on the new role of administrator for Byron Center Christian Elementary.

James Onderlinde's Family portrait

The Onderlinde family.

WMCS Collab Exec Director Dan DeKam and principal of Muskegon Christian School said this of his colleagues, “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. Since 2014, James has tirelessly and virtuously led his staff, community, faculty. and students of GHC. His forward-thinking choice to launch Spanish Immersion marked GHC as the first and only school in the Tri-cities area to teach language immersion and it raised GHC’s enrollment exponentially. We’re grateful for his service and better for it. My fellow administrators, Samuel Greer (WMC), Phil Morse (NEC) and I will miss them both!”

John Barkel and his Family

The Barkel family.

We will all dearly miss John and James. Always moving forward, we are EXCITED to see how God will work these departures for the WMCS good—starting with the promotion of FCS’s own Nick Donkersloot, who is following in the footsteps of his own father and achieving a lifetime career goal with this new appointment. WMCS will announce the replacement for James once that has been determined.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28.

All of us at West Michigan Christian Schools wish many blessings to both John and James 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!

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 Completes Year One of the First Spanish Immersion Class in the Tri-Cities Area of West Michigan

Habla inglés? Some Kindergartners and 1st Graders at GHC Do Now!

Approximately eighteen months ago, Grand Haven Christian School (GHC) began exploring the opportunity of becoming the only school in the Tri-Cities area to offer Spanish immersion. With the success of this program in other WMCS member schools, and after seeing great interest from our constituents, GHC decided to begin its own immersion program.

With the success of this program in other WMCS member schools, and after seeing great interest from our constituents, GHC decided to begin its own immersion program.

With a highly qualified teacher in place, GHC began with a kindergarten/1st combination class. Twenty students and their families joined in to experience the unique educational opportunity. This class brought in seven new students who were previously not a part of GHC and a couple of those families also brought additional siblings to GHC as well.

Grand Haven Christian School

“The class exceeded our expectations as we witnessed first-hand how quickly students were able to develop a second language and become conversational with their teacher and each other. The students have performed skits, presented reports, and eagerly shared verses or songs they know in Spanish, much to the delight of those who get to listen,” explains James Onderlinde, Principal of Grand Haven Christian School (GHC).

The class exceeded our expectations as we witnessed first-hand how quickly students were able to develop a second language and become conversational with their teacher and each other. The students have performed skits, presented reports, and eagerly shared verses or songs they know in Spanish, much to the delight of those who get to listen.

This fall, GHC will be graduating the current class to the next grade levels of Spanish Immersion and will add a new S.I. kindergarten class. Enrollment for the new class is going well and interest continues to grow.

“We feel blessed as a school because we are now able to offer a faith-based education to more families, and we are creating opportunities for these students to be able to share the good news in a second language!” shares Onderlinde.

We feel blessed as a school because we are now able to offer a faith-based education to more families, and we are creating opportunities for these students to be able to share the good news in a second language!

The Spanish Immersion classroom at GHC, led by instructor Señora Heather Grisales (who is pictured above with one of her SI students), was recently highlighted in The Grand Haven Tribune as “Classroom of the Week.” This video feature gives a deeper look into the benefits of a classroom like this. To view it, please click here and enjoy! 

Interested in learning more about Grand Haven Christian’s Spanish Immersion Program?

ASK US! 

Grand Haven Christian School is a member of WMCS,  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 work together to formulate strategy and execute the necessary plans to achieve, elevate, and sustain Christian Education in West Michigan.

At WMCS, everything we do is from the perspective of a Christ-centered worldview. We not only ask the question, “What would Jesus do?”  we show our students “What Jesus Says” as it relates to the classroom, the athletic field and the community we serve. WMCS extends “Beyond Academics” and educates the whole child, putting Christ at the center of all we do. Academically, we perform with excellence, with top local and nationally standardized test scores.

West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) together strive to:

Create a seamless, exemplary Christian educational experience for families in Western Michigan from preschool through high school. Provide excellent Christian education rooted in the gospel to all who desire it. Provide a model of collaboration that will serve as a roadmap for other Christian educational communities.

To learn more about West Michigan Christian Schools (WMCS) click here and for more information about WMCS Membership or Partnership contact WMCS.

 

Why Enroll Your Child at West Michigan Christian Schools? Part 4 – Testimonial

This Father of 3 was Profoundly Shaped by His Christian Instructors and Wants the Same for His Children

Many of my formational experiences as a child came from my failures and from falling short of expectations. In several of those difficult situations, I was picked back up and shaped by my Christian school teachers. Those teachers not only nurtured my faith in all areas of the curriculum they taught but more importantly, nurtured within me a life of love and service to Jesus.

I was picked back up and shaped by my Christian school teachers. Those teachers not only nurtured my faith in all areas of the curriculum they taught but more importantly, nurtured within me a life of love and service to Jesus.

I have a deep respect and a grateful heart for those who have been called to the honorable task of serving through Christian education. I often look back and fondly remember those teachers who modeled their love for Jesus and taught me to love Him, from elementary school through college.

I often look back and fondly remember those teachers who modeled their love for Jesus and taught me to love Him, from elementary school through college.

My Christian education was a priceless investment made by my parents. It was not always easy making that commitment for my three sisters and me, but it will reap eternal dividends. The gift of our spiritual formation and the building of God’s kingdom will never be regretted or considered a sacrifice, but rather a blessing and a necessity. The lessons I learned about myself and about God’s purpose for my life through Christian education, I deeply desire for my children as well.

My Christian education was a priceless investment made by my parents. The gift of our spiritual formation and the building of God’s kingdom will never be regretted or considered a sacrifice, but rather a blessing and a necessity.

My wife and I have been tasked with a great opportunity and responsibility in raising our children for God. We want them to be taught at home, in church and at school (where they spend most of their time), to see Jesus in all things, in the joys and especially in the struggles. We want them to experience acts of grace, share it with others, and learn to receive it themselves.

Our Christian schools will nurture our children to become lifelong learners, kingdom builders, and servant leaders. This is the everlasting legacy we are blessed to be able to provide our community, society, and Christian culture.

Our Christian schools will nurture our children to become lifelong learners, kingdom builders, and servant leaders. This is the everlasting legacy we are blessed to be able to provide our community, society, and Christian culture.

WMCS is ENROLLING NOW for the 2018-19 school year.

Please CLICK HERE >> to GET MORE INFO about Christian education options for children preschool through 12th grade.

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.

Better together,

James Onderlinde

Grand Haven Christian School, Principal (and proud dad of 3)

Feature Photo caption: Onderlinde’s Family includes (from left to right) Benjamin, James, John, James’s wife Wendy, and Luke.