West Michigan Christian Schools Blog

The 2018 Graduates of West Michigan Christian Schools

Congratulations to all 2018 Graduates of the WMCS Member School Family!

We had a lot to celebrate this year at West Michigan Christian Schools.

Below is a breakdown of 6th, 8th, and 12th grade graduates by each WMCS member school.

Do you know anyone? Share this post to FB and congratulate the grads you know!

Fremont Christian School’s 8th Grade Graduating Class 2018:

Pictured: Back Row L to R: Maddie Wiersema, Kaitlynn Bennett, Kayleigh Hood, Carly Zimmerman,  Alexa Zudweg, Hannah Postma, Jade Bills, Ashley Wittenberger, Elly Hooker, Jessie Petry, Abby VanderKooi, and Kyla Wiersema
Front Row L to R: Case Knuver, Matthew Minasian, Collin Hammersley, Jake Dykman, Carson Herman

Grand Haven Christian School’s 8th Grade Graduating Class 2018:

Pictured: Back Row L to R: Sam Vander Heide, Kellen Mitchell, Joseph Baker, Jacob Molder, Samuel Van Orman, Brooks Kingma, Tommy Vandermolen, Libby Mast.

Middle Row L to R: Shaylynn Crum, Peter Brink, Cade Powell, Beau Campbell.

Front Row L to R: Lina Miedema, Knightly Giaimo, Evan Gergen, Aiden Kenny, Ashley Binnendyk, Ava Rotman, Hope Wright, Eden Horne.

Annabelle Baker will be remembered for her servant’s heart and her obedience to be the hands and feet of Christ. Annabelle participated on the GHC/WMC cheer team for the second year in a row and received recognition for her work in both English and Bible throughout the school year. Annabelle will be heading to Western Michigan Christian (WMC) in the fall.

Joseph Baker will be remembered for his thoughtful and quiet manner. As the youngest, he is the last to graduate from his family and next year will be the first time in 25 years that there will not be a Baker at GHC. Joseph was recognized during the 8th-grade awards assembly with the Wordsmith award in spelling. Joseph will be attending Grand Haven High School next year.

Ashley Binnendyk is the Class of 2018’s valedictorian. She will be remembered for her tireless work ethic and her servant’s heart. She helped organize the Hand 2 Hand program, often giving up her lunch period, and she also had the lead role of Mary Poppins in this year’s middle school play. Ashley, a soon to be a freshman at Western Michigan Christian (WMC), was a recipient of the Presidential Award and was also recognized for outstanding achievement in Choir and PE.

Peter Brink entered the middle school as a boy and leaves as a young man rooted in his knowledge of his Savior’s love for him as a child of God. Peter took advantage of the various offerings in the middle school and the opportunities they provide to explore God-given and life-lasting skills. Peter was recognized with the Presidential Award and Millionaire’s Award in history. He also played on the school soccer, golf, basketball, and baseball teams and was a part of the middle school play and ski club in the winter. Peter will begin his high school journey next year at Western Michigan Christian (WMC).

Beau Campbell served as Vice President of Student Senate during the 2017-2018 school year. Beau also provided leadership and consistency on the school’s soccer, basketball, baseball, and track & field teams. Beau will be remembered for his quick wit and smile. Beau will be attending Western Michigan Christian (WMC) next fall.

Shaylynn Crum, who will be attending Western Michigan Christian (WMC) in the fall, is the salutatorian of this year’s graduating class. Shay, as she is known by her friends and classmates, has a personality and sincerity that draws others to her. She is fun-loving but also has an amazing heart for God. Shay received the Presidential Award and was also recognized in the areas of English Language Arts and Spanish. She was also a part of the Hand 2 Hand ministry and was on the school’s volleyball, soccer, and track & field teams.

Evan Gergen will be moving on to Mona Shores High School in the fall. Evan will be remembered for his awesome Christmas sweaters as well as his care and concern for others. Evan made the Living Through History curriculum come alive this year with his participation in class and received recognition as part of the Millionaire’s Club for wise decision making. This year Evan was also a part of the boys’ golf team and a mainstay of the middle school band and choirs.

Knightly Giaimo has a great work ethic and commitment to learning. Unfortunately, Knightly has experienced extreme back pain that kept him out of school for extended periods of time over the past two years. Knightly will be remembered for his skills with technology and gaming as well as his kind heart and willingness to help those in need.

Eden Horne participated in many activities while at Grand Haven Christian. She was on the volleyball and soccer teams, she played in the band and sang in the choir. She also had one of the main roles in the middle school musical and was recognized with the Presidential Award for maintaining above a 3.5-grade point average and was recognized with the Band Award for the 2017-2018 school year. Eden will be attending Western Michigan Christian (WMC) in the fall.

Aidan Kenny will be joining his older brother, Evan, at Western Michigan Christian (WMC) next year. You would not know by watching Aidan interact with his classmates and friends that he came to GHC just two years ago. Although quieter than most, when Aidan had something to share, everyone listened intently. Aidan was recognized this spring for his participation on all of the GHC sports teams during the year as well as the Presidential Award.

Brooks Kingma has a testimony to share with the world and he is not afraid to tell others about his journey during middle school as he battled and overcame cancer. Brooks will be remembered as the big, tall, strong kid with a gentle heart for God and others. Brooks was recognized with the Presidential & PE Awards as well as the Hands & Feet for his service in the programs at GHC. He will be attending Grand Haven High School in the fall where he will be participating in football and golf.

Libby Mast is the youngest of the Mast family. She will be attending Western Michigan Christian (WMC) next fall and her graduation brings to an end 20 consecutive years of a Mast walking the halls of GHC. Libby was instrumental in launching First Priority, a student-led Bible study where students met each week and shared their testimonies. Libby was a recipient of the Presidential Award, participated in the Hand 2 Hand program, and was also an integral part of the school’s volleyball, basketball, and soccer teams.

Lina Miedema has participated in many activities here at GHC. She has been in choir, band, the musicals, on the volleyball team, basketball team, and Student Senate, just to name a few.  While juggling all that, she proved herself to be an excellent student earning the Presidential Award as well as recognition in math, English, and Bible. Lina will be heading to Spring Lake High School in the fall.

Kellen Mitchell will be joining his sister, Chloe, at Western Michigan Christian (WMC) in late August. During his 8th grade Capstone Project, Kellen spoke of his desire to share the love and grace of God with the world. He didn’t just talk about it, but also lived it out by taking the time to interact and build relationships with those younger than him. Kellen was recognized this spring for his work ethic in class and his debate skills in English. We are all rooting for him next year, whether in the classroom, on the basketball court, or in the community.

Jacob Mulder will be heading to Western Michigan Christian (WMC) next year. Jacob has a talent for working with technology that he has put to good use at GHC and his church. Jacob is kind-hearted, often taking the time to genuinely ask how someone is doing or offering to listen. Jacob was recognized with the Technology & Presidential Awards as well as the Living Through History, Avid Reader, and Millionaire’s Club Awards. He will be greatly missed by the teachers and younger students at GHC.

Cade Powell, the ironman of the 8th grade that did not miss a single day of school this year, will be attending Fruitport High School next fall. Cade will be remembered for his deep-rooted faith and kindness for others. Cade played football this year for Lakeshore Middle School, was a part of the middle school play, and was an amazing leader in Team Challenge activities, which mixes together students in 6th-8th grade. Cade was also recognized with the Presidential Award & Moses Award in Bible.

Ava Rotman is intelligent, hard-working, and is someone with a compassionate heart that celebrates with friends and classmates during the joys of life. Ava took advantage of the opportunities offered to her during middle school. She was part of the volleyball, soccer, track & field teams as well as the cooperative cheer team with WMC. Ava also received recognition via the Presidential Award and Math Enrichment Award for successfully completing Geometry. She also led a group of students that gave up a lunch recess once a week to help organize the school’s Maker’s Space. Ava will be joining big brother, Eli, at Western Michigan Christian (WMC) in the fall.

Sam Vander Heide will be heading north to Western Michigan Christian (WMC) next year. Sam was recognized with the Honor Roll Award for achieving above a 3.0 GPA during his time at GHC. Sam was a part of the boys’ basketball and baseball teams and played in the band during the school year. Sam will be remembered for his even-keel attitude and ability to roll with changes made both in the classroom and with the daily schedule.

Tommy Vander Molen has a sense of humor and personal fashion unrivaled in his class. Tommy received the Presidential Award and Avid Reader Award this spring. He enjoys any book he can physically put his hands on (although he won’t admit it, his teachers think he has warmed up to and somewhat enjoys his Kindle now). Tommy will forever be remembered as a student who never complained to teachers or classmates, even when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in the summer of 2016. Instead, he has brought light and laughter to many who are blessed by his friendship and genuine kindness. Tommy will be going to Western Michigan Christian (WMC) this fall. 

Samuel Van Orman was this year’s student body president. He helped oversee student senate meetings each week, organized student-led committees, and was a leader of the First Priority group that met each week. All the while he took Geometry, participated in every sport offered during the school year and played the part of Bert in the middle school play of Mary Poppins.  Samuel was the recipient of the Presidential Award, Bible Bowl Award and was a part of the Millionaire’s Club in History. He was also recognized with the Hands & Feet Award for his service to the school and its student body. He will be joining his older brother, Ethan, at Western Michigan Christian (WMC) next year.

Hope Wright came to Grand Haven Christian for the second semester of her 8th-grade year. She will be remembered as someone who loves animals of all kinds. She has a compassionate heart and enjoys being surrounded by friends. Hope was recognized in English for her talent to debate and clearly articulate a position and support those who cannot speak for themselves.

Muskegon Christian School’s 6th Grade Graduating Class 2018:

Every class has its own distinct characteristics.  This year, the graduating 6th grade was dynamic and liked to laugh. A lot. As class representative Asher Stoaks shared during graduation ceremonies, “if one person in the class would start laughing, the whole class would laugh, even if most of us wouldn’t know what just happened.”  

Sixth graders worked on strengthening relationships with each other in activities like Spotlight Sparkle, where students formed a large circle with one in the middle and then took turns saying what they appreciated about the person sitting in the “spotlight.”  They worked up a sweat volunteering to serve others at International Aid packing hygiene kits and were in charge of setting up the gym for Praise service and other events.

Sixth graders are challenged with opportunities to be servant leaders.  “We want the 6th graders to recognize their spiritual gifts and become school leaders in community building” summarized 6th-grade teacher Liz Morrison.  “The best leadership challenges for these students come out of our regular MCS Family Group activities.  By the end of the year, these 6th graders are confidently leading their K-6th groups through small group and Field Day activities.  It’s great to see them use their gifts and encourage the younger students.”

Our Congratulations to the 2018 MCS Graduates, who include:

Chalon Anderson-Williams

Nyi’Kayla Anhalt

Trevor Clapp

Monti Collins

Emma Croff

Brandon Curtis

Kyla Drake

Samantha Fish

Kabir Ghotra

Erik Gould

Ethan Gould

Henry Hubers

Kevin Jackson

Ian Kelsey

Eleanor Kingshott

Laken Konyndyk

Elise Lenertz

Daniel Maat

Benjamin Moorhead

Katelyn Rosema

James Spencer

Jayden Start

Haylee Steenhagen

Alyssia Stewart

Asher Stoaks

Sydney Sytsema

Mason Taylor

Andrew West

Jacob West


New Era Christian School’s Graduating Class of 2018:

Pictured: L to R – Isaiah Morales, Joe Waller, Jaden Johnson, Parker Erickson, Thorissa Carter

Thorissa Carter is the daughter of Andy and Dee Carter.  She once said, “The earth can’t be round because the souls of my shoes are flat.”  Thorissa is quiet and incredibly thoughtful. In the fall she will attend Shelby High School.

Parker Erickson is the son of Brian and Cindy Erickson.  He once said, “I wonder what will happen if I take this battery apart?”  (He did try it. The results were smoky and smelly). Parker is inventive and a very talented writer.  In the fall he will attend Shelby High School.

Jaden Johnson is the son of Jared and Emily Johnson.  He once thought that a box turtle was in the shape of a rectangular prism.  Jaden is a supportive friend on the field or court and is a true competitor.  In the fall he will attend Western Michigan Christian High School.

Isaiah Morales is the son of Eddy and Anna Morales.  He once left a brand new $50 soccer t-shirt on an ATM machine in Chicago.  Isaiah is creative and a very hard worker. In the fall he will attend Western Michigan Christian High School.

Joe Waller is the son of Darin and Angie Waller.  He once said, “Wouldn’t you rather learn Algebra than sit here and be bored?”  Joe is a leader and has strong organizational skills. In the fall he will attend Western Michigan Christian High School.



Western Michigan Christian’s Senior Class of 2018,  was led by WMC’s Top Ten (pictured above). 

Back Row L to R:   Samuel Braak, Samuel VanAndel, Jared Hanes, Braydon VanderWeide, and Matthew Doty.

Front Row L to R:  Chandler Breit, Natalie VanHouwelingen, Annika Erickson, Emma Brink, and Gabrielle Frens.

Matthew Doty graduated as the Valedictorian of the Class of 2018.  He is the son of Doug and Sonya Doty and a member of Ferrysburg Community Church.  While at WMC, Matthew was on Science Olympiad, ran cross country, and was a student ambassador for WMC’s international program.  In the fall he will attend Calvin College and plans to major in chemical engineering.

Annika Erickson, graduated as the Salutatorian of her class, is the daughter of Jeff and Deborah Erickson of Spring Lake and attends Second Christian Reformed Church of Grand Haven.  In her years at WMC, she was in volleyball, soccer, competitive cheer, and chamber choir.  During her summers she took mission trips to Haiti and Costa Rica.  Annika was also involved in Blue Lake Choral Ensemble, Michigan Mat, and Science Scholars Program, and was a teen volunteer at John Ball Zoo.  In the fall she plans to attend the University of Michigan for Computer Science.

Samuel Braak is a member of Second Christian Reformed Church in Grand Haven and the son of Dan and Debbie Braak of Spring Lake.  While at WMC he ran cross country and track, enjoyed being a small group leader, and was a member of the Earth Club.  In the fall Sam will attend Calvin College to major in Biology and go pre-med.

Emma Brink is the daughter of Daniel and Jewel Brink of Newaygo and a member of Grant Christian Reformed Church where she is actively involved in her youth group.  Emma ran cross country and was on the track and field team, along with being a member of the concert band while she attended WMC.  Emma plans to major in nursing at Calvin College in the fall.

Sam VanAndel is the son of Bert and Sheryl VanAndel of Norton Shores. He is a member of Calvin Christian Reformed Church of Muskegon.  Sam is very active in his youth group at church and organized mission trips for two years in a row ministering in Thunder Bay, South Dakota, and St. Thomas.  He is a member of Sportsmen for Youth Board, West Michigan Wildlife Association, and is a youth turkey hunting mentor and guide.  Sam sang in Chamber Choir at WMC and will attend Cornerstone University in the fall to major in business.

Jared Hanes is the son of Deanna Hanes and LaVaun Hanes of North Muskegon and is a member of Port City Church.  Jared was involved in cross country, bowling, and choir including participating in the musical tours while at WMC.  He is currently working on his senior service project that involves hosting a prom for the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District special needs students.  Jared plans to attend Baker College of Muskegon and major in nursing in the fall.

Gabrielle Frens is the daughter of Randall and Kathy Frens of Fremont. She attends Reeman Christian Reformed Church where she volunteers for nursery and vacation Bible school.  Gabi was on the MS/WMC Co-op swim team, sang in the choir, and participated in the fall plays and the musicals.  She also served as a peer tutor and a small group leader for a chapel.  In the fall Gabi plans on majoring in music therapy at Queens University of Charlotte, NC.

Chandler Breit is a member of Harvest Bible Chapel of North Muskegon and is the son of Charlotte and Darren Breit of North Muskegon.  In his years at WMC Chandler was involved in soccer, golf, choir, and band.  In the fall Chandler plans to attend either Hope College or the University of Michigan.

Brayden VanDerWeide plans on attending Calvin College and majoring in STEM this coming fall.  He is the son of Melanie Guikema and Arie VanderWeide of Muskegon.  Brayden is a member of Fremont Wesleyan Church.

Natalie VanHouwelingen is a member of Covenant Life Church and the daughter of Marc and Amber VanHouwelingen of Grand Haven.  In the fall Natalie is undecided where she will head to study interior design.  While at WMC, she participated in competitive cheer, was on student council, and pep team leader.  For her service project, Natalie was a food truck volunteer at All Shores Wesleyan.

A Complete List of all Western Michigan Christian High School Class of 2018

(Click here to see the FB photo album.)

Owen Turner Alfree**
Cameron Charles Beisel**
Samuel Lee Braak**
Catherine Marie Bradford-Royle*
Chandler Bernard Breit**
Emma Grace Brink**
Cristina Marie Burns
Dawei Chen
Cammie Rose Clark*
Bao Dang
Holly Joy Davis
Simon Avery Dean*
Ellie Grace DeKam
Peyton Olivia Deur*
Matthew James Doty**
Annika Britt Erickson**
Casey Steven Fink

Johnscott Gregory Finley**
Evan Thomas Fles**
Sydney Joy Foreman**
Gabrielle Joy Frens**
William Edward Gamble
Nathaniel Frederick Gilson
Aubrey Lynn Goorman
Rebecca Lynn Gorenflo
Brandyn Larry Gould
Jared Lee Hanes**
Daniel Charles Hartley**
Madison Lyn Heiss
Hyeonseo Kim
Hanna Jeanne Klaassen**
Ashlyn Ann Lane
Brendan Jonathan Lee
Jiayao Li
Addison Elizabeth Liggett**
Zhi Lin
Kylie Arlene Luhring**
Lane Andrew McIntyre
Jeffrey Glenn Merz**
Emilee Kay Michael
Caleb Michael Morritt
Jacob Allan Moser*
Taylor Elaine Mosher
Isaiah John Nail
Hannah Kathleen Nestell**
Joshua Kai Ren Paquin**
Hannah Elaine Pell**
Andrew Timothy Plaisier**
Olivia Elaine Plyler*
Josie Elizabeth Poel**
Garrett Lee Pollack**
James Edward Prince**
Chloe Ann Roberts
Shelby Nicole Schuitema
Lillian Marie Stonecypher
Abigial JaNai Summerfield*
Dirk Michael Teeter
Thomas Lee TenCate**
William David TenCate
Adam Joel Van Hoeven
Samuel Jacob VanAndel**
Tyler Scott VanBeek
Seth Johannes VanderKooi**
Isaac Timothy VanderVelde
Brayden James VanderWeide**
Natalie VanHouwelingen**
Cassandra Marie Waller
Chunqi Wang
Yixin Wang*
Elizabeth Ann Welsh
Shantele Elizabeth Wilkinson*
Thomas Jackson Williams
Jordan David Wisniewski
Madison Elizabeth Woods
Tyler John Yonker
Yongjin Yoo*
Amity Grace Zenz
Liangyi Zhu
** Denotes Gold Honor Cord Recipient

*   Denotes Silver Honor Cord Recipient

Interested in learning more about our 5-school faith-based education from preschool to 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.