Support Staff

christianspecialeducationprogram

Mrs. Sharon Baker

Educational Support Specialist

(616) 878-3347 ext. 223

baker@bccs.org

 

I began teaching in 1982 after graduating with a Special Education degree at Calvin College. Since that time, I have taught in a variety of classrooms, including a one-room round house in Nigeria, a classroom for emotionally impaired high school students, kindergarten, as a resource teacher/consultant in elementary school, and for the last 11 years – here at BCCS through the Christian Learning Center. Throughout that time, I have taken graduate level classes focusing on Learning Disabilities, teaching academically talented children, and consulting with teachers. Since coming to Byron Center Christian School, I have also had the opportunity to become a trained Reading Recovery teacher. The teaching experiences I have had, along with the classes I have taken, have helped me grow in my understanding of how we can teach children in ways that allow them to be the best learners they can be.

My job offers me the opportunity to team with parents, teachers and children in an effort to understand students and the specific ways God has made them. It is awesome! I love being able to talk to students about how we as Christians are able to use our strengths AND our learning difficulties to glorify God. At Byron Center Christian School, staff and students alike truly embrace the knowledge that we are all “children of the King!” As a school, we celebrate each others’ differences and recognize each person’s value in God’s kingdom.

I am married to Reed.  He shares his day with cows as a food animal veterinarian.  I have three sons who are all married now. Sam and Emily live in Raleigh, North Carolina. They have a beautiful little girl named Lilly, our only grandchild.  Our son Jake is married to Alissa, who just happens to be Mrs. Battjes’ daughter!  They live in Lansing, Michigan where Jake is a student as MSU.   My youngest son Zac was just married last summer to Laura. They both live and work here in the West Michigan area. 

Favorite Verse: "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."  Habakkuk 3:17 - 19


christianeducationalsupport

Mrs. Deb Burgess

Student Aide

(616) 878-3347  

dburgess@bccs.org

 

I have been working at BCCS for 13 years.  Before that, I was a para-professional in the Special Education program in Byron Center Public Schools.  Here at BCCS I work as a para-pro in the inclusive education program.

I am so thankful to have the privilege to work with the children at BCCS.  God has blessed them with many gifts.  They have taught me so much about God's love and compassion.  I want to make sure each child understands that God has created us differently, each with our own gifts to offer and with a specific plan to use those gifts.

My husband, Mark, and I have 4 children.  Justin is married to Karley.  They have a daughter Callie.  Lori is married to Jared Gortsema & also works at BCCS.  Kelsey is at Western Michigan University and has a son, Oakley. Taylor works in the area.  My hobbies are spending time with my family & grandkids. We also enjoy camping in the summer.

Favorite Verse: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength"  Phillipians 3:16


christianschoolresourcessupport

Mrs. Heather Dood

Student Aide

(616) 878.3347

dood@bccs.org

 

Teaching children about an awesome God we serve is amazing, but being able to show them God’s hand in every part of our lives is incredible. Proverbs 22:6 says “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Being able to be  at Byron Center Christian School is not only me leading my own children to Christ but all God’s children. I absolutely love teaching children & youth about Jesus! I have been in Children's Ministry since 2008 and I am very excited to be a part of BCCS!

My husband Jayme and I have 3 beautiful girls: Lilly, Riley and Gabby. 

In my free time I love to be active! Running is my go-to activity but I enjoy participating in triathlons as well. To balance it out cooking is a favorite hobby of mine.

My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11-13 "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'"


christianschooltechnology

Mr. Joe Faber

Media Center Aide

(616) 878-3347  ext. 260

faber@bccs.org

 

I have worked at BCCS since 2001. I love working with the kids. My parents were foster parents when I was young, so I always enjoyed having kids around. I like the fact that I am able to work with kids from the age of four to 14.

My wife and I have 3 boys.  We enjoy traveling as a family and going to a lot of different sporting events that our kids are involved in.  In the past, I have coached baseball, basketball and soccer.

I also play golf whenever I get the chance and enjoy golfing with my sons.

Favorite Verse: “'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'”  Jeremiah 29:11-13


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Mrs. Kathy Fleet

Educational Support Services Director PK-8, Middle School ESS Teacher, Reading Recovery Teacher & Literacy Consultant

(616) 878-3347  ext. 211 

fleet@bccs.org 

I have always lived my life with excitement to see the “plans God has for me.” At each turn He always declared to me that the road I was on would be prosperous and I would not be harmed. He always provided me hope and guided my future, leaving me with the feeling I knew He was in control (Jeremiah 29:11).

When I started college, I majored in Physical Education and worked at a nursing home in order to earn the college tuition needed. While I was assigned to the Geriatric Unit, I always found myself spending my breaks and lunches in the Pediatric Unit. The children there had some type of disability with such high medical needs that families could not care for them at home. After my first year of college, having fallen in love with so many of these children where I was working, God nudged me into Special Education. I graduated with my Special Education degree majoring in Emotionally Impaired. While working with severely emotionally disabled children, I hungered for more knowledge as to how to teach them better. This brought me to pursuing my master's degree in Learning Disabilities. After working for five years with severely emotionally impaired children, and with my first baby on the way, I decided to stay at home.

It was when I was a “stay-at-home” mom that someone told me Byron Center Christian was contemplating starting a program in Special Education. This was my alma mater and I was excited and so proud at the thought of special education coming to BCCS.  I contacted Mr. Bob VanWieren, principal at the time, and offered to help in any way possible. It did not take long before God drew out some new plans for me, and I was convinced that I was to be that teacher to start the program.

Fast forward to now, where we have three special education teachers, five paraprofessionals and three student aides to help with the direction of our Educational Support Services program, or ESS. It has always been my belief that God truly does knit every child in their mother’s womb and His works are wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13). Therefore we as a Christian school must welcome each of God’s children into our educational fold. To me that is true inclusion! Each child God sends to us is wonderfully made, and it is our responsibility to seek the best way to teach each one to prepare them for God’s kingdom and to be an equal part in that kingdom. During this time I again went back to school to get another master's degree, this time in reading. I also trained to be a Reading Recovery teacher, understanding how each child might learn differently, in order that I might help all our children be literate. The Christian Learning Center eventually asked me to train to be a Teacher Leader to help the other area Christian schools have the opportunity to provide Reading Recovery also. This opportunity gave me so many experiences to boost my learning in how to teach literacy, for which I am so grateful. I am always eager to share what I have learned with our BCCS staff and students.

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us God has a plan for each of us and that includes all His children. At BCCS we are working to unravel God’s plan with each of our students. It is my joy to be a part of this effort!

Favorite Verse: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you ...plans to give you a hope and a future.'"  Jeremiah 29:11


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Mrs. Barb Franken

Paraprofessional

(616) 878-3347 

franken@bccs.org

I am an educational assistant for grades 5-6.  I assist students in areas such as writing, reading assignments, and grammar.

I am a graduate of Holland Christian High School and Calvin College.  I taught third and fourth grades at a local Christian school before becoming a full-time mom of two sons.  I worked as a church secretary part-time before joining the staff at Byron Center Christian School in 1997.

Both sons graduated from Byron Center Christian and are now married and have their own children. I enjoy being a grandma, reading, biking, camping and traveling.

I am thankful to have the privilege of teaching in this Christian school where I can share my love for Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation with His children.  I love being able to put learning in the context of God's world, His orderliness, and His creativity.

What an awesome God we serve!

Favorite Verse:  "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"  Jeremiah 29:11


byronchristianlibrary

Mrs. Mary Gronsman

Elementary School Librarian

(616) 878-3347  ext. 160

gronsman@bccs.org

 

I work in the Lower Elementary Media Center and have library classes with preschoolers up through the second grade. I so loved reading each night to my own children as they grew up that we continued years after I thought we might have stopped. I am thankful now to be reading to the students at BCCS and hope I can help instill in them a love of books and reading. I also teach technology to the preschoolers, Junior Kindergartners, and kindergartners, helping them gain familiarity with and confidence on the computer.

Education:

  • Cutlerville Christian School

  • South Christian High School

  • Calvin College, BA in Psychology

Family:

  • married to Ken

  • 3 children: Aaron, Adam, and Jenna - all BCCS graduates

I enjoy getting together with family and friends, knitting, and, of course, reading!

Favorite Verse:  "I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!"  Job 19:25-27


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Mrs. Glenna Miedema

Upper Elementary and Middle School Librarian

(616) 878-3347  ext. 260

miedema@bccs.org

 

When my youngest daughter entered school full time, I started in earnest to pray about whether God wanted me to remain on my present course (stay-at-home mom), return to a previous one (practicing architecture) or totally veer off in a new direction.  I was surprised by God’s answer to my prayer but am excited about my new adventure as MS librarian.  For me the position combines an architect’s organizational skills and a mother’s love for kids.  I’ve always loved reading aloud to my kids and it is a joy to read aloud to the BCCS students as well.  It is such a blessing to be a part of the BCCS staff.

I attended Ada Christian School (K-9th grade), G.R. Christian High School, Calvin College (pre-architecture) and Lawrence Technological University.  I am married to Jay Miedema and have two daughters, Kaya and Madie, who attend BCCS.  As a family we love taking road trips.  We especially enjoy visiting state capitols, national park sites and Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings.  

My favorite verses:  "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4: 12-13


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Jason Netz

Custodian Assistant - East Campus

netz@bccs.org 


studentsupportservices

Melissa Postma

Student Aide

(616) 878-3347

postma@bccs.org 

My journey at BCCS has only recently begun but already God has blessed me beyond measure. What a blessing to be able to shape these young lives by sharing the love of God with them, to encourage them on their journey, and witness their love for God and for each other grow. I love to greet the students as they begin their day. I love to see the curiosity in their eyes and their enthusiasm for learning. Each is unique, each is special and each is a child of the King! I thank God for the privilege of being part of this loving community.

My husband Steve and I have been blessed with two children, Michael and Benjamin. We enjoy spending time with family, watching our boys play sports, camping and boating. I enjoy reading, golfing, fishing, sewing, crocheting and all things sports.

Favorite Verse: "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."  Lamentations 3: 22-23


christianschoolprogramnearme

Mrs. Jill Schrotenboer

Paraprofessional

(616) 878-3347

schrotenboer@bccs.org

I was born and raised in Holland, Michigan. I graduated from Holland High School and and have a B.A. in psychology/special education from Grand Valley State University. I taught mostly special education part time at Holland Christian for 25 years, in grades ranging from K-8.  

My husband Eric and I have 2 children.  Andrew is a student at Hope College and Karissa is a student at Holland Christian High School.  We are members of Park Christian Reformed Church where I am also a volunteer high school youth leader.

Favorite Verse: "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

 

 


spirituallifechristianschool

Mr. Rod Schutte

Spiritual Life Coordinator

Phone:  (616) 878-3347

schutte@bccs.org

I am the Spiritual Life Coordinator for BCCS. I am thankful and blessed to be able to be a part of this school.  I am also thankful for the opportunity to use my gifts of encouragement, faith, prayer, and teaching to serve the Lord in such a warm and caring atmosphere here at BCCS.  It is a joy to meet with students and staff and encourage them in their relationships with God and each other.  It's also a lot of fun planning service projects, chapels, and small group materials with so many committed teachers and volunteers!

I am also the Director of Youth Ministries for Faith Community CRC in Wyoming, MI., and I have been in youth ministry for 30+ years.  I am married to Kim, who is a teacher at Grandville Calvin Christian Middle School.  We have five children, Aaron, Zach [married to our daughter-in-law Amy], Ashley, Brianna and Caleb. We also have a grandson, Lincoln Rodney.

I enjoy camping with family and friends, reading, sports, cheering for the Iowa Hawkeyes, and being by water.

I have several life verses, but the one that has "been with me" the longest is:  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."  Proverbs 3:5-6


privateschoolingrandrapids

Mrs. Missy Sculley

Paraprofessional

(616) 878-3347 

sculley@bccs.org

I have been involved with Byron Center Christian School for many years; as a student, as a parent, as a substitute teacher and now as an aide. It is a privilege and delight to work with a variety of students and challenge them to grow and develop the gifts God gave them as they discover and explore His world.

Education:

Byron Center Christian School

South Christian High School

Calvin College, BA in Elementary Education and MA in reading and reading instruction

Family:

Married to Darrin

Four sons; Nathaniel, Daniel, Levi, Ethan

When I am not at school, I delight in watching my boys at their sporting and music events.  I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I also love to hike, backpack, cook, play strategy games, and read.

Favorite Verse: "But now, this is what the LORD says - he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel; 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you my name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.'" Isaiah 43:1-2


educationalsupportservices

Julie Seerveld

Educational Support Specialist

(616) 878-3347

 seerveld@bccs.org 


educationalprogram

Sarah Teitsma

Educational Support Specialist

(616) 878-3347

teitsma@bccs.org

 

As a child I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I love helping others and seeing the many new things that they are able to learn and do each and every day. I graduated from Calvin College with a degree in Special Education and taught for 10 years at Grand Rapids Public Schools. During that time, God opened some amazing doors that allowed me to see that I was being called to teach in a Christian School and use my talents there. I chose BCCS because of the sense of community I immediately felt. I love and appreciate how no matter who you are, what you can and/or can't do, you are accepted and welcomed as a child of God in this school and this community. 

I grew up in Grandville and graduated from Calvin Christian High School. I then attended Calvin College for my BA in Special Education, where I met my husband, Zach. I began teaching in the fall of 2008 for Grand Rapids Public Schools. I spent 6 of my years in a Mildly Cognitively Impaired Classroom, 3 years in middle school teaching 7th and 8th grade all content, and 1 year as middle school resource. In 2016, I received my Masters in Learning Disabilities from Calvin College. I began working at BCCS in 2018 as part of the ESS team. 

When I am not teaching, I am spending time with my husband, Zach and our three boys, Brandon, Benjamin and Isaac. As a family, we love to go camping, biking, traveling to visit family out of state, and just spending time together. 

My favorite verse is Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."


schoolacademicprogram

Mrs. Jessica Setsma

Academically Talented Coordinator

(616) 878-3347  

setsma@bccs.org

 

I love teaching kids and helping them reach their potential academically, spiritually and emotionally. I was called to teaching after coaching a boys’ middle school soccer team many years ago. After that experience, I felt a nudge by the Holy Spirit to pursue this career and have been blessed to be called to the profession of teaching. I love to explore God’s amazing creation with kids through hands-on activities and asking questions about the world that has been given to us as a gift by God.

I am a graduate of Calvin College.  I also attended several classes at Western Michigan University and received my professional teaching certificate in 2009. I am married and have two daughters and a son. We attend Seymour Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids where I serve in the GEMS and nursery programs.

Favorite Verse: When my oldest daughter was baptized, my husband and I chose this verse for her. It assures me of God’s continual presence in my life and in the lives of those He loves: “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3: 17


christianschoolpreschoolaid

Amy Trifan

Student Aide

(616) 878-3347

 trifan@bccs.org  


schoolreadingprograms

Mrs. Cami VanderPloeg

Elementary School Librarian

(616) 878-3347  ext. 160

vanderploeg@bccs.org

 

I love BCCS! We have been blessed to send our girls here. I love to see their love for Jesus grow and develop as they live and learn at BCCS.   I am so excited for the opportunity to share my love of learning and reading with the children in the library.

I moved around quite a bit as a child, but was able to attend Christian schools in Kalamazoo, Cutlerville, Denver, back to South Christian, and then Calvin College to earn my teaching degree. Upon graduation, I taught at East Martin Christian School for five years in the 2nd and 3rd grades. Since the birth of our first daughter, I have been able to be a stay-at-home mom. I have been involved in education at my church through Sunday School, Coffee Break, VBS, and GEMS. For the last two years I have enjoyed being a substitute teacher. I am thrilled to be working in the lower elementary library this year. I love books and I love kids, so it is a perfect job for me.

My husband Mark and I have four daughters – Emily and Abby are at SCHS and Lindsay and Molly are here at BCCS. As a family we love music, playing games, watching the Tigers, and vacationing.

In my spare time I love to play piano, sing, read, and scrapbook. I also enjoy baking and cooking with my girls.

My favorite verse is Psalm 19:14...“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”


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Mr. Tod VanDoeselaar

Head Custodian                 

(616) 878-3347

vandoeselaar@bccs.org


qualitychristianeducation

Mrs. Shawn Visser

Paraprofessional

(616) 878-3347

visser@bccs.org


christianschoolcustodian

Marc Wiltzer

Custodian Assistant - West Campus

wiltzer@bccs.org 


preschoolprogram

Miss Leah Wychers

Paraprofessional

(616) 878-3347    

wychers@bccs.org

 

It is such a privilege to be back at BCCS and stepping into a new role after graduating from here over nine years ago. BCCS is an amazing Christian community and I love having the opportunity to share what Christ has meant in my life. I am sure the students have a lot to teach me as well!

I am working with the middle school students as an aide in math and language arts classes. I also work with small groups of students on test-taking and study skills.

After graduating from Byron Christian, I attended South Christian High School and Calvin College. While attending Calvin I studied special education and elementary education, as well as integrated sciences.

I have two wonderful parents, Tom and Arloa, supporting me in everything I do. I also have three younger siblings, Luke, Alyssa, and Corinne.

Favorite Verse: “What do you think God expects from you? Just this: Live in his presence in holy reverence, follow the road he sets out for you, love him, serve God, your God, with everything you have in you… - live a good life.” Deuteronomy 10:12-13, paraphrased from The Message.


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Jill Thompson

Elementary Technology

(616) 878-3347

thompson@bccs.org

I grew up in Milford, MI, and attended college at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. My husband Ben and I met at Cedarville on the cross country team. We have been married 19 years and have four children who attend Caledonia Community Schools.

I went into education with the desire to work daily with children and show them the love of Jesus, as I had several adults throughout my childhood who greatly impacted me through their consistent testimony of a Christ-like life.

I graduated from Cedarville University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a minor in Bible. God gave me a variety of educational experiences over a six year time frame, including teaching 7th grade history in Cedarville, OH, 5th and 6th grade math and language arts in Lansing, MI, and 1st-8th grade music and math intervention at The Potter’s House and San Juan Diego Academy in Grand Rapids. I then stayed home with our children for 10 years and taught piano lessons. I have been back in the classroom since 2015 as a substitute teacher and, most recently, as an academic interventionist in Kentwood.

A passage of scripture that is especially meaningful and challenging to me is when Jesus tells his disciples, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

I am blessed to join the staff of BCCS teaching elementary technology!