Can you share a highlight of your first semester at WSCS?
A highlight of my first semester at WSCS has been seeing my students grow in their writing ability. This is something that I’ve been focusing on and pushing them on. I believe the world needs effective communicators, and therefore; I put a lot of value on clear and cohesive writing. They are slowly discovering the power that they each hold through written communication.
What has stood out to you about the WSCS students/staff/community?
The WSCS staff loves really well. They are supportive, kind, and generous. My students are on fire for Jesus. They show their hearts for the Lord through their authentic Biblical connections in class, their ability to seamlessly lead the class in devotions or prayer, and their desire to serve those around them including the staff. I am frequently amazed at their genuine desire to put others before themselves.
Can you tell us a bit about your family/home life?
My brother had the privilege of growing up with three older sisters, I being the oldest. My family enjoys traveling together – our adventures this summer took us to the bottom of The Grand Canyon and back. I grew up in Holland, but currently live in Grand Rapids in an apartment with one of my closest friends.
What are some of your hobbies?
Lately, I’ve been enjoying all things cozy: baking bread, trying new recipes, re-reading favorite books such as Shauna Niequist’s Present over Perfect, and finding ways to appreciate the winter wonderland outside.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Grand Rapids/West Michigan?
Michigan has been an incredible place to live and grow up. Without a doubt, my favorite part about Michigan is the lake. I live for summers on the boat. The water is where I most see Jesus, and it is food for my soul to listen to the waves crash on the shore.
I also love trying out new restaurants. Grand Rapids has so many fun little hole in the wall places to eat. I’m a sucker for authentic street-style tacos and fresh farm-to-table type meals.
How do you hope to be remembered by your students?
Ideally, I’m remembered as a teacher who loved them and who gave them the space to belong just as they are. I believe one of the most important things I can do as a teacher is to listen and be present. I’m not perfect, but I believe God uses my imperfections to show my students that it’s okay to be real and it’s okay to mess up, but they must never give up – especially not on themselves.