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Staff

Mr. Richard Bonner

Position:  Teacher—Physics Lab Assistant
Contact Information: (616) 698-1073; richardbonner@afo.net
Background: I have an undergraduate degree in Physics from MSU and an Ed.M. from Temple U. After serving in the US Air Force, briefly as a student pilot and long term as a "Weapons Controller" (armed aircraft traffic controller), I moved to Philadelphia. I taught Physics there for ten years and home schooled our three children, my wife bearing most of the burden. We moved to Grand Rapids in 1988 to be near our extended families. My career also included engineering work for a defense contractor and for the Naval Air Development Center, both in Philadelphia. Back in G.R., I worked in sales and served as AWANA Commander at Calvary Church. My wife and I now attend First RPC of G.R. My hobbies include amateur astronomy and eschatology.

Mrs. Tammy Cunningham

Position: Account Specialist—Retired
Contact Information: tammy@gracehsaonline.org
Background: Tammy is married to Joe, has 3 daughters, and a Jack Russell Terrier. She homeschooled her daughters for a total of 17 years. All three girls are now graduated. She is currently homeschooling her granddaughter, Ayclinn, for the 2nd year. Tammy has four grandsons, Shane, Emmett, Darren, and A.J., and 6 granddaughters, Angelle, Ayclinn, April, Scarlett, Victoria, and Elyse.

Tammy currently works for Seventh Reformed Church where she has been a member since her conversion in 1986. She was the previous Administrative Assistant for GRACE from 1994–2008, continued the bookkeeping and other various duties after stepping down, and then increased her work with GRACE in 2016 to help make the switch to the PraxiSchool School Management System and other program changes and growth through 2020. In the spring of 2021, Tammy retired from GRACE, yet will complete training through the 2021–22 school year.

Hannah DeJonge

Position: Teacher—Conversational Spanish, Spanish I, Spanish II, Introduction to Graphic Arts, Yearbook
Contact Information: hannahdejonge7@gmail.com
Background:  I am excited to be teaching both Spanish and Art at GRACE! I was homeschooled for 6 years from 1st-6th grade and attended Coopersville Public Schools from 7th-12th grade. Upon graduation, I attended Elmhurst College near Chicago and received my B.A. in Psychology (Pre-Occupational Therapy), Art, and Spanish this past spring. My goal, Lord willing, is to earn my doctorate in Occupational Therapy within the next few years!

I have studied the Spanish language for nearly 10 years and have traveled abroad to Spain to study traditional Spanish culture. I truly enjoy being able to connect with native speakers! A memorable moment was sharing the gospel in Spanish to a college student in Miami with Cru (Campus Crusades for Christ). I believe that learning a language is a privilege that we are able to use to further Christ’s Kingdom!

During high school, I was able to attend Kendall College of Art & Design for two years and fell in love with artistic expression. I have had my work featured at various shows and received numerous awards. Art is a wonderful way to use our talents to worship our Maker!

While in college, I was involved in Cru, and am still actively involved with their Bible studies and discipleship program. In my free time I enjoy traveling the country to see my friends, being outside, and spending time with family.

 

Miss LexAnn DeWeerd

Position: Teacher—The Art of Photography

Contact Information: lexecca@yahoo.com
Background: I am honored to be teaching at GRACE, as I actually graduated from GRACE as a high schooler in 2001. I enjoyed taking my first art classes at GRACE, where I learned how much I loved to oil paint. Since then, I have grown as an artist, using all kinds of media. Through the years, I have sold dozens of oil paintings, participated in Artprize, and have been commissioned on many occasions to create art for various clients. Also, I have a huge passion for art photography, black and white film photography. I studied clinical nutrition and herbalism at Blue Heron Academy of the Healing Arts and Sciences, where I received my certification to be a Master Herbalist.
In contrast, my background involved mostly sports and fitness, as I was a figure skater and coached children and adults in figure skating, and due to an injury in 2004, I believe God redirected my life-path. It was then that I truly delved into the fine arts in a new way, and I knew God was working in my life to do more with me than just athleticism. I live in Grand Rapids during the school year, and for the last 5 summers, I have enjoyed living and working at a Christian Conference Center on Lake Michigan in Norton Shores, Mich. My life go-to verse has become Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might"... I have learned to be "all there where ever I am" and no matter how menial or grand the task, do it all to the glory of God, my Creator!

Mrs. Lorraine Dykstra

Position:  Teacher—Drawing I, Painting Studio, Botanical Art and Study
Contact Information: frenchknott@yahoo.com
Background:  Lorrie started teaching for GRACE in 1995, just one year after GRACE began. She has taught art for children as well as adults not only for GRACE, but also for Zion Christian and HSAP (Home School Ancillary Program). Her hobbies include botanical studies and America's Early History for re-enacting. Bible Study Fellowship is an ongoing passion and outreach throughout the year. So if "Anything Art" is your interest, there is room in her class!

Becky Fullalove

Position:  Accountant Specialist
Contact Information: becky.gracehsa@gmail.com
Background:  Becky graduated from South Christian High School and Providence Christian College in Pasadena, CA with a degree in Buisness Administration. She lives in Byron Center with her husband, Jeremy, and is looking forward to homeschooling her three young children. In her free time she enjoys traveling, reading, baking and being outside.

Mrs. Stephanie Green

Position: Teacher—Traveling Through U.S. History I, Writing Based on Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales, Cities and Landmarks Aound the World
Contact Information: stephanieandrobby@gmail.com
Background:  I was raised in Byron Center Michigan, attended South Christian High School and graduated from Calvin College with a double major in Social Work and Elementary Education. After teaching at Dutton Christian School for 5 years, God took me on an adventure of teaching overseas. I accepted a position at a wonderful Christian school in Istanbul, Turkey where I was blessed to teach for 6 years. During this time I met my husband, Rob, who was also working there. We were married in Istanbul and returned to the USA after the birth of our first daughter. My husband took a youth pastor position in Tennessee and our son was born in our town near Nashville. We decided that being close to family was a priority and moved back to my home, Michigan (Rob is from Houston) in 2005. After all of that traveling we ended up buying a home next door to my parents' home in Byron Center and the kids run back and forth daily. It's been a wonderful landing spot for our family of now 5. Our youngest daughter was born in 2009.  I have homeschooled our children with much thankfulness since kindergarten.
I cannot wait to meet your children and teach them about God's great world!!!

Mrs. Irene Hazenberg

Position: GRACE Graduation and Iowa Basic Testing Coordinator; Hot Lunch Provider
Contact Information: (616) 401-4215 or events@gracehsaonline.org
Background:  Irene is the GRACE Graduation and Iowa Basic Testing Coordinator as well as the Lunch Provider. She is the mother of 9 children, ages 26 to 5 years, and grandmother of five. Her five oldest children have been homeschooled at varying levels. Her three teenage boys at the high school level are currently being homeschooled. Irene has a B.S. of Psychology from Calvin College.

Irene is the GRACE Events Coordinator. This includes administrating the GRACE Graduation and Iowa Basic Testing as well as being the Lunch Provider (except this year due to Covid). Additionally, the snack table is provided and administered by Irene. She is the mother of 9 children, ages 36 to 15 years, and grandmother of nine (#10 is due, Lord willing, in February). Irene and her husband, Randy, have been homeschooling their children off and on since 1991. Irene has a B.A. of Psychology from Calvin College.

In her spare time she assists Randy in running their motor coach business, fulfilling her duties on various committees or organizations her children take part in, teaching Sunday School and spending time with her grandchildren. Some additional favorite activities Irene enjoys include walking, traveling with the family, baking, sharing a cup of coffee with a friend, music, reading, and traveling to California/Oregon to see her extended family.

Mr. Randy Hazenberg

Position: GRACE Administrator
Contact Information: hazenbe.r@gmail.com
Background: I along with my wife, Irene, upon fulfilling our portion of the Biblical mandate to fill the earth, am presently engaged on the subduing "part." With nine children and five+ grandchildren (one more on the way), we keep busy with responsibilities in a number of places. Along with my new position as the administrator of GRACE Home School Association, I am currently leading Dearborn Christian School as principal through a change process to sustain Christian education in this increasingly darkening place. This is a part time position that takes me to Dearborn two days each week. Additionally, we continue to promote our home school/business venture, EDventours in Learning, a group tour education idea in which we design, market, and give tours to education-related venues like the Creation Museum, Gettysburg, and Washington DC. Irene and I have been involved in home schooling for over 20 years, and have been involved with GRACE for the past 12 years. We currently home school five children. I've been blessed to be involved with the Hudsonville Hornets Home School basketball organization as the coach of the JV and Varsity teams for the past three years.

As GRACE administrator, it is an honor to serve you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concern, or comment you may have.

Dr. Raymond J. Higbea

Position:  Teacher—Special Topic: Career Development: When Opportunity Doesn't Knock, Build a Door! 1st Semester Only 
Contact Information: rhigbea@sbcglobal.net
Background:  Dr. Higbea is a Professor in the Master of Health Administration Program.  He has 40 years of healthcare experience (20 clinical and 20 management) and 8 years experience teaching graduate students.  His academic preparation includes: PhD in Public Administration from Western Michigan University, Master of Health Administration from University of North Florida, and Bachelor in Biology from Bob Jones University. Dr. Higbea has published in Health Affairs, Teaching Public Administration, and Journal of Education and Learning.  His research interests include: access to healthcare services, models of care, program evaluation, bench-marking, and ethics. 

Ms. Debra Iwema

Position: Teacher—Introduction to Chemistry and Physics, General Science, Physical Science
Contact Information: debraiwemagrace21@gmail.com
Background: Deb earned her B.A. and M.A. from Cornerstone University and has been in education for 26 years as a paraprofesional, elementary teacher, and middle school science teacher. She enjoyes being out in God's creation whether it is camping, hiking, the beach, or relaxing in a hammock.

Mr. Scott Looman

Position: Teacher—Geography, Constitution/Government U.S. History,  World History, What in the World!?! Survey of Ancient History through the Renaissance,  Economics
Contact Information: scottlooman@gmail.com
Background: I was a certified teacher for 30 years, teaching Social Studies and History at Holand High School. I have a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, and currently work part-time as the Education Coordinator and Assistant Exhibits Curator at the Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center. My wife and I have been married for 36 years, and we have 6 children ages 16–33 along with three granddaughters. This will be my first year teaching at GRACE, I am looking forward to sharing my love of history and love of the Lord with my students. 

Mrs. Martha Markwat

Position: Board Member
Contact Information: (616) 304-4334; martha.markwat@gmail.com
Background: Martha is a board member and GRACE parent. She and her husband Joel attend Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church and have four children (Gabe, 19; Gideon, 17; Eva, 15; Leo, 13), whom they have homeschooled for the past seven years. They have enjoyed taking classes at GRACE and being a part of the GRACE community for the past six years.

Mrs. Laura Marsman

Position: Teacher—Chemistry
Contact Information: laura.marsman@gmail.com
Background:

Mrs. Lynnae Murray

Position: Teacher—Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology
Contact Information: (616) 350-0052;  happilymurrayed2019@gmail.com
Background: I graduated from both Cornerstone University and Kuyper College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Bible and Theology and a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education: Integrated Science Comprehensive (a fancy way of saying that I am certified to teach any type of science to middle-school/high-school-aged students). My passion is teaching students about the greatness of God made evident in His creation and studied in the subjects of science. I have loved watching both high school and college students progress from dreading/disliking science to enjoying it! I also love finding creative ways to help students learn, since each student has been gifted in different areas, and processes/retains information differently. Besides teaching, I also work for the Institute for Reformed Biblical Counseling, which seeks to train Christians to counsel in the light of God’s Truth from a Reformed perspective. Prior to this, I had taught 8th grade Gems at my church for 5+ years, cared for adults with various disabilities at Olivia’s Gift for 2 years, studied/cared for plants at a greenhouse for 6+ years, and lab-assisted for various college professors for 2 years. My favorite past-times include fishing, exploring, gift-giving, thrifting, drinking coffee, tutoring, and spending time with my husband, Allan. I’m looking forward to my first year of teaching at GRACE. I’m hoping and praying that my students will learn that Chemistry is fun (yes, fun!), and that it reveals much about the complexity and majesty of the Creator.

Mrs. Ruth Nobel

Position:  Board Member and Teacher—Introduction to Logic, Literary Analysis

Contact Information: (616) 681-9432; gramnobel1943@yahoo.com

Background:  Ruth has been with GRACE for over 16 years. Currently she also serves as a GRACE Board Member. She is a widow, has 9 children, and 38 grandchiuldren. She graduated from Calvin College and teaches a weekly Bible Study in a Middleville retirement home, Carveth Village. She sings in a Psalm Choir and in Jubilee, a small women's ensemble, which includes 3 daughters, 2 granddaughters, and one niece. They sing at nursing homes and give a benefit concert once a year for faith-based, non-profit organizations like Pregnancy Resource Center and Divine Hope Reformed Seminary (prison ministry), and recorded their 3rd CD.

Dr. Christina (Tia) Parks

Position:  Teacher—Biology, Comparative Anatomy with Dissection
Contact Information:
Background: Hello, my name is Christina Parks. I received my Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from University of Michigan in 1999. During my years in graduate school, I realized that I had a passion for education and working with young people. At that time, I decided that I would rather pursue a career in education rather than continue on in research. After a short stint editing High School Biology textbooks in Texas, I got married and was coaxed back to Michigan. In 2003, I went back to school and received my Teaching Certification from Grand Valley University (2004). I taught a variety of Biology and Chemistry courses at Hesperia High School for 5 years while enjoying gardening, horse-back riding and skydiving with my husband. In 2009, we adopted a brother-sister pair from Ethiopia and I came home to care for and homeschool them. Although I still grow a large garden, my children are my primary “hobby” now! My son Sam is now 18 and is preparing to go to college. Wow! Where did the time go? Over the last 11 years, our family has been challenged by my daughter Tess’ special needs and blessed by her sweet, ebullient personality. She is now 11 years old and is attending public school. She currently communicates using sign language. As a teacher, I am extremely passionate about opening the eyes of my students to the intricacy and majesty of God’s creation. Hopefully, with a little encouragement, your student will be as excited about learning science as I am about teaching it.

Mr. Dave Pruis

Position:  Board Member—Treasurer
Contact Information: dpruis68@gmail.com
Background: Have taught a variety of mathematics courses for the past 50+ years.  Most recently various calculus classes at GRCC. Currently also helping out with a PCA church plant meeting in the basement of Trinity CRC.  Grow almost all of our fruits and vegetables in a ¼ acre garden.  Have over 80 rose bushes and over 120 feet of various dahlias growing along a white fence.

Mrs. Joan Ridderbos

Position: Board Member and Teacher—Grammar and Composition, Pre-Algebra,  Algebra  1
Contact Information: jrbos94@yahoo.com
Background: I grew up in Canada and came to the United States when I married my husband. God has blessed us with four children. We have been led to homeschool them from kindergarten on, and have been thankful and amazed at how God brought us through so far. Our oldest graduated college with a degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant and she is now married. Our second, a son, graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Civil Engineering.  He is currently working for a civil engineering consulting firm in Grand Rapids.  Our third, also a son, will be graduating from Ferris with a degree in Criminal Justice and our youngest son is currently going to Grand Rapids Community College pursuing a degree in the medical field. We appreciated what GRACE has to offer us in helping us homeschool our children. When not busy with teaching or household demands, I enjoy sitting down with a good book, especially biographies, spending time outside and visiting with friends. I am excited to be part of the board, and to be permitted to teach at GRACE. God is good.
 

Miss Joanna Schout

Position: Teacher—Writing Based on Medieval History, Analytical Writing for Essays and Research Papers
Contact Information: joannaschout@gmail.com
Background: Joanna is a lifelong homeschooler who is excited about teaching English and Language Arts to homeschooling students. She is almost finished with her associates degree and is planning to attend college full time in Fall 2022. Joanna has also recently become an accredited IEW instructor. She believes that passion, knowledge, and a desire to reach others for Jesus are inseparable qualities in a teacher. With God's help, she hopes to live out all three qualities as a teacher.

Mrs. Carol Shulman

Position: Teacher—Your Side of the Story: Writing Creative Fiction and Nonfiction (5–8), Your Side of the Story: Writing Creative Fiction and Nonfiction (9–12)

Contact Information: grendelsmommy1963@yahoo.com
Background:
Carol grew up in Michigan, graduated from Calvin college and headed for New York City, where she lived for 10 years. After marrying and having four children, she and her husband, Art, decided to move back to the Grand Rapids area. In addition to homeschooling her children, Carol has catered weddings, cooked for the GRACE lunch program, written several custom curriculum packages for new homeschooling families, and served as a substitute teacher for various English and writing classes. She and her husband attend Christ the King Presbyterian Church in Hastings12)

Mrs. Faith Smit

Position:  2020–2021—Research and Debate, Speech and Public Speaking
Contact Information: (616) 901-3420; faithrsmit2017@gmail.com
Background: Married to my wonderful husband William for 15 years. Blessed with two children, Peter, who is 13 and Annie, who is 11. Our church home is Byron PRC. I grew up in California, where I attended a very small private school. My class had only five students. I attended University of Redlands, and earned my BA in education. Shortly after graduating, my husband and I got married and moved to his home in B.C., Canada. While living there, I taught grade 3 at a Netherlands Reformed School for a few years and absolutely loved it. Just before our daughter was born, the Lord led us to move to Michigan. We currently live in Wayland, Michigan and love it. We have two dogs, one cat, a corn snake and 7 fish. We'd love to start raising chickens and goats as well. We love spending time as a family and cherish each moment God has given to us. I’m very excited to be given the opportunity to teach Research and Debate. Getting people to really think, interact and see their eyes light up when they've reached a new goal is such a blessing to witness. May we all use our minds and speech to the glory of God.

Christina Stephenson

Position:  Teacher—Art I, Art II,  Art III, Art IV, Bible Art Journaling, Mixed Media Art
Contact Information: csteph1388@gmail.com
Background:  I am excited to be teaching at Grace this year and am looking forward to being a part of this wonderful community! I am married to my husband, Duane of 7 years, and together we have two girls, ages 7 and 5.  Before feeling called to pursue teaching, I completed a BFA degree in Illustration from Grand Valley State University. And though teaching is clearly where I have been called in this season of life, it is a dream of mine to publish my first children's book someday.  I have taught art to a wide- range of students with varying abilities, including Kindergarten through 8th grade at Excel Charter Academy.  This experience sharpened me, but more importantly, revealed what was vitally missing in my work, the ability to proclaim and share the word of God... in all circumstances!  My greatest desire is for students to gain confidence in expressing themselves through arthttp://www.gracehsaonline.org/About-Us/Staff#Christina and to share the deep joy of exalting and connecting to our Creator through artmaking! I can't wait to explore watercolor, drawing, journaling and so much more with students.  

Mrs. Sophia Tripp

Position: Teacher—Healthwise
Contact Information: sophia.hazenberg@gmail.com
Background:

Mrs. Kim Vander Hill

Position: Teacher—Science (K–1), Science (2–4), General Science (3–5)

Contact Information: dkhillcrew8@aol.com

Background: Who am l? I am a child of the King, a wife for 31 years, a mother of six children, and a teacher for 28 years. I love all of the job titles God has given me! My joy comes from knowing Jesus as my personal Savior and being able to share His love to my family, friends, and students. I have always loved going to school and learning. It was when I attended Calvin College that I discovered my love of teaching and obtained my teacher certification. Since then I have taught many subjects to all grades kindergarten through eighth.  I look forward to teaching at GRACE every year. The students are wonderful and respectful, the families are thankful and sweet, and the teachers are fantastic educators. I cannot wait to get started!
 

Jeremy Vanlet

Position: Board Member–President
Contact Information:
Background:  

Mrs. Terri Veen

Position: Teacher—Geometry, Algebra I (Thurs.), Algebra II, Consumer Math
Contact Information: (616) 566-9625 or terripoppins66@gmail.com
Background: My name is Terri Veen, and I live in Holland, Michigan. My husband, Jerry, and I will be celebrating our 29th year of marriage this year. We have home-schooled two children. Because of my love of math, I went to college to become a math teacher, but through several volunteer positions, found that I had a strong desire and gift to work with students that benefit from material being taught in a variety of ways. I graduated from Hope College with a major in Special Education with endorsements in Learning Disabilities & Emotional Impairment, and a minor in math. I taught in a Special Ed classroom until we had children. I was very blessed to be able to stay at home with my children. Now that both of them have gone off to college, I am enjoying tutoring, substitute teaching in both Holland and Zeeland, and am looking forward to sharing my love of math and the opportunity to teach at GRACE.

Mrs. Stephanie Vos

Position: Teacher—Physical Education Teacher
Contact Information: kuiperstephanie@gmail.com
Background:

Mrs. Robyn Wassink

Position: Administrative Assistant
Contact Information: office@gracehsaonline.org or (616) 498-6673
Background: Robyn and her husband Steve have been happily married since 1991 and have four children. Their three oldest     children have graduated from GRACE Home School Association. Their daughter completed her undergraduate work at Hillsdale College and is now working on her Ph.D. at Michigan State University. Their oldest son completed his Engineering degree at Grand Valley State University, is married and is working as a Controls Engineer. Zach and his wife Michelle are expecting their first baby. Their next son is attending Grand Valley State University, majoring in Biomedical Sciences and hopes to pursue a career in the medical field. Their youngest child continues to enjoy her classes, instructors, and friends at GRACE.  Beginning in 2003, Steve and Robyn felt called to homeschool and have been blessed to have been part of GRACE for every year of that rewarding journey. They are eternally grateful for the Christian mentoring their children have received through their close relationships with the GRACE staff.
Reading and education-related research are two of Robyn’s favorite activities, in addition to watching her children's sporting events, traveling, remodeling and spending time with her family.  Robyn enjoys sharing experiences and exchanging ideas with other homeschoolers and feels blessed to have served on the Board of the GRACE Home School Association. Robyn has also enjoyed serving as a parent-advocate from 2009–2017 for the West Michigan Chapter (Iota Eta) of the National Home School Honor Society.

 
Position: Teacher—Advanced Math, Physics
Contact Information: mindy.s.weiss@gmail.com
Background:

Comments or Questions?

GRACE Home School Association
6816 Bliss Ct. SW, Grandville, MI 49418
(616) 498-6673 or office@gracehsaonline.org