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SPRING 2017

A PUBLICATION OF NORTHPOINTE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS

INSIDE NorthPointe Launches new Intergenerational Preschool INSIDE Vista Springs senior living. Read more on page 4 >>

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FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOLS

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s your read this, the school year is winding down. The seniors have given their presentations to moms, dads, grandparents, and friends, expressing their faith in what they have learned in their twelve years of education. Their graduation ceremony is both an end and a beginning.

In this edition of The Advantage, you will read stories of this past year at NPC: a National Merit Scholar, Science Olympiad, Fine Arts, athletics, discipleship of students inside and outside the classrooms. You will read examples of teachers who weave God’s truth into subjects as odd as erosion in science or Civil Rights in the 1960s. In the alumni news you may recognize someone who remembers God’s goodness in the past.

Equipping students to impact their world for Jesus Christ.

The end of the year is also a beginning. Plans are in place for four new programs here at NPC: a Nature-Based Preschool; an Intergenerational Preschool that brings together 4-year-olds and 70-year olds; the Spanish Immersion program continuing into the middle school; and NorthPointe’s Personalized Learning Program, launching next year with a few high school freshman.

Read about all of these past and future events in this issue. You will see God’s hand working in this place, something I have the privilege to witness daily.

We are intentional about telling “the next generation

Preschool/ Elementary School 616.363.4869 540 Russwood Street NE Grand Rapids MI 49505

the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord” (Psalm 78:5) and “equipping them to impact their world for Christ.”

Middle School 616.719.5440 High School 616.942.0350 Administrative Office 616.942.0363 3101 Leonard Street NE Grand Rapids MI 49525

We are part of the community, serving families and residents, sharing life's journey together.

www.npchristian.org

Our purpose is to honor God by

NorthPointe thanks our sponsors who help fund “The Advantage.” For advertising opportunities in our next edition, please contact: lowitzkik@npchristian.org

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providing high quality senior lifestyle services that promote the value and

dignity of every person.

Schedule a tour to meet our dedicated staff. 6070 Northland Dr., Rockford, MI bouldercreekassistedlivingcom 616.886.2911


STUDENT SUCCESS STORIES

UPCOMING EVENTS AUG 09 Fall Sports Begin AUG 15 Fall Sports Parent Meeting AUG 15 Freshman Orientation AUG 17 P  reschool and Young 5s “Meet the Teacher” Day

AUG 23 M  iddle and High School New Family Orientation

AUG 24 Elementary Pop-In Day AUG 28 First Day of School – All Grades AUG 30 H  ome/School Hybrid Parent Orientation

NPC Scores at Science Olympiad

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PC’s Science Olympiad team had excellent placement in this year’s competitions! Science Olympiad competitions operate like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events. Each year some events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, events in geology, mechanical engineering, and technology.

At the Allendale Invitational in February, Nick Rosendall and Ryan Fleetham won

2nd place in Robot Arm; Jennifer Nguyen and Kate Fleetham won 5th place in Forensics; and Josiah Balk and Aidan Graef won 6th place in Electric Vehicle. At the Regional tournament held at Grand Valley in March, Tony He, Jennifer Nguyen, Nick Rosendall, and Ryan Fleetham won 4th place in the Pentathlon; Brie Wagner and Jennifer Nguyen won 6th place in Write It Do It; Joshua Diemer and Aidan Graef won 6th place in Game On; and Aidan Graef won 6th place in Source Code.

orthPointe is proud to announce senior Ryan Fleetham’s advancement to a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation honors students who demonstrate very high academic performance in college preparatory coursework, high Preliminary SAT (PSAT) scores, and commendable involvement in leadership activities and service.

Weekend

SEPT 08 Friday Enrichment Program First Day

SEPT 11–13 Senior Retreat at

Spring Hill Camp

SEPT 12 Preschool & Elementary Parent Night

SEPT 14 Elementary Spanish

Immersion Coffee Connection

SEPT 19–21 Sixth Grade Camp SEPT 20 New Family Breakfast SEPT 22–24 High School Chorale Retreat

Ryan Fleetham Advances to National Merit Finalist

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SEPT 1–4 No School – Labor Day

Finalists represent less than one percent of high school seniors in the country. Over 1.6 million students nationwide entered the program and Ryan is among the 15,000 who have been honored with finalist recognition. Ryan plans to attend Rose-Hulman, the #1 ranked undergraduate engineering college, to pursue electrical engineering and specializing in the renewable/sustainable energy sector. Ryan is a National Honor Society member. He tutors, volunteers through National Honors Society, participates in Science Olympiad, and attends youth group at Rockford Reformed Church.

OCT 05 8th Grade Retreat OCT 06 Homecoming Football Game OCT 07 Homecoming Banquet OCT 12–13 Grandparents Day OCT 16 M  iddle and High School Band Concert

OCT 19–20 No School – Fall Break OCT 24 M  iddle and High School Choir Concert

OCT 26 M  iddle and High School Orchestra Concert

OCT 27 Elementary Mustang Mania

For detailed calendar visit: www.npchristian.org 3


NEW PROGRAMS

NPC Launches Four New Programs

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s NorthPointe checks out best practices in education, we plan to move forward as God leads us with four new ways to enhance student learning. In August, 2017 NPC looks forward to launching these new programs: Nature-Based Preschool, Intergenerational Preschool at Vista Springs Retirement Home, NorthPointe’s Personalized Learning Community for high school students, and Spanish Immersion Continuing Education at our middle school.

Nature-Based Preschool

Intergenerational Preschool

God’s creation is at the heart of NorthPointe’s new Nature-Based Preschool. In partnership with Blandford Nature Center, this new program will meet the same development goals as NPC’s other preschool programs, but using the natural world to accomplish them. Research reveals that the outdoor classroom encourages creativity and problem solving, improves academic performances, and ignites curiosity and wonder; we are excited to spark this God-given wonder for creation and to ultimately point our youngest learners to the Creator.

NorthPointe’s newest preschool will be offered for four year olds at its unique location in Vista Spring Riverside Gardens retirement facility, just blocks from our Elementary School. The curriculum includes intentional intergenerational activities where preschoolers can learn and grow while building relationships that will impact them for a lifetime.

NorthPointe is among only two other preschools in Michigan offering a truly nature-based experience. The back lot of NorthPointe’s Elementary Campus is currently under renovation to house an outdoor classroom space complete with a tepee and overhang. Preschool students will spend 25-50% of their time learning outdoors and will take monthly visits to Blandford Nature Center. This outdoor classroom will provide exploratory discovery for not only our nature based preschool students, but also our English Young Fives and Three-Day Kindergarten Programs.

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Research shows intergenerational

preschool improve communication and emotional skills, enhance literacy, and increase positive behavior and self regulation.

Not only will our students be more equipped academically and emotionally, but they will be able to have a positive impact on our senior neighbors at Vista Springs.

For admissions requests for either preschool program please contact Kate Hilts at hiltsk@npchristian.org, 616.363.4869.


NEW PROGRAMS

Continuing Spanish Immersion at Middle School

NorthPointe’s Personalized Learning Community (NPLC) NorthPointe’s newest high school program takes our emphasis on real world learning to the next level. NPLC – set to launch in fall 2017 with a small group of students – will meet the needs of a variety of learners on all points of the academic spectrum who would benefit from less time in a traditional classroom and more time with hands-on learning and out-of-the-box problem solving. Research shows students are more motivated when their education has real-world application. NPLC plans to capitalize on that motivation by providing interest-based, real-world problem solving along with internships, service opportunities, micro-business creation, and even foreign travel. Program Director Bill VanDyk shares: “I believe this program is going to open incredible doors of learning for all types of students. We can empower students and parents to make their own choices about their students’ education and guide families to learning opportunities that will build on students’ strengths and help them grow in the gifts God has given them.” Launching this new program puts NPC on the cutting edge of learning as the first Christian school in the nation to adapt what has been a highly successful educational model within the Big Picture schools. At NorthPointe, we are able to incorporate some of the Big Picture education tenets into a Christian worldview within a deeply rooted biblical community. As with all our programs, NPLC will seek to meet our mission of “equipping students to impact their world for Jesus Christ.”

Five years ago, NorthPointe launched our Spanish Immersion Program, allowing children preschool and up to learn a second language in a natural way, immersed in the language. The youngest learners experience a 100% Spanish environment and gradually incorporate increased English instruction. NorthPointe’s Spanish Immersion Program has been incredibly successful and stands out amongst area Spanish Immersion programs in students’ language reading fluency. In the fall of 2017 our pilot immersion class will graduate elementary school. NorthPointe is excited to launch a Secondary Immersion Program to support continued language fluency for these students and other interested immersion learners. NorthPointe’s partnership with add.a.lingua (an organization dedicated to developing instructional materials, teacher training, and student assessment) provides NorthPointe with the framework and accountability for research based best practices in immersion learning. Add.a.lingua co-founder Stacey Vanden Bosch shared: “It’s so encouraging when a leadership team and a learning community see and embrace the power of dual language immersion education—and then take on the challenge of secondary continuing immersion in a way that research shows is best for learners. Our hats are off to the NorthPointe team.” NorthPointe’s Secondary Continuing Immersion Program will build on the current PreK-5th immersion model in a move to an English/Spanish split. Students will be with their English language counterparts for the first part of the day; the second half of the day students will learn language arts, history, and Spanish academic enrichment with a Spanishspeaking teacher. Students will participate alongside English students in the other exciting school wide initiatives such as MiddleSchool Marketplace, J-term, and the 6th grade play. We look forward to supporting Spanish Immersion students graduating into middle school. 5


ATHLETICS

Teamwork Outside the Lines Wrestling and Prayer

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restling coach Mike Gohn models and leads wrestlers to share Christ and pray for those with needs. Here’s an email he sent recently.

promising to pray for Ashlee; the Allendale team also sent a signed card for her.

Secondly, at a local school where we regularly visit, I got to know a refugee from the Middle East that helps out with Our new team shirts are here to remind wrestling. He told me he fled his country us to “Pray for Ashlee Tolsma” and her because his life was threatened for not recently discovered brain tumor. We will conforming to Islam. I shared some be wearing them the next two Fridays and at competitions. I sent out a prayer request evangelistic wrestling videos that were about Ashlee to the Allendale coach. When translated into Farsi and a Farsi audio New Testament (provided by World I went to one of their matches, he gave Mission). His eyes lit up when he me a gift for Ashlee. A wrestler on their started listening. Our team is now team, a spiritual leader, took the request “wrestling in prayer” for both Ashlee to his church, which had made a prayer and now our Middle Eastern friend. blanket for Ashlee, along with a letter

Playing Games for Christ

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occer coach JD Miller is new to NPC this year, with previous experience at Spectrum’s Neurological Rehab Center. He connected the two places by bringing our soccer team to the Center to “help impact the world for Christ.” During the visits Coach Miller and the players played games and built relationships with the residents; the majority of the residents have suffered traumatic brain injuries from automobile accidents. The residents have begged the players to come back. Miller says, “I have watched our guys do an amazing job of showing love and spending time serving those who are suffering.”

I have watched our guys do an amazing job of showing love and spending time serving those who are suffering.” Coach JD Miller

Middle School Football Team Serves off the Field

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his year our football team spent some time on another field: at KEC Oakleigh to make their school and grounds look better: repainting, raking, and cleaning. NPC has developed an ongoing relationship with KEC Oakleigh, a school serving stu-

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dents with severe emotional impairments. The guys were excited to bless this school by serving them. 8th grader Sam Moreno said of the time, “It was cool to work as a team and know that the kids would be surprised and have more fun playing outside.”

The soccer team also hosted groups of residents who were able to come to girls and boys varsity basketball teams at NPC. Unlike their experiences in other schools, the residents who came mentioned that they had good seats, free concessions and entrance fees. Viewing the sports helps them remember things from their own past. One of the residents spent several minutes talking about his basketball career before his accident. The program director was really grateful for the soccer teams’ service. Coach Miller says the visits will continue.


JUST NOSING AROUND

Just Nosing Around by Dan Vander Ark

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y job is to help teachers, supporting, encouraging them, and giving them ideas about how to connect their faith and the Word of God to everything they teach. Part of that work is to watch what’s going on at NPC. Over the last month I been nosing around, watching, listening, sitting in classes, leading a workshop. Here are four everyday examples I’ve observed of ways our teachers and staff lean into Christ in order to stretch our children. Student Union Math (7th grade) It was right after lunch. Julianne VanderWoude took three students, each with some diagnosed difficulty in learning, into a classroom to teach the math skill of estimating. A fourth student, recently from an orphanage in Haiti, nearly blind, was part of the same class. Julianne showed me her lesson plan for the three. She explained the concept and then had each try a problem, checking with her to see if they understood. Given the new student’s lack of education in Haiti, Julianne at the same time was helping him learn to trace the number “5” on a big sheet of paper, holding his hand three times to learn the pattern. She told this young man that the top line of the “5” was the head, the line going down the neck, and the arc at the end the belly. Then, the young man, unable to see, drew the “5” on his own! Julianne’s lessons for all four were different and successful, and I was amazed with her ability to reach each student.

7th Grade Science I walk in to noise. Kids are shouting back and forth. Terri Alexander’s voice rose above the banter to put the first slide on the screen on the topic, “Forces That Shape Our Earth.” She showed slides of weathering and erosion. To illustrate how slow erosion works she used comparisons; weathering is like scraping the dirt from a stone hippo with a toothbrush. She asked questions to see if kids were getting it. Rather than having students yell out answers, she asked those who thought they understood to give the thumbs up sign; if they didn’t, it was thumbs down. She connected the lesson to spiritual life: “Weathering and Erosion (pick one) is like _____________ in your spiritual life because _____________.” In this one moment in one lesson, I saw Mrs. Alexander connecting academics to our spiritual life, U.S. History sparking student learning, and calling our It’s getting late in the school year. The topic students to a high standard of behavior. this day is the Civil Rights Era, the 1960s. Justin Yoder asked kids to shout out words Elementary Teachers’ Meeting and phrases they associate with the time: I was at NPC Elementary to lead a work“riots,” “end of segregation,” “Martin Luther shop. At beginning of the meeting, Karen King.” He tells them, “You each will do a Vanderberg, the Assistant Principal told project and make an interactive map.” He teachers to quickly take their seats. For uses visuals to explain the directions, anvarious reasons, one teacher delayed swers students questions, and guides them sitting down. Karen said, jokingly, “I’ll have towards websites that will pay-off. All of to give you a time out.” The teacher looked the sudents had their Macbooks open and really embarrassed. During the meeting, were attentive and engaged. Mr. Yoder Karen regretted her comment, praying pointed out the students’ need to connect for God’s Spirit to show her what to do. one or more of the mandates (biblical Everybody had heard what she said. After commands from God to His people) to I finished, Karen held the group to say, the topic. As I walked away, I was im“I was a conference once with 100 people. pressed the way the teacher pulled God’s I responded to a speaker’s question with word into an every day History lesson.

enthusiasm; the response was, ‘What a brown-noser!’ I was crushed. I regret to say I just did the same thing and I’m so sorry for my wrong.” In that simple moment, I saw honesty, humility, empathy from one of the leaders at our elementary school, and I was proud to learn from Karen’s example. Imagine your child or grandchild in these classes. Imagine these teachers and principals leaning on God every day. Imagine how God is using this education to form their heads, hearts, and hands to “impact their world for Christ.” 7


DISCIPLESHIP

Discipleship at Every Turn

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sk teachers why they teach at NorthPointe Christian, and the chances are high that impacting kids will be one of the first things off of their lips. In all subjects at all levels, our teachers thread biblical principles that intentionally discipline and challenge kids both academically and spiritually. Not only that, but NPC teachers give specific attention to developing our students’ spiritual lives outside of the traditional subjects.

Mr. Walters and the “Sons of Thunder” group learn together about Godly manhood.

Ms. Ellis and Clara wear queen Esther crowns following a Purim festival.

Take Mr. Walters, for example, who shows up early every Friday morning to invest in the lives of 4th and 5th grade boys and teach them what it looks like to be a Godly man. “Sons of Thunder,” as the group is called, even brings fathers and sons together in weekend activities such as a recent bowling outing and a father/son Lions game. And Mr. Walters, amazing as he may be, is not an anomaly at NorthPointe. Mrs. Vanderberg meets with the 3rd grade girls to discuss friendship; Ms. Ellis oversees a Bible study with 4th and 5th grade girls; Ms. Genzink oversees Heart Prize Club, where elementary students shine a light on needy causes. At the middle school, teachers are regularly coaching students through the challenges of adolescence and middle school teacher Mr. Perry has alumni return to him for life wisdom. A recent exchange between Bible teacher Mr. Bell and a high school parent exemplifies how discipleship and developing critical discernment takes place at the high school level. Letters like these affirm that NorthPointe truly is meeting our mission of “equipping students to impact their world for Jesus Christ.” From our youngest to our graduates, NorthPointe is intentionally discipling at every turn and committed to supporting the enormous challenge parents have of raising children to fear the Lord, “the beginning of wisdom.”

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THANK YOU  o all the donors, NPC T community, and volunteers who helped us with a successful auction!

We raised $118,000 towards Tuition Assistance.

WE ARE JUST

$10,000

School Needs: NPLC New Program Startup Cost: $150,000 Tuition Assistance

AWAY FROM OUR $475,000 Tuition Assistance Fund Goal

Ways to Partner: Advertising

Advertise your business at the Auction, Grandparents Day, on our school t-shirts, in The Advantage, or more!

Tuition Assistance Supports

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STUDENTS

NPLC Business Internships

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Benefit from the help of an intern while also providing a learning opportunity for our students! Contact us to learn more.

FAMILIES

Ways to Give: Text to Give: 616.209.4100

I am truly humbled that God cares so much about me and my family that He has provided for them to be at NorthPointe, and it is done through people who sacrifice so that others can be a part of this school. Thank you for what you do for my family!!”

Online: donate.npchristian.org Checks: 3101 Leonard St, NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525 (drop off a check or mail)

– A single mom receiving tuition assistance

Sheila Tolsma, NPC Development Director Phone: 616.942.0363 Email: tolsmas@npchristian.org

Your giving makes a difference for these families!

Invest in the future of NorthPointe Christian Educational Foundation. Your financial support of the NorthPointe Christian Schools Foundation keeps on giving because the principal is invested and your gift will generate dividends. The Foundation’s

EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION

goal is to support keeping our Christ-centered education affordable by annual contributions to the general fund. Gifts to the Foundation include cash, property, and stocks.


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FINE ARTS

2017 Music, Drama, and Art

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t NorthPointe, we strongly value cultivating the God-given creative abilities of our students. This school year we’ve watched our students shine in a variety of venues.

In music, our High School Dayspring Chorale gave a riveting performance of “100 Years of Disney” as part of a Dinner Theatre to raise money for their mission trip to Belize. They performed the National Anthem at Grand Rapids Griffins and Drive games. This Chorale regularly sang in churches throughout the year. This group of 25 students went to Belize and blessed schools, churches, nursing homes, and orphanages. This annual trip to different countries widens students’ view of the world while they minister through music and service to people there. One of our students said of the trip: “It was so neat to see that even though our lives are

Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things. Let this be known throughout the earth.” Isaiah 12:5

different, we still worship the same God.” Our youngest students took to the stage at Calvin College to sing during our Christmas and Spring concerts, using their singing and drama talents to glorify God. NPC’s bands and orchestras again attended Band and Orchestra Festival this year. The and and middle school orchestra received “Excellent” ratings; the high school orchestra received an “Outstanding” rating. The high school Jazz Band participated in both the District 10 and Hastings Jazz Festival, impressing the judges at both events and receiving praise for outstanding solo performances. NPC’s Christian High School Orchestra and Band have been invited to perform in Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2018

Choir and Orchestra qualified or state contest this year with I ratings at festival.

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as a part of a National Music Festival! This is a prestigious honor! Pending approval to participate, we plan on making a trip to NYC in the Spring of 2018. Drama students performed admirably the play Pride and Prejudice to multiple audiences this Spring. Our 6th Grade class all participated in The Complicated Cruise of the Caribbean Queen, a play written by 6th grade teacher Denise Bufton. In art, NPC held its annual Art Expo, a culminating celebration of the arts, demonstrating our students’ art talent at all levels. This year several of our high school art students engaged attendees in hands-on activities such as string art, try-an-instrument, and face painting.


ALUMNI HAPPENINGS

Alumnus Kenny Willekes Earns Michigan State Football Scholarship 2016 Alumnus and MSU sophomore Kenny Willekes was recently put on scholarship with MSU’s football team. This is quite a testimony to Kenny’s value to the team. The Spartan Avenue reports, “There is much fight in him and it is desperately

needed on this line. Spartan Nation should be excited to have him finally on scholarship.” Kenny’s coach Mark Dantonio publicly said of Kenny, “You’ve had an incredible impact on our team.” NorthPointe congratulates Kenny on his success.

There is much fight in him and it is desperately needed on this line. Spartan Nation should be excited to have him finally on scholarship.” Kenny’s coach Mark Dantonio

church, and BHI Ministries (a ministry where she speaks and shares music anywhere God opens the door; her favorite place to minister is in jail). “God has been so good.”

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(2 ) Stacy ‘87 (Andree) Green and her husband Randy heard God’s calling to work with Arab Muslims in the Middle East. They have been living overseas for ten years. Stacy serves as a hospital chaplain. Randy is a high school teacher. This allows them to form relationships in which they can share the gospel.

1990’s

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1970’s

1980’s

The Class of 1977 will hold its 40-year reunion during Homecoming weekend in early October. They are inviting the Classes of 1976 and 1978 to join them.

Claire (Fortosis) Morris ’83 attended Cedarville College. She and her husband Carl (happily married 22 years), have three children, one in college and two in high school. Claire works part-time and volunteers at their church, Resurrection Life. She says, “I marvel at God’s goodness to me!”

Other reunions are being planned as well. Contact Pam Lasher if you haven’t heard from your Exec Board yet. Our school will soon finish its 45th year! We praise God for His sustaining grace and blessings through the years.

(1) Mandy (Barnett) Bashore ‘84 lives in Ovid, Michigan with her husband Cary and their two boys, Andre (20) and Caleb (11). Mandy is a music teacher at Ovid-Elsie Schools and loves seeing her kids shine. She is active in community theater, her

(3 ) Michelle (Mohr) Telman ’90 and her husband Jim have seven children and have been serving with Grace Project in Uganda, East Africa since 2012. It includes a church with a national pastor, a school with orphan boarding, care for the street kids in the nearby town of Masaka, care for the elderly, and a Bible College that Jim started at the church. Their family has struggled with malaria; keep them in your prayers. You can read about them at http://www.thetelmans.net. (4) Stephanie Zwyghuizen ‘93 lives in New York and is the director of the mathematics department at Jamestown Community College. Her husband Don Hill teaches in the art department and also works in the college’s theater. Together they spend time on free-lance endeavors in the arts: community theater, photography, and running a local film festival. Stephanie was able to donate a kidney to Don four years ago. They have become outspoken advocates for organ and tissue donation. 13


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Visit our Alumni Facebook Page

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Send your life events and updates to Pam Lasher at: lasherp@npchristian.org 10

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ALUMNI HAPPENINGS

2000’s ( 5 ) Christine (Bras) Velting ’00 says, “I have been married for 14 years to my favorite NorthPointe graduate Rodney Velting ‘00. We are living in Rockford with our four children. We have seen God work in our lives in so many ways: bringing home our son Moses from Ethiopia, helping us purchase our current home, and just providing for our needs. I am working as a health and fitness coach and am passionate about nutrition! I’m thankful for my years spent at BHS.” Brian Ball ’00 has been in the U.S. Air Force for over 13 years. He is currently living in Germany with his wife and three children. “I’ve been all around the world, lived in Korea for two years, and most recently spent six months in Jordan. We should be heading back to the States in a year or so and are looking forward to it.” Cory Stewart ’04 and his family have been living in Boston where Cory is a Shoulder/Elbow Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He has accepted a position in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in orthopedic surgery. (6) Cassandra (Packer) Stauffer ’01 and her husband Tim are parents to a beautiful baby girl Amaleah (five months). Cassandra is a stay-at-home mom, substitute teacher, and owner of her own photography business. She says, “Each day is better and better; God is good in both the ups and downs.” ( 7 ) Andrea (Waldo) Baas ’06 says, “Greetings from the Great White North (Canada)! Last June, my husband, Nick, and I were called to be co-pastors of a Christian Reformed Church here in Truro, Nova Scotia. Together we preach, listen, lead worship, and we join our brothers and sisters in ministering in our area, spreading the love of God in all parts of life. Since it’s our first year in ministry, I feel like I’m learning all the time! One thing God is teaching me is to accept His grace for myself, as well as giving it to others, and to take one step at a time.” ( 8 ) Joy (Duckworth) Weitzel ‘07 and her husband Eric are living in Cadillac, Michigan where Joy teaches composition at Baker College. She is also getting

involved in the soccer scene there. They have a German shorthaired pointer that takes up much of their time. (9) David Schwarz ’05 lives in the Grand Rapids area with his wife and two sons. David completed his degree from GVSU. He spent over seven years in nursing, working with geriatric, psychiatric, and addiction patients. He says, “I love caring for people during these times, and I decided that I want to do more for them. So, I began my Doctorate in Physical Therapy at U of M in 2015. Through all of this, my goal is to care for people as God cares for them, as followers of Jesus do.” (10 ) Christa (Heimer) Snyder ’04 attended Spring Arbor University and acquired a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She and her husband, Kyle, had their first baby, Kylee Rey, in 2015. Christa is a stay-athome mom, working part-time with Metro Health Hospital as a clinical secretary. She enjoys the balance of being at home and having a career in the health care system. Christa is expecting her second baby girl in June. “We are excited to see what blessings God has in store for us.” Amy DeVries ’04 is working at an international high school in Vienna, Austria. Recently, she has been working to restructure the Social Studies curriculum and looks forward to being their Department Head next school year. “I also look forward to my summer wedding! I am engaged to Stephen Paul and we have found it quite interesting to plan a wedding in the U.S. while we are located in Vienna.” (11) Hannah (Grohman) Berry ’08 married in 2017. She owns Lions & Rabbits, an art gallery, boutique, teaching center, and event space located in the Creston neighborhood of Grand Rapids. “I have always wanted to be a small business owner. Being able to create a space that promotes the arts while educating has been a dream that I have now realized. The arts have the power to draw a community together, to heal the soul, to nurture the brain, and to promote self-growth. It’s humbling to work with such a great array of art enthusiasts.” (12 ) Mathis Allen ’09 graduated from Kettering University with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a

Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Oakland University. He is currently working at General Motors on future electric vehicles like the new Chevy Bolt. Jason Postma ‘07 is working at NASCAR with the Red Horse Racing team as their tire specialist. Jason studied at NASCAR Technical Institute. Jason and his wife Malory live in North Carolina. He says, “I try to give God all the glory for the things He’s done in my life.”

2010’s Jeb Wierenga ’11 graduated from Hope College with a degree in history. Jeb is in the US Army and stationed at Fort Lewis-McCord. He and his wife is Amy and live in Washington. (13 Nathan Kamps ’13 graduated this May from Calvin College with a B.S. degree in strategic communications. He hopes to go into ministry soon after college: “The Lord has been teaching me through college what it means to love Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love my neighbor more than myself.” Michael Lewis ‘13 recently joined the Grand Rapids Police Department. He says, “I’m truly blessed to have the support of my family and also to start my career with the GRPD.” (14) Rachel Smestad ’15 attends Adrian College where she plays lacrosse (“as God planned,” she says) and has completed a semester of Young Life training. Rachel is a young life leader at Addison Public High School. She writes, “As challenging as this sounds, I can really feel God calling me to lead and share my testimony. I had many ups and downs my first year of college, but I really felt God using me and my story to help impact others around me. Now it is my second year, and I can really praise and thank God for all the struggles and hardships that I went through. They helped me realize that my plan is not God’s plan and that even though I have a plan the Lord still establishes my steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

In Memoriam Scott Steiner ’80 on Nov. 1, 2016

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The Advantage - Spring/Summer 2017  

A publication of NorthPointe Christian Schools

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