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Former Wyoming Park student athlete is new AD for EGR

Meet Your Administrator: Chris Zylstra

East Grand Rapids — Chris Zylstra is the new athletic director for East Grand Rapids. SNN gets to know him in this edition of Meet Your Administrators.

Other positions you have held in education: 

  • Assistant principal and athletic director at Lakeview High School in Lakeview, Michigan
  • Social studies teacher, assistant football coach and head baseball coach at Wyoming High School in Wyoming, Michigan
  • Social studies teacher and assistant football, basketball and baseball coach at Quincy High School in Quincy, Michigan
  • Social studies teacher and assistant football and baseball coach at South Aiken High School in Aiken, South Carolina
  • Social studies teacher and head baseball coach at Strom Thurmond High School in Edgefield, South Carolina
Chris Zylstra is the new athletic director for East Grand Rapids

What about jobs outside education? “My first job in high school was at Craig’s Cruisers. During summers in college, I worked in commercial flooring installation.”

Family life: Chris and his wife Bryttani have two daughters: Lawsyn, age 4, and Mara, just 10 months old.

Education/degrees:

  • Aquinas College, Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Social Studies (2011) 
  • Western Governors University, Master of Science in Educational Leadership (2020)

Hobbies, interests or little-known talents: “I love spending time with my family and time at the lake in the summer, and playing golf. Not sure I have any little-known talents!”

What kind of kid were you as a high school student? “In high school I was a quiet and reserved student who participated in a variety of activities, including football and baseball as well as student council.”

If you could go back to school, which grade would you revisit? “This is a really tough question for me to answer. I think going back to any grade would be an awesome experience. There have been so many teachers and adults along the way who had a great influence on who I have become today. Especially in high school, there were so many teachers and coaches who made an impact on me.”

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Phil de Haan
Phil de Haan covers East Grand Rapids, Kelloggsville, is lead reporter for Grand Rapids and also is the point person for the SNN Facebook and Twitter feeds. He hails from Exeter, Ontario, but has called Grand Rapids home since 1985. He is the son of a longtime public school teacher who taught both English and machine shop! Phil took both classes at South Huron District High School, but English stuck, and at Calvin College, where he met his wife, Sue, he majored in English and minored in journalism. His background includes both freelance writing and public relations work, including teaching an advertising and PR course at the college level. In the summer of 2019, he began his own freelance writing and communications business. In his spare time, Phil plays pick-up hockey and pickleball and tries to keep tabs on his two adult children. Read Phil's full bio

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