A Trio of Newcomersby Morgan Jarema
Meet three of seven new principals at Forest Hills Public Schools: Eastern High Assistant Principal Kristine Yelding, Ada Elementary Principal Kimberly Van Antwerp, and Orchard View Elementary Principal Tim Fournier. Other principals in new buidings this year are David Simpson, Northern Hills Middle School; Amy Burton-Major, Central Woodlands 5/6; Charlie Vonk, Central Middle School; and Jeff Simon, assistant principal at Central Middle.
Making Sundaes, Glamping and Building Relationships
Meet Your Assistant Principal: Kristine Yelding
School: Eastern High
Other positions you have held in education: English teacher at West Ottawa High School from 2006-2015, Assistant Principal at West Ottawa High School from 2015-2017.
How about jobs outside education? I worked at Captain Sundae in Holland from 1998 to 2005, and was varsity cheer coach at West Ottawa High School, 2006-2010.
Spouse/children: My husband is a middle school ELA teacher; Jaidan, a second-grader at Knapp Forest Elementary; and Nyemah, 4.
Hobbies/Interests/Little-known talent: Camping-"glamping"; reading, YA and educational texts, and shopping.
What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? I was active in cheer and volleyball, and was a conscientious student with care and concern for grades and learning. Also, I was social and outgoing.
The biggest lesson you have learned from students is... How important relationships are to learning and success.
Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would go to grade ? because... Senior year in high school, because it was a time when life was simple, bonds were strong, and stress (real stress) did not exist.
If you walked into your new school building to theme music every day, what would the song be? "Happy" by Pharrell Williams (hopefully ;).
Euchre, Harmonica & His First-grade Crush
Meet Your Principal: Tim Fournie
School: Orchard View Elementary
Other positions you have held in education: I was a bilingual teacher for 20 years, and mostly recently directed programing for Grand Rapids Public Schools.
How about jobs outside education? Prior to marriage, my wife and I served in the U.S. Peace Corps (she served in Dominica and I served in the Dominican Republic). We plan to return to Peace Corps service one day.
Spouse/children: One child. Talea is a graduate of Forest Hills Northern. She will be attending Kalamazoo College this fall.
Hobbies/Interests/Little-known talent: I enjoy reading, social media, and euchre. I am a novice harmonica player with big aspirations.
What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? As an elementary student, my sister, brothers, and I attended the neighborhood public school in Detroit. My brothers and I have fond memories of the safety patrol and the kickball diamond. We spent our free time in the park in front of the school playing baseball, football, and hockey.
The biggest lesson you have learned from students is... Teach to their eyes and the rest will follow.
Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would go to grade? Because... First grade, because I was madly in love with my teacher, Ms. Cross.
If you walked into your new school building to theme music every day, what would the song be? Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)."
Multi-state Educator, Kindergarten Wannabe
Meet Your Principal: Kimberly Van Antwerp
School: Ada Elementary
Other positions you have held in education: Kent ISD, early literacy coach and educational consultant; cognitive coach in Michigan and Arizona; gifted teacher in Michigan, Kansas, Texas, Florida and Arizona; teacher (K-5) in Michigan, Kansas, Texas, Arizona and Florida; grade-level chair in Arizona.
How about jobs outside education? During college I worked at an outlet mall and in high school, an amusement park. One of the greatest blessings was getting to stay at home with my kids for a few years when they were babies.
Spouse/children: Husband, Chris Van Antwerp, is a physical education teacher in Hudsonville. Children: Sydney, senior; Luke, freshman; Caleb, in the Navy; Skyler & Ashlee (stepdaughters), juniors.
Hobbies/Interests/Little-known talent: Spending time with family, hiking, running, reading.
What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? I was a leader, had drive and was a team player. Substitutes would tell my mom I could essentially run the class. I was involved in many activities! I was also compassionate. My dad was military and we moved frequently. I grew up with diversity and enjoyed meeting new people all the time.
Activities: cheerleading, dance team, 4H, FAA, Honor Society
The biggest lesson you have learned from students is... Life is full of diversity! When I was a classroom teacher, my theme was "Dare to be Different." Each child has their own unique story that should be treasured, nurtured and encouraged.
If I could go back to school I would go to grade ? because... Kindergarten: It's the place it ALL started! To go back with the perspective I have now would be very cool. School is cool at that age, and I remember entering kindergarten for the first time: That feeling of being nervous and excited all at the same time is one that I will never forget.
If you walked into your new school building to theme music every day, what would the song be? "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey.
CONNECTSeptember 5th 2017