Introducing four more new teachers with Jenison Public Schools this year!
Before bringing her skills and passions for Spanish Immersion education to Bursley Elementary, Kelli Dykstra was living and teaching in Costa Rica. She was keeping busy teaching English immersion in a private, bi-lingual school in this Spanish speaking country. Hoping to continue her career in language immersion and also return to a more permanent job in the States she came home to West Michigan. She has loved to see the growth of her students both academically and socially and “Their bilingual abilities have blown me away. I am very encouraged by their hard work everyday.” Ms Dykstra adds, “I am adamant about the value of encouragement and pushing the kids to be the best that they can be. ”
Mary Lynn Randall comes to the Early Childhood Center after four years of teaching in the Ludington school district. Now, she spends her days with our Pre-K [or transitional Kindergartners]! Her husband was commuting to work from Ludington to Grand Rapids and after they had their daughter they knew it was time to make a change. She had heard good things about Jenison from her sister, Ashley Hankamp, who teaches art at Bauerwood and Pinewood and she knew it would be a good fit. Mary Lynn is encouraged by her students “eager minds and energetic spirits” and thoroughly enjoys being part of the Jenison family. When Mary Lynn isn’t wrangling the energetic spirits of her Pre-K students, she is true to her farm-girl roots and enjoys spending time with her family in the outdoors hunting, fishing and scoping out good auctions.
Myca Belknap grew up traveling with her missionary family and never felt the need to “put down roots”, that is, until she found herself at Rosewood as the new 4th grade Spanish Immersion teacher! Now she says, “I can already see that this is going to be easy because our little school already feels like family!” Myca and her husband Dave, have four children and enjoy a very musical and artistic family with all of them displaying talents in these areas, “We love to “jam” in our studio/basement with our friends and their kids in the colder months, and enjoy our music acoustic style in our backyard during the summer and early fall.” She has taught Spanish Immersion in South Haven and Forest Hills before coming to Jenison and says, “The family atmosphere, quality staff, good relations between educators and administrators, and high parent involvement are only a few of the qualities that to me spell “EXCELLENT SCHOOL, EXCELLENT DISTRICT”. The more I explored, the more attractive JPS became. I can truly say that I have “landed my dream job”!”
Myca wants parents and the community to know, “I am committed to my students’ development and feel so privileged to be trusted with the children in this community. I take my responsibilities both with joy and care because [as a parent myself] I understand the hopes, dreams, and expectations that we have are born out of a deep love and desire for our children to prosper and be as successful and be as happy as humanly possible. To this end, we all strive. We make sacrifices. We make the “hard decisions”. We go the extra mile. After that, we must trust their future [and ours] to the children we have loved and trained. My trust is with hope, because I see a bright future in the students that I teach!”
Tyler Moran joins the Junior High staff after graduating from GVSU and teaching in various districts around West Michigan. Now he teaches our 7th and 8th grade students with Cognitive Impairments and Learning Disabilities in the areas of Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and Study Skills. He was attracted to JPS after volunteering a couple of years ago in Lisa Douglass’ classroom “and I realized what a great staff and student body they have here. After the first interview, I knew it was meant to be. I went home and told my wife that I need this job and that I can’t see myself working anywhere else! I am truly blessed to have been even considered for this job!” Tyler’s family is growing! In addition to his stepson, Gavin, with his wife, Melissa, they welcomed a baby girl into the fold last month! He has enjoyed celebrating his students academic gains this year and is encouraged by their desire to learn — even in Middle School! “I am ecstatic to be apart of the JPS family and I can’t wait to see what my future holds here at JPS.”
We are so thankful to add these teachers and their passion for educating to the Jenison family!