JPS Board of Education Members (3)

The Jenison Board of Education is a group of elected members who work extremely hard to partner with me and the entire Jenison Public School Administration team, the teachers and the community.

I am proud to collaborate with each one of them as they bring their diverse thoughts and experiences to the table, and employ their skills with vigor as we continue to launch our district towards success.

Our board members are on the forefront of our pursuit of relentless commitment to the Jenison Public School district. I am excited to introduce each of our valuable board members to you.

You’ve already met Amanda Peterman, Bill Waalkes, Jennifer Postema and Eric Hartman and this week, we will finish with Craig Jenison, Craig Rockwell and Mark Richter. Thank you, Board of Education, for your passion and dedication to the families of our district.


Craig A. Jenison

Jenison Board of Education, Trustee

As a fifth generation founding family member, Craig Jenison is firmly planted in our community. He married his high school sweetheart, Kelly, and they have proudly seen their two sons go through Jenison Public Schools.

Craig founded his own law firm in 1990, around the same time his oldest son started Kindergarten. Memories of his own experience going through JPS prompted the start of his position on the Board of Education that same year. His love for, and commitment to the families in our community has been nonstop for 30 years. He was also part of the Jenison Athletic Boosters while his boys played a variety of sports. Craig is convinced that there is a high quality life experience to be gained at JPS which needs to be preserved for the success of future generations. Our community has benefited from Craig’s commitment in countless ways over the years.

In his spare time, Craig uses the same level of passion to play golf, spend time with his family up north, and does his best to take advantage of the slower seasons in life.

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

“It’s been such an honor to be part of an organization that has enjoyed consistent and stable leadership. A district with a history as long as ours but has only had 3 superintendents, speaks volumes of the deep strength and commitment we have seen from these men, as well as the community who supports us.”

“When I first started my position with the Board of Education, I was advised to view every decision through the lens of ‘What is best for our students?’ that advice rings just as true today as it did then. And I believe this is the driving force for our entire board and staff. Over the years, it has also grown to intentionally consider how we can support our students as a whole-person.  Expanding beyond their education in the classroom while showing concern for social, emotional and mental health and wellness. 


Dr. Craig Rockwell

Jenison Board of Education, Trustee

Craig has been part of the Jenison BOE for 14 years. He is every bit an important team player, ready and willing to help out and go the distance for our district.

He established his Jenison based chiropractic practice 38 years ago and has enjoyed being a licensed amateur radio operator for 42 years. Craig and his wife Marjorie have three children that attended Jenison Public Schools. 

He enjoys antique model trains and loves to share this with others. He was instrumental in installing (and now maintaining) the model train that runs at the Early Childhood Center.

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

“The administrative team at Jenison is fantastic, hardworking and committed to each student. Working with these wonderful people has been one of the highlights of my time on the board. Our district is marked by a very cooperative, team-focused atmosphere and this is a very talented and professional group of people – and the envy of many surrounding districts. I can truthfully tell you that there is none better than our Jenison Administrators.”

“I really love graduation and hearing about all the great accomplishments of the students. As I experience my final Jenison High School graduation ceremony soon and conclude my 14 years on the JPS Board of Education, I would like to thank all my fellow school board members through the years for the help and guidance they have offered. Our district has been blessed with a wonderful group of people and it was a gift for me to have met each one. I also want to thank the voters of Jenison for entrusting the responsibilities of BOE member to me. This has been a great experience, you are special to me and ‘Together, we are Jenison’.”


Mark Richter

Jenison Board of Education, Treasurer

The Richter family may not be Jenison born and raised but they’ve come to love our community and they wasted no time getting involved once their daughters were enrolled here. Mark and his wife Marnie served on the Bursley Parent Club board and also followed their girls into sports and orchestra volunteer opportunities.

Mark is currently President/CEO for a local credit union and in his first term as a member of the Jenison Board of Education. His drive to see our district grow and remain competitive has propelled him through projects of all sizes. While on the Bursley Parent Club board, the group worked together to reclaim an unusable area of the playground by raising funds and donating their Saturday to clean it up. Mark was also the co-chair for a recent ‘Vote Yes for JPS’ committee to pass the JPS bond proposal that helped build the Kids First building, among other items of need for the district.

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

“Making sure that ALL students feel welcome at JPS is something we work really hard for. I’m glad that we have recently started an Equity Task Force to consider these things. It’s an honor to partner on this committee with other board members, parents, students and administrators.”

“I am excited to be in the BOE role at Jenison and I love that our district has so many programs for students to participate in. The community is truly a strong partner that has given us the resources to excel and put our district on the map. Our natatorium is one of the best on this side of the state and our recently new Jenison Center for the Arts offers a great showcase for our bands, orchestras and performing arts programs.”


Thank you for joining me as I express a well deserved, ‘thank you’ for all of the hard work and dedication from our Board of Education members. These volunteers give their time and energy selflessly as servant leaders, striving to help make Jenison an amazing place to learn and grow. 

I have been very blessed to have the opportunity to work with such gifted, dedicated, and compassionate men and women who serve on the Board of Jenison Public Schools. The strength of their leadership and determination that Jenison Public Schools excel in everything that we do continues to set the bar high for all of us who serve the children and parents of our school district. 

JPS Board of Education Members (2)

The Jenison Board of Education is a group of elected members who work extremely hard to partner with me and the entire Jenison Public School Administration team, the teachers and the community.

I am proud to collaborate with each one of them as they bring their diverse thoughts and experiences to the table, and employ their skills with vigor as we continue to launch our district towards success.

Our board members are on the forefront of our pursuit of relentless commitment to the Jenison Public School district. I am excited to introduce each of our valuable board members to you.

Last week, you met Amanda Peterman and this week you will meet Bill Waalkes, Jennifer Postema and Eric Hartman.


William T. Waalkes

Jenison Board of Education, Trustee

The longevity of Bill’s participation in the Jenison Public School district is remarkable and admirable. Wildcat class of 1971, Bill has been on a journey with JPS from the early days. 

When Bill becomes a part of something – it becomes a part of him. Our district has benefited from his steadfast commitment as he showed up in many ways while his own 3 children were students. This includes being a part of the school improvement team at Bauerwood and sitting on the board of the Jenison Public Education Foundation. Even though Bill is now a grandfather with grandchildren in the district, he hasn’t relinquished his ‘band dad’ title as he continues to own the role of equipment chair person with the Jenison marching band for 21 years.

Retired from Steelcase Payroll Department after 35 years, still logging time preparing tax returns after 40 years and serving JPS as a BOE member for the last 21 years. Bill is a man of numbers and his service is impressive. The numbers we can’t calculate are the countless hours he has spent pouring into our staff and students in small and big ways. 

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

“As a board of education, we enjoy great cooperation between the schools and parents. Our board members vary in age, work backgrounds, experience and come from different districts, but we all strive to work together to make sure that the Jenison is doing what is best for our students.” 

“Considering we are a relatively new district and are pretty small compared to our neighbors (in land area); we have a very large number of school of choice students. I love being a part of the Jenison family and I’m so proud of the quality of the education that JPS provides – it speaks for itself and makes a mark in our region.”


Jennifer Postema

Jenison Board of Education, Secretary

During the early years of her marriage, Jen and her husband, Adam chose to move to Jenison because of the small, family-friendly community and school district with strong academic and fine arts programs. Today, she works tirelessly to uphold those values and keep our strong reputation intact.

Early on in the education journey of their four children, Jen caught the bug for involvement at Jenison Public Schools. Volunteering in many different classroom and extra curricular capacities, as well as holding formal member positions on boards and advisory committees. 

Jen is authentic in every action and interaction, she is involved and relevant. She engages staff and students of all ages with an open heart and unconditional acceptance. Over the years, she has fallen in love with the family that is Jenison Public Schools and has met every opportunity with more than 100% commitment. Her experiences have allowed her to have a finger on the pulse of families throughout the district and she is a proud advocate for them as a much appreciated board member.

IN HER OWN WORDS:

“I consider it an honor and privilege to be serving the Jenison community. I truly care about the students, staff, and families. Investing in the schools not only supports and impacts the success of our students but is a critical investment in our community. I have learned a great deal over the years, and I’m looking forward to more of all of it! Serving the community in love with hard conversations and decisions that protect the integrity of the Jenison tradition of excellence, excites me day after day.”

“My time within this community and district has given me MANY great memories. Above that, are the numerous relationships that I have been blessed with. Long lasting friendships that have made me into a better person. I’m also completely humbled when students tell me that I have made a difference in their lives. Words cannot express how that feels, but little do they know that those students have touched me so much more. I love the experience I have with the students helping backstage in a theater production, and how the students impact me to be a better leader and friend. It’s so much fun to hear the kids’ experience and how something like theater makes a real impact on their lives.” 


Dr. Eric Hartman

Jenison Board of Education, Vice President

Eric is a west Michigan native and he and his wife Kimberly chose Jenison as their home 12 years ago. They enjoy a very full life with their 3 boys. Ryan is going into 3rd grade at El Puente. JJ and Timothy, who recently joined their family through adoption after a 3 year fostering journey, are at Rosewood in 2nd and 1st grade. 

Eric is a well established local business owner with his Chiropractic practice. As a proponent of overall health and wellness, Eric enjoys staying active and grilling up good, healthy food. His lifestyle and core beliefs are appreciated and revealed through his heartfelt and engaged attitude during the decision making process as a board. 

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

“I have been on the board for 11 years and I get to relive my greatest memory and highlight each year with graduation. We have watched so many of these kids, now young adults, grow up, work so hard, and graduate. Seeing the joy on their faces and the pride exuding from their parents is my highlight. We rotate passing out diplomas and even get the opportunity to request a few students that we are connected with. That extra chance to share in their special day is priceless and the best honor of being on the board of education.”

“Over the years, we have had a number of board members come and go but each has put in their time with a servant heart.  Each member comes in without any significant personal agenda, learns, often from a fire hose at first, all the intricate details of what it takes to run a large school district, then turns around and uses their gifts, education, and life experiences to help advise our administration and district to keep it safe, healthy, and reflect the values that our community have. We remain very unified throughout all our decisions. It’s been an incredible experience to be a part of!”

JPS Board of Education Members

The Jenison Board of Education is a group of elected members who work extremely hard to partner with me and the entire Jenison Public School Administration team, the teachers and the community.

I am proud to collaborate with each one of them as they bring their diverse thoughts and experiences to the table, and employ their skills with vigor as we continue to launch our district towards success.

Our board members are on the forefront of our pursuit of relentless commitment to the Jenison Public School district. I am excited to introduce each of our valuable board members to you over the next few weeks.


Amanda Peterman

Jenison Board of Education, President

A 17 year Jenison resident who deeply loves the close knit feel of our community, Amanda and her husband, Daniel have three children. Between the activities of her children, she has enjoyed being a part of many of the different programs offered by Jenison Public Schools; Parent Club, Marching band, Performing Arts, Athletics, Special Education LINKS program and other clubs.

As a family, they love spending time together outdoors camping, going to the beach, visiting their family cabin up north, summer weeks in South Haven, and trying new restaurants.

Amanda exudes a contagious passion for children and families in her many roles as a volunteer in her church and at school, as well as her full time position with Bethany Christian Services. Her leadership role on our Board of Education is much appreciated as she continues her second 6 year term.

IN HER OWN WORDS:

“What I love best about our time together as a board is our monthly meetings. We are given great opportunities to meet and honor various volunteers, teachers and students from all over the district. This time is set aside to learn about and affirm unique contributions to the district that might otherwise go unnoticed! I have met so many amazing parents, students, volunteers, teachers and administrators along the way. From parents building playground equipment, serving as crossing guards to families taking on fundraising for building improvements, to our amazing district Parent Advocate team and all the families they’ve helped along the way, to literacy coaches to media specialists, etc. And the kids!!! That is, of course, the most rewarding aspect of serving on the board – seeing kids blossom and  grow to their potential from grade school up through HS.  We have some amazing leaders in these kids! They are kind, thoughtful and generous.”

“I really do believe our district and our board is unique in that we have safety and space for honest dialogue, but have a deep sense of unity and love for the kids in our district. We also have a strong, healthy relationship with administration as well as with the teachers and the Michigan Education Association. There is strong mutual respect among our groups.”

Groundbreaking Celebration for New School!

Last Monday evening, not even the gray skies couldn’t keep spirits down as the Board of Education and Superintendent, Tom TenBrink, broke ground on the new school, scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.

The Early Childhood Center [ECC] and Spanish Immersion program currently housed at Rosewood and Bursley Elementary Schools, will both be housed in the new building located near the corner of Baldwin and 28th Ave.

The new school – Jenison’s first new school since 1970! – will be a two-story, LEED certified building with 36 classrooms. It will also include modern security features as well as, assisted listening systems in each classroom, two playgrounds and two full-size ball fields.

Becky Steele, Rosewood and Bursley STEM teacher was on hand to capture student Samantha Eriks tell those in attendance what the new school means to hear and future Spanish Immersion students. Becky says, “Samantha has been a Bursley Spanish Immersion student since kindergarten, and is headed off to the Junior High in the fall.  Her fluency [as well as her poise, confidence, positivity, kind and helpful heart…the list goes on and on] certainly speaks volumes about the quality of the language immersion education that students get in JPS.”

This is a very exciting season for JPS and we can’t wait to monitor the progress and celebrate when our students and staff are filling the halls!

Rosewood Principal, Lloyd Gingerich, along with SI teachers!

ECC Principal, Lee Westerveldt, joined by two ECC students

Board of Education Appreciation Month!

boe_1-2015

Second Row: William Waalkes, Paul Peppel, Craig Jenison, Eric Hartman First Row: Amanda Peterman, Geoffrey Brown, Craig Rockwell Not Pictured: Adam Tountas, newly appointed trustee

Public education is the backbone of American society, and local school boards are deeply rooted in U.S. tradition. It’s the foundation on which our democracy was built. Today local school boards continue to do the most important work of their communities—that of educating our youth.

As citizen leaders, members of the Jenison Public Schools Board of Education continue to face complex and demanding challenges. Their extraordinary dedication to Jenison Public Schools is greatly appreciated. The job of a school board member is tough, the hours long and the thanks few and far between. Too often we’re quick to criticize school board members without really understanding the complex nature of their decisions. We often forget about the personal sacrifices school board members make in fulfilling their responsibilities. Jenison School Board members contribute hundreds of hours each year leading our district. The time spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the time school board members spend helping to lead our district.

The month of January is set aside to time to thank them for their untiring efforts. This is a time to show our appreciation and begin to better understand how local trustees work together to prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders. Join with others from our district and throughout the state to salute the men and women who provide grassroots governance of public schools.

Please take time to show your appreciation to the Jenison Public School Board members who faithfully and with great passion provide leadership for our school district. The members of the Jenison Public Schools Board of Education include:

Mr. William Waalkes, President

Dr. Craig Rockwell, Vice-President

Mr. Geoff Brown, Secretary

Dr. Eric Hartman, Treasurer

Mrs. Amanda Peterman, Trustee

Mr. Craig Jenison, Trustee

Mr. Adam Tountas, Newly appointed trustee

As further evidence of their dedication, be looking for a post at the end of January on an important, upcoming Bond Issue.

Thank you, Jenison Board of Education members for putting our students and their education at the top of your priority lists!  We are so grateful for you!