JHS Welcomes New Teachers

The Jenison High School is thrilled to have these passionate and skilled educators join the team. Even with a year that has been different than most, these new staff members have proven they have the relentless commitment of a Wildcat teacher and have been great additions to our high school staff.

Amanda Alverson

Having grown up in West Michigan, and keeping JPS on her radar, Amanda was eager to join a district she considered to be ‘first-rate’ and return home. She has served in other teaching and staff roles on the east side of the state, most recently as Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction in Taylor, MI.

In her free time, Amanda enjoys spending time with family (pictured here with her mom) and her dog, Georgie; baking, cooking, and crafting. If she wasn’t an educator, she might have pursued event management. It’s her personable heart and attention to detail that makes her a key leader as Assistant Principal at the High School.

Jordan George

A recent Hope College graduate, Jordan joins the Jenison community as a high school English teacher and Student Council teacher sponsor.

He never imagined he’d be starting his teaching career during a pandemic but he has been highly impressed by the hard work and efforts of all the teachers, administrators and students to keep things moving.

Jordan loves to spend time traveling, reading, attending concerts, and golfing. He also coaches the JV Basketball team for his Alma Mater, Forest Hills Central. If he wasn’t a teacher, you might find him chasing his other passion on the basketball court, and possibly pursuing a college coaching career.

Nick Berens

After student teaching at Bauerwood Elementary last year, Nick knew that Jenison would be his desired district upon graduation from Saginaw Valley State University. He had a great first semester teaching Social Studies and felt very welcomed by the students and his colleagues.

Nick enjoys spending time doing nearly anything outdoors, including backpacking, water skiing, and fishing. If he was not a teacher he would have followed in his fathers footsteps and would take over the family greenhouse business. 

Alexandra Aguilar

Alexandra appreciates and knows first hand, the commitment of the JPS school district because she is an alumna. She’s previously taught a combination of English as a second language and Spanish in public and charter schools in Utah, New Mexico, and Michigan. 

As her Jenison high school experience as a student was vastly different than the one she is observing her students tackle, she is very impressed with the tenacity and resilience they’ve shown this year.

Her free time is spent on the go… chasing after her 2 year old and 1 year old. If she wasn’t a teacher, she might be stay at home mom, working in education technology, or possibly immigration law.

Ashlee DeGraaf

Ashlee is a West Michigan native who made teaching stops in California and then Indianapolis before finding her way back home, and stepping into the position of Theatre Director and English teacher at Jenison High School.

She enjoys spending time with family and looks forward to more of that now that she’s back in the area. She has made the most of her Covid year while hiking, traveling and reading (with a count of over 50 books already)!

Ashlee is grateful for the community support of the arts and is really looking forward to kicking off the high school spring musical production.

JJHS Welcomes New Teachers

The Jenison Junior High is grateful to welcome new classroom leaders with exceptional talent and specialized expertise.

Tom Daller

Tom Daller has joined the Jenison Junior High Applied Technology department as Industrial Arts Teacher. Coming from Belding High School where he taught for 28 years; Tom taught Woodworking, Industrial Tech / Construction, CAD, and was involved in Robotics and Baseball.

He is eager to exercise creativity while he shapes the program in our beautiful facility. The welcoming attitude of staff and willingness of students to get to take the time to get to know him has really made him feel at home.     

If he wasn’t a teacher, Tom would find himself at the ballfields full time coaching baseball. He is now assisting his son after a 28 year head coach career. Some of Tom’s other hobbies include construction, hunting, antique auto restoration, relaxing at his cabin and family time with his 6 kids.    


Cristina Schreur

We welcome (back) Cristina Schreur as Social Studies teacher and 8th Grade Spanish Comparative Language to Spanish Immersion students. She’s not exactly new to Jenison as she was previously a 6th grade Spanish Immersion teacher at Rosewood Elementary before moving out of state with her husband.

After a few years in Colorado, and welcoming their son, they decided they wanted to return to the area. They looked forward to being closer to their family and they already knew the Jenison Public Schools and Immersion Program were communities they wanted their family to be a part of. She enjoys outdoor hobbies, Salsa/Latin Dancing, and Yoga.

Bursley Elementary Welcomes New Teachers

I am excited to introduce another group of dynamic teachers who are new to Jenison Public Schools this year. It’s great to welcome folks from within our community and outside the area. A big thank you to principal Holly McGoran and the entire Bursley Elementary School team for a successful beginning to this school year and your daily commitment to show up and finish strong! Our children are blessed to spend their days with you.

Samantha Anderson

We welcome Samantha Anderson to her first year at JPS as a 6th grade Teacher at Bursley Elementary. She is so proud of her students and what they have been able to accomplish together in the short (and somewhat unconventional) year we’ve had so far. The hardworking reputation of our Jenison teachers grabbed her and she’s excited to add her name to the list of those that go above and beyond for her young Wildcats.

Outside the classroom, she spends time as a student herself at Grand Valley State University working towards a Masters of Education in Instruction and Curriculum. Samantha also works with children through ABA therapy. You can also find her enjoying the great outdoors year round in water, snow or by the campfire.

Madison Baker

Madison Baker is an Extended Traditional Kindergarten teacher at Bursley Elementary. Her students are learning from home with her as their dedicated online teacher. Growing up in the area, she knew that the values and mission of Jenison Public Schools aligned with her own so she is very excited to start her full time teaching career with us. She has been impressed with the resounding theme of cohesiveness among the Bursley staff members – knowing that she has support around every corner.

As Madison is also personally passionate about mental health, she could see herself working in that field if she wasn’t a teacher.

Sarah Faasse

Sarah Faasse is as a Kindergarten Extended Traditional teacher at Bursely Elementary. Her family chose to move to Jenison for her own children’s education. She appreciates the size of the district and the programs we are able to offer. Between four children, her family was involved in the special education and spanish immersion programs.

She previously spent 10 years teaching. Volunteering in the classroom for her own children for the last 7 years eventually brought her back to the classroom full time. After classes to update her teaching license, she joined the collaborative teaching ranks of JPS. She can’t imagine doing anything else, teaching is one of her greatest joys and no matter what capacity she finds herself, she will always be teaching something!

Kady Hernke

Kady Hernke comes to JPS from a local community where she spent 7 years teaching. She is excited to teach 2nd grade at Bursely Elementary this year.

Kady sensed that Jenison is a community full of people who want what is best for the students they serve. And she is excited to join our district as we strive to provide students with an excellent education while also developing their character.

An outdoorsy booklover, Kady enjoys arts and crafts and spending time with family and friends, and especially her young son.

Katie Johnson

Katie Johnson feels lucky that she had the opportunity to fill substitute teaching positions in the Jenison District last year. This meant she was able to experience the comfortable, team focused atmosphere within the teaching community. It was also one of the reasons she chose to officially start her career with us. In joining Bursley Elementary as a 5th grade teacher, she looks forward to continuing the friendships and great working relationships she has enjoyed with so many colleagues. 

When she’s not teaching, she might be taking in a sporting event in-person or from the couch with her snuggly cat. She also enjoys time with friends and occasional trips to the east side of the state to visit family. Given the role athletics have played in her life, she might have chosen a career in sports management field if she wasn’t a teacher.

Becca Kelly

Becca Kelly chose Jenison because of our commitment and clear emphasis to ensure each student is able to achieve success, and that lasting relationships are encouraged with students and their families. 

A lifelong Michigan resident and Michigan State University alum for Bachelors and Master’s education degrees, Becca is excited to join Jenison Public Schools this year as a 5th grade teacher at Bursley Elementary School. She previously taught 3rd grade for 6 years.  In her spare time she enjoys camping, hiking, biking, and being outdoors. If she wasn’t a teacher, she thinks it would be fun to work as a museum curator! 

Tara Kortman

Tara Kortman joins Bursley Elementary this year as a 4th grade teacher. She chose Jenison because she shares the priorities of relationships in learning, a strong focus on literacy and support for staff and students. She grew up in Hudsonville and is now happy to move back to the area with her husband and 2 young sons, after teaching 10 years in Saugatuck.

When she’s not teaching at school she loves taking walks and spending time with her sons and the family golden retriever. If she wasn’t a teacher, she would enjoy being a stay-at-home mom.

Jennifer Merritt

Jennifer Merritt attended Rosewood Elementary and is a proud graduate of JHS. She and her husband (Calvin Merritt, new Sandy Hill 5th grade teacher) live in Jenison with their 4 children who also attend JPS. She previously taught Kindergarten in Grandville.

As a student and a parent of JPS students, she already knows and loves the district. In these early days of her teaching experience at Bursley, she says it is evident that the Jenison district watches out for, and takes care of one another. She appreciates the environment created between staff and students, remarking that is such a positive, respectful family atmosphere. 

When she’s not teaching 6th graders, or attending/coaching her kids’ events you might find her shopping, baking or just enjoying some downtime with her family.

Jalynn Mitchell

Jalynn Mitchell is starting her first year with Jenison Public Schools teaching 2nd grade at Bursley Elementary.

The staff support and the students’ big hearts have made a great first impression. Jalynn appreciates the family culture of Jenison and highly values intentional, positive relationship building.

She loves to go to the beach, watch Hope College basketball, and practice yoga. If she wasn’t a teacher she would probably be an event planner.