I Thessalonians 5:11

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Mr. Dean Ritsema

Professional Biography

Highlights from my professional career include graduation from Calvin College in 1984 with a B.A. majoring in Psychology.  I worked for 8 years as a Recreational Therapist in the Pre-Adolescent Unit at Pine Rest Christian Hospital.  I received a second B.A. with an emphasis in Social Sciences, History and Education from Grand Valley State University in 1992.  I taught one year of Math at Unity Christian High School and was hired by HCMS in 1993-1994.  I have been here ever since.

Personal Biography

In July of 2015, I was blessed to marry my beautiful soul mate, Laura.  With my three boys, Cam (28), Ethan (25) and Collin (23) and her three boys, Ben (20), Sam (16) and Jack (14), we became our own blended family.  We enjoy sports, music, kayaking and spending time at Lake Michigan.

Philosophical Biography

I understand that academics are important, even in middle school.  But, with the pressures put on our kids today, I believe students’ self-esteem is just as important in determining how successful each will become as they work out God’s plan for their lives. Thus, I focus on relationships in my classroom. I Thessalonians 5:12 states, “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are already doing.”  Communication and encouragement are important ingredients to successful relations, both inside and outside of school.  They are life skills.