Colossians 3:23

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

Mr. Tom VanderStelt

Professional Biography

I received my bachelors degree in elementary education from Calvin College in 1987.  I majored in social studies with an emphasis in American history.   I finished my Master’s work at Grand Valley State University in the early 1990’s.  My masters degree is in elementary education.  In 1987, I joined the Hudsonville Christian School staff  as a fourth grade teacher and have continued in that position to this day.

Personal Biography

In 1982, I married my wife, Joani.  Joani is a Young 5’s teacher at Hudsonville Christian.    We have two sons.  Adam, our oldest, has been  married to  Rachel for eight years and works as a worship leader at an area church. Our youngest son, Aaron, is a network engineer at Holland Hospital.  We have one grandchild, Faye, who is two years old.

I enjoy bowling, golf, hiking, and reading.  Other than working with my fourth graders,  being on the Global Awareness Committee is my favorite school activity.  I enjoy working to build a relationship between our school and other schools.  I believe that our school and I have both been blessed by this relationship.

Philosophical Biography

I have done many different types of work in my life, but none has been more satisfying than teaching.  I feel called to serve God by teaching His covenant children.  I am blessed by the opportunity to teach at HCS.

When I read the parables of Jesus, I see He had a sense of humor.  He  knew the religious leaders of the time and told stories that they understood, yet put them in a humorous position.  I enjoy using humor in my classroom also.  Adults enjoy having “fun” while they work; students should too.  There is a time to get down to serious work and a time to play.

The parents of the students in our school are great!  We, as teachers, can always count on them to be involved in their children’s education. I communicate regularly through class newsletters but love to hear from parents over the phone or e-mail.

As a graduate from a public high school, I see some definite advantages to teaching in a Christian school. I can openly and honestly speak of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We can pray spontaneously.  Moreover, I can discuss with my students ways in which we serve God while being a light in the world.

I am a strong believer in the principles taught in Colossians 3: 23,  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”  I try to live this way and expect my students to also.  I love teaching.  If I stop loving teaching or if I become  ineffective, I ask God for the grace to help me move on to what He has planned for me.