“Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” (MSG)
Mrs. Jennifer Rysdam
From the moment I stepped into school for the first time, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. After many hours of teaching pretend students, my dream became a reality and I received my elementary education degree from Calvin College in 2003. I earned my Master’s Degree in Reading from Grand Valley State University in 2008. I taught 4th grade at Calvin Christian Elementary School for 5 years, and then transitioned into literacy coaching work there. Since 2008, I have served in various educational roles: literacy coach/consultant, instructional coach at various local Christian schools, as well as at the college level as an instructor and student intern supervisor at Calvin University.
I grew up in New Jersey and attended Eastern Christian Schools PreK-12th grade. I made the move to Michigan to attend Calvin, and loved it so much I decided to stay! My husband, Andy, and I have been married for 18 years and live in Byron Center. We have 3 children- a son who will be a freshman, and twin daughters going into 5th grade. We love spending time together traveling and enjoying Michigan summers. I enjoy visiting local coffee shops wherever I go, reading, good food and fellowship with friends and family, decorating, and I’m always up for an organization project 🙂
I attended Christian schools for my education from preschool through college, and I am thankful for the strong Biblical foundation and academic growth that those opportunities provided. I consider it a privilege to work in a Christian school, as working in a Christian school allows us to live out our faith and calling to further God’s kingdom here on earth. Working in a school that provides a faith-filled foundation and is based on Christian values allows us to train students to understand the truth in the Bible and share their faith confidently with others. I firmly believe in the mission of HCS to “Challenge Minds and Lives for Christ,” and commit to helping create well-rounded students as we nurture their love for learning and love for our Lord.
As curriculum director at HCS, it is a joy to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the world and their place in it. A reformed worldview embraces the idea that everything belongs to God, and that students learn about everything through the lens of Christian faith. This lens goes beyond Bible class; it assumes that the entire curriculum is shaped and nourished by our faith. Christian schools are foundationally rooted in Christ, being certain that all things were created by Him and for Him (Col. 1:16-17). When we are rooted in Christ, we stand firm in our foundation and are wholly devoted to Christ. Curriculum should provide students with the opportunity to see how everything belongs to God, as well as see their story as a part of God’s Big Story. I desire for all students to develop into deep thinkers who see themselves and others as image-bearers of God and ask questions about the world in which they live.