Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Ms. Merissa Harkema

Professional Biography

I attended Dordt College and received Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Exercise Science, and I subsequently attended Washington University in St. Louis to study occupational therapy. I am so excited to be a part of HCS’s educational support services team this year!

Personal Biography

I was born and raised in Hudsonville and graduated from HCS and Unity. After completing my higher education degrees, I moved to India for four years (working for a nonprofit that serves kids with disabilities) before moving back to West Michigan. I currently live in Grandville with my daughter, Divya, who is a 2nd grader at HCS this year. We love to be outside as much as possible and enjoy camping, biking, and crafting.

Philosophical Biography

I believe that all kids deserve to experience school as a safe place to learn, a place where they are surrounded by loving staff and friends, a place where they belong. I am passionate about assisting kids who have additional support needs. I strive to help students access their education by figuring out what works best for each individual child’s mind and body, by finding innovative solutions, and by knocking down barriers. I believe in cultivating an inclusive culture in which kids with disabilities are not merely present and accommodated but embraced and truly valued. In a society that praises self-sufficiency, efficiency, and achievement, I believe that we in the Christian community are poised to show the world an alternative way. By embracing and equally valuing all students, we reflect God’s love and testify to the full diversity and full beauty of his creation.