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The Education Council at Eastern Christian School is a team made up of eight educational leaders:

  • Ruth Kuder, Chief Education Officer
  • Tom Dykhouse, Head of School
  • Karyn Baitzel, Preschool Director
  • Sandra Bottge, Elementary School Principal
  • Dan Lazor, Middle School Principal
  • Mary Faber, Middle School Vice Principal
  • Dave Intlekofer, High School Principal
  • Suzanne Kraai, Director of Extended Learning

I asked Ruth Kuder, the leader of this team to describe the EC Education Council in three words. Her first three adjectives were: Professional, Thoughtful and Creative. As someone who gets to work with this team, I wholeheartedly agree! I thought that we’d dig into each of these terms to get to know this leadership team a little bit better.



Our school is incredibly blessed by this group of educational leaders. Comprised of administrators who are leading different programs at the school, the team is highly professional. Five members of the team are Eastern Christian alumni and have spent many years of their careers as educators at Eastern Christian. They bring a deep understanding and appreciation of the school’s institutional history. Three members have joined us from local schools, and from schools as far away as California and Korea. They bring new perspectives informed by their previous experiences. Three people have served as elementary school principals, two as middle school principals, and two as high school principals. Team members hold undergraduate and graduate degrees from Baylor University, Cornell University, Dordt College, Eastern University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Fordham University, Gordon College, Liberty University, Loyola University, Messiah College, University of Scranton, University of Maryland, and Wheaton College. Their education and professional experience bring a high level of expertise to the school.



The diverse educational and life experiences represented in the room inform every conversation. When the team meets, the conversations are lively and collaborative. Team members listen carefully to their colleagues, while consistently challenging each others’ thinking. We always work together to ensure an exceptional Christian education for the students and families we serve.



Through its annual Next Big Thing meeting and Eagle Perch event, the group generates new and creative programming on a regular basis. This year we have focussed our efforts on some Eastern Christian distinctives that you may have already heard about. For the 2019-2020 school year, we are expanding our early childhood programming, creating an upper elementary division, extending STEAM into the Midland Park and Wyckoff campuses and introducing an experiential education program for sixth graders. We can’t wait to see what the God has in store for the future of EC!


Come see it for yourself!

Does this sound like the kind of school your child should belong to? Ready to begin exploring EC for yourself? Our friendly Admissions Team can’t wait to introduce you to this amazing Christian School!

Click here to book your personal campus visit or sign up for an upcoming admissions event.


Let’s get down to basics.

In the “EC 101” Blog Series, we explore the unique features that make Eastern Christian School such a special school community.


Rudi Gesch

By: Rudi Gesch

Rudi is the Director of Marketing & Communications at EC.

Read More Articles by Rudi Gesch
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