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Deb Ocot

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Deb Ocot

Deb Ocot

High School Humanities Teacher

Deb Ocot

High School Humanities Teacher

Education: B.A. - English Education, Montclair State University
M.A. - Biblical Literature, Alliance Theological Seminary

Bio:

Deborah and her husband, Nathaniel, have three grown, married children (Brielle, Taylor, and Nathaniel) who all attended EC and are serving the LORD. She is blessed with several grandchildren! Deborah has been serving Jesus Christ in the classroom for twenty years, many of them at EC. It’s her prayer that through the work of the Holy Spirit, she helps students discover who they are in Christ, she guides them to understand the importance of a Biblical worldview, and that they see that because of His love for them, God has a plan and a purpose for their lives. Outside the classroom Deborah serves in a variety of other ministries at her church and in the local community. She loves to walk, bike, hike, crochet, study Scripture, and has recently taken up pickleball. Deborah is a lifelong resident of Clifton and attends Bethany Church in Wyckoff.

Beverley Locke

Beverley Locke

High School Humanities Teacher

Beverley Locke

High School Humanities Teacher

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.A. - English, Nyack College
M.A., M.Ed, Columbia University

Bio:

Beverley is pleased to be on the Eastern Christian team after 20+ years of serving in college teaching and administration. She is passionate about preparing students both academically and spiritually. When she is not in the classroom or mentoring beloved students, Beverley loves to spend time eating “great” food with her husband Steve, and reading and reflecting on the goodness of God in her life. She lives in Rockland County with her husband Stephen, and together they have one son. Beverley and her husband are a part of the ministry at the International Gathering at Beth Rapha in Pomona, New York.

Heather Westra

Heather Westra

High School English Teacher

Heather Westra

High School English Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.A. - Literature and Creative Writing, Ramapo College
M.F.A. - Creative Writing (fiction), University of Maryland

Bio:

Heather Westra taught at various universities before she felt called to teach at Eastern Christian School. She is passionate about literature, poetry and teaching. She hopes she can inspire her students to be better writers, better readers, and stronger critical thinkers. When she isn’t teaching, you can find her writing stories, hiking with her rescue pitbull, or snowmobiling in the Adirondacks.

Ryan Dykstra

Ryan Dykstra

High School English Teacher

Ryan DykstraEC Graduate 2010

High School English Teacher

EC Start Date: 2015

Education: B.A. - Literature, Ramapo College
M.F.A. - Creative & Professional Writing, William Paterson University (In Process)

Leah Genuario

Leah Genuario

Director of Publications, High School Journalism & Yearbook Teacher

Leah GenuarioEC Graduate 1997

Director of Publications, High School Journalism & Yearbook Teacher

EC Start Date: 2013

Education: B.A. - Communication Arts, Liberty University

Bio:

Leah was the former editor-in-chief of a leading industry trade journal, having spent 13 years in the B2B publishing industry prior to joining Eastern Christian School. She currently serves in a variety of ways, including advising the school’s journalism and yearbook classes, managing EC’s alumni publication The Herald, and partnering with a Christian college on an exciting new project. Leah is passionate about recognizing and strengthening the God-given gifts of her students, exhorting them to communicate with excellence and in a manner that glorifies the Lord. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and they currently have two children who attend the school.

Dawn Heerema

Dawn Heerema

High School English Teacher

Dawn Heerema

High School English Teacher

EC Start Date: 2011

Education: B.A. - English Literature, William Paterson University

Bio:

Dawn is a passionate mom who left the public schools to teach in this community that she feels best suits her family. As a mom of 3, married to an alumnus, Dawn realized that EC has what children need: a foundation built on truth. Certified to teach English, she found that she has a passion for building behavioral strengths. Today, Dawn teaches psychology and financial literacy classes in the high school. Dawn appreciates the space EC builds into the curriculum for Biblical connections with the intention of broadening the students’ worldviews. With one child in college and two in middle school, Dawn realized she and her husband Jeff were equipped to take in more children, and they now have hosted a total of 6 international students for the school year in their home. When Dawn isn’t working, she is at Covenant Christian Reformed Church in North Haledon leading a women’s Bible study, joining in on a prayer team, driving to a soccer field, or swimming at Green Pond Lake in the summer. It’s a busy, love-filled life she leads, and God has blessed Dawn richly with this community.

Cynthia Adair

Cynthia Adair

High School ESL/English Teacher

Cynthia AdairEC Graduate 1981

High School ESL/English Teacher

EC Start Date: 1990

Education: B.A. - English & Secondary Education, The King's College
M.Ed. - English, Penn State University

Bio:

Cyndi and her husband John are the parents of two children, Brandon and Emily. They also share their home with a dog, a cat, a rabbit, and a hamster! Cyndi is passionate about teaching English, ESL, and Writing at Eastern Christian, and she also enjoys being a “Mom” to our international students who think of her room as a second home. In her free time, Cyndi enjoys reading, journaling, photography, and solving puzzles of all kinds; she and her family also enjoy vacationing in Cape Cod. The Adair family attends Hawthorne Gospel Church and are active in the children’s ministry program there.

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