Considering Eastern Christian School? Join us at an upcoming open house event or take a personal tour!   Register Online

EC Directory

Filter
  • Campus
    • High School
    • Preschool & Elementary School (Grades K-2)
    • Upper Elementary & Middle School
  • Department
    • Academic & College Counseling Office
    • Administration
    • Admissions Office
    • After School
    • Art
    • Association Offices
    • Athletics
    • Before School Care
    • Bible
    • Board of Directors
    • Business Office
    • Coaches
    • Deans' Office
    • Educational Support Services
    • English
    • Food Services
    • Foundation Office
    • Head of Schools Office
    • Honors Academy
    • Instructional Aide & Paraprofessional
    • International Student Office
    • Language Arts
    • Maintenance & Custodial Staff
    • Marketing and Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Music
    • Nurse
    • Physical Education
    • School Campus Main Office
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Technology
    • Transportation
    • WINGS
    • World Languages
  • Grade
    • Grade 1
    • Grade 2
    • Grade 3
    • Grade 4
    • Grade 5
    • Grade 6
    • Grade 7
    • Grade 8
    • Kindergarten
    • Preschool
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.

April Adin

April Adin

High School Deans' Administrative Assistant

April Adin

High School Deans' Administrative Assistant

EC Start Date: 2018

Education: B.L.A. - Purchase College

Terry Allen

Terry Allen

Grades 6-8 Social Studies Teacher, MS Track Coach, MS Cross Country Coach

Terry Allen

Grades 6-8 Social Studies Teacher, MS Track Coach, MS Cross Country Coach

EC Start Date: 1990

Education: B.S. & M.A., Western Oregon State College
M.A. & Ed.D., Montclair State University

Bio:

Dr. Allen and his wife Annette have been married 54 years. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren. He’s in his 51st year of teaching; 29 of which have been at Eastern Christian School. The Allen family moved from Salem, Oregon, in 1990 with their youngest daughter Trella (2000). While teaching at ECMS, Dr. Allen was able to earn both a M.A. and Ed. D. in Pedagogy and Teaching Philosophy to Children at Montclair State University. Through the study of the Bible and in answered prayer we daily affirm God’s presence in and relevance to our lives. God is alive and well, and we love Him. Dr. Allen has developed a respect and love for thinking philosophically, not only because there is so much to think about, but because this approach to education encourages children and helps them develop a voice for themselves. He wants his students to be open to honest thought and significant questions of faith and truth. His practice in teaching is to strive for a “Pedagogy of Asking.” He hopes that his students will learn to think for themselves and have legitimate and rational answers to life’s ultimate questions. The Allens enjoy Manhattan, and we also find ourselves traveling the country and world to stay connected to interesting places and to the interesting lives of our children and their families.

Joel Apol

Joel Apol

Varsity Cross Country Coach, Varsity Indoor Track Coach, Varsity Track and Field Assistant Coach

Joel Apol

Varsity Cross Country Coach, Varsity Indoor Track Coach, Varsity Track and Field Assistant Coach

EC Start Date: 1986

Kony Araya

Kony Araya

Grade 4 Teacher, Upper Elementary & Middle School Afterschool

Kony Araya

Grade 4 Teacher, Upper Elementary & Middle School Afterschool

Education: B.S. - Music Education, Pensacola Christian College
M.Ed. - Leadership in Education, Gordon College

Bio:

Kony was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She later moved to New Jersey at the age of 13 with her family and has lived there since. Kony has been attending and serving at Madison Avenue Baptist Church for over 20 years. Her love for serving and volunteering has no boundaries. She has assisted missionaries in Peru and Paraguay and is currently part of a non-profit that helps teenagers in Mexico.

Kony has been serving as a Christian school teacher for 15 years and absolutely loves it. 4th grade has been her specialty along with teaching music. Outside of the classroom, Kony loves to participate in outdoor activities such as going on hikes.

Kony and her husband have been happily married since 2021, along with their sweet pup Chewy, they live in the north jersey area where they both serve their local church and community.

Catherine Augustine

Catherine Augustine

Grade 4 Teacher

Catherine Augustine

Grade 4 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2023

Bio:

Catherine is a life long educator, having taught in public, private and home schools!

She has four young adult children, two living in California, one in NY and one nearby in NJ.

Catherine enjoys being outdoors, especially at the beach or coaching field hockey and lacrosse. She brings a love of STEM and hands on learning to her classrooms. Catherine loves being part of Eastern Christian School and seeing the love of the Lord grow in the community.

Kelsi Bailey

Kelsi Bailey

STEAM & Horizons Teacher, Girls MS Volleyball Coach

Kelsi Bailey

STEAM & Horizons Teacher, Girls MS Volleyball Coach

EC Start Date: 2021

Bio:

I grew up in Florida, where I discovered my lifelong interests of playing volleyball, reading, writing, and working with kids. I moved to New York for college and found new exciting things to add to my interests, like hiking in the mountains, playing intricate board games, and going on adventure trips with my husband and my friends. I now live in New York with my husband and our kitten, Goose, where we spend our days working, volunteering at our church, reading, playing games, learning how to make new recipes, and finding coffee shops to sit in.

I went to Nyack College to study Education with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and graduated with my degree. I knew that God was leading me to teach, but I had no idea about all the different contexts of teaching that God would bring me through! I taught first grade for two years in a private Christian school, while also co-leading the children’s ministry and youth ministry at our church. I then spent six months at the YMCA, assisting students in their online schooling and leading programs in how to use virtual learning platforms. I then heard about the available position here at EC, and having heard from my husband – Stephen Bailey, the Bible teacher at ECHS – about the type of culture and working environment that was kept at EC, I felt led by God to pursue this position!

At Eastern Christian, I have heard and seen firsthand the level of care and intentionality that permeates the culture and environment – starting at the top with the school leadership that is directed towards the teachers, who are then able to pass it on to their students. To work and serve in a place that treats each person as reflecting the image of our holy God is a concept that I know will help each student learn their own worth and value as ascribed to them by God, and that is something I am extremely passionate about.

Karyn Baitzel

Karyn Baitzel

Director of Upper Elementary Program and Grade 3 Teacher

Karyn Baitzel

Director of Upper Elementary Program and Grade 3 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2004

Education: B.A. - Elementary Education (K-8), Eastern University
M.A. - Teaching & Learning: Early Childhood Education, Liberty University

Janyce Bandstra

Janyce Bandstra

Database Assistant

Janyce Bandstra

Database Assistant

EC Start Date: 1987

Bio:

Janyce is married to Gerald and they have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Janyce was on the Eastern Christian Board during the late 80’s and desired to work in the school she loves. So in 1986 she became the Director of Admissions and retired from that position in 2008. Retirement was not for her so she came back to EC to work in the Foundation Office as a part-time database operator.

Louis Batelli

Louis Batelli

Baseball Assistant Coach

Anne Bazanowski

Anne Bazanowski

High School Science Teacher

Anne Bazanowski

High School Science Teacher

EC Start Date: 2008

Education: B.S. - Biology, Muhlenberg College
M.S. - Biology, University of Virginia

Matthew Becker

Matthew Becker

High School Substitute Teacher

Matthew Becker

High School Substitute Teacher

Sheri’ Blands-Pearson

Sheri’ Blands-Pearson

High School Office Manager

Chelsea Bogart

Chelsea Bogart

Paraprofessional

Chelsea Bogart

Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: Bachelors in Criminal Justice & Minor in Psychology, Dominican College

Bio:

Chelsea is the mother of Richard & Reagan who have been attending EC since they were 3 years old. When not in school you can find her at home taking care of the family’s two cats and two dogs. She has a passion for rescuing animals which she has passed on to her kids. Chelsea has been a lifelong Bergen county resident and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.

Sue Boonstra

Sue Boonstra

Paraprofessional & Bus Driver

Sue BoonstraEC Graduate 1981

Paraprofessional & Bus Driver

EC Start Date: 1998

Education: A.A.S. - Bergen Community College

Bio:

Sue is the wife of David Boonstra also an alumni of Eastern Christian. They have three children that have also attended Eastern Christian, which has influenced their choices into their adulthood. Sue attends Unity CRC she spends a lot of time with the GEMS girls club as their club coordinator. Sue and her family like to be outdoors, camping, hiking, and playing with their dogs. Sue loves children and encourages a positive attitude. Sue also has her own floral design business.

Liesl Botbyl

Liesl Botbyl

Grades 7-8 Science Teacher, Accreditation Coordinator

Liesl BotbylEC Graduate 1993

Grades 7-8 Science Teacher, Accreditation Coordinator

EC Start Date: 1998

Education: B.S. - Psychology & Education, William Paterson University
M.S.Ed. - Educational Leadership, University of New England

Bio:

Liesl is wife to Paterson Police Detective Rick Botbyl and Mother of Greta and Elizabeth (and even dog Bosco). When telling people her career of choice there is always a cringe-like reaction greeted by Liesl’s “but I wouldn’t want to spend my day with anyone else!” She loves dreaming about what is going to help our students be better learners and even better keepers of God’s world. The next best thing to teaching would be anything involving reading, baking, and being outdoors enjoying nature.

Jeff Botbyl

Jeff Botbyl

Director of Operations & Security

Jeff BotbylEC Graduate

Director of Operations & Security

EC Start Date: 2014

Bio:

One year after graduating from Eastern Christian School, Jeff was hired by the Passaic County Sheriff’s Dept. He found his passion in riding motorcycles and was assigned to the motorcycle unit for the majority of his career. After 26 years of service he retired as a Lieutenant and Master Instructor for Police Motorcycle Operation. Over the years Jeff remained involved at Eastern Christian coaching Softball, Soccer and Baseball. After his career in Law Enforcement he came back to EC and is now the Director of Operations and School Security. A great haircut sparked an interest in a beautician named Leida and since then their children are alumni of Eastern Christian. Ganelle (‘01), Matthew (‘12), Alyssa (‘17). School is not a place for students to feel afraid. So come to EC and have fun while learning. We are working very hard to create a safe learning environment for students, staff and visitors.

Greta Botbyl

Greta Botbyl

Athletic Trainer

Greta BotbylEC Graduate 2018

Athletic Trainer

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.S. - Athletic Training, William Paterson University

Bio:

Greta is a graduate of William Paterson University and has been part of the EC community her entire life. Greta grew up playing soccer, basketball, softball from ages 5-18. Senior year she had knee surgery and going to physical therapy and working on her own personal rehabilitation is part of what is what got her interested in studying Athletic Training. Greta grew up going to Cedar Hill Christian Reformed Church in Wyckoff. Greta is passionate about helping others, especially athletes like herself, and helping them return to sport after an injury. Greta is passionate about sharing the love of Jesus with kids that she comes in contact with, making sure they know that they are more than just an athlete, they are a child of God.

Sandra Bottge

Sandra Bottge

Elementary School Principal

Sandra BottgeEC Graduate 1986

Elementary School Principal

EC Start Date: 1990

Education: B.S. - Elementary Education, Messiah College
A.A. - Media Specialist, Montclair State University
M.A. - Educational Leadership, Dordt College

Bio:

Sandy was born in Wyckoff, NJ and attended Eastern Christian from kindergarten through high school. After graduating from Messiah College in 1990, Sandy returned to EC where she taught kindergarten, 3rd grade, art, library and computers before becoming an administrator. Sandy is passionate about education and sharing her faith with children. Sandy and her husband, Rob, have two children. Matthew is a college student studying criminal justice. Kevin is a special needs child. Rob and Sandy continue to trust in the Lord as they experience the joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs. Rob and Sandy attend Cornerstone Christian Church in Wyckoff.

Emily Bradley

Emily Bradley

Grade 8 Math Teacher

Emily Bradley

Grade 8 Math Teacher

EC Start Date: 2019

Bio:

Emily is excited to be at EC teaching 8th grade math! She grew up in the Albany area of New York and has lived in Rochester for the last four years where she taught high school math. When she’s not teaching, she can be found outside hiking, biking, or reading a good book in her hammock.

Mary Brain

Mary Brain

Upper Elementary & Middle School Vice Principal

Mary BrainEC Graduate 1977

Upper Elementary & Middle School Vice Principal

EC Start Date: 1989

Education: B.S. - Physical Education, Gordon College
M.A. - CSI Principal's Institute M.A. Teacher Certification Physical Education & Health K - 12

Bio:

Mary was born and raised in NJ and attended Eastern Christian School, K-12. After teaching and coaching at Gordon College for 5 years, Mary was thrilled to have the opportunity to return to NJ and ECS as a PE and Health teacher. Mary thoroughly loves working with, teaching, and guiding upper elementary and middle school aged children. Mary has 2 daughters: Allison is a first grade teacher and resides in Arizona with her husband. Rachel is a nurse and lives close by in NJ. In her spare time, Mary enjoys reading a good book, baking, and staying active.

Dave Brain

Dave Brain

Maintenance Assistant

Dave Brain

Maintenance Assistant

EC Start Date: 2019

Naomi Braunius

Naomi Braunius

Upper Elementary & Middle School Educational Support Services

Naomi BrauniusEC Graduate 1996

Upper Elementary & Middle School Educational Support Services

EC Start Date: 2000

Education: B.S. - Elementary Education, Messiah College

Bio:

The way students learn and giving access to all students for that opportunity to access knowledge is what makes Naomi passionate about teaching. She remembers teachers at Eastern Christian who made that possible for her, and knew from a very young age that she wanted to teach. Teaching middle school students is by far her favorite! When she is not in the classroom or learning herself, Naomi is with her husband Matt (also a graduate of EC) and her two teenage daughters, Jennifer and Kirsten. They love being in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains in NY all seasons of the year where they snowmobile, paddle board, hike, boat, swim and spend time with extended family and friends. The Braunius family are active members of Emergence Church in Totowa.

Joyce Breur

Joyce Breur

Grades 7-8 English Teacher

Joyce Breur

Grades 7-8 English Teacher

EC Start Date: 1996

Education: B.S. - Elementary Education (K-8), Nyack College
M.A. - Inclusive Education, Nyack College

Bio:

Joyce lives with her husband in Oakland, NJ. She loves to read all of the newest books, so she can recommend them to her 7th and 8th grade students. Aside from reading and other hobbies, she mostly enjoys making memories with her family.

Gail Bushman

Gail Bushman

Bus Driver

Gail Bushman

Bus Driver

EC Start Date: 2012

Katelyn Bushoven

Katelyn Bushoven

Grade 1 Teacher

Katelyn BushovenEC Graduate 2007

Grade 1 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2017

Education: B.A. - Early Childhood Education & Elementary Education, Cedarville University

Bio:

Katelyn has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Cedarville University. She was born and raised in New Jersey. Katelyn taught English in Beijing for three years after graduating college. She is an Eastern Christian graduate and excited to return to the EC community as a teacher. Katelyn is eager to share her passion for teaching and learning with all students who enter her classroom. She is dedicated to creating a community of learners who love God and to integrating God’s truths into all academic subjects. When she’s not at school, she enjoys spending time with family and going to the beach. Katelyn attends Emergence Church.

Maura Byrnes

Maura Byrnes

Executive Director, Foundation for EC

Ben Carapezza

Ben Carapezza

Freshman & Sophomore Dean, K-12 Curriculum Coordinator

Ben Carapezza

Freshman & Sophomore Dean, K-12 Curriculum Coordinator

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.S. - Education & English, Seton Hall University
MBA, Rutgers University
M.Ed. - Educational Leadership, American College of Education

Bio:

Ben has spent the majority of his professional career in education, serving as a 6th and 8th grade math teacher. Outside of the classroom, Ben’s enjoyment for sports has put him on the sidelines as a soccer coach, while his enjoyment of the arts has had him behind the scenes running the sound crew for numerous plays and musicals. Ben holds a BA in English and in Education from Seton Hall University, an MBA from Rutgers University, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from American College of Education.

Ben is married to his amazing wife, Cayla. They have four children: Ella, Violet, Jude, and Lucy. Ben and his family are active members of Cornerstone Christian Church where Ben volunteers as a kid’s church teacher.

Ben is excited about his role at EC. He is incredibly passionate about all things education, and has an even greater enthusiasm for sharing God’s grace and love with others. Being able to work in an environment where these two passions intersect is incredible. He is really looking forward to the opportunity to walk alongside young people and help them navigate the ups and downs of life and, ultimately, grow and develop in who they are in Christ.

Allison Carnes

Allison Carnes

Grade 1 Teacher

Allison CarnesEC Graduate 2009

Grade 1 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: BA - Early Childhood Education and Psychology, Gordon College

Bio:

Allison was born and raised in New Jersey. She attended Eastern Christian School from pre-school to 12th Grade and graduated in 2009. Her interests include spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, traveling, baking, and being outdoors with her dog Zinnia.

She attended Gordon College and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Elementary and Psychology. After graduating, she lived in Massachusetts and worked as a curriculum coordinator for an after school program and a Pre-K teacher. She then moved to Arizona where she lived and taught for 8 years in Title 1 public schools. She moved back to New Jersey to be closer to family and to join the EC family as a 1st Grade teacher.

She is so excited to return to the EC community as a teacher. She loves teaching reading and science and is looking forward to being able to integrate her faith into teaching as well as in all parts of the day with her students. It is her prayer that her students leave first grade year with a love of learning as well. She looks forward to creating a class family each year while also celebrating and nurturing each student as a child of God. It is so meaningful to her that her class will start the year together already being able to share a love of God.

Tonnie Chen

Tonnie Chen

Director of Annual Fund & Special Events

Tonnie Chen

Director of Annual Fund & Special Events

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.A. Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University

Bio:

Before coming to Eastern Christian, Tonnie spent over 18 years in higher education at The King’s College in New York City. She started her career as an Admissions Counselor before moving on to new roles including Office Manager, Events Coordinator, Administrative Director of Admissions and Advancement, and finally as the Senior Director of Development Administration. Tonnie now joins EC as part of the Foundation for Eastern Christian School Association raising funds and planning special events such as the spring Auction Gala and HomEComing.

Anna Cingale

Anna Cingale

Preschool Teacher

Anna Cingale

Preschool Teacher

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.S. - Early Childhood Education and Psychology, Gordon College

Bio:

Anna spent 5 years teaching in another Christian school for five years before joining the team at EC. Anna has a passion for helping children grow in their love of learning and teaching them about God’s love for them. When Anna is not in the classroom she is spending time with friends and family, taking a walk, or listening to music. Anna also enjoys traveling. Anna has attended Hawthorne Gospel Church all her life and serves as the nursery coordinator.

Daniel Cirone

Daniel Cirone

High School Principal

Daniel Cirone

High School Principal

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.A. - English; Secondary Education, Rowan University
M.A. - Educational Leadership, Montclair State University

Bio:

Dan grew up and attended public school in Fort Lee, NJ. He spent his educational career teaching High School English at Fort Lee High School for 13 years as well as serving as a football and track and field coach. He feels called and blessed to transition out of public school and into the role Principal at EC. He is joyfully married to his wife Erika and is the father of three girls: Harper, Reese, and Olive. Dan is passionate about apologetics and equipping others to think biblically. He and his family attend Cornerstone Christian Church where Dan serves as a member of the Worship Team.

Erika Cirone

Erika Cirone

Grade 2 Teacher

Erika Cirone

Grade 2 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.A. - English and K-12 Education, Rowan University
M.A. - Library and Information Science, Rutgers University

Bio:

Erika graduated from Rowan University with a B.A. in English and K-12 Education and began her career teaching middle school English for five years. She then obtained her Master’s in Library and Information Science from Rutgers University and moved into the librarian role in an elementary school for six years. After taking some time to be home with her babies, she is excited to move from a public school setting to Eastern Christian School and come back into the classroom. Erika has always been passionate about education and is so excited to be in this role at EC. She is happily married to Dan and together they have three daughters: Harper, Reese, and Olive. Erika and her family are members of Cornerstone Christian Church where you can spot her in the nursery or leading a VBS group in the summer. Outside of teaching, Erika enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and baking.

Cathy Clark

Cathy Clark

Middle and High School Orchestra

Cathy ClarkEC Graduate 1984

Middle and High School Orchestra

EC Start Date: 2000

Education: B.A. - Viola Performance, Montclair State University

Bio:

Cathy Clark, violist/violinist/music educator, began her musical studies at the age of 6 as a participant in the Suzuki Method String Program at Eastern Christian Elementary School under the instruction of Kay Andreas. As a music educator, Mrs. Clark holds the position of Orchestra Director at Eastern Christian Middle School and High School. She also maintains a private music studio where she teaches 20 violin and viola students. Her outstanding career as a dedicated music educator spans over twenty years and virtually every age level, from elementary through college. She continues to inspire young string students with her performance skills and educational knowledge sharing the passion she has for music with them.  Cathy has been married to her husband Mark for 27 years, and together they have two sons, Jeff and Matt, both Eastern Christian graduates.

Adelia Cruz

Adelia Cruz

Preschool Teacher

Adelia Cruz

Preschool Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.A. - Psychology (Concentration in Early Childhood), Kean University.
M.A. - Elementary Education, Liberty University
M.A.T - Master of Early Childhood Education, New Jersey City University (In Progress)

Bio:

Adelia is happily married to Douglas. They have one daughter Emma who is a student at EC. Adelia is passionate about serving in a Christian school community where she can support her students in receiving a quality preschool education.

Gabe Cuervo

Gabe Cuervo

Elementary School Paraprofessional

Gabe CuervoEC Graduate

Elementary School Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: New Jersey City University

Bio:

Gabe is from a pastoral family. Gabe is originally from Panama City, Panama and moved to the US when he was a young child. He enjoys helping and learning as he works in different capacity. He attended Eastern Christian School school and now is part of helping students as he was helped.

Adam Culp

Adam Culp

High School Bible Teacher, Boys' MS Basketball Coach, Girls' and Boys' Varsity Tennis Coach

Adam CulpEC Graduate 1997

High School Bible Teacher, Boys' MS Basketball Coach, Girls' and Boys' Varsity Tennis Coach

EC Start Date: 2001

Education: Health and Physical Education, Messiah College
Reformed Theological Seminary - Continuing Education

Bio:

Adam and his wife Kate live with their three boys in Ringwood, NJ. He enjoys biblical theology, outdoor activities, music, sports, and exploring the world with his family. The Culps attends All Souls Community Church, where Adam helps lead the boys Brigade program. His interest in theology has led him to continue his studies at Reformed Theological Seminary.

Kate Culp

Kate Culp

High School Educational Support Services

Cheryl Cusack

Cheryl Cusack

Varsity Softball Assistant Coach

Nicole D’Augustine-DeLaura

Nicole D’Augustine-DeLaura

Girls' Volleyball Coach

Katherine Davis

Katherine Davis

Grade 1 Teacher

Sandra De Marco

Sandra De Marco

Host Family Coordinator

Sandra De MarcoEC Graduate 1980

Host Family Coordinator

EC Start Date: 2005

Education: Dover Business College

Bio:

Sandy is happily married to Peter J. De Marco. They have 2 children, Joey (class of 2011) and Morgan (class of 2012) and the most adorable 4 lb. Yorkie named Lanikai. Sandy lives in Lincoln Park, NJ (named one of the top 10 towns in New Jersey). Sandy and her family are hopeful Jet fans and would really like to watch them win the Superbowl. She is passionate about finding loving and caring Christian homes for the international students of EC. Sandy and Pete are members of Pompton Plains Reformed Bible Church.

Rick DeBel

Rick DeBel

Chief Financial Officer

Rick DeBel

Chief Financial Officer

EC Start Date: 2021

Education: William Paterson College, Bachelors in Accounting

Bio:

Rick and his wife Ellen have six children, five daughters and one son. Rick happily joined Eastern Christian as Chief Financial Officer after a long career in banking. He is a strong supporter of Private and Christian education having recently completed a three year term as Chair of the Board of Trustees of TriCounty Scholarship Fund and having previously served on the Netherlands Reformed Christian School Board for twelve years. Rick currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Christian Health in Wyckoff. He and Ellen and five of their children reside in Lincoln Park and attend Ebenezer Netherland Reformed Church in Franklin Lakes.

Robert DeJulia

Robert DeJulia

IT Support Technician

Robert DeJulia

IT Support Technician

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.S. in Computer Science Geneva College
M.S. in Cyber Security, Geneva College

Bio:

Rob is a Geneva College Graduate with a Master’s in Cyber Security and Bachelor’s in Computer Science. Rob likes to make technology more usable while enhancing its benefits to users, as he believes that can glorify God and improve people’s lives. He believes working at Eastern Christian School will allow him to accomplish that, as the school district is committed to providing an excellent school environment and wants to deepen their students’ worldview and calling to be a light in the world. Walking with the Lord daily, even in the smaller details of life, is an important aspect of Rob’s life. Rob goes to Budd Lake Chapel, a non-denominational church, which focuses on growing in one’s relationship with Christ and ministering to others in various ways. In his free time, he likes to read fiction, spend time with friends, practice karate, and game design.

Sharon DeMarco

Sharon DeMarco

Middle School ESL Teacher

Sharon DeMarco

Middle School ESL Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.S. - Children's Ministry, Liberty University

Bio:

Sharon is happily married to Joseph De Marco. They currently are living in EC’s host home with three international boys from China and have a Great Dane named Maverick. Sharon has a heart for pouring into the lives of children and teaching them about God’s love and their identity in Him. Sharon loves traveling, playing games, soccer, and going kayaking. Sharon has just moved back to NJ, where she grew up most of her life, from TN. The De Marcos attends Unity Church and hope to become more involved by serving in the church.

Diane DeRooy

Diane DeRooy

High School Nurse

Diane DeRooyEC Graduate 1995

High School Nurse

EC Start Date: 2012

Education: B.S.N - William Paterson University

Marie Dimetry

Marie Dimetry

Grades 5-6 Math Teacher

Marie Dimetry

Grades 5-6 Math Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: BA - Business Administration, Alexandria University / Egypt
BA - Mathematics, NJCU
MA - Mathematics Education, NJCU

Bio:

Marie is happily married to Mina Dimetry. They have 3 boys and they are all EC students. The Dimetry’s family all serve and attend St. Mary Coptic orthodox church in Belleville. Marie has been teaching for over a decade and has taught high school, college, and now middle school.

Thomas Dykhouse

Thomas Dykhouse

Head of School Emeritus

Thomas DykhouseEC Graduate 1976

Head of School Emeritus

EC Start Date: 2007

Education: B.A. - Economics, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Program on Leadership for Senior Executives - Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University,
Fellow, Van Lunen Center for Executive Management in Christian Schools, Calvin College

Bio:

Tom is a proud EC alumnus (1976) married to fellow alum, Linda (1977).  They are the parents of Kristin, Mike, and Kim, and proud grandparents to Bryce (EC class of 2034).  Tom joined EC as Head of School in 2007 following a career as an international reinsurance broker during which time he also served as a member of EC’s Board of Directors.  In addition to providing leadership to EC, he serves as chair of the Van Lunen Center for Executive Management at Calvin College and the Pension and Benefit Board of Christian Schools International, and as a trustee of the Christian Health Care Center.  In his spare time he enjoys reading and travel.  Tom and Linda are members of Faith Community Church in Wyckoff.

Courtney Dyksen

Courtney Dyksen

Grade 6 Language Arts Teacher

Courtney DyksenEC Graduate 2001

Grade 6 Language Arts Teacher

Education: B.S. - Elementary Education & English, Gordon College
M.S. - Education, TCNJ

Bio:

Born and raised in New Jersey, Courtney attended Eastern Christian School, graduating in 2001. She and her husband, Jeff, have three children: Levi, Elise, and Silas. Their family has been very involved in the church they attend, The Chapel in Lincoln Park. She has coordinated the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) ministry for the past nine years as well as started and run other ministries at her church. Her family’s recent hobby is hiking around the national parks. Courtney loves to read and spend time exploring new places.

Courtney’s passion is education. She graduated from Gordon College with a bachelor’s degree in education and English and also has a master’s in education. She formerly taught 5th and 6th grade language arts at EC for seven years prior to having children and is now back! 

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)

Kelly Dykstra

Kelly Dykstra

Grade 3 Teacher

Kelly DykstraEC Graduate 2016

Grade 3 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2021

Education: Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education & Earth Science, William Paterson University

Bio:

Kelly enjoys walking and spending time with friends. She and her husband are both EC alumni. Kelly attends Pompton Plains Reformed Bible Church. She provides a nurturing and caring environment in her classroom that allows students to develop into the children God designed them to be.

Alisa Engelhard

Alisa Engelhard

Dean of Students (11 & 12) and WINGS Coordinator

Alisa Engelhard

Dean of Students (11 & 12) and WINGS Coordinator

EC Start Date: 2005

Education: B.A. - Business, Psychology, Education, & Special Education, Calvin College
M.A. - Childhood Special Education, Montclair State University

Bio:

Alisa’s three passions are: sharing Jesus’ love, racial reconciliation, and helping students learn. Eastern Christian provides the opportunity to do all three every day. It is such a blessing to share with students that God doesn’t make mistakes, so when we struggle in school, we have confidence that we are each made in His image and perfectly designed for a kingdom calling. Her church, Madison Avenue Christian Reformed, would welcome you anytime!

Rob Flim

Rob Flim

Middle School and High School Band, Bus Driver

Rob Flim

Middle School and High School Band, Bus Driver

EC Start Date: 2009

Education: B.A. - Music Education, Calvin College

Bio:

Rob began his professional music career after graduating Calvin College. After teaching for 3 years in a small school in Montana, Rob and his wife Cindy (also currently a teacher at EC) moved back to New Jersey where they raised their 4 children, all graduating from Eastern Christian School. Rob left teaching to work in the business world for several years however his passion for teaching music was reignited and he joined the EC faculty in 2009. Being raised on a farm in Canada, Rob loves the outdoors and spends much of his free time hiking, kayaking, and being out in the yard.

Dr. Donna Furrey

Dr. Donna Furrey

Grade 2 Teacher

Dr. Donna FurreyEC Graduate 1973

Grade 2 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2019

Education: BABL from Northeastern Bible College, MEd from William Paterson- Language Arts, MEd from William Paterson- Administration, Nova Southeastern University- EdD Educational Administration

Bio:

Having been a student at Eastern Christian, I know first hand the impact that a Chrstian school teacher can have on a student’s life.  I will forever be grateful to my middle school science teacher.  Although I may not remember any of her lessons, I clearly remember the impact she had on my life.  I am so blessed to have the opportunity to return to EC and share my three loves — love of God, love of teaching and love of children.  What an incredible opportunity to be part of a school that holds both academic excellence and biblical truth in such high regard.  

Geraldine Gallagher

Geraldine Gallagher

Business Office Assistant

Geraldine Gallagher

Business Office Assistant

EC Start Date: 2002

Bio:

Geraldine is happily married to Dominic Gallagher. They have two girls who are both married, and have a grandson and granddaughter (and another grandson on the way). Geraldine enjoys helping families with any billing questions they may have. When not in the office Geraldine can usually be found back in her homeland (Northern Ireland) visiting with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.

The Gallagher family attend Emergence Church (Glen Rock Campus).

Fernando Garcia

Fernando Garcia

High School Art Teacher

Fernando Garcia

High School Art Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: BA - Visual Communications, FIT NYC

Bio:

Fernando is married to Claudia Garcia for 20 years. They have two children, Victoria and Samantha, who are enrolled at EC.

He started his passion for fine arts and visual communications at an early age. He studied Advertising Design at the H.S. of Art and Design and F.I.T. State University in NYC. He is a 5x Emmy Award-winning television director/producer with 20+ years of experience in broadcasting productions, event activations, and advertising design. He has substantial experience in the development of live newscast production, talk shows, musical stage performances, special TV programs, & TV/Web commercials.

Fernando previously served at Transformation Life Church in Wood-ridge, NJ for 6 years and is now a member at Bethany Church in Washington Twp. He has always been committed to serving the community and advancing God’s calling.

Jennifer Gautier

Jennifer Gautier

High School Registrar

Jennifer Gautier

High School Registrar

EC Start Date: 2022

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.

Aaron Goldstein

Aaron Goldstein

Boys' and Girls' Varsity Bowling Coach

Aaron Goldstein

Boys' and Girls' Varsity Bowling Coach

EC Start Date: 2015

Education: B.S. - Physical Education, William Paterson University
M.S. - Kinesiology, James Madison University

Bio:

Aaron has an amazing wife Christina and two young boys named Nate and Walter. He is passionate about working with youth in athletics. He is also an avid endurance athlete and competes in triathlon and distance running. He has coached multiple sports at Eastern Christian and specifically enjoys leading The EC Varsity Bowling Team. The Goldstein Family follows The Brooklyn Nets and The New York Mets closely.

Claudia Gomes

Claudia Gomes

Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Laura Gorter

Laura Gorter

Upper Elementary & Middle School Nurse

Laura GorterEC Graduate 1985

Upper Elementary & Middle School Nurse

EC Start Date: 2007

Education: B.S. - Biology, Calvin College
B.S.N. - William Paterson University

Bio:

Laura is married to Steve, also an Eastern Christian grad, and they have had 4 children, all of whom went to Eastern Christian Schools. She enjoys being the school nurse for the upper elementary and middle school students, having started working for ECMS when 2 of her own children were in middle school. Her grown children tell her she is the school Mom/Nurse. Outside of school, Laura enjoys spending time with her family, cycling, walking, reading and taking care of her grandchildren whenever she can. She and her husband worship at Midland Park Christian Reformed Church where she teaches Catechism to 9th and 10th graders.

Steven Gorter

Steven Gorter

Board of Directors Member (Term ends 2026)

Johnnie Haddad

Johnnie Haddad

High School Bible Teacher

Johnnie Haddad

High School Bible Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.A. - Youth Ministry, Simpson University

Bio:

Johnnie’s greatest earthly accomplishment is marrying Kait and being Ellie and Johnnie III’s dad. Having been introduced to saving faith through the means of youth ministry, Johnnie studied youth ministry to share that same faith with students. Serving as the youth pastor at Rockpoint Community Church in North Haledon since 2017, Johnnie enjoys regular face time with middle and high school students at ROCK youth ministry, and runs Crossroads Summer Camp. He loves reformed theology, BMX, powerlifting [his wife is a world level competitor and coach!], and potato chips on sandwiches.

Greg Hagedoorn

Greg Hagedoorn

Boys Varsity Lacrosse Assistant Coach

Janene Hall

Janene Hall

Upper Elementary & Middle School Educational Support Services

Janene Hall

Upper Elementary & Middle School Educational Support Services

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.S. The College of New Jersey, Education of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Middle School Mathematics Certificate, Montclair State University

Bio:

Janene is passionate about making learning accessible to individuals with learning and language differences. Prior to becoming a mother to her children, Evan and Claire, she taught children with special needs in public and private school settings as an in-class support teacher, resource room teacher, and self-contained classroom teacher in grades K-8. She has worked with children with learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and hearing impairments. Janene also leads contemporary worship at Midland Park Christian Reformed Church every other Sunday and teaches Sunday School for children of all abilities. In her spare time, she creates adapted Bible books for her own daughter and other children with special needs so that God’s Word can be made accessible through hands-on, interactive books with simplified language. She lives in Midland Park with her husband Alan, two children, and her sweet English Cream Golden Retriever named Cooper.

Dave Haney

Dave Haney

High School Bible Teacher

Dave Haney

High School Bible Teacher

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.A. - Biblical Studies, Cairn University
M.S. - Bible, Cairn University

Bio:

Dave is happily married to Becky and they have two daughters Bella and Lizzie. Dave is passionate about teaching the Word of God and helping people grow in their understanding of God’s Word and the love Jesus has for them. Dave also serves as the Senior Pastor of Hoboken Free Church in Hoboken, NJ. When not teaching or serving at the church Dave loves to spend time with and going on adventures with his family. Dave is also a big sports fan.

Sandy Harrison

Sandy Harrison

Preschool Paraprofessional

Sandy Harrison

Preschool Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.A. - Early Childhood Education, William Paterson University

Bio:

Sandy lives in Hawthorne with her daughter and granddaughter. She was a teacher for more than thirty years, first in Christian preschools and then in the Wayne Township Public Schools. When Sandy’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, started preschool at EC she began volunteering before coming out of retirement to serve as a substitute teacher at the Midland Park campus. She developed a deep commitment to the school because of EC’s dedication to instilling Christian values in the students while maintaining high academic and disciplinary standards.

 

Max Harvell

Max Harvell

High School Physical Education Teacher, Varsity Golf Coach, Boys' JV Soccer Coach, Bus Driver

Max Harvell

High School Physical Education Teacher, Varsity Golf Coach, Boys' JV Soccer Coach, Bus Driver

EC Start Date: 2015

Education: B.A. - Physical Education & Wellness Education, Lee University
NJIC Drivers Education Certification

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.

Sara Heerema

Sara Heerema

Elementary and Middle School Student Assistance Counselor

Sara HeeremaEC Graduate 1994

Elementary and Middle School Student Assistance Counselor

EC Start Date: 2018

Education: B.S.W. - Calvin College
M.S.W. - Kean University

Bio:

Sara lives in North Haledon with her husband, fellow EC alum Michael Heerema and their two children, Aiden and Maggie. They are active members at Cedar Hill CRC where Sara is a worship planner, sings on the praise team, and is involved in the GEMS club. Her family shares a love of movies, books, and traveling.

Carter Heerema

Carter Heerema

Varsity Indoor Track Coach, Varsity Track& Field Coach

Steffanie Honore

Steffanie Honore

High School Educational Support Services Teacher

Steffanie HonoreEC Graduate 2009

High School Educational Support Services Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.A. - Psychology, Calvin College

Sara Hook

Sara Hook

Preschool Teacher

Sara Hook

Preschool Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.A. - History & Sociology, Covenant College

Bio:

Sara fondly recalls her own early childhood education at Eastern Christian, and is thrilled to take on a role as a preschool teacher at EC. She is dedicated to creating a classroom of little learners who love God, care for others, and seek truth in all they do.

Sara has recently repatriated to the United States after ten years teaching kindergarten and first grade in China and Taiwan. She attends Redeemer Montclair Church where she teaches Sunday School. In her free time she enjoys exploring mountains and valleys; national and state parks and battlefields; and countries, cities, and cultures.

Courtney Huber

Courtney Huber

Kindergarten Teacher

Courtney Huber

Kindergarten Teacher

EC Start Date: 2021

Education: B.A. - Psychology, Manhattan College
M.A. - Elementary Education & Special Education, William Paterson University

Bio:

Courtney grew up in North Haledon, NJ and now resides in Wyckoff with her husband Daryl (an EC graduate) and their three children: Adelynn, Ella, and William. Courtney spent 11 years working with students with special needs and is passionate about providing an educational environment that sets her students up to be successful in the classroom. After many years in public education, Courtney felt called to Eastern Christian School because of her desire to teach young children about God’s great love for them. Courtney has coached track and field and has a love for sports and the outdoors. She spends a lot of time in the Adirondacks with her family. The Huber family are active members of Emergence Church.

Angelica Huther

Angelica Huther

Paraprofessional

Angelica Huther

Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2023

Karyn Hytrek

Karyn Hytrek

Preschool Paraprofessional

Karyn HytrekEC Graduate 2002

Preschool Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.A. - Early Childhood & Elementary Education, Messiah College (University)

Bio:

Having attended EC from preschool to high school graduation, Karyn is grateful to be back in Northern New Jersey and back in the EC community. Karyn’s four children (Josiah, Levi, Grace, and Caleb) are the fifth generation in their family who have been blessed by EC’s education and community. Karyn is passionate about serving and helping the youngest children grow in their knowledge of skills but more importantly that Jesus loves them. Karyn and her family attend Emergence Church (Ringwood Campus) where she serves in the children’s ministry.

Stephanie Ingis

Stephanie Ingis

Preschool & Elementary School Nurse

Shaun Jacobs-Patterson

Shaun Jacobs-Patterson

Special Advisor - Board of Directors

David Joustra

David Joustra

Custodian

David Joustra

Custodian

EC Start Date: 1995

Angel Juan

Angel Juan

General Accounting Clerk

Bryan Kabot

Bryan Kabot

Board of Directors Member (Term ends 2025)

Heidi Kabot

Heidi Kabot

Upper Elementary & Middle School Media Specialist

Heidi KabotEC Graduate 2001

Upper Elementary & Middle School Media Specialist

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.A. - Elementary Education, Messiah College
MLIS, University of Pittsburgh

Bio:

Heidi and her husband, Bryan, have three children and live in Midland Park. She enjoys hiking, sports, reading, baking, and going on adventures with her family. She loves to share her love of books and reading with students and to support classroom teachers in curricular instruction. Heidi and her family attend Grace Church in Ridgewood where she serves with the children and coordinates MOPS, a ministry to moms.

Faith Kerlen

Faith Kerlen

High School Math & Physics Teacher

Faith Kerlen

High School Math & Physics Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.S. - Mechanical Engineering, Messiah University

Bio:

Faith grew up in Hawthorne and is excited to be back in North Jersey and a part of the EC community. After graduating from Messiah University with a degree in engineering, Faith felt led to become an educator. She loves to encourage students to unashamedly pursue their interests and passions, particularly in the STEAM fields. A self-proclaimed nerd, Faith enjoys all things math, numbers, engineering, puzzles, and design. She is passionate about encouraging students to integrate their personal faith into all aspects of their lives–inside and outside the classroom. When not teaching, one can find Faith listening to music or singing, traveling or planning her next trip, attending Zumba classes, and spending time with family and friends.

Esther Kim

Esther Kim

High School Mathematics Teacher

Esther Kim

High School Mathematics Teacher

EC Start Date: 2018

Education: B.A. - Economics, Columbia University
M.A. - Secondary Mathematics, Teachers College, Columbia University

Bio:

Esther is born in Korea and came to the States as an international student. She has a husband and two children in the family. Her children, Timothy and Jamie, are attending EC. Kim’s family also has a puppy name Hope, and they are hoping that one day Hope would be able to potty trained and do some tricks.

Esther loves to paint and listen to music when she gets a chance. Timothy and Jamie enjoy archery, and they compete nationally.

Esther is grateful for EC, where teachers teach students with mission and love in their heart. She is happy to teach and send her children to EC.

Grace Kim

Grace Kim

Kindergarten Teacher

Grace Kim

Kindergarten Teacher

EC Start Date: 2021

Education: Masters of Education, New York University
TESOL(leading to New York State K-12 ESL Teacher), In Progress

PreK-3 Early Childhood Education, Montclair State University

Seoul University of Foreign Studies
Masters of Translation (Majored in English to Korean consecutive interpretation)

Bio:

Grace is married to Taehee Kim. They have three kids: Nathan, Naelle, and Nari. The Kim family also has a Shiba-inu named, Nike who was a rescue dog from S. Korea. Grace has passion for learning different languages and diverse cultures. Outside of school, Grace is a golfer, skier, loves to bike with her family, and take nature walks with Nike. 

Kelly King

Kelly King

Grade 2 Teacher

Kelly King

Grade 2 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2005

Caroline Ko

Caroline Ko

Preschool Paraprofessional

Caroline Ko

Preschool Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.A Wheaton College, Christian Education & Ministry

Bio:

Caroline is passionate about fostering a creative learning experience for children. She is excited to be a part of Eastern Christian’s commitment to providing a Christian education for children to learn in the classrooms and know they are created in the unique image of God. In her free time, Caroline enjoys reading, playing sports, baking, and painting.

Suzanne Kraai

Suzanne Kraai

Director of Enrollment

Suzanne KraaiEC Graduate 2005

Director of Enrollment

EC Start Date: 2010

Education: B.A. - Theatre, Baylor University
M.S. - Educational Administration, The University of Scranton

Bio:

Suzanne is an energetic, creative, and organized team member at ECSA. In addition to being an EC alum, she has served in a variety of roles in her career at EC, including Humanities and CP English teacher, HS Musical Theater and Choral Director. After 7 years in the classroom she moved into Administration, first in Extended Learning, involving programs such as Before and After School Care and Clubs Pk-6th grade, Service Learning Pk-12th grade, Camps Pk-8th grade, Early College program development, and several cultural exchange and short-term international programs. Now she serves as the Enrollment Director.  She and her husband own a small business in Warwick, NY, and are proud parents to a young ECES student and toddler.

Suzanne met her husband in the hallways of ECHS upon transferring mid-way through HS; her heart and passion for serving this transformative institution, most recently through sharing EC’s story, identity and mission with potential and current EC families, is deep-seeded. With a passion for community engagement, she’s grateful for the opportunity to continue learning and growing as a member of the EC family, no matter what hat she’s wearing!

Dr. Ruth Kuder

Dr. Ruth Kuder

Executive Director & Head of School

Dr. Ruth KuderEC Graduate 1984

Executive Director & Head of School

EC Start Date: 1990

Education: B.A. - History & English, Wheaton College
M.S. - Education Administration, University of Scranton
Ed.D. - Vanderbilt University

Bio:

Ruth has served in a variety of roles at Eastern Christian since 1990 including teacher, dean, international program director, and high school principal. Prior to serving at her alma mater, she worked in Latin America, as a writer for Food for the Hungry International. Ruth, and her husband, Rich, have five children, all of whom have graduated from Eastern Christian School.

Nicholas Kuiken

Nicholas Kuiken

Board of Directors President (Term ends 2026)

Nicholas Kuiken

Board of Directors President (Term ends 2026)

Kristin Kuiken

Kristin Kuiken

Upper Elementary & Middle School Art Teacher

Kristin Kuiken

Upper Elementary & Middle School Art Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: BSN, Cedarville College

Bio:

Mrs. Kuiken is married to Jim Kuiken. They have four children: Skylar, Charlotte, Even and Quinn who are all students at EC. Kristin is excited to teach the students who God the ultimate creator is through the world of art. She is hoping to teach the children to express themselves creatively, appreciate the history of art and see how God can use art to reveal himself to us. When Mrs. Kuiken isn’t teaching she can be found at the Jersey shore.

Laurie Kuipers

Laurie Kuipers

Middle School Bible Teacher and Music Teacher

Laurie Kuipers

Middle School Bible Teacher and Music Teacher

EC Start Date: 1995-98 & 2014

Education: B.M. - Classical Music, William Paterson University

Bio:

Laurie’s career path has always centered around the Bible, music and education, leading to volunteer opportunities in worship ministry and professional teaching in general music, choir directing, elementary education, and middle school Bible. She graduated as a music performance major at William Paterson University and, as a life-long learner, has taken coursework at Teachers College/Columbia University and Gordon-Conwell Seminary. Teaching Bible literacy is her passion, and she is humbled that God would use her at Eastern Christian where she can pour herself into Bible study and have it overflow into her teaching. Laurie and her husband Rich Kuipers have been married for over 20 years and they have three children: Elisabeth, Anneliese, and Benjamin. The Kuipers reside in North Haledon and attend Restore Church.

Helen Kuperus

Helen Kuperus

High School Spanish Teacher

Katie Kuperus

Katie Kuperus

Grade 6 Math and Science Teacher

Helen Kwon

Helen Kwon

Elementary School Art Teacher

Helen Kwon

Elementary School Art Teacher

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: BFA - Graphic Design, Pratt Institute
MA - Painting, Lehman College
Art Teacher Certification, School of Visual Arts

Bio:

After teaching Art (K-7) in the public school system for over 20 years, Helen is happy to be a part of Eastern Christian School. She is thankful for the opportunity given her to help children grow their creative minds and abilities in a Christ centered environment. Helen attends Calvary Chapel North Jersey and serves in the Children’s Ministry. She enjoys watercolor painting, catching up with friends, relaxing at home with her Persian cat Mona, traveling, and spending quiet time with the Lord.

Jessica Lagerveld

Jessica Lagerveld

Director of Human Resources & Assistant Secretary to the Board of Directors

Jessica LagerveldEC Graduate 2002

Director of Human Resources & Assistant Secretary to the Board of Directors

EC Start Date: 2021

Education: William Paterson University

Bio:

Jess and her husband Steve live in North Haledon, NJ with their two daughters, Janna and Kenleigh. Jess and Steve are both proud EC alumni, and their daughters attend the elementary school.They Lagerveld family also has a black Labrador named Memphis. Jess is passionate about supporting the Human Resources role at EC to further support the mission of Christian education. The Lagerveld family attends Rockpoint Community Church.

Cheryl Laux

Cheryl Laux

Food Services Director

Cheryl Laux

Food Services Director

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.S. - Family & Consumer Sciences, Messiah College

Bio:

Cheryl grew up going to EC and graduated in 2014, then attended Messiah College where she received a degree in Family & Consumer Sciences. She was a Culinary Arts teacher in Westwood for four years, and is excited to be returning to EC in a brand new position. Cheryl is looking forward to bringing life back into the lunch program for all three EC schools. She believes food is a gift from God that provides both nutrition for our bodies, as well as a form of art to enjoy. Her husband, Chris, is a police officer, and they enjoy serving together at Emergence Church in the Sunday school. If they’re not traveling or at a sporting event, Cheryl loves decorating and baking new recipes at home.

Dr. Daniel Lazor

Dr. Daniel Lazor

Middle School Principal

Dr. Daniel Lazor

Middle School Principal

EC Start Date: 2015

Education: B.S. - Cornell University
M.A.T. - Fordham University
M.Ed. - Clarks Summit University
Ph.D. - Columbia International University

Bio:

Dan is married to his best friend Michelle Lazor. Together they have nine children: Isabelle, Danny, Manny, Nora, Karina, Lucy, Judah, and twins Addie and Andy. The Lazor family’s most meaningful experience was spending nine years serving with an International Christian School in Seoul, South Korea – an experience that has shaped Dan’s and his family’s outlook on many aspects of life and faith. Dan is originally from Scranton, PA, but to answer your question, no, he never worked at Dunder Mifflin. He is a huge sports fan, having played on athletic teams from the age of 5 through 19, and enjoys running now. His favorite teams are the ones his kids are playing on (and of course, EC!). The Lazors attend Emergence Church.

Dwayne Leegwater

Dwayne Leegwater

Board of Directors Member (Term ends 2026)

Stephanie Lim

Stephanie Lim

Associate Director of Academic & College Counseling

Stephanie Lim

Associate Director of Academic & College Counseling

EC Start Date: 2021

Education: B.A. Psychology, Rutgers University
M.A. School Counseling, Montclair State University

Bio:

Before joining the EC family, Stephanie worked in various public schools in Bergen County, New Jersey. Even from a young age, Stephanie knew she wanted to work with students as she walked alongside them to achieve their God-given potentials–she is so excited to be a part of this community to do exactly that! She recently celebrated her marriage to her husband, Peter. During her downtime, she enjoys baking and convincing Peter to foster a puppy. The Lim family enjoys serving at their church, The Church Gathered & Scattered.

Linda Lim

Linda Lim

Grade 1 Teacher

Linda Lim

Grade 1 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2021

Education: B.A. - History, University of California at Santa Cruz
M.S. - Early Childhood and Elementary, Pace University

Bio:

Linda is excited to join EC, and to have the opportunity to join a Christ centered community. She is committed to guiding students to grow academically and spiritually. Linda grew up in San Francisco and moved to the east coast 25 years ago. She taught elementary school children in NYC public schools. She and her husband, Steve, have three boys. Jonathan attends college, Daniel is a sophomore and Benjamin is in Kindergarten at EC. She and her family love to travel and play board games. Linda and her family attend Grace Church of Ridgewood.

Manuela Lindemulder

Manuela Lindemulder

High School World Languages Teacher

Manuela Lindemulder

High School World Languages Teacher

EC Start Date: 1978

Education: B.A. - French, Marist College

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.

Melissa Macy

Melissa Macy

Upper Elementary & Middle School Strings Teacher

Melissa MacyEC Graduate 1999

Upper Elementary & Middle School Strings Teacher

EC Start Date: 2017

Education: B.M. - Violin Performance/Music Education - Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester
M.M. - Violin Performance, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music

Bio:

After completing her formal education, Melissa spent five years as an orchestra director in a local public school district. She has also worked with groups such as the Ridgewood Festival of Strings and the Northern New Jersey Youth Orchestra as a conductor and sectional leader. Melissa also continues to perform as a chamber musician and has been a violin soloist with the Hawthorne Symphony Orchestra, and the Adelphi Orchestra. She is the first violinist of a professional string quartet. Melissa has 3 children in Eastern Christian, and is humbled to contribute to the excellent education they receive there. She hopes that her students will deepen their worship to the Lord in song as they grow in their understanding of music.

Bryanne Makus

Bryanne Makus

Preschool Paraprofessional & Elementary School Afterschool Director

Bryanne Makus

Preschool Paraprofessional & Elementary School Afterschool Director

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.S. - Elementary Education, Cairn University
M.A. - Applied Behavior Analysis, Cairn University

Bio:

Bryanne has always enjoyed helping others and is excited to be a part of the Eastern Christian School community. She is passionate about helping students grow and reach their potential. When she is not working she enjoys reading (especially fantasy novels!), playing the piano, going to events with her GAP group at Grace Church in Ridgewood, and hanging out with her friends and family.

Amelia Makus

Amelia Makus

Grades 3-8 Music & High School Choir

Amelia Makus

Grades 3-8 Music & High School Choir

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.A. - Music Education, Clarks Summit University
M.M. - Choral Conducting, Houghton College

Bio:

Amelia is delighted to be working at EC, instilling musical excellence into students of all ages. She loves making music for fun with her family and friends, and enjoys singing professionally when given the opportunity. When she’s not teaching and making music, Amelia is usually playing board games or hiking with friends. She is a member of Grace Church in Ridgewood and serves GAP, their young adults group.

Carol Malasits

Carol Malasits

Enrollment Management Assistant

Carol Malasits

Enrollment Management Assistant

Morgan Malone

Morgan Malone

Elementary School Office Manager, Director of Extended Day Programs

Morgan Malone

Elementary School Office Manager, Director of Extended Day Programs

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.S. - Psychology, SIU Edwardsville

Bio:

Morgan was born and raised in central Illinois before moving to New Jersey in March of 2021. She spent her undergraduate studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, in the St. Louis metro area, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Educational Data Analysis. She currently resides in New Milford. In Morgan’s free time, she finds herself baking, coaching soccer, going on runs, and spending a large amount of time working in the garden at Cornerstone Christian Church in Wyckoff. Morgan is excited to be a part of the Eastern Christian community!

Nancy Martin

Nancy Martin

Grade 1 Paraprofessional

Nancy MartinEC Graduate 1987

Grade 1 Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2006

Education: B.S. - Early Childhood Education, Gordon College

Bio:

Nancy is married to Steve Martin, an EC alumni. Both Nancy and Steve have EC alumni in their families. They are parents to two children, Rebecca (EC Class of ’15) and Luke (EC Class of ’20). Nancy enjoys going to work at the Elementary School and helping the first grade teachers give the students a great EC education. She also likes interacting with the students out on the playground, where she can get to know them a little better. When not at school, Nancy likes to relax with a good book. Some of her other favorite things are spending time with her family traveling to Massachusetts to visit Rebecca at college and vacationing in upstate New York. The Martin family attends Cedar Hill Church in Wyckoff.

Dr. Scott Martin

Dr. Scott Martin

Board of Directors Member (Term ends 2024)

Christina McGowan

Christina McGowan

Elementary School Educational Support Services

Christina McGowan

Elementary School Educational Support Services

EC Start Date: 2016

Education: B.S. - Elementary Education K-6, Palm Beach Atlantic University
M.Ed. - Inclusive Education (Special Education K-5), Montclair State University

Eileen McGowan

Eileen McGowan

Preschool Paraprofessional

Eileen McGowan

Preschool Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2022

Bio:

Eileen is a loving Mother and Grandmother of 10. Eileen retired after 49 years working in Public Safety Communications and is very excited to be working in Eastern Christian School. Eileen grew up in Van Riper Ellis Broadway Baptist Church in Fair Lawn, and has lived in New Jersey her entire life.

Amanda McLaren

Amanda McLaren

Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Amanda McLaren

Kindergarten Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.A. - Psychology, William Paterson University

Bio:

Amanda is originally from South Africa and has been married to fellow South African, Bryan for 23 years. They have a daughter, Kayley and son, Ewan, both of whom attend EC. Amanda homeschooled her kids for several years before becoming part of the EC family. Amanda loves being able to share the love of Jesus with kids and help them recognize and develop their giftings within the body of Christ. Amanda attends Bethany Church, where she serves on the altar team. As well as being an avid pickle ball player, Amanda and her family love to travel and experience new cultures and places.

Jerry Mercadante

Jerry Mercadante

Varsity Softball Head Coach

Lauren Merkley

Lauren Merkley

Upper Elementary & Middle School Educational Support Services

Lauren Merkley

Upper Elementary & Middle School Educational Support Services

EC Start Date: 2016

Education: B.S. - Elementary Education 1-6, Nyack College
B.S. - Early Childhood Education Birth-grade 2, Nyack College
M.Ed. - Special education K-6, Nyack College

Elizabeth Mulcock

Elizabeth Mulcock

High School Educational Support Services Teacher

Elizabeth Mulcock

High School Educational Support Services Teacher

EC Start Date: 2015

Jeremy Mulder

Jeremy Mulder

Advisor to the Board of Directors, Boys' Varsity Basketball Coach

Christi Mulder

Christi Mulder

Upper Elementary & Middle School Physical Education Teacher, Assistant Athletic Director

Soli Nieves

Soli Nieves

High School Social Studies Teacher

Soli Nieves

High School Social Studies Teacher

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.S. & B.A Psychology

MDiv (In Progress): Alliance Theological Seminary

Bio:

Soli is married to Steven Nieves; together, they have a dog named Kobe. Soli is passionate about serving and living a missional life. Soli has traveled overseas to Haiti, Africa and Southeast Asia, leading mission teams and to grow in her understanding of culture and Jesus. When Soli isn’t teaching, you may find her reading, cooking and experimenting with new food and hanging out with friends and family. Soli has been a lifelong NJ resident and attends The Plant Church where her and her husband serve as worship leaders.

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.

Nate Ottens

Nate Ottens

Grades 5-6 Social Studies Teacher, Upper Elementary & Middle School Afterschool

Nate Ottens

Grades 5-6 Social Studies Teacher, Upper Elementary & Middle School Afterschool

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: AA - Liberal Arts, Sussex County Community College
BA - Secondary Education & Bible, Cairn University

Bio:

Nate is recently and joyfully married to his wife Melissa. They are living in Hamburg, NJ and attending Sparta Evangelical Free Church where they have served leading Bible studies. Nate was a student at Eastern Christian School growing up until he and his family moved to Sussex County where they continue to live. Nate is passionate about the Bible and appreciates how well it connects to History. He enjoys teaching Biblical truth in hopes that it will inspire his students to seek the Lord fervently wherever He has them go. Apart from education, Nate enjoys exercising, boardgames and fellowshipping.

Angie Parker

Angie Parker

Preschool Paraprofessional

Angie Parker

Preschool Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.S., Oral Robert’s University

Bio:

Angie is married to her wonderful husband, Chris. They have two incredible children, Daxon and London, and two hilarious dogs, Ivy and Charlie. Angie is passionate about serving the EC community in helping support all those she’s in contact with, not only achieve their yearly school goals, but also walk away knowing how important and special they are each day. When Angie is not at school, she is loving on her family, and finding new ways to create traditions together. Angie is a member of The Plant Church, where she currently serves on the worship team.

Julie Patel

Julie Patel

Board of Directors Member (Term ends 2024)

Brenna Petersen

Brenna Petersen

Grades 6-8 Writing Teacher, Girls' MS Soccer Coach, Girls' JV Lacrosse Assistant

Brenna Petersen

Grades 6-8 Writing Teacher, Girls' MS Soccer Coach, Girls' JV Lacrosse Assistant

Education: B.A. - Writing, Calvin University

Bio:

Brenna is a graduate from EC who has recently moved back to NJ after graduating from Calvin University with a degree in Writing. Brenna is happily engaged to Isaac Petersen, and they plan on getting married this upcoming July. Brenna is passionate about creating a love for literature and writing in her students. She enjoys cultivating meaningful relationships with her students in various ways. Brenna also coaches Middle School girls soccer. Outside of teaching, Brenna’s passions include baking, reading, hiking and kayaking, and finding new and unique restaurants. Brenna and her fiancé attend Emergence Church.

Amanda Post

Amanda Post

High School Science Teacher

Amanda Post

High School Science Teacher

EC Start Date: 2002

Education: B.S. - Biology/Environmental Studies, Calvin College

Elizabeth Rachuri

Elizabeth Rachuri

Grade 2 Paraprofessional

Elizabeth Rachuri

Grade 2 Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.A. - Childhood Education, Pace University
MSEd - Literacy, Pace University

Bio:

Elizabeth and her husband, Eliazer, have two beautiful girls, Emma and Deevena. They keep her busy, but if she could find any free time at all, she would spend it sewing or walking. She is so excited be part of the EC team because she passionately believes in Christian education. She loves being a part of educating not only the mind, but the spirit of her students. Elizabeth is a New Jersey native, and she tries to spend her summer days by the beach where she grew up. She attends Montclair Community Church and serves in the women’s ministry and nursery.

Mike Reed

Mike Reed

Boys Varsity Lacrosse Coach

Ji Sung Rhyu

Ji Sung Rhyu

International Student Advisor

Ji Sung Rhyu

International Student Advisor

Education: B.A. - Chemistry/Education, Mount Holyoke College
M.A. - Curriculum and Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University
Ed.D. - Teachers College, Columbia University (In Progress)

Bio:

Ji Sung is excited to be back at EC serving the international students in her new position. The past few years she focused on her family and her graduate studies, but she felt God’s leading hand opening one door after another for her to come back. As a previous science teacher at the high school, she taught Chemistry, ChemComm, and Earth Science. Part of her heart will always remain in science classrooms. As much she enjoys teaching, she has loved being involved in the international program. Ji Sung grew up in Korea, and lived in China before moving to the states, so she is happy to connect with our international students over their shared experiences.

Ji Sung is married to her husband Jaeyoung Kim. They are (soon to be) parents of two young kids, Joy who just turned three, and another one coming in March, 2022! Ji Sung enjoys serving at Great Hope Church with her extended family.

David Riley

David Riley

IT Support Technician, Boys' JV Basketball Coach

David RileyEC Graduate 2002

IT Support Technician, Boys' JV Basketball Coach

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.A - Video Production & Film, Five Towns College

Bio:

David Riley is excited about being back at EC. He is a 2002 graduate of Eastern Christian School and hopes to put back into the community what he got out of it 20 years ago. David has a beautiful & loving wife Cursha, along with three children he adores, one boy Ja’zai, and two girls Janiya, and Jaiya. David is also an ordained Minister of 13 years, his love for Christ and making him known is part of his life’s mission. He is also an educator, a filmmaker, & songwriter. While juggling all these passions you can find him on the basketball court where he plans to help grow the EC basketball team as a coach. For David, coming back to EC is God ordained.

Ken Ritsma

Ken Ritsma

Board of Directors Treasurer (Term ends 2026)

Ken Ritsma

Board of Directors Treasurer (Term ends 2026)

EC Start Date: 2023

Stephanie Roa

Stephanie Roa

Grades 5 Science & Social Studies Teacher

Stephanie Roa

Grades 5 Science & Social Studies Teacher

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.A. - English, Montclair State University

Bio:

Stephanie has a passion to teach. Growing up, she always loved to help the Sunday school teachers with the lesson and her mom and aunts who were teachers as well. Stephanie went to a Christian school most of all her schooling years and graduated from there with honors and as valedictorian of her class. She later when on to teach Kindergarten at the same school she graduated high school from, and discovered her passion to serve the Lord in Christian education. Stephanie is a classical taught pianist for over 15 years, as well as a singer, and has used her talents to lead and help in worship at her church her whole life. Stephanie also loves to paint, draw, weight lift, and spending time with her friends.

Ray Roberts

Ray Roberts

Bus Driver

Ray Roberts

Bus Driver

EC Start Date: 1982

Marchelle Roniet

Marchelle Roniet

High School Social Studies Teacher

Marchelle Roniet

High School Social Studies Teacher

EC Start Date: 2016

Sylvia Ronnau

Sylvia Ronnau

Middle School Track Assistant

Kristen Rudd

Kristen Rudd

High School Mathematics Teacher

Kristen Rudd

High School Mathematics Teacher

EC Start Date: 2013

Education: B.S. - Mathematics, Grove City College

Bio:

Kristen is married to EC alumnus Timothy, and has two young children. She has been teaching at EC since graduating from Grove City College, took a year off to be at home, and then returned to the math classroom. She has long been interested in making math a more attainable subject for learners of all types. She has spent time working in the STEAM program and with the Robotics Club at EC, and in her spare time enjoys reading to her kids and going on walks and runs.

Ruth Rudd

Ruth Rudd

Technology Teacher

Ruth Rudd

Technology Teacher

EC Start Date: 1987

Education: B.S. - General Science, Houghton College
M.S. - Educational Technology, Ramapo College

Bio:

Ruth doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up, but she sure enjoys the adventure that God is taking her on! She met her husband while at Houghton College. Though her degree was aimed at a research lab type job, she ended up finding her passion in teaching – helping students see the magnificence of God’s world and their special place in it, giving them the tools they need to learn about it and follow their own passions as they serve Christ. Ruth encourages teachers and students to tech-ily go where no one has gone before as a force for good. She loves hiking, biking, and geocaching with her husband, family and friends, as well as writing music and making videos for her 6 grandchildren, some of whom live in Japan.

Ralph Rypkema

Ralph Rypkema

Bus Driver

Ralph Rypkema

Bus Driver

EC Start Date: 2011

Joan Santoro

Joan Santoro

Upper Elementary & Middle School Office Manager

Joan Santoro

Upper Elementary & Middle School Office Manager

EC Start Date: 2017

Kate Schneider

Kate Schneider

Foundation Office Coordinator

Kate Schneider

Foundation Office Coordinator

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: Messiah University

Bio:

Kate is excited to be able to support the mission of EC through her role as Foundation Office Coordinator. When she’s not at EC, Kate enjoys spending time outdoors and spending time with friends. Kate attends Emergence Church in Ringwood.

Teresa Sippel

Teresa Sippel

Upper Elementary & Middle School Educational Support Services, Girls' MS Volleyball Coach

Teresa Sippel

Upper Elementary & Middle School Educational Support Services, Girls' MS Volleyball Coach

EC Start Date: 2017

Education: B.A. - Elementary (K-6) Education, Warner University

Lyndsey Smith

Lyndsey Smith

Varsity Track Assistant Coach

Sharon Spoelstra

Sharon Spoelstra

TRIP Coordinator

Sharon SpoelstraEC Graduate 1981

TRIP Coordinator

EC Start Date: 2013

Education: Berkeley School, Ridgewood NJ

Ben Spoelstra

Ben Spoelstra

Director of Technology

Ben SpoelstraEC Graduate 2007

Director of Technology

EC Start Date: 2018

Education: B.A. - History, William Paterson University
M.I. - Library & Information Science, Rutgers University

Kelsey Spoelstra

Kelsey Spoelstra

Girls Soccer Assistant Coach and Girls Basketball Assistant Coach

Seth Stadtlander

Seth Stadtlander

Athletic Director, Transportation Coordinator, Girls' Varsity Soccer Coach

Seth StadtlanderEC Graduate 2013

Athletic Director, Transportation Coordinator, Girls' Varsity Soccer Coach

EC Start Date: 2016

Education: A.S. - Mathematics, Pasaaic County Community College
B.S. - Education, Montclair State University
B.S. - Mathematics, Montclair State University
MEDL - Dordt University

Bio:

Seth, a graduate of Eastern Christian, is proud to say that his greatest accomplishment while a student at the high school was meeting his high school sweetheart and now wife, Taylor. Taylor, an LSW who works at the Christian Health Care Center, graduated from EC in 2015 and from Ramapo College’s Master of Social Work program in 2019. They both enjoy hiking, camping, and playing sports in their free time. Seth, who graduated from Montclair State through the NJ Stars Program, is currently working towards his Masters in Educational Leadership. If not in the math classroom, you can find him in the Athletic’s Office, coaching an array of sports at the High School, or driving a school bus. The Stadtlander’s are members of Emergence Church and live in North Haledon.

Kara Stansel

Kara Stansel

Admissions Counselor

Kara Stansel

Admissions Counselor

EC Start Date: 2018

Education: B.A. - English, Women's Studies, Skidmore College

Bio:

Kara has been happily married to Tim Stansel for 23 years. They have three children: Kaitlin, currently attending Bucknell University, Carter, a future student of Franklin & Marshall College and Griffin, a proud member of the Class of 2022 of ECHS. When not working in the Enrollment Office, Kara enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering in her community. Kara currently serves as a Deacon on the Consistory of The Community Church of Glen Rock.

Tim Steen

Tim Steen

High School Technology Teacher, Varsity Track Assistant Coach

Tim Steen

High School Technology Teacher, Varsity Track Assistant Coach

EC Start Date: 2001

Education: B.A. - Telecommunications, Calvin College
M.A. - Telecommunications, University of Georgia

Bio:

Tim has been teaching technology and writing classes at EC since 2001. He and his family (wife Stephanie and kids Emily, Josh, and Charlotte) took a two year hiatus from EC to live and teach at an international school in Tanzania. Since returning in 2015, Tim has been passionate about treating New Jersey as a mission field, and to opening the eyes of EC high school students to a larger world and larger vision of God’s redemptive love for them and the whole world. Along with that, he’s excited to explore God’s creation through technology, especially the EC Robotics program. Recently Tim has been involved in leading Spring Break mission trips, a tech director of the drama program, and a STEAM mentor, and being a father of two high school and one middle school student. The Steen family attends Emergence Church.

Jim Stegink

Jim Stegink

Maintenance Assistant

Jim Stegink

Maintenance Assistant

EC Start Date: 2014

Michael Steiginga

Michael Steiginga

Boys Soccer Assistant Coach

Christina Strange

Christina Strange

Elementary School Paraprofessional

Christina Strange

Elementary School Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2022

Education: B.S. - Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, The College of New Jersey

Jesse Struck

Jesse Struck

Director of Academic & College Counseling and Honors Academy Advisor

Jesse Struck

Director of Academic & College Counseling and Honors Academy Advisor

EC Start Date: 2012

Education: B.A. - Psychology, Duquesne University
M.S. - School Counseling, Gwynedd-Mercy University

Bio:

A proud Philadelphia native and NJ transplant, Jesse has held college counseling positions in a variety of schools including The Stony Brook School, Mahwah High School, and a prior term at Eastern Christian (2012-2018). As the Director of Academic and College Counseling at EC, Jesse is committed to providing comprehensive resources and strong support for students throughout their academic progression and postsecondary transition. Jesse also serves as the Advisor for the Eastern Christian School Honors Academy. These complementary roles align with Jesse’s passion for building relationships with students and helping them discern and follow the Lord’s leading in their lives. He is also passionate about Liverpool Football Club, but in a different way. Jesse is married to Lindsey Struck and they have three young children. 

Nicole Summers

Nicole Summers

Grade 3 Teacher

Nicole SummersEC Graduate 2017

Grade 3 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2021

Education: Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education & Minor in Special Education, Liberty University

Bio:

Nicole Martin grew up attending EC and graduated in 2017. She then attended Liberty University and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Special Education. Now Nicole is living in Midland Park with her family. Nicole is also happily engaged to Jimmy Summers who she met while working in Walt Disney World back in 2019. Nicole is passionate about Christian Education and is a member of Restore Church.

Tori Super

Tori Super

Food Services Assistant

Tori Super

Food Services Assistant

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: A.A.S - Degree in Culinary Arts, PCCC

Bio:

Victoria grew up in Totowa, NJ. She is an avid athlete and has played on multiple softball teams. She also enjoys teaching dance, snowboarding, and playing the guitar. Tori’s true passion has always been for cooking and creating new recipes. She decided to take her love of cooking, and pursue a career in Culinary Arts. She is happy to be able to combine her heart for people, along with her joy in food preparation and service, here at Eastern Christian School. She considers it a privilege to use the gifts God has given her to minister His love to those around her.

Diane Tolsma

Diane Tolsma

Upper Elementary & Middle School Nurse

Diane Tolsma

Upper Elementary & Middle School Nurse

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: BSN - Calvin College

Bio:

Diane was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. She met her husband Mike at Calvin College and moved to New Jersey after they were married. Diane grew up in a church that was heavily involved in neighborhood ministries, and most of her nursing career has been in community health. She loves working as part of a community, and is excited to join the staff at Eastern Christian.

Diane and Mike have a cat named Bruce and attend Faith Community Church. In her free time, Diane enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, reading, and rooting for the Indianapolis Colts.

Ana Tortos

Ana Tortos

Custodian

Ana Tortos

Custodian

EC Start Date: 2004

Rich Troast

Rich Troast

Boys' Varsity Soccer Coach

Jessica Truran

Jessica Truran

Kindergarten Teacher

Jessica Truran

Kindergarten Teacher

EC Start Date: 2019

Education: B.S. - Childhood Education, Nyack College
M. Ed. - Curriculum and Instruction, Concordia University (Graduating June 2020)

Bio:

Jessica is so happy to join EC in its mission to serve students’ minds, bodies, and spirits. She grew up in a military family, traveling all around the globe, and now lives in NJ with her wonderful husband and Holland Lop rabbit, Ray. Jessica is a lifelong learner and believes that elementary education is a precious calling. She treasures the opportunity to pour God’s truth and love into her students. When she is not at school, Jessica enjoys reading, exploring new places, and spending time with loved ones. Jessica attends The Plant Church.

James Uitermarkt

James Uitermarkt

High School Social Studies Teacher

James Uitermarkt

High School Social Studies Teacher

EC Start Date: 2010

Education: B.A. - Secondary Education & History, Calvin College

Alyssa Van Buiten

Alyssa Van Buiten

Preschool & Elementary School Nurse

Alyssa Van BuitenEC Graduate 2006

Preschool & Elementary School Nurse

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: B.S.N. - Nursing, Calvin University

Bio:

Alyssa is a proud 2006 graduate of Eastern Christian School and went on to graduate with a bachelors in nursing from Calvin University. Alyssa is a lifelong resident of NJ and now resides in North Haledon with her husband John (a fellow EC alum) and their three children: Hallie, Liam and Grant. Over her past 13 years as a nurse, Alyssa most values building intra personal relationships and trust with her patients, peers and now students to help further their understanding of keeping healthy, but also to know that they are truly cared for. Alyssa felt called to Eastern Christian not just because of her own personal positive experiences here, but because of the opportunity to care for students while openly sharing Gods love for them. Alyssa enjoys warm weather and spending time outdoors. Alyssa and her family currently attend Cornerstone Christian Church.

Justin Van Dyke

Justin Van Dyke

Director of Marketing & Data/Strategy Analyst

Justin Van DykeEC Graduate 2007

Director of Marketing & Data/Strategy Analyst

EC Start Date: 2004

Education: B.A. - Communications, William Paterson University

Bio:

Justin started at Eastern Christian school as a preschool student and has not left. After graduating high school, he joined the EC staff and attended William Paterson University. He received a degree in Communications and worked on various projects at EC while working for several professional video companies and photography studios. He provides photo, video, graphic, audio and marketing expertise for the school. Both Justin and his wife Sara have a heart for serving others and are members of Emergence Church. They recently had a daughter and she can’t wait to be an Eagle!

Sonya Van Hooker

Sonya Van Hooker

Resource Room Educational Facilitator

Karen Vander Leest

Karen Vander Leest

Board of Directors Member (Term ends 2025)

Sarah Vander Wall

Sarah Vander Wall

Preschool Director and Teacher

Sarah Vander WallEC Graduate 1995

Preschool Director and Teacher

EC Start Date: 1999

Education: B.A. in Elementary Education, Calvin College

Bio:

Sarah is married to Marcus Vander Wall, and they have two kids, Matthew and Caleb, and a crazy dog named Rocket. Sarah went to Eastern Christian from Preschool through Grade 12, and is passionate about teaching Eastern Christian’s youngest learners. When not at school, Sarah loves reading, singing and leading worship at Midland Park Christian Reformed Church, leading Middle School and High School Youth Group, playing the flute and watching Yankee baseball.

Stacie Veenema

Stacie Veenema

Preschool Teacher

Stacie Veenema

Preschool Teacher

EC Start Date: 2007

Debi Veenstra

Debi Veenstra

Elementary School Physical Education Teacher, Elementary School Head Teacher

Debi VeenstraEC Graduate 1981

Elementary School Physical Education Teacher, Elementary School Head Teacher

EC Start Date: 1985

Education: B.A. - Early Childhood Education, William Paterson University

Bio:

Debi (nee Wisse) has served as a Kindergarten teacher and for the last 18 years as the PE and Health teacher at ECES where she loves teaching through movement and making exercise fun. Debi is an active member of Emergence church in Totowa and the proud mother of EC graduates Brooke (Hagedoorn), Joseph, Dara and Carly. She enjoys the beach, biking, playing volleyball and taking care of her grandchildren. To many in the broader community she and her husband Barry are best known for over 30 years as the directors of Eagles Sports Camp.

Barry Veenstra

Barry Veenstra

High School Tour Guide, Girls Varsity Basketball Coach, Boys MS Soccer Coach

Barry VeenstraEC Graduate 1975

High School Tour Guide, Girls Varsity Basketball Coach, Boys MS Soccer Coach

EC Start Date: 1981

Education: B.A. - PE/Health & Secondary Education, Calvin College

Bio:

Barry is a coach with over 30 years of experience who is passionate about making personal fitness fun for students using his love for Christ, sports, and music as well as a sense of humor to get the job done. He and his wife Debi are members of Emergence Church in Totowa. They are happy they chose to send their four children to EC from pre K through high school because they believe strongly in the school’s mission to provide a Christ centered education in a safe and loving environment. The Veenstra family also created and continues to enjoy directing the popular and unique Eagles Sports Camp every summer.

Philip Verrengia

Philip Verrengia

High School Science Teacher

Philip VerrengiaEC Graduate 1973

High School Science Teacher

EC Start Date: 1980

Education: B.A. - Physical Science, Calvin College
M.S. - Geoscience, Montclair State University

Nicole Verrengia

Nicole Verrengia

Elementary School Library Teacher & Music Teacher

Nicole Verrengia

Elementary School Library Teacher & Music Teacher

EC Start Date: 2021

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

Bio:

Nicole is happily married to Jim Verrengia. They have two kids and a bunch of fish. Nicole is passionate about books and writing, having written for newspapers and magazines throughout her career. She loves to bring her joy of literature to the students at Eastern Christian School. When she’s not reading, Nicole loves leading worship and working with kids at church. You also might find her in the garden!

Lynda Vincenti

Lynda Vincenti

Upper Elementary & Middle School Paraprofessional

Lynda Vincenti

Upper Elementary & Middle School Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2013

Education: B.E. - Materials & Metallurgy, Stevens Institute of Technology, MS Technology Management

Bio:

Lynda and her husband, David, chose Eastern Christian for their daughters in 2010. The family immediately felt welcomed and saw the love the teachers and staff had for the students. Lynda knew she wanted to be a part of this school too and now can often be found in the Middle School Media Center. She also enjoys being part of the children’s ministries at Saint Aloysius Church in Caldwell.

Paige Visser

Paige Visser

High School Student Assistance Counselor

Paige Visser

High School Student Assistance Counselor

EC Start Date: 1996

Education: B.A. - Psychology, Calvin College
M.S.W. - Grand Valley State University

Bio:

Paige is happily married to Steve and the proud mom of three great kids, one in college and two at Eastern Christian. She and her family enjoy camping and hiking. Some of her favorite hiking places are Badlands National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Canyon. She hopes to venture west again to see for miles and soak in the beauty of God’s creation. She also enjoys working with and supporting kids at EC and has for many years. When she isn’t driving someone someplace, making dinner, or watching a cross country, track or robotics meet, she’s likely to be found near the wood stove, with her dog Ringo, reading a good book.

Yvonne Vitale

Yvonne Vitale

Grade 4 Drama Coach

Ryan Vogel

Ryan Vogel

Board of Directors Recording Secretary (Term ends 2025)

Maribeth Vriesema

Maribeth Vriesema

Business Office Assistant

Maribeth VriesemaEC Graduate 1978

Business Office Assistant

EC Start Date: 1999

Education: Bergen Community College, Lyons Institute

Bio:

Maribeth and her husband Wayne are the proud parents of two EC graduates. Daughter Rachel Kuperus (’00) is married to Jon Kuperus (’01) and son Kevin (’03) is married to Rebecca (Santhouse-’03). They enjoy spending time with their five grandchildren: Stella, Penelope, Abigail, Jonah & Anna. Maribeth is in her 20th year of employment at EC after volunteering for many years. She is the third generation in her family to have attended EC and is so thankful for the quality Christian education her family has experienced as part of the EC family. In her free time she enjoys spending time in Green Pond on the beach, boating, reading and photography. Maribeth & Wayne served as HS youth leaders for many years. The Vriesema family attends Covenant Church in North Haledon.

Dr. Sandra Westra

Dr. Sandra Westra

Board of Directors Corresponding Secretary (Term ends 2026)

Alyssa Westra

Alyssa Westra

Grade 2 Teacher

Alyssa Westra

Grade 2 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2021

Education: Bachelors - Elementary Education, Gordon College
Masters - Reading, Gordon College

Bio:

Alyssa grew up in and currently lives in Hawthorne. She went to Gordon College where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Teaching Reading. Alyssa then lived in the Boston area as she started her career teaching in Revere, Massachusetts. She has been back in New Jersey for the last two years, and is so happy to be living close to her family again. Alyssa loves to read on the beach and go for runs. She attends Cornerstone Christian Church in Wyckoff. Alyssa is excited to be a new member to the Eastern Christian community!

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.

Kimberly Willemsen

Kimberly Willemsen

Grade 4 Teacher

Kimberly Willemsen

Grade 4 Teacher

EC Start Date: 2018

Education: B.A. - English Literature, William Paterson University
A.A. - Early Childhood Education, Passaic County Community College

Bio:

Kimberly came to a saving knowledge of Christ at the age of seven. She has attended Grace Bible Church in North Haledon since she was a baby, and has been blessed to serve in the Olympians program, Junior High program, and church choir. Kim has been involved with Top O’ the Hill Day Camp, serving as a counselor there for 12 years. She is a graduate of Hawthorne Christian Academy and William Paterson University, having earned a B.A. in English Literature and her teaching certification. Kimberly is passionate about serving in a Christian school community and is passionate about helping the students at Eastern Christian grow, not only in their reading a writing skills, but also in their knowledge of Christ and who they are in the eyes of Christ.

Monica Wolfe

Monica Wolfe

Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Monica Wolfe

Kindergarten Paraprofessional

EC Start Date: 2023

Education: A.A. - Liberal Arts, Passaic County Community College

Bio:

Monica is happily married to her husband, Matt. They have three kids: Riley, Madison and Evan. The Wolfes also have a sweet little dog named Buxton. Monica is excited to work in a Christ-centered environment where kids grow academically and spiritually. Monica’s hobbies are running, hiking going to the beach and spending time with family and friends. Monica is a member of Grace Church in Ridgewood and serves in their Children’s Ministry.

Melody Zacharias

Melody Zacharias

Preschool Music Teacher

Melody ZachariasEC Graduate 2007

Preschool Music Teacher

EC Start Date: 2011

Education: B.A. - Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Eastern University

Bio:

Melody is happily married to Ian Zacharias. They have three children: Eli, and twins Bennett and Emma. Melody was born and raised in NJ. She attended Eastern Christian for her whole life and always prayed that God would open a door to allow her to teach at EC. Melody teaches in the elementary school resource room. When Melody is not teaching, she is busy being a mom, helping out in children’s ministries at her church, and being a photographer. The Zacharias family attends Covenant Christian Reformed Church.

Ian Zacharias

Ian Zacharias

High School Mathematics Teacher

Ian Zacharias

High School Mathematics Teacher

EC Start Date: 2012

Education: B.A. - Mathematics, Eastern University
M.S.E. - Educational Theory & Practice, Arkansas State University

Bio:

Ian is passionate about teaching mathematics to his students. He strives to teach in a way that helps students find the joy in mathematics. He loves coming along side students and helping them learn and grow. Ian sponsors the Rubik’s Cube and Board Game electives on the High School campus. Ian was born in Maryland and moved to New Jersey after college to get married to his wife Melody (also an EC teacher). Ian and his wife have three kids, Eli, Bennett, and Emma. Ian and his Family attend Covenant Church in North Haledon.

There are no staff members for

See what a Christ-centered education looks like for your child.

Schedule a Tour