Testimonials

At EC, what I appreciated the most was the close relationships I could have with my teachers.

  • Stephanie
  • Senior, Class of 2018

Stephanie

Senior, Class of 2018

At EC, what I appreciated the most was the close relationships I could have with my teachers. I have enjoyed every teacher I have known at EC. In Essay Workshop, for example, Mr. Steen always used creative teaching methods to keep his students engaged and push them to become better writers. For example, we watched the movie Inception and had deep discussion about dream and reality afterwards. We tried different flavors of candies to explore different senses and wrote about the experience later. Mrs. Okma’s Advanced Composition class also challenged me to become a better writer and scholar. All the writing assignments pushed me to reflect more on my life and helped me discover things that I am passionate about. I have also gained a profound understanding on historical events as well as contemporary issues from Mr. Uitermarkt’s classes. Outside of the classroom setting, I also had opportunities to connect with EC faculty. I would stop by Mrs. Lagerveld’s office almost everyday to “report” my day and my feelings because she is like a mom to me. She would smile for my joy, and she would encourage me when I was feeling low. Furthermore, I was able to befriend teachers through school trips to India and the Netherlands. I can go on and on about these examples because EC faculty are all willing to connect with students inside and outside of classroom.

At EC, I also appreciated the chance of being a part of the Humanities program. The program not only allowed me to challenge myself intellectually but also gave me the opportunity to develop close relationships with friends. Sharing the same class with the same group of people everyday, I came to know my Humanities friends on a deeper level. In class, we would passionately engage in debates and conversations. After school, we would help each other with homework and support one another through difficulties.

The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” EC has embraced all of these aspects into its education. My felt my time at EC was engaging because of its diverse classes and extracurricular activities. My experience at EC was nurturing because of the personal care and attention that EC gave to every student. EC teachers would always be there for their students, whether they had academic related questions or life related concerns. EC education was also transforming because it cultivated students’ critical thinking skills inside and outside of a classroom setting. In class, teachers encouraged students to express their opinions and grow as a scholar. Outside of school, EC encouraged students to join mission or academic trips to gain real-life experience. Therefore, I hold deep appreciation towards EC education.

Senior year apologetics helped me understand how to talk to others about my faith and understand the scriptures in a deeper way. I feel that I've also grown in my faith just by being in an environment where I can talk about God freely...

  • Sebastian
  • Senior, Class of 2016

Sebastian

Senior, Class of 2016

What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
I think what I love most about Eastern Christian is the community and atmosphere of the school. Since it’s a smaller school, most people know each other and teachers have great relationships with students. In addition, I like the fact that the school has grown more diverse over the years; it’s cool to have friends from different cultures/backgrounds and I feel that is a part of how EC has been doing well to improve and look for ways to be even better.

Describe one of your favorite teachers.
One of my favorite teachers is Mr. Beverly. His teaching integrates faith into the classroom allows students to have a deeper understanding of history, current events, and the world. I have learned so much in his classes and In addition, he pushes you to think critically and address controversial topics/issues that you may not have before. I have experienced this firsthand in two classes that I have thoroughly enjoyed my senior year, Humanities, and International Relations.

In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
One way I have grown in my faith through Bible class. Senior year apologetics helped me understand how to talk to others about my faith and understand the scriptures in a deeper way. I feel that I’ve also grown in my faith just by being in an environment where I can talk about God freely with others and have engaging conversations or debates about scripture, theology, etc.

The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How did you experience an education that is engaging, nurturing and transforming at EC?
All the teachers at EC do their best to engage the classroom and use different tools or methods to enable kids to learn better. This can range from implementing socratic seminars, small group work, using technology, inviting a guest speaker, creative assignments, and many more things. The result is that students are nurtured and transformed. I have experienced this firsthand as an EC student, and I feel that the classes that I have taken have appropriately challenged me and will prepare me to have success in my future.

How do you feel that EC prepared you for graduation, college and life?
EC has prepared me for my future by allowing me to have the opportunity to take challenging and enriching classes. Some of these are Humanities, Chem Honors, Physics, Calculus, to name a few.

What would you say to a high school student considering joining Eastern Christian School?
I would tell them to shadow a student for a day because it gives you a good look into what the school is like, and what you can experience.

What opportunities did you experience at EC that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
I think the block schedule at EC is great and prepares you for how college will be like. This unique schedule in combination with a Christian education provided me with a learning experience that I wouldn’t have anywhere else.

I would encourage the student to join the community that is Eastern Christian School. There is a sense of community that is prevalent in the classrooms, hallways, and courtyard of the school.

  • Rebekah
  • Senior, Class of 2016

Rebekah

Senior, Class of 2016

What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
I love the integration of Christianity into every subject. In the midst of writing papers and taking tests, it is easy to forget my beliefs. However, since God is at the core of every subject, I am reminded and kept on track.

Describe one of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she is a favorite.
Intelligent, wise, and understanding are three of the many admirable qualities Ms. Bazanowksi exudes. Ms. Baz is able to capture my attention in her lessons, and never fails to connect a lesson back to Christ. Her passion for both teaching and for Christ makes her one of my favorite teachers.

In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
As a result of chapel, daily devotions, Bible class, and Little Hours, I have learned that there is a power in community and prayer. Praying for people, and people praying for you, is the backbone of our faith and has helped me grow closer to God.

How do you feel that EC prepared you for graduation, college and life?
I feel well-prepared for graduation, college, and life. The grading system has taught me to be diligent with my work; the Humanities program and honors science and math program has given me the preparation I will need to survive in any college writing seminar, lab, and math class, and thus succeed in my future career.

What would you say to a high school student considering joining Eastern Christian School?
I would encourage the student to join the community that is Eastern Christian School. There is a sense of community that is prevalent in the classrooms, hallways, and courtyard of the school.

What opportunities did you experience at EC that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
The faith integration, along with teachers who are passionate for Christ, is something I would not have experienced at any other school.

There is no doubt in my mind that God placed me at Eastern Christian High School my junior year for a reason. I had been challenged academically before, but transferring to EC came with new challenges that engaged my mind, nurtured my spirit, and prepared me to transform the world...

  • Hannah
  • Senior, Class of 2016

Hannah

Senior, Class of 2016

I am a firm believer in the idea that one’s environment makes a huge impact on their character and growth. There is no doubt in my mind that God placed me at Eastern Christian High School my junior year for a reason. I had been challenged academically before, but transferring to EC came with new challenges that engaged my mind, nurtured my spirit, and prepared me to transform the world, just like their motto upholds. Classes not only challenged me academically, they have changed my worldview. Learning about history was not about getting a good grade, but rather made me think about how my life today has been impacted by great men and women who have gone before me. I am encouraged to not be satisfied living an ordinary life, but rather one that will inspire students like me in years to come to take stands for their values, to stay updated on current events, and to live for something bigger than themselves.

Eastern Christian offered me opportunities to share my own unique voice through SOAR, Connection Groups, Choir, and Cross Country and track teams. Through seasonal concerts and talent shows I have been challenged to jump out of my comfort zone and become confident in myself and my abilities. At EC I felt like my individual voice was something of extreme value and was never overshadowed. Through discussion-based classes, I was able to speak my opinion without fear of judgement and I was able to learn to listen with an open mind and a discerning heart. By the example of those in authority at Eastern Christian, I have been encouraged in my faith and have been given the opportunity to go to Guatemala and Lynn, MA on mission trips. Wednesday mornings became one of my favorite parts of every week because Chapel was not only a refreshing break from a challenging week, it also served as a time where I was convicted and also encouraged in my faith.

Academics and extracurricular activities at Eastern Christian have engaged the mind and have nurtured the spirit in me these past two years. As I head off to college, I feel confident, comfortable, and excited to do my part in transforming the world.

Eastern Christian really started me on my walk with God. I feel that my faith has deepened greatly since attending this school and I know I will continue down God’s path for me in the future thanks to EC.

  • James
  • Curry College

James

Curry College

What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
Eastern Christian has a great environment that really nurtures student learning. From my experience, every teacher is ready to go above and beyond for any student that may be struggling. I also enjoy the close knit community of Eastern Christian and how easy it is to see God’s work being done.

Describe one of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she is a favorite.
My favorite teacher would have to be Mr. Apol. He is not only very knowledgeable about the history that he teaches but he also challenges students to think differently about the world around them. He consistently models his Christian faith and is never afraid to “tell it like it is”.

In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
Eastern Christian really started me on my walk with God. I feel that my faith has deepened greatly since attending this school and I know I will continue down God’s path for me in the future thanks to EC.

The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How did you experience an education that is engaging, nurturing and transforming at EC?
EC engaged me to think about the world through a Christ centered perspective, nurtured my faith and education, and transformed me to be able to go out into the world with faith and confidence.

How do you feel that EC prepared you for graduation, college and life?
EC teachers have always been honest about what colleges expect from students and have geared our education toward doing the best that we can. Additionally, the people in the college and career office have been extremely helpful in helping myself and other students navigate the process of applying to colleges.

What would you say to a high school student considering joining Eastern Christian School?
I would tell that student that they are fortunate to have found EC because of the great learning environment.

What opportunities did you experience at EC that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
The close knit and spiritual driven environment I feel is really unique to EC. There isn’t as much of a disconnect between faculty in students that you may find in other schools.

I am also thankful for EC's emphasis on a Christian worldview. I know it sounds cheesy, but in all earnestness, the fact that everything from academics to athletics and music are rooted in a desire to honor God is HUGE. The fact that we began classes, track meets, or musical performances in prayer, that's HUGE. The fact that we could sit in Physics and discuss God's grandeur or learn about the Civil Rights Movement from a Christ-oriented perspective, that's life-forming. At the time, I know I took it for granted. But that constant practice of glorifying God in every endeavor has been incredibly formative during my time in college.

  • Kathryn
  • Class of 2014

Kathryn

Class of 2014

An excerpt shared at the 2016 Alumni Chapel.

Thankfulness has been tough for me these past few weeks. In the aftermath of the election (2016) I have witnessed expressions of extreme intolerance and hate from members of both political parties. I have wept alongside people who feel threatened not necessarily by President-Elect Trump, but by dangerous ideologies that have been exposed and are spreading. And I have been disheartened at the division that threatens to conquer my church community, my school, my friendships, and even my family. But friends, it is times when we are most hopeless, and have the most fear, that we must remember who our God is and be thankful.

So what can I be thankful for? The first thing I’m thankful for is that EC taught me how to think for myself. I was taught that I am not merely the product of the society I was raised in, but have been uniquely designed by God with the ability to decide what I believe. At EC, I was asked about my position on topics like the death penalty, immigration and abortion and why I believed those things. I was asked to articulate my faith and to defend it. And this challenge, to ask WHY and to discern, has been especially important in college. Questions about how to treat the LGBT + community, or about sexual purity, or about how to respond to undocumented migrants are no longer theoretical but real and relevant. And I can thank EC for teaching me to make my own, faith-informed decisions.

I am also thankful for EC’s emphasis on a Christian worldview. I know it sounds cheesy, but in all earnestness, the fact that everything from academics to athletics and music are rooted in a desire to honor God is HUGE. The fact that we began classes, track meets, or musical performances in prayer, that’s HUGE. The fact that we could sit in Physics and discuss God’s grandeur or learn about the Civil Rights Movement from a Christ-oriented perspective, that’s life-forming. At the time, I know I took it for granted. But that constant practice of glorifying God in every endeavor has been incredibly formative during my time in college.

Not that we’re less intentional about faith at my school, but it’s much more your own choice. If you want to discuss faith in Literature class, sometimes you have to be the one to bring it up. If you want to pray before you lead your worship team, that’s on you. I’m incredibly grateful to EC for constantly bringing my heart and mind back to why we do things, and for whom. After all, we serve a great God, don’t we? Think about where you are right now. Maybe the friends you’re sitting next to. The family you get to go home to. The school work you’re dreading but that shapes you and strengthens your mind. We have so much to be grateful for, and a great God to be grateful to. So that’s what I’d like to leave you with this Thanksgiving. Remember who your God is, remember unique mind and countless other gifts he’s given you, and thank Him, no matter the circumstance.

As a coach I have the privilege of watching our players set the standard for sportsmanship as they remain competitive in league standings with mostly public schools. When they invite opponents to pray together after games, I believe I am witnessing the transformation of a sports crazed culture that puts too much emphasis on winning and self glory, and not enough on respect, humility, and using sport to bring glory to God.

  • Barry Veenstra
  • Athletic Director & PE Teacher

Barry Veenstra

Athletic Director & PE Teacher

What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
The Christian community and common sense of purpose.

Why do you like teaching at Eastern Christian? What motivated you to become a teacher at Eastern Christian?
After spending 7 years in the world of sales and marketing out of New York, in which the only goal and reward had to do with profit margin, becoming a teacher brought the sense of purpose and fulfillment that had been missing in my life.

How do you teach a Christian Worldview in your classes at EC?
I cannot imagine teaching topics like personal health and fitness, exercise science, human sexuality, stress management, nutrition, or character education from any other perspective. To omit God and faith in Christ from the discussion would be to teach only a partial truth.

What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?
I am passionate about music and enjoy using/referencing it often in class.

What sets EC students apart from students in other schools?
Frankly, they are the type of kids I wanted my children to spend their formative years surrounded by, and are a big part of why my wife and I sacrificed to send four to EC from pre-K through high school.

The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How do you accomplish this in your role at EC?
As a coach I have the privilege of watching our players set the standard for sportsmanship as they remain competitive in league standings with mostly public schools. When they invite opponents to pray together after games, I believe I am witnessing the transformation of a sports crazed culture that puts too much emphasis on winning and self glory, and not enough on respect, humility, and using sport to bring glory to God.

 

I have been impressed with this school system from all angles–as a student, a parent, and now most recently, as a teacher. The school embodies what I believe it means to be a Christian learning community. Not only is a biblical worldview infused through curriculum and activities, the school staff is a loving, caring group of people who truly work with excellence in mind.

  • Leah Genuario
  • Teacher

Leah Genuario

Teacher

What do you teach at Eastern Christian School?
I teach journalism, yearbook and essay workshop. I’m also the Herald editor.

What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
I have been impressed with this school system from all angles–as a student, a parent, and now most recently, as a teacher. The school embodies what I believe it means to be a Christian learning community. Not only is a biblical worldview infused through curriculum and activities, the school staff is a loving, caring group of people who truly work with excellence in mind.

Why do you like teaching at Eastern Christian? What motivated you to become a teacher at Eastern Christian?
I enjoy investing in the lives of younger people and see it as a ministry. I have found much joy in my prior profession as a journalist, and it is exciting to cultivate those gifts in others. I would like to be a teacher who encourages students to recognize their God-given talent and spurs them on to strengthen those skills.

How do you teach a Christian Worldview in your classes at EC?
Our Christianity should inform everything we do. That means we work with excellence, examine if our topics educate and inspire, and seek to treat our interviewees with dignity and respect. As part of student journalism training, we look at business ethics models, as well as examine article topics in the light of Philippians 4:8. It is very important to me that our students understand that our Christian faith comes into play in everything we do–whether it’s double-checking the spelling of a name because we would want our name to be spelled correctly, all the way through putting in extra effort to build a case for the historicity of Jesus in our investigative reporting unit.

What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?
I think I’m unique in that I worked in the field I now teach in.

The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How do you accomplish this in your role at EC?
Engaging the mind–Better writing, interpersonal and layout skills!

Nurturing the spirit–Recognizing and affirming the talents I see. Treating every student as a valued student and encouraging everyone to excel.

Transforming the World–Focusing on article topics that elevate conversation.

I want my students to see God more than anything. If they cannot learn compassion from their role models who they are with more than any other adult in their life right now, then I am not doing my job. Of course, I want them to stay out of debt and in literature of course! I want them to love challenges and learning.

  • Dawn Heerema
  • High School Finance and English Teacher

Dawn Heerema

High School Finance and English Teacher

What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
I love that the adults’ role models are extensions of the home. Their personal attention and love goes beyond the classroom. Academics are still varied, and the schools offer a mixture of ability and options. It is small enough that no child is lost in the mix.

Why do you like teaching at Eastern Christian? What motivated you to become a teacher at Eastern Christian?
I was a parent first, and I saw the care and nurturing offered by the staff to each child. I appreciated the strides to maintain academic rigor as well.

How do you teach a Christian Worldview in your classes at EC? 
With literature, there are many opportunities to present a Christian Worldview from character standpoints such as Atticus Finch, and analyzing him in a context of a Godly father or professional lawyer. In my finance class, we always take biblical perspectives in our studies. My essential question for the class is “What are you doing with the Father’s resources while He is away?”

What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?
When studying literature, worldview is a key component in developing Christ-like compassion. I really enjoy teaching this and applying it to the class setting. I do not feel our job is done until the child is transformed even a little bit after being in my classroom.

What sets EC students apart from students in other schools?
Oh, the list is endless. They have hope. They are more content with who they are and what they have. They see the world as a limitless place that exists outside of their own world due to mission opportunities and life-learning. “It isn’t about them.” Of course, these are blanket statements, but I do promise that the climate of the halls compared with that of my previous teaching assignments in public schools is very different. Appearances are more streamlined and not glaringly inappropriate. The children have a warmness that comes from God and it transcends those awkward years of adolescence. At the younger schools, they are accepting of their faith and are so vocal about it, which is a joy to hear! Even the music that I hear on iPads or the little ones singing on the playground is not offensive, which is a telling sign of the success EC has with transforming this generation and not forcing them to conform to the ways of the world. Many of the parents have said, EC is worth every penny. I would agree.

What do you want your students to gain from having known you?
I want my students to see God more than anything. If they cannot learn compassion from their role models who they are with more than any other adult in their life right now, then I am not doing my job. Of course, I want them to stay out of debt and in literature of course! I want them to love challenges and learning.

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