Fall 2016 Event

We had a wonderful group of educators ready to dive deep and take advantage of the 2016 Christian School Educators Science Academy (CSESA). We want to thank everyone who applied. We were amazed and blessed by the number of applications, the diversity of the applicants, and the passion among our member school teachers for continued learning and advancement of science education. If you’re interested in joining us at the fall 2017 CSESA, follow us at #CSI4EDU for updates and further information.

2016 Group


Phil Armstrong
Middle School Science Teacher | Prestonwood Christian Academy | Plano, TX

Emily Bittel
Middle School Science Teacher | Salem Academy | Salem, OR

Jay Borkert
Middle School Science Teacher | Colorado Springs Christian School | Colorado Springs, CO

Elizabeth Bowers
Middle School Science Teacher | Southwest Covenant School | Yukon, OK

Ellie Clark
5th Grade Teacher | Foothill Christian School | Glendora, CA

Mallory Clark
Middle School Science Teacher | Crossings Christian School | Oklahoma City, OK

Terri Cole
Middle School Science Teacher | American Christian Academy | Tuscaloosa, AL

Arrington Collie
Science Specialist | Briarwood Christian School | Birmingham, AL

Paula Diehl
3rd Grade Teacher | The First Academy | Orlando, FL

Timothy Eby
Middle School Science Teacher | Santiam Christian School | Adair Village, OR

Elizabeth Ferry
Middle School Science Teacher | Northshore Christian School | Everett, WA

Richard Gates
Middle School Science Teacher | Ben Lippen School | Columbia, SC

Christy Leonhardt
Science Department Head | County Christian School | Ashburn, VA

Joyce MacCrory
8th Grade Science Teacher | Annapolis Area Christian School | Annapolis, MD

Joann Medinilla
6th Grade Science Teacher | Southwest Florida Christian Academy | Ft Meyers, FL

Elizabeth Perza
K–6th Science Teacher | Penn Christian Academy | Butler, PA

Brian Pettigrew
8th Grade Science Teacher | Hebron Christian Academy | Dacula, GA

Aaron Porter
Middle School Science Teacher | Christian Academy of Louisville | Louisville, KY

Kathy Shelton
6th Grade Science Teacher | Grace Community School | Tyler, TX

Zach Spilman
4th Grade Teacher | Providence Classical Academy | Fayetteville, AR

Tracy Springman
Science Department Head | Indian Rocks Christian School | Largo, FL

Dana Stricland
4th Grade Teacher | Calvary Day School | Wintson-Salem, NC

Jessica Stuebner
Middle School Science Teacher | Nicaragua Christian Academy | Managua, Nicaragua

Linda Thompson
K–8th Science Teacher| Foothill Christian School | Glendora, CA

Emily Vaas
Middle School Science Teacher | Tree of Life Christian School | Columbus, OH


Mary Abma
Middle School Science Teacher | Sarnia Christian School | Sarnia, ON | Canada

Terri Alexander
Middle School Science Teacher | Northpointe Christian School | Grand Rapids, MI

Christina Antonides
Middle School Science Teacher | Surrey Christian School | Surrey, BC | Canada

Mark Brondyke
Science Coordinator | Grand Haven Christian School | Grand Haven, MI

Eunsub Cho
Middle School Science Teacher | The Potter’s House | Grand Rapids, MI

Susan Dykshoorn
1st Grade Teacher | Abbotsford Christian School | Abbotsford, BC | Canada

Amanda Ervin
Middle School Science Teacher | Phoenix Christian School | Phoenix, AZ

Aaron Genzink
Middle School Science Teacher | Ontario Christian School | Ontario, CA

Evelyn Hamlin
Middle School Science Teacher | Northpointe Christian School | Grand Rapids, MI

Carrina Hammond
Middle School Science Teacher | Washington Christian Academy | Olnehy, MD

Susan Hileman
Middle School Science Teacher | Lansing Christian School | Lansing, MI

Amy Hoekzema
Middle School Science Teacher | Legacy Christian School | Grand Rapids, MI

Donna Hoogerhyde
4th Grade Teacher | Eastern Christian School | Midland Park, NJ

Kelly Joos
Middle School Science Teacher | Lansing Christian School | Lansing, MI

Albert Kok
Middle School Science Teacher | Beacon Christian School | St Catherines, ON | Canada

Nancy Lutke
1st Grade Teacher | Allendale Christian School | Allendale, MI

Laura McMahon
Middle School Science Teacher | Ann Arbor Christian School | Ann Arbor, MI

Sheryln Medlin
Middle School Science Teacher | Arborbrook Christian School | Matthews, NC

Kim Meyer
1st & 5th Grade Teacher | Kalamazoo Christian School | Kalamazoo, MI

Rochelle Peltzer
5th Grade Teacher | Phoenix Christian School | Phoenix, AZ

Bonnie Roda
4th Grade Teacher | Maple Ridge Christian School | Maple Ridge, BC | Canada

Suzanne Smith
Middle School Science Teacher | Brookfield Christian School | Brookfield, WI

Ben Sneller
3rd & 5th Grade Teacher | Denver Christian School | Lakewood, CO

Rebecca Swier
5th & 6th Grade Teacher | Ebenezer Christian School | Lynden, WA

Darlene VanStaalduine
Middle School Science Teacher | Ebenezer Christian School | Lynden, WA

Science Academy Trains Educators in CoP Model

Fifty science teachers from various grade levels convened in Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 17–18 for two days of instruction in Van Andel Education Institute's Community of Practice model. Half of the teachers represented Association of Christian Schools International member schools and the other half represented teachers from Christian Schools International member schools.

While the training over the two days was intense, there was a buzz of energy and excitement in the room about the entire experience as teachers from both organizations interacted and learned from each other. Teachers felt valued and fully engaged in the opportunity. In turn, the VAEI staff was impressed by the teachers’ passion for science education and dedication to improving their craft. Many networking connections were made among all 50 teachers, with plans to continue to learn and grow within this professional community over the next year.

Here are some comments from ACSI and CSI teachers who attended.

  • “The linear form of the scientific method is so ingrained in me (and others) from our own educational experiences. I love that the CoP model has a lot more freedom of direction. This gives students a lot more potential for critical thinking and discovery.”
  • “I think it [the CoP model] dovetails perfectly with 21st-century learning because it is collaborative, it encourages critical thinking, and it encourages communication not only of scientific language, but of ideas and worldview.”
  • “The workshop did a fabulous job of being practical and yet keeping the big picture of Christian worldview in mind and being sure to explicitly mention (through the facilitators) this in the discussions.”
  • “It [the CoP model] seems very applicable and hands on. I want my students to fall in love with science, and I feel like the CoP model helps with that.”
  • “The joy of weaving content-rich biblical integration into the engaging scientific inquiry process was promoted well.”
  • “I would highly recommend that any science teacher try to attend, as this training gives teachers freedom in science and promotes more critical thinking in students and how we approach the formation of our lessons and the content they contain.”

CSI is grateful to the donors who underwrote this experience so that teachers could attend at a very low cost. Plans are in the works to offer the academy again in 2017.