Faculty & Staff: Partners in Your Child's Education

Walk into any classroom at Ann Arbor Christian School, and you will find outstanding teachers who spark curiosity about God’s world and genuinely love their students.

Working alongside a committed Head of School who is deeply devoted to God’s call to excellence and love to permeate through all areas of our school’s life, 17 skilled and passionate teachers create a vibrant, nurturing learning environment in Grades Preschool-8, art, music, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and physical education and are committed to a high standards of excellence in their teaching. Our current staffing includes a Head of School, a curriculum director, two administrative personnel, a childcare director, 12 classroom teachers, an athletic director, a part-time learning specialist, and four specialists in Arts, Music, Spanish, Chinese, and physical education.

All faculty members are experienced teachers at the elementary or middle school level and possess exemplary educational and professional backgrounds. Opportunities for professional growth are offered throughout the year.

Head

Wayne Sit
Head of School
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BA, Psychology, Harvard University
M.Ed., Elementary Education, Lesley University
Van Lunen Center for Executive Management at Calvin College

Wayne Sit joined the school in 2009 as a parent, but became its Head of School the following year. He and his family moved from Boston, MA to Howell in 2009. He fell in love with teaching during his junior year at Harvard. While in Boston, he taught at the well-known Buckingham Browne & Nichols School and was later part of the starting of Boston Trinity Academy in 2002, the only evangelical middle/high school in the city of Boston. During this 23 years in education, he has been a middle school teacher, as well as the academic dean and director of technology at Boston Trinity. Wayne loves the AACS community and its desire to continue being an excellent school for Christ. He and his wife have five children, four who currently attend AACS, and are members of Knox Presbyterian Church.

Preschool

Jennifer Bryson
Preschool
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BA, Psychology; Calvin College
MA, Social Work; Michigan State University

One of the key drivers of our preschool program, Jennifer became its first teacher in 2009 and has seen the program grow over the past years. Jennifer has been involved in early childhood for over 15 years and previously taught preschool for seven years at Sonshine Nursery School, a cooperative preschool in Ann Arbor. Her extensive experience and training as a social work has equipped Jennifer to be aware of adoption-related issues with children. Jennifer enjoys the wonder that comes with teaching young children and watching their excitement as they learn more about the world that God created. As a parent, she is reminded of the importance of school in teaching children the same Christian truths. Residing in Dexter, Jennifer and her husband attends Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church. Her two children are both graduates of AACS.

Jeanne Palmbos
Aftercare Aide
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BA, Spanish; Grand Valley State University

Jeanne was born and raised in Holland, MI and attended public schools her whole life. After moving to Ann Arbor, she worked in the Ann Arbor Public Schools as an aide in a Special Education class for 4 years. So, when she and her husband decided to send their 3 children to AACS, Christian education was a brand new experience for her. Now, she can't imagine sending her kids anywhere else! Her entire family fell in love with the school, its teachers, and the Christian environment they get to live and learn in each and every day. Jeanne has been a parent in the school for 7 years and was happy to join in a new capacity as a part-time aide in the aftercare program in 2015. On her days "off," she has co-directed a women's Bible study program (Coffee Break), taught Sunday School with her husband, and is currently the GEMS coordinator for 2nd to 5th grade girls at the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church. She has a love of children and of all things fun and imaginative, so being an aide is a perfect way to use her God-given gifts!

Dawn Geldermans
Preschool Aide
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Dawn Geldermans was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI where she went to Christian schools and attended Calvin College. She has a heart for Christian education and has been involved with AACS since it was founded. She has a passion for working with children, seeing their creativity, experiencing their zest for life, and watching them learn new things and how they develop into the person God created them to be. She served in numerous roles during the years that her four children attended AACS, such as helping in the class room, various committees, working in the library, and preparing and serving lunch. She enjoys working with children as evidenced by over 30 years of involvement in Sunshine Nursery School, teaching Story Hour, and serving as a youth group leader and a Sunday School teacher. "As a founding member of the school, I have seen and experienced God's faithfulness at AACS. I'm excited and filled with joy at being back at AACS working with the children in the preschool class. I look forward to working with the children, families, and staff as we grow together experiencing God's love and continued faithfulness." Dawn and her husband Arnie attend the Ann Arbor Christian Reform church and have four adult children, all of whom are AACS alumni.

Kindergarten

Keri Louwerse
Kindergarten
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B.S. Elementary Education; Northern Illinois University
M.A. Education: Curriculum & Instruction; Cornerstone University

Keri Louwerse comes to AACS with 10 years of teaching experience in international and Christian schools. She has taught in Michigan, in Florida, and in the Cayman Islands. Since moving back to Michigan, she has remained active in children's ministry at her church serving on the Children and Family Ministry cell, teaching Sunday School, and leading a ministry for children experiencing divorce. She recently completed her master's degree and is excited to be teaching again at a school where she can share her passion for learning and for Christ with her students. Keri and her husband live in Webster Township with their three children. They are members of the conservative Dexter United Methodist Church.

Mary Admiraal
Kindergarten Teacher Assistant
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BA, Elementary Education; Taylor University

With 14 years of teaching experience with lower elementary classrooms at public and Christian schools in Michigan and Indiana, Mary is a seasoned and kindergarten-certified teacher with excellent credentials and references. A member of the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church, she is known by many staff members and families who speak highly about her skills with and love of children and her faith in Christ. In the past, she has also served as her church’s children’s ministry director, youth director, church camp counselor, VBS director/craft team leader/recreation team leader/small group leader, Sunday school teacher, and church nursery caregiver. She is passionate about faith formation in the lives of children. As the Kindergarten teacher assistant at AACS, she is thankful for the opportunity to be a person of influence on her student's journeys of faith. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Taylor University.

Elementary School

Susan Furr
First Grade
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BS, Elementary Education; Indiana State University and Montana State University

One of the most seasoned teachers in our community with over 25 years of experience, Susan says without reservation that this is the best school community she has ever had the privilege of serving because of the central focus on Christ, on the school’s collaborative spirit, and on its commitment to excellence. A natural learner herself, she enjoys teaching all the core subjects and still get a charge out of the enthusiasm that her students have for fascinating 'new' information. First graders never cease to amaze her with their zest for life and their capacity to grow, learn, and develop as image-bearers of God. Susan attends Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church with her husband.

Margaret Mayoros
Second Grade
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BA, English Literature and Education
Digby Stuart College, University of Surrey

Post Graduate Certificate of Education, Elementary Education; Digby Stuart College, University of Surrey

With over 25 years of teaching experience, Maggie hails from Wimbledon, England and began her teaching career in England before moved to the United States in 1991 with her American husband. Since her move to Michigan, Maggie has taught in Christian schools, homeschooled her own children through middle school, taught in homeschool co-ops, substitute taught, and taught classes from her home. She is excited to see how the Lord has led her to AACS, where she can share both her love for teaching and her love for Christ with the students and excellent staff. She and her husband are members of Christ the King Church in Ann Arbor.

Alicia Nykamp
Third Grade
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BA, Special and Elementary Education; Calvin College

Alicia is very excited to be joining the AACS community this year! Teaching has been a lifelong passion for Alicia.  She especially cares about meeting students where they are at and making sure that all of God’s children have access to a high quality education. She is also looking forward to building relationships and fostering a Christ-centered community.  Most recently, Alicia taught 3rd grade in Southwest Detroit in a predominantly Spanish speaking neighborhood school. Before that, she had experience as a Special Education teacher in South Redford Public and as a 4th grade teacher at Hudsonville Christian. Alicia is a proud graduate of Calvin College with a degree in Special and Elementary Education.  She is originally from Lansing, MI and moved here from Grand Rapids, MI in the summer of 2016 after getting married.  Alicia and her husband, Michael, attend Grace Ann Arbor and absolutely love living here in Ann Arbor.

Janet Chen
Mandarin Chinese
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BA, Asian Studies and Economics; University of California, Berkeley

Janet comes to AACS with over 15 years of homeschooling experience at various homeschool co-ops throughout Ann Arbor. Motivated by Jesus’ command to “Love your neighbor as yourself” and to “go and make disciples of all nations”, Janet is instructing our youngest students in the most widely spoken language in the world. As our neighbors are increasingly global and our children interact with people from various cultural heritages (whether here in America or someday in another part of the world), she is delighted to give our students an introduction to language and culture acquisition. She wants them to feel comfortable learning new languages and to experience how fun it is to learn about other people’s languages and cultures. Janet and her family attend Knox Presbyterian Church.

Amy Robson
Spanish
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BA in English from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
MA in Literature from Eastern Michigan University

Amy Robson is returning for her third semester of teaching elementary Spanish at AACS. She has over 30 years experience, teaching writing, literature, history, and Spanish. Amy values learning and teaching about other cultures. Her trip to Paraguay with Mission Opportunities Short-Term on an eyeglass team was an enriching time to share the gospel, learn about this South American country, and put her Spanish to good use! She loves the AACS children’s enthusiasm for learning, and is excited to be back. She and her husband attend University Lutheran Chapel.

Melanie Herman
FIFTH GRADE
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BA, ELEMENTARY EDUCATION WITH MATH MAJOR & LANGUAGE ARTS MINOR; CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY

Melanie is looking forward to a great year at AACS! Her experience as an educator in settings with notably diverse student backgrounds and academic abilities helps her in teaching students at AACS. Prior to this time, she was employed for five years as a third grade teacher at a top international school in South Korea and then taught fifth grade English Language Arts for four years at a charter academy in Belleville. In her spare time, Melanie likes to read, play the piano in a worship team, and spend time traveling with friends and family. Melanie is originally from Ypsilanti, Michigan and attends Living Water Community Church in Ypsilanti with her husband.

Michelle Harris
FOURTH GRADE
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BA, ELEMENTARY EDUCATION AND SPECIAL EDUCATION; LEWIS CLARK STATE COLLEGE

Michelle is very excited to be joining the AACS community this year! Michelle feels that teaching is her specific call from God. She especially cares about helping children grow deep in their walk with the Lord as they learn about His created world around them. She is looking forward to becoming part of the great community here at AACS. Most recently, Michelle taught at Washtenaw Christian Academy and has also taught in other private Christian and public schools. Michelle grew up in Idaho and has taught in Washington and Oregon. She and her family moved to Michigan in 2005. Her husband, Philip, is the pastor at Canton Calvary Assembly of God and their son, Austin, attends North Point Bible College in Grand Rapids.

Sarah Sauers
FOURTH GRADE AIDE
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BA, Elementary Education; Albion College

Sarah is so thankful to be able to be spending her mornings in the 4th grade classroom and in the AACS community. She has a bachelors degree in elementary education from Albion College and taught for almost 2 years before staying home with her children. Her youngest two children have attended AACS, including her current 5th grader. She has 5 years of experience working as a Teacher Assistant in both Chelsea and Ann Arbor Public Schools. She and her husband, Paul, live in Ann Arbor and attend Grace Bible Church.

Middle School

Kirstin Boettcher
Language & Social Studies Teacher
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BA, History; Eastern Michigan University
MA, History; Eastern Michigan University

With over 20 years of teaching experience and degrees in history and literature, Kirstin brings a wealth of experience, a love of all things middle school (particularly the students), her energetic personality, her passion for developing excellent reading and writing skills, new technology skills in digital teaching, and a passion for high-quality Christian education to our middle school community. She believes that history allows students to see how God has worked throughout the development of civilization, to examine examples of those who changed the world, and to be inspired to make a difference. With English, students have the opportunity to strengthen their ability to communicate and express themselves both creatively and analytically. Above that is her passion for learning about God and teaching students about God’s truths in the classroom. She and her husband live in Ann Arbor, attend the Ann Arbor Assembly of God, and have one child in high school and two in college.

Sue De Zeeuw
History, Bible, Computers, Economics & Academic Support Coordinator
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BA, Social Studies; Calvin College
MA, Educational Leadership; Eastern Michigan University

While Sue is currently part of the middle school team at AACS and the school’s academic support coordinator, her time at AACS began before our doors even opened. She was among the first group of men and women who heard God’s calling to start AACS and has part its planning in the late 1980’s and has worn countless hats at our school, including part-time administrator, art and music teacher, Education Committee member, and substitute teacher. She taught fourth grade math at AACS in 2001, moved to middle school math in 2002, and now teaches history, Bible, computers, math, and economics in the middle school. Sue loves her students and enjoys being able to talk freely about God and His plan for the students. She feels loved and supported by the school community and encouraged to grow professionally and spiritually. She and her husband have three children, all of whom have graduated from AACS. They are members of Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church and live in Dexter.

Ellie Giles
Mathematics & Bible
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BS, Mathematics; University of Michigan

Ellie is excited to be finishing her first year at AACS. With a strong background and passion for mathematics and how it reflects God, Ellie comes to us from the well-known Potter’s House School in Grand Rapids where she was for three years and taught middle school mathematics and served as an on-site tutor. Certified in mathematics and language arts, Ellie graduated from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor with high distinction and a bachelor’s in education. While she knows that God’s ways are far above ours, Ellie’s love of the logic, order, and power of mathematics and how it allows us to understand God’s creation is a trait that she eagerly brings to the AACS middle school. As students learn to use the language of math to solve, defend, and interpret problems, she believes that they experience the satisfaction of thinking logically and the wonder of exploring the numerical world around them. Through the study of Scripture, she desires for students to begin to know more deeply the God who created us and our place within the story of salvation. In addition to teaching, Ellie has spent time in recent years in college ministry. She currently attends St. Thomas Catholic Church.

Laura McMahon
Science & Bible
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BS, Science; Eastern Michigan University
MA, Science Education; University of Michigan-Dearborn

Laura has enjoyed teaching for 13 years in various positions from first grade through 8th grade. Laura has previously taught elementary grades in a Christian school in Northville, MI, middle school science and English in North Carolina, and elementary school at a Spanish-dominant southwest Detroit charter school. Science education has been a long-time passion of Laura’s, and she brings a great deal of current knowledge in science curriculum to the school. Above that is her passion for learning about God and teaching students about God’s truths in the classroom. She believes that the purpose of school is to equip children to understand the truths about life. Without Christ as the center of their education, the truth gets lost and muddied up. For her, Christian schools help equip students to recognize the Kingship of Christ in all areas of learning and to respond in obedience to Christ. She and her husband live in Canton, attend Trinity Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and have three children, two of whom are at AACS.

Carolina Purdy
Spanish
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BA, Secondary Education in English as a Second Language and English Literature;Universidad Catolica de Chile

Graduate studies for Spanish teaching certification; Eastern Michigan University

A native speaker from Chile, Carolina is a state-certified Spanish teacher who comes to us with a wealth of experience. Most recently, she was a Spanish lecturer and instructor as Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Over 25 years of second language teaching, she loves teaching Spanish because she loves to make her students realize how fascinating it can be to be able to communicate in a different language and provides a way to share the Gospel to more people. She and her husband attend St. Mary's Student Parish at the University of Michigan.

Tami Michele
Mathematics Teacher
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BA:  Secondary Education Mathematics and Economics, Calvin College

Tami was first part of AACS as a parent. Through the years, Tami served on the education committee and the board. She also worked for AACS as a substitute teacher and taught a math elective program. Tami’s love and dedication to AACS lead to her joining the middle school team. She works part time teaching some of the accelerated math courses. Tami has been teaching math in some capacity for the last 20 years. She loves the challenge of teaching a subject that can be some students least favorite and most challenging class. She loves to see a student grow and learn to love math. She first began her teaching career teaching middle and high school at Franklin Roach Christian School. When her first child was born, she left the classroom and did contract work for the ACT testing company and started a tutoring business tutoring middle school, high school, and college mathematics. She continues to run her tutoring business as she works part-time at AACS. Tami and her husband have two sons and attend Knox Presbyterian Church.

Other Staff

Becky Johnson
Spiritual Life Coordinator & Teacher Mentor/Coach
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BS, Elementary Education; Eastern Michigan University

Teaching has been a life-long goal for Becky, who does not remember a time when she did not want to be a teacher. With over 22 years of teaching at AACS, Becky’s enthusiasm for the teaching profession and teaching at Ann Arbor Christian has only increased. The Christ-centered, denominationally diverse environment, the integrated, hands-on curriculum, and the loving, nurturing climate of Ann Arbor Christian are all reasons why she loves her job and can not imagine teaching at another school. She is a long-time member of St. Luke Lutheran Church.

Mary Cupery
K-8 Music
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BA, Biology, Hope College
MA, Education, Spring Arbor University

A seasoned educator who has worked in various school settings and all age levels, Mary is certified in multiple areas (including music), but her passions lie in music education and using it to honor God with her students through a variety of means. Mary brings great enthusiasm, a commitment to excellence, a passion for getting children excited about music, and a desire to engage the students’ faith through music. She and her husband, who is a pastor, have four adult children and moved recently from the thumb of Michigan to help grow Hope Alive Church in Chelsea.

Bryan Diemer
K-8 Physical Education & Health, Athletic Director & Facilities Manager
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BS, Elementary Education, Dordt College

Bryan brings his love of physical health and athletics to AACS. Prior to moving back to Michigan, he spent two years teaching in K-12 physical education and 7th grade Bible at Miami Christian School. He attended Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, where he played baseball for four years. At Dordt, he earned his B.A. in Elementary Education with a minor in Physical Education. He also has certification in middle school mathematics and social studies. In addition to teaching, Bryan has also enjoyed coaching. Over the past eight years, he has coached football, basketball, cross country, baseball, and softball. He loves watching students use their God-given athletic gifts and developing them over the span of their school careers. Furthermore, he enjoys the enthusiasm that elementary and middle school students have for the world of athletics and the excitement that they show when they come to P.E. class. Bryan and his wife attend Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church and live in Pinckney.

Cheri Lubbers
Administrative Manager
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BA, Business Administration, Calvin College

Cheri Lubbers has been a part of the AACS community since its organization back in 1986. In the school’s early years, she was involved in a variety of volunteer positions, inside and outside of the classroom. One of her favorite things to do was to listen from the hallway as each class began with morning devotion time. She was hired to staff the main office in January 2003, the year the school moved to the current building. She still loves listening to the students during chapel time. She is blessed by the school families and feels privileged to be a part of their lives. Cheri and her husband Mark are the parents of three adult daughters, all of whom graduated from AACS. She and her husband are members of Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church.

Renee McKeone
Curriculum Director & 4th grade mathematics
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BS, Elementary Science; Eastern University Michigan
MA, Education; Spring Arbor University

Involved in education for over 30 years including public school teaching, private school teaching, reading intervention, and university level teaching, Renee joined the staff of AACS as the fourth grade teacher in 2009. Renee recently assumed the new role of Curriculum Director and will oversee the school’s efforts to grow and improves its curricular offerings and academic programs. In her work with shaping the school’s academics, she uses the founding assumption that Christian education is the most authentic education. In recognizing God as creator and source of wisdom, students are able to grow in knowledge of the world as created by Him, knowledge of self, and in understanding of the call to serve God through the use of each individual's gifts and talents. She and her husband are members of Christ the King Church and have four children, all of whom attended AACS at some point.

Jan Musch
Finance Manager
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BA, Music; Calvin College

Among the founders of AACS, Jane and her husband have been involved with the school since 1986. She formally joined the staff of AACS in 1994 as Administrative Assistant and made the transition to Finance Manager when the school occupied its new building in 2003. In addition, Jan also regularly helps the school as a piano accompanist for various school events. Jan and her husband have three adult sons, the youngest of whom attended AACS and are members of Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church, where Jan is on staff as worship coordinator and organist. She and Dave are thankful to God for His faithful prospering of AACS for 25 years. They live in Ypsilanti.

Arienne Zimmerman
K-8 Art
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BA, Fine Art and Education; University of Toledo

Arienne aspired to become an art teacher at a very young age, as her mother is also an art teacher. She attended the University of Toledo and graduated at the top of her class. Arienne moved to Milan, Michigan in the summer of 2009 when she married her husband and opened up the Tree of Life Art Studio where Arienne created, displayed, and sold her artwork. A year later, Arienne assisted in the opening of the Milan Art Center by working as the director of children’s programming and as an instructor. Previously, Arienne was a substitute teacher for Washtenaw county schools and volunteered as an art instructor at the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living. Her own personal artwork was recently accepted into Eastern Michigan University Student Art Exhibition 2016. Her experience has allowed her to teach and work with students displaying a full spectrum of ability levels. For Arienne, Christian education is important because it strengthens students’ faith and understanding of how God plays a crucial role in all things that we do and in all subject areas. School not only has the ability to shape a child’s mind, but also their heart. She and her husband live in Ypsilanti and attend NorthRidge Church.

Emily McKeon
PR/Development Assistant
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BA, New Media and Communication Technology; Ohio State University

Emily recently moved to Ann Arbor and is excited about how God has led her to AACS. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in New Media and Communication Technology and a minor degree in Childhood Education. She has a passion and love for the mission of Christian families and education and believes in giving all children the opportunity to experience that they are loved and known as God's children. She is excited about working to further God's work at this school and getting to know all of the amazing children and staff that He has called here. She and her husband, Daniel, attend Christ the King Church.

Paul Sauers
Building and Grounds Assistant, All School Teacher Assistant
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BA, Economics and Physical Education; Albion College

Paul Sauers is very excited to be stepping into a varied role at AACS this year! Paul has six children, two of whom attended AACS. Paul is a graduate of Albion College with a major in Economics and a degree in Physical Education. He is also a Graduate of Moody Bible Institute with a degree in Christian Education and has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Olivet Nazarene University. Paul is a retired teacher, having taught in the Detroit Public Schools system for 15 years, in Uganda for 1 year at an orphanage school, and as an athletic director for two years at a private school. Paul and his family attend Grace Bible Church of Ann Arbor.

Antoinette Naab
LEARNING SPECIALIST
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BA, Elementary Education; Michigan State University

MA, Teaching & Curriculum, Reading Specialist; Michigan State University

Antoinette has aspired to be a teacher since first grade. She now has 10 years of teaching experience, ranging from pre-k through eighth grade in both public and charter schools. She is very excited to be able to teach in a Christ-centered environment. In the past, she has also served at her church as a coordinator for Children's Ministery and a Sunday school teacher. Since each child is uniquely made by God, she utilizes students' strengths to motivate and encourage students to create individualized plans for them to reach their full potential. She, along with her husband and two children, attend University Lutheran Chapel in Ann Arbor.