Christian Schools Canada Conference 2014

Presenters 2014

  • Jeff Blamer

    Jeff serves as Vice President of Member Services for Christian Schools International. Providing encouragement, support, advice, and guidance to member schools and leaders is a blessing of his work. Prior to joining the leadership team at Christian Schools International in 2010, he served as principal in the Kalamazoo (MI) Christian Schools for 26 years. He received his BA from Calvin College and his MS from Purdue University. Jeff and wife Karen celebrate the joy of three children, two of whom are Christian school teachers, and six grandchildren. Next to faith and family, their passion is biblical study in the land of Israel. They have been to Israel ten times since 2000, studied at Jerusalem University College, and led four study trips over the past five years. Sharing the biblical story in the context of the land and culture is part of the passion. He authors Called to Lead, a leadership and devotional blog,

    Marlene Bylenga and John Slofstra

    Marlene has been working with International Students and their families for the past 18 years and has worked as SCSBC International Program Coordinator for the past 12 years. She loves her work; the wonderful mosaic that God has created in humankind and the differing cultural expressions of the Christian faith never ceases to amaze her. John has been a teacher at Pacific Christian for 36 years and an administrator/international program coordinator for the last 15. His interest and dedication to working with international students stems from having been one himself and is fueled by his love of language, different cultures, young people and travel. To him, the next best thing to being there is talking about there with those have been and haven’t.

    Justin Cook

    After teaching in British Columbia, Toronto, and at his alma mater Hamilton District Christian High School, Justin has recently joined the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools as the Director of Learning, where he is excited to partner with schools in a vision of learning for flourishing communities. At home, Justin and his wife Rachel (and their three beautiful children) love trying to live intentionally in their neighborhood: sharing and restoring a multi-unit house, practicing hospitality, buying and growing food locally, walking to church with their children, feasting with friends. Justin attended Redeemer University College and Calvin College, and is currently an MA candidate at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, Ontario.

    Michelle Davis

    Michelle Davis is the teacher-librarian at Carver Christian High School. She previously taught at Richmond Christian and Vancouver Christian Schools and she has recently served on the staff of the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia as the Director of Educational Technology and Learning Design. Her areas of influence include the improvement of digital, media, and information literacy among Christian school staff through training and ongoing professional development, and the ongoing work of strengthening library leaders.

    Darryl DeBoer

    Darryl DeBoer is the Director of Learning at Surrey Christian School. Prior to his current role, he served as vice principal of curriculum and instruction at White Rock Christian Academy, and a Science, Math and Outdoor Education teacher at Christian schools in BC and Ontario and International Schools in India and Switzerland. He has seen increased motivation and engagement from students and staff alike when the teaching is centered on formative learning experiences that are rooted in the Biblical story. Weekends find Darryl and his wife enjoying their kids’ sporting events and walking their water-loving dog at the beach.

    Kimberly Franklin

    Dr. Kimberly Franklin is Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Education at Trinity Western University, coming to TWU in 2002 after seventeen years of teaching and administrating at Pacific Academy. Her research interests include spirituality in education, contemplative pedagogy and teacher identity/development. She is currently on sabbatical, completing a new edition of Harro Van Brummenlen’s well-loved book, Steppingstones to Curriculum. Her writing is also regularly shared on her blog –

    Erik Hoekstra

    Dr. Erik Hoekstra is the fourth president of Dordt College. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy from Trinity Christian College, his master of business administration degree in international management from The Rotterdam School of Management of Erasmus University in the Netherlands, and his Ph.D. in organizational learning and human resource development from Iowa State University. Erik’s personal mission statement is Growing People and Growing Organizations to Glorify God and Grow the Kingdom. His background is entrepreneurial – whether in the business world or the not-for-profit sectors. Prior to being appointed as president of Dordt College, he was involved in leadership development, executive coaching, organizational consulting, industrial construction, wholesale distribution and retail management, as well as teaching business courses at Dordt College, and, most recently, serving as provost at Dordt College. As an outgrowth of these experiences, he has co-authored publications on coaching, delegation, servant leadership, and change management.

    Melanie Humphreys

    Dr. Melanie J. Humphreys serves as the fourth President of The King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta. Previously, Dr. Humphreys was the Dean of Student Care and Services at Wheaton College. Humphreys also served as adjunct faculty for Wheaton’s Christian Formation & Ministry graduate program. Humphreys joined Wheaton College in 2009 after serving for 10 years as Vice President of Student Life/Dean of Students at LCC International University (LCC) in Lithuania, Eastern Europe. Dr. Humphreys was born in Dawson Creek and grew up in the greater Vancouver area. After earning her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Trinity Western University, Humphreys went on to earn her Ph.D. in higher education from Azusa Pacific University. While completing her doctoral studies, Humphreys taught for Azusa Pacific University’s Masters of Arts in Global Leadership program.

    Doug Lauson

    Doug Lauson is the Superintendent of the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA), one of five Roman Catholic dioceses in British Columbia. He has been a director in the Office of the Superintendent for the past 29 years. Prior to joining the Superintendent’s Office, he was the Principal of St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Secondary School in North Vancouver, and previous to that, Science Department Head at Notre Dame Regional Secondary in Vancouver. Doug originates from South Africa where he completed his undergraduate and post-graduate education at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. After immigrating to Canada in 1973, he attended the University of British Columbia to receive his BC qualifications and to familiarize himself with the BC educational system. He also studied accounting and general business through the Certified Management Accounting (CMA) program. He started his Canadian teaching career at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Vancouver in 1974. In his present role as Superintendent, he leads the 46 elementary and secondary schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese that enroll 16,000 K-12 students. Prior to becoming Superintendent in 2007, he held several senior administrative positions in fields of instruction, curriculum development, finance and administration. He is in his 40th year of service with the Catholic schools of Vancouver, and in his 29th year in the Catholic School Board. Doug is in his twelfth term as the President of the Federation of Independent Schools Associations of British Columbia (the FISA). He has chaired Ministry of Education Inspection teams, accrediting schools both within BC as well as BC schools operating in the Peoples Republic of China.

  • Dave Loewen

    Dr. David Loewen is the superintendent of Surrey Christian School. Prior to that he has served as a principal at White Rock Christian Academy and as a principal, vice principal and teacher at Abbotsford Christian School. Dave completed his PhD in Educational Leadership and Organizational Theory at the University of Victoria and has presented at several academic conferences. He has two beautiful daughters and is therefore coming to know himself as a full time “dance dad” with part time interests in gardening, water skiing, running, attending live music events, and reading and thinking about great ideas.

    Jim Marsh

    James C. Marsh, Jr. served as Head of School at Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis, Missouri for twenty-eight years before stepping down in July 2013. He currently serves from St. Louis, Missouri as the Director of the Van Lunen Center for Executive Management in Christian Schools, headquartered at Calvin College, an organization dedicated to providing world-class executive management education essential to the future of schools based on the historic Christian faith. He is a product of Christian elementary and secondary schools in northeastern New Jersey, and graduated in 1969 with a BA in Education from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, in 1979. Jim has served as Board President of Christian Schools International (Grand Rapids, Michigan), member of the Board of Directors of the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (Chicago, Illinois), Board member and president of the Independent Schools of St. Louis, and member of the faculty of the Van Lunen Center. He is a contributing author of the book Schools as Communities (James L. Drexler, Editor).

    Doug Monsma

    Doug Monsma is the Director of Learning at the Prairie Centre for Christian Education, located at The Kings University College in Edmonton. In this role, Doug is responsible for the development and implementation of the Teaching for Transformation project. Prior to his current position Doug served in many roles during a 25-year career at Edmonton Christian Schools. The common thread in all of these roles is a passionate desire to create learning experiences that are rich in story, invite students to see the story and to live the story. When not engaged in TfT stories, Doug loves to travel, with the best trio being Italy, Israel, and Zambia in a twenty month period. Want to see the pictures?

    Daryl Page

    Daryl Page has been teaching conflict and servant leadership concepts at Trinity Western University for over sixteen years. Outside of teaching he has worked with various school boards, institutions, corporate and non-profit groups across North America. Participants appreciate his interactive and engaging style while being able to discuss and challenge themselves in key concepts.

    Nathan Siebenga

    Born as the fourth child in an education family (mom was a teacher, dad was a principal), Nathan grew up watching good schools become great. ”School” was his life and now as a principal it seems that he has taken over the family business. He loves being the Principal of Hamilton District Christian High (HDCH) and consider it an honour to have such a post. His best friend and wife makes his life really fun and they love watching their five children grow up. Nathan is committed in his career to making a difference in his small corner of the world so that graduates can have a big impact where ever they land.

    South Africa Delegation

    David Tshishivhiri (left) is the Principal of Gondolikhethwa Christian School (K-12) Limpopo Province South Africa. Thivha Ratshibvumo (centre) is the Principal of Tshikevha Christian School in Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province, South Africa. Dr. Liphadzi Tshililo (right) is pastor of the Reformed Church Midrand and Principal of the Heidelberg Theological Seminary.

    Timothy Van Soelen

    Dr. Tim Van Soelen serves as the Director of Center for the Advancement of Christian Education. Tim is also a professor of education at Dordt College, teaching courses in Educational Leadership, Philosophy of Education, and Research Methods to graduate and undergraduate education majors in addition to serving as the department chair and director of graduate education. Prior to teaching at Dordt, he served as the principal/CEO of Calvin Christian School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as an assistant principal for Redlands Christian School in Redlands, California, and a middle school math and computer science teacher in Redlands. Tim has his undergraduate degree from Dordt College and advanced degrees from Azusa Pacific University and the University of South Dakota.

    Kevin Visscher and Jeremy Tinsley

    Kevin Visscher (left) and Jeremy Tinsley (right) served together as principal and assistant principal of Duncan Christian School, respectively, from 2007-2013. While Kevin has moved on to serve as principal at Langley Christian High School, Jeremy continues to serve the community of Duncan Christian School as principal. Kevin recently finished his Master’s in Leadership at TWU, with a focus of his project on the topic of Aboriginal education in Christian schools. Jeremy completed his Master’s at Dordt College in 2005 with a focus on curriculum and instruction. Jeremy and his family have also lived and taught in Ukraine for several years. Kevin and Jeremy are deeply passionate about Christian education and serving God as faithful, transformational servant leaders.

    Jenny Williams

    Jenny Williams is the Director of Educational Support Services for the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia. Earlier in her career she has been a Grades K-12 teacher of special needs students, a learning assistance coordinator and an educational consultant in both Australia and British Columbia. Jenny established the special needs program for students in K-12 at Traditional Learning Academy (Surrey) and served as the Vice Principal of Special Needs there. Her current responsibilities at SCSBC include support for schools in connecting funding to program implementation, assistance with development of policies, procedures and guidelines, support for schools in their HR management of special ed staff, assistance with accessing services from provincial outreach programs and SET-BC, and providing in-services such as staff development workshops, specialist days and assessment.

Victoria, British Columbia