Additional experience: BA Calvin College/general education and cognitively impaired; MEd GVSU/special education with a learning disabilities endorsement; GVSU learning disabilities consultant & ASD university field coordinator; second grade teacher at Greater Portland (ME) Christian School; second grade teacher at Dawn Treader (Paterson, NJ) Christian School; fourth-sixth grade teacher at Eastern Christian (NJ) Schools
My motivation and inspiration continues to come from my memories of my Grandpa Vermaat who was a Christian school teacher for 50 years. I have vivid memories of watching him interact with former students and wanting to have a job that gave me the chance to build those kinds of relationships. That desire was made stronger when I was in junior high school, where my teachers built community within our grade and were quite intentional with learning about each one of us. My role is quite different than a classroom teacher. I do not have a traditional classroom but have 50-75 students, who have a disability, that are on my caseload. My job is to make sure these students have what they need to be successful with their learning. I do this by consulting with their parents, teachers, and our support staff. Part of my job is to offer them continual hope and support as they move through the grades at WSCS and into high school. A goal that I have for these students are to make sure they know God has given them many strengths and gifts and then provide the environment where they can show these gifts. My husband Shawn, a GVSU professor, and I have four children. Outside of school, I enjoy sitting on my front porch, talking with neighbors, walking my dog, and going to Lake Michigan.