I come to the Bethel Community Education board fresh off a charter school academy board, which I chaired for the past twenty-two years. Just prior to that, I served on the Holland Public School Board. Right out of college, I taught at Kelloggsville Christian School until taking a break to raise our family. While growing up, my mother was a teacher in a public school where she was always looking for new ways to help her students improve. Education is in my blood – and my heart!
As my last name might indicate, I am related to Amy Zwiep by marriage. I’ve listened to her dreams of a school where children are taught to be self directed, set goals for themselves, and work together in a Christ-like environment. When she approached me about being on the board, I didn’t hesitate. What an honor!
God, the children and the community we serve, are what it’s all about. We believe that this educational model and BCE in particular can make an impact on all of these. I serve with an amazing group of people on this board and together we are thankful to be a part of what God is doing at BCE!
Kate Mulder lives on a farm in Lowell with her construction husband, three high-maintenance children, two devoted hound dogs, and twenty-five indifference longhorn cattle. She is really pushing for a donkey, but there are those that are against her. Kate brings a passion for special needs, inclusion, dyslexia education, and outdoor learning to the table and is thrilled to be a part of making this alternative education dream a reality for our community.
Duane is happily married to Beth and they live in the Lowell area. They have five children (two by marriage) and ten grandchildren, two of whom are Bethel students. Duane attended Hope College and W.M.U., and works as the Controller for a local IT company. He enjoys spending time with his family, gardening, fishing, and time outdoors. He has previously served as a Treasurer for the Christian Rest Home, Association of Business Administrators of Christian Colleges, Cran-Hill Ranch and New City Neighbors. He also currently serves as an Elder and the Treasurer of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Ada.
Seeing how much my grandsons love Bethel has touched my heart. This is what has led me to want to be a part of what is happening at Bethel.
Experience – I have practiced architecture for 40 years, much of which has been planning and design of K-12 and Higher Education learning environments. I have served on boards and been in leadership roles for business, community and non-profit sectors as a volunteer. I have been a life-long Christian and as a disciple of Christ know of no other way than to follow, serve and share the love of God, our Father with others.
Why Serve – I am passionate about my faith and believe a Christian-based education is indispensable to establishing a God-centered, joy-filled life. It’s an honor to be part of this board, to serve and provide leadership and guidance, helping establish and grow Bethel Community Education.
Excitement – The BCE model acknowledges that each child is unique and gifted by God to realize their potential and His calling for their lives. This multi-age, learner-driven model allows each student to learn at their own pace, to discover and nurture their unique gifts in a safe, supportive environment. It also encourages learning in collaboration with other students, reinforcing the importance of respect and the value of others, living in community.
I am excited about the faith-based environment for children to learn and grow. Bethel’s focus on the student and partnering and goal setting with each child is one of the many reasons I am honored to be on the board and help this school as it continues to meet the needs of students and families. The big picture view of Bethel, and the mission to empower learners to use their God-given talents to join in Christ’s work, are just a couple of reasons I am committed to helping Bethel grow.
I have been an educator for over 40 years in Wisconsin and Michigan, teaching students from Kindergarten through college age. It is difficult to pick a favorite grade level or subject – they all have joy. My husband, Paul, and I are blessed with three children and two grandchildren.
Bethany graduated from Calvin College in 2018 with a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She has been working with children since she was twelve years old. Bethany has a heart for creating space for children to be themselves and learn the way that works best for them. She chose to serve on Bethel’s board after meeting with Kate Mulder (who is also connected with YoungLife) to learn about the school’s mission.
She instantly fell in love with Bethel because of her calling in educational ministry, which was evident for her back in seventh grade. The more Bethany learned about Bethel, the more she fell in love with the idea of being a part of the community. God has confirmed that she needs to be a part of the board and learn and grow along with the school.
When she isn’t teaching at school herself or at Bethel, she is teaching dance classes or taking dance classes, and she loves to be active and outdoors.