Michelle Padilla is thrilled to develop the preschool program at Bethel Community Education. She joins with much excitement and eagerness to grow our young learners in all areas of life. She has spent the past few years working with children ages four through eight years old in a classroom setting as well as exploring outdoors in God’s creation.
Michelle graduated from Calvin University in 2016 with a degree in Kinesiology. Her journey after graduation brought her to Camp Roger where she discovered her passion for revealing God’s great power and love through creation and relationships to his children. At camp she has served a a counselor, head counselor, and most recently as the Day Camp Program Director. Michelle is looking forward to cultivating a safe and welcoming environment for all the preschool learners.
In her spare time, you might find her crocheting, playing with her two dogs, researching and cooking new recipes, or hiking with her husband, Alan. They are looking forward to welcoming their baby soon!
Anne gets excited about lots of things including, but not limited to, good books, exploring with her friends, learning more about outer space, any kind of celebration, and all things yellow.
Elena comes to Bethel with years of experience working with kids of all ages at Camp Roger. She has spent the past six summers pouring God’s love into the hearts of kids as a camp counselor, head counselor, and most recently, the Summer Director. One of her greatest passions is sharing God’s deep love with everyone around her!
Elena graduated from Calvin University in 2019 with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation and Psychology. In the past few years, she has completed internships at several Rehab and Nursing Homes, Renew Therapeutic Riding Center, and worked in the Special Education Department at a local high school meeting the needs of various learners. In each of these experiences, Elena’s passion for loving and serving all of God’s children continued to grow deeper. She sees the immense value in supporting each student to grow in all areas. It is Elena’s desire to carry out Bethel’s vision to equip our learners to thrive as individuals created by God in order to develop their gifts and passions to become lifelong learners and disciples for His glory.
In Elena’s free time, you can find her rollerblading, running, hiking, hanging with friends and family, and coaching dive at Grand Rapids Christian High School.
Jamie O’Connell has known Bethel from its beginnings. She has been Bethel’s photographer for school pictures each year.
Her background goes beyond photography and includes special education, personalized tutoring and behavioral therapy. She has a passion for Bethel’s nontraditional approach to providing an education rooted in Christ, and enjoys being a part of such a unique learning model that is desperately needed for learners and families.
Jamie graduated from Biola University in La Mirada, CA in 2011, which is also where she met her husband, Arek. Arek and Jamie moved from California to Michigan in 2013 for the position he has continued to serve in, High School and Post High School Pastor at Hillside Community Church. They have been blessed with two precious daughters, Kaia and Leighton. In Jamie’s spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, serving alongside Arek at church, and capturing God’s beauty through photography.