Position at Unity: I am the director of the band program at Unity Christian. Symphonic Band, which is open to all students grade 9-12, is the core of the program. I also direct the Jazz Band, Pep Band, and Instruments of Praise, which perform throughout the year. The band program is also actively involved in Northwest Iowa Honor Band, Large Group and Solo/Ensemble Contest, and band festivals throughout the year.
Professional and Educational Background: I graduated from Northwestern College in 1994 with a B.A. in Music Education. I taught in Hospers Christian for two years teaching general music to K-8 before coming to Unity in 1996.
Childhood and Family Background: I was born and raised in Rock Valley, Iowa. I attended the Rock Valley Christian School and graduated from Rock Valley Community High School in 1980. I attended Dordt College for one year before marrying Arlo Van Beek of Rock Valley. We were married and moved to Orange City in 1981. We then had two children, Jennifer and Dana. I decided to go back to college when our children were in school full time. Jennifer is married to Todd Bergsma of Hawarden and they have two beautiful children, Meghan and Connor. Dana is also married to Joshua Pluim of Alton. They also have two children, Brooklyn and Brennen.
Church Life: My husband and I attend the First Reformed Church of Orange City. I teach music to the pre-school children and also direct the handbell choir.
Life Outside of Unity: I enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially babysitting our grandchildren. I also direct the Orange City Community Band during the summer and enjoy going to my parents cabin at Lake Cochrane in South Dakota.
Why I Teach at Unity: I believe that music is a gift from God and that it is our responsibility to use our gifts in order to give God the glory for the talents that He has given us. I strongly believe in this, and at Unity, I am able to express my beliefs openly to my students. It is very important to me that every student understands that he/she has a responsibilty in their God-given talents.