Position at Unity: I teach Technical Communications, Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Consumer Economics, and Old Testament Covenant. I am also a faculty sponsor for Student Council.
Professional and Educational Background: Graduated from Dordt College in 1973 with a B.A. in Business Education and a minor in Economics. My wife and I moved to Muskegon, Michigan and taught at Western Michigan Christian High. I taught the basic business courses and I coached girls softball and freshman boys basketball for four years. In 1977 we moved to Orange City, IA and I began teaching at Unity Christian High. I have taught all of the business related courses and have coached girls varsity basketball, girls softball, boys baseball, freshman boys basketball, and student council. I have completed numerous graduate courses and workshops to enhance my teaching profession. I have taught a class at Northwestern College in Business Education Methods for new teachers the past couple years.
Childhood and Family Background: I was born and raised on a farm near Edgerton, Minnesota. I attended Edgerton Christian Elementary School and Southwest Christian High. After my sophomore year at Dordt, I married my high school sweetheart, Judy Van Essen. We were married on June 25, 1971. We have been bless with four children. Tami, our oldest, is married to Justin Gross and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Justin operates his own pool business. Tami is a stay at home mom, homeschooling the children and doing the bookwork for the family business. They have four children Tyler, Katelynn, Alexis. and Tanner. Darin is married to Krista Foreman. Darin works at Northwestern College in the maintenance department and Krista works for New York Life as a secretary. They have been blessed with two daughters, Tyra and Danielle. Kari is married to Josh Davison. They both went to Iowa State and now live in Oconowoc, Wisconsin. Josh works for a private architectural firm and Kari is currently a stay at home mom and doing some free lancing in Interior Design. They have been blessed with a son, Oliver and a daughter, Evelyn. Kimberly is our youngest and is married to Brandon Miller. They live in Hopsers, IA. Kimberly graduated with a teaching degree in music (K-12) and is now teaching K-5 music at Kinsey Elementary in Sioux Center, IA. Brandon is in partnership in a construction company, Legacy Builders Inc. They have been blessed with two girls and a boy, Addaly, Breeah, and Cargan.
Church Life: Our family attends Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Orange City. My wife is the janitor at Calvary and has taught Sunday school and is helping with Coffee Break ministry. I have served as a cadet counselor, Sunday school teacher, deacon, and elder. I have also served the Classis of the Heartland as classical delegate to CRWRC for six years and served at Synod in 1998.
Life Outside of Unity: Our family enjoys the outdoors and spends time together boating and fishing whenever we can. We have enjoyed camping over the years and visiting many national parks. My wife enjoys gardening and I also love to do woodworking projects. Our new pastime is looking after our grandkids!
Why I Teach at Unity: I feel God has called me to make a difference in the lives of our students. I hope by God's grace that I can lead by example and be a positive influence in their lives. I enjoy teaching with its challenges and pray that the patience God gives me to work with students will continue.