Fourth Grade is an exciting year! At Borculo Christian, it means field trips to the Tulip City Gem & Mineral Show, the Saugatuck Dunes, the DeWitt Theatre at Hope College, the Grand Rapids Public Museum, The AirZoo, underground railroad and orphan train sites, a one-room schoolhouse, and maybe a few more. Other highlights of the year are our service projects, watching the Spelling Bee, being a part of the Geography Bee, playing recorders, leading the Fourth Grade Chapel, writing Studentreasures books, touring the Ottawa Area Center and assisting in a concert for them, and having Kindergarten Buddies. We are focusing on our theme of “God’s Faithfulness” and what that means in our personal lives. The fourth-grade teacher is Ms. Jan Damsteegt DeJong.
This year, we are focusing on our theme of “Created in God’s image to love, serve, and care” (based on the verse Ephesians 2:8-10) and what that means in our personal lives. The fourth-grade teacher is Ms. Jan Damsteegt DeJong.
Meet the Teacher-Ms. Damsteegt DeJong
I am so excited to be a part of Borculo Christian School. This is my 32nd year of teaching, but my eighth at BCS and my third as the full-time fourth-grade teacher. Prior to coming to BCS, I spent 25 years teaching a combination of special needs students, at-risk students, co-teaching sections of regular education, and teaching gifted and talented students. My job here at Borculo Christian changeda few years ago from part regular education/part special education to being the full-time fourth-grade teacher.
Before BCS, I was the Educational Support Services director at Calvin Christian Elementary School in Wyoming, Michigan for 19 years (from 1991 until 2010) until they closed their doors at the end of the 2009-2010 school year. In 2010-2011, I was the sixth-grade Resource Room teacher at Byron Center Public Schools; but that job was downsized to a half-time position and I, again, found myself looking for a new position. As I began my job search in the spring of 2011, I wondered if God was telling me that I should look for a career in a field other than teaching. I decided to “throw out my fleece” and only applied for this position. Asking God to guide me by giving me this job if I was to continue teaching or I would know to look elsewhere, I was pleasantly surprised when I was called for an interview. To make a long story short, I know that I am exactly where God wants me to be!
I received my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education with concentrations in Remedial Reading and Social Studies from Central College in Pella, Iowa. (This is one of the RCA sister schools to Hope College.) My teaching career began in 1986 in Lincoln, Nebraska, where I taught preschool in the mornings and extended day Kindergarten in the afternoons. Then, I moved to Michigan with my family and after a year of substituting, signed my first contract with the CLC Network. I covered three consecutive resource room maternity leaves at Hudsonville Christian, Byron Center Christian, and Jenison Christian. The next two years, I taught half-time in the Resource Room at Grandville Christian School. I was also taking graduate classes at this time from Calvin College. During my second year at Grandville Christian, I also taught first-grade Resource in the afternoons for Grand Rapids Public Schools. Following that year, I began at Calvin Christian Elementary. I received my Master of Arts in Teaching from Calvin College in 1992.
I live with my husband, Stan DeJong, and my son, Jason DeJong, in Cutlerville, Michigan. Stan is a custodian for Kentwood Public Schools, and is owner/operator of Stan’s Predator and Varmint Control. Jason is an eleventh grader at Unity Christian High School. Completing our household are our dog Rudy and our cats, Chloe and Lucy. I also have two stepchildren. Katie Scott works at Dekker Jewelers in Zeeland and lives in Ottagan with our ten-year-old granddaughter, Ava. My stepson, Joshua, works for Zeeland Lumber. He and his wife, Jessica, live in Zeeland with our five-year-old granddaughter, Olivia, our two-year-old grandson, Wesley, and our one-year-old grandson, Asher.