Meet Ms. Jessica! This is Ms. Jessica’s second year as part of the IAC family. As a grade school student she was quiet and kind to everyone, we are thankful that she is teaching our kindergartners to be quiet and kind to everyone.
Ms. Jessica’s favorite habit is synergize because it is so important to learn to work together! She would like her students to know “they should always be a trying lion and never give up. You can do anything you put you mind to!”
Life Hashtag: #humble&kind
Can’t Live Without: Her Faith & Chocolate
Life Motto: “Find the beauty in every day!”
Special Talent: Knitting
Meet Ms. Rachel! We are so glad that she remains our 1st grade teacher. Ms. Rachel’s first job ever was on the paper route with her sister. One of her dreams is to one day hike the West Highland Way.
Ms. Rachel’s favorite 7 Habit is Sharpen the Saw because self care is so important! She also wants all students to know that they are capable to succeed and are valued by all at school.
Favorite snack: Dill cracker nuts
Countries she’s visited: Brazil, Israel, Canada, Dominican Republic
Special talent: Doodling
Favorite book: The Color Magic
Karly Van Koevering
Meet Ms. Karly! We are so glad to have her join our team this year as the 2nd and 3rd grade teacher. Although Karly is new to Innocademy Allegan Campus, this is her 4th year with IES. She spent her first three years at IES as a parapro in Precademy.
Ms. Karly’s favorite habit is “Synergize” because she believes that every student has unique abilities and success comes from collective effort.
Can’t live without: Jesus, chocolate, and cats!
Wants each student to know: You are important. You are unique. You are loved.
Favorite snack: Anything chocolate
Meet Mr. Jake! He has traveled all over the world to over 20 different countries. We are excited that this world traveler has been with us the last 2 years teaching 3rd/4th grade.
Mr. Jake’s favorite habit is “Seek first to understand then to be understood ” because he wants to love others well. He also wants his students to know “That circumstance doesn’t define you identity.”
Life Hashtag: #NotAshamed
Favorite Snack: Kashi “Dark Karma” Cereal with Almond Milk
Special Talent: He can carve a seat out of a log using a machete in two minutes
Voted Most Likely: To be found at the lacrosse field with a burrito from Baja Grill in hand
Meet Ms. Jennifer! We are so glad to have her join our team this year as the Middle School Math and Science teacher. This is Jennifer’s first year of teaching; however, she comes to Innocademy Allegan Campus with fascinating life experiences in the military and as a photographer. She loves “photography – the unpolished stuff, like works from pinhole cameras or medium format point-and-shoots.”
Life motto: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” -Dr. Suess
Habit: Ms. Jennifer’s favorite habit is “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” People need to spend more time finding out what they have in common and less time focusing on the differences.
Meet Mr. Zach! We are so glad to have him join our team this year as the Middle School ELA and Social Studies teacher. This is Zach’s first year of teaching at IES.
First Job: Paper Boy
Favorite snack food: Chicken wings
Can’t live without: Coffee
Life Motto: Rejoice always
Meet Ms. Lindsay! She is currently working with students who qualify for Special Education supports and services. This is Ms. Linday’s 5th year of working with IES schools. When Ms. Lindsay was in elementary school, she was always the teacher’s helper.
Ms. Lindsay’s favorite 7 Habit is “Seek First to Understand then to Be Understood” because this is a life skill needed for every relationship you will ever have with anyone! She also wants students to know, “You are unique, special and an integral part of the classroom, school community, and community at large. You have the potential to change the world!”
Life motto: “Be the change you wish to see in the World” -Mahatma Gandi
Favorite snack: Macadamia Nuts
Countries she’s lived in: USA, Uruguay, Spain
Bucket list item: Backpack in Europe, visit all of the National parks, and volunteer at an orphanage for kids with special needs.
Meet Ms. Sammy! Ms. Sammy is our school interventionist. This is her 6th year working with IES schools and her fourth year teaching at IAC. Ms. Sammy’s first job was baking pretzels at Nautical Knots!
Ms. Sammy’s favorite 7 Habit is synergizing because life is better when you are living life with others. Her message to students is, “Be silly, be kind. Be honest, be present. Be yourself!”
Life motto: Be a voice, not an echo
Pirate name: Plunderin’ Hook Hand
Favorite snack: Chocolate
Bucket list item: Running with the bulls in Spain
Meet Ms. Laurel! Ms. Laurel’s life motto is “if you see someone without a smile, give them yours.” We are so excited to have Ms. Laurel lending her smile to our students again this year as Innocademy’s social worker.
Ms. Laurel’s favorite habit is think win-win because we so often get caught up in what we want and forget to think of the whole – the best outcome for the group. She would also like her students to know “you matter, you have value, you can do great things! And whatever your problems/concerns are now they will get better with time.”
Can’t Live Without: Coke Zero, God, her family, books, and kiddos (ages 13, 15 & 17)
Countries visited/lived in: Visited France as part of an exchange program in 5th grade and has kept going back! Also she has been to England, Switzerland, Bolivia, Corsica, the Caribbean, Jamaica, and Greece.
Special Talents: Quilting, reading, being a FIRST robotics fanatic.
Voted Most Likely: To help others
Meet Ms. Becca! She has been a part of the IES family through CTC and began last year officially on our staff! Ms. Becca’s first job ever was a lifeguard and then a music teacher/piano teacher for years and years. She now works as our Speech-language pathologist.
Ms. Becca’s favorite habit is “Put first things first” because she is motivated by the reward at the end of the tunnel. She also really wants her students to know that. “I want our learning to be effective and always fun. When you are dismissed from speech we will celebrate together.”
Bucket List: Swim the Straits of Mackinac
Special Talent: She can spot a Petoskey stone faster than anyone she knows
Life Motto: If you pass physics, you can do this
Favorite Book: The Hobbit
Meet Ms. Shelly! Ms. Shelly is beginning her 3rd year with us as a teacher assistant. Ms. Shelly has “visit every continent” on her bucket list! She is almost there since she has visited Canada, Mexico, India, and Germany.
Ms. Shelly’s favorite habit is Be Proactive because it is the habit she is working to improve for herself. She would like her students to know “be yourself because you are pretty awesome!”
Favorite Snack: Coffee
Can’t Live Without: Hope
Life Motto: Love changes everything
Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice
Emily always knew that she would be a teacher or somehow involved in the education world, though she didn’t always know what it would look like specifically. She went into her freshman year at Hope College as a Special Education: Learning Disabilities major though she didn’t know much about it and quickly found the major suited her well and followed it through to graduation. With this course of study, Emily was placed at Innocademy for classroom experience. She quickly fell in love with the way Innocademy structured their school – the Just Right groupings, teacher led, and the emphasis on the world around us. She was fortunate enough to complete her student teaching at Innocademy and this solidified her love for the school. After graduating from Hope College, she was given the opportunity to move to Guatemala. There, Emily taught English in a local public school and math and English to a family caring for adults with special needs. There, her love for the Spanish language and Latino culture only grew. After living there a year, it was time for her to come home and she was blessed to join the Innocademy team and teach daily Spanish classes to first – eighth grade groups. And now, she am so excited to continue her journey with Innocademy and bring the Innocademy choice to Allegan County!
Meet Ms. Tara! Ms. Tara works as a teacher assistant at IAC. Ms. Tara’s special talent is skydiving and we are thankful she has dove into working with our students the last three years.
Ms. Tara would like her students to know “it is not only okay, but good to take chances.”
First Job: Babysitting/ice cream shop worker in a campground
Favorite Snacks: Zucchini, Squash, and chocolate (not necessarily that order)
Favorite Book Series: Mitford Series
Type of Grade School Student: Shy, polite, obedient, and cried very easily
Meet Ms. Rachel! She loves working behind the scenes to manage the front office and support the staff. A great position for her to work her nerdy skills while living by the hashtag #progressoverperfection.
Ms. Rachel’s favorite habit is seek first to understand then be understood because it is a powerful way to communicate love and respect to people of all ages. She also would like the students to know “you can do hard things.”
Favorite Snack: Beanitos Pinto Bean Chips
Favorite Book: The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
Life Motto: It’s not about what I do, it’s about who I am. I don’t have to fix my life, I just have to fix my eyes on Jesus.
Special Talent: Great whistler
Meet Ms. Krista. She joins IAC as a teacher assistant in the upper elementary classrooms. Ms. Krista is a graduate of Hope College and has been spending the last few years at home with her two sons, as well as being an active volunteer and then staff member at Little Hawks preschool at the Outdoor Discover Center. She is excited to be a part of IAC as we expand our Nature Based programming. Her favorite quote is, “Never underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia
Favorite Snack: Cake, brownies, cookies — anything chocolate!
Can’t Live Without: Faith, Family
Favorite Hobby: Gardening and Traveling
Meet Mr. Chad! Mr. Chad loves tomatoes and trips to the lake and mountains. He has been all over the world visiting over 10 countries! Thankfully he has shared his worldly knowledge the last five years with IES students. Currently teaching Innogineering at both Innocademy Zeeland and Allegan campuses.
Mr. Chad tends to get lost a lot… so his favorite habit is Begin with the End-in-Mind because that’s how you know where you are going. He also wants all his students to know “Your teachers will help you accomplish anything that you are willing to work for.”
First Job Ever: Meijer bagger (only time he has ever had to wear a tie to work)
Bucket list: Learn an instrument (beyond a few cords of a ukulele)
Life Motto: “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can” – Arthur Ashe
Ms. Hillary has sang her way into all our hearts last year as she joined our IES Family. She brings music to all our lives by instructing general music at both Zeeland and Allegan campuses as well as oldest friend’s (grades 5-8) choir at Innocademy Zeeland’s campus. Ms. Hillary’s music wins our heart, but toasted coconut ice cream from Kilwins is the way to her heart.
Ms. Hillary loves the seven habits so much it was hard for her to choose just one. Habit 3 Put first things, first” is one of her favorites because she finds it really helpful to make sure she takes things one step at a time and identifies what needs to be done to accomplish a great goal. She also really loves Habit 5 Seek first to understand, then to be understood because if humanity could practice this habit, our world would be a brighter and more loving place for all. Finally, Ms. Hillary wants her students to know that ”they are all music makers no matter what skills and abilities they bring into the classroom.”
Bucket List: Eating her way through a trip to Italy and France
Special Talent: Classically trained opera singer
First Job ever: Cash register clerk at a dry cleaner
Meet Ms. Emily! Emily teaches art at both campuses. The best piece of advice Emily has ever received was to “think before you speak.” She loves spending time with her family riding bikes, making art, and traveling. Many people don’t realize that Emily has traveled to Africa. Emily’s favorite of the Seven Habits is Synergize; she loves working with others.
Favorite Movie: Roger Rabbit
Life Motto: Everything in moderation!
Can’t Live Without: Ice cream, which is also her favorite snack
Favorite Book Series: #artallday
Meet Ms. Katie! Running the Disney Marathon is on Ms. Katie’s Bucket List and tennis is one of her special talents. Thankfully she has been sharing her athletic abilities with our students the last three years as our Learn to Be Fit (L2BF) teacher.
Favorite Snack: Brownies
Life Motto: Be a Fruit Loop in a world of Cheerios!
Can’t Live Without: Family
Favorite Book Series: Harry Potter
Meet Mr. Marty! Mr. Marty has been a part of the IAC team for 3 years and fills the integral role of Point Person as the leader for the school! We couldn’t all do what we do without him! One thing that Mr. Marty couldn’t live without are his animals.
Mr. Marty’s favorite 7 Habit is think win-win because it is important to consider everyone’s different perspectives. Mr. Marty wants all students to know, “There is so much out there and time moves too quickly. Live each moment to the fullest!”
Life theme song: You’ve Got a Friend
Pirate name: Captain Too Much
Bucket list item: Visit Alaska
Favorite book: Star Girl
Meet Ms. Sara! In grade school, Ms. Sara was a social butterfly, but also a rule follower. She continues to be a social butterfly while also following the rules as she takes care of all our Human Resource needs!
Ms. Sara’s favorite habit is “Seek first to understand, then to be Understood.” She believes it is great to focus on understanding others’ point of view before expressing one’s own point of view. Ms. Sara would like all the students to know…”You are capable of great things in your life. Make good choices, move on from your mistakes and you will be capable of anything you set your sights on!”
Can’t Live Without: Lipstick
Special Talent: Plays the piano
Favorite snack: Chocolate, lots of chocolate
Favorite book: The Secret Garden
Meet Mr. Dave! Mr. Dave has traveled all over the world to Russia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway and Turkey, but thankfully ended up in Michigan to be in charge of IES Finances. Mr. Dave’s life motto is to be humble and kind and he has kindly been a part of our IES family the last four years.
Mr. Dave’s favorite habit is to begin with the end in mind. He also wants our students to know “Be yourself and you can be anything.”
Favorite Snack: Popcorn
Can’t live without: Coffee in the morning
Bucket List: To be a street performer
Special Talent: Plays the organ
Meet Ms. Heidi! Ms. Heidi is the Boss and Queen bee as she does it all for all three IES Schools. She does the registrar, pupil accounting, the front desk and countless other tasks for our schools.
Ms. Heidi wants all the students to know that “You are capable of great things in your life. Make good choices, move on from your mistakes and you will be capable of anything you set your sights on!”
First job: Grocery store cashier
Favorite snack: Doritos
Can’t Live without: Her husband & kids
Quote to live by: “Life is all about the choices you make”