Author Archive for Kyle Kempster

WMC has a Christmas Pop-up Restaurant for International Students and Host Families

“The months of December through February are typically the most challenging for international students in West Michigan because they have been here 4-6 months, it is cold and dark most of the time and homesickness intensifies,” says Kyle Kempster, WMC International Student Program director, “add to that the pandemic and virtual learning and it can be even more challenging.” The school has students from Korea, South Africa, Spain and Vietnam.

That is why the school held a Christmas Pop-up Restaurant. “I was talking with Chanho Song, one of our partner agents about the challenges our students face and he suggested the idea of a pop-up restaurant.” This would allow students and families to get outside, eat food that provided a taste of home and we could exchange gifts. The school usually has monthly cultural activities including a Christmas event but Covid has changed that.

Song and Kempster prepared food from the different countries represented at the school. They served Bobotie from South Africa, Paella from Spain, Ddeokbokki (rice cake) and Eomuk from Korea, Pho from Vietnam. Students were asked to bring gifts to exchange and to make a Christmas card for local nursing home resident. The pop-up restaurant was hosted at Ferrysburg Community Church. “It was a good central location and they have an outside heater and a fire pit,” says Kempster.

South African Bobotie
Spanish Paella
Korean Ddeokbokki (rice cake)
Vietnamese Pho (left) and Korean Eomuk

“My son and host son had a great time! I heard all about the fun and how yummy the food was,” shared Jami Dunbar who hosts a student from Vietnam. Sara Visker, who hosts students from Vietnam and Korea enjoyed the event, “It was a great time! Thank you so much for all the amazing food and good company.  The kids all had a great time!

Kempster says he has work to do on his Paella. “One of the students from Spain shared that he really liked it but one told me, ‘It was good Mr. Kempster, but it was not Paella,’ “I am determined to have them tell me it tasted like home,” added Kempster.

Anh Van Trinh, a student from Vietnam, enjoyed the event, “I loved the Pho. This was a fun break from virtual learning. Even though it was outside in the cold, it was fun to see the other students and taste the good food from different countries.”

“Some of these students were unable to return home in the summer and have been here since last year,” said Kempster. “These events can help students adjust to a different culture while continuing their educational program.” Kempster says cooking food from another country helps him understand the students’ cultures. He adds that, “I may fail but I usually get credit for trying. It is interesting cooking with different spices like saffron, curry, turmeric, coriander and cumin because you realize there is a whole different world of flavor out there. And it is nice to experience that with my students.”

Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School is a 7-12 Christian school in Norton Shores Michigan and is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools that includes Fremont Christian School, Grand Haven Christian School, Muskegon Christian School and New Era Christian School.

PROJECT GRACE 2020

Pastor Samuel Greer started Project Grace in December of 2000 at Western Michigan Christian as a way for students and staff to give to those in need along the lakeshore. Twenty  years later he is now the Principal at WMC and reflecting on year 20 of Project Grace, “Every year I get an opportunity to see God’s hand at work in the lives of students and staff at Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School. One of the greatest expressions of God’s presence at our school is Project Grace. Each year we have seen God’s faithfulness in that he has enabled us to reach families in his name.” WMC students have raised over $100,000 over 20  years to provide food, clothing and gifts to families in need. This year students raised $1,600 during the fundraising event. “It was a bit more challenging this year because we were virtual. It simply was not as easy to raise money without students in the building being motivated by faculty and by each other,” said Greer, “We had to scale down a bit from past years.”

This year’s focus was Rise Up to Grace. Students focused on giving with a heart of grace as they have been given grace. This has been the theme all year and it is especially timely during the worldwide pandemic. Scott Liggett, Chief Advancement Officer for the school, coordinated the student efforts and was pleased with the way the project came together, “It is good to see our community of students, staff and families come together in the midst of these difficult times to reflect God’s love and grace for us and give to others. That is what Christmas is about.” This year WMC delivered Meijer gift cards and gifts to 4 families in the area. Individual classes competed in a daily competition. This year’s winning class, Summer Lile’s Chemistry class, raised the most money and was able to deliver the gifts.

Summer Lile, who graduated from WMC in 2012, is now a WMC science teacher and the staff advisor for student council said Project Grace is meaningful to her in a new and different way, “As a student I was never able to shop for gifts or wrap them because I was always part of our Christmas Collage at the Frauenthal. As a teacher I have been able to work with students directly to raise money  and this year I went shopping with the student council with  the lists that families gave us. Although it was different shopping for fewer families than in the past,  it became a bit more personal because we took extra time as we shopped. It was a blessing to shop with the student council and then deliver the gifts with my Chemistry students and share Christ’s love with families in our community.” One of Lile’s Chemistry students, Raina Luhring, reflected on the experience of delivering the gifts to families, “Joy. It was just pure joy to be able to give to others and see their reaction. I know that they were happy and that made me happy and it actually made me feel joyful as well.”

Western Michigan Christian (WMC) High School and Middle School (7-12th) is located at 455 East Ellis Rd. Muskegon, including 355 students from 5 countries, 30 cities, and 75 churches. WMC is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools(WMCS), a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian (PK-6) and New Era Christian (PK-8). The WMCS system works under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality PK-12 Christian Education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Please >> click here to contact WMCS.

WMC Names Andre Williams as Dean of Student Life

Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School is pleased to announce Andre Williams as its Dean of Student Life. Andre joins WMC and will be responsible for overseeing student life and spiritual development.

“We are so fortunate to have Andre as a part of our staff. As Pastor at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church and former Youth Engagement Specialist at Health West, he brings with him the needed experience as a spiritual leader and shepherd as well as youth advocacy and youth leadership development ”, says WMC Principal Samuel Greer, “God has blessed Andre’s ministry in our community and we are pleased that he will now be an integral part of our school community.”

Andre, a lifelong resident of Muskegon Heights, graduated from Muskegon Community College and ATS and has served on the board of many local organizations. He also currently serves as Councilman/Vice Mayor of Muskegon Heights. Williams will be responsible for student discipleship as it relates to corrective actions and the ongoing monitoring of student expectations and concerns. Andre also serves as the State Youth Director for the General Baptist State Convention of Michigan. He will also be responsible for spiritual development and, specifically, chapel and small group development.

“I am so pleased to be a part of the WMC school community and a place where I can openly express the love of Christ”, says Andre Williams, WMC Dean of Students, “I feel that all of my life’s training and development has led to this moment. This position. This is God’s work in my life and I am excited for His leading in the development and advancement of our WMC students. I look forward to exploring dynamic ways to grow together.” Williams adds, “WMC represents a big bowl of possibilities and my role as Dean of Student Life will require working with the staff as a team to deposit a spirit of life into all that are here and to build a sustainable environment of spiritual growth. I look forward to developing relationships with our students and staff in order to grow together in Christ.”

Mr. Williams challenged students and staff in his first chapel address today to be light givers as receivers of Christ’s light and in this season of celebrating Christ’s birth and asked that they shine for Christ in relationships at school, at home and in community with others.

Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School is a 7-12 Christian school in Norton Shores Michigan and is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools that includes Fremont Christian School, Grand Haven Christian School, Muskegon Christian School and New Era Christian School.

Covid Dashboard

To protect the health of our School Community and per the Emergency Order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Reporting of Confirmed and Probable Cases of COVID-19 at Schools on October 6, 2020, we will use this webpage to provide Public Notice to our School Community regarding School Associated Cases of COVID-19. Within 24 hours of being notified of a School Associated Case by the Muskegon County Health Department, this dashboard will be updated to include new and cumulative COVID-19 case counts. Individuals identified as Close Contacts of School Associated Cases will be notified separately and directly by the Muskegon County Health Department. 
Last updated: 10/12/20

The new case and cumulative case count can be found here.

#BraveLittleWarriors

Announcing the WMC Brave Little Warriors! We are excited to welcome our newest Warriors to Warrior Nation and will be sending a bib to welcome our new Warriors. If you have a Brave Little Warrior, please let us know by sending an email to Scott Liggett, our Chief Advancement Officer at scottliggett@wmchs.net.

A Warrior Nation welcome to Hope! Congratulations to WMC English teacher Jon Den Houter and his wife Heather.
A Warrior Nation welcome to Macsen! Congratualtions to Morgan (’11) and Billy Seiler.

WMC starts year with In-Person and Online options, New Athletic Fields and Classrooms and a Partnership with Calvin University

In-Person Learning

“We are extremely excited and blessed to be able to begin the 2020-21 school year with in-person learning and virtual learning options for our families,” said WMC Principal Samuel Greer, “We are uniquely positioned with a building that has a large-footprint compared to our total enrollment that allows us to be properly socially distanced with an average of 21 students per classroom.” The school will adhere to the Michigan Safe Start Plan for schools with safety measures in place that include PPE, social distancing, directional foot traffic throughout the building and proper hygiene/cleaning practices in place. “We feel confident in our plan to provide a safe learning environment while delivering excellence in Christian education,” Greer added.

Virtual Learning

Additionally, the school will give families the choice to do virtual learning. “Our school board approved the funding for audio and video technology in each classroom allowing for live-streaming sessions for students to participate remotely,” explained Dr. Kristy Taylor, Director of Instruction, “We are pleased to be able to offer this to families to give them a choice each trimester to either do in-person or online education. Our students at home will be fully participating through Google Classroom and be able to talk to the in-person students and participate in group discussions,” added Taylor, “This allows us to continue our excellence in education and being one of the top academic schools in our area.” she said.

New Athletic Fields

WMC completed a multi-million dollar capital campaign this spring in order to break ground on new soccer and baseball fields. “This provides state of the art playing fields for our students on our own campus and builds community both for our families and our surrounding area,” said WMC Director of Advancement Scott Liggett, “After winning the D4 Boys State Championship Soccer season last fall we are well positioned to continue our legacy of Warrior championship athletics,” he added.

New Middle School Classrooms

Along with the new athletic complex, WMC has added two middle school classrooms, including a science lab. “Over the past few years our middle school has continued to grow to the point where we needed to add classroom space.” said Principal Greer, “We have shown double digit enrollment increases over the past 10 years and this puts us in position to continue that as we look to the future.” 

Spanish Immersion Partnership with Calvin University

West Michigan Christian Schools, including Fremont Christian, Grand Haven Christian, Muskegon Christian, New Era Christian and Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School, will begin a Spanish Immersion partnership with Calvin University. “This partnership allows our Spanish Immersion students to graduate high school with a Spanish Minor from Calvin University,” said West Michigan Christian Schools Spanish Immersion Director Heather Grisales. Juniors and seniors will take college level courses through Calvin and will also be able to participate in a three week study abroad experience in a Spanish speaking country. “We are excited to offer this program to our immersion students from Fremont Christian, Grand Haven Christian and Muskegon Christian who continue on to Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School,” added Grisales. 

For more information on our in-person, virtual learning, or Spanish Immersion programs please call 231-799-9644×237. WMC is a grade 7-12 Christian school located at 455 East Ellis Rd. Muskegon, including students from 5 countries, 30 cities, and 75 churches. Elementary schools include Fremont Christian, Grand Haven Christian, Muskegon Christian and New Era Christian.

2019 is a Historic Year for Project Grace

Students Raise Record Amount: More than $18,000!

It all began with a giving heart almost 20 years ago. A WMC teacher learned of a family in need at Christmas time. He decided that he and his students would come together in a personal way to bless them.

Principal Samuel Greer tells the story of how Project Grace began.

That teacher, Pastor Samuel Greer, is now the principal of Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School and, by the grace of God, the spirit of giving that he and his class started back in 2000, has grown into a Project Grace, an annual WMC tradition that is a student-led outreach ministry that aims to bless local families all over the lakeshore region at Christmastime.

Reciprocally, Project Grace greatly blesses the workers. The team is comprised of 350 7th-12 grade students and 40 staff members at WMC.

Project Grace as explained by WMC seniors (left to right) Abby Sweetman, Emma Visker, Jenna Houskamp, Grace VanBeek, and Chloe Mitchell.
“Go! Authentic Biblical Community!”

Greer fondly reflects on year #19 of Project Grace, “Every year I get an opportunity to see God’s hand at work in the lives of students and staff at WMC. One of the greatest expressions of God’s presence at our school is Project Grace. Each year we have seen God’s faithfulness in that He has enabled us to reach families in His name.”

Every year I get an opportunity to see God’s hand at work in the lives of students and staff at Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School. One of the greatest expressions of God’s presence at our school is Project Grace.

WMC students have raised a total of more than $100,000 in 19 years. The funds are used to provide food, clothing, and gifts to local families in need.

Student-Led Fundraising Efforts

This year, thanks to so many generous donations, WMC was able to deliver food, clothing, and gifts to 17 families in the area.

How was the money raised?

Students earned money in various ways. Some worked for friends and family and some chose to do special projects like selling baked goods at their churches and/or collecting returnable cans.

Mrs. Tyink’s class hit the streets of Grand Haven going door to door visiting private homes and local businesses alike! Mr. Garland’s 2nd-hour class hosted an “Elf” Breakfast of Champions eating contest and also sold rootbeer floats.

Individual classes competed in daily competitions with daily winners earning prizes such as Buffalo Wild Wings, donuts, and more.

Raising $18k was a collaborative, all-hands-on-deck effort!

In fact, the total was about $80.00 short of the $18k mark, so the students, teachers, and staff at WMC had one last love offering at school on Thursday. Students gave what they had; change, small bills, and lunch money. Then a WMC staff member wrote a personal check allowing Project Grace to hit the $18k mark! To Him be the GLORY!

Top Five Classrooms

The top five fundraising classes are pictured below:

This year’s winning class, Robin Tyink’s AP Literature class raised more than $6,000, including an anonymous gift of $1000.

FIRST PLACE CLASS:
Robin Tyink’s AP Literature class raised more than $6,000, including an anonymous gift of $1000. Left to right back row: Robin Tyink, Alyssa Eekhoff, Chloe Mitchell, Jenna Houskamp, David Clausing, Emma Visker, Luke Moorhead, Evan Kenny, Nathan VanderWeide, Ben Waldo.
Front row: Grace VanBeek, Carly Betten, Abby Sweetman, Trinity Nelson, and Ella Buursma.
SECOND PLACE:
Mr. Aardema’s 2nd-hour Algebra II class
THIRD PLACE:
Mr. Smith’s 2nd hour Bible 12 class
FOURTH PLACE:
Audrey Markel’s 8th Grade Math Class
FIFTH PLACE:
Miss VanWhye’s 2nd hour Spanish 3 class

Choosing Families

Every year, WMC reaches out to local churches and schools to connect with families in need. Families in Norton Shores, Muskegon, Grand Haven, and Spring Lake are blessed by the efforts of Project Grace. If you want to be considered or know a family who might need some extra help next year, please contact us for more information. Pastor Samuel Greer and Matt Smith together determine the families that will be served.

Shopping Sprees

Students shopped for items Tuesday, December 17.  Kevin Aardema, a high school AP Calculus and Algebra II teacher, challenged his students to “give ’til it hurt”, “It has to mean something.” His class challenged Robin Tyink’s class for the overall highest total collected. “I am proud of my students for pushing hard and putting it over the top. This is great for our school to come together, get motivated and give to others.”

Joyful Special Delivery

The Warrior vans rolled out of the WMC parking lot packed with Mrs. Tyink and her eager students.

A trailer, pulled by one of the Warrior vans, was strategically loaded up with itemized/numbered/labeled bags of gifts, clothing, and groceries making for smooth and organized deliveries to each recipient’s home.

Students made an assembly line at the back of the van and brought the bags of food and wrapped gifts (that were on wish lists!) into each home, where they visited with each family and prayed with them. God’s love was visible and tangible in the joyful tears, laughter, and hugs.

Warrior Van #1

Mrs. Tyink’s van was driven by her husband Scott carrying students (left to right back row) Jenna Houskamp, Zach Foreman, (middle row) Chloe Mitchell, Carly Betten, Alyssa Eekhoff, and (front row) Grave VanBeek and Claudia Kingma.

Warrior Van #2

Dr. Taylor drove van #1 with (left to right) David Clausing, Luke Moorhead, Ben Waldo, Emma Visker, Ella Buursma, and Abby Sweetman.

“It is a blessing to see God at work in our school and in our community. This year we delivered to a family that we prayed with last year because the father had just lost his job. When we visited this year we learned that he now has a job. We were able to pray with them again and thank God for His work in their lives,” shared Robin Tyink.

The theme at WMC this year was living in an Authentic Biblical Community. Giving with a heart of love that builds community within both the school and with our neighbors and the community at large.

Matt Smith, Spiritual Development coordinator, was pleased with the student effort, “I am always amazed at the way our community of students, staff, and families come together to reflect God’s love for us and give to others. That is what Christmas is about.”

Building Relationships in the Community

This year we delivered to a family that we prayed with last year because the father had just lost his job. When we visited this year we learned that he now has a job. We were able to pray with them again and thank God for His work in their lives.

Project Grace is always a highlight of the year for Pastor Greer, “It has been a blessing to see our students work to benefit others and to see God work through WMC students and have them see first hand the power of giving to others. This project aligns with our mission to educate with excellence, integrate faith with knowledge, equip students to work and serve Christ in their communities.”

Krystle Wagner from The Grand Haven Tribune reported:

(Chloe) Mitchell (WMC senior) thanked (Robin) Tyink for her giving heart and showing students what it means to be selfless. “WMC helped instill the spirit of giving into all of us,” Mitchell said.

WMC helped instill the spirit of giving into all of us

As students returned from stores and wrapped gifts, Greer said it was a “moving day” at the school. By participating in Project Grace, Greer said he hopes students learn that everyone is created in God’s image regardless of their socioeconomics and race.

Read the FULL STORY on Project Grace in The Grand Haven Tribune.

To learn more about Project Grace or to inquire about submitting your family for consideration for Christmas 2020 click here.

Western Michigan Christian (WMC) High School and Middle School (7-12th) is located at 455 East Ellis Rd. Muskegon, including 355 students from 5 countries, 30 cities, and 75 churches. WMC is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools(WMCS), a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian (PK-6) and New Era Christian (PK-8). The WMCS system works under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality PK-12 Christian Education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs.

Please >> click here to contact WMCS.

How Many Licks to Get to the Center of a Tootsie Pop?

Mr. Aardema’s AP Calculus class finds out

Calculations vary from 295 to 492

Students noted time, licks, volume and radius to make calculations. Licks were estimated at 50 per thirty seconds.

Tootsie Pop Lab

Western Michigan Christian (WMC) High School and Middle School (7-12th) is located at 455 East Ellis Rd. Muskegon, including 360 students from 5 countries, 30 cities, and 75 churches. WMC is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools(WMCS), a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian (PK-6) and New Era Christian (PK-8). The WMCS system works under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality PK-12 Christian Education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Please >> click here to contact WMCS.

First Year Robotics Team Wins Award

The Western Michigan Christian High School First Robotics team entered their first-ever competiton and earned the most points by a rookie team and brought home the rookie trophy. Here is a link to the award-winning event at Orchard View, including the team walking through the congratulatory line after receiving their award.

Team Captain Siyabulela (Paul) Tyaliti reflects on the season

I miss Robotics already. I enjoyed every moment of building our robot during build season and every moment of competing on last Friday’s and Saturday’s competition. I can’t wait for the next competition at East Kentwood High School on March 29th and March 30th. Hopefully practice goes well on Saturday. It was nice working with everyone on the team. I really thank the Lord for bringing across some of the smartest people I’ve met at WMC and allowing me to work together with them in our school’s robotics team. I love all the friends I’ve made and people I’ve worked with in robotics. One of the things I’m thankful for the most is to be amongst people include me in everything we do and share fun times and memories with me regardless of one’s shyness to socialize or personality. I can’t wait for our Robotics celebration. Seeing the Lord’s hand in Robotics was awesome. Through all the stressful times when things did not go so well or when things did not go as planned to even all the triumphs and comebacks we had, one of the most memorable things from all those times is that no matter what we always stuck together as a team. One of the things I love about our team is the way we’re all united and bond together as a team. From what I’ve experienced in our team, I think we’re far more than a team. Being part of the team has shown me that it’s not just being part of a team but also being part of a family and a community where everyone values one another and each other’s ideas. It’s pretty saddening that Robotics is about to be over for the year quite soon. It was pretty neat to be together with people who have similar interests to me and to get to not be the only stereotypical ‘nerd’ in the room. Getting to know each other better as a team and as individuals was pretty fun.

Team enters final competition at East Kentwood HS March 28-30

Coach Dan Garland takes his team, senior captain Paul Tyaliti, sophomores Caiden Flint, Luke Soave, Trent Wallace, and freshmen Ben Ferrier and Peter Brink to East Kentwood to compete in their final competition of the 2018-19 season. Here is a link to that event, including a watch live link.

The team learned a lot this year and although they will be losing their senior captain, they have a lot to build on. Here arwe some of the things they learned:

  • That adversity is something we will experience in our lives and how to handle it.
  • That working as a team is much more efficient than working alone.
  • That failure is an excellent teacher when practicing something.
  • That teammates are there for each other when the going gets tough.

Western Michigan Christian (WMC) High School and Middle School (7-12th) is located at 455 East Ellis Rd. Muskegon, including 360 students from 5 countries, 30 cities, and 75 churches. WMC is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools(WMCS), a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian (PK-6) and New Era Christian (PK-8). The WMCS system works under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality PK-12 Christian Education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Please >> click here to contact WMCS.

Spiritual Emphasis at Western Michigan Christian

Joe Lane, Olivet Nazarene University bring a message of PURPOSE.

Spring Spiritual Emphasis at WMC

Joe Lane opened with sessions studying King David and his life’s purpose.

Olivet Nazarene University closed with breakout sessions.

Creating a Healthy Culture
Every person desires to be respected, heard and known. This workshop looked at how a student can help create that environment in their school on purpose.

Getting Through to Others
People often struggle to get their message across to others. This workshop equipped students with the purpose of communication and help them become more effective.

Building GRIT
Building GRIT into a student’s life will encourage them to keep learning and trying regardless of difficulty. This is important for school and athletics, but it really prepares them for life in the world today!

Confident of the Call
God’s will, calling, plan, purpose, path… They have probably heard those words thrown around; but instead of having clarity, the student feels confused. We addressed the questions: How do you make a decision of what to do with your time and life? What happens if it gets hard? Then
understand how God uses opportunities to challenge and grow people for his glory.

DISC: What is your style?
Learn about behavior styles so students can understand themselves better and work more effectively with others. They will interactively walk through the four different behavior styles, and discuss how to flex.

Western Michigan Christian (WMC) High School and Middle School (7-12th) is located at 455 East Ellis Rd. Muskegon, including 360 students from 5 countries, 30 cities, and 75 churches. WMC is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools(WMCS), a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian (PK-6) and New Era Christian (PK-8). The WMCS system works under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality PK-12 Christian Education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Please >> click here to contact WMCS.