New Superintendent Announced!
It is with great pleasure that the Grand Rapids Christian Schools Board of Trustees announces Aaron Winkle as our next Superintendent, effective July 1, 2024. Aaron’s selection is the culmination of an extensive and very thorough six-month search by our Search Committee and consultants from JobfitMatters.
In Aaron we are blessed to find the candidate we were praying for. He has demonstrated and lived out, in both his career and personal life, the highest levels of Christ-centered spiritual leadership, passion for leading effective teams, strategic thinking, cultural competency, and success in cultivating philanthropy. Aaron also closely aligns with the five Critical Leadership Benchmarks that the Search Committee developed using feedback from a GRCS Community-wide survey and fact-finding week conducted by JobfitMatters and the Search Committee last May. We are grateful God led him to us as we build on our 100+ year history, including these past 20 years under Tom DeJonge's servant leadership.
For the past 7.5 years, Aaron has lead Living Stones Academy here in Grand Rapids, nearly doubling its enrollment over that period. Under his leadership, Living Stones Academy created its first five-year strategic plan and completed two capital campaigns, raising more than $10 million.
Prior to his tenure at Living Stones Academy, Aaron spent nearly 14 years at Calvin University, where he worked in the student life division, serving in such roles as Associate Chaplain. Aaron also spent a year in Lithuania as an interim administrator at LCC International University. His early career experience includes playing professional basketball in Europe and coaching college basketball.
Aaron is a graduate of Calvin University and was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church after completing his Master of Divinity degree from Calvin Seminary. A native of Lake City, Mich., he and his wife of nearly 24 years, Betsy, have four children: Quincy (19), Annie (16), Jackson (12) and Nala (11). The family also has two goldendoodles, Baltic (8) and Rosa (2). Baltic is a therapy dog and currently works at Living Stones Academy.
When not leading Living Stones Academy or practicing his faith at Oakdale Park CRC where he and his family are members, Aaron enjoys coaching his kids’ basketball teams, reading, traveling, sharing delicious food with family and friends, and spending time on Michigan’s many beaches.
As Aaron completes the academic year with Living Stones, he will begin a transition with Tom. We are excited for you to get to know Aaron. You and the GRCS community will have several opportunities to meet and engage with him and his family over the coming months, including at our 100-year anniversary dinner to be held in the Steelcase Ballroom at DeVos Place on March 20, 2024. In the meantime, you can learn more about Aaron and the search process in the FAQ.
We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Search Committee and our consultants at JobfitMatters for their hard work and dedication over these past six months exploring a large and diverse pool of candidates spanning several states and two countries, all with a wide range of career experience and different ethnic backgrounds.
As the search process officially concludes, the important work remains of ensuring a smooth leadership transition. We look forward to warmly welcoming the Winkle family into the GRCS community as we look to carry on our mission to provide a world-class Christian education, preparing our students to be effective servants of Christ in a contemporary society.
Please continue to pray with us for the Winkle family, Tom and his family, our faculty and staff and the Board of Trustees that we lead well by God’s grace and with His direction throughout this transition.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and with gratitude to God,
Rebecca Jordan Heys, President
Grand Rapids Christian Schools Board of Trustees
Click on a picture to learn more about each committee member.