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Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School — Evergreen Campus

Mary Witteveen, Team 1 Teacher

Where did you begin your career in education?
I began my career at West Side Christian School's Pine Street building in 1976.

How many years have you been working at Grand Rapids Christian Schools?
39 years

What schools/buildings have worked at either before coming to GRCS or while at GRCS?
I have worked at West Side Christian's Pine Street building, Seymour Christian, and three different campuses of Evergreen Christian.

Do you have a favorite year that you worked? What made that year stand out in your mind?
I don't really have a favorite year. There are far too many favorites, but I always loved the first day of school each year and the early months that follow. It's an exciting time for kindergarteners and first graders!  Building community during those first months is always challenging and rewarding. It's just a special time!

Tell about a moment in your career that you will never forget, possibly at an event or with a student.
In 43 years I think I have enough funny stories to write a book, but one special moment was just this year when I met a former parent whose son I had as a kindergartener many years ago. She told me that her son really needed me that year, but she as a parent,  she had needed me even more.  It just made me realize how each child and their family becomes a part of my family each year. It was super special!

Tell about your greatest learning from a colleague, student, parent or PD Day.
I think my greatest learning professionally took place when I worked with several teachers and administrators for two years on the curriculum and pillars of a new Grand Rapids Christian School venture in starting Evergreen Christian.  It taught me to look at the big picture instead of the small details. It was very collaborative, challenging, and rewarding.

What are you looking forward to or what is your next adventure?
I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, babysitting my darling granddaughter, doing some traveling at times other than school vacation times, reading, volunteering, and getting up later than 5:30am!