God has been good to Pella Christian and we have exciting news to share with you!

New Hires for 23/24

We thank God for His faithfulness through the hiring of the following individuals for the 23/24 school year. Here are our future teachers/staff members that we are celebrating! Welcome to Pella Christian Schools:

  • Mrs. Brittany Bowers, PCGS 1st Grade
  • Mtro. Lorenzo Escalante, PCHS Spanish Immersion
  • Mstra. Carolina Galdámez, PCGS 1st Grade Spanish Immersion
  • Mstra. Belkys Gil, PC Spanish Immersion
  • Mr. Jeff Lenderink, PCGS Custodian
  • Mstra. Esmirna Rodriguez, PCGS 4th Grade Spanish Immersion
  • Mr. Michael Turnley, PCHS Social Studies
  • Ms. Jordan Van Maanen, PCGS Middle School ELA and History
  • Mr. Bradley Westervelt, PCHS/PCGS Band Director
  • Mrs. Sue Brouwer, PCGS Finance office
  • Ms. Rebekah Cashen, PCHS World Languages
  • Mrs. Allison TerLouw, PCGS 4 year old Preschool Teacher
  • Mr. Jacob Baker, PCHS Vocational Agriculture and FFA Advisor
  • Mrs. Katie Dolejsi, PCGS Administrative Assistant
  • Mstra. Lauren Dowie, PCGS SI assistant teacher and SI Onboarding Specialist
  • Mr. Larry Hessing, PCHS Mathematics
  • Mrs. Grace Munk, PCGS 3s assistant teacher
  • Mrs. Hillary Storm, PCGS 4s assistant teacher
  • Mrs. Sandy Van Veldhuizen, PCHS Mathematics

Please read a short bio of each new staff member below and join us in praising the Lord for bring these individuals to Pella Christian! It is a joy to welcome them to the PC community and we look forward to living God’s Story with them in 2023/2024.

We ask for your continued prayers throughout the ongoing hiring season. For a list of open positions, visit our website at: https://www.pceagles.org/about/employment/

Dan Zylstra
Pella Christian Head of Schools

Meet our New Staff

Ms. Cashen

We are pleased to announce Ms. Rebekah Cashen as Pella Christian High School’s new world language teacher. Ms. Cashen will graduate from Central College this Spring. She has been a member of the women’s basketball team and has served in various student tutor roles while at Central College. She shares that “education is an extension of the home. My job is to guide students to use language to learn about the world and people around them. I am creating independent thinkers who can use this knowledge to learn about God’s creation and about his Word.” Please join us in welcoming Ms. Cashen to the Pella Christian community, her email is cashenr@pceagles.org.

Miss Allison

We are pleased to announce Mrs. Allison Ter Louw as Pella Christian Grade School’s new 4 year old Preschool teacher. Miss Allison shared, “I’m excited to teach four year old preschool at Pella Christian this upcoming school year! I’m a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with majors in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. I’ve taught for 8 years in 1st grade, Pre-K, and STEM. The last 6 years I’ve taught here in Pella at Lincoln Elementary and Madison Elementary. My husband, Andrew, and I have three children; Ava (7), Anderson (4), and Archer (5 months). Our older two children are excited to attend PC together next year! I’ve always been passionate about teaching, loving, and leading children! I’m looking forward to continuing that work in a Christ-centered environment with the shared mission of loving God and others through a biblical perspective.” Please join us in welcoming Miss Allison to the Pella Christian community. Her email is terlouwa@pceagles.org.

Mrs. Bowers

We are pleased to announce Mrs. Brittany Bowers as Pella Christian Grade School’s new first grade teacher. Mrs. Bowers shared, “I have a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.S. in Teacher Effectiveness and Professional Development with a concentration in K-12 reading. I have 7 years of teaching experience, the last two years serving as a K-3 Reading Resource teacher at Hillside Elementary School in West Des Moines. I have primarily taught lower elementary and have a huge passion for teaching kids how to read and to cultivate a love of reading and learning. It is my professional passion to see children learn and grow individually and within their communities. There is no better teacher than our Lord Jesus Christ and what could be better than creating an academic environment that incorporates the teachings of Christ and the truth of the Bible. I absolutely love the community that develops within a Christian school setting and I feel so blessed to be part of your child’s academic and faith journey! I am originally from Stafford, Virginia. I have lived in the midwest for 13 years and I have been in Pella for almost two years. My husband, Blane, and I have two daughters, Charlotte (8) and Ruthie (5). I enjoy cooking and baking, spending time outdoors with my family, exercising, gathering with my church small group, and, of course, reading!” Please join us in welcoming Mrs. Bowers to the Pella Christian community, her email address is bowersb@pceagles.org.

Mtro. Escalante

We are pleased to announce Mtro. Lorenzo Escalante as Pella Christian High School’s new Spanish Immersion teacher. Mtro. Escalante is a graduate of Universidad Autonoma de Yucatán and has taught at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels in the Yucatán, México area. He shares that the “Lord Jesus is Sovereign over all the aspects of my life, and this means that whatever I do, I do it as for the Lord and not for men, including the practice of my profession. One of the things I like to say to my students is that they have a unique role to play in this life, something that nobody else is going to do because God made us part of His story to carry out that specific task. I believe Christian education has the potential to change the world and to redeem concepts that have been distorted from the original God’s design.” Please join us in welcoming Mtro. Escalante to the Pella Christian community, his email is escalantel@pceagles.org.

Mtra. Galdámez

For the 2023-24 school year, Maestra Carolina Galdámez will serve as PCGS’s 1st grade Spanish Immersion teacher. Maestra Galdámez is from is from Chiapas, México and holds a BA from the Universidad Autonoma de Chiapas. She has taught English as a world language to students in middle school, as well as teaching Kindergarten at a bilingual school. She also taught one summer at a language camp in the United States. Maestra Galdámez shares that “The Lord Jesus is everything to me. I cannot make any decisions before telling Him. Children need to know and learn subjects taking into consideration that the Bible is our handbook so everything they learn should start from the Bible” She is involved in her church by serving on the worship team; she loves to sing and play her guitar and hopes to use these skills in her classroom. Her email address is galdamezc@pceagles.org if you would like to welcome her to the PC community.

Mtra. Gil

Maestra Belkys Gil will serve as one of Pella Christian’s High school Spanish Immersion teachers. Maestra Gil, like Maestra Rodríguez, has a BA in Education with a specialty in teaching English from the Universidad Dominico-Americano and a MA in School Management from the Universidad Iberoamericana. She has taught 5th grade at the elementary school level and also taught a variety of subjects in the middle and high school levels including: Math, Life and Earth Science and currently History. Maestra Gil shares for her teaching in a Christian manner is expressed by “…a very famous ACSI [Association of Christian Schools International] phrase “All truth is God’s truth” definitely we can prove that all knowledge comes from and through Him. Leading our students with God’s truth will help them develop four fundamental aspects for their lives: knowing the truth, knowing God, understanding the role that God gave to man, and His design for the social order.” Maestra Gil will be moving to Pella from the Dominican Republic with her husband Damaso Ureña. We are excited to have the Ureña Gil family join the Pella Christian community. Her email address is gilb@pceagles.org if you would like to welcome Maestra Gil to Pella Christian Schools.

Mr. Lenderink

We are excited to announce Mr. Jeff Lenderink as Pella Christian Grade School’s new head custodian. Mr. Lenderink shared, “I moved to Pella with my wife in 2016. I am the father of three and grandfather of six, two of which attend PCGS. I love Christian education and am excited to build relationships at PCGS.” Please join us in welcoming Mr. Lenderink to the Pella Christian community, his email address is lenderinkj@pceagles.org.

Mtra. Rodriguez

Maestra Esmirna Rodríguez will serve as Pella Christian’s 4th grade Spanish Immersion teacher. Maestra Rodríguez has a BA in Education with a specialty in teaching English from the Universidad Dominico-Americano and a MA in Applied Linguistics for the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language from the Universidad Autónomia de Santo Domingo. She has taught a variety of grades at the elementary school level and also taught at the university level in a teacher’s training program. Maestra Rodríguez shares that “[Teaching from a Reformed perspective] means to wrap the school curriculum with the Biblical knowledge. We can integrate this perspective by connecting information, history, vocabulary in books with the Truth and wisdom found in the Bible. Also, by modeling direct or indirectly God’s way. [It means] having students not only keep God’s word in their mind and hearts but teaching them to act accordingly.” Although she is from the Dominican Republic, Maestra Rodríguez will be moving to Pella from Jamaica (where her husband Jose Alberto Melo works) with their three children: daughters, Nyah and Paloma and son Itamar. We are excited to have them join the Pella Christian community. Her email address is rodrigueze@pceagles.org if you would like to welcome Maestra Rodríguez to Pella Christian Schools.

Mr. Turnley

We are pleased to announce Mr. Michael Turnley as Pella Christian High School’s new social studies teacher. Mr. Turnley will graduate from Central College this Spring. He is a member of the men’s tennis team and has served as a student ambassador within the Admissions Office at Central College. Mr. Turnley shares that “I am interested in teaching social studies at PC because of the opportunity it presents to integrate faith based lessons.” I am excited about “being able to work with a group of teachers and students who are passionate about learning and growing in God’s world.” Please join us in welcoming Mr. Turnley to the Pella Christian community, his email is turnleym@pceagles.org.

Ms. Van Maanen

We are excited to announce Ms. Jordan Van Maanen as Pella Christian Grade School’s new Middle School Language Arts and History teacher. Ms. Van Maanen shared. “I am super excited to be joining the staff at Pella Christian and am looking forward to meeting the students. I just finished my first year of teaching at Van Allen elementary in Chariton.  I graduated from Pella Christian in 2018 and Central College in 2021. In my free time I enjoy reading, drinking coffee, and playing pickleball with my family. I am very excited about returning to Pella Christian and providing students with the same faith-based quality education that was so impactful to me growing up.” Please join us in welcoming Ms. Van Maanen to Pella Christian community, her email address is vanmaanenj@pceagles.org.

Mr. Westervelt

We are pleased to announce Mr. Bradley Westervelt as Pella Christian’s new instrumental music teacher. Mr. Westervelt recently graduated from State University of New York at Fredonia. Throughout high school and college, Mr. Westervelt has been an active member of various instrumental groups, including orchestra, marching band, concert band, and brass, woodwind, and percussion ensembles. He shares that “I plan to teach and present music as a way of using God-given abilities and talents to serve and worship the Lord. In teaching students, music will be seen as an important avenue that can be used as a way to express admiration and praise to the Lord, as well as being an activity that can be used to encourage fellowship among peers.” He also shares that he is excited about Christian Education “because of the unification that can take place between Christian faith and learning.” Please join us in welcoming Mr. Westervelt to the Pella Christian community, his email is westerveltb@pceagles.org.

Mr. Baker

We are pleased to announce Mr. Jacob Baker as Pella Christian High School’s next Vocational Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor. Mr. Baker has one year of teaching experience in the West Fork Community School District as a science teacher and middle school FFA advisor. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University and Master of Science degrees in Agriculture Education from both Texas Tech University and Iowa State University. Mr. Baker describes his teaching as experiential learning with real-world life skills and shared that he is excited “to teach students about agriculture and how to be leaders and Christians in the agriculture industry.” Please join us in welcoming Mr. Baker to the Pella Christian community, his email is bakerj@pceagles.org.

Mrs. Dolejsi

Pella Christian Grade School is pleased to welcome Mrs. Katie Dolejsi as an Administrative Assistant. Katie and husband, Mike have been married for 10 years this fall. They have two children – Johanna and Jameson – who will be entering into 3rd grade and Kindergarten. Katie grew up in Pella and attended Pella Christian Schools, and graduated in 2005. She has done many things since then, but has been a nurse for the past 8 years. In her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes, being in nature, and exploring new travel destinations.

Katie shared, “I am so excited to back at PCGS and hope to bless students and families with a friendly smile each day. It’s such an incredible blessing to have Pella Christian in our community and as an educational option for my own children, as we pray for them to become servant-hearted individuals that share the light and love of Jesus.” Please join us in welcoming Mrs. Dolejsi to Pella Christian, her email is dolejsik@pceagles.org.

Mtra. Dowie

Pella Christian Grade School is pleased to welcome Mstra. Lauren Dowie as a Spanish Immersion Preschool Assistant teacher and Spanish Immersion Teacher Onboarding Specialist. Lauren, her husband and two boys recently moved to Pella.

Lauren shared, “Growing up, I was fortunate enough to attend a Christian school with faith based education. Upon graduating I had the opportunity to live abroad and serve at an orphanage in Mexico for five years. I am so excited to become part of the Pella Christian family and look forward to all the God has in store for this year and the years to come! .” Please join us in welcoming Mtra. Dowie to Pella Christian, her email is dowiel@pceagles.org

Mr. Hessing

Pella Christian High School is pleased to welcome Mr. Larry Hessing back as a part-time math teacher to teach Intro to Algebra and Pre-Calculus. Mr. Hessing retired from PCHS three years ago after 44 years of teaching, of which 27 years were at PCHS. We are thankful to Mr. Hessing for his willingness to fill a need at PCHS and in doing so he looks forward to “meeting new students and enjoying a classroom of excellent math learning.” Mr. Hessing’s Deep Hope is for “his students to appreciate mathematics as a model of God’s created order and of human creations, and to consider how mathematics is used for good.” Please join us in welcoming Mr. Hessing back to the classroom at Pella Christian, his email is hessingl@pceagles.org.

Mrs. Munk

Pella Christian Grade School is pleased to welcome Mrs. Grace Munk as a part-time three year old teaching assistant. Grace is married to Jesse Munk and has four kids, Evelyn, Clare, Walter and Eleanor. They are 15, 13, 7 and 4. The Munk family lives outside of Pella on 40 acres and have 7 horses, 5 chickens, 5 cats and a lot of cows.  

Grace shared, “My name is Grace Munk and I am so excited to be a part of the preschool team at Pella Christian. I am really looking forward to see where God is working this year. I love to see how He grows the minds and hearts of His little children and am excited to watch Him work and be a part of it. Looking forward to meeting everyone this year!” Please join us in welcoming Mrs. Grace Munk to the Pella Christian community, her email is munkg@pceagles.org

Mrs. Storm

Pella Christian Grade School is pleased to welcome Mrs. Hillary Storm as a part-time four year old teaching assistant. Hillary is a Pella native and currently resides in Pella with husband, Joel, and three children: Liam (9), Olivia (6), and Alaina (4). She has a Master of Science in Nursing degree and worked as a registered nurse for 12 years at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (Go Hawks!) and most recently, as a substitute school nurse for the Pella Community School District.

Hillary shared, “My family and I are active members of Third Church in Pella. Some of my happiest moments are spent going on family adventures; creating with my kids; spending quality time with family and friends; camping; pool and lake trips; vacationing; and coffee dates. I am excited about my new role at PCGS because it combines two of my passions: my love for Jesus and children. I am excited to teach children about Jesus, His great love for them, and encourage them to be the best version of who God has created them to be.”  Please join us in welcoming Mrs. Hillary Storm to the Pella Christian community, her email is stormh@pceagles.org.

Mrs. Van Veldhuizen

Pella Christian High School is pleased to announce Mrs. Sandy Van Veldhuizen as a part-time math teacher to teach Geometry. Mrs. Van Veldhuizen has taught middle school and high school math at Pekin and Oskaloosa Community School Districts. When asked about teaching from a Reformed Biblical perspective, she shared “that God is the Creator of and Sustainer of everything and math is how we measure and express the orderliness of His creation. It brings God glory to study and learn math because math reveals an aspect of God’s character.” Mrs. Van Veldhuizen describes her teaching as rigorous, encouraging, and nurturing; and shared that she is excited to “proclaim God’s glory revealed through the orderliness of math.” Please join us in welcoming Mrs. Van Veldhuizen to the Pella Christian community, her email is veldhuizens@pceagles.org.