Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Megan Jenkins: ECS alumnus

We are privileged to hear from another daughter of middle school teacher Mrs. Jenkins-- Megan Jenkins is a 2006 graduate of ECS, but even before that she was very involved in the Everett Christian community. She has great memories of her time here. 

1. Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Megan Jenkins and I am a 2006 grad. I went on to attend Cascade High School in Everett, WA and from there to obtain a Bachelor of Education degree from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. I currently teach Grade 5 in Chilliwack, British Columbia. After the wonderful experience I had at ECS, it has contributed to my desire and drive to become a teacher, and I love it!

2. What is your connection to ECS? When did you attend? 

I attended ECS from Kindergarten to 8th grade (1997 – 2006). In Kindergarten, I had Mrs. Hammingh, 1st grade my teacher was Mrs. Bishop, 2nd grade my teacher was Miss De Jong, 3rd / 4th grade my teacher was Mrs. De Jong and Mrs. Clayton, and 5th to 8th grade my teachers were Mr. Bishop, Mr. D and Mrs. Jenkins (my mom). I spent my school days at Everett Christian, but I spent much of this time throughout my years before, during and after attending ECS in the afterhours. Whether it was helping my mom and various teachers setting up classrooms, serving and cleaning up after auctions, Saturdays spent helping my dad bring computers to ECS, or helping with the graduation ceremonies through the years…I greatly valued my time spent with people in this community.

3. Please share one special memory connected with ECS.

There are many special memories I have from my time at Everett Christian, so it is hard to pick just one. But, I think one of the most special parts about ECS is its small, welcoming, genuine community. There are always friendly faces eager and willing to serve, and the 7th / 8th grade class trip was an awesome opportunity for this. I particularly remember our Leavenworth White Water Rafting trip. I remember the games we played, the floods that filled our tents at night, the one or two kids that wouldn’t wake up in the morning, the intensity of the rafting, our various campground duties etc. There were many events and memorable experiences that I could name from this trip, but the one things that sticks out to me was the community we had within our class. Whether it was the volunteering attitudes of parents, the camaraderie between students, or the fun games played…the community and sense of togetherness we shared was a trademark (I believe) of ECS.

4. What is your favorite, or the best, thing about ECS?

The community and sense of togetherness and inclusiveness we had was by far one of my favourite things about ECS. We always did things together, and included everyone in all of our activities. Especially in those tough Middle School years, ECS provided us all with a safe place to truly be ourselves and figure out ourselves in a way that was honest. I am truly grateful for this safe, special time at ECS

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Ronald Fisher: ECS alumnus

Ronald Fisher is a 1952 graduate of Everett Christian School. He shares a very unique perspective, having been involved in the school community for so many years. Thanks, Ronald, for taking the time to be interviewed! 

1. Tell us about you and your family. 

My mother’s maiden name was Pieternella (Nellie) Roodzant.  The Roodzants came to Oak Harbor, Washington, from the Netherlands in 1913.  My mom, one of ten, was 8 years old.  They came to Everett where my mom worked in the hospital.  There she met Frank Fisher, the ice man, who was Roman Catholic.  When they married neither side of the family was very excited about that.  They were blessed with three children.  Jack was born in 1927, attended Everett Christian and Everett High.  He died in 1986 of cancer.  My sister Joan was born in 1935, attended Everett Christian and died at age 13 in 1949 of a brain hemorrhage.  

I was born in 1938 and attended Everett Christian.  After my sister died in 1949 I came back to Everett Christian in the fall.  We viewed a movie of a missionary doctor.  I knew then I was being called to ministry.  I graduated from Everett Christian when Keith Kuipers was our teacher and principal.  He was and is a wonderful person.  

I then attended Rosehill Jr. High and graduated from Everett High in 1956.  I went to Calvin College for one year. Then I worked at Reinell Boat Works in Snohomish for one year.  Then I attended the Reformed Bible Institute or RBI (now Kuyper College) for three years.  There I met Gerry Vanderhill.  We were married in 1961 when I graduated from RBI.  Gerry had one year to go to graduate.  I served at Hillcrest Chapel in Grand Rapids, Michigan for one year and realized I needed more schooling.  I went back to Calvin College graduating in January 1965.  By then we had two children and I was working at least two nights a week.  I continued on to Calvin Seminary graduating in 1969.  We have been blessed to have served six Christian Reformed  (CRC) churches, as well as a being part time minister of congregational life for seven and a half years following retirement.  All of our ministry has been in Canada.

We have been blessed with four children.  Melanie was born in 1963, attended Calvin College and Aquinas College, both in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She now has her own accounting business in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Timothy was born in 1964, attended Redeemer University College, Calvin College, and Central Michigan University. Tim works at Agfa in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; a hospital software company.  Tim and Jeanne and their family live in Waterloo, Ontario. Michael was born in 1970, attended Calvin College, the University of Waterloo and Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.  Mike has his own business called Aterica Health which develops medical software.  Mike and Amy and their family live in Waterloo, Ontario. Christine was born in 1970, attended Loyalist College in Trenton, Ontario.  Christine is a special education teacher and lives with her husband Brad Faucet in Vernon, BC. 

2. Have you seen ECS change over the years? If so, please explain.

ECS has changed physically much over the years.  It seems that each time we are out west changes have been made from the original two room school I attended,

3. What do you hope the future holds for Everett Christian School?

That the Lord will continue to bless ECS with faithful supporters and continued blessings to all who attend as well as the staff and board.

4. What would you tell a current ECS student or ECS family is the most important thing to remember about their time at Everett Christian?

Listen to the Word and the Holy Spirit each moment the Lord gives you.  You never know what great adventures our Gracious God has in store for you as you seek to serve Him in His glorious kingdom. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sarah Jenkins: ECS alumnus

Sarah Jenkins is the daughter of Elaine Jenkins, the language arts and social studies teacher in our middle school. Sarah attended and graduated from Everett Christian. She's telling us a bit about her current life, as well as her memories of ECS. 

1. Tell us about yourself. Where do you live, what's your educational background (after ECS), what are you doing now? 

I am 22 years old and am currently living in Nampa, Idaho where I attend Northwest Nazarene University. I am a senior here and will graduate in May, 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology/ Pre-Medical. I just finished up my last season of competitive soccer here at NNU and am focused on finishing my degree. I am currently in the application process for medical school. Oh, and I graduated from Cascade High School (Everett) in 2013.

2. When did you attend ECS?

I attended ECS for kindergarten through eighth grade, which was 2000- 2008.  

3. Please share a special memory from your time there.

Where do I start? Either in the third or fourth grade, my class took a trip to Padilla Bay, which is an estuary. I think my love for science may have been sparked during this trip, because I remember being so fascinated by the idea of two bodies of water coming together to create an entire environment in this estuary that only certain animals could live in. I also remember the very sweet transition through the school of being a first grader and looking up to middle schoolers during book buddies or field days, to then being the middle schooler and the leader of the field day team or the book buddy facilitator and what a great perspective that gave me on responsibility, even in the eighth grade!

4. What do you think is the best thing about ECS?

Hands down the best thing about Everett Christian is the genuine, safe place they have created for the student to be developed in the mind, in relationships, and in Christ. Somehow, in a superficial and temporary society, Everett Christian has established and maintained a culture where a child is safe to ask questions, to make mistakes, and is loved by faculty. I absolutely owe the development of my character, not to mention my superior basis of education, to the foundation facilitated by ECS and its exemplary faculty.

5. What are your hopes and dreams for the future of ECS?

My hope would be that Everett Christian can continue to exemplify Christ’s love through everyone, from the faculty to the students, as they did so well while I attended, and as I know they continue to do. My hope would also be that parents continue to realize how important their role is in the success of a place like ECS.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Jennifer Hays: ECS teacher and parent

Jennifer Hays is both a teacher at ECS and mom to three current ECS students. Here she tells about a great memory of the school, and shares the special perspective she has being both teacher and parent. 

1.  Tell us a bit about you and your family. My name is Jenn Hays, and my husband Darrick and I have four kids: Micah 15, Jacob 13, Audriel 12, and Naomi 10.  Darrick and I grew up on the same street in Alta Loma, California.  After high school Darrick joined the Navy and I attended Dordt College to earn my BA in elementary education.  Darrick served 20 years in the Navy and Bremerton was our last duty station.  We have lived all over the U.S.  I have taught in many different states and even homeschooled for 5 years.  Now that Darrick is retired he works for TLD, a support company to Boeing and I teach third/fourth grade language arts and Bible, and work with the preschoolers at Everett Christian.

2. How & when did you get connected at ECS? I am starting my third year of teaching at ECS.  The year I started teaching was the year Micah started 8th grade, Jacob started 6th grade and Naomi started 2nd grade at ECS.  Audriel joined our family last year through adoption and was in 5th grade last year.  We believe very strongly in Christian Education and the mission of Everett Christian School.

3.  Please share one of your favorite memories from ECS. We have had many special memories here at ECS and look forward to many more.  A favorite memory we have as a family was when Darrick spoke at a special Veteran's Day chapel.  It was very touching to witness the students honoring those who have served our country.

4.  What's the best thing about Everett Christian School? The best thing about ECS is the people! The families truly love the school and support the teachers.  It is an amazing community to be a part of.

5.  What are your hopes and dreams for the future of Everett Christian? Our hopes and dreams for ECS are that the Lord will continue to bless this unique and special school.  It is our prayer that the Lord will fill ECS to overflowing (with students!)

6. Jenn, how does being both a parent AND a teacher give you a unique perspective on the school? Being a parent and a teacher give me a special "behind-the-scenes" look at ECS.  The commitment the teachers have to the Lord and Christian education is something very special and she is so blessed to be a part of it.  I have witnessed how hard the staff works to incorporate the through-lines into every area of their teaching and guiding of the students.  As a parent I have been overwhelmed by the care and compassion the teachers have shown our children.  When our newest daughter joined our family in August 2015, the teachers met her where she was at and focused on building a relationship of trust.  It was just what she needed and ECS has been a great place for her to belong and grow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Welcome to ECS Voices, from Mr. Joel Alberts (Principal)

God has blessed Everett Christian School with over ninety years of providing a quality Christian education to local families.  Ninety years means there are thousands of stories from grandparents, parents, children, faculty and staff related to their time spent on the corner of 23rd St. and Cedar St. in North Everett.  Some of these tales may make you laugh, some may make you cry. The intent of the “ECS Voices” blog is to celebrate God’s faithfulness to the school in the past, to share people’s memories of their days spent at Everett Christian, to let us know where people have have gone after ECS, and to share what people hope Everett Christian School will become in the future.  This blog is not meant to be my voice, but to be a place where various members the ECS community have an opportunity to speak and express themselves.

Thank you to my wife, Kelly Alberts, who has agreed to be the editor of this blog. Thank you, also, to Christina Swinburnson for bravely volunteering to be the first voice heard.  

If you would like to suggest someone who has a great story to tell and should be a voice on the blog, please send me an e-mail at or call the school at (425) 259-3213.

I hope you will enjoy this special opportunity to hear from different ECS voices.

In His Service,
Mr. Joel Alberts (Principal at ECS)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Christina Swinburnson: ECS parent

Christina Swinburnson is the wife of an Everett Christian School board member, and the mother of three current ECS students. She has been involved with the school for the past six years. 

1.) Please tell us about your family. 

My name is Christina Swinburnson, wife to Benji.  We both grew up in Lynden, Washington, and attended public school there.  We have five children: Josephine (5th grade at ECS), Margot (3rd grade at ECS), Ivan (Kindergarten at ECS), Anna (3 yrs. old) and a baby boy on the way. 

2.) How did you first hear about Everett Christian School? How long have you been involved with the school?

We were first interested in ECS when our oldest daughter was four.  We were looking at Christian Schools near us that were centered on Christ and taught from a biblical worldview.  We had known about ECS from some families in our church who had sent their children to this school.  We have several members in their 60s and 70s who attended ECS when they were children. 

3.) What is one special memory you have of your time at ECS?

A special memory I have of Everett Christian School was from one of the first chapels I attended.  It was such a blessing to see the children begin the school day opening God's word and singing praises to the Lord of all the earth.  

4.) In your opinion, what is the best thing about Everett Christian School?

My favorite thing about ECS is the teachers.  They work hard to teach the children all the basics of education, but also consciously do this from a biblical and Christ-centered worldview.  At the same time, they have exemplified the character of Christ in their patience and love towards the children and their families according to their differing needs.

5.) What are your hopes for the future of ECS? What are your dreams? 

My hopes and dreams for ECS is that more families would find this gem of a school and join in the pursuit of educating children in the fear of God.  A dream would be that one day a high school would be added to ECS.