Fall 2014 Update

The Convention Planning Committee is finalizing plans for the 2014 CEA Convention which will be held October 23 and 24 at Holland Christian High School and Central Wesleyan Church. We hope this convention will provide professional stimulation and challenge for each one of you!

Theme: Celebrating the Cloud of Witnesses

Verse: Hebrews 12:1-3

  • Thursday
    • Keynote Speaker: Mary Hulst
    • Opening Worship begins at 9:00 a.m. 
    • Featured Lecturer: Mary Webster-Moore
  • Friday
    • Capstone Speaker: Joy Bonnema
    • Closing Worship begins at 11:30 a.m. (Convention begins at 9:00 a.m.)
    • Featured Lecturer: Jeff Barker

 All of the 2014 CEA Sessions can soon be viewed at www.ceateachers.org. Click on "Convention Planner" on the homepage.

The delegates are invited to attend an important Delegates’ Meeting on Thursday at 10:15 a.m., immediately following the Opening Worship, in Zone C at Central Wesleyan.

2014 CEA Convention Theme: Celebrating the Cloud of Witnesses

The theme of the 2014 Convention is “Celebrating the Cloud of Witnesses.”  Hebrews 12:1-3 gives us encouragement to “run” with the witnesses that were described in chapter 11 in our desire to seek God and His will for us.  Educators have the high calling to “run” with our students.  But, we don’t have to do this alone.  Along with the Holy Spirit’s leading, we have a spiritual support team. We can look to those who have gone before us in this pursuit, and have laid out a heritage of faithfulness in both example and action.  Praise the Lord for our spiritual cloud of witnesses!


2014 CEA Convention Verse: The theme verse of our convention is Hebrews 12:1-3  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Out of respect to speakers and fellow teachers, the Planning Committee requests that those in attendance at meetings not leave until the chairperson indicates the close of the session.

Children and infants may not attend any CEA session or opening or closing worship.  We ask for your cooperation so someone from the Planning Committee will not be forced to ask you to leave.  Contact your hotel for babysitting services or make other arrangements for your children if you choose to take them along to the convention. 

There will be a band reading session and an orchestra reading session, at the convention on Thursday. Be sure to bring your instruments to join in playing through these reading sessions.

Lunch will be available on Thursday in the cafeteria at Holland Christian High School. The cafeteria is not large enough for all of us to eat lunch at once. We ask that half of us eat lunch from 11:55- 12:55 and the other half of us attend sessions. The sessions during the 11:55 – 12:55 time slot are focused more on STEM topics and/or for middle school or high school teachers. We ask that half of us eat lunch from 1:05 – 2:05 as the other half of our members attend sessions. The sessions during the 1:05 – 2:05 time slot are focused more on the language arts and/or for elementary teachers. If you would like to attend sessions during both of those time slots, there will be some box lunches available at “The Well”, first come first serve.

Summary:          11:55 – 12:55 (lunch for Language Arts/Elementary teachers)

                        11:55 – 12:55 (sessions for STEM/Middle or High School teachers)

                        1:05 – 2:05 (lunch for STEM/Middle or High School teachers)

                        1:05 – 2:05 (sessions for Language Arts/Elementary teachers)


Loaves and Fishes are special sessions where each one shares ideas/insights/comments so that the whole group benefits. We get the name “Loaves and Fishes” from the story where we look forward, just like the little boy who offered his lunch to Jesus, to coming with a small amount and leaving blessed with more than we brought. Please consider how you could contribute to the following loaves and fishes sessions.

            Thursday, October 23 from 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

                        Loaves and Fishes for Athletic Directors with Ryan Verver

                        Loaves and Fishes for Theatre Directors with Heather Altena

                        Band Reading Session with Scott VandenBerg

            Thursday, October 23 from 11:55 – 12:55 p.m.

                        Loaves and Fishes for Basketball Coaches in the Gym with Ryan Verver

                        A Few of My Favorite Things (Choir Reading Session) with Randy VanWingerden

                        Loaves and Fishes for Middle and High School Administrators with Troy Stahl

                        Orchestra Reading Session with Scott VandenBerg

            Thursday, October 23 from 2:15 – 3;15 p.m.

                        Drop in Art Session in the Art Room with Ron VanderPol

            Thursday, October 23 from 3:25 – 4:25 p.m.

                        Drop in Art Session in the Art Room with Ron VanderPol

                        Zumba Class in the Gym with Kate Woods


Pre-Registration Required for the following sessions. Email cea@ceateachers to sign up.

a.      Calvin College Visit: Participants will have the opportunity to visit Calvin College from 10:45 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, October 23. The visit will include the opportunity to tour the campus, interact with academic and administrative leadership, learn about the admissions and financial aid process and enjoy a catered lunch. A review of Calvin’s robust study abroad program and athletic offerings will also be included as part of your visit. Transportation to and from campus will be provided by the Calvin College Enrollment Division.

b.     Water Quality Lab: Thursday, October 23 from 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m., presented by Blandford   Nature Center in the Holland Christian High School lab.

c.      Science as Models Lab: Thursday, October 23 from 1:05 p.m. – 2:05 p.m., presented by Calvin College in the Holland Christian High School lab.

d.     Science or Engineering: Thursday, October 23 from 2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m., presented by Calvin College in the Holland Christian High School lab. (Science as Models is a pre-requisite)

{C}e.      {C}Water Quality Lab: Thursday, October 23 from 3:25 p.m. – 4:25 p.m., presented by Blandford Nature Center in the Holland Christian High School lab.

f.       Scaffolding Inquiry Using Model Organisms: Friday, October 24 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m., presented by Van Andel Education Institute.


 Remember that retired Christian school teachers and administrators may attend the convention free of the normal registration charges.  Contact the Executive Secretary, Brenda VanderPloeg, for details.  (cea@ceateachers.org)


Spouse passes may be obtained at Convention Headquarters for $5 and guest passes for educators who are not CEA members are $100. 


Student Teachers may attend the convention for free, if they send in a Student Teacher Voucher to Brenda VanderPloeg. Contact Brenda VanderPloeg (cea@ceateachers.org) for a Student Teacher Voucher.


CEA dues for this year will be $80 per member.  These dues cover your convention registration, a subscription to the Christian Educators Journal, and committee expenses.  Your delegate will be collecting dues in September.


A hotel reservation form was sent to you in the spring and you have hopefully already made your hotel/motel arrangements directly with the hotel/motel.  Another copy is included below. 


2014 CEA 5K Run/Walk – We will have the opportunity to run/walk the Holland Christian High School Cross Country Course. The event begins at 7:14 am, Friday morning. This will be an un-chipped event. There is no cost for this event.


Twitter – Use #CEA2014 to get connected and share your experience.


Two name badges will be sent to each teacher this year for use at the convention.  Those who are being honored for 25 or 35 years of service will receive a special set of name badges. Your delegate will have those for you.


Calvin’s Graduate Department will offer SCECH’s (State Continuing Education Clock Hours) through the State of Michigan. Educators may earn Michigan SCECH’s for attending selected workshops. Specific directions may be obtained from your CEA delegate. You may also stop at Convention Headquarters before the convention starts to pick up a registration form. If you have any questions please stop by headquarters to speak with a Graduate Program representative or stop by the Calvin College display booth in the Exhibits Hall.


CONVENTION HEADQUARTERS will be located just outside the media center at Holland Christian High School.  All session chairpersons will need to check in at convention headquarters.


Back by popular demand, our very own CEA Book Club! Read, Godric by Frederick Buechner and come discuss this book at book club on Thursday, from 1:05 – 2:05 p.m.


The CEA would like to express our deep appreciation to Ron Van Der Pol from Sheboygan County Christian High School for designing the 2014 CEA Banner.


The exhibits will be on Main Street at Holland Christian High School.  Our Chairperson of Exhibits is Jerry Mastenbrook (Kalamazoo Christian Middle School).  He has worked very hard at obtaining vendors to come to our convention.  Please be sure to visit the exhibits and order materials right at the convention whenever possible.  Even when placing an order later in the year, be sure to mention the convention exhibit.  Since the exhibits are an important source of CEA income, we urge your cooperation. 


The Andy Steensma Insurance Agency is a Grand Rapids based agency proudly representing Meemic Insurance company and proud of our partnership with CEA.  Visit our table at the CEA Conference to find out more about our products and services exclusively for the educational community.  Michigan educators, if you are not currently insured with Meemic, stop by or give us a call and find out how you can earn $20 to be donated to CEA for use in Michigan Schools.  Simply request a no-obligation auto or home quote.  You may also visit our website www.AndySteensmaAgency.com and refer to CEA.


No purchase necessary.  This offer is valid until 11/30/14 and only for Michigan residents that are employees of the educational community and members of CEA.  Limit one $20 donation per household.  This offer is not valid for current Meemic members.  You are required to speak with an Andy Steensma Insurance Agency representative  to qualify for the $20 donation.  This offer is only available through the Andy Steensma Insurance Agency.

Providence Bank has donated cash for us to provide exhibitor prizes. Visit the exhibit hall and receive a ticket from the vendors, Drop your ticket off in the prize bowl at the CEA headquarters. We will be drawing prizes each hour.


Christian Educators Association 2014 Election Ballot

Elections for new officers will be held at your school sometime before the convention.  Your CEA delegate will be in charge of the procedure.  The candidates are as follows:

Vice President Elect (vote for 1)

  • Nick DeKoster:  M.Ed. – Loyola University Maryland

Nick is a counselor at Grand Rapids Christian High School. This is his fourth year at Grand Rapids Christian. Previously Nick served for three years at Digital Harbor High School in Baltimare, MD. Nick and his wife have served as college-age ministry leaders in MD, and continue to serve in MI at Central Wesleyan Church participating in Worship Arts.


  • Tim Leugs:  M.A. – Michigan State University

Tim is in his thirteenth year of teacher at Legacy Christian School as a fifth grade teacher. Tim has served in various roles at Camp Roger for eighteen years. Tim has been blessed to previously serve on the CEA Executive Board as the Treasurer. Tim has also served on the CEJ as a panelist for the panel.edu. Tim and his family worship at Lee Street CRC where Tim serves as a member of the Learning Team.


  • Kevin Witte:  M.A. – Calvin College

Kevin currently teaches Western Civilization, U.S. History and World Cultures at Holland Christian High School. He is beginning his third year at Holland Christian High School. Previously, Kevin taught for ten years at Kalamazoo Christian Middle School. Kevin has been blessed to be a part of the CEA Executive Board in the past serving as Executive Board Secretary. Kevin and his family worship at Holland Heights CRC where Kevin has served as an elder, worship leader and small group leader.


Secretary Elect (vote for 1)

  • Karen Strikwerda:  M.A. Grand Valley State University

Karen is beginning her ninth year at Holland Christian as a kindergarten teacher. Previously, Karen taught for three years at Grand Haven Christian School, for two years at Timothy Christian School, for one year at Jarvis District Christian School in Ontario, and for one year at Dunnville/Smithville Christian School in Ontario. Karen serves on Holland Christian’s Curriculum Council and Report Card Committee and is involved with teaching young children at church.


  • Ryan Verver: M.A. – Governors State University

Ryan is beginning his sixteenth year at Southwest Chicago Christian at Tinley Park as an 8th grade Math, Science and Bible teacher as well as the Athletic Director. Previously, Ryan has served as a chairperson and a speaker for CEA. Ryan worships at Living Spring Community Church where he serves as a deacon and a youth group sponsor. Ryan is also a baseball umpire and enjoys training others to become umpires.




From:  Brenda VanderPloeg, Executive Secretary

            Christian Educators Association

            Phone:  616.669.3497   Fax: 616.662.0484

email:  cea@ceateachers.org

Date:   MAY, 2014


This important housing/lodging information is being sent to you in preparation for our fall 2014 CEA Convention which will be held in Holland, MI on October 23 and 24.  (More convention information and a request for dues will be sent to you in the fall.)    EACH CEA MEMBER WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING HIS/HER OWN HOUSING/LODGING RESERVATIONS.

  • You must tell the hotels that you are with CEA to receive these rates.
  • Remember to reserve the correct dates.  The actual CEA Convention is Thursday and Friday, October 23 and 24, 2014.  You will most likely need lodging for Wednesday, October 22 and/or Thursday, October 23. 
  • You will need a credit card number to make a reservation.
  • You will be dealing directly with the hotel/motel for ALL arrangements and will receive a confirmation directly from that hotel/motel.
  • Hotel/motel names, rates, etc. are listed below.


Holland DoubleTree Hotel   -  650 East 24th Street, Holland, MI 49423

3 miles from Holland Christian High School

PH:  616-394-0111

2 Queens or 1 King + Pull out couch for $109.00 (includes breakfast)


Hampton Inn of Holland   - 12427 Felch Street, Holland, MI 49424

6.5 miles from Holland Christian High School

PH: 616-399-8500

2 Queens for $129.00 (includes breakfast)


Holiday Inn Express - 12381 Felch, Holland, MI 49424

6.5 miles from Holland Christian High School

PH: 616-738-2800

2 Queens for $99.00 (includes breakfast)


City Flats Holland - 61 E 7th Street, Holland, MI 49423

3 miles from Holland Christian High School

PH:  616-796-2100

2 Queens for $142.00 (includes breakfast