Our Staff

Hank de Jong

Hank de Jong Executive Director

This amazing organization has been a part of my life since 2003. Initially I worked 15 hours a week from my basement while maintaining full-time employment at Mission Services in downtown Hamilton. This lasted a short period of time before funding was available for my position to be full-time.  I have seen the results of our organization first-hand by personally meeting many students in developing countries who have been touched by the Gospel through Christ-centred education. I am increasingly convinced that Christ-centred education is an incredible tool for transformation. 

Our vision is to see communities transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our mission (how we work towards that vision) is to advance Christ-centred education.  I appreciate this sharp focus.  We don't dig wells, or train Pastors, or get involved in micro-finance initiatives.  We leave that important work for others.  We desire to be experts in global Christ-centred education…and then partner with others who are also working towards the transformation of communities, both locally and globally.  

My primary role is to lead the staff in the direction that the Board of Directors has prayerfully set forward. I love working with the staff in an effective team context.  Building on my undergraduate degree from Redeemer University College, I completed my Master of Arts in Leadership from Trinity Western University in 2013.  These educational pursuits have been valuable building blocks for my leadership of this organization.  

Apart from my role at EduDeo Ministries, I serve as elder in my local church. I love my church.  I also serve as a Board member for the Canadian Christian Relief and Development Association (CCRDA) and am a member of the Board for the Foster Parents Association of the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society.  

My wife Michelle and I are blessed with four children and we have also been actively involved in fostering young children in our city for the past three years. For fun, I enjoy hockey and running…and watching the Leafs.  #nextyear

Email: hdejong@edudeo.com

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Philip Beck

Philip Beck Operations Director

I joined EduDeo Ministries in August 2012.  My wife Stephanie and I have a son named Elijah. Prior to joining EduDeo Ministries, my wife and I served as missionaries with Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) in Jos, Nigeria for seven years. For our first year in Nigeria, I taught Social Studies and Bible to middle school students at Hillcrest School and then transitioned into an administrative role as the CRWM Nigeria Team Leader. Prior to our time in Nigeria, I taught middle school for two years at John Knox Memorial Christian School in Fruitland, Ontario.

As the key contact for Canadian Christian Schools, I am excited by the numerous opportunities to serve the Christian school community throughout Canada and also support the development of Christian schools globally. I see this role as a perfect blend of my teaching and mission experiences and desire to engage and walk alongside Christian school communities in Canada as we jointly learn about and promote Christian education throughout Christ’s kingdom.

If you are a Christian School teacher, administrator and/or parent in Canada who desires to learn more or become more fully engaged in Christian education globally in unique and meaningful ways through EduDeo Ministries, please feel free to contact me!

Email: pbeck@edudeo.com

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Tim Bootsma

Tim Bootsma International Partnership Director

I come to EduDeo with a deep desire to see the lives of the poor and vulnerable transformed by Christ's love. I see incredible potential being unleashed worldwide as schools equip children with a Godly understanding, character and worldview, and am convinced that Christian education transforms the lives of children, their families and communities! I marvel and rejoice in seeing the global body of Christ working together and the blessings that result. I'm excited about how "majority world" Christians can help Canadians better understand community, hospitality, compassion and much more.

My wife Andrea and I live on a farm with our 3 sons: Austin, Jordan and Luke. Previously, I served as a missionary with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Zambia. There I worked with indigenous churches and Christian groups ministering to the needs of the poor in their communities. In preparation for my work in Africa, I interned with Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) in Florida and completed a BA Degree in Plant Science at Dordt College in Iowa. I have also spent time in Papua New Guinea, Russia, Haiti, and Australia and have lead short term mission trips to Mississippi, Tennessee, Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Belize and Nicaragua.

Email: tbootsma@edudeo.com

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Amy Hoogstad

Amy Hoogstad Bookkeeper

I joined EduDeo's Operations Team in March 2016 as the bookkeeper. EduDeo has been a mainstay in my community for the past decade and as I was already somewhat acquainted with the work and mission, I was delighted to be able to join the team. I share the core values of having a passion for excellence (kind of par for the course when you’re a numbers person), a dedication to learning (for me it’s more through non-traditional forms like audio and video), committing to serve through global partnership (the most challenging and rewarding part of my job here), and working towards the renewal of all things.  Being able to work together with a close-knit team of skilled people with whom I share a worldview is very fulfilling. God is doing great things here!

I earned an Honours B.A. in Business from Redeemer University College in 2003.  While there, I also earned my MRS degree.  My husband Kevin and I live in the great city of Hamilton with our three children, a set of twins and a singleton, all born within 16 months.  I enjoy playing music with my children, growing food in our backyard A.K.A. urban homestead, and experimenting with traditional cooking.

 

Email: ahoogstad@edudeo.com

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Jonathan Horlings

Jonathan Horlings Marketing Director

As someone who has a passion for learning and the Gospel – I’m thrilled to join the EduDeo team as the new Marketing Director. I’ve attended Christian schools my whole life, getting my B.A. in Theatre Arts and English Literature at Dordt College. I love storytelling in all its forms and look forward to exploring God’s world with you, the EduDeo community! God has great things in store for us, I’m sure, and I can’t wait to discover His plans.

I’m married to the beautiful Kimberley (yes, that one) and am proud father to four curious children, Sofie, Hallelujah, Melanie and Simon. If you have any brave new ideas for fundraising – feel free to call or email me (see below).

Email: Jhorlings@edudeo.com

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Karla-Maria Ponce

Karla-Maria Ponce HANDS Coordinator

I joined EduDeo in July 2015, excited to share in the organization’s desire to combine education with the transformative power of the Gospel. I believe and have seen how an education rooted in a Biblical worldview can change the life of a child and have greater effects on the community at large.

I have a degree in Education combined with Human Rights and Human Diversity. Prior to joining EduDeo, I served as a missionary in Guatemala at a Christian school. This cross-cultural experience allowed me to understand my own culture as a Latin American but has also equipped me to serve here in my role as HANDS coordinator.

I currently live in Hamilton and enjoy spending time with my family, playing guitar and eating cotton candy.

If you're interested in joining a HANDS team - or starting your own - please contact me! 905-387-9927 ext 226

Email: kponce@edudeo.com

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Ray Sikkema

Ray Sikkema Charitable Gift Advisor

As an Eastern Development Director I am encouraged by the amount of support and impact EduDeo has already achieved in a relatively short period of time.  Having spent all my formative years in Christian schools, I have a strong desire to share EduDeo’s Mission and Vision with those I come in contact with.  I am quick to point out that at EduDeo the entire staff believes that Education + Gospel = Transformation. So it’s more than a slogan – it’s something we strive for and experience as an organization every day.

Moving EduDeo forward in its various endeavors is an exciting challenge. It’s also a very exciting time to be involved with EduDeo Ministries; to see what God has in store for us in the months and years ahead.

I am proud to have been one of the Pioneer students of Redeemer University College where I graduated from in 1987.  Shortly thereafter, I married Christine (Smink) and have been blessed with five children and three grand-children. Prior to joining EduDeo Ministries, I was involved in various businesses including franchising, insurance sales, and helping to raise funds for not-for-profit and charitable organizations alike.

Email: rsikkema@edudeo.com

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Diane Stronks

Diane Stronks Walking Together Co-Leader

I am pleased to be joining EduDeo Ministries as a joint partner in the Walking Together program.  I continue to work as the Executive Director of Edifide Christian Educators Association until I retire in the summer of 2017.  I joined Edifide (formerly known as the Ontario Christian School Teachers Association) in 2007. My career includes being a high school educator, vice-principal, principal and Special Education liaison at Woodland Christian High School.  I began my career as a Mathematics and Science teacher but after completing a Masters in Christian Education with a focus on Worldview, taught Media and Family Studies as well.  Since coming to Edifide, I have become a facilitator in Restorative Practice as well as working towards a diploma in Mediation for the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Commission of Ontario.

I am passionate about young people and their learning, social justice, and the creation of thriving communities of learning.  I believe that all of our choices as educators need to reflect our faith commitments and our beliefs about children.  In the area of employment services or human resources, I wonder if working with restorative practices can create thriving and healthy workplaces for Christian communities, schools and churches.  I am also hopeful that Canadian Christian education can learn and grow through their possible association with EduDeo.  I have a dream where International Christian educators and Canadian Christian educators may be mutually blessed by connection and collaboration.

I have also served on a number of boards that have some connection to the Christian education community:  Canadian Christian Schools International Pension and Insurance Board, EduDeo Ministries, Cardus, Christian Educators Journal and Christian Schools Canada. 

My husband Henry and I greatly enjoy our 4 children and their partners as well as our growing number of grandchildren.

Email: dstronks@edudeo.com

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David Tigchelaar

David Tigchelaar Western Development Director

I'm passionate about giving others the opportunity to receive an education that equips children - especially a Christian education that transforms for eternity. I feel invigorated by the mission and vision of EduDeo and considers it a privilege to partner with donors in Canada, igniting the vision for the difference we can make when we work together in the name of Jesus Christ.

I spent most of my life as a minister in the Christian Reformed Church, followed by work for the Bible League of Canada. I live in Grimsby with my wife, Joanne, and enjoy sailing, gardening and spending time with my grandchildren.

Email: dtigchelaar@edudeo.com

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Elco Vandergrift

Elco Vandergrift Walking Together Co-Leader

I have been involved in Christian Education for 34 years (21 years as a teacher, vice principal, and principal) in BC and Alberta. The last 13 years I have served as Executive Director for the Prairie Centre for Christian Education (PCCE). That responsibility came to a close at the end of July this year.

Over the last 4 years, I was privileged to work as a Walking Together Learning Leader with a family of schools in Zambia, a partner with EduDeo. I loved my work there, as I walked alongside their community of leaders. The challenge of learning from each other and coming to know the depth and passion for Christ-centred schooling were only two of the many blessings encountered in this type of work. Wow!!
 
As always, I am especially thankful for the support of my wife Joanne, my children, and now my granddaughter in the different roles I have had over the years.
 
I am looking forward to my new role as a Walking Together Leader with EduDeo Ministries and extending my understanding of Christ-centred schooling with new people and diverse settings.

Email: evandergrift@edudeo.com

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Stephanie Webb-Addei

Stephanie Webb-Addei Communications Coordinator

I joined EduDeo in September 2013, excited to be part of an organization that embodies the ideal of transformation that comes through education rooted in a Biblical worldview. Having seen how the combination of these two elements can empower a child to rise out of the cycle of poverty and the benefits of forming partnerships with Christian organizations in various countries, I am thankful to be able to offer my skills and experiences to this vision. 

I previously worked as a professional graphic designer for 7 years before entering into missions through YWAM (Youth With A Mission). My passion for social justice and advocacy against human trafficking led me to get a degree in Human Rights and Human Diversity from Wilfrid Laurier University. During this time I completed a summer internship with the non-profit organization International Needs in Ghana where I met my husband Festus. We now reside in Hamilton and enjoy the laughter of our 2 year old son, Graysen Nana Kwasi and the adorable smiles of our newborn Darien Abeiku.

I am currently on maternity leave enjoying quality time with my children. Please contact Jenna Cottrill for any communication needs.

Email: swebbaddei@edudeo.com

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Jenna Cottrill

Jenna Cottrill Communications Coordinator

I was born and raised in the tiny fishing village of Pugwash, Nova Scotia (it’s a real place, I promise!) and moved to Kitchener to study Advertising and Marketing Communications at Conestoga College. I’m happy to be back in Ontario as part of the EduDeo team!

My life has been greatly impacted by receiving a quality education and even more by receiving the gift of the Gospel. On several trips to Haiti over the past six years, I had opportunities to witness firsthand the importance of both. It was there that God placed a strong desire in my heart to use my creativity and passion to serve others.

I enjoy road trips, hand-written notes, The Office, spending time with the people I love, and exploring whatever city I find myself in.

Email: jcottrill@edueo.com

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