Mrs. Kelly Aardsma has been serving at Illiana since 2011. She is currently teaching Algebra 1, Algebra 1-I, and Algebra 2-i. Kelly grew up in northwest Indiana and attended Highland Christian, Illiana Christian, and Trinity Christian College where she graduated with a degree in mathematics education. Prior to teaching at Illiana, she spent four years teaching in Erie, Pennsylvania. She is married to her husband Nathan and they have two children, Chloe and Patrick, who attend Highland Christian. They are members at Community United Reformed Church.
Mr. Andrew Anderson is a professional musician performing in over 120 concerts each year. He has been in the bass section of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Philharmonic since 2004 and has performed in the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra bass section since 2003.
Mr. Anderson has been the director of the Illiana Orchestra since 2018. He holds degrees in Music Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Michigan and Indiana University. Mr. Anderson has been teaching music since 2003 when he received a Doctoral Teaching Fellowship at the University of North Texas. He has been the double bass faculty at Wheaton College since 2011 and has taught at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University since 2007. Additionally, Andrew is a regular sectional coach at DePaul University and several of the Chicago youth symphonies. From 2011 to 2014 Andrew started and grew the orchestra at Westminster Christian School in Elgin, Illinois.
Andrew married his wife Rose in 1998 and have considered themselves denominational mutts until being profoundly impacted by the rich life of a reformed church in Bloomington, Indiana. Rose and Andrew live in Lowell, Indiana with their three boys: James, Elijah, and Isaiah. The Andersons are members of Community United Reformed Church. Mr. Anderson has experienced both the value and need of Christians active in the arts. He believes art is the rudder for any culture and he is excited to have a hand in the work Illiana is doing to move our culture to know and praise God.
Melanie Benes is new to the counseling department and sees students whose last names start with A-K. She graduated from Trinity Christian College with a BA in Psychology and Art. Melanie continued her education at Governors State University where she earned an MA in Marriage and Family Counseling. After spending 10 years working as a clinical therapist for both the Family Counseling Agency in Crete, IL and Chicago Christian Counseling Center at multiple locations, she decided to pursue a career in school counseling. Attending Northern Illinois University, she earned her professional school counseling certification and then worked for over 10 years for both Delta Learning Center in Robbins, IL and Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn, IL.
Melanie and her husband, Jim, have two daughters, Rylee and Taylor. Their family attends Bethel CRC in Lansing, IL.
Mr. David Boer updates the Student Information System (SIS) to make sure data for families and staff members stays up to date. He works primarily on FACTS SIS (RenWeb), Raiser’s Edge, and the DOE Application Center. He strives to maintain relevant records so that families and staff members are recognized accurately and the school is represented properly. He is ready and willing to assist those that would like help with FACTS SIS (RenWeb).
A 1992 Illiana alumnus, Mr. Rich Boomker graduated from Trinity Christian College with a BA in History and also Art in 1997.
After careers in graphic design and as a real estate broker, he returned to Illiana in 2019. You will find him around campus doing maintenance, grounds keeping, event setups and housekeeping.
During his free time Rich enjoys video and still photography, activities with his nephews and niece, reading (mostly history), writing comedy and watching movies. During the summer months you’ll find Rich hiking at the Indiana Dunes and getting sunburn at the cottage once owned by his great grandfather on a lake in Michigan.
A resident of Highland, Rich is a member of Faith Church-Highland campus, where he helps out with the tech team by operating video cameras.
Mr. Peter Boonstra has been Illiana’s Principal since 2000. After graduating from Trinity Christian College and completing a master’s degree in English at the University of Iowa, Mr. Boonstra student-taught at Illiana in 1983. Then, after 16 years of Christian school administration in South Dakota, New Jersey, and Michigan, he returned to Illiana in 2000. He has also completed a master’s degree in Education Administration at Concordia University. He and his wife Mary are members of New Hope Christian Reformed Church. All four of their children have graduated from Illiana.
Mr. Dave Bosman has been teaching math at Illiana since 2000. He graduated from Trinity Christian College in 1996 with a degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education and has a master’s degree in Athletic Administration from Concordia University (Irvine, CA). In addition to teaching math, Mr. Bosman has been involved with coaching volleyball, basketball and soccer in his years at Illiana. He has also served for many years as a student council sponsor.
Dave and his wife Jody have two children: Zinabu and Atikilt. They are active members of Faith Church in Highland, IN.
Mrs. Colvin is the girls’ P.E. teacher at Illiana. She also coaches girls’ basketball. She has a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration from Robert Morris University. “One thing I love about teaching is the encouragement I get to give students to keep trying while learning something new,” said Mrs. Colvin. She and her husband Shane live in Lowell.
Mrs. Susan Colvin started working for Illiana in 2018 and is a very important team member of the custodial staff. Susan and her husband Lee have three children, Clayton, Joselyn, and Braxton, all who attend Crown Point Christian School. Susan and Lee are members of Community United Reformed Church.
Mrs. Cruz teaches all the Spanish immersion classes here at Illiana. She previously taught in the Spanish immersion program at Lansing Christian School. “I love to teach because I am able to share my love for all cultures and all the beauty they bring to our world,” said Mrs. Cruz. She is a graduate of Trinity Christian College. She lives in Cedar Lake with her husband Romel and their two daughters.
Mr. Lance Davids is Illiana Christian High School’s Head of School. He has been serving Illiana since 1999 both as a teacher and an administrator. Lance received his BA from Trinity Christian College with a major in history and minors in education and English. He received his Masters of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary and is an ordained pastor in the Reformed Church of America. He is married to his wife Jill and they have 2 daughters: Audra and Jori. He attends Faith Reformed Church in Dyer, IN and is a member of Classis Illiana of the Reformed Church in America.
Mr. Darren De Boer is the Boys Athletic Director and teaches history and psychology. He received his BA from Trinity Christian College in 2006 with a major in History and a minor in Secondary Education. From 2006-11 he taught at Coral Springs Christian Academy, FL. Mr. De Boer was hired by Illiana in 2011 and has since earned his Master in Educational Leadership from Indiana University Northwest and is a certified Building-Level Administrator in Indiana. He is married to his wife Caitlin and has 4 children.
Mrs. Rachel DeVries has worked full-time in the Student Services Department at Illiana since 2017. She graduated from Trinity Christian College with a major in Elementary Education, minor in English and endorsements in Social Science, Middle School and Special Education. She received her Master’s Degree in Special Education through Trinity Christian College. Mrs. DeVries has also taught at Crown Point Christian School and Lansing Christian School.
Mrs. DeVries enjoys being a co-sponsor for Right to Life, a co-sponsor of the Senior Class Trip, and working with students after school for extra academic support. She has a strong desire to be an advocate for the students in Student Services and those needing extra support in the general classroom. When not at school, she enjoys reading, vacationing and spending quality time with her husband Mike and two children, Sydney and Colin.
Ms. Bethany DeVries comes to Illiana with a degree from Trinity Christian College (’02) in English and Business. She is currently working on her Master’s in Special Education. Bethany formerly worked at ECHO School in South Holland, IL, Milton Christian School in ON, Canada, and Orangeburg Preparatory School in Orangeburg, SC. It is her goal to help students grow academically by guiding and providing them with the correct tools for learning.
Assistant Principal & Social Studies
Group: Administration, Faculty
Mrs. Rachel Drost teaches social studies. She has been serving Illiana since 2007. Rachel received her BA in secondary education from Dordt College with a major in American and world history and a minor in American government. She received her Master of Education from Dordt College as well.
Jenna Dutton has worked for Illiana Christian High School since 2017. For the first four years she worked as the Director of Marketing and Events. In 2021, she moved over to Director of Admissions where she is responsible for assisting families and students enroll here at ICHS. She is the first face our new families see and their first experience with Illiana.
Jenna is married to Caleb and they have three kids. The Dutton’s are members at Faith Church Cedar Lake.
Mr. Mark Dykstra has been teaching Bible at Illiana since 2002. He is a graduate of Taylor University earning a BA in Christian Education and holds a master’s degree from Calvin Theological Seminary in Christian Education. He previously taught Bible at Highland Christian Middle School for two years and has been an adjunct professor of theology and philosophy at Trinity Christian College since 2013.
He loves reading theology and philosophy. He disc golfs any chance he can. He was married in 2007 and has two daughters. His family has been members of Hope Christian Reformed Church in Forest Park Illinois since 2007.
Mr. Luke Fennema teaches German and serves as a faculty adviser to Chapel Committee. He also serves as a girls’ cross country and track coach. He has been at Illiana since 2011 and received his BA from Calvin College with a major in German and a minor in math. Mr. Fennema is a member of Reconciliation Church in South Holland, IL.
Mr. Gabrielse teaches Physics and Principles of Engineering. He was previously the head of the science department for the Baltimore public school system. He attended Calvin University and went on the get a Master of Art in Teaching degree from Johns Hopkins University. He was the 2009 VEX (robotics) World Championship teacher of the year. He and his wife Abby live in Crown Point with their two sons.
Mr. Doug Gorter teaches Honors Geometry, Algebra 2, and Precalculus at Illiana. He grew up in Iowa and Michigan and graduated from Dordt University. He previously taught for 11 years at Sunnyside Christian High School in Sunnyside, WA. He earned his Master’s at Central Washington University. He has been teaching at Illiana Christian since 2012.
At Illiana, Mr. Gorter helps out with chess club, Landlopers and math competitions. He also takes students to Colorado in the summer to camp, hike, climb and whitewater raft. Outside of school, Doug enjoys reading, running, traveling, camping, hiking and spending time with family. He is married to Tammy and they have four wonderful children: Heidi, Isaac, Hannah and Hilary. They are members at Redeemer URC.
Mr. Hillegonds teaches Biology and Anatomy/ Physiology. He previously taught science at Highland middle school. He is a graduate of Illiana and went to college at Purdue University Calumet. He is married to Emily Hillegonds, one of our English teachers. They have twin daughters.
Mrs. Emily E. Hillegonds has taught all grades of English at Illiana since 2012. She also serves outside of school by directing musicals, organizing props for plays and musicals, recording for volleyball games, and helping at graduation. Emily received her undergraduate degree from Calvin College and her master’s degree from the University of Illinois Chicago in English Education. She was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, taught middle school for a year in Pella, IA, and then found herself called to Illiana Christian. On March 25, 2017, she made her move a permanent one when she married Ty, a teacher at Highland Public Middle School and an Illiana graduate. Both Emily and Ty are members at Bethel CRC in Lansing, IL and reside in Griffith, IN.
Ms. Sara Johnson has been teaching English/Language Arts at Illiana since 2007. Ms. Johnson is a graduate of Dordt College with a BA in English/Language Arts and Secondary Education. She received a Masters in English from Purdue University. Ms. Johnson is passionate about her subject and her students. She is also the Director of Missions at Illiana.
Jim Kamphuis has been teaching Art at Illiana since 1996, and has also taught Freshman Bible (RPOC) for most of that time, along with a few semesters of Senior English here and there. He graduated from Trinity Christian College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education in 1996, and received a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago in 2001.
In addition to serving in the classroom, Jim enjoys working with the Drama Department as its Technical Director, and he co-sponsors both the yearbook (Spire) staff and the Fine Arts Committee. He and his wife Sharon have two daughters, Ellie and Annabel, and they are members of Calvary Church in Orland Park.
Facilities Manager / Transportation Director
Mr. Duane Kamstra is a 1979 graduate of Illiana Christian. Duane is our Facilities Manager and Director of Transportation for the school. Duane and his wife Dawn have three children, Stephanie (Darren) Ruiter, Ashley (Riley) Chapman and Bradley, all who graduated from Illiana. Duane and Dawn are members of Bethel CRC – Lansing.
Mr. Tom Knapper has been teaching Spanish at Illiana since 2004. Prior to that, he taught Spanish at Western Christian in Hull, Iowa from 1992 to 2004. He has earned a Master’s degree from Dordt University. In addition to teaching Spanish, Thomas has also coached golf and girls’ basketball. He and his wife, Rachelle, have 2 children, Megan and Aaron. They live in Highland, Indiana and attend Faith Church, Highland campus.
Miss Kroese teaches English and Bible. She did her student teaching at Illiana and graduated from Trinity College. She loves English so much that she has read more than 650 books since her freshman year in high school.
Mr. Kruithof teaches Algebra 2 and Precalculus. He recieved his teaching degree from Trinity Christian College. Before coming to Illiana, he taught math at St. Laurence High School in Burbank, IL. His wife Ashley is a teacher at Highland Christian School. They live in Lansing, IL.
Mrs. Kristy Medema has been teaching English at Illiana since 2001. She is a graduate of Trinity Christian College, and she recently earned her Master of Arts degree in English from Governors State University. Kristy and her husband Gary live in Homewood with their two children, and they are active members of Hope CRC in Oak Forest.
Mrs. Karie Roeda has been Illiana’s Family and Consumer Science teacher since 2018. She is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University. She has previously taught various classes and coached soccer for seven years at Grant Park High School. She and her husband Josh have three children: Aubrey, Addison, and Amelia.
Mr. Thomas Roozeboom has been Illiana’s Physical Education teacher since 2007. He has also been a part of the cross-county, track and field, soccer, and basketball programs as either a head or assistant coach. He is a graduate of Dordt University and holds a master’s degree from Concordia-Irvine University. He has served as physical education and coach at various public and private schools in Iowa, Colorado, and Wisconsin since 1998. He has a passion for character development in his students and athletes and is driven to help them recognize and cultivate their God-given gifts and abilities. He is dedicated to providing an environment that challenges and fosters academic and athletic growth. Thomas and his wife Elyssia have two children: Graeson and Ensley. They live in Cedar Lake and are members of Faith Church.
Mrs. Terri Schaaf is an Illiana alumnus and serves Illiana each week with our daily lunch program. She also serves as our Dinner Coordinator and enjoys working with our supporting churches and ministries to host a homemade dinner held here at Illiana. She and her husband Fred have 3 boys-Matt, Kyle and Tim, which all attended Illiana.
Cassie is a 2008 graduate of Illiana Christian High School now turned staff. She’s been the Director of Development since 2018. Cassie graduated from Dordt University with a Communications and Public Relations degree.
She and her husband Andy have two kids, Jack and Emma, and they are members at First CRC of Crown Point.
Her primary responsibilities include discovering and directing the passions of the Illiana community to support the various programs ICHS offers to our students. If you are interested in doing so, she would love to speak with you!
Mrs. Kathy Sliekers has been teaching at Illiana since 2010. She is a graduate of Calvin College and holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University. She began teaching in 2006.
Mrs. Sliekers strives to display the diversity given to us by God in the music performed in the choral program at Illiana. She wants students to try something new while singing in her choirs.
Kathy lives in Lansing with her husband Jon and her children Hannah, Levi, and Thomas.
Director of Spiritual Development/ Bible
Group: Administration, Faculty
Mr. Slings is Illiana’s Director of Spiritual Development and he teaches Senior Bible classes. As part of his role, he will be helping with Chapels and Praise Crowd. He previously taught at Central Wisconsin Christian in Waupun, WI. Mr. Slings is originally from the area and is happy to now be living in Dyer with his wife Sharla. They have four children.
Emily works in the office assisting the Principal with daily duties and long-term planning. Emily is also the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball assistant coach and the Boys’ Volleyball JV assistant coach.
Mr. Brian Sylvester holds a bachelor of science in biology from Calvin College and a master’s degree in biology from Purdue University. Before his teaching career, he worked in industry as a lab technician and safety coordinator for Johnson Wax Entomology Lab. He has been teaching since 1996 and has been at Illiana since 2000.
As a science teacher, he finds great joy in helping students to see that science is an instrument designed to give God glory by allowing us to see Him in new ways through his creation.
Brian and his wife Julie, have two children: Kayla and Josh.
Mrs. Heidi Teach is a graduate of Illiana Christian High School. Upon graduation she attended Calvin College where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Cognitive Impairment. She later earned her Master’s from the University of New England in Inclusion Education. She began her teaching career with Chicago Public schools in 2007. Mrs. Teach started as the Director of Student Services at Illiana in 2017 and is very excited to see where God leads to help ALL God’s children to be academically successful. Heidi has been married to Juston since 2011 and they have 3 boys, Landon, Gavin, and Dillon. They attend Faith Church in Dyer. Heidi enjoys playing sports and watching the Cubs, Blackhawks, and Bears. She also enjoys bike rides and going camping with her boys.
Ms. Deb Top has been teaching various business classes at Illiana Christian since 1987. She has a BA in business education from Dordt College and an MA from the University of Minnesota. Ms. Top is a native of MN and loves rooting for The Vikings. She has experience teaching classes such as Digital Applications s1, s2, Business Communications, Business Management, Preparing for College and Careers, and RPOC. Coaching has also been a big part of her time at Illiana and has coached cross country for 30 years and track/field for 32 years. Deb is a member of Reconciliation Church in South Holland, IL, where she serves in children’s ministry and coffee fellowship groups.
Mrs. Bonnie Trepton is an Athletics Assistant and has been working at Illiana since 2005. She is married to her husband Rick and they have two married children and four grandchildren. Bonnie and Rick are members of Bethel CRC in Lansing, IL.
Mr. VanderHelm teaches U.S. History and World Civics. He attended Calvin University and has previously taught in Palestine, Guatemala, and Normal, IL. Mr. VanderHelm lives in Schererville, Indiana.
Melissa Vargas has been the athletic trainer at Illiana Christian since 2007. She is a graduate of Ball State University and comes to Illiana Christian from Athletico Physical Therapy. She has worked with athletes at the professional, college, high school, and club level. She is nationally certified and state licensed in athletic training, making her a highly-skilled healthcare professional. Melissa has extensive training in first aid, injury prevention and care, and concussion management. Melissa strives to keep the athletes at Illiana Christian healthy through preseason injury screens and dedicated attention to detail in injury management. It is her goal to assist athletes in their return to their sport as safely and quickly as possible after an injury. She works closely with many of the top physicians and physical therapists in the area to provide optimal healthcare to our athletes.
A 2004 Illiana alumnus, Mr. Brent Vermeulen graduated from Purdue University, West Lafayette. After 10 years of teaching at a public school, God called him back to start a new STEM program at Illiana. Illiana Christian now offers five different engineering courses. Brent is married to another 2004 Illiana graduate (Amanda) and has three kids, Harper, Harris and Hudson.
Mr. Jeff White has taught at Illiana for 17 years. He graduated from Illiana in the 80’s and returned to teach in 1993. Two of his children have also graduated from Illiana; therefore, Illiana has had a special place in his heart. Over the years he has taught Western Civilization, Local History, U.S. History, U.S. Constitution, Economic Theory, Keyboarding I, Keyboarding II, International Relations, Bible III, and Bible II.
Currently he is involved with JV Basketball, Varsity track, Landlopers, We the People Program, Close-Up, Right to Life March and coordinates the Senior Class Trip.
On a personal note, Jeff has three children (2 boys and 1 girl). His daughter is married and his oldest son is in college. His youngest son is the only child still permanently living at home. During the summer and weekends, Jeff supplements his income by doing roofing and construction work. Jeff’s hobbies include discussing political events, Notre Dame football, reading historical periodicals, and camping with his travel trailer.
Mr. Neil Zandstra has been a counselor at Illiana Christian High School since 2001. He is a graduate of Calvin College and earned his master’s degree in School Counseling from Purdue University Northwest.
Mr. Zandstra works with students whose last names begin with the letters L – Z. Prior to this, he was a fifth-grade teacher at Highland Christian School and a school counselor at Lowell High School in Indiana.
He is married to Johanna Zandstra and has a son named James. He considers it a privilege to share the love of Christ with his students and his goal is to make the high school experience a more positive one.