After an extensive and thorough candidate search, I am pleased to announce the selection of Lauralee Veenstra as Denver Christian's new elementary principal. Mrs. Veenstra will become acting principal at the start of the new school year.
A DC alum, Mrs. Veenstra already brings a love and understanding of Denver Christian School and its community, along with a refreshing honesty and capability to see areas of improvement and opportunities for achieving excellence across our elementary program. In the interview process, her vision for excellence in delivering a 21st century Christian education and tangible ideas for improvement in areas of academics, faith formation and community demonstrated that not only did Mrs. Veenstra understand where DC has been but clearly recognized and embraced where the school must go to become the educational choice for the Denver metro area.
A search committee, composed of administration, faculty, and board members, was established to canvas the country for a candidate with the right vision to expand on the culture, leadership, and traditions that Rich Schemper has firmly established.
It was in the culmination of this search that we confirmed that our next principal was already walking our hallways. And so, Mrs. Veenstra immediately begins her transition as principal-elect, walking alongside Mr. Schemper over the next few weeks, and joins in the educational team meetings between the school's executive leadership and principals.
We are well positioned for such a transition. We continue to engage in strategic planning that will help shape the future course of the school. We just successfully completed the accreditation process receiving full accreditation with CSI and AdvancedED. Our faculty is stronger today than ever before with additional new hires to soon be announced who are an amazing complement to our staff in skill and personality. The campus is spectacular. There are not many schools that have such incredible facilities to support such strong and vibrant programming.
I look forward to updating you further on our school's strategic plan and growth during the May 5 FUNds for the Fields event. I hope to see you all there!
CEO, Denver Christian School
About Lauralee Veenstra
Lauralee Veenstra is a Denver Christian alumnus, Class of '97, and attended DC from kindergarten through 12th grade. After graduating with a degree in Elementary Education from Calvin College, she taught at Allendale Christian School in Michigan for ten years. From her early days in education, Mrs. Veenstra knew she wanted to serve as a principal. In 2008, she completed her Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University. Soon after, she and her husband, Tom, moved back to Colorado with their three children to be closer to family. This was perfect timing (God's timing!) for their oldest son to begin kindergarten at Denver Christian! At that time, Denver Christian was fortunate to have her join the faculty as a Kindergarten Enrichment teacher at Van Dellen, and most recently as the Elementary Technology Instructor, RenWeb Administrator, and Website Coordinator. Tom and Lauralee have three children who attend Denver Christian: Ethan (5th grade), Bryce (3rd grade) and Adelyn (kindergarten).
"I am excited and honored to step into the role of elementary principal for Denver Christian! This is such an exciting time for our school, and I feel so blessed to be able to be part of continuing the tradition of educational excellence for Christian families. I know, first hand, the amazing things that happen in our classrooms on a daily basis and I look forward to now leading and guiding our elementary program to ensure that we continue to shape and develop the best curriculum, faculty, and resources for our students. It is a privilege to be in this role and I whole-heartedly embrace the challenge and opportunity to inspire and equip our students so that they may engage the world with Christ's transforming power and love. I enter into this new position with an amazing head start as I already know and love the community of Denver Christian! I look forward to partnering with you in your children's education!"
--Lauralee Veenstra, Elementary Principal-Elect
Passing the "Tie" onto DC's new elementary principal:
a note from retiring Principal Rich Schemper
"It isn't often that you have a hand in selecting your successor. Going through the evaluation and interview process for a new principal has given me great confidence and renewed excitement for the future of Denver Christian. I'm excited for Lauralee Veenstra to become elementary principal at Denver Christian. I have enjoyed working with Lauralee for several years and seeing first hand her many gifts and talents. She is dedicated to excellent Christian education and has a servant's heart. Denver Christian will do well with her energy and leadership.
Please join me in welcoming Mrs. Veenstra to this new position!"
-- Rich Schemper, Denver Christian Elementary Principal
Q & A: About Our Search for an Elementary Principal
How was the new elementary principal selected?
Once Mr. Schemper informed the administration of his intention to retire from Denver Christian School after 41 years of outstanding service, we began work immediately to identify the experience, skills, and qualities needed in an elementary principal. Hiring the best and brightest leadership and teaching talent is a principle role of the executive leadership team, along with ensuring the financial sustainability of Denver Christian School. To fulfill this responsibility, a search committee comprised of select members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, and school administration was responsible for reviewing resumes and interviewing the most qualified candidates in the early months of 2017. While much of the search process must remain confidential to preserve the anonymity of some candidates, we can share that the final three candidates made comprehensive campus visits and met with the search committee, visiting our campus and observing students. After this thorough process, the committee members confidently made their recommendations to the school CEO. Mr. Lanting then judiciously and prayerfully deliberated over all the evidence and observations to select the person who could best lead Denver Christian's elementary program, alongside our middle and high school principals and executive leadership, as we continue to grow, improve and plan for the future of Denver Christian School.
How can we be assured that the traditions, academics, and sense of community, all for which Denver Christian is known, will continue?
It was a top priority for us to select a principal who understood and appreciated our mission, traditions, program, and the strengths that make Denver Christian such an exceptional school. We are confident that Mrs. Veenstra brings the leadership experience, appreciation for the traditions and intangibles which define an independent Christian school, and educational insights needed to advance Denver Christian to new levels. She will become a vital component of our leadership team committed to Denver Christian's mission to become the standard of educational excellence for Christian families.