As part of our 60th anniversary celebrations during the 2022-23 we are sharing stories from valedictorians across the years. In this blog post you’ll hear from some of the valedictorians during the nineties!
Andrea Kamminga (Leferink) (93)
Recently I was sorting through some old books, and from in between two of them a bunch of old Christmas cards slid out. I quickly had a look through them and realized that one of the envelopes was still sealed. I excitedly opened it to find a Christmas greeting with a $25 Tim Horton’s gift card in it! I was so excited!! I dare say, I think I was more excited to open it years later than I would have been to open it on the day it was given to me.
During my time at TD I received many meaningful gifts, but some of them, just like my Christmas card, went unnoticed or forgotten about for years to come. They stayed tucked in my heart and mind until I needed them—uncoincidentally, at the right time and in the right situation.
Among those gifts: significance, integrity, gratitude, resilience, understanding, patience, kindness, grit, and encouragement. I’m so thankful to my classmates and friends who journeyed those years with me. We encouraged and supported one another so much. Their strong faith in the Lord was the biggest gift of all, and would influence my life profoundly for years to come. My teachers at TD also blessed me with immeasurable gifts. To be honest, while I know I received a stellar education, it was the relationships with my teachers that impacted me more. Showing me vulnerability and strength in the face of hardship such as the loss of a family member or a divorce, showing me kindness when I wasn’t deserving of it, encouragement when I was feeling pretty low, and even a compassionate car ride home when I was feeling ill. Those are just a few of the experiences gifted to me that I subconsciously tucked away. I am forever thankful for those adults in my life who showed me what it is to keep their eyes on the Lord and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
That $25 gift card I found? I was sure to share the love! The gifts I received at TD? First and foremost, you’ll be happy to hear that they’re not getting all dusty on a shelf somewhere. I have used those gifts over and over again. I am so thankful to God that he used my experiences and relationships at TD to stock me up with gifts that he knew I would need.
As a mom to three awesome kids, a wife to a very good friend, an Oma to the sweetest grandson ever, and an educational assistant to the best kids in the world, I pray that I can be the best re-gifter there is!
Amy (Maas) Westerhof (96)
My years at TDChristian made a significant impact on who I am today, and I remember them fondly. My teachers were caring and supportive; I met great people, many whom I’m still friends with today; I had opportunities to participate in many extracurricular activities and class trip adventures; and I learned foundational life and faith lessons. A few teachers always come to mind when I remember my time at TDChristian. Ms. Vanderkooy showed genuine care, particularly during a very challenging time; Mr. Groot’s relentless energy was contagious and made learning the most complicated principles a rewarding and exciting experience; and Mrs. Van Schepen and Mrs. Dengerink challenged us to dig deep, do your best, and play team. These lessons continue to be meaningful in my life today.
After TDCH, I went on to complete my BA in Business from Redeemer University then studied Human Resources Management and earned my Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation. I currently work in People & Culture at World Vision Canada and live in Brampton with my husband Joel (TDChristian staff), and daughters Allie (Tenyenhuis) and Isabelle.
Benjamin Maas (97)
What a thrill to see TDCH turn 60! I can look back and honestly say my high school years were the best years of my life.
TDCH set the direction for my life…growing my faith, meeting new friends, preparing me for university and the workplace and finding my future love. I met my beautiful wife Catherine DeBruin in grade 9 at TDCH. We have been married for 21 years and have 3 girls.
The dedication of the teachers, the parental involvement and the camaraderie of my classmates especially into the later years of high school made TDCH such a wonderful place.
I trust that the Lord will see TD Christian through 60 more years and I am excited to be part of that journey along with my children and grand children. I hope that they too will experience the best years of their life at TDChristian.
Amy Boven (99)
After I graduated from TDCH and finished my OAC year, I attended King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. After university I started a job at Hofland, a wholesale flower company, where I started as a receptionist and worked my way up to a Flower Purchasing position. Though not my initial career plan, working at Hofland for those years was a highlight, and I learned many important life lessons. In 2005, I married Daniel Boven, also a TDCH graduate, and together we have 4 wonderful children.
When my kids all started school at John Knox Christian School in Brampton, I started a job there soon after as an Education Assistant for 3 years. Being back in the school environment rekindled my desire to become a teacher and I have recently begun a new journey at York University this past fall. As of Winter 2022 I am halfway through my first year of my Bachelor of Education Degree and am thoroughly enjoying all that I am learning. It is amazing to be back at school and my courses require a lot of reflection on my own educational journey. Looking back, I see that TDCH was a place where I felt free to be myself. There was a variety of different activities, classes, clubs, and sports teams where I could explore my abilities and interests. The teachers at TD also made my high school experience a fantastic one. I could tell that they genuinely cared for me as an individual and wanted to help me succeed down God’s path for my life.
Some memories that stand out are how Ms. Vanschepen always seemed to make science class fun and always had us laughing. Ms. Joose had a way of making Family Studies a blast and we always tried to make her laugh. Also, Ms. Alberts had a special connection to our class and her lessons during chapel about living for Christ, even when it’s difficult, I can still remember to this day. Some other highlights from high school were the student’s council assemblies, the Christmas banquets, our service trip to Maryland and the OAC canoe trip to Algonquin Park with Mr. VanderKloet. As a student I didn’t realize it, but each of these memories and experiences took a lot of planning, time, and effort on the teachers’ part. I believe that this is what makes TD stand out. The greatest gift we can give to others is our time, and TD teachers gave of theirs abundantly. I left TD feeling valued, inspired, and capable to take on whatever life would send my way