About JublieeOur Team

 
 
 

 
 

Staff

 
  • School Principal

    School Principal

  • Administrative Office Coordinator

    Administrative Office Coordinator

  • Administrative Assistant

    Administrative Assistant

  • Financial & Legal Administrator

    Financial & Legal Administrator

  • Middle School Adminstrator

    Middle School Adminstrator

  • Guidance Counselor & Middle School Adminstrative Support

    Guidance Counselor & Middle School Adminstrative Support

  • Music Academy Director & Communications Support

    Music Academy Director & Communications Support

  • Music Program & Communications Support

    Music Program & Communications Support

  • Kindergarten Teacher

    Kindergarten Teacher

  • 1st Grade Teacher

    1st Grade Teacher

  • 3rd Grade Teacher

    3rd Grade Teacher

  • 4th Grade Teacher

    4th Grade Teacher

  • 5th Grade Teacher

    5th Grade Teacher

  • Middle School Language Arts Teacher

    Middle School Language Arts Teacher

  • Middle School Math Teacher

    Middle School Math Teacher

  • Middle School Science Teacher

    Middle School Science Teacher

  • Middle School Social Studies Teacher

    Middle School Social Studies Teacher

  • Bible Teacher

    Bible Teacher

  • Middle School Social Studies Teacher

    Music Teacher

  • Teacher Aide

    Teacher Aide

  • Teacher Aide

    Teacher Aide

  • Teacher Aide

    Teacher Aide

  • Teacher Aide

    Teacher Aide

  • Cafeteria Support

    Cafeteria Support

  • Cafeteria Support

    Cafeteria Support

  • Custodian

    Custodian

  • Custodian

    Custodian

  • Custodian

    Custodian

  • Custodian

    Custodian

  • Guard

    Guard

  • Guard

    Guard

 

 
 
We are thankful to both of our US and Honduran Boards for their work and service to Jubilee and the community that we serve:
 

U.S. Board

Kathy DeJong – Chair

In January of 2014, I was blessed to participate in Jubilee’s teacher training at the beginning of their school year. That trip was just the beginning of a 7-year relationship with this beautiful ministry in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. After a couple of initial trips, my husband Jeff and I continued to make summer visits with mission teams and also personal trips to work with teachers and support the Romero family.

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I have taught at The Potter’s House for 22 years. Jeff and I have enjoyed teaching in the Dominican Republic and Grand Rapids. However, we have a special love for Jubilee school and church in La Era. We have been welcomed, encouraged and blessed by the body of believers and teaching staff of Jubilee. This ministry is significant to us because we are teachers and have served as missionaries in Latin America. We understand some of the challenges that this ministry faces as well as the blessings that come from sharing the Good News with children and their families through a Christian Education. Immediately we felt comfortable and at home with the Jubilee Community.

The Jubilee community is active in prayer and expecting that God will work in powerful ways. We have heard the testimony of members who have experienced miracles. Many lives transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit. Answers to prayers are expected and celebrated. We are humbled by the faith of this community who have very little of what this world has to offer, yet celebrate their richness in Jesus and in His Kingdom.

It has been a pleasure to serve on the Jubilee Board for almost 5 years. I count it a joy that we are blessed to partner with part of the body of Christ in the community of La Era, Tegucigalpa. As a board member, I am humbled by the challenges to be faithful to God as we seek to lead and make wise decisions on behalf of Jubilee.

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Mark VanZanten – Vice Chair

I was an early fan of Jubilee as the school slowly got off the ground and began taking a foothold in the La Era neighborhood of Tegucigalpa. Emily (Steenwyk) Romero, co-founder of the school with her husband David, had been one of my students in 3rd/ 4th grade at The Potter’s House. I followed her career with interest as she moved on to GR Christian High, Calvin College, and then later on to Fuller Seminary in California where she met David. (Her mom, Kathy, was a classmate of mine during our years at Holland Christian.)

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Emily and David’s goal was to model their school in the mold of TPH, adopting some of its teaching methods and spiritual goals of discipleship. In the early years of Jubilee, our classes at TPH would hold Bake Sales to help support the school and its mission. Emily and David would visit my class each December and talk about their work and then get peppered with questions from my students. We soon targeted the idea of funding a school library when we discovered that their library consisted of a single locked metal cabinet that was accessible only to teachers. My students found that deplorable; they knew the importance of books.

Four years ago, a small group of teachers from TPH visited Jubilee. We were blown away by the joy we experienced inside the school walls. Our first exposure was witnessing their worship time. It was so vibrant and contagious. Poala, their music teacher, led worship with a small group of middle-school musicians and the student body responded with a joyful noise. The presence of God was real and tangible. Coming from extreme poverty, in many cases, these students come to school neatly dressed in their school uniforms and wearing warm smiles. It was obvious from the interactions and conversations with them that they loved the school. After visiting a few public schools in the area that were severely under-resourced and over-crowded, Jubilee stood out as a bright light in an otherwise oppressive and crime-riddled neighborhood. Jubilee is a place that truly inspires hope.

I’ve been on the Jubilee Board for five years. I recently retired in June after 40 years of teaching at The Potter’s House. My wife Sue and I have four children and three grandchildren. We sold our house of 24 years in February and moved into a condo near the Thornapple River in Grand Rapids.

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Paul Soper – Treasurer

My initial involvement with Jubilee was hrough my sister, Linda, who attended Grace CRC together with Emily (Steenwyk) Romero. So, I have been a part of the Jubilee events way back when they were quite small and were held at Grace CRC.

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I have been able to visit Jubilee on two separate occasions. Once when my daughter took a college semester in Honduras and she volunteered for Jubilee. This visit was quite short but we did get to see the children sign “Feliz Cumpleanos” to David! During the second visit, we were able to spend more time with Emily and David, including visiting their home. We had such a good time getting to know them better. Once I saw Jubilee “in action” I was sold.

When I retired, Emily asked me if I would consider being the Treasurer of the board and I said “yes” back in January of 2019. I have always been impressed by Emily and David and their passion for the children of La Era and the high quality and overtly Christian education that is provided. One of the key factors I look for in all Christian non-profits where I serve, is a leader who is from the country being served.

I’m a retired CPA and healthcare consultant and I currently volunteer for a number of Christian organizations. My wife, Sue, and I have two married daughters and a single son who will graduate from college at the end of 2021.

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Annalise Kontras – Secretary

I joined the Board of Directors in 2014 after volunteering with Jubilee for a couple years. My first point of contact with Jubilee was at a Celebration Event that my friend Lauren VanKeulen, then a board member, invited me to. I heard Emily and David speak powerfully about God’s incredible work in La Era, and the miracle of finding and purchasing land for a new school building. I remember thinking, “I want to be connected to what God is doing in Honduras!” So, I filled out the post-event connection card and indicated that I’d love to volunteer.

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In my time as a board member, I have had the opportunity to visit Jubilee twice. In 2015, the school was still meeting in the rented space at a church, and I remember marveling at how much pure joy and earnest worship was packed into that small space! I also got to see the beauty of nature in Honduras, the rich culture, and the resilience of the people. I felt God alive in all of these spaces, and particularly through Emily and David and the school staff. In 2017, I returned to Honduras – Jubilee school and church were now meeting in the new building. What an incredible testimony to God’s provision and the generosity of Jubilee’s donors! We heard from parents, students, and teachers about how Jubilee’s ministry changed their lives. At church and during school chapel, I saw the deep, deep love for Jesus that the students and their families hold in their hearts. They couldn’t help but let it flow out in love toward others and rise up in praise. I left humbled, inspired, and full of that joy. My purpose as a board member is to tell others about Jubilee and help ensure the ministry continues to live out it’s beautiful mission and vision.

Currently, I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with my husband, Alex, and our three children. I work as a Leadership Coach to support education leaders in area schools and districts. We are members of Alger Park CRC, and are deeply invested in our neighborhood.

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Amy Haroff – Member

I was first asked to join the US Board of Directors in 2016 after I moved back to Michigan from my 1.5 years of living and serving with JCI in Honduras. It was an honor to be asked, and I felt my in-country experiences and personal knowledge of the ministry provided helpful ways in which I could contribute and advocate for the ministry’s growth and vision.

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I quickly learned that Board Meetings are not nearly as enjoyable as having my feet on the ground and being in the midst of the day-to-day operations of the ministry, but I still knew that I had something to offer in the area of leadership. I first met the 2015 Board of Directors while I was living in Honduras, and they were such a unique and delightful group of people. A few years later, I was able to travel with the Board to Honduras, and that same year also co-led a mission team. To be honest, I’ve been back to Honduras every year since 2017 except for one year, and each trip is meaningful and special in its own way. There’s such joy in the community and bonding that occurs with each mission team, and each visit I get to see old familiar faces and learn to love new ones. Building and growing relationships is at the very heart of why I keep going!

I work full time as an occupational therapist at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. My specialty is in working with people who have had spinal cord injuries. It’s challenging, but rewarding work! I am blessed to be able to make a difference in the lives of so many people!

I have a wonderful family! My mom is with Jesus, but I still have my dad, and his new wife. I have two older sisters, an adult niece and nephew, a little niece, 2 little nephews, and a great niece! Oh, and a wonderful dog nephew, Roscoe!

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Judy Plaggemars – Member

My name is Judy Plaggemars and I have been serving on the Jubilee Board since February, 2020. My husband, Paul, and I and our family have heard about the Romero’s ministry in Honduras through their missionary visits to our church, Graafschap CRC in Holland, MI for the past five years or so.

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I have had the wonderful opportunity to visit Jubilee on two different occasions. My first visit was with a mission team in July, 2019. During that trip, we had the privilege of working directly with the students each day doing fun craft activities. We also spent recess time with the kids and we were able to go with them on an all-school field trip to an area museum. The joy of the staff and students abounded and the hugs we received from so many was heartwarming and a daily treat. My second visit to Jubilee was in January 2020. The purpose of this trip was for Teacher Training before the school year began in February. This trip really allowed me to see Pastor David’s and Emily’s calling to and passion for their work in La Era given to them by God.

I was able to get to know the staff better and see their love for the children and families of Jubilee. They also teach and share Jesus’ love with the students as well as model how to live as Christ followers. It is truly a privilege to serve on this board as we serve to make an eternal difference in the lives of the students and families that God brings to Jubilee.

I had the joy of being a full-time Mom to our four kids while volunteering in our church and in other ministries. I also owned and managed a retail furniture store for 9 years as our kids were becoming young adults. Paul and I now serve together in a part-time Community Engagement position at church. Three of our children are married and we have two delightful grandkids.

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James Wieland – Member

I am a native Grand Rapidan who attended Calvin College and The University of Michigan School of Dentistry. I practiced family dentistry for almost 42 years in West Michigan. I have been a member of La Grave Avenue Christian Reformed Church since 1975. My wife Mary and I have been married for 51 years. We have three grown daughters and nine grandchildren.

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Emily Steenwyk, as a high school student, made her way into my life as a close friend of our daughter Lindsay and a regular visitor to our home. She eventually married David and headed off to California where Emily attended Fuller Seminary. Subsequently, we witnessed God’s call and vision for the Romero’s in our home when they shared with us their plans to start a Christian School in Honduras before Jubilee was even founded.

We are inspired to have witnessed God’s blessings and miracles as Jubilee has grown from prayer and dedication to God, and now is a living, thriving, growing school and church community glorifying God! Tegucigalpa is a violent place that desperately needs the quality God-centered education that Jubilee has to offer.

In 2017, I was honored to be asked to join the Jubilee board. Since accepting the call, God has revealed to me the ways that I can be helpful to the board, by using my background and knowledge to benefit His ministry in Honduras. My involvement has become a huge blessing in my personal walk with God. As of yet, I have not had the privilege of being on site at Jubilee in Honduras. However, I was a short-term missionary dentist in Guatemala right after graduating from dental school. My experiences there have been helpful in guiding me in my role with Jubilee. Soon God willing, I trust that I can make a trip to Honduras and see Jubilee first hand!

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David Romero – Member

Emily Romero – Member

 

 
 

Honduran Board

David Romero – Chair
Meliza Cabrera – Vice Chair
Kenny Santos – Treasurer
Liberth Calix – Fiscal
Iris Mayorga – Secretary
Gabriela Caso – Member
Emily Romero – Member