Our Staff

Eileen Brandwein

Eileen received her degree from Hope College in Psychology and has a huge passion for little ones. She works alongside staff and students as our Kindercademy and Kindergarten Parapro. She is married to her husband Zach and are loving life with their new puppy!

Sara Vereeke

Sara is our resident Human Resources Expert.  She received her Bachelors Degree from Grand Valley in Management with a Human Resources Emphasis.  Sara’s Human Resources background includes over 20 years of experience in several industries.  Sara’s hope is that she can impact the next generation by providing a supportive environment for teachers and staff.  Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her husband Keith and son Nathan.  Together they enjoy camping, kayaking, and watching Nathan’s sports activities.

Sharon Brandner

Sharon Brandner is our art teacher here at Innocademy.  She originally earned her art education degree from Northern Illinois University, took classes at the Art Institute and taught high school in the Chicago area for 5 years before moving to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where she lived for 17 years and raised three children. There she attended Northern Michigan in Marquette in a graduate program.  In addition to art, she attained an early childhood degree.  She attended Cornerstone university and earned a masters degree in education.  She has taught every grade level as well as adults.  She most recently taught in Grand Rapids. She participated in Art Prize for 5 years and her work is shown at several school.  She loves to travel just about anywhere.

Chad Zuber

Chad loves blending engineering into the classroom.  Over his years of teaching he has taught everything from Kindergarten to High School.  Most of that time has been in science, but his passion is in design thinking and project based learning.  This year he and his students will be building and exploring a huge variety of things from bubble wands, to aquaponics in the greenhouse, to robotics.  Check them out up in ZipperLabs.  Also save your junk drawer items for him if you get a chance.  Collecting bins will be set up for everything from twist ties to 2x4s!

Kristina Boersma

Kristina is excited to be the School Social Worker on both the Innocademy and iCademy Global Teams.  She has over 20 years of experience working with students and families, 16 of which have been in a local middle school.  Kristina completed her undergraduate degree in Biology/PreMed at Hope College and earned her MSW degree from Grand Valley State University and is a fully licensed clinical social worker.  She enjoys West Michigan summers, traveling, reading, and crafting, but most of all spending time with her husband, Vince, and daughter, Grace.

Katie Wilson

Ms. Katie is the Learn to be Fit teacher for all grades at Innocademy Homestead and Innocademy Allegan. This is her second year at Innocademy. She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a major in Physical Education and a minor in School Health. Some of her hobbies are playing tennis, being outdoors, and spending time with her husband, Justin, and daughter, Madelyn.

Hillary Schmidt

Ms. Hillary is the music teacher at Innocademy’s Homestead and Allegan campus. She graduated from Hope College with a vocal music education degree and has taught elementary music in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago for the past eight years. Hillary is an Orff Schulwerk certified teacher and is currently working on a master’s degree from Vandercook College of Music. Hillary is excited to be back in the West Michigan area where she enjoys cooking, gardening, and spending time with family, friends, and her husband, Matt.

Noemi Hoven

Noemi returns to Innocademy for her second year. She supports our Younger Friends as a Parapro in our Spanish Immersion Program, Las Huellas. In 2008 after completing her degree, Noemi moved to Michigan to follow the love of her life. She is a board member of Harvest Stand Ministries, located in Zeeland, and hopes to give back to the community by serving those in need. Noemi enjoys running, sewing, everything DIY, and loves spending time with her husband, Pete, and children, Brianna and Nathan.

Ashley Dentler

Ashley is the elementary FLES teacher teaching Spanish to young 5’s through 4th grade students. She very recently graduated from Alma College where she received her Bachelor of Arts studying elementary education with specialization in early childhood education and teaching Spanish. Ashley is excited for her first year of teaching to be at Innocademy! When she’s not in the classroom, she enjoys playing and watching sports, spending time with family, and exploring new cultures.

Kelly Lepley

Kelly Lepley is happy to begin his 4th year of teaching and his first year at Innocademy. He has his BA in social studies from Hope College. He has a passion for History, teaching technology skills, engaging students creativity and constructive abilities, and athletics. In his spare time Kelly enjoys volunteering at church, coaching, camping, fishing, and hanging out with his wife and friends.

Tatiana Boinais

Tatiana Boinais is ecstatic to be starting her first year of teaching after recently graduating from Michigan State University. She has her BA in Language arts with minors in French and ESL instruction. This year Tatiana will be teaching English Language Arts for 5th through 8th grade. In her spare time Tatiana enjoys reading, cooking and quilting.

Kate Webb

Ms. Kate spends her time at Homestead Campus working at the technology center alongside the (awesome) Student Technology Team. She also teaches special education for 5th – 9th grade students from both Innocademy and iCademy. Ms. Kate loves teaching where she can truly help students discover how to be happy, healthy, and whole. Where else can you work with special education, technology, and amazing people all at the same time? Connecting with others, reading, exploring the great outdoors, and spending time with her husband Josh are some of her favorite things to do.

Sara Sultan

Sara is grateful to be part of the Innocademy family for a second year!  She graduated from University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  This is her first year in Blue Room and is thrilled to be working with the middle friends. Sara moved to Holland about two years ago and loves exploring Michigan with her husband, Tipu.  Sara also enjoys hiking, watching movies, photography and pyrography (wood burning).

Gina Dobbin

Gina is excited to join Innocademy this year!  She graduated from the University of Georgia in middle school education and later an early childhood certification from Grand Valley University.  She comes to us from Zeeland Public Schools teaching preschool for 11 years.  She and her husband Chip live in Zeeland with their three children Spencer, Brooke, and Lily.  Chip enjoys cooking and Gina loves reading a good book at the beach.  Spencer attends Western Michigan University in the engineering program.  Brooke is a 3 sport athlete and is looking forward to her senior year and Lily is excited to start her sophomore year with friends and enjoys distance running.

Alvin Essenburg

Alvin is excited to be at Innocademy for his second year.  Alvin has taught in Texas, Michigan, and Indiana and he has greatly enjoyed being part of the Innocademy family.  He is passionate about helping his 5th through 8th grade students learn about and explore the world around them by participating in scientific activities.  Alvin loves spending time with his wife and 4 children.  In their free time they love playing games, being outdoors, growing things, and camping.

Jessenia Martinez

Jessenia Martinez is excited to begin her second year teaching as Spanish Immersion’s 3rd grade teacher! She is looking forward to getting to know her class in a Thing 1 and Thing 2 classroom by Dr. Seuss.  Jessenia is a Certified Spanish Teacher and has taught for about six years. She graduated from Hope College in 2010. Her parents are from Mexico and she was born and raised in Holland, MI.  She learned English at the age of 12 so she understands the challenges that come with learning another language, but values this unique opportunity.  Jessenia has one daughter, Delyla, who is a younger friend at Innocademy in the Las Huellas program. In her spare time, Jessenia enjoys dancing, reading and writing!

Rachel Walendzik

Rachel is thrilled to return to Innocademy for her second year of teaching. She loves being part of the Innocademy family, and looks forward to continue growing as a teacher, learner, and leader! Rachel teaches second grade standards to our Spanish Immersion friends in Las Huellas.  She graduated from Aquinas College with a Bachelors Degree in Spanish and an Elementary Teaching Certification. Since studying abroad in Costa Rica,  Rachel has loved traveling and exploring cultures different than her own. She also has a passion for thrift shopping, DIY projects, and making memories with her family!

Abbie Ritzema

Abbie Ritzema is excited to begin her first year working at Innocademy in the kitchen. Abbie has 3 children who attend Innocademy; Savannah in the Blue Room, Avery in the Orange Room and Ross in the Yellow Room. Abbie feels very welcomed into the Innocademy family and enjoys working with Rosie in the kitchen making sure the kids have a balanced meal each day. In her spare time, Abbie enjoys sewing and listening to music.

Rosie Elsess

Ms. Rosie is from Holland, MI. She graduated from Holland High School. She has been married now for 16 years to her husband Erik and have 4 children. Their older son Jacob (25) and daughter Stephanie (24) live in Tucson AZ. Their daughters Kim (15), and Catie (12) live at home and they are in 10th and 7th grade. She feels very blessed to be working here at Innocademy and serving our kids.


Jody Voss

Jody is excited to return for her 4th year at Innocademy.  She will be spending her time upstairs with our older and oldest friends.  Jody loves being a part of the Innocademy team and is blessed to work with a team who is incredibly passionate about the growth of students.  Jody lives in Zeeland with her husband and 4 children.  When she is not working with kiddos at school, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, camping, playing games and reading.

Brenda Busscher

Brenda Busscher is thrilled to continue working with the incredible staff and students at Innocademy. She loves working with all different age levels of students to help them grow in the areas of reading and math. She and her husband Randy live in the Zeeland area where they are raising their four teenage children. When she is not hanging out with kids at school, Brenda loves to spend time with her family, especially riding along with her husband on his Harley Davidson! She also loves to travel, read, go for walks and spend time with friends.

Gabrielle Kosters

Gabrielle Kosters is returning for her third year at Innocademy as the K-4 Resource Room teacher. After graduating from Indiana Wesleyan University with a degree in Special Education and Elementary Education, Gabrielle worked with at-risk students in Grand Haven Public Schools. Gabrielle loves working at Innocademy and feels blessed to be part of such a devoted team of servant-leaders. She enjoys working with students of all ages and finds joy in watching students grow and overcome obstacles. Gabrielle and her husband, Evan, live in Grand Haven and love the beauty of West Michigan. In her spare time, Gabrielle enjoys writing, reading, and volunteering with the worship and youth ministries at her church

Heidi Wolters

Heidi is excited to be working at the front desk again this year.  Heidi and her husband Ryan have two daughters, Jennika will be a freshman at Zeeland West and Jossalyn is a blue room friend.  Outside of school Heidi works in her salon in her home, enjoys spending time with her family, shopping, and also scrapbooking.

Kristy VanWort

Kristy is SUPER excited to join the Precademy team as the teacher for the Tuesday and Thursday morning class.  Kristy, in her 3rd year with Innocademy, also helps in the green room.  In addition to her time in education, Kristy has 7 years experience working with children at a hospital in Grand Rapids as well.  She has two children at Innocademy;  Chloe is in the Orange room and Bryce is in the Blue room.  In her spare time, Kristy enjoys camping, kayaking, talking walks with my husband, and reading at the beach.  She is looking forward to meeting all the new families and kiddos this year!!

Dinah Pereira

This is Maestra Dinah´s 4th year as  part of the Spanish Immersion team at Innocademy and she teaches to 1st grade objectives. She comes to Inno with a Bachelors in education from Hope College, a Masters in educational administration from University of Phoenix and 9 years of special education experience.  Dinah and her husband, Danny live in Holland and have been happily married for 7 years. Dinah enjoys reading, singing and spending time with  her two sons Emanuel and Benjamin.

Cory Dams

Cory enters his 4th year at Innocademy and loves being part of the Innocademy family. He graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis on math and social studies. After completing his student teaching in Perth, Australia, Cory moved to Raleigh, North Carolina and taught mainly at the middle school level. He earned his Masters of School Administration from North Carolina State University. Cory and his wife, Jenn, moved back to the Holland-Zeeland area after spending eight years in North Carolina.  Cory enjoys spending time with his son, listening to music, reading YA novels, running, swimming, biking, camping, and staying active.

Kristie Aukema

Kristie Aukema is looking forward to beginning her fourth year teaching as an aide in Precademy. She received her Elementary Education degree from Calvin College. She and her husband, John, have three children, Nathan (16), Kaleb (14), and Grace (almost 8), who enjoys attending Innocademy’s Spanish Immersion Program. Working with young children has always been her passion, so Kristie is very grateful to have the joy and privilege to be a part of nurturing Innocademy’s youngest friends.

Kerri Bosch

Kerri feels very blessed as she enters her 6th year teaching at Innocademy and her 3rd year in the Blue Room with the middle friends.  Her educational passion is teaching kids to love reading and writing.  Kerri has been married to Chris for 24 wonderful years. They have two incredible children, Jake 21, and Katie 18, both attending Grand Valley State University. Kerri enjoys weekends at the beach, reading, shopping, and HGTV home projects.


Natalia Bravo

Natalia is excited to return to Innocademy to teach our Youngest Friends in our Spanish Immersion Program – Las Huellas. She was born and raised in México until the age of 24. Graduated from México University as well. Natalia moved to the US and settled in Holland, Mi since December 1994. Living in the United States has provided Natalia with opportunities to grow and develop, both in her personal and professional life. She is married to her husband Esteban and has two amazing children, Cristian and Oliver who are the reason of her life.

Kelli Gunn

Kelli Gunn returns to Innocademy for her 10th year.   This marks Kelli’s 23rd year in education. She received her BA degree from Aquinas College and her MA degree from Western Michigan University. Kelli was also fortunate enough to attend the Reading Institute at Columbia University’s Teachers College lead by Lucy Calkins.  Social Studies is her passion with an emphasis on stewardship. Traveling near and far is one of her favorite Innocademy foundations.  Kelli learns alongside middle schoolers for electives classes…from Yearbook to Capstone. Her very favorite role is being mom to recent Innocademy graduate, Cameron, and watching him on the lacrosse field!

Monica Kraai

Monica feels incredibly blessed to be a part of the Innocademy family for her fifth year. Upon learning about the goals and ambitions of Innocademy, Monica felt an immediate desire to become a part of the school. She is very excited to be working with the youngest friends again this year and working with everyone that makes Innocademy such a beautiful place to be! Monica earned her BA degree from Hope College in 2009. She has always been very passionate about working with children and helping them find their love in learning. Monica loves to read and travel. She loves spending time with her daughter and husband and is so excited to welcome a new little one January 2017! Monica can be reached at monica.kraai@innocademy.com

Leisa Lobbezoo

Leisa Lobbezoo is excited to begin her 8th year with IES Schools and her 21st year in education. She received both her BA and MA degrees from Western Michigan University. Leisa’s educational passion is science and math. In her spare time, she enjoys playing softball, rooting on the Detroit Tigers, reading and laughing with her husband, JD, and children, Jack and Anna.

Cyndi Nykamp

Ms. Cyndi is excited to begin her 5th year teaching 2nd grade curriculum in the Green Room at Innocademy Homestead. She loves being able to teach at her Just Right level!  She enjoys spending time with her own children, Caleb, Lydia and Elijah. Some of her hobbies include sewing, gardening and baking.

Ruth Tahtinen

Ruth has started her fourth year as part of the Innocademy team in the custodial role. She has been married to Ron for 30 years. They have three sons; Randy 27, David 26, and Moose (Matthew) 24. They have 3 daughter-in-laws Kristy, married to Randy, Janelle, married to David, and Megan married to Moose. Ron and Ruth are also proud grandparents to Ava, Mika (Moose and Megan) and Sawyer (Randy and Kristy) . In their spare time Ron and Ruth enjoy baby sitting, going up north to the cabin, walking, biking, and watching the Detroit Tigers.