Noorthoek Academy is happy to introduce Kaitlin Doyle, the newest teacher on staff who recently started here at Noorthoek in September. Kaitlin was born and raised right here in Grand Rapids, attending high school at the local Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School. Kaitlin attended college at Grand Valley State University where she would go on to graduate in 2010 majoring in Psychology with an emphasis in Special Education.
Upon graduation, Kaitlin began her career at Wellspring Preparatory High School in Grand Rapids then moved to teach in Elizabeth, Colorado. Eventually Kaitlin would move back to Michigan teaching in the Wyoming school district. Then had the opportunity to take an interim break to work at an OBGYN office in Grand Rapids.
Kaitlin’s connection with Noorthoek is unique in the fact that she attended the same high school with our current Executive Director’s daughter at Catholic Central. Kaitlin thus far has been floored with all the students she has met at Noorthoek who have shown her, in just a short span of time, what amazing individuals they are, detailing how it is more than a class of not only lifetime learners, but also an environment that has been cultivated which fosters support and friendship amongst one another. Kaitlin describes Noorthoek as a welcoming environment with a great community element that feels like a family. Noorthoek Academy is grateful and delighted to have Kaitlin Doyle on board. She, her husband and son, William live on the SE side of Grand Rapids,
Jan VerMerris, a retired special education teacher and high school guidance counselor, is the newest addition to the Noorthoek Academy Board of Trustees. Mrs. VerMerris attended Hope College for two years. She transferred to Grand Valley after deciding to major in Special Education and completed her undergraduate degree there. She also has two Masters degrees, one in Special Education and one in Counseling. Jan spent twelve years as a special education teacher at Kent Occupational High School and at two schools in Illinois. She then worked for 28 years as a guidance counselor at South Christian High School.
Mrs. VerMerris has a unique connection to Noorthoek Academy. Her mother’s brother was Joseph Noorthoek, for whom the school is named. Jan says, “Uncle Joe was an inspiration to me. The work he did to improve special education was phenomenal. He introduced me to special education classrooms and helped me see that I was a good fit for my future vocation.”
After Jan retired she hoped to have some involvement with Noorthoek Academy, so last year when the new computer classes were offered she volunteered as an aide. She is helping again this year in addition to her new Board work, which she is very excited about. Mrs. VerMerris thinks Noorthoek Academy is an amazing school and fulfills a vital need in our community. She knows her Uncle Joe would be so pleased to see the continuing success of the program.
Chris, a longtime financial professional, aspires to giving back and creating community impact. She joined the Noorthoek Academy’s Board of Trustees in the spring of 2017 to add value to our mission and goals.
Attending as an undergraduate at Central Michigan University, Chris received a Bachelors inBusiness Administration with a major in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. As Director of Fiscal Services at Kentwood Public Schools, Chris managesthe business office and enjoys the diversity of a larger school district.
Currently, Christine’s two daughters are attending college at WMU to study Biomedical Science and KVCC for Business. Chris enjoys running, reading and spending time on Lake Michigan in the summer.