Meet Our Staff
Mr. Bill T. Napp
School Administrator/ Principal
I am a believer in Jesus Christ, wife to Ron, mother to 3 daughters and 3 sons-in-law, and grandma to 2 grandsons. I went to Bryan College and am currently continuing my education at Kellogg Community College in Early Childhood Education. I think little kids are great! I find them refreshing and sincere. I enjoy helping them see the world and learn to live in it the way God has planned. I think that children today need love, respect, guidance, and encouragement to grow into the adults God intended them to be. I also believe that the process is as important as the end result and want them to enjoy the journey. I love to have fun but also think that children need to be taught not just tolerated, so I want to help them understand how to give to and love others as well as themselves.
Jodi Byers Kindergarten jbyers@OtsegoChristianAcademy.org
I grew up in an amazing Christian home in Shelby, MI and am the oldest of five children. I am a 2010 graduate of Shelby High School and a 2014 graduate of Hope College, earning a degree in communications and ministry. After graduation, I began working as an Events Coordinator at the Ludington & Scottville Chamber of Commerce, helping plan large community events like the Ludington Gus Macker. In 2015, I took a position at Journey Family Church in Gobles, MI as the Children’s Ministry Director. Working in Children’s Ministry was a great joy for me but I felt the Lord leading me in a different ministry direction.
In 2017, God opened an amazing new door called Otsego Chrisitian Academy and a transition to the school turned into a beautiful blessing. Teaching the Word of God and helping inspire knowledge and growth is a job that I do not take lightly. Helping raise-up our youngest generation of Kingdom Builders is an exciting adventure-I am thrilled that the Lord has placed it on my heart!
When not hanging with kiddos, my hobbies include volunteering with the Miss America Organization, hot pink anything, iced coffee and spending time with my new hubby Caleb and black lab Gauge.”
Ruth Nichols 1st and 2nd Grade rnichols@OtsegoChristianAcademy.org
A teacher’s task: take a lot of live wires and see that they are well grounded.
I was raised in a Christian home and trusted Jesus as my Savior in first grade. I attended K-12 public schools and Christian universities. Although I was drawn to the field of education, I chose a Bachelor’s in English. My reasoning: before teaching, have something to teach! I needed to experience the work world and parenting before entering the classroom. How the Lord works is a continual wonder!
God directed my attention to Hs creation and to the joy of teamwork. My husband and I toured the U.S. as high school assembly technicians; we settled in St. Joseph; I worked as a children’s librarian; and finally, we worked as team management at self-storage facilities. Despite my sometimes faltering steps, I believe God orchestrated those experiences to His glory.
In 1994, God blessed us with twins. Presently, our son is at Cornerstone University, and our daughter, who is multiply impaired, has the job of keeping our home nest occupied. I am indebted to their teachers, therapists, and nurses throughout the years. They supported our children, but also, they influenced my philosophy: approach each child individually and craft instruction to his/her God-given design.
In 2003, God opened the door for me to earn a teaching certificate and a Master’s in Elementary Education. I taught kindergarten-first grade for nine years at a local Christian school where I focused on learning differences and education from a Biblical worldview.
I am so grateful to be in service to God at Otsego Christian Academy since 2014. My desire is that my students’ prayer may be: Ps. 119:73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding that I may learn thy commandments.
Teaching at OCA is the fulfillment of God’s calling on my life that started when I was a child. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be teacher and I’m thankful that I am now teaching at a school I attended when I was in elementary school.
I’m a local girl! I grew up in Otsego, attended Otsego Christian Academy (then Otsego Baptist Academy), and graduated from Otsego High School. I attended Cedarville University where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, with minors in Bible and English. After graduation I taught kindergarten in an inclusion classroom in Ohio and then first grade at Otsego Baptist Academy. My professional experience also includes being a substitute teacher, a preschool teacher, and (most recently) a special education paraprofessional.
I enjoy working with children, helping them see God in every aspect of life. I get excited when I see them master a new skill, make a friend and find joy in helping others. I like to celebrate life, including each season & holiday, and you’ll often hear me say, “We’re making memories!”
My husband, Scott, works for the City of Kalamazoo, and in 2016 we celebrated 20 years of marriage. We are blessed to have three children: Quinn, Nate and Madelyn. Some of our favorite activities are visiting Lake Michigan, swimming, playing with our golden retriever, Lily, water gun fights and anything that ends in laughter.
I am a child of God, wife to Jim, and mom to Ethan, Alex, and Liam. Jim is my high school sweetheart and we recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. Our boys are 12, 11, and 7. We are an active family and love to be outdoors doing most anything. Kayaking is a new favorite activity for all of us.
My education degree came from Grand Valley State University. I taught for a couple years at a charter school before becoming a mom. While my children were young I stayed home with them. As my youngest started kindergarten last year I took a step back into the classroom with substitute teaching. This fall (2017) will be my first year teaching 5th/6th grade at Otsego Christian Academy.
I believe that children need to realize how much they are loved and they are victorious because of Christ. All children are amazing gifts from God. I feel very fortunate that I am able to help teach His children. I look forward to helping them all learn and grow. Working with children is a passion of mine and I love to watch them flourish.
My favorite verse is Isaiah 40:31 – but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
I have lived in Kalamazoo almost all of my life. I graduated with honors from Otsego High School in 2008 and received my Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in 2012. While in Ann Arbor, I was actively involved in several different volunteer and ministry organizations on Michigan’s campus including Michigan From the Heart, Athletes in Action, Crusader’s for Christ, and University of Christian Outreach. I was also a coxswain for the Michigan Men’s Rowing Team all four years and competed in multiple regattas across the country and in Europe.
I am the fourth of six children, with three older sisters and two younger brothers. My family continues to rapidly grow, with three brothers-in-law, three nieces, two nephews, and two more on the way! Creating memories with family and friends is something I cherish, especially spending time with my little nieces and nephews. I also enjoy anything outdoors. From running, to hiking mountains, to playing just about any sport, I love it! I am very fond of baking, too!
During the past five years, I have been teaching within the Otsego and Plainwell school districts, fulfilling several long-term positions and substitute teaching. I come to OCA elated to begin working in such a supportive community where my passions for Jesus and teaching coincide. As a teacher, it is always one of my priorities to foster an environment in the classroom where students feel safe, accepted, worthy and loved. I teach with enthusiasm and a love for learning so that children develop a desire to love learning too, which enables them to grow to their highest potential. This year, I will be teaching a variety of math classes including 5th grade, 6th grade, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, and Personal Finance.
Science & Art
I teach Preschool-10th grade Art, 5th -9th grade Science, 5th -10th grade Health, and 9th/10th grade PE. I have six children, 4 of whom attend OCA. Our oldest attends Heritage Christian Academy and is a senior this year. We also have a special little guy waiting for us in heaven.
I attended Western Michigan University and have a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and Geology. (My husband and I met in college and have been married for 24 years now!)
My interests are many, but focus mainly on anything health/fitness/nutrition-related. I love to distance run. My favorite race of the year is the Frederick Meijer White Pine Trail 200-Mile Relay (aka the FRED). We run from Comstock Park to Cadillac and back in around 32 hours. Through the night and everything. SUPER fun! Although I prefer distance running, I just recently completed my first 5k. It was fun to see how fast I could push myself, since in the longer races speed is secondary to economy. Anyway… I could go on for hours. If you like to run, we should chat sometime… over coffee. I also love coffee.
My favorite verse is Psalm 119:32, “I will run the path of your commands, as you have set my heart free.”
Kim Lilge High School ELA klige@OtsegoChristianAcademy.org
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University with a major in English Education and started my career at Northpointe Christian Schools in Grand Rapids teaching 7th, 9th, and 10th grade Grammar and Composition before stopping to raise our four children. What a joy it is to equip students to face challenges for which they are unprepared and inexperienced and then to see them tackle the challenges and succeed. It is rewarding to see students grow in their ability to express themselves clearly and concisely and to apply a Christian Worldview to the texts and discussions we have in the classroom, and hopefully, beyond into their experiences in the world.
At 7 years old, I was confronted with the fact that it was my sin that put Jesus on the cross. I surrendered my life to the Lord then and continue to trust Him with every step. I find that allowing Jesus to live in me is a daily battle, but one that I do not face alone. God’s Word is enough, yet He has placed other believers in my life as a sharpening tool as well. I am thankful for the opportunity to be used at OCA to bring about the Lord’s purpose in the lives of the students placed in my care, and I am grateful as well for the impact the staff, teachers, students and families have had in the lives of my children and me.
I married my best friend, settled in Allegan, then stayed home to begin raising our son and three daughters. I have returned to the classroom with all four of our children and get to see each of them throughout the day! I enjoy reading when I have a chance, but mostly I just enjoy the experiences that come with being part of a family. Some of those joys have been snuggling in the dark morning before school, tasting the pan-fried tenderloins of my son’s first deer, watching soccer games, breakfast in bed on Mothers Day, and even their grumpy faces when they have to do something they don’t want to do (because I care about their character more than anything).
Dave Fleser Algebra II
Camera is out on a mission to capture the elusive teachers listed below. Check back for updates on this difficult task…
Donna Philmon Spanish I/II dphilmon@OtsegoChristianAcademy.org
Our Administrative Staff
Lori Hildenbrand Bookkeeper lhildenbrand@OtsegoChristianAcademy.org