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Peyton DeRuiter


After attempting to avoid going into education at the beginning of my college career, God nudged me into Social Studies education during my freshman year at Michigan State University. In the midst of some of the most chaotic years in recent history, I was able to graduate, student teach and find my first job. I graduated from MSU’s James Madison College with a degree in Comparative Cultures and Politics and a Secondary Education certification, then student-taught Government and US history for a year at Holland Public High school. I then taught a life-giving year of 6/7 Reading, Writing, and Social Studies at The Potter’s House in Grand Rapids. The idea of coming back to teach Government and Social Studies at South started to form when God first pushed me toward education, and I am excited and surprised to be able to fulfill that dream so early in my teaching career. 

I’ve spent the last six summers working in various positions at Camp Roger in Rockford, getting to encounter and celebrate God’s love for his children through relationships and experiences in creation. I deeply enjoy being outdoors, experiencing the refreshing and restorative joy of creation. I love to read, embroider, play volleyball, run, and occasionally get lost in the Star Wars Galaxy or the MCU (depending on which is next up on the release schedule).

Faith Statement

I am a life-long learner when it comes to following Jesus. I am extremely grateful for the ways God has demonstrated His faithfulness to teach me more about Himself and a relationship with Him already, and I am looking forward to what God will continue to teach me about Himself and what it means to be transformed by the Spirit.

Choosing to follow Jesus, agreeing that I am loved and forgiven, modeling my life after Jesus, and loving and serving like Jesus, is real, hard, joyful, daunting, and so, so sweet. I trust that the God of peace has equipped me and my students for the good work He has planned and that He will work in us what is pleasing to Him, to the glory of Jesus Christ. Knowing this, I eagerly anticipate getting to join students, coworkers, and this community at the feet of Jesus to do the good work God has set before us as citizens of the Kingdom of heaven.