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Rachel Westra


When I was younger and adults suggested teaching for a possible career, I strongly resisted the idea. Because both my parents were educators, I wanted to do something unique. However, while student teaching in college, I learned for myself why teaching is so rewarding. Since then, I’ve been challenged and fulfilled by this engaging profession that allows me to unite my passions for people and language arts. In 1997, I graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in English and Communications. I received my M.A. in Theatre from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. For the first five years of my career, I taught at Kalamazoo Christian High School. At SCHS, I currently I teach AP English Lit., Comp 9, and World Literature. My husband Mark and I have two sons: Sam attends Wheaton College, and Eli goes to Calvin University. As a family, we enjoy camping, biking, and traveling. I’ve also been a book club member for the last fifteen years.

Faith Statement

Early on in my teaching career, a mentor encouraged me to find a metaphor for my role as a Christian educator. The sun-catchers that graced my parents’ living room became vivid visual reminders. In a drawer, a sun-catcher doesn’t serve its purpose; it needs to be displayed where the light can glow through and reflect its colors. Similarly, my teaching is simply colored glass without Christ’s light. I am blessed to work in an environment where I can freely acknowledge my dependence on this marvelous Creator. While I enjoy pointing students to the beauty of a written metaphor, most of all, I want to point them to the beauty of their Savior. I hope my students will also become Son-catchers to reflect His glory to others.