Cavalier Feature: CVC Staff Leave, Taking Memories

We asked staff about their fondest memory (or two) from their time at Central Valley Christian Schools. Some are silly, some are sentimental, but they all have one thing in common: they’ll be taking these memories with them for the long-haul!

Tracy Vanderhelm – 3rd Grade
The best memory for me would be connecting a child with a new favorite book and leading book club and discussing so many great books with children.  I will never forget the many great friends I’ve been able to work with, some of them being family too!

Pat Rainbow – MS Spanish and Bible (previously HS Spanish)
My most memorable experiences were the 12 years of mission trips to Rancho Sordo Mudo with senior Spanish 4 classes when I was teaching at the high school.

Alecia Vanden Berg – HS English
There’s nothing like the whole process of meeting students when they’re freshmen, watching them mature through high school, then keeping in touch with them and seeing them flourish into adulthood. I’m proud of them and humbled to have been part of their journey, and each time it’s a reminder of God’s faithfulness.

John Vanden Berg – 4th Grade
There’s nothing like the amazing, loving, and caring students that have walked in my door the past 11 years. Visalia and CVC will forever be a part of our lives and we thank the community that has so graciously accepted us.

Tara Bosma – Tech Integrator (previously 1st grade)
While walking past the Elementary MMC, all of the sudden, I heard angelic voices in an impressive 4-part harmony singing a praise song. I stopped dead in my tracks–these are kids singing this well?! I went over to the doorway and witnessed the elementary praise choir singing at the top of their lungs to their Savior with such a humbling innocence.  With tears in my eyes, I thought, THIS is why I attended, dedicated my work, and will send my own children to this school.

Daeleen Visser – 5th Grade
I’ll never forget the first time I took my class to chapel and heard the students join together in singing, “We Believe.” Hundreds of children proclaiming truth with full voices brought me nearly to tears where I stood.

Brie Arnold – 1st Grade
My first year at CVC, I was having a conversation with a student about Heaven and he said to me, ¨When we get to Heaven, will it be like our eyes are closed and then they will be opened, and we will see all the glory of God?¨ He was 6 at the time. What a blessing to be able to teach and speak truth into the lives of students over the last three years!

Matt Fikkert – MS Science (previously HS Science)
My favorite CVC memory is traveling down to San Diego in a small car with Jim Elsenbroek and my future wife Kristi to watch the CVC girls playoff game.  It was my first year, I had no idea what I was going to teach the next day, the girls were heavily over matched, and it was ridiculously inefficient use of time, but I would go on that road trip all over again. I will never forget the overall generosity of the CVC community.  They have given me far more than I could ask for or deserve.

Steve Hamlin – Interim ES Principal
I have loved leading and teaching the KPT (Kids Praise Team) to sing in three-part harmony. Working with talented, young musicians has been a highlight of my time here.  

Greg Wojczynski – HS Principal
My favorite memory has to be going to a dairy with Ag Science and learning how to find the cervix of a cow. Being shoulder-deep in a cow is something you never forget!

Kasee Kausen – ES Secretary
I loved having sweet trio check ins from my daughter Tori, along with Alex and Zoe–what a huge blessing it was to be on campus with my daughter for the last two years. Another favorite memory: a student came in to ask where the “Lost and Fountain” was!

Barbara Hedayat – ES Aide
One thing I’ll always fondly remember is when one of my students, Kiara, would ask me to be her surrogate “Grandma” for Grandparents Day. I was privileged to do this every year for four years!


Bern Vanderhelm – 5th Grade
One of my favorite memories is the joy of seeing children learn how to play chess and master the game at our Chess Club meetings.  Their competitive spirit, their endless chatter, and cooperative behavior will be hugely missed! I’ll always remember the laughter with colleagues, the infectious smiles of students, the muffins in the faculty lounge, and the belief that God was in the middle of everything we did!


I will never forget the overall generosity of the CVC community.  They have given me far more than I could ask for or deserve.


To learn more about CVC’s tight-knit, loving Christian community, and the memories that you could make here in the future, (even starting in Kindergarten) click here!

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