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Meet the Staff

 Leslie Rindfliesch, Director

leslieI’m Leslie Rindfliesch!  I was born and raised in Port  Huron,  MI.  My family made the move from one lake to the other 8 years ago (and I must say that we absolutely LOVE the west side of Michigan!). I attended Central Michigan University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in language arts and mathematics.  In addition, I graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a Masters in Educational Leadership in 2010.   

This is my 16th year teaching, my 9th year with Zeeland Public Schools and my 5th year at Zeeland Quest!  I have taught every grade level, kindergarten through 8th grade in my career so far, and I am so proud to be the Director of the most amazing, non-traditional school in the area!  We are so lucky to have educational options here in Zeeland!  My husband, Mark, and I enjoy doing all types of outdoor activities with our girls, Alexis and Tessa (who also attend ZQuest), attending ZPS high school sporting events, traveling to Penn State football and volleyball games, and watching the girls participate in their activities (primarily I’m a taxi, getting them to their practices on time…for the most part)!  I very much enjoy listening to music, learning more about and improving education, relaxing in the sun (when I get a chance), and of course shopping!

This year will prove to be very rewarding, and I am more than excited to get started!  My goal this year is to work together with not only our awesome teachers, but our fabulous families as well, to take Zeeland Quest to the next level of outside-of-the-box learning, strive to continue our uniqueness within the great district of ZPS, and continue to learn and tackle the role of administrator with pride for our families and our district!  We have a wonderful school in front of us, great teachers facilitating the education of your learners and  leading the way to changing education by offering different opportunities to our community!  The kids of ZQuest are taking the lead in these new ways of learning and will prove to be leaders of their learning and our ever growing and changing community!  There are no limits on how, where and when we learn at Zeeland Quest and that excites me more than anything!

 

Marcy Blowers, 7th-8th grade teacher

All middle school classes are hosted on HaikuLearning in lieu of a class website.

mbHello! I’m Marcy Blowers and I will be celebrating my fifth year of learning, teaching, and growing at  ZQuest! My path to ZQuest started when I chose to pursue my lifelong passion for teaching by attending Hope College, where I graduated summa cum laude in May 2012 with a major in special education and a minor in mathematics education. Shortly after graduating, I was given the amazing opportunity to join ZQuest in its pilot year and to help shape a school that puts students first, not standards. Each year since has had its own milestones, with this past year being the graduation of my second group of students to complete a 3-year cycle of middle school at ZQuest. Not many teachers get the unique blessing of being able to witness and nurture the growths in academics, maturity, and self-awareness that students go through in those consecutive middle school years. Seeing that blossoming of confidence and identity is the best thing about teaching!

While providing my students with fun, dynamic, and relevant learning experiences through project-based learning is my passion, my focus this  year will be on making the collaborative teamwork elements of PBL a universal presence in the classroom. I want my students to view themselves as members of a team who work to pursue individual goals while supporting and encouraging their fellow team mates. It is my hope that successes, both individual and classroom-wide, will be celebrated by staff and peers alike.

Amongst the students at ZQuest, I’m known as the teacher who loves cats, purple, and The Wizard of Oz.. I also hold the title of “Teacher Most Likely to Get Mistaken For a Student.” When I’m not teaching, you will probably find me reading on the beach in the summer or snuggled up with my cats, Pippa and Izzy, and a book in the winter. My parents and younger sister, who reside in the suburbs of Chicago, love to visit and take advantage of the beach and all the tasty produce in West Michigan.

 

Amy Bultena, 5th-6th grade teacher

All 5th-6th grade classes are hosted on HaikuLearning in lieu of a class website.

abHello! My name is Amy Bultena, and I am thrilled to be at ZQ for my second year Last year, I was one of the middle school teachers, and this year I’ll be one of the teachers in the 5th/6th grade classroom.

I was born and raised in Farmington Hills in the Metro Detroit area, and lived there my whole life before attending Grand Valley State University, where I majored in Group Social Studies and Psychology and minored in Elementary Education. Since graduating in 2011, I’ve worked as a math and literacy interventionist in Farmington Hills, and as a kindergarten long term substitute, 5th grade long term substitute, and 6th grade special education assistant in Grand Haven.

In July 2013, I married my husband Andrew and moved back to the west side of the state. Although I miss the hustle and bustle of the Detroit area, I have grown to love the beauty of West Michigan and its’ close-knit community feel. There’s nothing quite like having Lake Michigan just a few miles away (but I am still getting used to the very snowy winters!). In my free time, I enjoy reading, going to the beach, riding bikes, and spending time with family and friends. My parents still live in Farmington Hills, and my older brother lives in Florida, and we love to travel to visit them.

I am very excited for this upcoming school year! ZQuest is an amazing place to grow and learn, and I am looking forward to a wonderful year for our middle school students.

 

Liz Hampton, 5th-6th teacher

All 5th-6th grade classes are hosted on HaikuLearning in lieu of a class website.

lizHello Zquest Families! My name is Liz Hampton. I am very excited to start my fifth year at ZQuest as one of the lead teachers for the 5th and 6th grade room!

During the first year of ZQuest I was a paraprofessional for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade room. My second year, I was a paraprofessional in the middle school room and in February I moved into the 4th and 5th grade room as a long-term substitute teacher. Finally, for the last two years, I enjoyed my time as a lead teacher in the 4/5 room. I am very much looking forward to next year working with 5th and 6th graders!

What I love most about ZQuest is the opportunity for students to learn 21st century skills that will prove to be very beneficial in our classroom and in their future!

Before ZQuest, I graduated from Grand Valley with a major in Social Studies and a minor in Elementary Education. I was born and raised in Holland, MI along with my sister (Kate) and brothers (Dave and Tom). They have all since moved away to Atlanta, San Francisco, and New York City. Luckily I love to travel and now have many places I can stay for free! I have two nieces (who live in Atlanta) and I try to visit them as much as possible. In my spare time I love to stay active and get outside as much as I can! Mrs. Pyle, Mrs. Blohm and I had a blast coaching Girls on The Run this past year and I hope to be able to do that again! I also love to read, bake, and do crafty things..

One goal I have for this year is to encourage a growth mindset in our classroom, for example, instead of thinking, “This is too hard!” we will try to think, “This may take some time and effort.” This mindset will challenge students to persevere and become more independent with their learning.

 

Lindsey Droppers, 3rd-4th grade teacher

lindseyHello! My name is Lindsey Droppers (Boeve) and I am excited to begin my second year at ZQuest! I am the 3rd and 4th grade teacher this year. My first year at ZQuest was a blast- I am so thankful to be a part of such an amazing school!

In May of 2015 I graduated from Hope College with a major in English Language Arts and minor in Elementary Education. During my time at Hope I enjoyed getting involved in Greek Life and opportunities through the education department.

I was born and raised in Hamilton, Michigan along with my brother (Nick) and sister-in-law (Alisha) and attended Hamilton Community Schools. In my free time I enjoy spending time outdoors. I love to hike, camp and go to the beach! I also love running. I have run 2 half marathons and I ran my first marathon this May in Traverse City with my Fiance, Joey! We are looking forward to getting married on July 9th!

One of many goals I have for this year is to challenge and encourage my students to be critical thinkers and to teach them how to have ownership of their learning.I am eager to get to know each of my students and their learning styles.  ZQuest students show a great passion for learning which is unique to our school. Teaching in this environment has given me such great joy!

 

Kimberly Villanueva, 3rd-4th grade teacher

kimHi! My name is Kimberly Villanueva and this will be my 10th year of teaching!  I graduated from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education.  I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 2008 where I taught 2nd grade for 1 year and 3rd grade for 4 years.  My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years.  We have an amazing little girl named Ellery Faith, who is 4 and going on 14!  As a family, we love to visit the zoo, ride bikes, and play at the park!

It has been such an immense joy to be a part of a school that values kids and their learning.  It has been such a pleasure to be a part of this amazing team and change the way we educate our kids.    Project Based Learning has just ignited a deeper passion within me for helping students gain the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in this Global Economy.  I love the excitement that they bring and the desire to improve and encourage one another.

 

Amy Funk, 1st-2nd grade teacher

afHello! My name is Amy Funk and I am one of the 1st-2nd grade teachers.  This will be my 5th year teaching with Zeeland Quest.  I love watching my students develop a love for learning and how they push me because they want to go above and beyond of what is required of them. During break weeks and over the summer my students continue to contact me on what they are learning and what they have achieved. A goal for me and my students this year will be to help them develop their critical thinking, problem solving and 21st Century skills to become self directed learners to reach their highest level of achievement.

I grew up in Dundee, Michigan and graduated from Dundee High School. I have a Marketing Degree from Eastern Michigan University and a Teaching Degree from Grand Valley State University. I currently live in Grand Haven with my Husband and our 2 sons, Kyle and Derek. Kyle will be starting his 3rd year at Hope College.  Derek will be in Senior in High School this fall. In April, our family opened our home to a High School Student who needed a place to stay so that he could finish High School this next school  year. We are enjoying having Carlos added to our family..

 In my spare time I love to read, play games, spend time with my family, travel and spend time at the beach.

 

Shannon Foerch, 1st-2nd grade teacher

sfHi! I’m Shannon Foerch and I am one of the 1st-2nd grade teachers.  I grew up in Mid-Michigan and have now fallen in love with West Michigan.  I am a Hope College graduate and earned my master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Western Michigan University in 2014.  This will be my 10th year of teaching, all in K-2 classrooms.  I had a great opportunity to live and teach in Georgia, but am happy to be home in Michigan 🙂  I love ZQuest for the multi-age aspect and the ability to meet learners where they are at – it’s so neat to see my students’ knowledge and abilities grow exponentially! Every year, my hope is that I can create a loving and safe learning environment for my students so that they will love learning.

My husband Luke and I have been married for 8 years.  We enjoy spending time with our friends & families, playing board games, hiking, as well as completing DIY projects for our home as well as for my classroom. This past December we had our daughter Nora; she has been and continues to be a huge blessing to us!

 

Zach Adams, Kindergarten Teacher

zachHi, my name is Zachary Adams I am excited to begin my second year as one of the K-1 teachers. I was born and raised in the Columbus, Ohio area. I am the youngest of four children in my family, which includes two older sisters and one older brother. My parents raised me to be a responsible, respectful, and intelligent person who is driven to be the best man that I possibly can be. I find joy in reading, which I developed from my father, and I also enjoy staying active whether that is playing or coaching soccer.

My goals as a teacher include teaching the students to be independent learners as well as problem solvers. At ZQuest we focus around Project Based Learning where students are encouraged to communicate and collaborate with each other to answer questions and fully understand the content. I have a passion for  reaching the students on an individual level and making sure their learning style is being accounted for. In my class we will be using technology not to substitute for learning, but to enhance the learning that is already taking place. I will strive to help my students to love the learning process. In my class we are a team and treat one another like family so that every individual feel like they are loved and respected in the classroom. I know that I am in the classroom to teach the students, but I am also there to learn from the students how I can be a more influential teacher.

 

Courtney Pyle, K-8 Special Education Teacher

cpHello my name is Courtney Pyle and I am ZQuest’s resource teacher.  I received my degree from Aquinas College in May of 2011.  Through this degree I am certified to teach K-12 Special Education, 6-8 Language Arts and all subjects K-5.  I completed my student teaching at Cityside Middle School as a part of the 6th grade team. In the fall of 2011 I aided in the resource room at Lincoln Elementary and then took a long-term substitute position in the Cognitively impaired room at Hudsonville High School for the remainder of the year.  Since then, I’ve been the resource teacher for Zeeland Quest, Roosevelt and Lincoln before deciding that Zeeland Quest would be my permanent home.  In 2014, I started the year split between ⅘ and resource to start the year and then switched to full time ⅘ in October. Last year I headed back to the resource position as I found that it was truly my passion to work with struggling learners.  I’m thrilled that ZQuest is embracing inclusion for the resource students and am very excited to be a part of this!  It is great for all students to not have to be pulled out of instruction, but instead be assisted with the current instruction being given in their classroom!

I have been married for two years and  in my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, taking pictures, playing games, camping,  hiking, biking, kayaking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and many more outdoor activities!  

My goal for this year is to bridge the gap between special education and general education and make the supports seamless in a way that students get the support they need without being separated from their peers.  

 

Jen Frego, K-8 Spanish Teacher

jfHi! My name is Jen Frego. I am excited be at ZQuest again for my second year! I am teaching K-8 Spanish and I am very excited to see the growth and learning all students have made across all levels!

I grew up in Holland, I graduated from Grand Valley State University,  majored in Spanish and  I have a minor in Sociology. I loved my travel experiences to Mexico a variety of times with school doing mission work and other times on vacation.  I spent some time living in Sevilla, Spain where I took a college literature course and got to experience the beautiful country and culture. I got to live with a Spanish family; it was such a great experience! I think that being able to take a second language out into the world to explore, learn and contribute to other countries and cultures is such a gift and an amazing opportunity. I am excited to look into different ways we can use our Spanish in our own community too!  I previously taught 4 years of middle school and high school Spanish in Holland, during that time got married and I took a break from teaching to be home with my kids when they were babies.  I also taught elementary and middle school Spanish including three school immersion for 4 years at another school here in Zeeland.  I have been married to my husband Jon for 11 years and we have two kids: Mya age 10 and Owen age 8. In my free time I love spending time with friends and family, walking our two dogs, going for bike rides, reading, gardening, decorating and our new family adventure, camping!

 Breanne Blohm, K-5 Reading Interventionalist  

breHi! My name is Breanne Blohm and I am so excited to be a part of the ZQuest team again this year.  I started this journey at ZQuest in April 2014, as the K-3 Paraprofessional.  For the 2014-2015 school year, I also had the opportunity to work with the 4th-5th graders (along with K-3) as a Paraprofessional.  This past year, I became a Reading Interventionist for K-5.  One of my favorite things about ZQuest is the small group atmosphere and being able to push each student to do their best, no matter what strengths and weaknesses they have.  As the K-5 Interventionist, I absolutely love having the opportunity to work with students in all different grade levels!

I attended Central Michigan University and graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education in 2013.  I completed my student teaching in a 2nd/3rd grade classroom in Grand Haven in the fall of 2013.  Then, I had the opportunity to long term sub at the same school for a maternity leave.  After 6 weeks of subbing, I was blessed to join the amazing team at ZQuest!

I grew up in a small town an hour north of Zeeland called Shelby.  I have one older sister who lives in Rothbury with her husband, Jose, and dogs, Nala and Simba. I have been married to my husband, Chad, for 4 years.  We enjoy spending time with friends and family and playing with our sheltie, Buddy.  In my free time, my favorite thing to do is read – suspense and mystery are my favorite genres of books.  I also have grown to love running, and enjoy getting outside to run when the weather is nice.