Meet the Team

OCSN Administrative Team

 

 

 

Caroline Geist, Director

Email Caroline
810-252-1648

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Caroline Geist is the Director of Ottawa Community Schools Network. She previously worked as a Community School Coordinator with Kent School Services Network before being hired on to launch OCSN. She also has previous experience building up and coordinating tutoring and mentoring programs in schools in Kent County.

What Caroline loves about her job:  She loves seeing the change that comes from the community, families, and schools working together to do what's best for kids. She also thinks she has the best staff around!

What is making Caroline happy these days: Caroline enjoys spending time with family and the opportunity to be outdoors and enjoy the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Dershem, Assistant Director

Email Angela
616-422-2074

smiling girlAngela Dershem is Assistant Director of  the Ottawa Community Schools Network. She has also worked as a Parent Liaison, a special education teacher, and a Minister of Children and Families. 

What Angela loves about her job:  She loves collaborating with incredible professionals to working toward solutions to meet the needs of children, families and schools.  She also really loves her staff and getting to support the incredible work they do in schools. 

What is making Angela happy these days: She loves spending time with the people she loves and being active, especially outdoors.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Community School Coordinators

Alli Vance-

Hudsonville Public Schools

South Elementary

Community School Coordinator

Email Alli

616-669-9362 

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Alli Vance has experience working at Children's Protective Services & Drug and Alcohol Prevention. 

What Alli loves about her job: She loves being in the school setting and being able to help create an environment where students and their families can feel safe and ask for help when needed.

What is making Alli happy these days: Alli loves spending time with her family, reading, and camping.


 

Bri Blanksma

Allendale Public Schools

Evergreen Elementary

McKinney - Vento Liaison / Asst. Community School Coordinator 

616-892-3561 | F: (616)-895-9191

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Brianne (Bri) Blanksma is the Assistant Community School Coordinator and McKinney-Vento Liaison for Allendale Public Schools at Evergreen Elementary.  Bri has also worked as an Assistant Preschool Teacher. 

What Bri loves about her job: She loves helping others!

What is making Bri happy these days: Children, animals and reading make her happy!


 

Caity DeBoard

Holland Public Schools

Jefferson Elementary 

Community School Coordinator

616-494-2384 | F: 616-393-7569

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Before joining OCSN Caity DeBoard  worked at a counseling agency. Caity had several roles there including case management for counseling clients, interpreting counseling sessions, and working in the front office.

What Caity loves about her job: Every day is different. Working as a coordinator is never boring!  Each day she is blown away by the support that the community has for Jefferson students and families. Caity loves that she can be a support for students in so many ways.

What is making Caity happy these days: Playing Pokemon Go! with her 7yr old nephew! It's a little silly, but they have the best time doing it!


 

Casey VanAntwerpen

Coopersville Public Schools

East Elementary and West Early Childhood Center

Community School Coordinator

Email Casey

(616)-997-3646

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Casey VanAntwerpen brings with her experience working as a counseling contractor for the state, a school counselor, and a YMCA Program Director. 

What Casey loves about her job: She loves impacting her own community. 

What is making Casey happy these days: Watching her three kids grow is making her happy.


 

 

Lauren Gray

Holland Public Schools

Holland High School

Community School Coordinator

Email Lauren

616-494-2071

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Lauren Gray has previous experience as a dean of students for three years at Holland High School and a background in psychology and sociology.

What Lauren loves about her job: Lauren is excited to dive into this new position at Holland High supporting the students and staff she has grown to love over the years. She is also passionate about partnering with the community that has welcomed her and serves so many of the students and families in various ways already.

What's making Lauren happy these days: Lauren loves to read and loves to travel, especially to Europe and Northern Michigan. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her daughter and husband and adventure together. 


Ashley Golin

Holland Public Schools

Holland Language Academy

Community School Coordinator

Email Ashley

616-494-2635

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Jenna Walbeck

Hamilton Community Schools

Hamilton Elementary

Community School Coordinator

Email Jenna

269-751-5413 x4009 F: 269-751-7554

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Jenna Walbeck has experience working as a Clinical specialist at Neurocore Brain Performance Center delivering biofeedback and neurofeedback treatment, and as a therapist at the Children’s Advocacy Center. 

What Jenna loves about her job: Jenna likes being able to think creatively and work collaboratively with various individuals and organizations to offer support to the students, families and staff of Hamilton.

What is making Jenna happy these days: She is happy when she is spending time with her family.


 

Kari Wiersema

Allendale Public Schools

Evergreen Elementary and Allendale Middle School

Community School Coordinator

Email Kari

(616)-892-3470 x4120 | F: (616)-895-9191

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Kari Wiersema has also worked as a Mckinney-Vento Liaison (Evergreen Elementary- 3 years); Catholic Charities (Pregnancy Counselor - 1 year); Lakeshore Pregnancy Center - Allendale Director (9 years). 

What Kari loves about her job: Kari loves that she gets to support her students, families and staff by finding ways to hopefully make their lives a little bit easier. And she LOVES that she gets to see kids everyday.

What is making Kari happy these days: Kari feel so blessed because she loves both her family and her work family and she is so incredible happy and excited to see the school filled with kids again!


 

Lana Kamer

Zeeland Public Schools

Roosevelt Elementary and Venture Academy

Community School Coordinator

Email Lana

(616) 748-4777 ext. 2538  F: (616) 748-3054

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Lana Kamer was formerly a Child and Adolescent Therapist at Arbor Circle, and a General Therapist and Foster Care/Older Child Adoption Therapist at Bethany Christian Services. 

What Lana loves about her job: She loves being in school with kids, working with teachers, and helping children and families with whatever they need.

What's making Lana happy these days: She loves cooking shows and playing the piano!


 

Lauren DeRoo

Holland Public Schools

Holland Middle School

Community School Coordinator

Email Lauren

(616)494-2425x2471 

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Lauren DeRoo brings with her experience from working as a Children's Trauma Therapist.  Lauren loves getting to work with her community and fun students every day.  She's happy playing at the pool with her baby.


 

Sara Lothschutz

Coopersville Public Schools

South Elementary School

Community School Coordinator

Email Sara

(616) 997-3155 | F: (616) 997-3114

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Sara Lothschutz comes to OCSN after 15 years at various agencies as a Foster Care Case Manager, Adoption Case Manager, Post Adoption Resource Coordinator and Foster Home Licensing and Adoption Supervisor. 

What Sara loves about her job: As an OCSN Coordinator she gets opportunities to create valuable relationships. She enjoys being a support to students and families, helping families connect to resources so their at-home worries don't transfer as much to their child coming to school. She likes supporting teachers in various ways and teaming with her amazing community resources to stand alongside families and provide opportunities for Coopersville children to grow and learn.

When not at school, Sara loves spending time her husband and four kids.


 

Mallory Timmer

Holland Public Schools

Holland West Elemenaty School

Community School Coordinator

Email Mallory

(616) 494-2373

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Mallory's work experience has focused on family engagement and community outreach. She has had the privilege of meeting incredibly resilient individuals as a case manager in a substance use disorder program, youth counselor for unaccompanied minors, parent coach, community outreach coordinator, outpatient therapist and recruitment specialist for a child welfare program.

What Mallory loves about her job: "There is nothing quite like being able to experience human connectedness while doing community based work. I love that about my job!"

What is making Mallory happy these days: "There are many things that bring a smile to my face; listening to any song by the Bee Gees is one of those things! Also, listening to any original song written and performed by my five-year-old son is also a bright spot to my day."


 

Ellie Moerdyk

Hamilton Community Schools

Hamilton Middle School

Community School Coordinator

Email Ellie

269-751-4436 x3010

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Ellie comes to OCSN with experience working as a Social Worker for a Charter School in Benton Harbor, part time private practice therapy, and as a Youth Success Coach for YouthBuild-Benton Harbor. Her work has allowed her to build strong relationships with students and their families

What Ellie loves about her job: "What I love about my job is the opportunity to serve students and their families with the resources here in the local community. I am eager to jump in at Hamilton Middle School and start building relationships with the students, families, and community partners."

What is making Ellie happy these days: "On any given day, being surrounded by my family and closest friends brings me great joy."