Jake Plantinga

Celebrating Forty Years of Service

Growing up, Jake moved around a lot with his family. He attended three different high schools from Grades 9 to 12, and graduated from Brandon Collegiate Institute in Brandon, Manitoba in 1968. He was known for being shy and very quiet—hard to believe for those of us that know Jake today! After high school Jake worked in a psychiatric hospital for a year. It was a great experience for him and it certainly piqued his interest in science.

In 1969, Jake went to Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL where he met his future wife, Judy. He transferred to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1971, and got married in the summer of 1972. Jake graduated with a BA (majoring in Biology) and a teaching certificate in 1973.

After working for a half year in a factory, Jake began his teaching career at HDCH in 1974. He felt like he had learned everything there was to know about teaching from his studies at Calvin, but quickly discovered that, this assumption was incorrect.

School wasn’t always easy for me, but I received a lot of encouragement from several high school teachers who were passionate about their subjects,” said Jake. “I hope that I have and project some of that encouragement and passion to my students—I hope that they catch on to my thirst for knowing more.”

Jake has been around long enough to see the curriculum change several times over the years. But the biggest change has been adjusting to the introduction of new technology.

“When I started teaching there were no computers, iPads, cell phones, photocopiers or TVs,” said Jake. “We had blackboards, 16mm film projectors and filmstrip projectors, and if you were fortunate, the filmstrip came with an accompaniment of a record to narrate the lesson. When the blackboard was removed from my classroom about three years ago it was like losing my best friend! But before you laugh or sigh about what we had or did not have, you should know that the students from those years went on to become doctors, lawyers, homemakers, farmers, entrepreneurs, professors, teachers, contractors, and parents.”

In the last few years, Jake has pushed himself to dig deeper into ideas and commonly held positions in science and theology to see what richness lies in different views and interpretations.

“I have considered it a great privilege to be part of HDCH,” said Jake. “I’m still enjoying what I do, and am honoured to interact with like-minded people, all working to answer the question, ‘How shall we then live?’”

Thank you, Jake for your forty years of service to the students, parents, and staff in the HDCH community.