Name: Randy Hazenberg
School: Principal/administrator at
Background: For Randy Hazenberg, the prospect of helming the 60-student Dearborn Christian School on Donaldson was not one he went looking for, but is one that is a blessing nonetheless.
Hazenberg, who comes to the school from Borculo Christian School in Zeeland, will be the first new principal at DCS in more than 27 years. Originally from California, Hazenberg holds a bachelor’s degree in art and physical education from Calvin College in Grand Rapids.
“I was out (of school) for a little while to see what direction God was going to take me in, and then I went back to Calvin College for a year to earn a teaching certificate,” he said.
From there, it was on to teaching at many Christian schools–both in Michigan and California. He was the principal at Borculo–and he also taught Bible class–when he received a call about the job in Dearborn.
Hazenberg will replace Bob Deroo, who has led the school for the past 27 years. His role will differ from Deroo’s in that he will work as a full-time administrator for the school, instead of being a part-time teacher and a part-time administrator.
He will likely teach bible class, however. “I think it’s important for all principals to continue to teach,” Hazenberg said. “That’s how you get to know the students, and it’s what we’re all about.”
Goals and aspirations: In the coming weeks, Hazenberg will be personally contacting each parent who has a child at DCS to find out what their concerns are and to learn more about their perspective.
“Christian education is about having parents be partners, and I will be seeking more participation,” he said. “We want parents to be more involved.”
Also, he hopes to address enrollment issues that have come to pass as the recession has dragged on. Today, the school educates 60 students, but 10 years ago, it used to be 80, and in the 1980s, it was 140, according to data provided by the school.
“I would like to see the enrollment doubled,” Hazenberg said. “I think one of the biggest problems we have is that we’re not operating at capacity.
“We need to find ways to make Christian education more affordable,” he added. “Many people are homeschooling their children because they cannot afford Christian schools, and they have the same goals we do. I would like to build a relationship with the homeschooling community because I believe we can be a blessing to each other.”
Personal: Hazenberg can speak from experience regarding homeschooling. He and his wife, Irene, are the parents of nine children, five of whom Irene will homeschool this year, Hazenberg said. His children range in age from 27 to 6 years old.
Additionally, the Hazenbergs have started a business that takes children on educational field trips to places like Washington, DC, Gettysburg, and the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY.
“We just had our first trip,” Hazenberg said. “Trips are wonderful because you can learn by doing and that’s something we need more of.”
Principals are often the unsung heroes at school, but each Monday heading into the 2011-12 school year, Dearborn Patch will profile incoming administrators at several of Dearborn’s public and private schools that have agreed to take on the awesome responsibility of setting the tone at individual facilities.
If you know of a new principal embarking on this challenge, please let us know by emailing editor Jessica Carreras at Jessica.email@example.com.