Funding all areas of academic excellence

Board of Trustees

If you are passionate about the Forest Hills Public Schools and would like to use your talent to help students achieve lifelong success, we invite you to volunteer for a board position. Please contact the Foundation office if you would like to learn more about our board.

To be considered for the 2019-2020 Board of Trustees, please complete an application and skill set matrix and return prior to March 15, 2020.

FHPS Foundation Board Application FHPS Foundation Skill Set Matrix

Return to or 600 Forest Hill Avenue SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546.

Members of the Board

David Alfonso FHPSF Board of Trustees David Alfonso
Board Vice Chair

Since returning to Grand Rapids after my fellowship I have witnessed the incredible growth of the city and of the Forest Hills Public Schools. I have been active in various non-profit organizations, including serving as Board Chair for the Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids. I understand the importance of a quality education and the opportunities it allows for personal and professional growth. I am passionate about helping to grow the Foundation so that it can assist in enhancing the educational experience for all of our students. My wife and I have three children in the Spanish immersion program and I am excited to be able to help grow the foundation to help ensure Forest Hills remains a high quality school district.

Rick Armbruster FHPSF Board of Trustees Rick Armbruster
Community Volunteer, Board Past Chair

When my wife and I moved to the area in 2007, we chose to live in Forest Hills because of the school district’s excellent reputation. If we had to do it all over again, we would certainly make the same decision. We have two kids in the district and continue to be impressed with the broad range of educational opportunities available to them each year.
Excellence is not static, however, so Forest Hills must continue to seek ways to further engage our students and to offer them real-life, innovative educational opportunities. The Foundation plays a huge role in helping to make this a possibility for our students both today and into the future.
I am honored to be a supporter of both the school district and the Foundation with my time, energies, and passions. Innovation doesn't happen overnight.With strong community support, however, we can continue to engage and challenge our students in order to prepare them to thrive in world of tomorrow.

I have always been an active member of the community in which I live. When I moved to Michigan in 2006, I became involved with the Foundation to better understand the challenges facing our district. We as a community are responsible for the education of our children. The Foundation is an invaluable asset that provides teachers with the tools they need to help our students excel.

Marti Atwater FHPSF Board of Trustees Marti Atwater
Board of Education Liaison

Bio coming soon!

Dan Behm FHPSF Board of Trustees Dan Behm
Superintendent, Forest Hills Public Schools

Our schools and our community are focused on a common aim of doing what is best for children. Throughout the history of our school district, our community and our staff have given their time, their talents, and their treasure to ensure that each child has what she or he needs to unlock their unique and limitless potential. I value the Foundation as a means to bring creative, unique and ’out of the box‘ programs to our students.

When I came to the district as Superintendent in 2006, I was and remain committed to doing what is best for our children. This means providing each and every child with the very best education possible.

Chuck Cox FHPSF Board of Trustees Chuck Cox
Board Chair

Bio coming soon!

Kellie Custer FHPSF Board of Trustees Kellie Custer
The Goddard School & WorkLab, Owner

I am excited and honored to be on the Forest Hills Foundation Board. My husband and I have been involved with the Foundation for several years and my in-laws for over 30 years. All of our 4 children attend Forest Hills Eastern and we have been impressed at all levels as they have gone through the Forest Hills system.

I feel strongly that it is our responsibility, as a district, to give our children a solid educational base. My passion has been in developing children. I have been privileged to serve the Forest Hills Community with high quality, early childhood education at a school I own in Cascade. I am hoping to bring all my experiences and connections from my career to help further excellence in our school system.

Catherine Jacobs
Attorney, Warner, Norcross + Judd

Catherine owned and operated her own law firm for seven years where she helped families plan for their future, provided elder law planning services in the areas of Medicaid qualification, and assisted clients with loved-ones with special needs in addition to her core trust and estate planning services. A well-respected advocate, Catherine still approaches her business the same way – with a deep understanding of clients’ needs and a plan for their future and beyond. She regularly speaks on topics of estate and succession planning, elder law and special needs care all over the state of Michigan for associations, foundations and universities.

Catherine also devotes numerous hours and resources to serving on community boards and committees for Elder Law of Michigan, Ada Township, Senior Neighbors Grand Rapids, Caregiver Resource Network, the Council on Aging and Forest Hills Community Foundation.

Andy Keller FHPSF Board of Trustees Andy Keller

Bio Coming Soon!

Allison Martin
Community Volunteer

My family and I have been a part of the Forest Hills community for over 15 years. We have a college student who is a FHPS graduate and two current Eastern High School students.

Although I have been involved with the Foundation for a number of years, I look forward to building community awareness about the financial support it provides to our schools, allowing for educational enrichment that would otherwise be cut due to decreased state funding.

Azia Mason
The health of a community is inseparable from the quality of its local public schools. I believe having a safe, inclusive, high quality environment where all our kids can grow and excel is essential. Thriving schools make for happy families and those families are able to contribute even more to their communities. We are lucky to already have a fantastic school system in Forest Hills. My two girls are in school here and I see the benefits of FHPS every single day.

I also know that such excellence doesn’t happen by itself. Maintaining a high standard of education and evolving to meet the needs of our changing world requires ongoing commitment, dedication and enthusiasm generation to generation. I am excited and honored to be part of this generation’s efforts to make the Forest Hills school system the very best it can be and to help provide the extra support our teachers need to continue to innovate creative new programs.

Taimaa Saab
Attorney, Law Office of Taimaa Saab

As the oldest of six children, I grew up in East Michigan and am a product of a public school education. I graduated with a BBA from the University of Michigan and earned my law degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law. My family and I moved to the Forest Hills Public School District area in 2011. Actively involved within the district, I see my role on the foundation as a way to give back to our community. The Foundation spearheads amazing events and initiatives to provide aid for all areas of academic excellence including literacy, arts, technology and much more.

I eagerly join this passionate group of people to support educators as they continue to develop new and innovative ways to engage their students. I believe in the POWER OF COMMUNITY and look forward to strengthening existing relations while building newer ones in my efforts to serve our district and to always make my family proud. This work brings me great joy and I am grateful for the opportunity.

Jennifer Sayers FHPSF Board of Trustees Jennifer Sayers
Community Volunteer, Board Secretary

Bio coming soon!

Leah Sherman FHPSF Board of Trustees Leah Sherman
Community Volunteer

I am a native Michigander but a transplant to West Michigan. After pursuing career opportunities in Washington, DC and San Diego, CA, my husband and I have chosen to raise our three young children here in the FHPS district. It was by design that we relocated to a place where we believe our family will have access to the best public education possible! We have happily acclimated back to the Midwestern culture and weather. When not working, my free time is most often spent volunteering in the community, horseback riding or working on an unending list of cottage and home improvement projects. I am excited to bring my perspective and experience to the FHPSF board and am looking forward to playing a role in the continued success of our district’s pursuit of educational excellence.

Brad Sturm FHPSF Board of Trustees Brad Sturm

Bio Coming Soon!

Jeff Tuori FHPSF Board of Trustees Jeff Tuori
Amway Corporation, Board Treasurer

Eighteen years ago when I moved to Grand Rapids, I was looking for a place to purchase a home and was attracted to the Forest Hills area because of the quality school system. Over that time, state funding has decreased dramatically. By being part of the Foundation, I see this as an opportunity to work with the community to help ease the financial burdens placed upon this district. I have two children in the district and I want the best for them and for all Forest Hills students and staff members.

Charlie Vonk FHPSF Board of Trustees Charlie Vonk
Principal, Central Middle School

Bio Coming Soon!

Jeff Wierenga FHPSF Board of Trustees Jeff Wierenga
Financial Consultant, Centennial Securities Company, Inc.

I am a proud product of the Forest Hills Public Schools. From my first day of kindergarten in 1984 to my last day of high school in 1997, I was surrounded by energetic, caring and motivating teachers every day. I know how a great education in Forest Hills can lead to success later in life. Additionally, I am the son of a former Forest Hills teacher and have seen first-hand the amount of time and effort it takes to be an outstanding educator. My kids are now students in the district. Their love of school and for their teachers is proof to me that excellence still reigns.

Certainly, times have changed since I was a student. The Foundation’s focus on funding innovative programs spoke to me. Supporting our teachers by giving them the financial support to try new and different teaching methods will ensure continuing excellence for our students for years, decades, to come.

The Foundation's Mission

To provide funding for all areas of academic excellence in Forest Hills Public Schools.

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