The first thing you notice when talking to Mrs. Cheryl Voss is her radiant smile. The joy reflected on her face and her gentle spirit have been a welcoming factor to countless students during her 25 years at Timothy Christian Schools.
This Class of 1972 Timothy graduate reports that when she was in second grade, she knew she wanted to be a teacher at Timothy. When then Principal George Tamminga called her in 1976 to offer her a job, it was one of the best days of her life.
She taught 2nd grade from 1976 to 1979 and has fond memories of playing the piano for chapel, teaching the newly established motor facilitation program, and helping decorate the gym for the first Octoberfest, using students’ art work. She laughs when she recalls that back then, there wasn’t an art teacher so she filled that role as well.
An incredible job opportunity emerged in 1979 for her husband Don, which necessitated a move across the country to California. Cheryl sadly said farewell to Timothy. They enjoyed their 10 month stint on the west coast and near the end of it, Mr. Tamminga called once again to offer her the second grade teaching position, which had been vacated. But, Cheryl was expecting her first child, so instead she spent the next 15 years at home playing the role of both mom and teacher to Mark, Steve, Sharon, and David.
During that time, Cheryl would also serve as substitute teacher in both the elementary and high schools. She rotated into the Discovery Center and reports she fell in love with the different ways to teach.
“It just felt like second nature to me,” Cheryl says.
There were no Discovery Center services offered in the middle school at that time. However, the 7th grade math teacher had three students who needed additional support and the school reached out to Cheryl to see if she was interested in working with them one period a day. That was the beginning of the Academic Support for 7th and 8th grade students. By the time Cheryl retired, she saw 15 to 20 students a day, as well as managing students with accommodation plans.
Her passion for the job and school is undeniable as she shares stories and memories.
“One of my favorite things is teaching something to a student and seeing that look of understanding,” Cheryl says. “Then, to observe them explaining it to someone else and you know they got it. There is nothing like it.”
But praying with her students was was one of her greatest joy. “We’ve become a close-knit family,” Cheryl says. “And to pray with students who are hurt or confused is such a blessing. I’ll miss that the most.”
Cheryl has no definite retirement plans, aside from spending more time with her family, and she’s okay with that. “I have peace knowing it’s time. Things are changing in the middle school next year and, it’s time for me to change too,” she says. “God has always been faithful and I’m constantly reminded how you just never know how He is going to use you.”
We know that God has used Cheryl in powerful ways during her time at Timothy and we are grateful for her passion, love of teaching, expertise, and joyful spirit. She will be missed and we wish her God’s blessings!