Meet The Team
The Staff At
The Staff At EnCourage Institute
Mary is the founder and director of EnCourage Institute. She has extensive teaching experience in K-16 settings. She has a BA degree from Calvin College and MA and PhD degrees from Michigan State University. She is certified in K-8 General Education, K-12 Special Education and K-12 Music Education. Her research has focused on metacognitive learning strategies, instructional strategies for effective inclusive education, impact of developmental music skills on early reading, and professional teacher development. She is a Professional Educational Therapist with the Association of Educational Therapists, is DIR/Floortime trained, and is a Cogmed Qualified Coach. Dr. Rozendal specializes in identifying the breakdown in learning and development and designing interventions to effectively (re)build processing, knowledge, strategies, and skills for long-term results.
Becky is a certified teacher in K-8 General Education and 6-8 Language Arts and Math. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope College, and a Master of Education degree in Reading and Language Arts from Grand Valley State University. She has worked for EnCourage for many years, and in addition to managing the office, she provides interventions and is a Cogmed Qualified Coach. She specializes in math, language arts, study skills and test preparation.
Sarah is a certified teacher in K-8 General Education, K-12 Deaf and Hard of Hearing, K-12 Cognitive Impairment. She earned her degree from Grand Valley State University. She has over 20 years of experience in a variety of educational settings working with students with various learning needs. She specializes in integrating processing therapies with academic interventions, test preparation, executive function coaching, study skills, and Behavioral Therapy for children with autism. She is bilingual in English and American Sign Language.
Becky is a certified teacher in K-8 General Education, Grade 9 Language Arts and Music, and has a master’s degree with an early childhood endorsement. She has taught in a variety of settings for more than 30 years and makes learning fun for her students. She excels at incorporating different learning strategies to meet the needs of individual students. She is a certified P.L.A.Y Project Home Consultant and works with children and teens on the Autism spectrum.
Shari is a behavior analyst and an experienced teacher. With over 10 years of experience in education working with children, teens and adults with special needs in a variety of settings, she has found working with people who have been diagnosed with autism her favorite. She obtained her Masters of Arts degree in Special Education and autism endorsement from Liberty University, and recently earned an Applied Behavior Analysis graduate certificate from Florida Institute of Technology.
Kathleen is a certified teacher in K-8 General Education. She has a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and a master’s degree in reading from Western Michigan University. Her teaching experience includes elementary classroom teaching, reading and math interventionist ,and homeschool teaching. Kathleen specializes in reading, writing and math interventions.
Sally is an experienced teacher in grades 3-12. She earned her education degree from Cornerstone University. She enjoys working with students one-on-one and in small groups, and has experience teaching in Montessori and Christian schools. She has also taught middle school and high school homeschool classes for many years. She specializes in math and language arts interventions.
Cathy is a certified teacher in K-8 General Education and K-12 Special Education. She has a Bachelor of Arts in teaching Cognitively Impaired from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in Teaching Learning Disabilities from Calvin College. She has 38 years of experience teaching special education. She specializes in developing and implementing reading and math interventions.
Beth graduated from Cornerstone University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She has worked as a medical biller focusing on claims and collections. Most recently she was the Registration Supervisor at Network 180. Following retirement from Network 180, Beth spent the last two years working as a paraprofessional at NorthPointe Christian Schools. At EnCourage, Beth assists with billing and benefits.
Kate Versluis is a student at Grand Rapids Community College. Her goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree in special education from Grand Valley State University. At EnCourage, Kate is a behavioral technician working with kids who have been diagnosed with autism.