Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of Deer Creek Christian School is committed to ensuring that we carry out our mission to partner with families to help children grow in Academics, Faith and Character for Kingdom service. To learn more about Deer Creek’s Board, visit the Board FAQ page.

2017–2018 Board of Directors

LaDonna Arceneaux

LaDonna has been committed to education for over 30 years. Her experiences include being a church youth leader; a teacher in both private and public sectors; a preschool/Kindergarten program director; co-host of an award-winning, educational, community television program; a school psychologist; and a special education case manager. LaDonna has served on the School Council and School Board of Homewood Christian Academy for more than 20 years. She joins the Deer Creek Board believing God’s promise from Isaiah 54:13 that says, “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD, and great shall be the peace of thy children.”

Steve Blom

Steve serves as the Director of Development for Deer Creek and has been on the Board since 2013. He also serves as Chairman of the Board for Unity Christian Academy, a new Christian high school in the South Holland, Illinois, region. Steve and his wife Sally live in South Holland with their three children. They are members of Emmanuel Christian Reformed Church in Sauk Village. Steve says, “I love Deer Creek because it is filled with passionate and talented followers of Christ. Students, teachers, parents, staff, and Board are committed to really working together in our shared mission to help students grow in Academics, Faith, and Character for Kingdom service.”

Monica Cole-Jackson

Not only does Dr. Monica Cole-Jackson bring to the Deer Creek Board a depth of educational experience, but she also shares a passion for developing youth into Kingdom-focused, community-minded, socially civil citizens. She has taught elementary, middle school, high school, community college, and university students, and she is a life-long learner herself—with a Bachelor and Masters degree in Public Administration, a second Masters degree in Educational Administration, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Dr. Jackson founded Civility Development Inc (CDI), a nonprofit that provides support and increases resilience and growth during school, after school, and throughout the summer. She is a published author, continuing to research, write, and publish on topics she is passionate about. Monica and her husband Valon have two children, Cole and Breanna.

Steve Dykstra

Steve has a heart for community, people, and advancing God’s Kingdom. He and his family live in Dyer, IN. They attend Crossroads Community Church in Schererville, IN, where Steve has served as youth leader, mission trip leader, Deacon, and Elder. Steve also uses his leadership gifts as President of Metro Recycling and Metro Auto Recyclers. He has been President of both companies since 1998. In that time he has expanded the company from two locations to five. Steve spends his free time enjoying his family, hunting, boating, and watching the Bears.

Christopher Howard

Since relocating to Illinois in 2011, Christopher has always believed that God truly led him and his family to Deer Creek. As one who believes in the Philosophy of Christian Education, Chris is committed to leadership and facilitating Biblical values in the overall education of all students. Having two children who are current students at Deer Creek, he has firsthand knowledge of the immeasurable value of a Christian education. Currently, Chris serves as Senior Manager of Strategy and Innovation with CN Railway in Homewood, IL. Chris and his family reside in Crete, IL, and are members of Faith Movers Church in University Park.

Edwin Mangram

Dr. Edwin W. Mangram II was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has lived in the Chicagoland area for over 17 years. During that time, he has practiced dentistry with a faith-based organization committed to serving the underserved. He also works with his wife in private practice in Chicago Heights, Illinois. A dedicated family man, Edwin enjoys coaching Little League baseball and mentoring youth. His children have attended Deer Creek Christian School since 2016, and his desire to serve on Deer Creek’s school board is firmly rooted in his belief that faith, family, and education are all necessary to prepare our children for the future.

Tiffany Perry

Born and raised in Illinois, Tiffany and her family now live in Flossmoor and attend Freedom Church Ministries in Homewood. Tiffany serves as the lead Sunday School teacher for grades 3 and 4, and she shares her musical talents as a member of the praise team and choir. Tiffany was willing to serve on the Deer Creek School Board because she understands how important it is for children to have a strong Christian foundation. “I believe Deer Creek’s teachers, staff, parents, and Board are intentional about providing both a solid education and a Christian foundation that will prepare students for the journey ahead,” she says. Tiffany and her husband Byron have three children.

John Von Thaden

John has been connected with Deer Creek Christian School since his daughter began first grade 16 years ago. He joined the Board during a challenging time in our history and helped us navigate leadership and staffing changes while balancing the fallout of the 2008 economic downturn. He has served as head of the Financial Committee, Vice President of the Board, and President of the Board. John is a business management consultant working with small and medium-sized businesses. In addition, he is an adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University and Olivet Nazarene University, where he received his MBA. John and his wife Robin have two children and live in Saint John, Indiana. They attend Bethel Church in Cedar Lake where John serves as an Elder.