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

John Von Thaden

John Von Thaden 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, IN. They attend Bethel Church in Cedar Lake where John serves as an Elder.

Nathaniel Smith
Vice President

Nate is the father of three current Deer Creek students. He has embraced his Board involvement as an opportunity to build upon the family culture that is such an important part of the Deer Creek identity. Nate has a heart for the community and an unquenchable passion to lead the next generation with Christ-like behavior and servant-like obedience. He is originally from Cleveland and remains an avid Cleveland sports fan. He is studying Pastoral Leadership and already putting his learning into practice by serving as an Associate Minister at House of Prayer Ministries in Park Forest, IL.

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 being developed in the South Holland, IL, region. Steve and his wife Sally live in Sauk Village 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.”

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.

Harriet Potoka

Harriet serves as the Director of C-Cue, the Center for Christian Urban Educators, which provides a professional network for Christians involved in private, public, and Christian schooling in urban North America. Harriet assumed this position after serving as the founding principal of Daystar School for 16 years. She brings to the Deer Creek Board invaluable experience as a principal, curriculum director, and classroom teacher. She has served schools in Grand Rapids, MI; Minneapolis, MN; and Sioux Falls, SD. Harriet is passionate about encouraging and supporting Christian educators who provide urban children with authentic, excellent learning opportunities.