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Westra, Dorothy (1919-1993) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Westra, Dorothy (1919-1993)

Historical Note:

Dorothy Westra was born August 13, 1919 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Daughter of a pastor, Westra grew up moving several times. She graduated from Roseland Christian High School in Chicago. After she graduated from Calvin College in 1941, she accepted a teaching position at Timothy Christian School.  By 1942 Westra went on to work at Oakdale Christian School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During the course of her career at Oakdale Christian School, she assumed a number of different roles. She taught lower elementary, taught junior high English and Bible, and served as elementary principal.  She involved herself with school plays, the school paper, directed the choir as well as taught physical education classes.

In 1967 she was invited to join the faculty of her alma mater, Calvin College. She taught the Principles of Education and supervised student teachers. She also taught Educational Psychology courses in Language Arts. In 1978 Westra furthered her own education by receiving a doctorate in Early Childhood Education from Michigan State University. Westra wanted her students not only to become great teachers, but great Christian teachers. She always fostered a Christ centered learning experience for her students.  Westra retired from Calvin College in 1984.

Dorothy Westra passed away on January 18, 1993 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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