Shar Van Engen

Shar Van Engen

Social Studies/TAG \ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

I graduated from Dordt College with a history major and English minor.  Since then, I have added endorsements in sociology and Talented and Gifted.  I have been teaching for over 35 years  at Western.  I also taught junior high classes part-time at Hull Christian for four years.  I am presently teaching world history, a course required of all sophomores, and sociology, an elective open to juniors and seniors, and I am in charge of TAG activities.

Because God is ruler in every sphere, I believe we Christians must work for excellence in whatever we do.  Our students need to see the "bigger picture" in all subjects and activities.  I want students to learn how to learn and think, instead of focusing narrowly on "one right answer" or "only what will be on the test."  Learning involves far more than memorizing isolated bits of data.  I want our students to be able to "connect the dots;" to analyze, reason, synthesize, and evaluate; and to articulate a reflective, Christian world-view.  Students won't necessarily remember the individual history facts, math operations, or punctuation rules, but I hope they gain a strong, comprehensive understanding of God's work.

Social values of materialism, power, image, success, and thoughtless "busyness" are traps of which all of us need to be aware.  We will always struggle with the effects of sin in our own lives, the lives of our students, and the wider culture.  Since we are a learning community, every student and person connected with Western needs to be building spiritual maturity, servant-hood, dedication, leadership, and wisdom.  God has given us the work of being salt and light to a desperate world, but if we are not knowledgeable and able to present our ideas and values, we are likely to be ignored.  We must encourage and uplift each other, exhibit grace while we push for excellence, and "march on...for we are valiant sons of God, and servants of the King."

My husband Gale and I live on acreage just outside of Rock Valley where we have room for our horses.  Our children — Brooke, Summer, Erica, and Taylor — are all Western alumni.  I enjoy singing on praise teams at Trinity CRC and I help with PowerPoint for services.  I'm an avid reader and have always been fascinated with archaeology and anything "old": furniture, weapons, maps, books, buildings, legends, cemeteries...  No wonder Antiques Roadshow is one of my favorites!  I believe that if we don't know about our past, we probably won't appreciate or understand the present, or prepare for the future.

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