Mary Vonck, President
Mary Vonck grew up in Illinois and earned an engineering degree from the University of Illinois. She completed her MBA at the University of Michigan.
Mary moved to Michigan after college to accept a position as a sales engineer and became a registered professional engineer for the state of Michigan. She and Ray, her husband, have lived in Forest Hills since 1991 and have four children who graduated from Forest Hills schools. As an empty-nester, she enjoys traveling with her husband…especially to see her kids.
Mary’s early experience as a school volunteer and PTO officer fueled her interest in board service. She has since served on academic, athletic, and music booster boards and currently oversees Project Charlie for the district. Her board service has included roles on both the curriculum and finance committees and as the foundation liaison. She is grateful that Forest Hills was able to afford her children the opportunity to thrive at many of our traditional schools, as well as Goodwillie and Ada Vista. She thus embraces Superintendent Behm’s vision to continue to customize the classroom experience, especially secondary redesign, always focusing on doing what is best for kids.
Marti Atwater, Vice President
Martha Atwater, or Marti, is an attorney and founding partner of Atwater Law & Intellectual Property. She serves as the FHPS Board of Education vice president and chair of the curriculum committee. She is active on the Forest Hills Public Schools Foundation, and she is the Odyssey of the Mind coordinator at six FHPS schools. Education issues led her family to Forest Hills when their oldest was in preschool and their middle child was receiving uninspired special education services elsewhere: she and her husband wanted the best schools for their three children and found them here.
She has been deeply involved as a district volunteer since the family moved to Forest Hills in 1998, and has served as a room parent, reading buddy, PTO vice president and president, Odyssey of the Mind coach and school coordinator, Academic Boosters president, member of both the Parent Advisory Committee and Special Education Advisory Committee, and currently Board of Education member.
Her passion for education prompted her to run for the FHPS board in 2010; that passion has not dwindled as she continues her board service. She remains committed to a high-quality educational experience for all students and wants every FHPS student to leave the district prepared for a satisfying and productive life, whether they go on to college, enter the workplace or follow another path.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and water skiing.
Suzanne Callahan, Secretary
Suzanne Callahan grew up in Indianapolis and attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree in Business. She earned her MBA at Western Michigan University.
Suzanne has called Grand Rapids home since 1991 where she has worked for various large and small businesses. For over two decades, she has been dedicated to teaching marketing courses as an adjunct professor at Davenport University and Aquinas College. Currently, Suzanne focuses on curriculum development and course delivery for customized corporate training and professional development programs. Suzanne and Jerry, her husband, have three children who have participated in the Spanish immersion program; they are a proud Forest Hills Northern family.
Suzanne has served alongside and creatively recruited many fellow parents into numerous volunteer and fundraising roles within various PTOs, academic booster and athletic booster groups. She is a vocal advocate for the Forest Hills Public Schools Foundation and served as co-chair of the gala in 2016. Suzanne serves on the curriculum committee and the communications resource team.
Nicole Meloche-Gregory, Treasurer
Nicole is a Yooper; she graduated from Marquette Senior High School. She earned her Bachelor of Science in business with a focus in marketing and communications from Northern Michigan University in 1994. In 1997, she graduated from UCLA with an MBA from the Anderson School of Business.
After spending over 15 years in Southern California, Nicole and her five children (all attending FHPS) returned to Michigan. They chose Grand Rapids and Forest Hills because of the excellent education provided in the district. Nicole and family are avid travelers; they have visited 48 of the 50 U.S. states (only two to go), as well as many international destinations. Professionally, Nicole has been an entrepreneur, owning her first business at 17-years-old. Her focus has been on finding gaps in the market and filling them with new or repurposed businesses.
Nicole serves on the curriculum committee, communications resource team, AAA – Awareness, Acceptance and Advocacy team, and is involved at the school level for each of her children. Her passion lies in looking at the whole child and instilling in them the skills needed to be 21st-century learners, workers, professionals, community members. “Nothing is more exciting than seeing a student find their ‘thing’ and excelling in school because they know how it applies to them.”
Kristen Covelle, Trustee
Kristen Covelle and her family have lived in the Forest Hills school district since 2004. She, and her husband, Brad, have two children currently in the Spanish immersion language program. She currently teaches at Caledonia High School, where she also directs the fall play. In the past, she coached competitive cheer, debate, and advised clubs as well, and served as an advisor for the high school yearbook and school paper. She has served on the PTO board and continues to volunteer, coach Odyssey of the Mind, lead Girl Scouts, and has directed a Spanish play through Forest Hills Community Services.
She has a strong personal commitment to serving others. She employs her natural curiosity for diverse perspectives by listening broadly to community opinion and suggestions for districtwide improvement.
Kristen received her bachelor’s degree in English, American Language and Literature from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in English also from EMU. In her spare time, she enjoys theatre and dance, reading and writing, traveling, and spending time in the summer at the beach.
Kristen Fauson, Trustee
Kristen, her husband, and their family moved to Forest Hills 10 years ago. When moving back to Michigan, their primary concern was finding an excellent school district for their three children. Their search quickly led them to Forest Hills and their kids currently attend Forest Hills Central Middle and High schools.
She has been actively involved in the district since moving here. She has worked as a substitute teacher, volunteered in their children’s classrooms, and she continues volunteering today with their sports teams, musical groups, and as an Odyssey of the Mind coach for the past 10 years.
She owns Launch College Consulting, which allows her to work with local families to help guide their college-bound students to find a college where they will continue to grow and thrive after FHPS. She grew up in a household that prioritized education and after high school, she received her BA from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from Georgetown University. Her father was a superintendent in Ottawa County, so she understood from an early age the importance of strong working relationships between the board, the superintendent, and the community. She believes an active and engaged board can transform the educational experience for our children.
Maggie Terryn, Trustee
Maggie Terryn has lived in Grand Rapids since she graduated from Calvin College with a degree in education 20 years ago. In that time she has served as a middle school teacher, an instructional coach, a school administrator, and currently a college professor working with education students. She has always been familiar with the caliber of the educational experience in Forest Hills, therefore, it was a priority for her and her husband to be a part of the district as their children became school age. They have a sixth-grader at Goodwillie and an excited-to-start-school kindergartener at Knapp Forest.
She has enjoyed being involved in the district as a room parent, an Odyssey of the Mind coach, a university supervisor for student teachers in the district, and most importantly as a proud parent. She is looking forward to being a member of the board to be able to continue the work of strengthening the bond between our schools and community. She believes that school boards play an integral part in building strong schools, supporting teachers, answering the question, “Is this what is best for our kids?” and giving community members the opportunity to experience important and inspiring milestones in education.