on faculty since 2000
Ed.D., Loyola University-Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 2000
M.Ed., National College of Education, Evanston, Illinois, 1972
A.B., Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1965
After 37 years in public education, it took Dr. John Hoekstra a little more than 30 days to conclude that he was not ready for retirement.
“I wanted to get involved in teacher education because I thought I had a grasp of what good teaching looks like. Trinity presented me with a great opportunity to pursue that dream.”
When the College approached Hoekstra in 2000 about teaching in the Adult Studies education program, he wasted no time accepting the offer. He retired as assistant superintendent of the Blue Island, Illinois, School District on June 30 and began working at Trinity a month later. The former elementary school teacher has relished his time teaching adult students.
“Adults who come to the program have made conscientious decisions to refocus their careers. We have had a number of people from business, technical, and other professional backgrounds who believe they can have fulfilling careers as teachers. I think many of them get paychecks from their jobs but don’t feel like they have made a difference in anyone’s life.
“They understand that teaching can provide something that money can’t buy. Still, I tell them in my introductory course, ‘You’re not going to become financially wealthy as a teacher.’ They really want to give something back to the generations of kids who are going through school now. That kind of attitude is refreshing and makes my job even more rewarding.”
Born in the Netherlands, Hoekstra graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a degree in education. He completed his master’s and doctorate in education at National Louis University in Evanston, Illinois, and Loyola University in Chicago.
The Adult Studies program was still in its infancy in 1999 when Hoekstra began teaching at the College. He has watched—and helped—it blossom into a thriving program that continues to attract more adult learners from the metropolitan Chicago area.
“Children deserve the best teachers, and we want to do whatever we can to prepare qualified teachers. That’s my motivation for being at Trinity: helping develop more teachers whose hearts are in the right place and who want to serve young students.”
Hoekstra’s hobbies include listening to music, singing, cooking, and baking. He and his wife, Ruth, have four daughters. The couple lives in Tinley Park, Illinois, and attends Hope Christian Reformed Church in Oak Forest, Illinois.