Everyone has to do it and it wasn’t going to be easy. She wasn’t even sure she was ready to go through with it. But, Amy Van Belle knew she would eventually have to send her eldest off to kindergarten. Did she want to do it? Not really. Letting go was hard for her.

It was a given

Amy was personally rooted in Christian education while growing up in Iowa and her husband, Dave is an ACS alumni. With this history in mind, Amy thought her children would likely attend Abbotsford Christian School, but she wanted to know more. “I knew in my head that ACS was the right choice, but I was still missing the heart connection.”

The school tour confirmed her decision that this was the right place for their family and their son. “I felt like he would be loved as a person, not just have his mind filled with information,” Amy reflects.

King of the Jungle?

Even looking back, her eldest remembers some very vivid memories of his first year of school, including the song “Elephants Have Wrinkles” and Mrs. Nancy Humphries carrying on a happy attitude each and every day. Amy felt that Nancy met her son where he was at and moved him along on his learning journey.

He had a comfortable environment to ask deep questions such as: “How can God be three in one?” “Why do they call the lion the king of the jungle when lions live on the plains?”

Ten Years Later…

The main mission of their family business, Van Belle Nursery, is “growing plants, growing people,” something they have found to be paralleled through their children’s education at ACS. Amy first discovered this when she was asked to volunteer in her son’s kindergarten class. Her passion for education and a genuine love for our school grew from that moment on.

That was over 10 years ago. Since then, Amy has served on the ACS board for six years, and is currently co-chairing the This Square Inch campaign with board chairman, Rick Thiessen. That’s not all that’s changed in ten years–Amy and Dave now have five children attending ACS, ranging from preschool to grade 9.


“I realized that it’s not just about your own kids anymore,” Amy states. “It’s ensuring that the school stays true to its mission and wanting the best for all the families in our school. And our broader mission in our community—shaping God’s world.”

By being involved in the ACS community, Amy has had the opportunity to shape God’s world herself, living out the mission while watching her children develop and grow through Christian education.

“To be honest, it didn’t take long before I felt like I was leaving Reagan with a member of the family.”

Letting their second child go off to kindergarten was going to be a little easier.