Leadership & Board

Dan Kuiper, Head of School

Dan Kuiper currently serves as the first Head of School in Valley Christian Schools’ history. Dan previously served as Administrator from 2014-2018 and as Principal from 1993-1997. A career educator, Dan began his teaching career at Valley Christian High School in 1983. Throughout his 35-plus years at Valley Christian, he has humbly served as a coach, faculty member, vice principal, and administrator.

In his first stint as principal of the high school, Dan oversaw the transition from the Tempe campus to our current high school campus location in Chandler. After taking a brief break to step back into the classroom, he returned to administration as the Vice Principal in 2011. Dan was then named the Administrator of Valley Christian High School in 2014. In his second stint leading the school, he oversaw the historic growth of Valley Christian to include record enrollments and an increased reputation in the education community of Chandler and Arizona. Under his watch, Valley Christian has been ranked a Top 50 Christian High School in the United States and has become a model for Christian schools across the country. Dan continues to oversee the historic growth and expansion of Valley Christian to include three campus locations, first adding a junior high and then adding elementary grades to become a full K-12 school. He also oversaw the purchase of an additional 13 acres to expand the Chandler campus. In 2019, Dan was named the Educator of the Year by the Chandler Chamber of Commerce.

Dan and his wife Kathy have had three boys graduate from Valley Christian: Matt ’03, Jarred ’05 and Scott ’10. With the addition of the elementary grades to VCS, Dan also now has grandchildren attending the school.

In addition to his duties at Valley Christian, Dan has also served on the Board of Directors at Dordt College in Iowa. As a coach, Dan is the state’s all-time winningest track & field coach, having won 27 state championships. He has twice been named the National Track & Field Coach of the Year and has been named the Arizona Track & Field Coach of the Year 16 times over the course of his career. Dan is a member of both the National High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Chandler Sports Hall of Fame.

Valley Christian Schools’ Head of School, Dan Kuiper, has announced his retirement after 41 years of serving VCS, effective June 30, 2024. Troy Thelen ’03 has been unanimously selected by the Board of Directors to be Valley Christian Schools’ 10th leader and 2nd Head of School, effective July 1, 2024. Thelen, a VCS graduate (Class of 2003) with extensive leadership experience in the private sector and at Valley Christian, has been serving as the Assistant Head of School since 2020 after serving for six years as the school’s Director of Development.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors at Valley Christian Schools establishes the School’s mission, hires the Head of School, holds the HOS accountable for full classrooms, plans exercising foresight through strategic planning and strategic financial management, and provides the resources (people, money and facilities) needed for that plan to succeed. The Board is comprised of Christian leaders and believers who are committed to Christian school education.

The Valley Christian Board of Directors governs with an emphasis on biblically-based integrity and truthfulness in all methods and practices, strategic leadership, clear distinction of board and Head of School roles and responsibilities, collective rather than individual decisions, future rather than past, and proactivity rather than reactivity. To do its job effectively, the Board of Directors utilizes policy governance and follows an annual agenda that includes, but is not limited to, monthly meetings, monitoring the Head of School’s job performance, and a systematic review of bylaws and board policies.

The Head of School is the board’s primary link to operational achievement and conduct so that day-to-day operational authority and accountability of staff, as far as the Board is concerned, is delegated to the Head of School.

2023-24 Officers

Scott Crouch
Chairman of the Board

Michael Gauthier
Vice Chairman

Mike DenBleyker

Melanie Dykstra

Interested in Joining the Board?

If you have an interest in serving on the Board at Valley Christian Schools, please note the following:

    • School Board members are Christian leaders and believers who are committed to Christian school education.
    • The Board maintains a size of not fewer than five (5) and not more than twelve (12) elected members; although the terms are generally staggered, there is no guarantee that a Board position will open every year.
    • When there are spots available, new Board members are elected each year in May.
    • The Board nominates and selects its own members.
    • Board members are elected to an initial three-year term and may be re-elected to a second three-year term.
    • Prospective Board members must complete an application, agree with the expectations of VCS Board members, and interview with the Board’s nominating committee.
    • To receive more information on the process and expectations, please contact [email protected].