Passionate Followers of Jesus
Passionate Followers of Jesus
Only the BEst

TOL Quick Facts

  • The staff loves God, children, and community with all they have.
  • God’s Word is taught in all things.
  • Exceeding Michigan Standards in all subjects.
  • Small class sizes.
  • Children have unlimited potential in Jesus Christ.
  • We pray and worship every day.
  • We at Tree Of Life share your values.
  • Students in Christian schools perform 1 year above grade level compared to national norms.
  • Safety & Respect.
  • God is calling you!

Faith Filled Faculty

There’s no question that God has called each of our staff to love and serve the students and their families at TOL.
It has taken great faith on each of their parts, but the Kingdom impact is worth it!

Dori Beltz


The Holy Spirit laid out a crazy clear call to me in the spring of 2020 to embrace Tree of Life as part of my family. I consider my role as principal a divine appointment! The leadership, staff, students and families are a true blessing to me and I pray daily that God uses me to bless them.

Moving into the Edison neighborhood this fall was an orchestration of God. I am falling in love with this community and I’m all in! I have 5 amazing kids of my own- Emma, Caleb, Isaac, Lydia & Mae and they have my whole heart.

My past experiences in education include being an elementary teacher, camp director and family pastor. These callings have laid a terrific foundation for rocking the role of principal at TOL.

When I’m not at school I’m hiking with my dog (Grei), at the beach, hanging with my kids, playing volleyball, adopting stray animals or eating something involving peanut butter and chocolate. I love to garden, play sports, travel, write stories & plan parties. I’m also helping lead a small neighborhood church called Edison Chapel that meets at TOL.

If I haven’t met you yet, I’d love to. I’m incredibly blessed to be a part of TOL!


Becky Smith

Middle School Teacher

Through a series of divine Holy Spirit lead events, I started my teaching career at Tree of Life six years ago as the 3rd -5th grade teacher. Prior, I taught through a government preschool program. I honestly had no clue why I was at Tree of Life, but, I knew that God wanted me there, that it was God ordained, and that it would be good. Wow, was I right! Last year I finally found my God given life calling and that is in teaching middle school. I was created to teach middle school at Tree of Life and I adore everything about it! The relationships with my students and families, the excitement that comes with learning and teaching, and the daily awe inspiring revelations that I get to witness as students dig deeper both academically and spiritually! Tree of Life is a life changing adventure for students, families and teachers alike!


Annie Slighly

Special ED Aide

I joined the TOL teaching staff in 2012, and taught at various grade levels for the following 5 years. In 2017, I stepped into the position of Academic Director. Serving at TOL is a true blessing; it is the most exciting and rewarding job in the world! I enjoy working with teachers and supporting their vision for the classroom. I love to see kids come alive, whether it is in worship or through academic success. I believe that teaching is calling out the greatness in students and supporting them to grow and flourish in every area of their lives. I am passionate about raising up warriors who know and love God!


Talanja Steele

Administrative Assistant

I am at TOL because God called me here. He wouldn’t let me sleep until I took my first step in obedience. God has an assignment for me. He moved mountains on my behalf, NO, on behalf of OUR children and for his glory. My first year here I volunteered 3 days a week- that was a miracle in itself. What mother do you know has the time and money to do that? I have always had a heart for kids- especially elementary age. At this age, they have not accepted the lies and tricks of the enemy like, “I can’t spell”, “I can’t read”, “I’ll never be able to do ______.” I am here to uproot them lies before they get a chance to mature and take over their minds. My job is to plant good seeds- seeds of life. I tell and show kids- you can read, you are smart, you do have self-control and you are loved. God has plans for our children. Plans to prosper them to give them hope and a future. Thank God His plan included me!


Chris Peters

Middle School Teacher

Before I was a teacher at Tree of Life, I was the end of the year party lifeguard at Markin Glen Park. I am here now teaching middle school to die to myself, to serve and lead my students spiritually, emotionally, socially, and academically. I praise God for the opportunity to play my guitar and worship with my students throughout the week in song. Truly, it is a blessing to serve my first year teaching in a grace filled community that is Tree of Life.


Sara Stuart

Developmental Kindergarten Teacher

We all know those ‘creepy, crazy God moments in our life: Some may call them coincidences, but as a Christ-follower, I know them to be far more than that. A series of those moments worked together to humble me and affirm God’s leading in my life when I was uprooted from my comfort zone and taken down the wildest, most awesome, unimaginable path to…TREE OF LIFE SCHOOL. From a Christian school in one of the roughest, most violent neighborhoods of Chicago to a middle/upper-class private school with just one non-Caucasian student who was adopted, plus two other diverse schools in between, I truthfully thought I had experienced it all. As it turns out, after day one at Tree of Life School as a kindergarten/1st grade teacher, I was the one who got ‘SCHOOLED!’ Literally every single day I have been at TOL has brought me from BELIEVING what the Holy Spirit is capable of, to EXPERIENCING what the Holy Spirit is capable of. I know for sure that I have grown as much, and likely more, than any of those I have taught and worked with since being here. I never truly experienced the Holy Spirit guiding, leading, and nurturing like I do both in my classroom and in the community of our school. It is for this reason, and hundreds more, that five years later my ‘go-to’ answer when asked why I work here remains the same: “While I don’t get paid enough to stay, you couldn’t pay me to leave.


Nathan Runyon

3rd and 4th grade Teacher

After being prompted by the Holy Spirit to work at Tree of Life School, I started serving here in 2017 as the third and fourth grade teacher. I am still serving as the third and fourth grade teacher and privileged to be a part of a staff that puts God and our precious students at the top of every agenda. I am humbled and excited to be in a place where God is on the move and being honored while working alongside our amazing staff, students, and families. I praise God that He has allowed me to be a part of His miraculous plan for everyone involved with Tree of Life, and I cannot wait to see how God is going to bless and surprise all of us in the future.


Kristin Slater

Title 1 Teacher

For me, teaching at Tree of Life is part of fulfilling God’s command that every part of our life should be in unity with Him. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) Teaching at a Christian School is connecting every part of learning to how God is revealing himself to us. God has been calling my family and me to Tree of Life since the beginning as volunteers and I am so excited to now be a Title 1 teacher here at school! It is an incredible privilege to know God would use me in a child’s life as they grow in their faith and their life. Praise be to God for His faithfulness!


Amy Sterenberg

Title 1 Coordinator

I am blessed and humbled to have been on the Tree of LIfe adventure from day one. To see God take a vision, make it a reality, and change so many lives along the way has been simply amazing. When we opened in 2010 we knew we were partnering with God to make the school a reality, but we had no idea the multitude of ways we would see Him move in the lives of our students, teachers, families, friends, and community. I am honored to get a front row seat to watch Him work! Through the Title I program, I get the opportunity to help God’s children discover their gifts and help them grow through their struggles on a daily basis. I praise God for this amazing opportunity!


Sheri Lynne 

Special ED Aid

What a blessing to be a part of TOL!  After volunteering during the school year last year, God has opened a door for me to be on staff part-time and assist individual students.  Although I am helping students to grow spiritually and achieve their academic goals, I believe they teach me as much as I teach them, by their acts of kindness and awesome prayers.  Mark 10:14 “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”


Kristin Brussee

1st & 2nd Grade Teacher

I began at Tree of Life in 2017 as the First and Second grade teacher.  The acceptance of my position at Tree of Life was the realization of a dream that God has placed on my heart eight years prior and that I had nearly given up on.  In the two schools that I was a part of before Tree of Life I became discouraged and cynical about my call as a teacher. When the position for a new teacher was posted in 2017, I nearly did not apply because I was certain that I wanted to leave the teaching profession to pursue higher education.  But, our God is persistent, and he would not let me rest until I submitted to his perfect plan. As soon as I submitted my application I was overwhelmed by a sense of peace and certainty that this was God’s will for me and that I would be irrevocably transformed by this little school and the people within its walls.  I consider it the greatest honor to serve the children and families of Tree of Life and I am deeply grateful for our good, good Father who has entrusted me with such a wonderful gift.

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Location: 2001 Cameron St. Kalamazoo, MI 49001

Telephone: (269) 718-7428


School Hours: M-F: 7:30am - 4pm

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