ISJ Board of Education
The Joint Board of Education is made up of representatives from Immanuel Lutheran and St. James Lutheran Churches; each church has five members. The School Board meets at 6 p.m. at St. James Lutheran Church. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The goals of the School Board are to:
Support the administration and ministry of the school.
Oversee the financial functions of the school.
Set policy for the school in accordance with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and State of Michigan regulations.
Nathan Urbanski lives in Grand Rapids and attends St. James Lutheran Church with his wife Kim, and children Hayden, and Heath. They both attend ISJ Academy. Nathan has worked for Trinity Health, the parent company of Mercy Health (St. Mary's), for the last fifteen years. In his free time his family likes to camp, bike, golf and swim as much as they can. They also enjoy watching and participating in sports. Hayden plays basketball and Heath plays T-ball. Nathan joined the school board to help ensure that the school is here for the time his children attend and for the future; that someday their children can attend, just like their grandfather attended.
Carol Bifulco is a member of St. James Lutheran for over 20 years. Carol is the director of KidZ Time at St. James and treasurer for the
LWML district zone. Her husband, Mike Bifulco, was a board member for many years and is an alum from ISJ himself. Carol is currently an
administrative specialist with Van Wyk Risk Solutions and has been for 8 years and calls it her best job ever. She loves spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren, who also attend ISJ. She is a very active outdoor person but loves to travel too, especially the western part of the United States. The school board was something she wanted to be a part of to ensure that future generations can continue to receive their education in a Christ-centered environment with a great staff to help them on their way.
Bethany lives in NE Grand Rapids with her husband and four daughters, one a recent ISJ graduate and two still attending. She is a member at Immanuel Lutheran Church, and has been a life-long Lutheran belonging to a family riddled with Lutheran school teachers. Beth has served the community of East Grand Rapids as a Public Safety Officer for 17 years, and volunteers her time developing bookworms at ISJ as the de-facto school librarian. She loves reading, singing, gardening, and backpacking in what little spare time she has. Bethany joined the school board in 2020 because she deeply understands the need and value of a community that looks out for each other, and wants to bring a Christ-centered education to anyone seeking it.
Elizabeth is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church
Andy is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Allison is a member of St. James Lutheran Church.
Loren Harper is a member of St. James Lutheran Church.
I experienced the blessing of a Lutheran School education growing up in Saginaw, where my parents were Lutheran School teachers, and I attended Peace Lutheran School from K-8. I’ve had careers in banking and Lutheran School teaching, and for the past 32 years I’ve worked for Thrivent Financial as a Financial Representative. My wife, Debbie, and I have attended Immanuel Lutheran since 2015.
Liz is a wife to Mathew. They have two biological children and are also foster parents and have fostered 3 children in the past. We are members at at Immanuel and have been since 2013. Liz works full time as a nurse manager at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital.