This month, we are thrilled to highlight another Denver Christian staff member and alumnus, Braden Homan. We are incredibly thankful that, despite his insistence that he would never be a teacher, Braden was wrong and the Lord brought him back to DC.
During his 13 years at Denver Christian, Braden developed deep relationships that impact him to this day. Braden reflects, “Some of my favorite memories at DC include the time spent with friends who I still talk to and consider some of my closest friends. I think I may be a little of an outlier here, still having really great friends who I met in high school, but I also believe that speaks to the types of relationships that can be built in a place like DC.”
Braden was impacted by his friends, teachers, and coaches alike. He remembers how James Timmer’s classroom was a place where he wrestled with the election, discussed how history impacts us and played the News Quiz Games. (Now as a teacher, Braden still likes to drop by Timmer’s room on a Friday for the News Quiz Games.) Braden adds, “Tami Zietse and Rene Meyer’s abilities to teach me how to write and write well is a skill that I can’t thank them enough for.”
In addition to his interactions in the classroom, Braden was shaped by his experience on the soccer field. He says, “My experiences on the field with my dad as coach led me to play college soccer and find success in the sport I love. More importantly, though, it has helped me understand that life is bigger than the wins and losses. As a coach, I am now passing on the lessons of life and love, and community to the players I get to work alongside. Without the support and encouragement from people like Ed Buteyn, Andy Draayer, and my dad on the field and court, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” When we asked Braden about a specific memory, he recalled Ed Buteyn telling the team, “If you want to be treated like young men, stop acting like little boys.” Braden says, “While his tone and words were kind of harsh, it stuck with me and became something of a mantra to challenge myself to mature and grow up.” Today, Braden is working alongside many of these people who shaped his life. He says that he is still learning from them a decade later.
Denver Christian was the place where Braden grew, played, competed, learned and developed as a whole person from kindergarten until his graduation. After graduating, Braden majored in Chemistry with a minor in Biology from Dordt University. Braden jokes “After swearing for years and years that I would not teach and end up becoming even more like my Dad, I was in need of a job, and loan repayment was quickly approaching. God has a sense of humor, and Rehoboth Christian High School offered me a position to coach their boys’ varsity soccer program and teach chemistry.” This wasn’t Braden’s first connection with Rehoboth. As an 8th grader and high schooler, Braden previously visited the campus for service, fellowship, and assisting with soccer camps during the summer. Braden spent the next five years (2017-2022) teaching and coaching with a predominantly native population, and earning his teaching license from Western New Mexico University.
In addition to his work volunteering, Tim served on the board. This was during the pivotal transition from three separate campuses to our unified Teller Campus in 2012. During this process, Tim played a pivotal role in the construction process, sacrificing countless hours to make the new building an operational school. While the work was extensive, Tim’s passion made it energizing. He says, “I would have done it 30 hours a day if I could have.”
In the spring of 2022, Braden was offered a position here at Denver Christian, teaching HS science and math. Braden says, “While it was sad to leave New Mexico, I am forever grateful for the experience of being in that place and the people the Lord surrounded me with. The growth I had from 22-27 is thanks to the role models and Christian educators I was surrounded by. It is wonderful to be able to take those experiences and bring them into the DC community.”
As an alumnus and now staff member, Braden has developed a clear picture of who we want our students to be. He notes that while being accepted into quality schools or getting a high score on the ACT are important, “DC made me into a well-rounded individual.” That is the same hope that Braden has for his students. “I am someone who looks at each student in my classroom as a person I get to walk alongside, teach a little, and learn from. I didn’t know I was going to be a teacher when I left DC, I didn’t even know that the Lord would call me to education after graduating college, and I still don’t know that it will be what I do forever. What I do know is that DC prepared me to go wherever I was needed and meet people where they are at with love, and I am so thankful.”