First Grade


Annika Brands– First Grade


Bio: I grew up in Edgerton, MN, with my parents and three younger sisters. After graduating high school in 2018, I attended Dordt University to get my education degree. Last spring, I accepted my first teaching position at Heritage! I am thankful for the privilege of working with so many of God’s children–it is already such a blessing.

Besides teaching, some things that I enjoy are running, cooking, playing piano, and reading… and I always enjoy learning new things, too!

Emily Cnossen – First Grade



I am originally from Hull, a small town in the NW corner of Iowa. I graduated from Dordt College in May 2015 with a Bachelors in Elementary Education. After teaching at Heritage Christian for 5 years as Miss Gritters I changed my name to Mrs. Cnossen in 2020 when I married Jeremy. Currently our only “child” is our dog–Kaya. 

I go to Unity PRC and enjoy it very much! I enjoy reading, spending time with friends and family, traveling (when I can), and teaching 1st grade (of course)!!

Mary VanOverloop – First Grade


Classes Taught: First, Third, Fourth, Kindergarten, Special Education, Resource

Bio: I have been blessed to be part of Heritage Christian School since the doors were first opened in 1985.  After receiving my B.A. from Hope College with a degree in education and a major in Learning Disabilities, I taught two years in third and fourth grades at Heritage.  During the years I was raising our children, I taught kindergarten part time.  Following kindergarten, I was Director of the Discovery Center for ten years where I was involved in special education, resource room and response to intervention screenings.  Presently I am back in the general education classroom, teaching first grade.

My husband, Mike, and I have six children, three sons, a son-in-law and daughter-in-law, and 1 grandchild. We are charter members of Trinity Protestant Reformed Church.  I enjoy traveling, crafts and reading in my spare time.