Meet the Team

Pastor Hal Kooistra – Teach Global Leadership

Pastor Hal has served as the Senior Pastor of Hope Church since August 2005. Hope Church has two locations – one in Chicago and one in La Grange, IL.

Prior to becoming a pastor, Hal was an elementary teacher and high school soccer coach in Michigan for twelve years. He received his B.A. from Calvin College and Master of Divinity degree from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

He has been an instructor for the Illinois School of Ministry held at Lincoln (IL) Christian University where he teaches classes in the Pentateuch and Paul’s Epistles. Presently he serves as the overseer of 20 churches in Chicago. He also serves in leadership for Convoy of Hope Chicagoand Teach Global.

Hal and his wife, Dawn, have led mission’s trips to Liberia, Uganda, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, and throughout the USA.

Dawn Kooistra – Teach Global Leadership

Dawn is married to Hal Kooistra and is the Missions Director at Hope Church and the local director for Convoy of Hope Chicago.  

A graduate of Trinity International University, she is a strong team builder and project manager, and is passionate about compassion ministries.

Shibu Thomas – Teach Global Leadership

Shibu has been in the higher education industry for over 20 year in various leadership roles. He has a passion for motivating and creating cultural change while building teamwork within organizations.

Currently he is the Executive Vice President over 40 healthcare career schools. His focus and strengths lie in succession planning, leadership development and organizational growth.

Solly Thomas – Teach Global Leadership

Solly has been teaching at the college and high school level for over 15 years. She is a mechanical engineer and operations manager that is now teaching mathematics, training teachers and modeling strong classroom structures and culture. She has authored math textbooks, edited curriculum and was a founding staff member of the highest achieving charter school network in the state of Illinois. She is also the 2017 educator of the year for South Chicago.

Tina Johnson-Hawkins – Volunteer

Tina is a State of Illinois Certified Teacher who has been teaching for over 16 years in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Tina’s passion is Math and Science. She is currently teaching second grade at a school in Chicago, Illinois.  The last three years, Tina has shared her passion for teaching at the teacher’s conference in Haiti.

Dianna Ulmer – Volunteer

Dianna has served in public education for 24 years. She has taught high school Spanish, bilingual 2nd grade, gifted children and is currently teaching junior high school students. For eight years, she worked in administration as a curriculum director.

Lainey Hately – Volunteer

Lainey earned her elementary education teaching degree as a second career and taught for a few years.  She holds endorsements in Special Education and English as a Second Language.  She taught all subjects in Grade 3; Speech, Media and Drama in Middle School (6th, 7th and 8th grades); and used Special Education strategies with 6th grade middle school students and with children with Autism.