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Kari Wilkins
Elementary & Middle School Art Teacher

Tell us about yourself. 
Growing up in Sussex County, I am glad to be back in good ol’ New Jersey! This will be my eighth year teaching. Upon graduating college, I worked in a public school in Indiana for five years and then was blessed to spend two years in China at an international school. Last year was my first year back in the States and I am incredibly excited to begin my time here at ECS! Rock climbing, traveling, and exploring the outdoors are two of my topmost favorite things to do. I love learning about new cultures and trying new things! During most summers, I spend my time in the Adirondacks working with mostly the high school girls at Camp Cedarbrook. This year, I am most excited to see all the ways God will create new things: in me, in others, and in the art room! Stop by for a peak to see what’s happening!

How did God bring you to work at EC?
Teaching was not the career path I would have selected or seen myself in, had you asked me while I was in high school. Having been homeschooled up until college, working in a “regular” school was not something I really considered as an option. Hence, why I started my college years as a music major. But, through loving every moment of summer camp counseling, I knew God had something else in store for me. I asked myself, “What sort of job is most like camp, but during the full year? What sort of job allows me to pour into the next generation?” And teaching is where I landed! I received my Elementary Education degree with a minor in music from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2011. Having experienced student teaching overseas, I knew that I wanted to someday teach again cross-culturally. That opportunity came through as God opened doors, allowing me to step on a plane to China on July 23, 2016. Now that I am back in the States, I’m eager to learn more of what God has for me to learn. A short-term goal of mine is to complete my masters degree in the next few years. As I do, I look forward to being a part of the EC family!

What sets EC apart?
Through its rich history, focus on diversity, and Christ-centered community, EC is set apart from the rest. Students lives are being impacted through the intentionality of the staff, how they show genuine interest and positivity, modeling Christ-like patience and hard work. Though only a participant for a short while, I have seen how students are held to higher standards: greatness is expected from them because their potential comes from seeing each student through the lens of their Creator. I have already seen students taking leadership roles as they lead worship for staff, or hold one another accountable to their responsibilities as students. God has designed great things for each student and is using the staff and programs at Eastern Christian to fulfill His design. To God be the glory, great things He has done (and is doing now)!

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