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What do you teach at Eastern Christian School?
“I teach 7th and 8th Grade History.”
What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
“Supportive Christian Community. Connecting Bible with my subjects. Academic freedom to teach in a style and some subjects that are of great interest to me.”
Why do you like teaching at Eastern Christian? What motivated you to become a teacher at Eastern Christian?
“In 1990 I was enrolled in a Masters program at Montclair State University. We moved here from Oregon to take this course. Teaching at Eastern Christian gave me the financial and professional support needed. My gifts were appreciated by the community, and the Lord seemed to be keeping us here. I still deeply enjoy connecting philosophically with my students and being able to relate Scriptural truth to all I teach.”
How do you teach a Christian Worldview in your classes at EC?
“In each class through the year, we discuss the trustworthiness of Scripture. Then we use Scripture throughout the year as connecting ideas relate. When studying the beginnings of civilization, we also look at Genesis and the idea that agriculture and metal work were a part of the first human culture. When studying the Code of Hammurabi, we look also at the Law of Moses. The study of Rome includes the birth of the Christian church. We arrive at the Protestant Reformation and use Scripture to discuss justification by faith alone. In American history we discuss the missionary movements to the Native Americans. We look at the Mayflower Compact and the goal of “advancing the Christian faith.” The First and Second Great Awakenings were authentic and significant Christian experiences in our country. In studying the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, we emphasize the divine origins of our inalienable rights, while also expressing that “being a good citizen” is not the same as “being a good Christian person.” In fact, we as Christians have the dual citizenship that make us responsible, in that sense, to two “kingdoms.” Freedom of speech, for example, does not excuse profanity before the Lord and others.”
What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?
“My interest in philosophical dialogue, philosophy thought of as a verb, encourages students to think for themselves. By middle school, many students have begun to “see themselves” as not such good thinkers, but true philosophical discussion seeks truth, understanding, clarity, and not just one answer, and in participation students discover that they do have a voice and ideas that rival those of other students.”
What sets EC students apart from students in other schools?
“In part, their families. And most of our students also are open to and embrace a Christian worldview and course of action that is supportive and loving.”
The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How do you accomplish this in your role at EC?
“Through content, lesson plans, and discussion, my students are being mentally engaged and spiritually and emotionally nurtured. There is also a similar connection in coaching cross country and track, with an emphasis on personal growth and the achievement of goals. My team work in our MAD projects is an example in broadening the scope our ministry beyond the classroom, as is our involvement in field trips, the Spruce Lake overnight trip with 7th graders, and the 8th grade trip to Philadelphia and Gettysburg.”
What do you want your students to gain from having known you?
“A respect and love for thinking and the experience of having a teacher who is a committed Christian who is open to honest thought and significant questions of faith and philosophy. They must be able to think for themselves and have legitimate and rational answers to ultimate questions in order to prepare themselves for life and college. I also want them to be able to relate to my example as one who is both growing and is committed to an authentic, Christian life that loves God and is deeply interested in truth. And I hope they can better respect themselves and enjoy who God has made–oh yes, and also to know something true and relevant about world history and American history!”
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?
“My wife, Annette, and I have been married 49 years; we have 4 adult children and a dozen or so grandchildren. We daily affirm God’s existence and relevance through Bible study, prayer, provision, and answered prayer. We have seen Him at work in our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. God is alive and well in our lives. Praise to Him. May He help us to be faithful and favored, and we be an encouragement to others in the Way, in the years ahead.”