The past few weeks have been a whirlwind since I accepted this opportunity to fulfill the role of High School Principal at Aurora Christian Schools. Simply saying "I'm happy to be here" would fall far too short of exactly how honored and humbled I am. In fact, I am not sure I can adequately express how blessed I feel about this new direction the Lord has taken my family and me. My wife Susan and I have two children: Kayla is 20 and will be a junior at West Texas A&M this fall, continuing her pursuit of all things equine, and our son Nathan will be a junior at ACS and is planning to play football. We are looking forward to becoming a part of the ACS family and the many great things that are happening! ACS has a terrific reputation in the greater Aurora area and to join such a fantastic, Christ-centered, student-focused school is exhilarating.
It was many years ago in a church service that I felt the call from the Lord into teaching and coaching. There is no greater mission field than our high schools; educators are on the front lines of impacting the next generation for the kingdom. As a result of that call, I have spent the past 20+ years in the public schools serving as teacher, Dean of students, and football coach. My most recent stint has been at Neuqua Valley in Naperville. I was one of the original faculty to open the school in 1997 and watched it grow from a school of 900 to over 4500 students. One of the concerns I had being at such a large high school was that as Neuqua Valley grew so large, it became increasingly difficult to develop strong relationships with faculty, staff, and students. There are many things about ACS that excite me, but the chance to develop relationships with faculty, staff, and students is definitely at the top!
Relationships are of vital importance to the success of any school, and ACS will continue to unashamedly carry out its mission of working with families to bring their children to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But the mission of ACS is also to provide an education through the lens of a Christian world view. My goal is to serve families by helping the ACS faculty, staff, coaches, and sponsors to provide the very best in Christian education. I believe that a Christian education should never be an inferior education. If Christ is our example for all of life, then we certainly must strive for academic excellence in the classroom, athletic excellence in competition, and performance excellence in the arts. To excel in each, students must be challenged to achieve greatness while being stretched beyond what they thought possible, thus creating an atmosphere of academic rigor that is grounded in the truth of God's Word. For ACS and its students to experience academic, athletic, and performance excellence all of us have a role to play. Students must have personal ownership of their effort and work. Parents must be involved in holding their children accountable to performing to their personal best. Faculty, coaches, and sponsors must provide the very best in instruction and assessment while never forgetting to present Christ in everything. The Principal must encourage and give accountability to students, provide encouragement and strategies to parents, and provide professional collaboration, support, and instructional supervision to the faculty. When all of us are striving in unison and seeking excellence in our own roles while trusting others in theirs, then the students experience an excellent education to rival the best high schools. And at Aurora Christian the excellent educati on is from a Christian world view! That's how I want my own child to learn and grow in Christ and knowledge, thus preparing him to confidently stand for Christ in a fallen and mocking world. You may be asking why such an emphasis on excellence; my answer is that we are called to excellence in Colossians 3:23! Aristotle may not have been a disciple of Christ, but he had it right when he said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit." Shouldn't we as believers set the pace for excellence to show off our mighty God? I say yes!
Please join with me in prayer for the hearts, minds, and bodies of the young men and women comprising our student body. Also remember to pray for our faculty, staff, coaches, and sponsors as they prepare to instruct, challenge, and love our children in a variety of settings. And, finally, please pray for me and my family. I believe that the enemy is looking for every opportunity to attack us, but I know that our God is greater! Thank you for your prayer and support. I look forward to meeting each of you in time.
High School Principal