What motivated you to become a teacher?
Jesus was and is an awesome teacher—so many lives have been changed by His teaching. Since God stepped down onto our planet and decided to be a teacher, there must be something in that. And then, of course, there were teachers in my life who deeply inspired me.
What are your favorite moments with students?
I have so many favorite moments—rock climbing, leading Winterim trips, unpacking deep, authentic questions in class. I love the moments when a student lingers after class to tell me, “I used to hate Shakespeare, but now I love stories,” or “I don’t think I’ve ever understood grace before, and this class helped me.” That’s why I do what I do. My sweet spot is when a student says, “I can’t wait to practice what I’m learning in discipleship class tonight at home!”
What is the most important life lesson you want your students to learn in your class?
How can I limit myself to one lesson? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Truth is a living person not a religion. You can have a relationship with the author of the Bible; you don’t have to just study the book. The book is fantastic, but Jesus is so much more than that. A Christ-centered worldview is so much bigger than we can imagine, and Christ is even bigger than that!
- Grace is insane. Nothing you can do will ever negate God’s grace, ever.
- Words are powerful. Are you going to use your words to create in the image of God, whose words are Life, or use your words to destroy like the dragon?
- Biblical discipleship is alive and well. With the spirit of Christ living in us, we can actually follow the invitation to live, love, and act like Jesus right here and right now! Jesus says in John chapter 14, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” That is a great life lesson to learn at WA and to leave WA with.
Why are you passionate about the subject(s) that you teach?
When I teach worldview, I tell students that everybody has a trust list—I’m passionate for kids to learn what they are trusting and whether or not it is trustworthy. If I do my job right, my students will have a sustainable Christ-centered Biblical worldview that allows them to live a life of discipleship. Sometimes students think that discipleship is boring, but Jesus’ disciples were never bored. They were out there with Jesus, calming storms, healing the sick, protecting the vulnerable, sharing the gospel, and feeding thousands of people. We can start practicing that, but we have to have a worldview that can support that type of lifestyle, or we will get stuck, be frustrated, or simply miss out.
What advice do you have for parents considering Christian education?
Jesus didn’t force people to follow Him—He invited people into His worldview and into His lifestyle. As parents, we should also be modeling His worldview and inviting our children into it. When a decision is forced or coerced, we are going against what Jesus did. He never forced anyone, he always invited. Let students taste and see that Wheaton Academy is good place. Kids must want to be here for it to really work, especially with our Kingdom Community.
Secondly, I would say that worldview shapes everything a person does. Do you want your children to be learning from teachers with a Christian worldview shaping everything they teach? A Christian education at a healthy school with strong academics and robust extracurricular opportunities offers consistency and variety all within a Christ-centered, Biblical worldview.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Narnia
Favorite book as an adult?
Lord of the Rings, Return of the Prodigal Son by Henry Nouwen
At Wheaton Academy, we believe that students grow to become like their teachers (Luke 6:40)—that’s why it’s so important that 100% of our faculty, coaches, and staff are empowered to speak Biblical truth to our students.