May 28, 2018
These last few weeks of school have been filled with a flurry of activity as we come to the close of another school year. This past week the senior class trip returned from an exciting trip to Iceland, and yesterday the 50th graduating class of FCS was honored at our commencement service. During this final week of school our middle school and high school students will be taking their final exams and our elementary students will wrap up the final days of the year in their classrooms with their teachers. All in all, it will be a very exciting climax to a very busy year. It was a year that began just like many years in the past, but then came Irma. Although our campus was spared from great damage we lost seven school days, and then a restart after the power was restored. We thank the Lord for sparing our school from great damage, and we also are thankful for the opportunities we had as a school to minister to those schools who were less fortunate than us.
Through the storm, and all of the hurdles throughout the school year, our teachers never lost focus and never stopped loving those who God had placed in their care. I am proud of our FCS faculty and thank each of them for a great year. During teacher appreciation week several of our faculty were honored for their outstanding work this year. This year’s Teacher of the Year awards went to: Daisy Bonilla, PK-K; Ivette Menendez, Elementary; Fernie Mesa, Middle School; and, Sandra Dieguez, High School. Adrianna Lopez received the Servant’s Heart award. We are so proud of these teachers and thank the Lord for our entire staff and faculty for an awesome year.
Every year at this time I am reminded once again that the influence of godly teachers on our students is such an amazing opportunity as well as a responsibility. We have the opportunity to have students come into our classrooms each year from different backgrounds, who possess different learning styles, and certainly different types of family backgrounds, and teach all of them the truths of God’s Word and about our personal experience with Jesus Christ. For some of our students we become one of the most influential people they have ever had in their life. What an amazing thought, and what a great responsibility.
As I think about the closing of the school year I am reminded of the story in the Bible where Jesus met a man who had been blind from birth? His disciples immediately asked Jesus, “…who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:2. I’m sure each year, as each of us as teachers evaluate the new group of students coming into the classrooms, we receive a “word” from a parent or peer giving their perspective of that student based on last year or some previous experience they had or heard about with this student. “Surely this child hasn’t received all of the academic background they need to be successful” or maybe “this student’s parents just aren’t supportive of the school and the teacher.” Jesus told his disciples, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life,” John 9:3. Jesus used the opportunity to dispute a widely held belief that a person’s blindness and other afflictions was caused by some sin in the person’s life. So rather than focus on the man’s blindness, Jesus focused on the man’s needs. How much do you think the blind man knew about Jesus when he met him? I can’t imagine that he knew very much. So what did he know about Jesus that would cause him to go down to a dirty public bathing area and wash some mud out of his eyes. Jesus did not produce some magic clay, nor was there any healing power in the waters of Siloam. Jesus simply allowed the man to demonstrate his faith. But the real story is that somewhere between meeting Jesus and being healed, this man was convinced that Jesus cared for him so much that he would heal him. No matter what he might have heard about Jesus before, he demonstrated that he believed Jesus really cared about him.
I believe that the opportunity that we have each year in our Christian school to demonstrate to our students that we care about them is an appointment by God to reach our students. For some of them, they needed that one special teacher to reach out to them, just like the man who had an appointment with Jesus. The blind man was born to be healed by Jesus. I believe that some of our teachers have received students into their classroom this year who were “born” to be influenced by that teacher. Some of our students have received Jesus as their Savior this year and our teachers have been instrumental in bringing them to Jesus. There is no greater influence we can have on an individual life than influencing them to find and follow Jesus.
So I am so grateful for our teachers, and I thank them so much for another great year, but mostly, I appreciate them for focusing on the needs of each student who walks into their classrooms every day. The blind man trusted Jesus to do what he said he would do, even though all of the people believed his blindness was the result of sin. Our students have experienced that kind of trust in their life and our teachers have met the needs in so many their lives. Truly there can be no greater calling than to be the instrument God uses in a child’s life to give them the chance to become what God wants them to be. I am grateful to parents for your trust in our teachers, and the opportunity to come along side you in raising your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Have a great summer!