Greetings from the Superintendent

Dear Central Christian School community,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  In my many years of international life, that’s the way I would often begin letters to partners and church leaders.  I think I will continue to use the same greeting in my new role as Superintendent of Central Christian.  As I begin these early days in the office, I can see the sense of anticipation and the level of activity building in these halls as we gear up for the new school year. 

Our school’s theme verse for this year comes from Proverbs 3:5-6.  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (NIV)

The word “trust” stands out to me as we begin the new year.  As I come to Central, I realize that I am stepping into God’s story that has been unfolding here in this school since 1961. People in Central’s community have eagerly told me the stories of God’s faithfulness, guidance, and presence over the years and until today. The stories help us to keep on trusting God for wisdom, guidance and clarity in our path of following Jesus here at Central even through this time of transition in leadership.

With that sense of stepping into God’s story at Central, I’ve been intentionally keeping my eyes open to notice God at work as the school prepares for a new school year.  I’ve seen many teachers already at work setting up their rooms for excellence in anticipation of the arrival of their students.  I met Sara Weaver as she set up her first grade classroom.  She told me, “I’ve been making plans for STEM activities all summer.” (Central’s teachers are taking the initiative to integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) into all parts of the curriculum and throughout all grade levels.)  Sara showed me hands-on task cards she’s prepared for her students that they can do during their afternoon milk time.  The “Straw Challenge” presents students with a colorful plastic tub of drinking straws and task cards challenging students to design a maze, build a raft, or create a roller coaster for a ping pong ball using the straws.  God is at work in the classroom.

Earlier this week, I had a hard time recording my voice message for the phone because of the loud sound of power tools in the hallway.  But there’s a story and a reason for gratitude!  Through God’s provision and the generosity of Auction participants, Jim Jennings of Kidron Electric was installing the new water fountains that will both filter water and also allow students to fill re-useable water bottles.  I love this tie in and connection to caring for God’s creation through reducing waste.  For me, the new water fountains also bear witness to the community of generosity that surrounds and supports Central. 

This week, I am also thinking of the many international students who are preparing to make a major cultural shift in coming to live and learn here in Ohio.  I have a particular empathy for them, because I also know what it’s like to be a stranger in a strange land.  I invite you to pray specifically for these students, for their host families, and for the teachers and students who will become the community for these students.  May our school community bear witness to Christ, may our worldview change and grow, and may these students find inclusion among us as we reach out to welcome them. 

I’d like to share some prayer requests as the year begins.  If you would like to commit to being a regular prayer partner for the school, please let me know so that I can share prayer with you (while protecting the confidentiality of students and staff).  Knowing that people regularly pray for students, faculty, staff, board, and the school’s programs encourages us greatly.

  1. Pray for new domestic and international students that they can find friends and their place in this school community.
  2. Pray for sparks of enthusiasm and a clear sense of mission and purpose for new and returning teachers.
  3. Pray that the spiritual, material, financial and human resource needs of the school will be met. 

I look forward to meeting you and working with you to fulfill the vision and mission of Central Christian School!

Sincerely,

Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi

Superintendent