I graduated from a public high school 25 years ago this May. Now, as the principal of a high school myself, I'm often reminded of my own school days when I roamed the halls of Westview High School in Avondale, Arizona. My old memories usually come when I'm spending time with Berean students, knowing I was once in their shoes – hanging out with friends and trying to figure it all out. My job keeps me young, and I love it!
While I know how my high school experience compares with that of the typical Berean student, I also know how vastly different a Berean education is from the one in the public sphere. Most of the differences lie in the obvious contrasts between the philosophy of Christian education and the agenda of the government schools. What a blessing it is to serve the Lord at Berean, where I get to lead a group of teachers who are teaching the next generation of Christians what is true about God and the world He created.
But the Berean experience stands out in another, less obvious way from the high school experience I had. This is anecdotal, and there is no research to back it up, but it seems to me that Berean students maintain their high school friendships at a much deeper level and for much longer than those in the secular world. Last year, just before the COVID-19 lockdown, we were putting the finishing touches on our plans to host Berean's 50th-anniversary celebration at the Blackhawk Auto Museum. We invited every Berean alum we could find from every class, beginning with that first one in 1970. The response was astounding; we saw people from every decade reply with great excitement at the possibility of coming back to celebrate and relive old memories with their Berean friends. But what we also learned in promoting the anniversary event was how well connected many Berean alums already were. They were the ones who spread the word about the celebration to those we couldn't reach. They simply told their old friends from school about it, and tickets sold like hotcakes! Oh, how difficult it was to cancel that event!
In this month's issue of the Berean Bulletin, you'll get a sense of the connectedness of the Berean community, both past and present. In our "Alumni Spotlight," you'll read a piece about a couple of former students, high school sweethearts, who are now married and enjoying life together. You'll also learn about the developing "Alumni Network" and our efforts to keep in touch with all of our former students. There are also several articles that detail our teachers' and students' efforts at maximizing learning and student connectedness during this unique year. Finally, be sure to read Bob Fry's fantastic article, Reflections on Peace in our Time: How are coming generations to go on living? In it, he cites a quote and expands upon an idea from Dietrich Bonhoeffer that is life-changing. It's an idea that captures the essence and motivation many of us have for serving the Lord at Berean. May Bob's thoughts bless you as much as they have blessed me.
God Bless You,