To the Future Mrs. Estrellas and Mr. Pigdens

By Joel Hazard In January, I had the extraordinary opportunity to reconnect with my dear second-grade teacher, Mrs. Estrella. For years, I had tirelessly searched for her online, but to no avail. So, when my best friend conveyed that he believed she had passed away years ago, my heart sank. Yet, as fate would have it, divine intervention stepped in, and I was elated when my mother informed me that Mrs. Estrella was not only […]

Tov and Joy in the Classroom

By: Laura Barringer This is adapted from a speech Laura gave at the “Leading a Culture of JOY” event in Chicago. In October 2020, my father and I published what became a bestselling book called A Church Called Tov. It is not a story I could have ever planned to write. After all, I am a school teacher and have spent two decades of my career teaching primary-grade children. Writing a book at all and […]

The Worst Possible Idea: Seeing Our Challenges Anew

By: Anna H. Surratt In my last article, I posted that when faced with an adaptive challenge, we intuitively make assumptions about the root cause, reasons for a problem, and possible solutions – moving quickly from problem identification to solution generation. However, that swift movement often ignores the value systems, attitudes, competencies, beliefs, loyalties, identities, and coordinated efforts of the people and dynamics involved in shaping the problem. Thus, we must slow down to listen […]

Making Moves

Jeff Horner, EdD New Location This spring I had the opportunity to consider taking a new position at a new school in a new state. After interviewing, praying through the decision, and talking through all the process with my wife, we decided that this new opportunity was one to which God was calling our family. Delivering that message to our children, to our extended families, and to our soon-to-be former employers was also the matter […]

Fostering Community Like Christ

By: Adam Gilliland I grew up spending my summers in North Carolina, right on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Each year, the park holds a ticket lottery for a firefly event in early June. I had always heard about this event, but had never been until my wife and I lived in North Carolina in 2019. We were lucky enough to be selected in the ticket lottery, and what we were […]