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"Transformational Work at WCGS" by Mr. Clum
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"Transformational Work at WCGS" by Mr. Clum

March 01, 2019

This piece was written by Wheaton Christian Grammar School's Head of School, Steve Clum, and read at the 2019 annual business meeting on February 26, 2019.

For 77 years, we have been involved in transformational, life-changing work at WCGS. We have sought to partner with the Christian home and Christian church to make this happen. This transformational work occurs in a number of ways.

First, I want to thank you, parents, for your life-giving support to WCGS. I’m always encouraged with the ways and means in which you provide the help and support we need here at school. Whether meeting for prayer, driving on a field trip, touching base with us regarding a concern, or providing the manpower to host an event, you continually come through. Thank you for your generosity, passion, and vision for this school and the ministry. Thanks for your encouragement and sacrificial love for our school.

As one thinks of the transformational work that takes place at the Grammar School, many things come to mind. I think of God’s Word being taught and lived out daily before the students by our faculty and staff.  I think of the partnership with the Christian home as exemplified this past Sunday when I experienced the beautiful testimonies and baptisms of a couple of our students. I think of this past Friday when we received an e-mail from Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Sharrar letting us know that one of her students had given his life to Christ. I think of my good friend, David Roth, who is always encouraging me as we strive as a school and administrative team to keep the spiritual compass of WCGS due north. I think of Mrs. Porter's and Mrs. Mitchell’s second graders going to the Outreach Community Center to serve lunch to the elderly and sing for them. I think of Mrs. Smith and our K-3 students as they opened last Thursday evening’s concert with the song, One Thing Remains – Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me. The truths of Scripture. Thank you, Jesus, for this privilege. 

As I think of the transformational work of WCGS in the lives of our students, I think of Mr. Johnson and the leadership lunches he is having with our middle school students. I think of Mrs. Messer and the continual conversations she has with so many of our Jr. High kids. I think of teachers greeting students as they walk into the building and checking up with them on their lives. I think of our Connect Groups that dive deeper to help grow our kids. I think of Mrs. Johnson who attended her student's baptism this past Sunday, and numerous other teachers who take time to go out of their way to attend a game, a co-curricular event, to help a student academically, or even stop by or make a phone call to check in on a sick or hurting student.

As I think of the transformational work of WCGS, I think of teachers who provide students opportunities to excel, grow, and stretch themselves within and outside of the school environment. I think of Mr. Huttenlock submitting the work of 10 students (Four were honored and two of the works have gone on to the National Competition) to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Competition. I think of Mr. Wright taking 28 students this past weekend to the IGSMA Solo and Ensemble competition in Lisle. I think of Rose Grandy taking our chess team to the State Chess Tournament in Bloomington on March 9. I think of Mrs. Zarn and Miss Graham coaching our girls’ basketball teams. I think of Mr. Nichols and the personal touches he provides our many guests as he hosts IESA Regional and Sectional contests. I think of Mr. Spradley providing 8th grade girls with the opportunity to participate in Argonne’s "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day."  I think of the outstanding TerraNova 3 scores in reading, math, and language that have been between 91st percentile and 8/9 ranking and 95th percentile and 8/9 ranking the past five years. This is a direct result in part of the strong teaching our students receive daily.

As I think of the transformational work of WCGS, I think of a Board member who drives onto our campus before school starts from time-to-time and prays. I think of moms who meet weekly on campus to pray, dads who meet monthly to pray, our Auxiliary and Board of Directors who begin each meeting with devotions and prayer for the needs of the school. Prayer has been and continues to be part of the lifeblood of our school. Apart from God, we can do nothing. We are completely dependent upon Him.

As I think of the transformational work of WCGS, I think of an administrative team that is passionate and intentional about providing biblical worldview training for our teachers. I think of the numerous professional development opportunities that are provided in-house and off-campus for faculty and staff to grow, to network, and to teach and train others. I think of our office staff, maintenance staff, and support staff whose work many times goes unnoticed, yet we couldn’t do or run a school like this without them. They are amazing and continually give so much.

As I think of the transformational work of WCGS, I think of the family who said the school saved and turned around the lives of their boys and family. They were so grateful that they provided a scholarship for another middle school student to attend WCGS over the next three years. I think of the parents and friends of the school who responded to personal phone calls and an e-blast last June to help us meet and exceed our $425,000 Scholarship Fund. Many of God’s people are gracious with their resources that help sustain the school.

This is but a glimpse of what I could have shared. I’d love to share more because I love this school, I love what God is doing here, and I love the difference WCGS is making in the lives of children and families, as well as faculty and staff. 

What is WCGS?  It is a place where lives are being transformed daily.  God is at work here! WCGS continues to be His school! We are providing incredible life experiences for our students that are helping to shape and mold them academically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, physically, and most importantly, spiritually.

God’s Word is very telling on transformational living. In Romans 12:2 we read, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I find it telling that the key to this transformational change is the mind, the control center of our attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and actions. As our mind keeps on being made new by the spiritual input of God’s Word, prayer, and Christian fellowship, our lifestyle keeps on being transformed. God’s Word, and its impact on our minds and hearts is a key component to successfully reaching and providing direction for our students.

Thank you for the privilege of serving WCGS as Head of School. It is an amazing honor and joy to serve you. I’m blessed through each of you.

 

Interested in being a part of the WCGS community? Schedule a visit on our Admissions page: wheatonchristian.org/admissions/.

Tags: 2017 national blue ribbon school, elementary, head of school, jeff brooke, jr. high, kindergarten, private christian school chicago suburbs, steve clum, wheaton academy, wheaton christian grammar school