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Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Moving from Louisiana to California, Deborah Ingerson, ’20, starts her first year at the school. She hopes to make new friends and play on the soccer team.

Campus students welcome new faces

With every new school year, change is inevitable. One of the biggest differences this year is all the new faces on campus. New teachers are placed in elementary, junior high and high school. Additionally, enrollment increased by approximately an additional 85 students.

At the start of school, the total number of students exceeded 570, compared to last year’s enrollment, which barely broke 500. However, the numbers for this year are not set in stone. Applications continue to roll in so expect to notice even more new faces around campus.

Deborah Ingerson, ‘20, moved from Louisiana to California just over a month ago because her dad received a job to be the president of a board of missions called Christians In Action Missions International. Ingerson admits starting at a new school presents many struggles. However, she trusts God and knows that He is in control.   

“I never planned on moving from Louisiana,” Ingerson said, “but this is what God has in store for me and my family right now. When I first came to Fresno Christian I was nervous and didn’t know anyone. Everyone is very close so, it has been hard to connect but, every day is getting better.  

“California is a very different environment from where I lived,” Ingerson continued. “I love being around people so right away I tried my best to connect with people. The education has been challenging me to work harder. This year I’m looking forward to making memories with people and learning as much as I can this year. I want to make the most of my time here at Fresno Christian.”

Not only are there numerous new students, there is also a handful of new teachers including;

Kindergarten: Amelia Fries

Second Grade: Stephanie Hoffman

Third Grade: James Garcia

Fourth Grade co-teacher: Dawn Hinton

Fifth Grade: Jaci Siebert

Junior high: Amy Friesen, Diane Blowers

High school: Aubri Foster

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Junior high math and Bible teacher, Amy Friesen, starts her first year teaching on the campus. In her free time, she enjoys wake surfing and motorcycle riding.

Junior high math and Bible teacher, Amy Friesen, starts her first year teaching on the campus. After her two children toured the campus they immediately fell in love and had a strong desire to attend the school. With much thought and prayer, Friesen felt a calling to teach at Fresno Christian.

“This year, I am teaching eighth-grade math B and seventh and eighth grade Bible,” Friesen said. “My goals this year are that students find understanding and develop a love of math and that they continue to grow in their walk with Christ and to make Him real in their lives.

Even though this is Friesen’s first year teaching at this school, she has much experience teaching elsewhere.  

“Before Fresno Christian, I taught kindergarten for two years and first grade for a year,” Friesen continued. “I have also homeschooled my daughter from second to sixth grade and my son from fourth to eighth grade. When I am not at school I am actively involved at my church, Mountain View Community Church, where my husband and I are starting our tenth year serving in the high school youth ministry.”

Coming from Rio Vista Middle School, freshman Arundeep (Arun) Singh, starts his first year at Fresno Christian. Singh looks forward to the coming year and feels that it will be challenging starting over.  

“When I first started at Fresno Christian I wasn’t very thrilled and honestly, it was a little boring,” Singh said. “I have enjoyed meeting new people but there hasn’t been anything extremely exciting. I first heard about Fresno Christian after my brother attended the school. This year I hope to meet new people and learn new things.”   

To many teachers around the campus, teaching is more than just school work and grades, it is preparing students for their adult lives. This perspective is one that, Diane Blowers, new seventh grade English and history teacher, lives by.

“My goal for this year is to prepare students and help them bridge the gap over into high school,” Blowers said. “I hope to help them get organized, raise their self-esteem and teach them some basic life skills that they can use in school, church and basic life.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Arun Singh, ’21, starts his first year at the school. This year, Singh hopes to improve academic skills and participate in sports.

To me, teaching goes beyond just school it is ultimately whole life experience.

“Before teaching at the school, I heard many great things about it from some of my friends who are involved,” Blowers continued. “I’ve known Mr. Brown for a while and when I found out that there was a position that was up my alley I applied and I felt that God had opened the door for me. After talking with Mrs. Deffenbacher and Mr. Brown I knew this was the place for me.”

Recently moving to California, Blake Burdan, ‘20, felt nervous about starting at a new school where he did not know many people. Burdan was born in California but moved to Canada because his dad became the lead pastor at Tree of Life. Previously, he attended Blessed Trinity Catholic Schoola large school in Canada and has not had any experience in a small private school.   

“I moved to California a couple weeks before the year started and it was very unexpected,” Burdan said. “I only knew about five people at the school before starting and none of them were in my grade. My decision to play football helped me meet a bunch of new people.

“After the first few weeks of school, I felt like I knew everyone and that I was extremely welcome. The teachers already know my name and the kids are very nice. I’m excited for the year and becoming even closer with everyone at the school.”

With the many new faces on campus, remember to be kind and welcoming. Say hi to a new student or invite them to your lunch table because the smallest moves can make the largest impact.

For more articles, read California farmers prepare for almond harvest and Choir begins fundraising for New York.

The author can be reached via email: Braden BellInstagram and Twitter.

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