Silva Emerian shares personal stories, school highlights
I was standing outside the FC gym last week, waiting for my 8th grader to exchange his backpack for his tennis uniform and racquet before their first co-ed junior high tennis match.
Beautiful and athletic Trinity Cox, my son’s classmate, saw me as she waited to leave for her softball game.
“Do you work here, Mrs. Emerian?” she asked.
“No,” I replied. “I’m just always here for one thing or another.”
I had to laugh, because it’s true. I’m on campus four days a week for various activities that mostly do not involve my two boys in the 8th and 5th grades.
As thankful as I am for the many opportunities parents have to serve at Fresno Christian Schools – I help lead Mom’s in Christ (FCS mothers’ prayer group), God’s Girls (bi-monthly 5th grade girls’ devotional), I’m a teacher’s aide for Mrs. (Hallie) Rojeski and a room mom (one of four!) for Mrs. (Janet) Vander Kooi – I am infinitely more grateful for the many opportunities Fresno Christian provides for my sons.
My loudest and proudest point of praise for FCS is how much it promotes student leadership at all levels. As a parent, you cannot imagine the joy I feel seeing students who dressed up as cowboys and cowgirls in Mrs. (Amy) Witters’ (former) kindergarten class now leading worship during chapel.
Where else can junior high students lead worship during elementary chapel and high school students lead worship during junior high/high school chapel? I have personally witnessed many of these students overcome shyness, grow in confidence and learn entirely new instruments in the span of less than two years.
My 8th grader is in jr. high leadership and also participates in the Brother to Brother program. With these two activities, he has been blessed with older students as mentors. Every month he meets with two high school students as his leadership mentors – junior Blake Burdan and senior Reese Brown. He is also paired with senior Kyle Friesen as his Big Brother. These three boys have poured into my son this year in many positive ways.
If I hear, “But KYLE said…” one more time, I will have to find Kyle on campus and compare notes!
My 5th grader is in elementary leadership, under Mr. (James) Garcia’s tutelage. To be accepted, he had to write out his testimony and get a teacher recommendation. Mr. (Matthew) Weimer, his 4th grade teacher, was gracious enough to write a generous and kind report on a sometimes-immature and always wily-kid, but he saw something in my son that I have always prayed for – a leader’s heart.
Reading my son’s testimony opened my eyes to how the Lord has been working in his life in ways that I didn’t expect.
I can name countless other ways students are discipled and encouraged to serve on campus and off campus. This is the greatest gift FCS can give our students as future leaders in our community and beyond.
The Feather Online
As strong as FCS is in academics and athletics, it’s the “extras” that truly set it apart. And the most unique way that FCS chases excellence is through The Feather Online, its daily digital newspaper. Did I mention the many national awards this student-run newspaper has won? The Feather is not just Fresno Christian’s jewel, but our entire city’s.
From reporting to photography, video journalism to producing videos, The Feather is a top-notch communications and media program unmatched by any other high school (or college) in the Central Valley. Advisers Greg Stobbe and Kori Friesen continue to push our students to go beyond what even they can imagine they can produce, and the results are stellar.
Stobbe, especially, has a knack for encouraging students to join The Feather and improve their communication skills. He realizes the importance of these skills regardless of what field they will eventually choose. He pushes hard, and students seem to surprise themselves at how they succeed in meeting his challenges.
The Feather is constantly striving for a wider impact, producing quality content that impacts not only our school, but our community as a whole.
The Bigger Picture
The teachers, administrators and leaders at Fresno Christian care about our students. I cannot overstate this point. When my 5th grader “somehow” got putty all over his hair earlier this year, I showed up to find elementary secretary Lisa Dooley standing over him with a tub of butter, combing out the putty. Elementary Principal Katie Reneau stood nearby, consoling my boy with a piece of chocolate. I’m not sure “putty removal” is listed anywhere in Mrs. Dooley’s job description, but she did it with a smile on her face.
At FCS, our students are not just a number. They’re not herded through their most formative years like adolescent cattle. They are fed, spiritually and academically. They are offered electives that expand their knowledge and experiences – art, music (major props to Susan Ainley for constantly knocking the choir program out of the park year after year), sports, media, chapel and so much more. And I don’t even know enough to share about the amazing and practical life skills that Kimberly Bell teaches high school students.
Fresno Christian pursues excellence in all of these areas, and it inspires our students to be excellent as well, from TK all the way through senior year. It helps our students grow in their faith and cultivates in them a heart after Jesus Christ. And it prepares them for a lifetime of service and success in their future.
Fresno Christian is more than just a school – we are a family.
In the following video created by The Feather’s videographers, community and school leaders share their thoughts as to Fresno Christian’s legacy in Fresno County and beyond.
If you are a parent of a current or former student, or a supporter of FCS, please share your praise, highlights and best memories of FCS in the comments below!
Originally from Boston, Silva Emerian is a writer and editor currently living in Central California. Passionate about her faith, family and fashion, she loves good grammar and dark chocolate. She is married to Jayson and they have two sons, Silas and James. Visit Silva’s personal blog at www.onmyshoebox.com.@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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