Last week was typical, but atypical as well. Teachers were found starting classes with meaningful devotions. Some shared personal experiences that tied into lessons. Others are taking their class through an introduction to a book of the Bible or devotional series that calls the class to consider God. For Gregg Preston's history class, they heard of his alma mater and a new issue they're championing, and it impacted a Biblically-based news outlet.
The devotional detailed how Wisconsin is working to ban medical research on aborted fetuses. The Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is making public statements that lead academia to value science over human life. Mr. Preston visited our promotions and enrollment office to say hello to Wayne Stender. Through their conversation, Gregg shared the story. Wayne is a passionate pro-life advocate who teaches Hillcrest's journalism class. A graduate of the World Journalism Institute, Wayne emailed the editor of World to see if they were covering the story. Later that day Wayne wrote a story for World Magazine on the University of Wisconsin issue. The classroom devotion given by Mr. Preston, along with the writing put forth by Wayne, is an example of how Hillcrest is preparing students for the world by addressing real issues. Both Wayne and Mr. Preston used the story to mentor their students. Wayne shared the storywriting process with his class, giving them a practical example of writing focus pieces with a deadline. Mr. Preston's work with his students called them to ask big questions of the contemporary news story, guiding them to look beyond the report to see the issue of abortion, science, and bioethics.
Students at Hillcrest are experiencing incredible mentorship from teachers on a daily basis. The faculty meeting on Wednesday of this week saw teachers gather in prayer for the students and student body. Before the prayer time, Principal Isaac led the faculty through an excercise titled, "GROW" from Jeff Myers Cultivate curriculum. The mentorship exercises the teachers are trained in gives confidence in tackling big issues with students. Big issues that are relevant in the world. So relevant in fact that when our staff begin to engage in them, there is a tangible impact on the world.
This story is a typical, atypical story. It is very normal for our teachers to speak to real issues in their classes. It isn't typical that the world gets to hear about the conversations and types of topics our teachers are discussing. Well, that is until now.