Since 2011, the Leaders Track has helped pastors and teachers reignite their calling, and prepared them to invite their youth into Christian adulthood.
Here are just a few of the things they have to say about it.
"...exactly what I needed to face another year of teaching..."
The loving community and passion for excellent education I found at The Academy this summer were exactly what I needed to face another year teaching at a public middle school. I know I can endure with God’s grace, and with the lessons I learned. I learned to be authentic:
If I want my students to be earnest and whole-souled, I must be their model. I can show them how to sincerely pursue goodness, truth, and beauty by doing so myself. I learned to do my best, but not to try to do God's job. I learned to take time to rest, and to take risks that I believe in. Now I'm ready to get back to work.
Alisa sikora, History Teacher
"I feel better equipped to love others... with less of me and more of Christ."
I expected Wheatstone to be fabulous, and it was more than fabulous. There were tremendous speakers that stretched my mind and confronted my thinking habits. I discovered something about myself through the physical challenges that I really didn’t like, yet my group accepted me and helped me through. And that was the unexpected jewel of Wheatstone. I became part of a community that is learning to love as Jesus loves. By experiencing the gentle yet honest love of God through my community, I feel better equipped to love others in my life simply, with less of me and more of Christ.
Sandy Hollenbeck, math teacher
"We had a great variety of educational and personal backgrounds, and we learned how to ...value each other and ourselves..."
It was tremendously encouraging to be with other adults experiencing the week. To see how others experienced uncertainties and personal dynamics (no matter their age), and to be challenged to grow through those differences well was very valuable to me. We had a great variety of educational and personal backgrounds, and we learned how to listen to and value each other and ourselves within those differences.
Kathryn Ruud, Spiritual Director
"The Academy... was invaluable to me."
The Academy was an incredible experience. Given the chance, I would do it again. The ability to meet other like-minded educators, wrestle with pedagogy, and confront our own weaknesses was invaluable to me. There are two main things I have decided I will make a concentrated effort to bring back to my classroom. First, it is not impossible to make (real) discussion a part of classes with even 20-30 students. Second, I will adopt a pedagogy that treats students as individual, fully human persons. The Academy has given me the first steps to remember and implement policies to help those persons flourish.
Gabriel Pagel, Bible Teacher and youth pastor
"The Academy was more than necessary..."
The Academy was more than necessary. I came hoping for encouragement and perspective. Wow, did I receive it. Being in transition, between avenues of ministry, I often doubt if I'm doing what God wants me to do. But this has been a very encouraging week for me. I love helping people, especially teens. I love the work of striving with others toward a mutual goal. This week helped clarify that purpose for me. Thank you, Wheatstone.