by Jen Wylie
After extensive discussions and prayerful discernment, West Side Christian School (WSCS) and The Eagle Foundation (TEF) joined together in a formal partnership for the 2014/15 school year. As a result, The Eagle Foundation is walking alongside WSCS by providing administrative leadership, athletic leadership, and support for students needing intervention for learning differences.
This journey has been exciting for several reasons; the first being personal…
My husband and I have been Warrior parents for eleven years. All three of our children have attended WSCS since kindergarten and are now in the 11th, 7th and 5th grades. I can’t tell you how many times I have thanked God for West Side Christian School and for the teachers who have loved and educated my children. The school has been a tremendous blessing to our family, and we want to see it bless many more families in our community for a very long time.
The second reason for my excitement has been professional. I started out in education. My first love was the child and the classroom, but not only did I want to make the life of a child a little brighter with knowledge, encouragement, and a smiling presence each day of the week, I wanted to understand how that child’s brain worked. I wanted knowledge about cognitive functions and how language and learning and memory all worked together so that I could help those who learned differently and empower those who excelled.
After getting my degrees in education and communication, I worked as a speech-language pathologist and department director in private practice, home health, hospitals, outpatient clinics and schools for a period spanning 14 years. Overlapping the latter part of this time period, my journey took me to the local church, where I learned and served as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church in El Dorado for four years. From there, the journey naturally transitioned to the world of nonprofits, where I learned and served as cofounder, president, and chief executive of HOPE Landing for seven years.
I understand education and the needs of children. I understand the complexities of human development and appreciate the differences in the way people think and communicate. I understand the local church and the Body of Christ in the world (and the difference between them). I understand small business, and I understand nonprofits.
Being born and raised in El Dorado, I also understand our community, and I know without a doubt that a strong educational system consists of excellent instruction within both the public and private school sectors. Every child is a star. Every teacher has a ministry, and every family should have the benefit of choosing among healthy educational environments that fit their needs and the needs of each child.
West Side Christian School is a very important piece to making this a reality in our local community and provides the ground where faith and knowledge come together. Nothing makes a stronger child, and my prayer for my own children is my prayer for all children -- that they will love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their soul, and with all their strength. And, that they will love their neighbor as they love themselves – equally, unapologetically, flaws, gifts and all. It is my prayer for the child in you. It is my prayer for the child in me.
May we continue to learn and grow and love as we walk forward together for the sake of our children, and, may we, individually and collectively, bring honor and glory to God. It’s been a great year!