I am in my 12th year of teaching at CWC. I teach High School Physical Education, High School Woods Class, and High School Metals/Building Trades. I am also the High School Girls’ Athletic Director as well as the Middle School Athletic Director. It is a pleasure to be able to teach a wide range of students each day. I get the opportunity to teach and influence students outside the “normal” classroom setting. I enjoy the fact that in my Woods and Metals class I work with students in a hands on area that for many of my students leads them directly into their chosen career after graduation.
I have been the TRIP coordinator for the past 5 years at CWC. TRIP stands for Tuition Reduction Incentive Program. If you’re not familiar with it, this is how TRIP works: TRIP buys gift cards at a discount and sells them to you at face value. The discount then gets applied back to your tuition account, reducing the cost for your family to attend CWC. A portion of the discount also goes to Parents In Action (PIA) which uses the funds for various school projects. Gift cards are available from tons of different retailers and service providers both locally and nationally. If you buy gas, groceries, or go out to eat, or shop for clothing, you can earn tuition dollars and benefit CWC at the same time!
Anyone can use the program. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even those without any family attending CWC can use TRIP. Discount earnings can be directed to be used for any current or future family, your church’s tuition fund, or even CWC’s Tuition Assistance Fund. No matter where the funds are directed, the whole school benefits!
We have just had our largest payout ever with the TRIP program! It truly is humbling how God uses a simple program to help our families continue to send their children to CWC. It was at the last society meeting when we announced that we had earned $100,000 last school year with TRIP. I thought we would continue to earn about the same, but God had other plans! We almost doubled last year’s total – $170,000 for this year!
The average participating family earned $700 this last year. I know a certain family that uses the program extensively, and they earn enough to cover about 20% of their tuition. One huge help is the current 10% discount for gas. Citgo, BP, and Kwik Trip gift cards have all been a large part of our earnings this past year.
Like any successful venture at CWC, we have a great group of volunteers who continue to make this program great! Some put in hours every week, some every other week. We have grandparents that give of their time to help with handing orders out. We try to have a good time and our volunteers usually sign up to return to help the program year after year!
I would like to give 3 challenges to the entire CWC family for the upcoming year:
1) Those families that are graduating out this year please continue to use the TRIP program. You can help out a future family, current family, or just give to the Tuition Assistance Fund.
2) I challenge the current users to keep an eye on the SCRIPNOW retailers. There are more added each week, making it easier for you to order on the fly with Presto pay.
3) I challenge all non-users to start – what are you waiting for? Ask a family that uses it how it works.
Questions? Call me at 920-296-8449 – I’d love to help!
It is important for CWC to continually review technology and improve the tools and methods for teaching students today and into the future. This school year, for example, 40 iPads were purchased for use in the elementary grades. Teachers and students have been able to improve aspects of the classroom through the use of the iPads. In fact, learning with this technology has not only improved, but is often more fun and interesting for the students.
Many of you have heard of the 1:1 Initiative at CWC. A committee is currently evaluating application of iPad technology for the Middle and High School. The goal of the 1:1 initiative is to implement an economically viable technology program for CWC that equips teachers and students with iPads and effectively enhances teaching and learning. A few committees have been involved in identifying several items that need to be in place for a successful program, including reviewing the technology and wireless infrastructure, policies and procedures, costs and practical approaches to financing, and implementation and training programs. This is not a small task, but other schools have successfully rolled out 1:1 programs before us. There are very good templates and examples for us to consider in developing the best program and policies for CWC.
Technology is always changing and this presents challenges and opportunities for education. We are excited about the opportunities with a 1:1 program. There is a lot to do and it is important to do it right. Things are starting to come together, and more details on the initiative will be provided over the next couple of months.
Stacey Smies Middle School Math and Bible Teacher
I’m in my 4th year of teaching at CWC. Before that I taught for 8 years at Zillah Middle School in the state of Washington. I taught Special Education for 5 years, which included math, reading, and writing classes. My last 3 years at ZMS were spent teaching math. Here at CWC, I teach math and Bible. I really appreciate the opportunity to teach both of these courses.
I grew up in Edgerton, MN and attended SW MN Christian HS. I went to Dordt College where I met Russ. We have three children: Ada (8) in 2nd grade, Sophia (6) in Kindergarten, and Cora (7 mos). The older girls are enrolled at CWC and love their teachers and classmates. I believe having children has given me the ability to make connections between God’s love, guidance and discipline for us, his children, more natural for students in my classroom.
Nearly 18 months ago, the CWC board created and adopted a vision plan that would be the basis for our work for the next 3 years. As a board, we recognized that we had a really good school. However, we also recognized that it can be dangerous to sit back and be satisfied with our current state. One of our mottos that we have used in the board room is “Good is the enemy of Great”. In addition, we wanted to be pro-active in our decisions so that we were not having to make difficult decisions in the future.
The Vision 2015 plan is comprised of nearly 20 initiatives that touch every area of our school. These initiatives or projects are designed to improve our Advancement, Athletics, Building & Grounds, Curriculum & Instruction, Finance, Technology and Transportation. Some of the initiatives that were completed this school year include the hiring of an Advancement Assistant, a new custom website, iPads in the elementary, bussing to Ripon / Fond du Lac and a make-over to the hallway in the middle school.
Some of the highlights we are looking at for next school year include hiring a Technology Integration Specialist, adopting a 1 to 1 iPad program in the high school, increased compensation for staff, remodeling the middle school and replacing several rooms in the high school area with a 21st Century Learning Commons.
In order to support these initiatives on an ongoing basis, it is important that we continue to increase our enrollment at the pace we have enjoyed over the past few years. God has certainly blessed us with many new, Christian families. As a board, we recognize our calling to share the gift of Christian education with other Christian families. We also recognize an increased enrollment is a key to the success of the Vision 2015 plan. As a body of Christ at CWC, it important that we continue to pray for God’s guidance as we seek to do his will.
What made Vision 2015 possible?
As a board, we have worked so much on Vision 2015 plan that we sometimes take it for granted how God has been working through this entire process. In order to get to where we are today, there have been many key steps that He has put in place.
- Step 1: Made a change in how we operate as a board
- Most of the work is done at the committee level
- We use Google Docs to study all the committee reports before the meetings
- These changes have enabled us to spend a majority of our board meeting time on visionary items
- Step 2: CWC Board Retreat – Fall 2011
- Ryan Zonnefeld spoke on student achievement, 21st Century Learning, the role of board members and strategic plannin
- One of the recurring themes taken from this was “Good is the enemy of Great”
- Step 3: New Mission Statement and Core Values
- Step 4: Looking at how we move from “Good to Great”
- We spent several board meetings brainstorming on this topic and keeping this work in our prayers
- As a full board, we consolidated our ideas into one comprehensive list of initiatives
- Step 5: We created an ad-hoc committee to review the Vision 2015 plan, prioritize and come up with a funding plan
- Step 6: As a board, we have adopted the final Vision 2015 plan and have been basing our ongoing board and committee work on this plan