by Lee Hollaar, SCSBC Coordinator / Director (1989 – 2003) ◊
The word evolution can evoke shades of grey in our minds. However, in the case of the development of the story of SCSBC and its role in giving leadership to the BC Christian school community and beyond, the story can only be seen as the evolution of a celebrated Spirit-directed presence. I was privileged to be part of the story from 1988 to 2003. Any advancements of the story are blessings of the Spirit. It is a continuum and doesn’t happen in isolation. Thomas Merton once said, “Our successes are not our own. The way to them was prepared by others. The fruit of our labours is not our own: for we are preparing the way for the achievements of others.” (Adapted from No Man Is an Island)
Even the title of Executive Director is an evolution. The first directors were intentionally called coordinators with a particular commitment to working as a community. Expanding upon the successful work of my predecessors, I joined the organization as a coordinator specifically to further develop school leadership, board leadership in school governance, and a deepened engagement in the independent school movement in BC. Over time the title of coordinator morphed to director, and that morphed into executive director. The initial title of coordinator was chosen intentionally in an effort to shape a flatter organization whose priority was to shape an enabled and dynamic faith community in the classrooms. A Christian perspective for teaching was paramount. That shaped other parts of the critical schooling infrastructure, namely administration, governance, and development.
And so accredited leadership enablement courses began, and people with recognized gifts and potential were encouraged to pursue leadership and avail themselves of leadership training. Participating in professional development was encouraged for school leaders. Even a more global engagement in leadership enablement initiatives was undertaken. We began worldview and leadership courses, board governance workshops, vision setting workshops, conflict resolution workshops, leader reviews, and financial development conferences. We defined leadership as community building toward a more faithful direction. A particular blessing in the SCSBC story is that these directional leadership initiatives occurred because of stewardship of the gifts among our community—still acts of coordination. Educational and organizational leadership was explored; there was further deepening of teachers’ Christian worldview understanding of the praxis of teaching Christianly; and we held workshops on setting board policy, reorganization, and procedural fairness in governance practices. All of these combined contributed to a mutually supportive Christian school community that was intent in pursuing greater biblical faithfulness in the operation of Christian schools. It was during this time that Christian Schools Canada was organized to more effectively guide our schools and be stewards of our resources. We celebrate what we see today at the SCSBC.