For the first time in a decade, Calumet Christian School has a new principal. Tyler Wriston will be welcoming students back in a few weeks in that role. Get to know Tyler as he starts his new position:
What do you look forward to about this job? What do you see as the challenges? I'm looking forward to building relationships with staff, students, and families. I think the biggest challenge will be navigating this new role in the midst of a pandemic. COVID-19 presents a lot of new challenges to tackle, but I've been amazed at the support and flexibility of the Calumet staff, the families, and the elders. The facilities department has been a huge help too. They've had to move so many things around to help get our buildings ready for the upcoming school year. It's amazing how many behind the scenes servants we have in this fellowship.
What drew you to this position? I was drawn by the opportunity to get to play a role in equipping students to make an impact for Christ. A lot of my friends are starting to have kids who they plan to send to Calumet. I'm looking forward to seeing who these little people grow to become.
What is your background in education? I've been a special education teacher in Columbus City Schools for the past five years. Prior to that, I taught fourth-grade reading and language arts at Harambee Christian School.
What role do you think Calumet can have in a student's life, both intellectually and spiritually? In many schools, teachers and administrators are not on the same page, and things like gossip and in-fighting distract from an environment of teaching and learning. Having a school where people are united in the Holy Spirit and by a common worldview helps ensure that the focus remains on student learning and growth. I wholeheartedly believe that the schools this fellowship has started are the best K-8 schools in the city of Columbus. Not only does Calumet offer an opportunity for a rigorous education, but it does so in a gracious environment. The staff at Calumet pray for these students, encourage them, and help them learn to resolve conflicts and think about others. Calumet staff help students build strong Christian worldviews where God's Word is the foundation for their lives. It's amazing how many strong Christian workers and leaders are former Calumet students. My hope is that this will continue to be the case for many decades into the future.
How did you come to a relationship with Christ? I checked out home church for the first time in my sophomore year of college. Sinful habits and a postmodern worldview had taken a huge toll on my mental health. I was getting disillusioned with leading my own life, but I didn't know where to turn. Thankfully, God sent me two friends. Tom Mizelle and Liz Hoerle invited me out and persisted in answering my questions. I remember a key conversation with Bryan Jones and Conrad Hilario where they gently exposed the shortcomings of my relativistic beliefs and showed me the predictive prophecy in Isaiah 53. Not only was God so powerful that He could predict something hundreds of years in advance, but He was also loving in that He would die as a suffering servant so that my sins could be forgiven. In His grace, God had used even my foolish mistakes to chip away at my pride and help me get to the point where I could admit that I needed Him. His Word and His people showed me how good He was and how much I could trust His promises.
What do you like to do in your free time? I like playing soccer, tennis, ping-pong, and cards. Also, I love reading. My wife teases me because there are always stacks of books next to my bed!