The new principal of Immanuel Christian School in Aylmer will utilize the school’s strengths to enhance graduate expectations.
Keith Cameron spent 20 years with the Canadian Armed Forces and his family came to Immanuel Christian School in 2005. After working as a military engineer officer with experience in leadership, management and training, Cameron’s first wife passed away suddenly, and he moved with their three children to Tillsonburg, to be closer to her family.
Cameron’s eldest child enrolled at Immanuel Christian School, and about a year later, Cameron became involved in the education committee at the school. Through his father-in-law, a pastor, Cameron met the woman who would become his second wife, and added another baby to the family.
“God opens up doors,” he says. After finishing his last military assignment in Brussels, Belgium in 2010, Cameron went back to school for a year to be certified as a teacher. A few months into that, the position opened for an administrator at Immanuel Christian School.
Cameron applied for the job. “I’ve got the strengths in terms of the administration and leadership of organizations, but at the same time, I’m a brand new teacher… It wouldn’t have been my natural first application,” he says.
“It’s a pleasure to come on board with a community which I was part of before,” he says.
He says the school enjoys a senior staff, who each have between 20 and 33 years of teaching experience. “It’s a neat partnership. They have a lot of experience in teaching and I have different experience in organizational leadership. Putting it together has been great fun so far.”
The school’s top three strengths, he says, are “seasoned staff,” the strength of the core community whose breadth now spans nine denominations and 15 churches, and the small but stable enrolment.
Cameron is very excited to get to know the school community and “our kids.”
The school’s focus is reflected in its graduate expectations. “What we do in our classroom and our academics, with our devotions, our Bible, our extra-curricular programs are all part and parcel of creating the young and growing Christians that we want to be graduating out of our school.”
The graduate expectations policy is old, but the emphasis on it is new, says Cameron. The ideas will be modified for the senior, intermediate and primary students, and children will learn to be a discerning believer, an effective communicator, a reflective and creative thinker, a self-directed life-long learner, a collaborative team player and a caring citizen of our world.
The school quality assistance process has identified the need to encourage children’s understanding of why they go to a Christian school, and it has become one of Cameron’s focuses.