As interim principal of Orillia Christian School (OCS), Cindy Dykstra is an experienced educator who is excited to be working with teachers passionate about creating and maintaining an exceptional learning environment for students.
She notes that OCS is already recognized by local secondary school principals for producing well rounded graduates who are generally very well prepared for high school. This reputation results from the school’s strong academic program and numerous co-curricular activities offered.
Dykstra says OCS is also strengthened by the fact that it has been interdenominational in nature from its beginnings more than 30 years ago. The school board has also overseen an initial strategic plan outlining community goals and expectations.
Dykstra’s experience with Orillia Christian dates back to 1990, following the former Christian school student’s decision to use her gifts for teaching in the Christian school system.
She completed 12 years of teaching, primarily in the junior grades, and embraced the added role of vice-principal in 1994. She continued in this capacity for eight years, gaining invaluable experience on the administrative side of things.
During her teaching years, Dykstra took summer courses at Redeemer University College to earn her Christian school teacher’s certificate.
In September 2002, she began a maternity leave which led to a decision to stay home for nine years to raise three children with which God blessed her and her husband.
This past spring, Dykstra chaired the OCS team searching for a principal, which eventually recommended that the board explore hiring an interim principal for 2011-2012.
“I did not realize at the time that the process would eventually lead the board to approach me to take on this interim position,” Dykstra says.
“I prayerfully considered the opportunity before me and was encouraged by others to use my administrative gifts in this interim role.”
Looking ahead, Dykstra says she hopes to encourage the OCS community to “continue to grow in the area of effective communication and promotions through new avenues that celebrate what is happening in the life of the school community.”
One avenue is a publication geared primarily for the parents and another focused on reaching the extended community of alumni and their families, grandparents and friends of OCS.
She says she’s also like to bring all those in varying levels of school leadership – from staff to the board to committees – to focus more keenly on “how we can and ought to live our mission at Orillia Christian School.”