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People, community highlight of working in Christian schools

Written on June 10th, 2011

For two long-time Christian school staff members, moving on from their jobs isn’t an end of their school community involvement.

Mil Engelage has been the financial manager at Immanuel Christian School in Oshawa for 25 years.

Engelage attended Immanuel as a child and says it was when she was in Grade 6 that she set her eyes on the school’s part-time secretary job.

She says she enjoys working with finances and likes to see the growth of students as they move through the school.

“It is fun being with the kids and just seeing how they’ve changed from kindergarten to Grade 8 and watching them grow and being part of the school,” says Engelage.

She notes it has been interesting to see new families over the years bring more diversity in denominational backgrounds to the school community.

With two granddaughters at Northumberland Christian School and one starting junior kindergarten at Immanuel this fall, Engelage will continue to be connected to the Christian education community.

Her hope for the school is “that it would continue to flourish and that more people would know about it.”

At Knox Christian School in Bowmanville administrative assistant Trudy Bouma is retiring from her position of 15 years. She started her position when her daughter was in Grade 8 at the school.

Bouma attended Immanuel and her husband was in the Grade 1 the first year Knox opened.

“I’ve just always loved this place,” says Bouma. “It’s just a wonderful community, it’s like a family.”

She says she has most enjoyed working with the supportive staff, the students, and being the first person people talk to when they come to the school.

“It’s been a privilege for me to work here, I’m just really grateful that I had that opportunity to be here all these years,” she says, noting she will miss the job and will continue to volunteer at the school and visit.

Considering the future of Christian education, she says the “amazing” quality of education gives her hope.

“As Christians, we believe our faith is intertwined in everything in our lives and I think it’s really important that kids grow up in this society with a faith-based school,” she says.