Principal’s Development Institute an encouraging, empowering experience | Edvance Christian Schools Association
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Principal’s Development Institute an encouraging, empowering experience

Written on February 7th, 2012

Yesterday morning John Knox Christian School principal Michael Meinema had the opportunity to put into practice biblical leadership lessons he took away from the Principal’s Development Institute (PDI).

Meinema says there were so many things coming at him that his head was full by 10 a.m., so he let the administrative assistant know he was closing his office door to spend time with scripture and refocus on God’s word.

PDI participants were encouraged to unapologetically take time with closed doors to focus on God’s word and his calling as a Christian school leader, says Meinema.

The second annual PDI held by Christian Schools International (CSI) took place Jan. 25-27 in Miami. PDI is geared towards administrators who have been at a Christian Schools International member school for 10 years or less.

Meinema says he is always looking for opportunities to grow and be stretched, and has previously participated in CSI programs.

London Christian Elementary School principal Mary Haven attended last year’s PDI and shared how worthwhile the experience was, notes Meinema. He decided to apply for the 2012 event and he and London District Christian Secondary School principal Dwayne Bulthuis were the two Canadians out of 16 participants.

“It was a great opportunity to focus on some really specific things that principals need to be focusing on for the future of Christian education,” Meinema tells the OACS News.

Meinema says in his small group there were leaders from Michigan, Florida and New Mexico.

“To hear similar stories in Christian education from a really widespread region provided me with comfort,” he says, adding it also built a network of people he can call on.

In addition to biblical leadership, topics included strategic planning, staff professional development and embracing change.

Meinema says the most valuable part of the experience was being encouraged that many of the items being put in place at John Knox Christian School in Woodstock are on the right track and being empowered to keep it up.

He adds it was powerful to have the chance to focus with leaders on God’s call and knowing that he is doing God’s work.

The conference was timely, he says, as January is when principals start thinking about the next school year’s numbers.

“We’re starting to make that transition into still living in this year but also living in next year and this was a timely opportunity to have some focus on leadership so that I can be the strongest leader I can be for this year and next,” he says.

“I would highly recommend the program to principals,” he says.