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Retiring principal leaves joyfully

Written on June 14th, 2012

Mary Haven has experienced that children really do say the funniest things, such as the day a student came up to her with a fist full of marbles and asked the principal if she had lost hers.

Haven says there are wonderful events that happen at London Christian Elementary School, where she has worked for 26 years.

As she thinks about her upcoming retirement, she says education wasn’t in her blood but something she grew into.

“Some people say they knew right away they wanted to be a teacher, I didn’t have that. I grew into education and my passion for it grew over the years,” Haven tells the OACS News.

Growing up in the U.S., Haven didn’t attend Christian schools. She received her French teacher training at Calvin College where she was encouraged to apply to Christian schools.

Teaching in Christian schools has been a “real blessing,” she says.

Prior to her work at the London school, Haven worked at Beacon Christian High School in St. Catharines and Vancouver Christian High School.

When asked what she would most like to be remembered for, Haven says that she did the work well with integrity and honesty, carrying out the mission and vision of the school while being true to Christian education and appreciating the staff, students and families.

“The commitment of people to Christian schools is phenomenal,” she says.

“I think of our board and our many committees who volunteer hundreds and thousands of hours to ensure that their children receive a Christian education.

“I stand in awe of that,” she says.

Five years ago London Christian Elementary School renovated its existing facility and doubled its size.

“That was a wonderful experience,” says Haven.

Haven says it has always been her hope that the school becomes interdenominational, intercultural and many people from different parts of the world can join together to educate their children in Christ.

She says the school is partway there, which is “wonderful,” and hopes that this continues in the future and more people will see the importance of Christ-centred education.

“I think this school is an amazing place for kids to learn about God and His world,” she says.

Haven says she knows her job at the school is done, and the school is in good hands with incoming principal Stephen Janssen.

“I wish the school community well and the OACS I think has been a wonderful support,” she says.

“I leave joyfully.”